Sunday, July 15, 2007

We'll Take A Greyhound

I usually drive wherever I go, so my sightseeing is generally restricted to glances away from the roadway. If the scenery is particularly impresssive, I'll pull over to take a good, long look or take a photo. America has some spectacular visages and someday I hope to see more of them. But I kinda wonder if I am ready for this.

LAGUNA NIGUEL - WARNING: If you are eating, stop. You are about to read about bottoms. Five thousand of 'em, all bared in the name of … well, that's hard to say.

No one at the 28th annual Mooning of Amtrak seems to know exactly why they pull down their pants every time a train goes by.

I wonder if sociologists have a specific reference, a nomenclature, for dropping trou and waving your ass at total strangers.
Or perhaps there is another reason for this. Are their butts too warm? Or too cold? Is there a priest inside the train throwing holy water out a window and giving a buttock benediction? Perhaps there is a curative effect to having a chain-link cross hatch pattern embedded in your ass.

They just hear the cry of "Train," and respectable men and women – we're talking grandmothers and grandfathers, guys who stormed Omaha Beach on D-Day and women who run day-care centers, OK? – sprint to this chain-link fence like lemmings, cackling and cajoling each other to join in.

It just doesn't fit in with my time schedule. The things I really want to do and the time I have to do them does not allow for casual butt baring.

Even the origins of this Orange County phenomenon (it's been featured on the Discovery Channel, the Travel Channel, and Ripley's Believe it or Not) are a bit fuzzy. It supposedly started 28 years ago in the Mugs Away Saloon when patron K.T. Smith vowed to buy a drink for anyone who'd cross the street and moon a train.

But ask if anyone remembers this guy and they say no. He moved to Idaho. Or Iowa. Or somewhere. Regardless, the legend lives on. And it's morphed into one of the most bizarro assemblages of humanity you'll meet anywhere: part Family Day, part "Girls Gone Wild," part street fair with mom; part Harley Rally on Spring Break.

What's good for one set of asses is good for another, so a few of the passengers on the train respond in like fashion. Of course there is a difference between the ass prints left on a chain link fence and those left on a train window.

Gramma Claire Lema of Riverside will end up giving members of her brood a towel – which she brought for soda spills and such – to wipe the windows clean of any telltale smudges left from the goings-on. (Moonings on the train are strictly verboten, but some passengers get rambunctious in returning the favor to the crowds.)

And I thought I was being careful when I packed some Benadryl. Hopefully Gramma also packs some Windex, Lysol spray and muriatic acid in case those windows don't clean up so well.

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