Wednesday, January 12, 2011

From The Agent Jester File: No Pants 2K11

Every January my new year kicks with a nice little routine I really enjoy: some planning/goal making (more on this in a future post), a birthday celebration (I just turned 32 last week), and the Annual No Pants Subway Ride. This year - the 10th anniversary in fact - I actually got be a General, which meant holding a megaphone and giving loose instructions to the many, many cold fans of Improv Everywhere. I even got interviewed, which was pretty cool.

I don't have too many new observations to make since last year, but I'll say this:

-Megaphones are awesome. The one I bought was incredibly large, at least with respect to my relative size. And even before I started trying to talk with it, just carrying it around with me on the subway ride over, I got a ton of looks. Just the expectation that I might be commanding attention with it at some point is enough to keeps all eyes on me, which you know, I'm personally a big fan of. I might consider bringing it with me to a bar at some point.

-The event definitely still makes feel like an old man. The 'No Pants' participants definitely skew on the younger side, and their ability at this point to stand in the cold with no pants (and sometimes apparently, just a sock on the crotch) far surpasses mine. The running (non)gag with everyone who'd been doing this since time immemorial was that "we were all getting too old for this job," "these kids today, don't know nothin' about nothin'" and that inevitably one of us would probably get killed in action just 2 days from retirement. These lines were all said in between various levels of icy breath cursing and hand-in-glove warmth adjusting.

-There's a shift I'm starting to notice with the female participants that I hadn't really thought about before, even though I suppose the writing has always been on the wall. A lot of girls see No Pants like Halloween, in other words, an excuse to dress in what would normally be considered inappropriately slutty and get away with any judgment because of the event. It's kind of brilliant, actually, though as an old-fogey, part of me does want to remind everyone that this event was always meant more to amuse rather than arouse. Of course, the fist waving stops the second I see someone like my very attractive friend Little Jenni:
Friends have permission to ogle, right?
So that's it. Another fun year with a group of people that had no idea 10 years ago that a silly idea like taking your pants off on the train would turn into a worldwide cultural phenomenon (50 other cities around the world in 24 countries!).

-Agent Jester


Jennifer said...

I see your concern. However... This is how I view it.
No Pants Subway Ride is an improv mission. My approach to it is its the one day a year I get to pretend to be somebody I am not.
As a skateboarding, punk rock, tomboy Ive been most of my life... Ive never been much for high heels (other than weddings and other formal events). In my everyday life I am a nanny and wear jeans a t-shirt to work, so I choose the subway ride to play dress up. I can pretend to be a business woman that wears fancy heels or boots and ruffly dunders. Why not? Isnt that what improv is all about?

Matt Shafeek said...

Absolutely. I didn't mean to judge anyone too harshly (though I suppose "inappropriately slutty" has some implied judgment), more to just make the observation. If one person is doing it for laughs and the other to play dress up, at the end of the day it's all about having a good time.

Jennifer said...

I dont feel judged. Just thought Id give an explanation since I was the example used. (which is totally fine) I still love you, homie.