question about undefined method

I was wondering if someone could help me with an error i am getting

undefined local variable or method `first' for KeyWord:Class

i thought i had the method declared
in my key_word.rb model i have this:

def self.get_in_wet_list(status)
        wet_list = @message.find(first, :conditions => "name =
'wet_list' ")
        wet_list.split(',').include?(status)
end

the code in the view that calls it is this:

<td><%= site.name %></td>
9: <td>
10: <%= site.sensor.page_value %>
11: <img src="<%= fetch_circle_for(site.sensor.page_value)%>"
%>
12: </td>
13:

don't know what i am missing or declaring wrong here.

thanks

ok, that got me further, apparently that was not the only thing wrong.
i got this:

You have a nil object when you didn't expect it!
You might have expected an instance of Array.
The error occured while evaluating nil.find

the table `key_words` looks like this
`id` int(11) , `name` varchar(20) , `message` varchar(30)
what i am trying to do in the key_word.rb model is get the value of
`message` when the `name` = 'wet_list' . There should only be one ( why
i tried first )

i think i am confused about how to set this as a value.

thanks