Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Mooning of Nicholas Cage

It's 1999 and I'm a cadet on a merchant ship bound from Los Angeles to Hawaii. We have just left and our ship is approaching the Vincent Thomas Bridge which is used a lot in movies because closing it down is very convenient since there is not a lot of traffic on it.

Outside the wheelhouse the Captain of the ship and the harbor pilot are talking excitedly and pointing up at the bridge. I look up and see hundreds of people, lots of equipment, and a crane that is holding up what looks like a green cardboard cutout of a car suspended in the air. Suddenly I hear someone on a bullhorn yell “Action!” and the people on the bridge start doing stuff. From the right side of the bridge, a helicopter with a camera attached to it swoops down and focuses on the green car cutout. The pilot comes into the wheelhouse and pushes the ships horn button for three long deafening blasts.

“CUT CUT CUT! SON OF A BITCH!”, I hear coming from the bridge.

The helicopter goes away.

The Captain and the Harbor Pilot think this is hilarious. They go back outside the wheelhouse laughing because they have just ruined the shot.

Since they are not going to attempt this shot again until our ship is gone, all of the people on the bridge take a break and go to the side of the bridge to watch the giant ship that ruined their movie pass beneath them.

“Hey Cadet,” I hear the Captain call to me from outside the wheelhouse, “Come out here and moon this movie crew.”

“No problem!” I say and walk outside.

I am wearing coveralls, which is the same thing as overalls with sleeves. Underneath I am only wearing boxers, which means that when I moon these people I will have to take down my coveralls and boxers at the same time and I will be practically naked.

So that’s what I did.

I pull down my coveralls and boxers. I bend over and show my ass to the people on the bridge.

A great cheer rises from the bridge! I hear people exclaiming “Whoo-hoo!” from the bridge, whistles and catcalls adorn over the mass applause.

One of my finer moments I must say.

I pull my clothes back on, turn around and wave to the crowd.


I aim to please. I repeat my offense and the crowd cheers again.

I pull my clothes on once again as the ship goes under the bridge. An hour later we are slipping over the horizon towards Hawaii.

Two weeks later, we are returning to Los Angeles. At the sea buoy the same harbor pilot gets on the ship. He sees me upon entering the wheelhouse.

“Hey, you’re the kid that mooned that movie crew!” he says.

“You remembered,” I say, pleased to have made such an impression on a member of the professional community that I plan to one day enter.

“My daughter was on that movie crew,” he says.

“Oh……sorry…” I say.

“No, no, no, that’s not what I mean,” he says, “do you have any idea who you mooned?”

“Ummm, no,” I say, not knowing what he is implying.

“Well the movie is called ’60 seconds’ or something,” he says, “You mooned Nicholas Cage!”

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