January 22

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On the Theory of “…in your pants”

13 little blue envelopes coverRecently I read 13 little blue envelopes by the author Maureen Johnson. She came up with a theory, widely popular in parts of the internet, that any book title is made more amusing by having “…in your pants” added to the end. This is, for example, why the fan forum for the author John Green is called Our Pants.

I read 107 books last year and originally this post was just a list of all 107, with “…in your pants” added. That seemed dull, and, in the case of This star won’t go out, inappropriate. Instead, I’d like to suggest that what makes a good pants title is a verb, or portentousness. So, “Spiders thrash in your pants” sounds terrifying: “The Radio Dramas in your pants” does not. Long titles like “My discovery of England in your pants” work , but short titles like “Frankenstein in your pants” do not. Using this test, the most portentious, or perhaps pretentious, titles I read last year were:

  • Raising steam in your pants.
  • Invention and discovery : curious facts and characteristic sketches in your pants.
  • Revolution in your pants
  • Let it snow in your pants
  • Travels with an organ to the Grand Signieur in your pants
  • Grim tales in your pants
  • The book of ghosts in your pants
  • Moonbeams from the larger lunacy in your pants

Comic books are brilliant for this

  • My life as a weapon in your pants
  • Dirge in your pants
  • Lust for life in your pants
  • Spider’s thrash in your pants
  • Spacetime archaeology in your pants
  • Superman/Batman: night and day in your pants
  • Forest of the night in your pants

How does your reading from last year stand up to the “…in your pants” test?  Please share the best titles in the comments.