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The Column

Smooth Criminal
6/19/05

Time has passed, and I've had a chance to think about what happened in the Jackson case. And I still can't believe that we saw Janet's breast on national television.

I'm kidding, of course. I can believe that, she needed the publicity. What I can't believe is that Michael Jackson was cleared of all ten charges. Lousy SOB cost me $5.

My friends and I had a pool for the sentencing. Seven of us threw down $5 a piece, and decided that if no one was right, the money would go to Prevent Child Abuse America. When I lost, so did they, and they're a much worthier cause than I am so I don't feel entirely bad.

Only one of us said Jackson would be cleared of all charges. The rest of us assumed that the American justice system, albeit flawed, wasn't made up of total idiots. I understand the doubt cast on the case, but we all said the same thing - he gave the kid alcohol, we all know that. At least he'd be charged with that, right?

Sure, we've all had someone older give us alcohol at one point. My aunt switched my water for vodka when I was 12 and laughed as I took a sip of burning. But this is a man giving wine to a kid he's sleeping next to and calling it Jesus Juice. If that's not against the law, can we make sure it is from now on?

In 1987, a minor league catcher brought a potato with him to the field. With a runner on third, he threw the peeled spud into left field as if it were the ball. The runner trotted home, only to be tagged out by that same catcher, still holding the real baseball. From then on, there were strict rules about bringing foreign objects, specifically produce, onto the field.

In the same vein, a jury may have just ruled that Michael Jackson didn't break any laws. But it's our job as a country with a re-writable law-code to add a few new laws in case it happens again.

One, if a grown man who owns a monkey sleeps in the same bed as anyone not related to them or said monkey, it will be assumed the activity was not platonic. Loopholes include the monkey's trainer when the monkey is frightened during a thunderstorm.

Two, you can not have so much plastic surgery that your face no longer resembles a face. If you break this law, sentencing includes getting a tattoo of a face-looking face on your face to hide your non-face looking face.

Three, you may only have as many exotic animals as gold records. When you stop producing gold records, you must stop purchasing llamas.

Four, you may not name your land. We are each given an address by the US Postal service and that is the extent of it. It is considered first-degree naming your land when you name it after a place full of magical creatures. These names include but are not limited to "Neverland," "Narnia," and "Dennis Rodman's Bedroom."

Five, you may not call Michael Jackson "Jacko" for no reason other than the rhyming possibilities. I'm looking at you, New York Post.

Six, you may not obscure your baby's face with a mask and dangle him over a balcony, or name your baby after a household item. This law does not apply when you are saving your baby from a grease fire and he happens to be named Matt.

And seven, you may never, under any circumstances, let your kid meet Michael Jackson. You may not play Michael's music for your kids, you may not let them hear about Michael Jackson on Court TV. You may not play Rockwell's "Somebody's Watching Me" because Michael does the backup vocals, and you may not show them Jackson's "Captain EO" (although that'd be good advice even without this scandal). If you willingly allow your child to come into contact with anything Michael, and any laws are subsequently broken, it is your freaking fault. You can't sue, you can't take it to the media, and you can't ever visit your child again. Because if you let that happen after all this, you are celebrity crazed idiot and need to be stopped.

If you disagree with the verdict like me, which you certainly ought to, go to Preventchildabuse.org and donate that $5 you would have spent in your office pool. And I don't care how good his music is, stop listening. This whole scandal actually increased his record sales. Including albums that contain "Smooth Criminal," "You Are Not Alone," and, "Don't Stop Til You Get Enough." Ew.

I'm awfully glad that America was so outraged about half of Janet Jackson's breast exposed for two seconds on television. She's the real problem in that family.

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