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Occupy Houston: Where Everything Is an Emergency That Local Media (Including Us) Fall for

Occupy Houston holds an impromptu assembly.
Occupy Houston holds an impromptu assembly.
Photo by Brittanie Shey

Hair Balls now has something in common with the local Fox and CBS affiliates. We're all suckers.

On Tuesday afternoon, in light of the recent shutdown of Occupy Oakland, Hair Balls did some recon by contacting one of our sources (he calls himself "Benjamin Franklin") to check in with the Occupy Houston movement.

"Last night, two cops told us to take down our tarps," said ol' Ben, who added that the "low-grade harassment" wasn't anything out of the ordinary. We let out a long yawn, scratched an itch on our forearm and started working on something else.

Then, two hours later, a co-worker answered a phone call from Occupy Houston spokesperson Evan Carroll, who led us to believe that Houston Police Department officers were shutting down the operation, pronto. Weird, we thought, especially considering what Ben Frank had talked about earlier.

We've been led down this exaggerated path before so we should have known better. But what if there were thousands of on-the-scene HPD officers disguised as aliens and arresting protestors left and right!? We couldn't miss that, could we??

So we went. Dumb decision.

Occupy Houston: Where Everything Is an Emergency That Local Media (Including Us) Fall for
Photo by Brittanie Shey

Hair Balls arrived at a wet Tranquility Park to find news reporters from KRIV and KHOU holding microphones wrapped in mini ponchos. (Carroll apparently made those guys fall for his trick, too. Hahaha!) Nearby, a guy named Eric waved a sign in solidarity for the Occupy movement. Standing next to him was Joe Roche, who had spoken earlier in the day during the Houston City Council meeting.

In other words, a typical day at the Occupy Houston site, where there hasn't been any real threat of a shutdown.

While the 15 or so HPD officers watched the anticlimactic scene with hands in their pockets, Hair Balls also witnessed a car driving down the street. Oh, and somebody was breathing air. It was epic. You really had to be there.

Or not.

The lesson? Our news-loving selves won't take the bait again when it comes to a similar "newsworthy item" about Occupy Houston.

Yeah, right. We totally will.

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