Fumbling in my jacket pocket, which hangs noticeably on non-Michael Jackson t-shirt clad shoulders, I feel my way through Granola bars and candy for a non-perishable to give to the King of Pop. Everybody else here has fluffy toys, books and banners. All I find is a 30c postcard from Santa Cruz, actually intended for my mate Steve in Essex. It shows a freshly caught shark, blood dripping from its mouth. Not the most appropriate gift for a “lover not a fighter”, but nevertheless I scrawl on the back:

Dear Michael Jackson,
Look what I caught fishing! If you get a chance visit my website, sansharma.com
Love,
San (from England)

I added the “from England” in case he knew another San in the area. Almost as soon as I do a black SUV drives up to the gates. Michael Jackson is back, after a day in court, to what he calls home and what we, this side of the gate, call Neverland.

Like shabbily dressed G8 delegates, the crowd here have come from major industrialised nations: the US, France, Germany, Spain, Japan, Australia and, as represented by yours truly (and one other guy from Blackpool) the UK. And what with all the Jesus Juice we’ve been sipping I desperately need to pee. And while the others here are wriggling with excitement, I am only to keep it in.

But when his window winds down and an enormous white hand with alabaster fingers extends to net the gifts thrust before him I nearly let it out. Instead, and after 15 years of fan worship and adulation, face to gaunt face with my idol, I ask him if I can use his bathroom, laugh nervously and hand him a postcard of a bloody fish.

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