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Pony Express- Leave your pants at home

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If you live in Boise, Idaho, you are probably looking forward to Boise's First Annual No Pants Day scheduled for May 2, 2008. The purpose of the event in Boise is to call attention to the dismal state of mass transportation and the need for more intelligent transportation solutions. It's a day when everyone, be they men or women, students, respectable business people, office workers or even community leaders leave their pants at home and wear thick, appropriately modest boxer shorts, but also bloomers, slips, briefs or boxer-briefs may work as well. Skirts and shorts like Burmudas are not considered proper no pants attire. Then they gather with family and friends and utilize public transportation -- buses, streetcars, trolleys and subways.

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This holiday is usually observed on the first Friday in May and may have started as early as 1985 in Finland. I looked up the explanation of the Finnish origin, but it was printed in Finnish. The holiday there is called Kauniimman Elaman Puolesta.

The celebration took place earlier this year in the U.S.A. on Saturday, Jan. 8. Over 2000 people in cities across the country took their pants off and rode the subways. They did it in New York City, Boston, Baltimore, Chicago, Portland, San Francisco and Salt Lake City. Even folks in Toronto, Canada and Adelaide, Australia took off their pants. No problem in Australia, however, because it was 78 degrees and a summer day. Fortunately it was 50 degrees that day in New York City.

If you care to see pictures of some of the folks waiting for and riding the subways of New York City, you can find them on the Internet under nopantsday.com. It was a fun day for those who participated. The first time they did this in New York City eight years ago all the participants were male. Now it's about 50-50.

Most of the other folks on the subways laughed and smiled at the scenery around them. Some tried to ignore it all and some acted angry or offended. One gentleman without pants described his experience riding the subway: "There was a woman who was standing next to me for 10 stops. She didn't crack a smile or give any indication she even noticed what was happening. Right before her stop, she took out a camera phone and calmly took one picture of me before exiting the train. Even she couldn't resist."

Folks at the University of Texas in Austin claim they started no pants day, but that it was for no purpose other than to enjoy the freedom of not wearing pants -- just a simple, frivolous, light hearted holiday. They say it was to enable folks to take their "drab, wretched lives" a little less seriously at least for one day. They say "it's hard to be angry at the world when you're not wearing pants."

So if you want to protest the sad state of public transportation like the folks in Boise, Idaho, or if you just want to have fun celebrating your freedom, get yourself a loud pair of boxer shorts, leave your pants at home and show your colors on May 2.

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