Moon Over Parma

Simple question: why is mooning such a gesture of disrespect? I just happened to watch an episode of “The Drew Carey Show” that ended with all four of the main characters mooning Drew’s neighbor… and it occurred to me that while the others don’t do much for me, I actually wouldn’t mind seeing Christa Miller’s a… but I digress. It also occurred to me that it’s such an odd gesture – mooning, that is. I suppose it’s contemptuous, but it also seems an oddly vulnerable gesture for the mooner to offer to the moonee. And if we’re to believe Braveheart, it’s a gesture that’s been around a while.

So - why mooning, as opposed to, say, a well-timed insult, or a F-you finger? Who would even think of such a thing?

  • Rick

I assume it has something to do with trying to convey, in the most graphic manner possible, one’s desire for another to “Kiss my ass! (And here it is all bared for ya, so pucker up, loser.)” And some guy’s pale, hairy, zitted posterior is a pretty gross, insulting thing to have to look at, right?

'Course these days, mooning’s mostly done to get a laugh (because, of course, it does make the mooner look pretty stupid).

“Not everybody does it, but everybody should.”
I Spy Ty.

Don’t know if it’s true or not, but I once read that during the nadir of Sino-Soviet relations, Chinese and Russian soldiers used to frequently moon each other across their border.

The kissing of an ass, and mooning of a sort, go back to at least Chaucer’s day (The Miller’s Tale in Canterbury Tales)


Nobody ever calls me after they’ve done something smart.

(My, Cuba is lovely this time of year!)

I was listening to a beer commercial song and noticed that it sounds just like “Moon over Parma”. Is it my imagination? I think it was an old one for Budweiser.

No, stupid, it’s a boat!


If your thinking of the Budweiser song I’m thinking of (lots of Clydesdales in the shot) the tunes are similar but not identical. Good call though. I’m humming them as I type this and I’m having a heck of a time keeping them straight.

I thought of a clever new sig line last night, but I forgot it when I woke up this morning.


Parma is a large suburb on the West Side of Cleveland.

When I last lived in the area, in the 1970s, Parma was known for its large Polish-American community, with the requisite accompanying witticisms about white socks, bowling shirts, and chrome balls and pink flamingos on the lawns.

Note to current Clevelanders: Has any of the above changed over the last 20-some years?


It could also be that since doing such puts you in a very vulnerable position (you can’t run with your drawers down) yet you are doing it so you are indicating that they are so pathetic that you are not worried about an attack by them so you are willing to put yourself in an otherwise vulnerable postition.

Or maybe it is the hair butt idea that was mentioned earlier.


Ike–I lived in Parma about ten years ago and it was still kinda a joke then.

Ike–I lived near Cleveland about ten years ago and Parma was still kinda a joke then.

Apparently, people who live in Parma don’t like to admit it.

Uke, I live up in Lakewood, and I am in Parma enough, shopping and whatnot. Of course the white-belts-and-shoes and flamingo jokes continue, as do the Polish jokes, but Parma isn’t what it used to be. It’s still pretty solidly middle-class, UAW, Catholic, etc., but it has diversified a bit. The Parma/Brooklyn border is now dominated by big-box shopping (a Super KMart, a Best Buy, a Wal-Mart and the like), and the area down Ridge Road is almost all commercial now, with Parmatown Mall being one of the more successful malls in the area.

Still, when the rubber hits the road, Parma makes a great punchline.

“It’s my considered opinion you’re all a bunch of sissies!”–Paul’s Grandfather