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Come on you reds . . . but especially Ruairi.

Byline: Denis Kilcommons

MY youngest grandson, one-year-old Ruairi, has red hair.

Oh no, some might think.

The dreaded Mick Hucknall factor.

Somehow I don't think ginger prejudice will effect Ruairi too much, as he is growing up in Donegal and already has the build that indicates in young manhood he will be well suited to pulling tractors and playing rugby for Ireland.

Even so, I was pleased to see that art student David Rann has staged an exhibition called Gingerfest that is a celebration of redheads.

David has black hair but his wife has red and he said the project - which is being held in Wolverhampton - had opened his eyes to the victimisation suffered by those who had the "ginger gene".

Victimisation?

It has thus been so throughout history. Even as far back as Adam and Eve and Lilith.

Lilith?

She was, according to alternative versions of the story of creation, Adam's first wife. She had red hair and was the first recorded female to demand equal rights.

"Get me my dinner," spaketh Adam.

"Get it yourself," spaketh Lilith in return.

And so she was banished from Eden and God instead gave Adam a blonde called Eve, who was a pliable young lady with a susceptibility to snakes and forbidden apples.

Just think, if Adam had stuck with Lilith we would now all be living in the Garden of Eden. Mind you, blokes would have to get their own dinner.

In some countries in the Middle Ages women with red hair were looked upon as witches. In other parts of the world they were unknown.

And in America in the 1950s people even used to chant "Better dead than Red", although they were referring to the threat of Communism. Still, the echoes of the sentiment could not have been pleasant for anyone of a titian hue.

Actually, just 4% of the world's population has red hair and the highest percentages are from our own fair islands. Scotland has 13% and Ireland 10%. Parts of England and Wales are also well represented.

America and Australia have quite a few, courtesy of the immigrants we sent them.

And really, we should be proud of our redheads. They have produced doughty British leaders, from Boudicca to Elizabeth I to Winston Churchill. Rare beauties from around the world, such as Kate Winslet, Gillian Anderson and Nicole Kidman.

Not to mention sporting greats such as Boris Becker, Neil Jenkins, Rod Laver, Jack Nicklaus, Paul Scholes, Gordon Strachan and the brilliant Irish rugby union captain Brian O'Driscoll, who will probably be national coach by the time Ruairi McKee plays for Ireland in 17 or 18 years time.

Now start laughing SCIENTISTS have found a comedy brain cell that responds to a good joke.

It sparks when it sees or hears something funny.

Of course it does.

It's called a sense of humour. Most people have one, although there are certain folk in whom, I often think it may be dormant.

You know the sort of bloke I mean. Face as long as a gasman's mac, became an old fogie at primary school, has made misery his life's work and likes nothing so much as a good moan.

Thankfully most people are not like that and can have a giggle about Barry from Linthwaite who says to Wally in a strangled voice: "I've got something stuck in my throat."

Wally says: "Are you choking?"

And Barry says: "No, I'm serious."

Or the young mother from Elland who is proudly pushing her new baby in his pram down the street.

"Oh, he's lovely," says a lady. "What's his name?"

"Six and seven-eighths," says mum.

"What an unusual name," says the lady.

"Yes," says the mother. "We picked it out of a hat."

Are you laughing?

Giggling a bit?

If so, there's nothing wrong with your comedy brain cell or your sense of humour.

email Denis at denis.kilcommons@examiner.co.uk

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NICOLE KIDMAN: - aren't redheads great?
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Sep 8, 2008
Words:660
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