My favourite rumours about me…
People talk. That’s what we do. And sometimes we talk about each other, and sometimes people tell stories that aren’t necessarily fully accurate. I have always found it quite amusing when I hear strange stories about myself, and thought I’d put together a “best of…” for rumours about me.
(1) I’m a drug king — amazingly, this story came from a random Russian guy I’ve never met, who decided to update my wikipedia page in such a way that made it sound like I was importing heroin into Australia. The source of his comments was that an airport scanner once found traces of heroin on my backpack. Since I’ve never even seen heroin (let alone used it; or imported it) this came as quite a shock to me, and I got worried about how it could have happened. Did somebody use my backpack to smuggle drugs across an Asian border? If so — that’s pretty scary. People do 30 years of jail or get the death penalty for that sort of stuff. I posted the story on my old blog as a “what the hell…” sort of article, and this random Russian guy thought he’d translate it into a “John’s a drug dealer” story. Quite amusing and very random.
(2) I’m bisexual — I like this rumour. I’m about as straight as they come… but I’m also a white male from a middle-class protestant background, so I have absolutely no minority status. Being bisexual would at least give me some “minority cred”… but alas, it isn’t true.
(3) I’m a North Korean sympathiser — one of my favourites. In early 2010 I was in China and managed to get on a four day tour to North Korea, which is one of the craziest countries that I’ll probably ever see. Quite surreal. There isn’t much in the way of merchandise to buy there, so my only souvenirs are a book on philosophy by Kim Jung Ill and a little North Korean flag pin. Somebody saw my souvenir flag pin, and concluded that obviously I was a North Korean sympathiser. Obviously.
(4) I used to wear a dog collar and date a witch — you know you’ve made it in life when somebody writes a “shit sheet” about you. Some guy I don’t remember from university decided that he didn’t like me so he sent around a list of naughty things I’ve done in my life. This list included the fact that I slept in my Kombi van for a while when I was a uni student, and that I oppose internet censorship. True & true. But it also included the idea that I used to wear a dog collar and dated a witch. I’m not sure where this came from… and I’m baffled as to who the witch was. The two girls I dated at university were both conservative Asian girls from rich families who were very non-witch like. Perhaps the author thought that all Asians are witches?
(5) I’m a people smuggler — well, this wasn’t really a rumour. Just a comment from somebody who said that my Cambodian NGO called “human capital project” sounded like a people smuggling operation. But I’ve enjoyed re-telling that story since.