Though it’s been nearly a decade since the introduction of the phrase “wardrobe malfunction” to the world vernacular during the 2004 Super Bowl, the fact that I missed that historic broadcasting moment continues to be the subject of ridicule by several of my so-called friends.
As luck would have it, in the same instant that 90 million viewers were gawking at Janet Jackson’s breast, I was picking a tortilla chip off the floor. The sequence of events leading up to that fateful moment went as follows:
1) While watching Janet Jackson dance in a highly suggestive manner, Ned inadvertently steps on a tortilla chip.
2) Being a polite guest, he reaches down for the chip just as everyone in the room shouts “HER _ _ _ _ IS SHOWING!!”
3) In a panic, Ned tries to knock his fellow guests aside but, instead, falls forward and lodges his head between the couch and coffee table, spraining his neck.
What made this experience particularly difficult is the fact that the chip in question wasn’t even mine. Who dropped it there? I honestly don’t know. Will I ever be able to look at a tortilla chip the same way again?
Thanks to that chip, I am one of only eight people living in the U.S. or Canada who did not seen Janet Jackson’s breast. As I’m sure you can imagine, this has made my life extremely difficult. While others have freely discussed the controversy over what they saw, its moral implication regarding our society’s downward spiral, and the superior picture quality of a high definition television when it comes to freeze-framing, I have remained a virtual pariah because I didn’t participate in this global experience.
I’d like to remind everyone that this was not by choice. Had I known what was about to happen, I would have gladly left the chip on the floor for the dog — which, by the way, did see Janet Jackson’s breast. It doesn’t matter that he has no concept of what he saw. What matters is that, upon seeing it, he rolled over on his back and began scratching himself.
Ever since then, I have been dealing with the situation by avoiding the topic all together. If during the course of a conversation Janet Jackson’s breast pops up, I immediately change the subject with a clever segue such as, “I guess that’s why it’s called the boob tube! Ha! Ha! Speaking of boobs, how about that Congress!”
Even then, I have to be careful not to let the conversation turn into an argument over politics and, essentially, end up trading tit for tat. I can tell you that after nine years of this, I’m getting a little tired of it.
I have nothing to be ashamed of, especially since I’m the victim here.
And my lawyer agrees.
“The bottom line, Mr. Hickson, is that you didn’t see Janet Jackson’s breast — and for that, someone’s going to pay.”
That’s why, on my behalf, he has filed a lawsuit against Janet Jackson, CBS, the NFL, MTV, Frito-Lay, our dog, and the guy who cut the stage lights so fast. In addition, we may also include the two teams who actually played in the Super Bowl, just as soon as we can remember who they were.
Obviously, our case would be a lot stronger if other people were willing to join our suit and admit that, yes — they, too, have not seen Janet Jackson’s breast. I’m not saying it will be easy, but I’m asking the seven of you to please step forward and join me in sending a message to the entertainment industry that there’s a time for that kind of display. And that, in the future, we’d like to know when it is so that we can be ready.
If any of you happen to be reading this, I hope you’ll consider joining my class action lawsuit. There’s no guarantee we’ll win, but, according to my lawyer, we stand a very good chance of at least getting some free chips.
(You can write to Ned Hickson at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at the Siuslaw News at P.O. Box 10, Florence, OR. 97439)