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January 7th, 2011:

Is That Legal – No Pants Ride

Disclaimer: Although I am a lawyer, I am not your lawyer. This blog should not be viewed as legal advice and does not form an attorney-client relationship with any reader.  

The Global No Pants Ride is this Sunday, January 9, 2011.  This event was started by Improv Everywhere in New York 2001 and has become an international event.  People in at least 49 cities all over the world will be riding their public transportation without their pants.  They will look totally normal from the waist up, but from the waist down, they will only be in their underwear and shoes.  A common question I often get when I talk about the No Pants Ride is, “Is that legal?”

No Pants Ride 2013 - Photo by Joseph Abbruscatto from Flickr (used with permission)

No Pants Ride 2013 – Photo by Joseph Abbruscatto from Flickr (used with permission)

In most circumstances, the answer is “yes.”  If people were required to always wear pants in public, going to a public beach or pool wouldn’t be that much fun.  To anyone who finds this event repulsive, remember that we will be more covered than most people are at the beach.  Everyone who is participating in a No Pants Ride must follow the decency law of their state.   In Arizona, that means you must have your genitals covered.   You probably don’t want to wear a thong on the ride because (1) there is an argument that you’re not sufficiently covered, and (2) do you really want to put your bare tush on a subway or light rail seat?

If you’re going to wear boxers on your No Pants Ride, consider wearing a pair of briefs underneath them.   You don’t want to risk accidentally exposing yourself when you sit down.

Last year at the Arizona No Pants Ride, our group of about 350 pantsless people met at Arizona Center.  After about an hour of pantslessly enjoying our beverages at Starbucks and Hooters, we were told by mall security that we had to put on pants or leave.  We chose to leave.  (No more business for you!)  That was perfectly legal for them to do.  Malls and businesses are privately owned and just as they can say, “No shirt, no shoes, no service,” they can require that people wear pants while on their property.  We left and went to Dave’s Electric Brew Pub where they were happy to have our pantsless patronage.

I am very excited for Sunday’s No Pants Ride.  For my fellow Phoenix pantsless riders, please visit Improv AZ’s website for all the details and RSVP on the Facebook event page.  If you want to see the video of last year’s ride, it is available on YouTube.  If you want more information about the legalities of flash mobs and public pranks, I spoke about this topic at Ignite Phoenix #5.

See you on Sunday!

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SALK Day 7 – The Ruth-Mr. D Story – Part 5

I think my favorite part of the Ruth-Mr. DeShazer story is the fact that what I learned in his classes has stayed with me.  For the rest of my life, whenever I see a fruit fly I’ll think, “Oooohh…drosophila.”  When I go on vacation and the ocean glows at night, I think, “Oooohh…bioluminescent algae.”  I still celebrate Mole Day every October.  And thanks to Mr. D.’s chemistry class, I will never forget about the dangers of dihyrdogen monoxide.

I opened my senior yearbook last night.  Next to his picture, Mr. D. wrote, “Study Life.  It’s Neat Stuff.”  I’d like to think that that is what I have endeavored to do with my life – always learning and seeking new adventures.  They say law school teaches you how to think.  I think that I was challenged to think critically starting in Mr. D.’s class.

I remember when I told him and my high school friends that I was changing my major from chemistry to psychology.  Everyone thought that I had lost my mind.  I remember Mr. D. had some choice words.  He didn’t want me to throw in the towel just because I was frustrated.  He tried to convince me that I was just going through a rough patch and that it would get better it I stuck with it.  He and my high school friends had not seen me for the previous six months, yelling across the lab every day, “I’m changing my major!”  They couldn’t see how unhappy I was via email.

I knew that there was going to be a backlash from my friends and family.  I knew I needed data to back up my decision so I went to my career services office and took personality tests.  The results showed that I was well suited for science, but that I was also suited for human services.  My love of science had not changed; I just didn’t want to be trapped in a lab all day.  I think everyone calmed down when they saw that I wasn’t giving up my science roots; I’m using them in a different way.

I’m grateful that the DeShazers sponsored my entire first week of Sponsor A Law Kid and gave me the freedom to tell this story.  It’s been a blast for me and my fellow classmates.

Sponsor A Law Kid is my endeavor to pay for my last semester of law school. Today’s sponsors are Darvin and Jane DeShazer. For more information about Sponsor A Law Kid or to see what days are still available for sponsorship, visit my Sponsor A Law Kid page.