The 7th Annual No Pants Subway Ride will take place in Boston at 1 p.m. this Sunday afternoon. In the name of silliness, hundreds of people will flock to the MBTA to take a special, pantsless ride through to the city to shock, awe, and get a few laughs out of their fellow Bostonians. [Check out photos from past rides]
James Cobalt, the executive director of BostonSOS and the event’s organizer, said every year the event grows and increases followers. For this year’s ride, he said they’re trying a few new things, the details of which will be released on the event’s page at 9 p.m. tonight. He said that everyone should give the ride a try at least once, and that it’s a great place to meet other awesome people in the city.
“It’s an amazing equalizer, and my favorite event. Nothing compares to the energy from the No Pants ride! I also think there’s a lot more adrenaline because it’s cold and you don’t have pants on,” Cobalt said. “It’s amazing how quickly you become acclimated to not having pants. In five minutes, you totally forget.”
So who are these people who participate in a pantsless subway ride? Here’s a sampling of some of the ride’s past participants and their favorite experiences along the way.
Name: James Cobalt
Most Memorable Moment: “The first year I did it, there was this guy who worked himself into a tizzy. He was shouting about how he thought we were all on drugs . . . The only explanation he could come up with is that we were all high beyond comprehension, so he scolded us on the danger of drugs.”
Name: Bryan Berlin
Location: New York City
Most Memorable Moment: “There was about 100 people in the station somewhere on the Blue Line, and we were the only [pantsless] people around. Everyone was cheering and singing. There was one person who didn’t know what was going on, and everyone was giving them a different answer, like 10 people in a row. He got so upset, and was screaming, ‘What’s going on?!’ and no one would tell him. He was very frustrated, but not in a bad way. I always thought that was really funny.”
Name: Al Nadjarian
Location: Boston, Mass.
Most Memorable Moment: “Last year I helped coordinate some of the groups, and that was an awesome experience . . . I had a couple people in my group who were just stone-cold, poker-faced awesome, and whenever people came up to them they did such a great job of making these ridiculous excuses, such as ‘pants are a burden on society, limiting our freedom.’ Everybody can get behind that! Three people decided to join after they heard that because they agreed.”
Name: Gwen Hunt
Location: West Lebanon, N.H.
Most Memorable Moment: “Two years ago, we were walking through Haymarket—about 20 or 30 people in their underwear—and this woman who works for the MBTA started heckling one of the guys who was wearing tutti fruity batman underpants. He teased her by shaking his butt at her, and it just went back and forth. It was really great; you don’t really get that interaction with the MBTA often!”
Name: Jason Carpenter
Location: Dorchester, Mass.
Most Memorable Moment: “The whole thing is quite memorable. It’s not something you forget that easily . . . The whole thing is so well organized, it’s just awesome to be running form station to station without your pants. The most memorable point was in the big group, meeting at the after party. We’re at a bar and it’s a bar full of pantsless people, and everyone at that point is comfortable hanging out with other people who don’t have pants on.”
Name: Emily Jean Robichau
Location: West Bridgewater, Mass.
Most Memorable Moment: “The second year I did it, the after party was at McGreevy’s. Everyone had their pants off, and my friend Brendan managed to get a bra as well. He started walking around with a bra on too, and everybody was giving him high fives. I think someone even stuck a dollar in there.”
Name: Gazel Hebbert
Location: Jamaica Plain, Mass.
Most Memorable Moment: “We were on the red line after we had switched trains, and I got on the last door of one of the cars. There was a relatively older woman sitting down across from me, and she looked around and realized there were a lot of people not wearing pants. She made direct eye contact with me, looked me up and down twice . . . and said, ‘I know what I’m going to be thinking of when I go home to my husband tonight.’ She had a huge smile on her face, but it definitely made the whole experience a lot more memorable.”
Name: Alissa Daniels
Location: Newton, Mass.
Most Memorable Moment: “The first year I did it I was sitting by myself. I was reading and this woman came over to me. She was so confused by what was going on and she didn’t speak very much English. In very broken English she asked me, ‘Is today special day?’ I wanted to explain, but that’s what you’re not supposed to do. I said I don’t think so, and she looked so confused. But that’s kind of what it’s all about! It was really kind of cute.”