Do you remember where you were and what you were doing when you heard Michael Jackson died? 

It might be too early to answer, but you’ll need a story in about 10-20 years when one of your grandkids asks you.

The eccentric pop artist was so well-known one of his own brothers found about like many of us did – from a television announcer. 

It may be too early to pass final judgement, but not two or three hours after his death, one of his own attorneys was saying he appeared to have had enablers who weren’t doing much to curb his prescription drug problems.

Whether you were a fan or not you knew who Michael Jackson was, the name of his latest album or single, whether he was doing a Pepsi commercial or not or if his hair caught on fire. 

You saw him dressed as Sgt. Pepper, or in the “Captain Eo” video at Disneyworld or dangling his baby over a balcony. Or wanting to buy the Elephant Man’s bones, and of course hanging out with Bubbles the Chimp.

Also mourning the loss are comedians everywhere. He was such an easy target, merely by changing a few lyrics. His line, “It doesn’t matter if you’re black or white” became “I can’t remember if I’m black or white.”

Only Michael Jackson could have a hit song (“Ben”) about a killer rat who led a vicious gang of other killer rats to viciously kill lots of people. 

I still remember the tagline to that movie: “Where Willard Left Off, Ben Begins.”

I always figured M.J. would just get older and crazier. He’d be in a wheelchair in 2040 with one of those dang shiny gloves on going, “Eeee! Eee! Sh-mone.” It wasn’t really a good week to be a celebrity was it? Farrah and Ed McMahon we expected, but … product pitchman Billy Mayes?

Hard to believe that just four years ago, I was in the Beaumont Enterprise newsroom watching Jackson’s limo and entourage members on CNN make their way from Neverland to the courthouse to hear the verdict. 

One of the editors turned and said, “This is all just ‘So L.A.’”

If you’d told me last year he would die the same day as Fawcett and not long after McMahon, I’d have thought it crazy. And now as I write this, 24 hours later, it seems to make some weird kind of eccentric sense, like much of Jackson’s life. 

It’s left to history to say whether he was a pedophile or had mental problems. It certainly wouldn’t be a far stretch to say he was, or did.

 I wasn’t a die-hard fan but like many of the faithful, I wish that one of these “enablers” had told him, “Michael, I think you might have some problems and we need to do something about them.”
It really was, all just “So L.A.”