Corky Carroll

Embrace the light side of the moon

Ya know I was thinking that something that seems to have unfortunately gone out of style is the good old-fashioned "moon." Not the one up in the sky at night but the act of dropping your pants at just the right moment and flashing a big bare butt.

It can be such a wonderful statement if done correctly and at just the right moment. Maybe the current state of our culture has gotten just a bit too cool for comfort these days, I don't know. We live in times when everybody wants to sue everybody else for any little thing and almost everything you say can and will be held against you.

If you call a geek a geek you can get thrown off the island and sued in open court for discrimination. If you casually mention that the babe working down the hall from you is a total "hottie," and she hears about it, you are either gonna get fired for sexual harassment or a get date. A date would be better but let's be real folks. Your job is fried.

And don't even think of calling your kid a "bad boy.'' He will have you up on charges of mental child abuse before you can hit the button on the remote to change the channel.

In the midst of all this cultural refining the art of the well-delivered "moon" has all but disappeared. It's sad.

So, in honor of one of my fonder traditions, I thought I would recount a few of my favorite "mooning" stories. My earliest memory of flying a moon was when there was the Hobie surfboard shop in Dana Point and the Velzy and Jacobs surfboard shop in San Clemente.

On a typical surf safari to "Trestles" or San Onofre you had to pass both of them on the way and the way back. The usual way to honor them while passing was to have the guy riding shotgun hang a moon out the passenger side window while the driver honked the horn and everybody would yell, "Hobie sucks, Velzy rules" when passing the Hobie shop. Opposite when passing the Velzy shop.

It was just part of the essence of taking the surf trip. And of course you had to get "the Greeter" in Laguna Beach on the way home. The Greeter was this old dude named Ned Larson who would stand on the corner near the center of town in Laguna and wave at all the cars going by. That poor dude must have gotten mooned a dozen times every afternoon. Ya had to do it.

My favorite surfing moon came in the Malibu Invitational Contest one year in the mid 1960's. It was the one big contest moment for the infamous Miki Dora, A.K.A. "the Black Knight of Surfing." Miki didn't enter many surf contests but he was in this one and made it to the finals. He was the king of Malibu back then and was the crowd favorite to either win or get buried by the competition, depending on if you were a fan or not. He had strong legions going in both directions.

He was a beautiful surfer to watch and had the perfect style for Malibu. On his last wave he came screaming down the point in perfect trim on the nose. The crowd was going wild and cameras from every surfing magazine were whirring madly. Just as he reached the inside section right in front of the gallery he hit a hard bottom turn and launched himself into the air out the top of the wave. In mid-air and as smooth as silk he dropped his pants and gave the whole surfing world the moon.

It was a breathtaking moment that lives on in infamy. I fell over laughing. It just doesn't get much better than that.

There is also a story of the famous Hawaiian surfer Chubby Mitchell, who weighed in at about 400 lbs., getting stuck in the window while mooning some dudes on Pacific Coast Highway. Paul Strauch was driving and tells how he had to pull the car over and it took two of them to get Chubby unstuck from the car window.

Then there was "no pants Lance," another great Malibu surfer who became a legend in mooning circles. That story would take a whole book to tell so I will leave it for now.

But what I would like to present to you at this time is my suggestion that we all do our best to buck the "system" and bring back the fun-filled art of delivering the moon.

I will be awaiting your stories of great flyings in the near future. Do it, it's fun.