Found this article in an Orange County (California) newspaper:
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.
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.
They become, in essence, 10-year-old boys for a day.
"On your mark," shouts one man in his 80s.
"Get set," shouts a woman in her 60s who he's never met.
"Drop 'em," he says.
But why? That is the question.
"I don't know," says Bill Lavender, the shouting 81-year-old who's driven in from Homeland in Riverside County for his sixth year of mooning trains. "Why do some people drink a certain kind of drink? Why does it give some people pleasure to go out with a blonde or a brunette? I don't know. It just gives me joy."
In other words, don't expect deep answers from this crowd.
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.
Exhibit A: Gramma Charleen Sandoval of Chino says this about her 10-year-old grandson who's mooning with her:
"He was practicing last night in front of the house."
Exhibit B: A black stretch limo parts the crowd and the chauffeur lets out Tom Spry, 81, of Mission Viejo, here for his eighth year. He tugs on a cigar and announces: "I just come to see all the crazies," as his son sets up chairs.
For Exhibit C, we move inside Amtrak #775, rolling north from San Juan Capistrano. Inside are eight members of the Exhibit C family, spanning three generations. Let's put it this way: 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.)
A reporter's notebook records his shocked observations from this side of the chain-link fence:
"200? 300? shaking, waving, waddling, wagging, slapping, scratching, showing more, oh my God …"
Passengers are warned, of course, by the conductor. But no one seems to mind.
Not pharmacist Laura Boys, 47, of Huntington Beach, who immediately calls mom in Texas:
"Momma," she says, "I ain't never seen so many butts in my whole life!"
Not Carl Winefordner of Laguna Beach.
"We purposely booked it," says the husband and father of two, all along for a trip to the San Juan Capistrano petting zoo. "We even brought the video camera to show my family in Florida."
Not sure which is more innocent fun, mooning or toilet papering a house!