About that time that Mr. T saved me from Michael Jackson’s glove…

August 7, 2007 at 10:42 pm | Posted in 80s, celebrities, childhood, dreams, fears, mad mad world, michael jackson, michael jackson's glove, mr. t | 1 Comment

I was not a very rational child. You could make a good argument that no children are really all that rational, and while that is almost completely true, a child’s lack of rationality is usually only because they haven’t yet learned the reasons behind how things work. Therefore, it is completely acceptable for a a young child to believe that babies grow in cabbage patches, or that they are delivered by a large white bird directly to the maternity ward at the hospital, at which time it is able to identify future mothers who have “ordered” these children by their swollen stomachs. Because they’re all misinformed either on purpose or just as part of the development process, all rational belief is temporarily suspended for some of those early cognitive years.

I, however, was a very well informed child. Not only would I watch Jeopardy! each night before I fell asleep, but I was a voracious reader that would devour books on everything I could get my hand on. I wasn’t a child genius although I was put into our school’s “gifted and talented” program. I was more of a pretty intelligent kid who could remember and process tons of what I read. I could name all the president’s wives and give a little biography about them that I had learned from the back of a paper doll set my Grandma had given me. I could also give you little bits and pieces of history about Central Park, the Brooklyn Bridge, and other New York landmarks because for a short time during the summer of 1986 I became obsessed with a series of children’s books that took you on a tour through the city and gave little tidbits about all the famous areas. And, yes. I knew exactly how babies are made, right down to actual medical terms like “fallopian tubes.” I was still a little foggy on some of the specifics, but I finally understood that the landing area on the top of the hospital near our house was for helicopters. Not delivery birds.

Yet still, for all my knowledge and reading, I had a pretty active imagination and a brain capable of creating stories and events that I believed to be true. For example, I truly believed that I would be able to become a great scientist by performing experiments with household items in my bedroom. I even went so far as to create rudimentary lab charts so that I could monitor the changes in my experiments and see if soaking a grape in dishsoap produced any fantastic results. The lab was swiftly shut down by Mom, who assumed (probably correctly) that it was only a matter of time until I mixed two dangerous cleaners and the lab all went to shit along with the second floor of our house.

My most irrational moment as a child stemmed from my love for Michael Jackson. You have to understand that these were the early days – the golden days – of Jackson. I had vinyl records of both Off the Wall and Thriller and a big poster of Michael on my bedroom wall. It was during this time that Michael started branching out into some of his signature wardrobe pieces – the red leather jacket full of tons of buttons and snaps; the tightly rolled jeans with black penny loafers and white socks;and of course the sequined glove. Sequined gloves were so cool for like, a one year period, that not only was Corey Feldman rocking the look along with MJ, but I had a sequined glove for my CABBAGE PATCH DOLL. For real.

The glove itself plays an important role in our story, because for a period of a few weekend when I was about four years old, I thought I was being stalked in my sleep. By Michael Jackson’s glove. Not Michael Jackson himself. Just the glove. A shiny, multi-sequined glove.

It all started one night when I had a nightmare that was really vivid and felt like reality. In the dream, I woke up and went to step out of my bed only to discover that the floor was no longer hard, but instead it was made out of some gelatinous substance that was impossible to walk on. Having no choice but to stay in bed, I was facing the wall that my Michael Jackson poster hung on. The poster was a silhouette view of Michael from the back, it showed him striking a pose with one gloved hand in the air. During this nightmare, Michael Jackson slowly began to peel himself off of my poster until he had eventually jumped off and was hovering near the ground. He was turning into the MJ of the Thriller video, glowing eyes and a hideous snarl. He started moving toward my bed, so naturally I did what any scared kid would do, I started screaming and dove under the covers. My Mom and Dad came running in, I told them about the dream, and they convinced me I was dreaming and probably let me read a book until I fell back to sleep.

The next night I woke up screaming again, and this time when my parents came to comfort me I wasn’t complaining about Michael Jackson terrorizing me, I claimed that his glove was walking up and down my walls and trying to climb onto my bed. This seems like just the kind of ridiculousness that would enter a child’s mind and then leave rather quickly, but not with me. For weeks I woke up screaming and took to sleeping with my parents or in a sleeping bag on their floor. No one was happy with these sleeping arrangements, so Mom knew that something had to be done to rid me of my sequin filled nightmares. Since she’s such a smart cookie, she came up with a fantastic idea. She found a Mr. T air freshener, exactly like the one pictured above, and hung it directly over my bed. She promised that Mr. T would protect me from Michael Jackson, his glove, and any other creepy crawlies that may be out to get me in the night. She made a few good Mr. T impressions that made me laugh and then I crawled into bed and slept like a baby.

It’s amazing what kind of effects the power of suggestion can have on people, especially young kids with overactive imaginations. Within a couple of years we moved from that house and my Michael Jackson poster was replaced with pictures of New Kids on the Block and Corey Haim, but I did recently come across a big bag of of Cabbage Patch Kids clothing, and lo and behold I found THREE different sequined and leather gloves. Ah, the 1980s. So wrong, and yet, so very right.

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  1. Hmmm… and you made fun of me for liking cold pizza and cold cheesesteaks


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