Pants McFadden

From Plastic Tub

Pants McFadden, like his contemporary Johnny Appleseed, was a real man who grew into a legend. An Irishman with a shock of fiery red hair, he was reknowned for his cunning wit and enormous strength. To his chroniclers, infused as they were with Neo-Classicism, he became a kind of modern Hercules. His most famous exploits are recorded in The Ballad of Pants McFadden.

McFadden was a racher who settled the Ohio Valley after emigrating there from upstate New York. Fleeing the epidemics and religious revivals that turned the region into a nightmare of apocalyptic frenzy, he in fact found what he intended to avoid; his family was decimated by the pox. Left alone with corn-whisky and a Bible, McFadden almost lost himself in an abyss of madness before experiencing an event he never described that led him out into the world, sometimes singing songs and performing small miracles. He appeared in town and saved families, generally set things right, never accepting payment or abusing the favors of the kindly widows he encountered, although he could have.

Blessed with beautiful long curls and a twinkle in his eye, he was a seducer who never seduced. He died poor and forgotten, very old, somewhere in his native Catskills, after a series of adventures that the producers of Quantum Leap are known to have appropriated.


Pants is an ancestor of celebrated Star Trek: The Next Generation actress Gates McFadden.