Thursday, 12 February 2009

On being the butt of the joke

I was on the bus this afternoon when I got a text from Julie (my co-blogger from The Hand Mirror):
Hey is everything ok? Farrar has mentioned something about u getting arrested this week
I replied:

What? Where? Only excitement I've had this week is getting a warrant for my car
Which reflected my thought process pretty exactly.

She called me (which was really good, because I have no credit on my phone) and said DPF had twittered that he was wondering if Maia was going to be arrested this week.

I didn't think I was going to be arrested this week. I couldn't think of any reason to be arrested this week as opposed to any other week. I tried to think of a protest that I might be going on, and I couldn't think of one. I've spent quite a lot of time challenging the police these last few years. I couldn't rule out that they'd arrest me for something related (maybe DPF had a source in the solicitor generals office).

I was nowhere near a computer and I was going to get home for hours. I wanted to see the context, check the news, find out what was going on, but I couldn't.

I texted a whole bunch of people, and waited nervously for replied. One friend rang me, and confirmed about the twitter: "I also checked the news and there's nothing breaking about anything you've been involved in, or anything you might have been involved in, or anything the police might have mistakenly thought you've been involved in."

He offered to ring DPF, and I said yes. At this point I just wanted to know what was going on.

A few minutes later my friend rang back, he no logner sounded concerned:
It's all right. I should have guessed. He was talking about Maia from Shortland Street
. And so now everyone is making fun of me.*

I'm not sure what the moral of this story is. Pick from the following:
  1. Try and avoiding sharing a name, or pseudyom with a character on a major Television show.*
  2. Try to keep up with general knowledge and pop culture, you never know when you may need it.
  3. Social networking sites have more pitfalls than you ever dreamed of.
  4. It's better safe than sorry.

*They might be making a little less fun of me if I didn't sort of make a habit of this sort of thing. A while ago I thought there was a serious chance of being arrested any day (I'll leave long time readers of the blog to try and figure out when that might have been). I was living alone and didn't want to get arrested and no-one know that it happened. So each night I set up a text message to ten of my friends saying: "police here, if you don't have another text message in ten minutes assume I am arrested." (You know where this is going right?) But I was tired, I wasn't going to bed early enough and I was finding it hard to get up. My alarm would go off and I'd hit the snooze button. So I stumbled out of bed, picked up my cell phone and accidentally pushed one of the buttons.

I watched the little sending message screen, and I couldn't make it stop. While I was writing a text message explaining what happened, my phone kept beeping with replies, and my home phone rang. Opps

* Talking of which, one of those arrested in the police raids in 2007 is called Omar. I watched the Wire alone, but because I like to talk about TV when I watched it I sent random text messages to my friend Larry who had lent me the DVDs. I started to worry that if the police were collecting my text messages they could completely misunderstand "I love Omar, he fucks shit up."


Julie said...

What makes it worse is that I do actually watch Shortland St and I still never thought about it being anyone other than you! So even being up with soap culture isn't any protection!1!

Lucy said...

Hey, it's a reasonably uncommon name, and given the circumstances it's very easy to see why you might be worried (especially since someone else jumped to the same conclusion before you did, giving it the veneer of logic.) I'd chalk it up to experience.

I'm curious, though - if the police did come and arrest you when you were alone, surely you'd be allowed to contact someone? I mean, they can't just throw you in a cell and be done with it, can they? (I say this from a background of white, middle-class certainty of never having to worry about arrest, and therefore having vaguely assumed the police are, essentially, the good guys.)

Maia said...

Julie - I got an e-mail this morning, from another friend who had read Kiwiblog and worried about me, and was relieved to see the post.

Lucy - you get to phone a lawyer, at some point, although when that'll be really depends. Sometimes they might let you phone a friend or family member as well, but that's not guaranteed.

In retrospect I don't think I needed to be so worried. When the raids happened in 2007, the friends of thsoe arrested in Wellington found out because the media started calling people asking what was going on. I imagine if I'd been arrested in the circumstances I was worried about being arrested in, the media would have known, and contacted someone for comment, and that way people would have found out.

Hugh said...

It rather reminds me of Shostakovich... he used to sleep on the stairwell with a suitcase packed so that, if they came for him, his family wouldn't be disturbed.

(Of course he later sold out and became part of the Supreme Soviet, but hey, don't let reality ruin a good story right?)