Up until I was 15, I would spend every summer at my grandmother’s house in Shohola, Pennsylvania. I didn’t care much for my neighborhood in Queens Village, New York and I didn’t like to spend my free time in the concrete jungle. It was the summer of 1990, school was going to start again in a couple of weeks, so I had to come back home. Didn’t care much for the neighborhood, but at least I had some friends to come back home to.
After I unpacked, I walked out the door and towards the center of my block; that’s where my friends usually hung out. As I approached the group, they kept saying, “Can’t touch this!” I had no idea why they were saying this to me. “Can’t touch what? What are you talking about??” I asked frustratingly. If there is one downside to spending time in the country in those days, it was that I was cut-off from popular culture. Usually we’ll watch MTV but I don’t recall doing that much television-watching that summer. Spent most of my time swimming in a lake.
Finally, after being teased for not knowing what they were talking about, they explained that this guy, MC Hammer, has a popular song on the radio called, “Can’t Touch This”. Of course I had to find out what they were talking about. Later that night, I found the video on MTV and practiced some of Hammer’s amazing dance moves. Haven’t been able to do any of them well.
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