Full Moon on D.C.'s Metro

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The people of Washington, D.C., united Saturday afternoon to drop their pants. And then they rode the subway.


If you happened to be on the subway yesterday in New York or Chicago or even Adelaide, Australia, you might have seen something shocking - people stripped to their knickers for the seventh annual No Pants Subway Ride.

NPR's Allison Keyes tagged along with a group in Washington, D.C.

Unidentified Woman: (Unintelligible) bottom up across the gallery place.

Unidentified Man #1: (Unintelligible)

Unidentified Woman: And don't forget to take your pants off.

ALLISON KEYES: Dozen showed up at Dupont Circle, bound or determined to drop their pants for the cause or no cause at all.

Gwendolyn Elizabeth(ph) couldn't quite explain why she was stripping down to her boy shorts.

Ms. GWENDOLYN ELIZABETH: There is no reason. I am pretty much here, just heard about it through friends and now I'm here all of a sudden.

KEYES: Dean Mason says he didn't know the New York-based Improv Everywhere group started this to bring scenes of chaos and joy to the masses. The grey-haired man says he just likes not wearing any pants.

Mr. DEAN MASON: I'm a very expressive type of person who is open to nudity in the right situations.

KEYES: Like the subway?

At least the flame-haired woman, claiming her name was Anne Doe(ph), had good reason for standing here in a mini-skirt and cowboy boots, ready to drop trou(ph). She's turning 40 this year and says she felt like doing really stupid stuff.

Ms. ANNE DOE: I didn't want to have to de-boot and de-pant at the same time, so I figured I'd wear something that would be easy to get off over cowboy boots.

KEYES: De-booting and de-panting at the same time could be awkward.

Ms. DOE: In public, yeah. At home, it's fine. I do it all the time. But in public, it could probably be a little embarrassing.

Unidentified Man #2: Yeah. It's a great idea. When I say we ban pants worldwide?

(Soundbite of laughter)

Unidentified Man #2: This could be something big.

(Soundbite of crowd chatting)

KEYES: At least Ayal Damala Okusinde(ph) was fashionable. He matched his purple underwear to his purple undershirt to the purple pin stripes in a suit, and he followed directions: board the train, drop your pants and act nonchalant.

Mr. AYAL DAMALA OKUSINDE: It's just a regular day for me, you know? I get up. I decide to went - I'm going to work. So that's where I'm going right now.

KEYES: The nonchalant part wasn't easy with a gaggle of photographers -professional and otherwise - tagging along. The intrepid Dean Mason nearly got left alone in his tighty-whitey's.

Mr. MASON: Well, I'm having trouble following the group, but I don't want to, like, you know, be by myself doing this.

KEYES: Nobody got in trouble, and most bemused commuters were simply amused. Erik Tearing(ph) admitted feeling a little sheepish for not joining in.

Mr. ERIK TEARING: I feel a little guilty just being an observer, but I'm not about to take my pants off.

(Soundbite of laughter)

KEYES: Chicken?

Mr. TEARING: I'm in bad need of doing laundry so all of my best underwear isn't available right now.

KEYES: Wearing my pants, Allison Keyes, NPR News Washington.

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