No Pants Subway Rides Popular Everywhere, But Not in Russia

New York subway was recently filled with people with no pants or skirts on. The people with no pants on were doing their own thing, not paying attention to inquisitive looks of their fellow passengers.

After the holiday break, when everyone was facing the regular routine, performance art troupe Improv Everywhere decided to have fun in the subway.

The troupe activists held its 9th annual flash mob No Pants Subway Ride. Regular people in normal clothes entered the trains, dropped their pants and skirts and continued their rides reading, listening to their players or having conversations. They did leave their underwear on. Three thousand people participated in the event. It was easy to count them all since later they all gathered at Union Square.

Similar events are held in subways all over the world, with the exception of Russia. Although the rules of Moscow subway do not prohibit riding in underwear only (although you have to wear shoes), Russian police is not fond of pantless people and causes them all kind of inconveniences. Unfortunately, the number of fun events in Moscow subway is very limited.

In December of 1996, a group of drunken freshmen of the Institute of Literature with heavy makeup on walked along the trains saying “We are from a circus. Our elephant is sick and doesn’t have enough money for vodka.” Financial success of the operation was outstanding. Of course, every December and January the subway is filled with Father Frosts and Snow Maidens, but it clearly lacks imagination.

In October of 2003, a group of chess players made a mess at the newly opened station Victory Park. They conducted a chess match with “live figures” on the station’s checked floor. Thirty two young people dressed in black and white moved from one check to another, obeying the orders of two players. The figures had badges on their chests with the names “bishops,” “knights,” “pawns,” etc. The police was irritated not so much by the game as the photo shoot prohibited at the time.

In August of 2007, an art troupe “War” at the Ring line organized a real feast. They placed tables in a train, put the dishes out, had a drink, ate, and recited some poems. Forty five minutes later (time required to complete the loop) they left the train without cleaning after themselves. Good imagination does not guarantee good manners.

A Russian website held an interesting event in 2008. The same person danced the same simple dance at each Moscow metro station.

In December of 2008, several dozens of Greenpeace activists rode the subway wearing respirators featuring a slogan STOPMSZ. That was their attempt to deliver a message about combustion plants.

Other entertainment techniques in Moscow subway are not that interesting, for example, morning races with a main prize of a vacant seat. Soccer fans enjoy yelling and jumping on the trains after a game. Some passengers take pleasure in breaking through the ticket barriers without a ticket. Some prefer getting into fellow passengers’ wallets or pinching their legs.

There are plenty opportunities for fun on the subway where many spend a significant part of their lives. No Pants Rides are held in Berlin, Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Chicago, Honolulu, Mexico, San Francisco, Sydney, Tokyo, Vienna, Warsaw, Washington, etc. In Kiev, the ride was accompanied by an economic protest with a slogan “Sell your pants, buy a ticket.”

In New York subway, activists once transformed a train into a mirror. Two dozens of twins sat on the opposite sides of the train. In San Francisco, people once were going to use subway trains instead of swings. All you had to do is hold tight to the upper rails and swing away, provided there is enough space. Freeze flash mob was popular at a time. Dozens of people froze after a special signal. That would look particularly impressive at a busy Moscow metro station during the rush hour.

It is not the intention of the article to encourage repetition of these or other events in Moscow subway since close encounter with subway police may be harmful for your health. But if you are confident and do not doubt your integrity, bring a little bit of brightness into your life and lives of others.

Arguments and Facts

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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov