Do you like to eat shrimp? And other amusements

Hi, this is Kate Benton speaking. You know, like, that girl with that like, magazine and shit. You know it.

Anyway, today I am going to tell you a story about identity theft. Has that ever happened to you? Like, someone totally pretends that they’re you? Well tonight, it happened to me.

There’s this guy, and he’s like, crazy, and on his website he wrote:
“Oh yeh get rid of “Teen” orientated magazines too – Cleo, Cosmopoliton, TV Hits, Pulp, Girlfriend – They are all Criminal publications and MUST be banned – The magazines creators and journalists as well as the retailers MUST be destroyed in a massive firey purge while those caught in possession of such should be subjected to a beating, Criminal Record, jail time not exceeding 2 years and/or an unlimited fine and loss of civil and human rights for life. Such magazines shalt be chucked into a bonfire ala the infamous “Burning of the Books” – we need to get rid of “disruptive” influences of an american controlled media amongst our young people. ”

Now, if you’ve been paying close attention, or have ever looked at a masthead (and I don’t mean in pirate sense, arr) you might have gathered that actually, my name appears as editor on one of those fine publications, and if you have any kind of sense at all you’d realise that hey, Jo (as in like, Jo Hubris, as in your lord and master since you’re obviously a Hubrette to have gained this level of readingship) also writes for that magazine. So, obviously the idea of being burned in a massive purge doesn’t reaaaaaaaaally appeal. What DOES appeal, however (despite our series of misgivings and worrying about turning someone who seems postal into someone who acts postal) is prank calling people when we’ve had a glass or two. To this end, Joanna assumed my identity and made a phone call to a particular bogan in Upper Hutt.

This is how her script went. Sort of. It’s hard to pay attention when you’re dying to laugh and also have hit the wine:
“Hi, is * there please?”
Disgruntled sounding female: “I’ll just see if he’s around. *(extended name!”
Bogan: “Hello, this is * Last Name speaking”. Joanna tells me he sounded very curious and eager and confused all at the same time.
Joanna as KateB: “Hi, this is Kate Benton speaking. I edit * Magazine. One of my writers reads your website, and she told me you’d been saying you had some problems with the magazine?”
Bogan who actually talks very much like a bro:”Ï don’t have any problems with your magazine.”
JasK: “Well I was told that you’d said some things on your website like that you believed we should all be burned on a bonfire?”
Bogan: “Can I ask who told you?”
JasK: “It was one of my writers called Joanna McLeod”
Bogan: “Oh, she’s a friend of mine”- you should have seen Jo’s face at this point, I can’t believe she didn’t collapse laughing and give the whole game up. She is a true professional and I am going to give her a huge pay rise. Or at least, like, pay her. And go to her wedding when she marries Butch Vig.
Bogan: “well, we know each other on the internet”.
JasK: “right, well she saw it and was concerned”.
Bogan (very hastily): “I can take the website down if you like…”
JasK: “This isn’t a legal call, I’m just always interested in people’s opinions. I mean, I’ve been in this job for less than a year, so I’m always keen for feedback”.
Bogan: “Well I think my opinions are quite different from other people’s”.
JasK:”It’s just that I don’t really think of * as being that similar to Cleo or Cosmo. I mean, it’s not like we run 50 different sex positions every week. Our fashion isn’t just about people in mini skirts. So we’re interested in getting people’s opinions”.
Bogan: “I don’t want to be in a story.”
JasK: “That’s not what I had on my mind right now. I just don’t think you’re giving * a fair go. I mean, we write a lot of things that you might be interested in. I mean, I hear that you’re quite a heavy metal fan, we ran a story on Velvet Revolver last issue”.
Bogan: “I don’t really read magazines”.
JasK: “well I’m not really here to telemarket, I just thought that you had some things to say about the magazine, so I was interested to hear your opinions”.
Bogan: “I don’t want to be quoted”.
JasK: “That’s fair enough, I just thought if you had a problem you should talk to someone involved with the magazine. Thank you for your time.”
Bogan: “Okay, bye”.

We nearly died. Totally. Oh the hilarity. I haven’t laughed so hard over a prank call since Joanna told me just now that in Japan she and her friend used to call up random numbers and ask in their very limited language if the callees liked to eat shrimp. Genius.

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