I was driving in the car when onto the radio came – Off the Wall by the great Michael Jackson!
I cranked up the volume and started singing.
“Cause we’re the party people, night and day — livin’ crazy that’s the only way….”
I hadn’t heard that song in years. Brought me back to a wild New Year’s Party, as `79 turned into 1980. A young Benny Jay with a ton of hair was acting crazy. Thank goodness there are no negatives that can be used against me.
Thing is – once the song ended, it stayed on my mind. I’ve been singing it day and night ever since.
Eventually, I boiled it down to those two lines, which I started saying over and over, even if they were apropos to absolutely nothing. I fear this may be the first sign of some odd form of dementia.
I’d be on the phone and the receptionist would say, “Hold for Mr. Jones.”
And I’d say, “We’re the party people night and day — livin’ crazy, that’s the only way.”
And she’d say: “Excuse me?
And I’d say: “I’m sorry — just ignore me.”
In my mind, I dance like this….
One day I was talking to this twenty-something year old I’ll call Adrienne. Cause that’s her name.
“Do you know where this line comes from?” I asked. “`We’re the party people, night and day — livin’ crazy, that’s the only way.’”
“No,” she said.
“That’s cause you’re too young,” I said. “Ask your mother — she’ll know.”
So she texted her mother. A few minutes later, her mom texted back: “Michael Jackson.”
“See!” I said. Then I said the following line from the song: “`Gotta leave that nine to five upon the shelf, and just enjoy yourself.’”
“Oh,” said Adrienne. “If you’d asked about that line, I’d have known the song.”
Like I did something wrong.
The next day, I’m in the county clerk’s office, chatting with the nice lady at the desk. When I get the urge.
“Do you know this line?” I asked. Then I say, not sing: ”We’re the party people, night and day — livin’ crazy, that’s the only way.”
But in reality, I’m more like this….
“Oh, I know that line,” she said. “But I can’t remember where it’s from.”
“I’ll give a hint,” I said. “The writer died in 2009.”
Looking at me as if to say — Duh! – she pulled out her cell phone and showed me her screen-saver picture: A young Michael Jackson, doing the moonwalk.
Then she started singing — right there in the clerk’s office! “Gotta leave that nine to five upon the shelf — an’ just enjoy yourself.”
At which point, I said: “Yeah!”
Which didn’t have any applicability to anything. I just got caught up in the moment.
When I left the clerk’s office, I was still singing that song. In fact, I’m singing it now.
“We’re the party people, night and day — livin’ crazy, that’s the only way!”
Yes, he was weird. But I miss Michael Jackson.
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