As It Happens

'Dude, I need your pants': Why a college student swapped legwear with a stranger

Jake Wolf's decision to wear shorts to school almost cost him his chemistry grade. Then a stranger swooped in to loan him a pair of pants.

Borrowing a pair of pants saved a University of Illinois student's chemistry grade

Sam Brown, right, loaned his pants to Jake Wolf, saving his chemistry grade. (Submitted by Jake Wolf and Sam Brown)
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University of Illinois student Sam Brown helped a fellow student out of a jam — by sharing the very pants off his legs. 

It was nice out on April 9, so chemistry major Jake Wolf donned a pair of shorts for the first time this year.

Unfortunately, he hadn't thought his outfit through.

"I realized I made a serious mistake at 7:58, two minutes before my class," he told As It Happens host Carol Off. "I would be thrown out of lab. You can't have any exposed skin at all ... which basically guarantees a drop in [your] letter grade."

Wolf started running home to change, but quickly realized he wouldn't be able to make it in time.

He said he was in "desperation mode" when he saw a fellow student walk into the business school wearing pants.

"It was just this insane thought," Wolf said. "I went up and asked him if I could borrow his pants."

The two were complete strangers.

"I was listening to music and I heard someone behind me yelling, 'Hey, hey, hey,' and it's eight in the morning. I'm not really sure who they're talking to," Sam Brown said. 

"He kind of just said 'This is going to sound crazy, but I'm running late to my lab, I'm going to need to borrow your pants. Is there any way I can borrow your pants?'"

Brown was, understandably, taken aback.

"Nobody's ever asked if they could use my pants, especially not a stranger," he said. 

The sweatpants that saved Wolf's chemistry grade. (Submitted by Jake Wolf)

Fortunately, Wolf had found an understanding soul. The two of them rushed to a bathroom in the business school in order to swap legwear.

"I quickly got his number because I wanted to give his pants back," Wolf said. "I didn't even have enough time to ask for his name. I just saved it in my phone as 'Pants' and then I ran to lab."

Fortunately, the pants — a pair of black Adidas sweats — fit perfectly. And Wolf's shorts fit Brown just fine, too.

Before returning them, Wolf slipped $20 into Sam Brown's sweatpants to say thank you. (Submitted by Jake Brown)

The pair reconvened back at the bathroom a few hours later, after each of their classes had ended, to switch back. 

"I was so grateful. I was absolutely ecstatic," Wolf said. "I slipped $20 into his pants because Sam was such a nice kid for doing that, that I knew if I handed him $20 he would refuse, so I slipped it into his sweatpants and texted him later."

As for whether Wolf would have done the same were the situation reversed, he admits he's not sure.

"It depends on the vibe that the person would give me, but if somebody came up to me and was like, 'Dude, I need your pants,' I would definitely think no before I thought yes.'"

Written by Alison Broverman. Interviews produced by Morgan Passi. 

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