Amtrak passengers will be greeted by a series of full moons in Laguna Niguel on Saturday.
That is, folks by the hundreds will be dropping their pants along a chain-link fence just east of the tracks near the Mugs Away Saloon.
It’s the 29th annual Mooning of Amtrak, so well-established it’s even mentioned in James Frey’s new L.A. novel, “Bright Shiny Morning.” Like the swallows returning to San Juan Capistrano each March 19, the mooners return to Laguna Niguel the second Saturday of each July.
Mugs Away doesn’t organize the event, which is unsponsored, but it’s where the annual rite started. One day a bar regular told friends that he’d buy a drink for anyone who mooned the next train. He found so many takers that he eventually rescinded his offer, but a tradition had begun.
The event even has a website, www.moonamtrak.org, which lists train schedules and answers often-asked questions, including: “Must I moon, or can I just watch?” “You can watch.”
“Are pets OK to bring?” “Yes, you can bring your dog, cat, snake, parrot or iguana.”
Amtrak and law enforcement authorities, meanwhile, have chosen to look the other way, though I’m not sure they should allow iguanas to moon people.
Speaking of reptiles
Joe Sykora of Woodland Hills spotted a banner hanging from a vet’s office that indicated that humans aren’t the only beings with intimacy problems (see photo).
Easy for them to say
Glen Janken of L.A. saw a pavement sign in Hollywood that makes you wonder if such painters ever “stop” to check their work (see photo).
And you thought it was hot in the Valley
Allison Linnell of Palm Desert noticed that a local weather report said the temperature in Thermal had reached four figures (see photo).
Time to move out?
A police log item in the Coastal View News of Carpinteria said a 20-year-old woman sleeping between her parents “was complaining that her father was squishing her. When the father did not respond, the mother reached over and hit the father on the chin. Waking up, the father turned over and batted at the mother, catching the daughter in the middle of the melee.”
The newspaper said “a report of battery was filed.”
When the Duke wiped out on the gridiron
A surfing exhibit planned for John Wayne Airport prompted columnist John Hall of the San Clemente Sun Post News to recall one myth about the late cowboy actor: that his football career at USC ended after his freshman year because of a body-surfing injury.
Hall, a long-time former L.A. Times columnist, was at a dinner in 1973 when Wayne recounted his last day as a Trojan. “I’d barely positioned myself in a three-pointed stance in spring practice when this gentlemanly opponent broke my leg for me,” he said.
Not that Wayne had any complaints.
“If it hadn’t been for football and the fact I got my leg broke and had to go into the movies to eat,” he said, “who knows?”
I was ill during a recent day of a celebration and forgot to wish you readers my best. So even though June 30 has come and gone, I say Happy Fiscal New Year.
Steve Harvey can be reached at (800) LATIMES, Ext. 77083; by fax at (213) 237-4712; by mail at Metro, L.A. Times, 202 W. 1st St., L.A. 90012; and by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.