By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – I was so busy last week I completely missed the chance to participate or comment on the fifth annual Boston No Pants Subway Ride, which is exactly what you think it is.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

Each year, several hundred people, mostly in their teens and 20’s as far as I can tell, organize a schedule of T rides designed to have pantsless riders circulating on key MBTA routes, all with the apparent goal of convincing other riders to shed their pants as well.

“It’s just something fun to do,” one pants-free customer told the Globe. “More people should feel confident to do this.”

Added another: “It’s amazing how comfortable Bostonians are with taking off their pants.”

I don’t want to be Mr. Grumpy here, yelling at the neighborhood kids to get off his lawn. And I guess it’s all in good fun. But I don’t think the No Pants Subway Ride, or the general concept of shedding trousers in public, is an especially good idea.

There’s evidence that humans have worn pants since the late Stone Age, up to 50,000 years ago, although this hasn’t always been the case. The ancient Greeks thought trousers were ridiculous, and the Romans saw them as a barbaric fashion.

But for the most part, especially for people living in colder climates, wearing pants has seemed to make sense. It was even seen as a sign of empowerment when women began routinely wearing pants in the 1960’s.

And when it comes to riding the MBTA, for reasons of hygiene if nothing else, I really do think it’s advisable for everyone to wear pants, or at least a skirt, dress or kilt.

While going pantsless may be a form of free expression for you, others may find it disturbing, or simply gross. The easily-disgusted have rights too, you know.

In our culture, there are many ways you can scratch your itch to be different, and many places where you can do so.

I know I may sound like your grandmother, but please, do us all a favor and keep your pants on in the subway.

And while you’re at it, please keep your shirt on, too.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.


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