Amusing Monday: Floating pants foster a haunting mystery

I don’t normally think much about floating objects. But after I decided to blog about a new video showing a pair of pants floating in Puget Sound, the eerie undulating image keeps drifting back to me.

I thought I would share this story, along with a Dr. Seuss rhyme and a couple other amusing videos about pants, both in and out of the water.

The floating pants, recorded on video near Brownsville by Genavieve Scott of Bremerton, seem to be moving underwater with a certain cadence, as if striding along just beneath the waves, according to a story by reporter Christian Vosler of the Kitsap Sun.

“Oh, it absolutely looked like they were walking,” Genavieve was quoted as saying. “Just one leg in front of the other, moving through the water.”

Some obvious questions come to mind. How did someone lose his or her pants in the first place? Why do they stand upright in the water, and what makes them move this way? I can’t help but wonder if the owner’s spirit is somehow embodied in these pants, left alone to walk on and on until they are washed up somewhere, perhaps on a lonely beach.

The obvious explanation for their upright position is that the waist portion of the pants is buoyant while the legs are just heavy enough to sink. But why would this be the case if all parts are made of the same fabric? I have seen plenty of floating clothes, and they normally just bunch up in the water. Did someone intentionally stage these pants, knowing that they would raise the curiosity of people?

After Genavieve posted her video, she received an outpouring of response. She talked about the matter with Kitsap Sun reporter Josh Farley, who featured the interview in his weekly video called “Bremerton Beat Blast.” The pants segment begins at 4:57.

You wouldn’t think that a pair of wet pants would get so much attention. But I have to confess that the more I watch this video, the more I become haunted by the vision of these watery pants dancing in the waves. Dr. Seuss, the well-known children’s author, once wrote a book called “What Was I Scared Of?” It was all about a pair of floating plants that kept following the narrator of the story, who uttered these lines:

I said, “I do not fear those pants
With nobody inside them.”
I said, and said, and said those words.
I said them. But I lied them.

Then I reached inside a Snide bush
And the next thing that I knew,
I felt my hand touch someone!
And I’ll bet that you know who.

And there I was! Caught in the Snide!
And in that dreadful place
Those spooky, empty pants and I
were standing face to face!

I yelled for help. I screamed. I shrieked.
I howled. I yowled. I cried,

But then a strange thing happened.
Why, those pants began to cry!
Those pants began to tremble.
They were just as scared as I!

I never heard such whimpering
And I began to see
That I was just as strange to them
As they were strange to me!

As I searched the Internet for other stories of floating plants, I found a product that is actually named Floaty Pants. It’s like a life jacket for your crotch area. Once you put them on, you can float around the deep end of the pool hands-free and without a raft, noodle or other floatation device.

The advertising slogan: “Enjoy the party in your pants!”

Floaty Pants comes in seven styles: Ab Man, American Flag, Sexy Thong, Maui Man, Camouflage, Floaty Red and Floaty Blue.

Another fascinating story about pants comes from Minnesota, where frozen pants have become an outdoor art form. The winter of 2016 was so cold that Minnesotans were freezing their pants off, or so the story goes. One man started the fad by putting wet pants outdoors and others soon followed. You could drive through some neighborhoods and see clusters of frozen pants on people’s lawns.

In addition to the embedded video from WCCO, a CBS affiliate in Minneapolis, there is another good video from KVLY, Valley News, a CBS affiliate serving the Red River Valley area of North Dakota and Minnesota.

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