You might recall last week Montreal attempted its first No Pants Metro Ride. Only there were more journalists than participants and the organizer decided to cancel it.
Here’s the thing:
Don’t believe everything you hear. There was a No Pants ride, it just wasn’t covered. Until now.
Everything I told you in last week’s post actually happened. There weren’t enough participants, and the organizer did yell “It’s cancelled” prompting people to take off in different directions.
But before that, she whispered to participants that they would regroup elsewhere, away from the prying eyes of the media, so they could perform this stunt properly.
Surely, I thought, that wouldn’t actually work. The TV people would just follow everyone into the metro. But it did. Everyone left in small groups, some walked to Mont Royal metro from St. Louis Square (a long, cold trek I might add).
From there, the plan was to regroup at Jean-Talon, near the last car on the Snowdon-bound platform.
Unfortunately, along with the media, the group lost all but eight of its members, including the five above (others didn’t want to be photographed pantsless).
They decided to proceed. A single car, with eight pantsless participants spread around, pretending not to notice each other. The media was represented by a single person, The Gazette’s Amy Luft (who went through the trouble of actually talking to organizers beforehand and didn’t come with a photographer). She writes about the event in today’s paper.
Since Amy was already covering it, I decided to go as a participant instead of a journalist. When the time came, I removed my pants, and placed them in my bag. As you can see from the photo above, I had shorts on. This I considered a public service, as nobody wants to see me walking around in my underwear, even as a stunt.
During the event itself, what seemed to disturb me most was how little the crowd reacted. Some giggled, some looked twice, but most just sat there, thinking either nothing was strange with people pantsless in January, or that it wasn’t worthy of their attention.
Unfortunately, there weren’t any photographers present (beyond my really crappy cellphone). The top photo was taken at Berri-UQAM, after we had finished, just in case someone needed proof that people had indeed taken their pants off.
Although the event ended up happening, there’s still a lot to learn for next time. How to deal with the media, how to photograph the event without people noticing, and how to get more participants to show up.
Reports from other No Pants events have come in. Improv Everywhere has a summary of what happened in New York, with links to similar events around the world. Improv in Toronto has a report about their event (the second-largest behind New York).