Monday, September 11, 2006
Be wary when awarding 'the finger'!
So, back onto a totally frivolous line of thought that is more typical to me than musing over theology versus evolution: my brush with undercover police now two weekends ago.

I went to the Eskimo Joe concert two Fridays ago with the work girls Rose, Frieda, Felicity, Katie and Carmen, plus Julian, the ridiculously rich South African who I also work with, who is dating Frieda. Carmen had a little get-together at her house first, as it was her birthday, and made us and her other friends all cosmopolitans (she’s a huge sex in the city fan). Katie, Rose and Felicity were all not drinking, and had brought their cars. Carmen was going to the concert with one of her other, non-work friends, and after some discussion Katie, Rose and Felicity decided that only Rose would drive, as there was no point taking three cars when there probably wouldn’t be much parking. The only problem was that there was five of us, plus the driver, and only four passenger seats in the cars. I was the only one who thought this was a problem. I know, I am totally conservative! But this concert was in my home suburb and I was pretty confident that it would be crawling with police. My concerns were brushed aside, and in we piled to Rose’s old ford. There were three of us in the back, Julian sitting in the passenger seat, with Frieda sitting between his legs on the floor.

We made it to the concert with no problems, and after the concert we zipped around to my house so we could all go to the loo (there was a distinct lack of toilet facilities at the concert, at least, toilet facilities that were not awash with urine and I hate to think what else). We then went to a takeaway shop for a few potato cakes, and then were backtracking back to Carmen’s house so that Felicity could pick up her car and take us into a new nightclub, as Rose had had enough and wanted to go home. Frieda had tired of sitting between Julian’s legs, and had piled into the back with Katie, Felicity and I. I was the one without a seat, though, being swashed on the edge of the backseat behind Rose, the driver. I was supposed to be lying down hiding the tell-tale fourth head in the backseat, but I had to keep popping up to give Rose directions as I was the only one from the Northern Suburbs in the car and therefore the only one with any idea of where she was going. Rose missed three potential turn-offs to Carmen’s house, and ended up having to do a u-turn and go back. As we were driving up Carmen’s street, a car up ahead of us went straight ahead through an upcoming roundabout. As we started to go through the roundabout, another car came charging up on our left side and started to go through, then saw us and braked, leaving their bonnet protruding all the way over the give-way line. Luckily, Rose wasn’t driving very fast, so she was able to narrowly avoid crashing into the front of this car who had failed to give way. We were all going ‘Oh My God!’ and I (betraying my Northern Suburbs origins horribly) did the natural thing and gave this car that had so narrowly missed ploughing into us ‘the finger’.

The car then turned behind us and flicked on these little blue and red lights that were in the front grill. “Shit! They’re police!” I yelled over everyone’s continued chat and laughter over our near miss. “What?!” “They just flicked on their lights!!!”

Rose pulled over, later relaying that all that was going through her head was ‘here goes my license, here goes my license.’ I laid down on Felicity’s lap, but no attempt was made to cover me as Rose had said ‘they know, don’t attempt to hide it.’ Given that I had been sitting up the entire time through the whole near miss, I had then proceeded to give ‘the finger’ and I was even the one to be looking out the rear window and see that they were undercover cops this seemed a fair assumption. I was pretending to be unconscious however, as we had planned at the start of our journey that if caught I was to be unconsciously drunk and Rose simply had to get me home.

Rose gets out of the car, positions herself over the back window effectively screening me from the policeman, and then does an award-winning acting performance. Honestly, the girl should be on the big screen. Or work for the secret service.
“You scared me so much!” she says to this young male plain-clothes police officer. The female driver stayed in the car.
“Sorry about that, but we were chasing a car.”
They chat a bit more, but I can’t hear what’s going on as Felicity has now covered my head with my jacket. I know he’s checking Rose’s license. Everyone still in the car suddenly realises that as well has having an extra person in the car, not one of them is wearing a seatbelt, and put these on as surreptitiously as possible.
Then Rose opens up the back door, leaving my backside poking out for all to see. I was kind of crouched down behind Rose’s seat, turning to my left lying most uncomfortably on Felicity’s knees, which were also crammed in behind Rose’s seat. Rose puts her hand on my back and kind of leans over me, hiding my huge bum, saying loudly ‘Everyone give me your ids. He wants to check your ids.’ And then hissing quietly ‘he doesn’t know you’re there Cec, cover her up, throw jackets, bags, anything on her.’
Rose gets out holding the ids, slams the door and positions herself back over the window. “My friends think you’re hot.” she announces, “they want to know if you’re single.” Honestly, the girl is a bloody marvel. “Just tell them I’m taken,” the cop says. Meanwhile, there’s a massive flurry in the car to cover me with anything they can find, and throw a handbag on top. I am crouched down, doubled over behind the car seat in an even smaller amount of space than I had previously, my head pressed up against Felicity’s knees, as Frieda, Katie and Felicity have shuffled over on the back seat to make it look more normal. “Oh no!” Katie exclaims. “He’s going to find out that I have a court summons!” Katie was caught driving with an expired license.
Rose gets back in the car, and starts up the car. “Get smaller Cecilia,” ‘He’ll look through the window when he brings the ids back,” she mutters. Regretting eating that potato cake, I am scrunched into the most uncomfortable position of my life, one ankle doubled back underneath me causing an amazing amount of pain. “Why did he want the ids?” someone asks. “He said it’s to see who’s ‘out and about’ on a Friday night, and the info will be destroyed at the end of the night.”
He comes back and passes the ids through the window Rose, and saying ‘thanks, have a good night.’ Rose drives off, with no idea where she’s going, as I’m unable to give her directions. She just drives, and drives with everyone laughing from sheer relief, except me, who has three coats and a couple of handbags on my head, and is slowly suffocating/passing out with pain from my ankle. I had to yell so loudly ‘CAN SOMEONE PLEASE TAKE THESE COATS OFF MY HEAD??!!’ before Felicity remembered me, and did so.

So, that was our brush with possibly the stupidest undercover cop ever. There we were, no seatbelts, extra person in the car, and he didn’t even look in the window. He didn’t even check for open alcohol, the way cops always do if they see a car full of young people. And I had given them ‘the finger.’ He had no idea that we were doing anything wrong. And then I got extremely annoyed, because he had had the audacity to almost crash into the side of our car, then pull US over and check the ids of everyone in the car (sorry, the ids of everyone visible in the car).

Thank goodness, as Katie and Frieda joked, we hadn’t given him five ids when Rose had come in to get them!

* * * *

Quick update on the Jess situation: she’s contacted me since, in tears because she can’t do a job application for a teacher’s aide position. And I mean REALLY in tears. Damn that dratted depression. I was most hard-hearted, and refused to do it for her, the way I’ve been doing all of her other job applications for the past three years, and re-doing her resume at least twice a year. I even did a job app and resume for her mum earlier this year. Despite her sobbing about how stupid she is, and what a bad mother she is, not spending ‘quality time’ with Maddy, and how she just can’t do it I maintained that she had to have a go at it herself first, then I would check it over and ‘fix’ it (i.e. rewrite the entire thing). I hate to admit it, but I was influenced by how annoyed and disturbed I am still about her whole ‘earth is only 60,000 years old’ bizzo, and I think that by insisting that she have a go at doing this job app herself, it’s the beginning of me beginning to cut the ties between us. I offered to print out the previous job applications that I’ve done for her, for her to use as a guide (she’s lost them all plus her resume), but I refused to take them to her house like she wanted me to, saying most firmly ‘I’ll leave them sitting here for you, and you can drop by any time you like to pick them up as it’s school holidays so everyone is at home barring me.’

But, realistically, I’m not going to be in Hobart forever. I have two more years at uni and then 2009 will most likely see me employed on ‘mainland’ Australia, due to a total lack of fulltime permanent jobs in my area down here. It’s better that she learns to do these things for herself now, while I’m still here to ‘check’ them.
posted by Cecilia @ 4:34 pm   9 comments
Sunday, September 03, 2006
Losing to God
I've just been upstairs having a jolly good old cry to my parents, mum in particular. I'm just so upset and disturbed. Still crying now, actually. I've just lost a best friend to God. Not Buggy darling, but my other very dear, very close friend. I've probably referred to her in the past, goodness knows by what name, so lets just call her Jess. I have stood by Jess since we first met in year 7, when we were 12, and she by me. After being under her 'spell' for the first year of our friendship, I got sick of her calling the shots and from then on told her when she was acting like a bitch, or I didn't agree with her actions, and I didn't hang about with her at school any more, but we were still very best friends, maybe because I was one of the few people who didn't pander to her. And remained very best friends, until this very evening. I stayed by her through her pregnancy, my family pretty much adopted her as another daughter, and I've supported her through her severe depression, that last year had me at my wits end as she rang me up endlessly crying because she wanted to kill herself and didn't want to live anymore.

Last year she found God. She joined a Christian church, and became a born again Christian, bible-study groups and all. She was even baptised there this year. I went along, and I cried because I was just so happy for her and I saw it as a whole new phase of her life, with her overcoming her depression (to some degree) and being happy again. God now speaks to her directly sometimes in church, and they have 'healing' sessions when they get people up on stage individually and pray for them and heal them, oh, and sometimes people faint because they are filled with the holy spirit, and some talk in tongues.

Absolutely fine with me. No worries. Anything that makes her happy and gives her life some direction and meaning, although I did get a bit annoyed with her constantly referring to 'Catholics' as being bad and following the wrong path and 'Christians' being right, and constantly told her that 'Catholics ARE Christians, it's just all Christians aren't Catholics! Catholisism is just one way of following Christianity!' Being a Catholic, nominally at least, I got sick of being told I wasn't a Christian.

I am a woman of science (very grandiose statement, that one!). Do I believe that God created all the animals and people in one arvo? No. Sorry, but the fossil evidence and the geological record provides evidence that it's just not possible. Darwin's theory of evolution, folks. Did God create life though? Well, very possibly. I'm quite happy to believe that he did create those single-celled organisms in the primordial swamp that started to produce nitrogen and then change the atmosphere to be favourable to other forms of life, and that he has something to do with our souls and personalities.

Tonight on the telephone after a fantastic hour and a half conversation with Jess where she told me everything that's been happening in her life and we reminisced and joked (I'd found this story I'd written in year 11 about year 10 with all of these things that happened we'd totally forgotten about) I concluded with:

'So, did Maddy (her 4 year old daughter) watch the dinosaur show tonight?'

'Oh, she watched it last week', Jess replied. 'But it's so hard, because they kept saying things like "millions of years ago when the dinosaurs were alive, and they weren't."

'What?' I said.

'Well, the earth is only 60,000 years old, so the dinosaurs can't have been alive millions of years ago.'

'The earth only 60,000 years old?' I repied in bewilderment. 'It's millions of millions of years old.' 3.4 billion, to be more exact, if I can remember correctly from first year uni, but I didn't say that.

"But the bible tells us that it's only 60,000 years old, and that's what I believe because I believe in God."

'What?' I said, still totally dumbfounded.

"The earth is only 60,000 years old. There's evidence to support that. This man found this rock from a volcano that all the experts said had taken thousands of years to form and he said it had been formed in one afternoon and eventually he was proved right. One day everyone will realise that they're wrong and the bible is right."

"But some rocks are only formed in one afternoon following volcanic eruptions." I said most logically, I thought (having studied university Geology for a year I do know the basics about rocks).

"Yes but everyone said this man was wrong and he was proved right. The chapter in the bible that says 'and Moses lived 900 years and his son lived 600 years . .' is just in there to allow us to calculate the age of the earth. People have worked out from that that the earth is between 60,000 to 65,000 years old. It's going to be so hard when Maddy goes to school, because she's going to be learning things that are against the bible and I'm going to have to tell her that what she's learning is wrong and what we believe is right."

"But there's scientific evidence from the fossil record to support the age of the earth, and rock formation."

"And it's wrong. It's okay, I accept that you have different beliefs to me and that's okay. Have a pleasant night's sleep."

Our conversation ended rather abruptly at that point, with me saying goodnight very chillingly.

I was, and am, just so shocked. What's so bad about taking the bible so literally, I have no idea, but I'm just so disturbed by it all. She is now totally and utterly immune to reason (oh, she's already told me previously that I'm a sinner, and I wasn't really worried by that, because I personally believe that God doesn't mind if I get drunk, go out dancing, kiss boys, or even girls if I am that way inclined, because he loves everyone and I'm sure he was young once too). And I'm just so DISTURBED by the fact that she is teaching her 4 year old that the bible is utterly and totally the truth, and science is basically a pack of lies thought up by sinners. What's going to happen to Maddy? And as I am a woman of science, where the hell does that leave me? Wasting my entire life? How can she reasonably reject fossil evidence? The bible says nothing at all about dinosaurs roaming the earth at the time of Abraham, or even Moses, and they weren't mentioned in Genesis "and Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden and thrown to the dinosaurs", so did they therefore never exist? Man wasn't around at the time of dinosaurs, and they weren't around from the time of Adam and Eve, so HOW THE HELL DO YOU EXPLAIN DINOSAURS YOU BRAINWASHING CHRISTIAN CULT???!!!

I was so upset that I went upstairs sobbing to my parents. They were quite shocked by her too, and said that she's been brainwashed, and there's no reasoning with people like that. Mum said that she's a very vulnerable person and she's just clung onto this. Yeah, I knew and accepted that that was what she was doing with this church, and I was happy that it has given her life meaning again and she's no longer suicidal. I'm still thankful that she's now not suicidal, and I hate to say it, that she's not so reliant on me now. But I'm just soooooooo upset by it all. I have lost a very good friend to God. And her God is not my nice, loving, forgiving god who accepts dogs and cats into heaven so they can be with their humans forever, her God is one who gave directions for the bible and the bible is right and that's it. How can she raise her daughter that the dinosaurs did not live millions of years ago?

And still my tears keep on a-rollin! What a sook I've become!
posted by Cecilia @ 10:53 pm   8 comments
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