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Column 11 – Part 1

A somewhat triumphant return!

It really has been forever. The cool thing about returning to something after so long, is that once you finish a new project without a deadline,
it feels that much sweeter.

The last time I wrote we were moving to Indy. A lot of things have happened since then, one of smaller things being the fiasco at the Superbowl.

I debated about publishing this column for awhile, but with recent requests for more articles, I decided if for nothing else, it will help me capture my thoughts for that moment in time before they are gone.

So, as a warning, if you are not in what my survey calls, the 18-25 crowd, ie you are anyone’s parents or a rightfully old enough to be so, I wouldn’t read my opinion. But otherwise, have at it, and let me know what you think.

I never though that I would say…. (Superbowl 2004)

When you are a child, and you are picking your nose through the sermon at the 9:00 service, you mom looks over at you and says, “That’s inappropriate, stop it.”

I never knew exactly what that meant, inappropriate. I always thought that it was the catch all for parents when they didn’t have a specific reprimand for a given situation.

For example when you show the unusual growth on your upper thigh to your grandma while you are standing in line for an ice cream cone. Your parents find it a little funny, but don’t have a cheat sheet for punishment that says, “Showing butt in public = two weeks without TV.” So instead they give you the catch all scold, “Your butt is not appropriate at the ice cream store, you should be ashamed.”

So I swore when I was young that I would never catch myself saying the word “inappropriate”.

But after the Superbowl last month I found myself thinking, “how irresponsible and yes, inappropriate.” But, if Janet Jackson wants to ruin her career, fine, she has had a good run and now we can all remember her as Ms. Peek a Boob.

As a matter of fact, now it is a month and a half later and most of us adults are not thinking about the idiocy of the event on a daily basis. With the shuffle of everyday life, we aren’t phased, and have more important things to worry about. But I am sure that one month after a rock star bares her breast in front of possibly 40 million children, they have not forgotten, and their lives are forever changed.

“Thank you” to yet another Jackson for preying on children. We all knew the moment it happened that she was getting the reaction she planned.

None of this is news and this is obviously, not the point I will make.

But something else about the performance didn’t set easy with me. It took a day or two of watching the news, reading the papers, and watching Wayne Brady do funny yet crass sound effects of bouncing, unleashed women parts.

My stance will be a less common and popular one.

Let’s rewind.

A busier time in life…

It is late summer of 2002. I am finishing up what is one of the busiest months of my life. In one long day, I work an eight hour day outside in 90 degree sauna-esque heat, by myself pack all of my stuff, dressers and all, into the family van and drive two and a half hours home to Grand Haven, arriving close to 2:30 a.m.

Two days later, after unpacking everything, I leave for Iowa. A fourteen hour trip one way, I officially determine that sleeping in a car was a thing of my childhood. A week visit and then another fourteen hours home in a car with four women and a John Walsh audio tape. Yippee!

The next week I work fifty hours of physical labor in a shop that is also roughly 90 degrees. Then, that Friday after a 10 hour day I drive eight hours to Cincinnati.

Tired yet? Well here’s more.

Early the next morning this friend and I drive ten hours to Maryland, picked up another friend, and we all headed to Philadelphia to hang out for a week with yet another friend.

As I have established, I no longer can sleep in a car, unless I am driving it, and I also don’t sleep well in foreign beds. It was the start of my allergy season, so this loss of rest coupled with congestion headaches and a runny nose made me sick.

The week ended and I was driving the final stretch of a relentless month. Being a busy body and having a Type A personality, it was weird to be having fantasies of lying in bed and eating Chuckles all day.

But I pushed back an eight hour sleep night for one more day. Lansing was on the route home, so I stopped over to see my close friend Justin Varner and to use his cable television.

The 2002 MTV Music Awards

It was the first week of September and like every year; it was time for the MTV music awards. I always looked forward to the awards because they are entertaining and the artists are unleashed a little, making for a volatile environment.

But I was not watching for humor or a sad performance by Axl Rose and a guy with a KFC bucket on his head. Instead, I was hoping to see history in the making. I was hoping to see the launch of a solo career that some said could have an impact on music not seen since the likes of Michael Jackson some twenty years ago.

Justin Timberlake’s first solo appearance sans N’Sync was that night. I dreaded the two hour drive that still awaited me, and I dozed in and out of the show, but it was so important to me to have the opportunity to say that I saw the next Michael Jackson perform for the first time.

Continue to Part 2…..

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