June 26, 2009
When I heard the news on the radio that Michael Jackson had died, I immediately raced to Scooter's house.
You see, Scooter once spent a week living on the sidewalk outside of a Berkeley record store to be the first to buy Jackson's "Thriller" album. He knows every word to every song Michael Jackson ever recorded, including the sucky ones. Scooter spent over $6,000 to buy Michael's sequined glove on eBay (it turned out to be an Isotoner woman's glove spray painted silver, but he cherishes it just the same). Scooter knows all of MJ's dance moves, but unfortunately when he does them, his lack of rhythm coupled with his poor motor control combine to produce something that looks like a retarded Michael Jackson being electrocuted.
Anyway, I think you get the idea; Scooter Van Neuter is MJ's biggest fan.
Arriving at Scooter's place, I knew it was bad before I even got to the front door. Over the strains of "You Are Not Alone" I could hear Scooter inside alternately sobbing, singing along, and apparently talking to someone. I entered into the music-filled dark living room illuminated only by a few candles. As my eyes slowly adjusted, I found an obviously drunk Scooter sitting on the couch dressed in one of his MJ outfits kissing and groping his little ventriloquist dummy, "Donnie." Oh, good God.
I've seen some weird things in my life, but that scene is seared into my memory forever. As for Scooter, his overwhelming grief and desire to be close to Michael Jackson caused him to almost become his idol, and I guess that's OK, at least to a certain point.
All I can say is I'm glad Donnie doesn't have an attorney.