Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 23 October 2014

No Pants Day 2014: thousands ride underground in their underwear

BERLIN, GERMANY - JANUARY 12:  A participant of the No Pants Subway Ride wearing a luchador, or Mexican wrestler mask, rides a train on January 12, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. The annual event, in which participants board a subway car in January while not wearing any pants while behaving as though they do not know each other, began as a joke by the public prank group Improv Everywhere in New York City and has since spread around the world, with enthusiasts in around 60 cities and 29 countries across the globe, according to the organization's site.  (Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images)
A participant of the No Pants Subway Ride wearing a luchador or Mexican wrestler mask, rides a train on January 12, 2014 in Berlin, Germany.
BERLIN, GERMANY - JANUARY 12:  A participant of the No Pants Subway Ride rides a train on January 12, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. The annual event, in which participants board a subway car in January while not wearing any pants while behaving as though they do not know each other, began as a joke by the public prank group Improv Everywhere in New York City and has since spread around the world, with enthusiasts in around 60 cities and 29 countries across the globe, according to the organization's site.  (Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - JANUARY 12: A participant of the No Pants Subway Ride rides a train on January 12, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. The annual event, in which participants board a subway car in January while not wearing any pants while behaving as though they do not know each other, began as a joke by the public prank group Improv Everywhere in New York City and has since spread around the world, with enthusiasts in around 60 cities and 29 countries across the globe, according to the organization's site. (Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - JANUARY 12:  A participant of the No Pants Subway Ride reads a book as he waits for a train on January 12, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. The annual event, in which participants board a subway car in January while not wearing any pants while behaving as though they do not know each other, began as a joke by the public prank group Improv Everywhere in New York City and has since spread around the world, with enthusiasts in around 60 cities and 29 countries across the globe, according to the organization's site.  (Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - JANUARY 12: A participant of the No Pants Subway Ride reads a book as he waits for a train on January 12, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. The annual event, in which participants board a subway car in January while not wearing any pants while behaving as though they do not know each other, began as a joke by the public prank group Improv Everywhere in New York City and has since spread around the world, with enthusiasts in around 60 cities and 29 countries across the globe, according to the organization's site. (Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images)

No Pants Subway Ride Day started with just seven men in New York 12 years ago has ballooned to become an event recognised in over 60 cities in more than 25 countries.

The self-proclaimed “prank collective” group Improv Everywhere first came up with the idea when they performed the inaugural No Pants Subway Ride in 2002.

During the middle of winter, participants wearing winter coats, hats, scarves and gloves – but crucially no trousers, tights or skirts – board the same subway train at different stations, acting as if nothing is out of the ordinary.

That simple prank, which now has its own back story starring an unsuspecting woman caught up in the middle of it all (see video below), has “grown into an international celebration of silliness”, the group said.

According to Improv Everywhere, Sunday’s 13th Annual No Pants Subway Ride included over 4,000 participants in New York alone.

The Facebook organiser of the London event (given the name No Trousers Tube Ride) said over 150 Londoners took part last year, and came up with a detailed plan to ensure the prank mirrored the original as closely as possible.

Rammi Glomp said: “As there aren't as many people taking part like the original New York event, the plan is to divide ourselves up along the route so that passengers in a couple of carriages on one train get a surprise of seeing trouserless people getting on at every stop.”

Improv Everywhere describe themselves as having completed “100 missions involving tens of thousands of undercover agents”, and there was a hint of a secret briefing to Mr Glomp’s instructions, which read: “Do not talk to others once you enter the station. Nobody knows each other.

“If questioned, you do not know any of the other trouserless riders. Tell folks that you 'forgot to wear trousers' and yes, you are 'a little cold.' Insist that it is a coincidence that others also forgot their trousers. Be nice and friendly and normal.”

As well as taking place in London and New York, the prank brought in participants from Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Istanbul, Munich, Berlin (see gallery above), Prague, Paris, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

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Your Horoscopes by Russell Grant

Scorpio:

It's important to treat yourself well. Constantly deferring to others will deprive you of the finer things in life. Carve time out of your busy schedule to pamper yourself. Taking a nap, solitary walk or hot bath will revive your spirits. Get into the habit of spending more money on creature comforts. Treat such as gourmet food, beautiful clothes and intriguing books are investments in your happiness. Others may object at being put farther down on your list of priorities, but that's their problem.More