“From Sens. Bob Packwood (D-Ore.), John Edwards (D-N.C.), Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.) , to me and – let’s be honest – any number of Kennedys,” said Vitter, “the U.S. Senate has a long history of people riding the subway with no pants on. This bill salutes our rich tradition of bipartisanship pantslessness.”
“Appearing in public without pants isn’t new to me, so take it from me,” he added. “Nothing beats the thrill of enjoying mass transit unencumbered by pants.”
Modeled after the popular “No Pants Subway Ride” – started in 2001 by Improv Everywhere and now celebrated in 60 cities worldwide in 26 countries – participants in Vitter’s proposed “No Pants Senate Subway Ride” will travel pantslessly on the short, 3,100-foot-long Senate subway between the U.S. Capitol and the Hart Senate Office Building, where Vitter’s office is.
“The Hart Building seems appropriate for Valentine’s Day,” Vitter added, “since that’s where I normally keep my pants anyway.”
The idea of the ride, according to the bill, is “to appear as if you had no idea that you were missing pants or that you knew but didn’t think it was a big deal.” As the name of the event implies, participants are to dress in normal business attire — coats, ties, and other elements permitted by the Senate dress code. The only thing missing is their pants.
Though his proposal has yet to gain any cosponsors, Vitter urged anyone interested in participating to behave like any U.S. senator by keeping pants on your person but hidden in a bag or backpack.
“If any figure of authority tells you to put your pants back on, do as they say,” he cautioned. “Unlike New Orleans in my home state, indecency laws up here are extremely subjective. Also, women are strongly encouraged to participate. In fact, I’d make this an exclusively women-only event if it were up to me but Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) threatened to filibuster unless I made it co-ed.”
There will be a post-ride after-party at Vitter’s fifth-floor office in the Hart building, including an undergarment “fashion show” for the participants.
“Former Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) has a merrywidow he only wears on special occasions,” Vitter said. “I can’t wait to see it again.”