How Thriller Influenced My Life

backspin.jpg There's only been a few moments in my life thus far where I'll remember where I was when _______ happened. Whether it was 9/11, the Challenger explosion, or, now, the death of Michael Jackson, we seem to remember those days and the circumstances surrounding our lives.

As I was taking all of the information in yesterday, never you mind the fact that I think this has conspiracy written all over it, I thought back to a time in my life... nay... THE time in my life when Michael Jackson was most influential over what I did.

It was 1983 and Thriller had been released the year before and was taking the nation, and pop charts, by storm. This was also a time when music videos were becoming popular and Thirller was a masterpiece of music video mastery.

After school (this would be first grade, I believe) would let out, a group of us kids would walk down the block and stay at an after school program until our parents got off of work. The same group had been going to this day care for maybe two years and knew each other pretty well. We would play on the playground together, watch Turkey TV together, take field trips, etc. So when we all saw Thriller for the first time, we knew what we had to do.

We had to have a breakdancing contest.

Breakdancing was becoming HUGE and we were all REALLY good at it. Well, we thought we were, so we decided we should figure out who was the best.

Here's how it worked: Each of us took turns standing outside the room and would enter when the music started. Then we'd do a little breakdance routine. The rest of the kids would vote on who did the best job.

The contest started and I luckily drew the last spot. I don't remember anyone else dancing, but I'm sure they did. Soon enough it was my time to go. I waited outside the door and when the music started, I entered the room.

I really don't recall how my routine went move-for-move, but I do know that there was some robot, some moonwalking, some worming, all of which were leading up to the finishing move — a backspin that would end with my head propped up on my hand and my legs crossed.

It was time to pull the finishing move. I got into position, flung my body around and while I'm spinning, trying to figure out where the audience was in relation to my spin, the most undesirable, unthinkable thing happened.

I farted. Right then, right there, in the midst of my bad ass backspin, I farted.

I'm not sure how, but, I kept my composure and finished the routine. Everyone was laughing and I couldn't leave the room fast enough.

It didn't take long for the room of voters to deliberate and decide who won. And I'll say that to this day I'm shocked that I was named the winner. Especially for all of the ridicule I received over the years about that incident. I'm guessing that it helped shape me to who I am today.

So I owe Michael Jackson a big thank you. Thank you for producing some sweet music for many years. Thank you for showing me some cool dance moves. Thank you for showing me that it's okay to dance and fart. And most importantly, thank you for giving me a reason to NEVER do a backspin again.

You'll be missed MJ.

+ original post date: June 26, 2009 06:48 AM
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You mean to tell me that during all these years that we've made Scoot do the centipede for us, you could have taught him the backspin as well?!?

Tsk tsk tsk, Gunderson. Talk about wasted opportunities.

Love the article, though.

+ author: Ken
+ posted: June 26, 2009 08:21 AM

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