Jon de Vos: Check ’em at the door
May 6, 2011
You know, we don’t really have that many uniquely American holidays. Christmas and Easter, for instance, we share with the rest of the world. Chinese folks have New Year’s Day and darn near every country has an Independence Day, where they shoot off fireworks to celebrate the overthrow of some despotic government. Mexico celebrated one just yesterday. Nope, we need a Born in the USA holiday.
No sooner did that thought cross my mind than I realized today is just the day we need. Today is National No Pants Day! The first Friday in May, is the day we commemorate that first hapless soul who, back in 1986, forgot the pants his wife had carefully ironed for him and boarded a New York subway. Oh, sure, he was embarrassed, but he affixed a Mona Lisa smile and made the most of it as he went through his day. He was thrilled with the grins and giggles wherever he went.
The following year, he was joined by dozens of pantless pals and the joy just snowballed from there. Today the festival is celebrated by thousands of people around the country.
The website, http://www.nopantsday.com suggests the point of the holiday is that, “At the very least, you’ll take your drab, wretched life a little less seriously, at least for one day.” They may have to work on that talking point but you catch the drift. Others described it as “A celebration of chaos,” adding, “How else do you explain Donald Trump?”
The holiday is barely 25 years old and already steeped in controversy. That first pantless subway ride took place on Jan. 10, but sometimes you have to improve a good thing and pretty soon there was a philosophical disagreement between two factions of pantless partiers, one that wanted to celebrate the actual date of the first ride and the other that said it’s too cold to ride around pantless in January, let’s shoot for the first Friday in May.
The two differing groups couldn’t agree upon a single date, so now the adherents have split into two warring factions. One side is conservative, clinging to the “old ways” and insisting upon replicating that original New York subway adventure, every year on the day it actually happened back on Jan. 10, 1986.
Then there are those who take a liberal interpretation of the fellowship and camaraderie of the state of pantlessness, and celebrate on the first Friday in May, a more convenient and much warmer day.
It used to be that you could stir up a pantless party in Fraser at the drop of a hat and that leads me to believe you probably still can. So think local first, but if you need to get your freak on someplace where nobody knows your name, the Ginn Mill, a Larimer Street bar, is throwing a no-pants party tonight starting at 9 p.m.
You don’t actually have to go there without pants, there will be a $2 pants-check station at the door. If you want, the Ginn Mill has hooked up with Denver Works and you can donate your pants to this worthwhile organization who will provide your pants to unemployed job-seekers. If you go to this party and you donate your pants, my best advice is to not get stopped by the cops on the way home.
Unless the officer who stops you has no pants.