Michael Jackson probably wishes California would just go away.
After his grueling trial in Santa Barbara County on child molestation and conspiracy charges ended in not guilty verdicts last June, Jackson lit out for the cozier and much more manageable confines of the Arabian Nights kingdom of Bahrain, which seems more a setting for a Disney cartoon than an actual country. But for a guy whose former place of residence was called "Neverland," where better to pursue a life of arch unreality after the state of California began to close in on him?
Unfortunately for Jackson, no matter how much he might scrunch up his little facey and intone his wish incantationally, California doesn't seem to want to disappear. The latest evidence of this is a lawsuit filed by Martin Dinnes, owner of Dinnes Memorial Veterinary Hospital, claiming that MJ owes him $91,602 for veterinary services rendered to the managerie — with giraffes, elephants, orangutans and flamingoes among the Noah's Ark assemblage — that remains behind at Neverland, though the master's gone away (Jimmy crack corn and I don't care).
Dr Dinnes' lawyer Brenton Horner said his client has continued to look after the animals since Jacko split for the sands of the Gulf, and also said his client "filed the lawsuit with great reluctance." A court hearing has been set for May in Santa Maria, where Jackson's last trial took place.
Incidentally, I will not use this opportunity to ask where that hurricane relief single is hiding.