Street Smart Chicago

January Strip: Improv Mafia enforces a no-pants ride

City Life, Events, Transit Add comments

“I’m sorry. This probably sounds like a bizarre question, but are you here for the no-pants thing?” Upon hearing it a woman, Val, turns with her three children toward the inquisitor and raises her eyebrows. “Yeah, I am,” she replies, “but I won’t be taking any pants off because I have my daughters with me.”

The Eighth Annual No Pants Subway Ride, hosted by Improv Mafia, begins at noon, and a number of participants arrive at the Granville Red Line stop exactly on time.
On the platform the participants walk up with quirky greetings like, “Hey guys. Mind if I take my pants off?” followed by a half-strip in Chicago’s bitter cold. Many leave their shoes, socks and coats on but desert their pants with bravery, even standing up against the three police officers who patiently pace the train platform in case anyone had decided to go “commando.”

Erica, along with about fifteen others, rides the train (with officers in tow) from Granville to Monroe, where they shake hands and take pictures to commemorate the experience. At the end of it all, half of the group goes out for a late breakfast while the other half decides to go out for drinks at a bar. “If we can take off our pants in Chicago in January,” one says, “I think we can go to a bar at noon.” (Micah McCrary)

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