When I Say Pants, You Best Pants…

Update 09-03-14: GAH! Toronto Fan Expo was a ton of fun, but the preparation, time spent there, time traveling home and recovery have and ARE costing me greatly in terms of productivity. I am frantically trying to update/backdate new comics so there are 4 a week for every week. I’m doing my best. Luckily I don’t have much travel planned for the rest of the year.

The only real, honest reason to be your own boss and work from home (as I am and do) is to have the power to decide when to wear pants. Of course there’s the freedom, and the fulfillment and the loving the work and the blah blah blah, but primarily it’s the pants thing. It’s not so much deciding when actually to WEAR pants (because no sane, self actualized person would ever consciously decide to put on pants while not under duress), as much as it is deciding when and how often to perform activities that REQUIRE you to wear the pants. Got a bill that requires you to go somewhere and pay it in person? That’s a pants bill! Cancel that service immediately! Need to go to a store and buy a thing? No you don’t! You already have too much shit! Don’t create a pants problem where none exists. Trying to meet a potential mate who doesn’t already live in your house? Just die alone! Why prolong the inevitable, and why prolong the pants?

The typical career path of the self employed, creative type is slowly but surely whittling down “pants time” to the absolute minimum, with the ultimate goal being achieving a state of “Pants Zero.” It’s like Absolute Zero or Inbox Zero, but for pants. This is honestly the closest any self employed creative is ever going to get to the concept of retirement. We typically understand that we’re all going to die at our drawing desks, or keyboards, or pianos with a big grin on our faces. Working ever increasingly more and harder (not smarter) as one approaches death IS the plan. The only way to sweeten the already sweet lifetime of sweet toil is to make sure while the graph line of “time spent working / age” goes steeply from the bottom left to the top right, that the line for “time spent working /  wearing pants” starts at the bottom left and declines sharply right off the page.

I am extremely lucky in that I am not wearing pants right now, and I am rarely called upon to do so. It’s like when you try and do the dishes and they somehow come out dirtier than before, then people eventually stop asking you to do the dishes. I have time and time again displayed my ineptitude at being a person who puts on pants to get the mail, or answer the door. Eventually people just stopped expecting it of me, and I move ever closer to my Pants Zero goal. I have maybe two pants days a week, and even then it’s usually only for 2-4 pant-hours at a time (a pants-hour is calculated as two time’s a regular hour, because of how shitty it makes you feel and how everything sucks twice as much when you’re wearing pants). Seriously, though. Fuck pants.


Calling all Whovians with holes in their ears! Just look at these Sonic Screwdriver earrings my wife made! 

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  1. We have a running joke about this in our house. The only time we wear actual pants is when we have to leave the house. Best time of the workday is getting home and stripping off the pants and putting on my comfy Pajama bottoms.

  2. You should do all cons in super hero boxers. You would then
    a) eliminate pants
    b) create a buzz in the hall about the guy not-wearing pants
    c) pick up some new fancy bastards.

    That's a tri-win my friend.

  3. No pants may be an Internet thing.

    I work in a call centre doing Internet tech support, and periodically we have "comfy casual day," where you are actually *encouraged* to come to work in your pyjamas.

  4. Wait….why were you wearing pants in the first place? I mean, outside of pockets. You're not going to get fired for not-wearing pants. The sign says "No shoes, no shirt, no service" never is there a sign about pantal-requirements. Was there some rider in the SDCC forms requiring pants???

  5. Getting closer to pants zero myself. Leaving the house for anything but work usually involves a kilt. MUCH more comfortable.


    • Denim was created so coal miners wouldn't keep ripping their pants. Somehow we've adopted a COAL MINER'S UNIFORM as our cultural default for leg wear.

      • Actually, I've heard that denim is older than that. Sailing vessels back in the Age of Exploraiton commonly used denim for their sails, and the excess material trickled down into clothing that the impoverished people wore.

  6. I would normally agree with the "fuck pants" idea, but my biggest beef is with bras.
    #fuck bras

    And fuck the fact that I have to take off my shirt before I can throw off the bra.
    (It can be done without removing the shirt, but not without much struggle. And I need a different shirt anyway.)

    Bra first, pants second. Well, shoes first, bra second, pants third.

    • YES!!!! There is very little that feels quite as good as taking the bra off at the end of the day.

      Personally I find "real" pants much more uncomfortable than jeans and I'm very glad that jeans/t-shirt is acceptable work-wear for me. But the instant I'm home? Bra off, jeans off.

    • YES. Over half my shirts & dresses are specifically chosen because I don't need a bra with them. Bras are SO much worse than pants. Bleah.

      • It takes some practice to take off your bra a la Flashdance, but once you get it down, it's great. I do it almost daily, even with a messed up shoulder limiting my range of motion.

        Yep, get home from work, take off the bra and trousers and walk around in a tank top and underwear. So comfortable, especially in the little heatwave we're experiencing at the moment.

        Needless to say, the boyfriend approves.

  7. I wear jeans to work every day because they 1) are warmer than shorts in the arctic winter that is my office, 2) have better pockets, and 3) make a better napkin than the slacks I used to be forced to wear. I wear jeans at home because 1) I now have adolescent daughters that get offended if I drop trou the minute I get home, and 2) I'm too lazy to walk upstairs to get a pair of shorts.

  8. I normally have perhaps twice the pants hours in an average week than what Joel mentioned above. Not bad considering I work "full time" at a University.

  9. I'm a ful-time musician, but I mainly perform at Renaissance faires, so I never *have* to wear pants (I wear dresses and skirts to faire.) Hooray! Success!

  10. I must confess to being part of the problem. Last year, I worked the holidays at Macy's, where one of the many things I sold customers was pants. Jeans, Dockers, slacks, casual and formal pantaloons, I sold 'em all! Well, except shorts, because it was winter, they didn't sell those. And for that, I apologize and throw myself upon your mercies, my fellow fancy bastards!

  11. Yes, the best part about being a girl is dresses, I don't even have to wear pants but people think that I've put more effort into my appearance!

    • Even better: the maxi dress trend. Because I hate shaving my legs, so I can go Full Sasquach and no one would know. People think I'm really putting in an effort, when I'm just being extra lazy. Best of both worlds!

  12. If someone had have explained this idea to me I might not have decided to become a children's entertainer/music teacher, where pants are definitely required. Although I did play a gig in at 1850s style dress last week.

  13. I typically do not put real pants on until I have to get ready to be somewhere. However, upon returning, removing my pants is just too much work for the moderate comfort gain. Also, I have dogs that like to tear up unpantsed legs. Once I get dressed, I usually stay dressed until it's time for bed (Except in extreme heat situations). Perhaps I am in the minority.

  14. Wait… You're telling me that, after all these years living alone, that I could've been… PANTS FREE??!!!

    I have some major catching up to do.

  15. So, Joel….while I’m all about following your passion and doing what you truly believe in….well, here’s the thing.

    Pants are….kind of a part of my passion and doing what I enjoy. I’m a chef. I love being a chef. I’m also a part time science fiction and fantasy author. I love being that, too. One of those things requires pants, one of those does not.

    Obviously, I’m in a bit of a quandary, here. Pants are not a thing that cause me any great deal of concern. In fact, I’m generally quite comfortable in pants. Usually chef pants. Which almost resemble pajamas, as they’re quite colorful. And comfortable! They’re typically made of a very light, comfortable, very airy fabric, adorned with many colorful pictures. In fact, one of my favoritest pairs of chef pants bears a distinct Beavis and Butt-Head motif. And I wear them at work, when I’m slaving over the line, and at home, when I’m slaving over my laptop working on strange, different worlds of spaceships and swords and sorcery.

    So, I guess what I’m asking is….how’s that work into your “pants zero” dichotomy? I need closure, man.

    • Schrodinger's Pants…

      If pants are a key factor in pursuing your passion then Pants Zero is rendered null and void. In matter that due not involve the harm of another human or unnecessary harm to oneself, "Because I love it," or "Because it makes me happy," is sort of the be-all-end-all argument destroyer.

      "You should hate that band, because…"

      "No, you see, I love them. They make me happy."

      "Oh, my argument is invalid."

      • HAH! Schrodinger's Pants, huh? I like it. I like it quite a bit. 🙂

        I dig your take on "Because it makes me happy" being the ultimate argument destroyer, too. Ultimately, personal happiness is what we're all in this for, right? I like the fact that you tied in the band argument as well, although it DOES make it hard for me to rank on Nickelback. I fucking hate them, but, there are people out there who genuinely dig them, for that reason: "They make me happy." Best I can do is say, "Okay, well, check these guys out. Maybe they'll make you happy, too."

        At any rate, thanks for the perspective. I shall continue to wear my pants, and enjoy them, whilst humming along to a certain Jonathan Coulton tune with the knowledge that my pants are, indeed, quite fancy.

        Incidentally, I fully support your "Pants Zero" campaign. Because of reasons ENTIRELY having to do with personal happiness. Godspeed, you fancy bastard. 🙂

  16. Pants Minimum for me involves a pair of cotton shorts in which the elastic is royally shot. Ultra comfy yet no one calls the cops when I go get the mail.

    • I have a few different tiers of shirts: fits and flawless (very rare), fits but cat-cuddled (a few too many holes and it gets bumped a tier), close enough, hot wing-eating shirts (those stains just refuse to come out, I think it's the vinegar or something), and that one shirt which is so worn and torn it's barely there but somehow feels like the most comfortable thing in the world.

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