When Michael Jackson died last week, it was sort of a weird day. I was at the reference desk and so many people came up to me and told me about it. “Did you hear that Michael Jackson died?” everyone was saying to each other. EVERYONE. I have worked in public service for a while now and I never was at work during a national event that made people talk to each other so much. There was the last presidential election, in a way, but that breaking news didn’t happen when I was at work. That was more a morning-after type thing.
So ok fine, what I am leading up to is a list of Michael Jackson memories, some of which I may have mentioned in other blog posts, so sue me. Here goes.
1. As a kid, my friend and I would tape record ourselves singing to songs on the radio. One of our favorites was “Wanna Be Startin’ Something.” In it, we sang, with full confidence in our lyric-listening abilities, the following: “Too high to get over (yeah, yeah), to low to get under (yeah, yeah), you’re stuck in the middle, and the penis finger.”
2. This same friend and I once did an elaborate tape recorded audio play to the song “Thriller.” We had scripts, and whenever MJ was not singing, we said our lines. The play had something to do with us getting lured into a haunted house. The big finale and special effect was at the very end, when Vincent Price does his long, diabolical laugh, we wanted it to sound like we were being chased away whilst screaming. The only way we could do this was to leave the recorder on and scream bloody murder while running out of her bedroom and down the hallway of her house, thus creating the fading scream effect. We did many takes of this special effect. Bless her mom for not telling us to shut the hell up, as mine would have most certainly done.
3. My first childhood boyfriend had a red MJ Beat It jacket with all the zippers, a jeri curl, and could moonwalk and do the worm, and this is precisely why I liked him.
4. I can moonwalk like a mothershanker and you would be amazed. I can even do the style of moonwalk where you turn around in the midst of the moonwalk. I believe the word you are looking for here is: gifted.
5. My friend Mike and Delium once made up an MJ-esque dance in college, and called it “The Shamones” in his honor.
6. Michael Jackson is the only celebrity crush I ever had in my life. I have never loved a male celebrity again. Not Kirk Cameron then, not George Clooney now.
7. My friend Michelle had a neighborhood party on the day that the Thriller video was first played on MTV. There was ice cream and all us little girls screamed in ecstacy when it came on the screen. Which is what happens when you were a little girl in the 80s and there was ice cream and Michael Jackson at the same time.
8. I remember when Elvis died, and some adults I knew were kind of sad about it and I totally didn’t get it. Wasn’t Elvis just that bloated joke with the white jumpsuits? That’s all I ever experienced of him. But now I get it. There are just those generational things. And if you were just the right age in 1982, then you’re sad about MJ. If you’re a little too old or a little too young, then yeah, he does seem like a joke. So, yeah. Sorry about that, Elvis.
9. Do I need to mention my button collection again? Ok fine. I had this button collection of MJ buttons, most of which I made myself with a homemade-button machine thing. Not only did I have maybe 50 of these mamma jammas, but there was a short period where I wore them. All of them. At the same time. Just covering my shirt from chin to waist in a sort of Michael Jackson chain mail breast plate. And here you thought that my being fashion-forward was a thing I developed in adulthood.
10. Annie are you ok? Annie are you ok? Are you ok Annie?