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Monday, January 10, 2011

'Why Are You Doing This?': A Timeline from Sunday's No Pants Bart Ride

Posted By on Mon, Jan 10, 2011 at 10:04 AM

Yesterday was the No Pants Bart Ride (click for more photos), for which willing participants were told to board trains, take off their pants/skirts/whatever was on their lower halves, and ride the train in their undies, completely straight-faced, to meet en masse at Powell St station at 2:10 p.m.

Here's a timeline of the day from a pantless person.

Why not, really? - JOSEPH SCHELL
  • Joseph Schell
  • Why not, really?

10:41 a.m.: Indulging in variety of experiments involving pant/shoe combos that will allow for minimal stripping time, without risk of falling on frilly-knicker-clad ass in middle of train. Harder than you think.

10:53 a.m.: Increasingly annoyed about not owning pair of male stripper pants. Contemplating making some.

10:55 a.m.: Not enough Velcro in house to make stripper pants. Balls.

11:02 a.m.: Decide on leggings and ballet flats. Boring! Remarkable how practical one must be in order to do something so totally stupid.

1:41 p.m.: 24th St. Bart station awash with people wearing pants. Can't stop eyeing other people on platform suspiciously. Friend starts tap dancing nervously. Convinced no one else is going to do this.

1:51 p.m.: No one else is doing this. Okay. Like, four other people are doing this. Pittsburgh-Bay Point trains picks us up. Friend removes jeans to reveal Rocky Horror ensemble. Understand about the tap-dancing now. Remove leggings with ease and stand both proud and nonchalant. 75-year-old Korean man scowling at ass. Must stay focused!

1:55 p.m.: Man with bicycle approaches three boy-shorts-clad riders. "Where are you getting off?" he asks straight-faced. "You guys going running or something?"

11:58 p.m.: Arrive at Powell. There are only twelve pantless people (inc. us). Pledge to stick together to limit chances of being mistaken for child molesters.

2:01 p.m.: "Why are you doing this?" asks traumatized woman. Another, spur-of-the-moment, drops trou. Woo!

2:03 p.m.: Group of children now watching pantless students performing something akin to capoeira.

2:05 p.m.: Man with ginger 'stache, jock strap, and air of confidence arrives. Everything now feels right with world.

2:07 p.m.: Pantless numbers rapidly growing. Confidence growing too. Man in purple and gold-splashed tighty whities starts doing squats. Everything going to be fine.

2:10 p.m.: Disparate groups of pantless have gathered at either end of platform. Leadership needed, dammit!

2:22 p.m.: Mysterious man appears and brings pantless groups together. Yells "Listen up, everybody! We're going to the mall!" Eruption of cheers.

2:24 p.m.: Even more cheers erupt, due to refreshing draft on escalators up to station.

2:25 p.m.: Sea of camera phones greet our arrival upstairs.

2:26 p.m.: Security at Westfield Shopping Center twitch nervously as over a hundred pantless people approach.

2:27 p.m.: "You can't come in here, guys." Security fooling no one. Continue walking.

Security fail.

2:29 p.m.: Girl wearing 'Some Chicks Marry Chicks. Get Over It' shirt starts dancing like lunatic. Now it's a fight for gay marriage, too. Boo-ya!

2:30 p.m.: Girl in Haagan Dazs doorway frozen, mouth agape, as pantless parade saunters past. Wonder if she'll ever recover.

2:31 p.m.: Angry lady security guard approaches: "You in the underwear! You can not be in the mall with your underwear on!" Would she rather we take that off, too?

2:32 p.m.: Repeated warnings from angry lady security prompts spirited chant of "Yes! We! Can! Yes! We! Can!" Taste the triumph, San Francisco.

2:34 p.m.: Security formulates plan to block all escalators up and down. Succeeds. Balls.

2:37 p.m.: Out on street, pantless parade starts moving toward Montgomery. Grizzled old drunk man at mall entrance on Market wonders aloud "What the hell is going on around here?"

2:40 p.m.: A rogue group of "ruffle butts" approaches security outside 757 Market. Attacks security with hugs and kisses. Security baffled but clearly amused.

2:45 p.m.: Woman on street yells "You look awesome!" That's because everyone looks awesome without their pants on. Fact.

2:47 p.m.: Happy young woman: "Why are you doing this?"

Man in green boxers: "It makes us happy."

Happy young woman: "It makes me happy too."

Man in green boxers: "You're a pervert."

2:48 p.m.: Pantless parade makes plans to get on Muni and hit bars in Castro. Four of us decide walking to Embarcadero and waving at boats more fun. Bid our fellow pantless farewell. Joy and confusion trail behind us all. Mission accomplished.

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