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FLAT QUESTIONS DILUTE POP KING’S PARLEY

by | Nov 21, 2008 | Detroit Free Press | 0 comments

OK, I admit it. I watched the entire Michael Jackson interview. And I liked it. I especially liked when the security alarm went off, and they had to rush to a commercial, and when they came back, Elizabeth Taylor was waddling out of the kitchen, looking guilty, with powdered sugar on her lips.

But I did have one problem. With the questions. I felt Oprah Winfrey — who is fine on such major issues as “Women Who Date Their Daughter’s Gym Teachers” — blew her chance with the world’s No. 1 Other From Another Planet. She was way too soft.

She asked how the moonwalk was invented. And how deprived Michael felt about his childhood.

Nice. But most of America wanted more. Most of us imagined what we would have asked the King of Pop, or, in Elizabeth Taylor’s case, the Queen of Pop-Tarts.

Personally, I would have tried a few more pressing questions for Michael. Such as:

Is Tito a real person?

Tee-hee. That’s silly.

How about Jackie?

Of course! That’s so silly.

How come Marlon never spoke?

He had a skin disease.

He never said anything about it.

See what I mean?

Listen, Michael, what was the deal with “Ben”? That was a great love song. But, let’s be honest, Ben was . . . a rat.

Yes. But a nice rat.

Do you still speak to him?

Of course. He has a place in the backyard, near the ferris wheel. He likes the rides.

A rat? On the rides?

Don’t worry. He has a strong stomach.

How about that pet llama rumor?

You mean Lippy?

Lippy the Llama?

I adore him. I adore all my animals.

I see. And — SHREEEEEE! — what’s that?

What’s what?

The security alarm! Cut to break! Answers leave you guessing

OK. We’re back. And we want to introduce Elizabeth Taylor. Liz, tell us, honestly, why are you hanging around with a thin, childish, eccentric pop singer who is half your age?

Mmmmph. Slurrrp. Grlzzzp.

Michael, is that Liz’s ring you’re wearing?

Uh-huh.

By the way, where’d you meet her?

I met her at the candy store, she turned my way and smiled at me, you get the picture?

Yes, we see.

That’s when I fell for, the Eater Of The Pack.

Uh. OK. Next question. Michael, when you sing “I’m bad, I’m bad,” what are the following two words? They sound like “shammon . . . jammon.”

That’s correct.

What does that mean?

I have no idea.

Michael, you seem like a nice guy. Why are you wearing eye shadow?

I have a lid condition.

You’re wearing lipstick.

I have a lip condition.

You live in California, but all your clothes look they come from the Royal British Navy.

I have a fabric condition.

Also, your pants don’t reach your shoes.

(Looks down.) Oh! How embarrassing!

Why did you — SHREEEEEE! — what’s that?

What’s what?

The alarm! Cut to break! Seclusion seems self-imposed

OK. We’re back, and as you can see, we’re riding in Michael’s golf cart. What’s your handicap, Michael?

Well, I would say my childhood.

No, I meant . . . never mind. Let’s talk about the plastic surgery thing. You say you’ve only had two types?

True.

What were they?

Nose . . . and all the rest.

Michael, with the Jackson 5, you almost always sang lead. But every now and then, Jermaine got a line. How was that decided?

Well, I love my brothers. We’re very close. So, before each song, they would toss me like a medicine ball and whoever dropped me got to sing the one line I didn’t.

And Jermaine always dropped you?

He had a hand condition.

Michael, you say you’re in love with Brooke Shields. Does she know?

Gee, I hope so. I sent her a fax.

But your sister Latoya says you once complained that Brooke tried to kiss you. Which is it?

I’m a gentleman. I can’t say. Tee-hee.

Michael, your agreeing to this interview didn’t have anything to do with the fact that your latest album is not selling anywhere near the previous ones?

That’s a silly question. Oh, look. Ben wants to go on the ferris wheel. Wanna come?

No. I’m due back on the planet Earth.

Wow. Take my spaceship.

Thanks, no, . . . huh?

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Mitch Albom writes about running an orphanage in impoverished Port-au-Prince, Haiti, his kids, their hardships, laughs and challenges, and the life lessons he’s learned there every day.

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