SOLVANG – Reclusive pop star Michael Jackson
, wearing a red-and-blue Spider-Man mask, popped into a congressman's field office seeking an answer to a critical issue.
"How come Solvang doesn't have any fast food restaurants?" the costumed Jackson
asked Steve Lavagnino, deputy director in the new office of Rep. Elton Gallegly, R-Santa Barbara.
The masked encounter took place about two weeks ago.
After being told the only chain restaurant was a Subway sandwich shop, he said, "I love Taco Bell."
The entertainer then pulled his webbed-crusader disguise off his face and apologized for disturbing Lavagnino, although Jackson
didn't know what kind of office he'd wandered into.
"I've seen you on TV," said Lavagnino, whose father Larry is the mayor of nearby Santa Maria.
"Don't believe everything you see on TV," replied Jackson
, who isn't registered to vote in Santa Barbara County. His sprawling Neverland Ranch is nearby.
After a few more pleasantries and an autograph, Jackson
rode off in a black Bentley.
Lavagnino's boss didn't believe his tale until he faxed him the autograph.
"Elton laughed," Lavagnino said. "It's very hard to top that visit. My first week in the office and I get the most famous person on the planet."Jackson
later was seen at a Taco Bell/Pizza Hut drive-through window in Buellton.
After ordering two cheese pizzas, breadsticks, water and three chicken soft tacos, Jackson
was spotted in the passenger seat. As his pizzas cooked, Jackson
, face exposed, talked to employees and signed autographs, said Ana Torres, restaurant assistant manager.
"He was great," Torres said. "We all got his autograph. He talked to customers."Jackson
also had his son, Prince Michael, with him, she said.
"He had blond hair, he was really cute," Torres said.