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Opinion: Pranksters to exercise the right to bare legs

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It seems that the no-pants trend has got legs. A prank that started 10 years ago in New York City -- when seven men without pants boarded a subway train in the dead of winter and filmed the crowd’s reaction -- has, thanks to YouTube and Facebook, attracted thousands of followers and spread to Los Angeles and about 50 other cities across the country. So if you’re not interested in seeing more of your fellow passengers than you’re accustomed to, avoid the Red Line this Sunday.

What’s the point, you ask? Simply to spread confusion and delight. Improv Everywhere, the group behind the annual No Pants Subway Ride, has been setting up flash mobs and other performances/pranks in public places since 2001. If you’re over 40, think of them as Allen Funt without network backing but with a huge Internet following. If you’re under 40, no explanation is required. Except, maybe, for the answer to one question: Can you get arrested for trouser-free train riding?

LAist blogger Zach Behrens posed that question a few years back to Metro’s chief of transit police and was told, essentially, that the cops have better things to do than act as a panty patrol. So ladies and gentlemen, feel free to drop your drawers. And to today’s generation of Merry Pranksters: a full-moon salute to you all.

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