Around the Bluhmin’ Town


Do you like keeping your pants on in public places? Dear Readers, if you said “yes” to this simple (absurd) question, perhaps you are sane.


You see, January 12, was Pantless Subway Day, an event that happens all over the world.


In Phoenix, you could have ridden pantless on the Valley Metro light rail and enjoyed the thrill of participating with hundreds of others, who sat around in their underwear. No thongs allowed.


Evidently, this “art event” was staged in 24 lucky cities. Some called it a “cultural exchange,” while others said it was “brilliant.”


The mayor of Chicago gushed that, The Global No Pant Subway Ride Day is great saying “we need more events like this.”


Phoenix City leaders (and other mental giants) are claiming that now, the Valley finally has a public space in which diverse groups can come together. Since when did half-naked folks qualify as “diverse groups?”


Who wants to sit and watch hundreds of nut-cases (oops, I mean free-thinking, artistic types) take their pants off on the light rail? Organized by Improv AZ, it was a chilly day for taking off clothes, even in Phoenix.


One of the Phoenix City Council members said that these artistic events “get people excited because you are in a city where you know things will happen and that makes Phoenix cool.”


Phoenix cool? People riding light-rail without any pants? Have aliens landed? What causes civic-minded people to lose their senses? Or maybe it’s just sour grapes.


Other Arizona communities are missing out! Where is our little train that can take us for a long, slow, cultural ride?


So, who participates in these “no pants” subway rides? It seems an equal number of men and women, mostly between the ages of 30 and 60.


No, these are not a bunch of teenagers or college students out to have a good time. It is their parents, or grandparents who are riding the light rail. In their underpants! Let that sink in for a moment.


New York City had approximately 3,000 folks ride the subway pantless, in record freezing weather. Why you ask? As several people say, it is “liberating.”


Organized by Improv Everywhere, from Mexico City to Moscow, this annual event is a world-wide phenomenon. One 60-year-old woman in New York City said it is a “celebration of universal freedom and acceptance.”


Lordy help us.


Oh, and there are “rules” that must be followed.


You are supposed to just sit casually in your boxers or briefs, not bringing attention to the fact that you are in your skivvies. You need to bring a pair of pants so when you depart the subway or light rail you are not indecently exposed as you walk down the street. Oh, and no overtly sexual type of behavior is allowed.


That’s right, as if sitting in public transit half-naked isn’t bad enough.


Guess I will find other ways to express myself. I have a feeling I am not alone. It is winter, and clever folks (like us) stay warm and keep our britches on in public.


Judy Bluhm is a writer and a local realtor. Have a story or a comment? Email Judy at