I Was A Member Of The Jackson 5 (For A Day)

Circa 2006

“Doritos! Doritos! Doritos! Doritos!”

The chants continued as I worked my Michael Jackson dance imitation while “Billie Jean ” pumped through the DJ’s speakers for the entertainment of the children, parents and teachers at my son’s elementary school. My presence there was a bit of a surprise to the faculty, as my wife was almost always the one to take our children to school-related events. I volunteered to take my son to his school party/dance because it was the evening and my wife needed a break. She wasn’t feeling very well and wanted to go, but I had this one.

“Doritos! Doritos! Doritos! Doritos!”

When it comes to music and current trends, my family often ridicules me because I’m so out of touch. This is true because I’ve lost the desire to keep up with the times. Music has become crass and uninteresting to me so oftentimes, I turn off the car radio and rely solely on my “old school” CDs for entertainment. As a result, I know nothing of today’s artists, songs and the ever-evolving pop culture.

“Doritos! Doritos! Doritos! Doritos!”

The children and adults continued chanting, pointing and smiling, laughing along with the fun as I spun around one last time before walking off to the side. I smiled, laughing with them as I received back pats and “High Fives” from the adults who cleared the way until I eventually flopped clumsily into a metal folding chair to catch my breath.

Yeah, I still had it. I was still the man.

I sat there for the remainder of the evening as the kids danced and played in the rented carnival attractions like the Moon Walk and inflatable slide in the school cafeteria.

Although asked to return to the dance floor by a few students and teachers, I respectfully declined, nursing my worn-out knees. It was there that I sat, drinking punch and and enjoying hotdogs and chips after finding infrequent burst of strength to walk to the food table.

My son and I left about an hour before the scheduled closing time of the night, but not before shaking hands with his teachers and meeting a few new dance fans who told me my solo spot was the “good laugh” they needed for the night.

Driving back to the house I asked him if he’d enjoyed himself, which he admitted he had. I then asked (because Dad was “out of touch”) if that was the new thing, chanting “Doritos”.

Do-WHAT?” he asked in total surprise.

“Doritos” I repeated proudly. “They were chanting that while I was dancing, remember? What does that mean?”

No answer.

I glanced over to catch him looking out of the window silently.

“What?” I asked, puzzled.

“Dad, they weren’t saying, Doritos. They were saying, Go TITO!”

“Go WHAT???” I registered in shock.

“Go TITO! You looked like Tito Jackson out there!”

They weren’t laughing along with me…

…they were laughing AT me.

I started to speak to debunk his theory, knowing those kids couldn’t possibly have come up with that. Then I remembered. The chanting began when one of the TEACHERS, a grown-ass MAN, started pointing and chanting before others chimed in. HE knew who the fat Jackson was.

Then again, considering the popularity of The Jacksons, the kids probably did too.

Poor Tito – never gets respect. Neither do I.

I sat quietly as my boy snickered, knowing I was wrong, yet again.

“If you think about it, being called ‘Doritos’ is just as bad, Dad” he comforted poorly. “Maybe worse.”

…and yet again, he was right.

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