Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Me and the Redhead

I've always liked people with red hair and have never understood 'gingerism'.  The Internet is full of unpleasant jokes and sites such as 'Ed Sheeran, the best thing for redheads ... since hair dye'  and what is the South Park-inspired  'Kick a ginger day' all?  Lots of lovely gingers out there: Damian Lewis, PianoGhibli girl on YouTube,  Tin Tin, Wilma Flintstone, Ann of Green Gables, Elizabeth I, Lucille Ball.  Admittedly there are some gingers who spoil it for everyone: L. Ron Hubbard, Lizzie Borden, Judas and The Redhead.

The Redhead was a small boy who lived in the same block of flats as my parents.  At the age of 5 he was feared by all the residents as the naughtiest, roughest and snottiest kid on the block.  I thought he was amazing; although I didn't like it when he disfigured my dolls, locked me in the garage or make me walk through stringing nettles. Is this interest in 'bad boys' hard-wired into the female brain and, if so, why?  For example in The Gilmore Girls Dean is kind, gentle and builds Rory a car; but Jess, the small-town bad boy, is much more interesting, yet makes nothing but trouble.

Anyway I digress - back to The Redhead who continued to terrorise the block.  No one could leave their ground floor windows open after he set fire to some net curtains, he would pick on smaller children, steal toys and either refuse to return them or give them back in such a state you didn't want them anymore.  
I had a  tricycle that I was allowed to ride uncahperoned around the block with The Redhead running after me emitting blood curdling yells (very thrilling, but a bit disturbing at the same time).  But the day came when he wanted a ride; when I refused he pulled me off by my ponytail and set off at quite a pace.  Being younger and smaller I couldn't catch up however fast I ran; it took me several circuits of the block to come to this conclusion.

I cried a bit and then my eye chanced on a metal pole that just happened to be lying in the grass - it was a metre-long tube.  As the Redhead shot by me, peddling furiously, I whacked him on the back of the head with the pole - it was most satisfactory as he dropped the bike and ran off crying for his mum.  He needed about ten stitches and kindly let me feel the scar on demand.  He never seemed to bear a grudge; I suspect in his heart he recognised that I had learnt all I knew from The Master.

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