Thursday, June 12, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Moons Over Myrtle Beach

I've still got Myrtle Beach on my mind, so today's Throwback Thursday takes us back to a post from June of 2010 and some adventures with youth group from FUMC-Kissimmee. Enjoy!

Mooning- the art of dropping your pants and showing people your rear end- has been around for a very long time. It is a staple of teenage rebellion, a tradition that dates back at least as far as my parents' generation. There is just something exciting about surprising someone with your bare bottom, and yet it truly harms no one, even as it offends many. We have all seen bums before; as far as I know most of us have one of our own! Over my years in student ministry I saw many a moon. Some came from our youth; others came from teens who were mooning our kids. I have known habitual mooners, guys who would drop their pants in most any situation if given the slightest encouragement. Four young men from Kissimmee once mooned Jerry and I as we entered our hotel room in New York; there is photographic evidence of this event, taken by Andrew Rogers (that picture will not be seen here, now or any other time!). I once had a young man in my group in Tampa who proudly announced his intention to moon someone in all 50 states, and at least one nun. Love it or hate it, mooning is a part of the adolescent culture. My only rule was that it not be done from the church van or bus with our name on the side. Even youth pastors have standards!

There was one occasion on which I had to intervene in an episode involving mooning. In 1999 the group from FUMC-K was spending a week at the Betsy B in Myrtle Beach. The Betsy B was an oceanfront house, with a small bridge leading from the house through some sand dunes and onto the beach. I began to hear reports that at night, as people headed out to walk on the beach, they were getting mooned by our own group. The report that I received indicated that it was two of our young women who were in charge of these ambushes. This seemed odd to me, as I had not encountered that many female mooners. I went out to see for myself what was happening, and sure enough- Colleen Martin (bottom left) and Chrissy Weaver (top right) aided and encouraged by a few others, were the offenders. They were having so much fun that they seemed a bit out of control, as if they would have shown their butts to anyone who happened by! I knew I needed to say something.

I pulled Chrissy aside (maybe Colleen too, but I specifically remember Chrissy) and began to explain some of the logic of mooning as I understood it. Guys liked to moon other guys to surprise them and gross them out. Guys liked mooning girls because it made them blush and scream things like, "GROSS!" I told them I did not know how females felt when mooned by other girls. But there was one thing I was certain of- when girls show their bottoms to guys, guys are not embarrassed or grossed out. Guys do not run away. When girls moon guys, GUYS LIKE IT! This piece of ancient wisdom seemed to do the trick; the mooning slowed was down after that. Sometimes our knowledge of the strangest things can come in handy...

A year or so later, outside of Chicago, I was mooned by a bunch of teens riding a bus; there must have a dozen butts sticking out of the windows at once. It was then, as I was being mooned by the youth group of the St. James Presbyterian Church, that I realized my rule forbidding mooning from the church bus had been a good one indeed! I offered a prayer for their youth minister...and I laughed. Every moon reminds me of those moons over Myrtle Beach!

Because of Jesus,

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