Jewish World Review Nov. 27, 2002 / 22 Kislev, 5763
Every good dad
is a thriller
Everyone needs to BACK OFF the King of Pop. Dangling an infant off a fourth-floor
balcony might look dangerous, but it isn't. It's good family fun and an excellent
tool for teaching spatial relationships.
Now obviously, dropping a child off a building can be hazardous, particularly
if the child isn't wearing a helmet.
But merely suspending Prince Michael Jackson from four floors - as Jacko did
the other day at a Berlin hotel - is no riskier than the games I play at home
with my 2 1/2-year-old daughter. By those I mean wholesome "skill-builders"
such as "Apprentice Electrician" and "What's in the Garbage Disposal?"
It's not as if Michael didn't use safeguards. Even if he'd accidentally retracted
his progeny extension nodules and dropped the baby, hundreds of people were
positioned to catch it. We should note that these were not normal people like
you or me (OK, you), who might hesitate to interfere with natural selection
in this case.
No, these were genuine international Michael Jackson fans, most of whom have
been waiting their entire international lives to catch a King of Pop fly from
a multistory building. They love Michael. They feel a special connection to
Michael's sensitive spirit. They don't even care that Michael murdered his chimp
Bubbles (my opinion) and sells fewer records these days than the Electric Light
Speaking of which, anyone up for a Jacko/ELO collaborative Christmas album?
I turn to stone.
Where is my nose?
Can't feel my lips
Where have they gone?
But my point is that even if Prince Michael had fallen, it would have been
like landing on a bed of goose feathers - perfect preparation for being goosed
What's really going on here? Why is the entire planet, including Saddam, condemning
My first instinct is to blame racism, but since nobody - least of all Michael
Jackson - knows what race he is, let's try again.
I believe Michael is the victim of the bias that dads play too rough with their
I experienced this stereotype personally this week during "Monday Night
Football" when I successfully used my daughter, Miranda, as a football
to help her grasp the complexities of the sport.
It was all very safe and educational. We stood facing the big screen, and each
time the ball was snapped, I hiked Miranda off the floor and either dropped
back to pass her or handed her off to a "running back," depending
on the play.
Miranda shrieked with delight, and I'm proud to say I completed her six of
nine times for 149 yards.
Only when my wife, Leigh, barged into the room dispensing maximum-strength
Responsibility Beams did Miranda's enthusiasm wane.
It's so damn unfair.
Jacko, if you're reading this, we need to stand strong. We're good dads. Really.
If your schedule allows it, I'd like to meet you face-to- uh, well, you know,
to discuss heightening public awareness of rough play bias (RPB).
JWR contributor Jeff Kramer is a humor columnist based at the Orange County Register. Comment by clicking here.
© 2002, Orange County Register