MICHAEL Jackson, the King of Pop, shocked the world last night by dying in an incredibly ordinary way.
His millions of fans were stunned after the singer died of a very normal heart attack instead of electrocuting himself while re-enacting scenes from The Wizard of Oz with a cast of under-age giraffes.
The heart, Jackson's last original body part, was due to perform in London next month where it was expected to pump blood to a pair of new legs, a borrowed arm and the 14th version of the singer's face.
In Los Angeles, as preparations began for the funeral, a spokesman for the Jackson family said: "While we want to respect Michael's wishes we may have to abandon his desire to have the coffin carried by eight chimpanzees. I don't think he really thought that through."
But it is understood Jackson will be buried in his favourite Peter Pan costume in a bid to ensure that his last journey is as weird and freaky as possible.
Uri Geller, Jackson's friend and now acting King of the Freaks, said: "I feel so desperately sorry for all the freaks today. He was their Diana, their Elvis, their Mother Theresa and their Jade Goody all rolled into one. Which is actually what he looked like too. Check out this spoon."
In Hollywood dozens of other stars paid their tributes, describing him as a genius, an inspiration and the sort of very close friend you did not need to have your picture taken with.
Later today thousands of fans are expected to gather outside Neverland, the singer's former home and shout 'ee-hee' in unison, while in London, tabloid newspaper editors are bidding over a grainy image, supposedly taken this morning, showing Jackson still very much alive and part of a travelling band of Bulgarian circus folk.
Meanwhile at Madame Tussauds wax museum, security guards are standing by to prevent visitors poking the Michael Jackson statue amid rumours the singer had finally found the perfect hiding place.
On the internet, chat forums were awash with Jackson tributes from people who were convinced he was a pervert and wanted him strung up, but who were now desperate to tell the world that he was a victim of the media and that Thriller was a ground-breaking work of genius.
Jen, from Milwaukee, wrote: "As you said Michael, Billie Jean was not your lover and neither was Macaulay Culkin, regardless of what I may or may not have written on my blog four years ago. I hope you find peace in freak heaven."
Pete, from London, said: "The way you danced like a zombie changed the way people thought about dancing like a zombie forever. Rest in Pop."
And Sam, from Rio de Janeiro, added: "You were my heart. I love you sing. You make special times but now you in heaven with all the children. Try not feel them up. God can see your hands now."