Bums on Seats

On the Tube, I usually read a paper, and today it was Time Out London. The editorial put a smile on my face, so I decided to share it with the other learners of English - in fact only with the first part, but most meaty.

It is artfully written, not many facts but how they are told. Also, it is full of not everyday expressions for pun-loving English readers.

Here it goes:

'Get ready for confused tourists, sticky Boris Bikes and genitalia all over the shop. Yes, the World Naked Bike Ride is back this weekend. More than 1,000 people are expected to huff and puff in the buff (and partial buff) across London on Saturday June 13 as part of an annual series of starkers cycle mounting that takes place around the world. Okay, going for a sweaty, naked ride with a group of like-minded strangers might sound a bit 'keys in the bowl', but an event is actually a legit demo to raise awareness about environmental and road safety issues.' 


  • bums on seats  (British & Australian informal) also fannies in the seats (American informal): if a public performance or a sports event puts bums on seats, many people pay to go and see it. This production needs a big name to put bums on seats. Here it has a double meaning, so we have a pun. 
  • If something is completely disorganised or confused, it is all over the shop.
  • huff and puff
    › to breathe loudly, usually after physical exercise: We were huffing and puffing by the time we'd climbed to the top of the hill.
    › informal disapproving to complain loudly and express disapproval:
    They huffed and puffed about the price but eventually they paid up.
  • in the buff - informal naked (a buff is either a learned person about something or a sporty person. Buff is also a yellowish colour. 
  • starkers - an adjective meaning naked (informal) 
  • 'keys in the bowl' probably refers to a key party
    A couples party where all of the men put their car keys into a bowl or bag and at the end of the party, the women blindly select a set of keys to determine who she goes home with for the rest of the evening for .. something. Must be typical American and bikers do not have keys. Anyway...
  • a legit demo - it is short for a legitimate demonstration - my guess; which is informal and sounds funny even though this time it is a serious thing

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