Recently, Michael Jackson died.
I don’t know if you heard about this, and I’m sorry if I’m the one to break the news. I mention his passing in passing, merely to demonstrate a point.
We all know that he wasn’t exactly a normal guy. We get that. We’ve heard all about it. And yet, while viewing the hours of memorial media coverage, I was fascinated to hear how many times people mentioned he was crazy.
Ok, fine, he slept in an oxygen chamber. His gender was, at times, indiscernible. His best friend was a python. Only a couple of his siblings had real names. He might have been an alien (further study is required). But what we really need to look at, folks, is how different from Michael Jackson we are not. The only difference between Michael Jackson and us is that he had absurd amounts of money. And he could moonwalk.
Don’t believe me? Fine. I will provide proof showing why the average person is completely bonkers.
We go to amusement parks and worry about whether or not the Macho Doom Coaster is safe, and fasten ourselves into the seat six different ways, and scream and throw up and cry, and when we’re done, we strap ourselves into two-thousand pound death machines and hurtle down the freeway at high speeds, weaving through construction barriers, all while driving inches away from other cars, while simultaneously phoning our friend about the Mets’ starting rotation, munching a bag of chocolate-covered cinnamon bears, and singing “Hey Jude” at the top of our lungs, all without even getting sweaty palms.
We spend hundreds of dollars and hours in preparation of our high school prom, and actually dance for maybe one song (usually “With Or Without You” by U2).
We continue to support the L.A. Clippers as a professional sports franchise.
We still think that local sports radio call-in shows are a good idea. (“Well, I’ll tell you, Tom, here’s why I think that Jerry Sloan should run for governor…”)
We think that no one will notice our toupee.
We spend millions of dollars on home exercise equipment, healthier cookbooks, organic ingredients, gym memberships, and Tae Bo videos, and then get in our car and drive for thirty seconds to church. Or take the elevator for two floors.
We elected (insert whichever person your favorite news channel tells you to hate here) to be (President/Vice President/Senator/American Idol). Man, that person is/was such a (Nincompoop/Tyrant/Philanderer/Marxist/George W. Bush/Child-Devouring Ogre).
We’re more scared of the swine flu than heart disease.
We support/have supported the careers of the following people: Carson Daly, Winona Ryder, Michael Bolton, Tara Reid, Kenny G, Orlando Bloom, Neil Diamond, Pauly Shore, Allen Iverson, Matthew McConaughey, Kevin Federline, Vince Carter, and Ben Affleck.
Also, Carrot Top.
Probably the biggest indicator of our societal nuttiness is how unnecessarily difficult we make the dating process. Men will pretend to like Enya. Women will lure men in by feigning complete disinterest in them.
So Michael Jackson only wore one sequined glove. Some of us wear windshield-sized sunglasses. Maybe Michael had an altered nose the size of a Hershey’s kiss. Some guys walk around their whole lives with their stomachs sucked in. Michael had a theme park in his backyard. Some people like professional wrestling.
And to anyone out there who thinks they are nothing like Michael Jackson, I say to you: “Just beat it (beat it), beat it (beat it).” (Beat It, 1982)