Crimes and Punishments

We awoke yesterday morning as usual, a lazy, seven-ish hour. I put off my morning coffee and ignored my children for the five minutes it took to upload one of my home-movie masterpieces onto facebook. Nothing excites me more than when my video and snapshot compilation of events magically aligns with a downloaded Mp3, searched for and hand-picked for its fitting theme.

Naturally, I must share these works of digital art with facebook friends, as people across the land are clamoring for three or four minute videos of our family’s holidays or my child’s first steps.   Or… nice facebook friends are kind enough to comment so I am kind enough to keep posting.  I’m very giving like that.

While preparing eggs and waffles, my phone sung its g-mail notification tune and I quickly glanced at my blackberry to see what life-changing message was awaiting.

It was facebook. Was I winning a prestigious facebook cinematographer award?!  This latest was up there with some of my best creations, I must say. As I read, I was shocked.  I was being cyber-slapped!

It seems that any music playing in the background of a video, even it happens to be innocently playing on the radio during taping, is forbidden to be posted anyplace where people can hear it. So, my letter from the facebook team was informing me of the ban they have placed on my ability to upload and post videos……EVER. Not a slap on the wrist or a day or two of suspended privileges while I slouch in a quiet corner and think somberly upon my transgression.  No. A complete hack of a facebook limb without warning.

In my frantic attempt to rectify this, I ended up filling out the only form I could find with which to contact the facebook gods, and inadvertently “E-Signed” some legal document stating that I had permission to use the music. Which of course I do not. I don’t know Bing Crosby or how to go about contacting him. And who has the time to go around chasing down stars and musicians for permission to use their diddies as added ambiance to montages of their babies locating hidden colored eggs?  I was merely trying to find a way to submit my plea of  ignorance, and beg for the punishment to cease.

As the kids were throwing grapes on the floor and styling one another’s hair with oatmeal and carrot  puree,  I spewed my prophecies of getting fined or arrested for this mistake to my distracted husband, who found the whole thing ludicrous.

He had no time to entertain my fears of being thrown in the slammer for acts of piracy. He was rushing out to the DMV to get our Sienna registered in New Jersey as he felt that four months was surely past the legal time limit for California plates to remain.

Five minutes after his departure, my phone rang with the familiar “husband” assigned ring.

“Honey, did you do something with the GPS?”

“No. It should be right on the dashboard, in plain view, where it always is. ”

“Ok. Someone broke into the car.”

Now, I’m not sure one can use the word “break” if nothing has been broken. It would seem the car was unlocked. You know how hard it is these days to push a little key fob button that locks all doors with one single press. But none the less, regardless of my lack of attention to minor details, the GPS was missing along with the $4.00 auxiliary cord for the ipod.

I called the police immediately. I searched many a Radio Shack for that cord!

Much to my surprise, a police car pulled up to my house within ten minutes. I walked out to greet him, a sleeping Zachary inside and a freshly napped Isabelle on my hip, and explained the event. He asked for our license plate number to file the report, and I sent a text to Steve for it. I wrote,

“The cops are here”

He responded,

“Because of facebook?”

Chuckling, I gave the policeman our plate number and listened as he got his response from the database. The dispatcher relayed the information that our vehicle’s registration had been suspended.  The California DMV had suspended our registration alleging that they have no record of valid California car insurance.

I retorted,

“Of course we don’t have California car insurance. That would be silly. ”

As I wrapped up my explanation of the gap of registrations, giving far too many details of our sienna saga, Steve pulled up, New Jersey plates in hand. We all went through the car together to compile an accurate list of missing items. It seemed as though the diaper bag had been rifled through, its contents strewn about the floor. Sadly, the sight didn’t seem out of the ordinary to me. He then asked if we kept any weapons in the car.

“Just the 45 colt revolver we keep in the diaper bag” I said.

I think he found me cute. Or annoying. It’s often hard to tell.

The officer was very kind and assured me that no ticket would be issued for the many days of driving an unregistered vehicle. We were, after all reporting our  own crime.   Thank goodness. After being so severely punished by our favorite social media site, I just could not bear another sanction. It’s possible that the penalty for driving an unregistered vehicle for 48 days is slightly more severe than video prohibition.

But, I’m not entirely sure.


14 responses to “Crimes and Punishments

  1. Heather Vincent Larkin

    Oops! Just so you know…I would visit you in jail, should that be your punishment. 😉

  2. good grief, you do have interesting and exciting weekends 🙂 This posting made me laugh out loud. Not, of course, about the life long ban from FB. That is ludicrous and I hope you figure out a way around it… I will miss the adorable videos in the meantime. Still loving your blog, Emily… keep up the good work and writing!

  3. I’ve been laughing more than outloud for a good fifteen minutes now. But, are you sure you’ve even driven the car for 48 days? Do you have any kind of replacement warranty on the GPS?

  4. Just another day in paradise, right? I hope you are able to find a way to get your facebook sanction removed. It seems a bit harsh to be banned forever.
    I too have fallen victim to not pushing the key fab to make sure all the doors were locked in our van and ended up having a digital camera stolen. Although, I am pretty sure it was my husband, not I, that made that error. 🙂 Once your kids are old enough to be closing the doors to the car themselves, I suggest always making sure they do indeed get closed. One time, a kind neighbor came knocking on my door at 11 pm to let me know that the sliding door to my van was wide open! I had mistakenly assumed that my children understood that we always close (and lock, of course) the doors once everyone had exited the vehicle. Somehow, I suspect a game of “I’m not going to – you do it” may have been involved as it is a favorite at my house. Surprisingly, nothing had been stolen that time.

  5. John Perricone

    Ok, now I feel bad about busting you about your baby video (pun intended). Unbelievable Emily. Is Facebook so angry about their failing stock that they’ve decided to displace their angst by attacking loving mothers dancing with their babies? How did they find you when millions are committing similar heinous crimes? Just make sure Mayor Bloomberg doesn’t see you sipping on a Slurpy because life as you know it will certainly come crashing down. Somehow this has to stop. As a society, we cannot afford the prisons to house all of those who so flagrantly thumb their nose at the law. Don’t worry — I’m starting a website to help raise money for you to post bond.

    • The crazy this is, I have no idea what they were talking about. It’s as if they were trying to fool me into not posting. I waited a few weeks and then uploaded a video. I of course didn’t use any music that I didn’t have rights to, but there has been no issue whatsoever. Crazy.

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