A desperate ginger tries to cover his hair with a baby crocodile to avoid mockery
It has come to my attention that despite the litany of literary awards available for specific groups – women, Asian women, African Americans, Christians, LGBT, Christian LGBT Asian African Americans, etc. – there is no prize for one of the world’s most-persecuted minority group: gingers.
So, it is with great pride that I announce the creation of the first “Fanta Pants Award for Ginger Literary Excellence in Face of Societal Persecution of Gingers, Strawberry Blondes and Redheads of All Hues”.
The goals of this award are two-fold: to open up a new world of opportunity for red-headed authors everywhere who have been unable to break into the publishing world and to create an entirely new genre – Ginger Fiction – which will eventually eclipse every other genre out there like a mighty, flaming shock of red hair in a room full of mousy browns.
The reasons for such an award are obvious, but so rarely spoken about given the way gingerism is accepted in every walk of life. Every ginger author must battle the low self-esteem engendered by brutal bullying and marginalization, with society telling us we cannot succeed, we are less than human, just because our hair has a high concentration of the pigment pheomelanin and low levels of the dark pigment eumelanin. It’s just a pigment, people.
Then, those who manage to find the inner strength to shake off the laughs, the taunts, the whispers, the casual violence, the shame of separate toilets (brought in to prevent cross-pubic contamination by the ignorant blondes and blackheads who dominate governments) must face the institutionalized gingerism of the publishing industry. Sure, a few small-time redheads have made it – Mark Twain, George Bernard Shaw – but that was a long time ago, and before the advent of the internet and modern forensic techniques that make it possible for “ginger vetting” at publishing houses.
You don’t believe me? Well, one of the Fanta Pants team, with the aid of several tubs of Manic Panic semi-permanent hair colour and sheer bravado, infiltrated top publishing houses in London and New York. What he found was barbaric gingerism at its most rampant. In every publishing house and literary agency visited under the cunning disguise of a chirpy window cleaner, the Fanta Pants investigator witnessed “search and destroy” teams whose only task is to weed out any “ginger” manuscripts.
For hard copies, a sniffer dog - which was trained to savage red-haired orphan children by one hater before being redeployed - is used to vet each manuscript. If he begins to ferociously attack the package, it is picked up by a runner using rubber gloves and long tweezers, and then burned in the publishing house’s special furnace. The second layer involves passing manuscripts through a scanner specially designed to “light up” any stray hairs. Even a hint of ginger triggers an automatic diversion, which puts the ginger manuscript onto a conveyor belt leading directly to the furnace.
The digital team’s task is to scan emails for any signs that the electronic submission is from a ginger, paying particular attention to people with Irish or Scottish names. They google the author, looking for pictures, and have even been known to send a detective to the homes of prospective authors if there are no images available, or if they are in black-and-white. This team even told our undercover agent they were upset they couldn’t send an email from a ginger to the furnace, and sometimes, to compensate, they would put lots of ginger submissions on a flash drive, urinate on it and then send it to the furnace.
Bearing in mind the above, we invite all ginger authors, from all walks of life and all countries, to throw off the shackles of such mindless hate and enter this competition (rules below). The prize on offer is quite stunning. Not only will you get publicity, kudos and the respect of your ginger peers, you will receive a free copy of my novel, Apocalypse Cow (to be published next year by Transworld, who in ground-breaking fashion have introduced an anti-gingerism policy). The book will be signed and accompanied by a lock of my hair taped to the cover (note: you can choose from head/chest/other).
It is with great anticipation that I await your entries.
Founder (and only) Member of the Fanta Pants Award for Ginger Literary Excellence in Face of Societal Persecution of Gingers, Strawberry Blondes and Redheads of All Hues Foundation
Rules and regulations:
1. You must be a gingernut. Dye jobs don’t count.
2. Any redhead found to have ever dyed his or her hair another colour are traitors and will thus be disqualified (with the exception of any misguided attempts at dying your hair blonde at 15, and ending up looking like your head is covered in yellow snow. Not that I did that or anything).
3. To enter, email a 500-word synopsis of your novel, along with a brief bio, to email@example.com. Your novel must focus on issues facing the ginger community, such as the abusive terms that have been used to describe you, failed attempts at copping off with members of the opposite sex and a detailed description of the worst bullying incident you suffered, for example having your head flushed down the lav.
4. On the slight chance anybody is actually tempted to enter this competition, the best entries will be posted on this blog, each receiving a warm round of virtual applause but absolutely no compensation whatsoever.
5. The winner will receive the aforementioned hirsute novel by post when it is published, in May of 2012 (please note: the prize is actually real).