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Did you know that once upon a time people thought that red hair was ugly? They pitied people who were born with red hair.

I don't know when it became attractive.

My theory is that it's not the colour of hair that is important, but the total effect of hair and skin and eyes and so on.

For instance, in the supermarket once, I saw two little twins who had skin like honey, blue eyes&and fuzzy light brown hair like people who come from islands in the Pacific Ocean.

Then I saw their parents talking about something in the frozen food section. The mother was round, the colour of milk chocolate, and she had black, extremely fuzzy hair that stood out from her head like she had just plugged herself into a powerpoint. The father was thin and had pale red hair, pale pink skin and watery, bloodshot eyes. He was the sort of guy who had skin that hung from his elbows like the skin round the business end of a frozen chicken.

But they had children who looked like angels on a UNESCO Christmas card.

So there's hope for me yet, despite what my parents look like. Not that they're bad looking, or ugly. But they're not fashion mag material either. To be fair, Dad's quite handsome, if you like hairy men who look as though they've just stepped off a fishing boat after drinking beer for the weekend. And Mum's OK-looking, if you don't mind someone who looks flat and wide from front or behind, but almost disappears when seen from the side. Maybe that's why they called her Queenie at school. She's like the Queen of Hearts. A playing card, get it? Nothing to do with tarts or farts.

Or perhaps that's why she often calls Dad a knave and a rascal.

I wish I had a sister. Or even a brother would do. When Dido comes to stay it's just like having a sister. If people see us together they think we look like sisters. And if I go anywhere with her family it's just like I belong. They're all sharp, skinny redheads.

Well, not too skinny. They're all quite athletic really. They never sit still. In fact, they never sit at all, much. My mum says that they could save on furniture by not having any chairs at their place.

I quite like that idea. When I grow up I would love to have a big house without any furniture in it. My family would quickly learn to sit on the floor when they ate their meals or watched telly. And they could just lie on the floor and I'd throw a doona over them when it was time to sleep.

I wouldn't have anything on the walls, either. Except, maybe for a couple of Kandinsky prints like the ones Ms Rubenach puts up sometimes.

But apart from that all I might have in the house would be a big, white Fisher Paykel fridge and freezer and microwave and dishwasher and washing machine and whatever else they've invented by then and a big white stereo that whispered quiet music everywhere.

Oh, yes. And a yellow vase worth a thousand dollars that sits on a white window sill. There would always be one perfect yellow rose in the vase, even in the middle of winter.

You can see that yellow is my favourite colour.

My other favourite things are anything that rhymes with Marx.

Like sparks.

Or Harpo Marx.

So you can see why my favourite descriptive video is on the Marx brothers.

And I suppose I could have done a project this year on Karl Marx but he was the person who started communism (sort of) and I don't like communists. Neither does Mai. You ask her about communists and see what she says.

As Ms Rubenach would say, it's really more instructive to talk about my leat favourite things.

Like, the things I hate!

If you want a rough idea, just check out my likes and dislikes. But if you want to know exactly what I hate then it's asthma. It's the feeling you get when you can't breathe in because you can't breathe out.

It always gets you at bad times. Like when you go to a party and just when every one is having the maximum fun you feel like one of the balloons. Someone's blown you up and tied the end so the air can't escape. After the party is over you'll slowly go flat.

I know what that's like.

But please don't get the impression that I get depressed or anything. Often I get so excited about things that I go hot all over. Then my face is so red you can hardly see the freckles. I'm as hot as Keens Curry.

Which reminds me&I was going to tell you my earliest memory. You see, I've always been the sort of person who likes to explore and find out things for myself. Like when I was little (I don't know--about three, I think) and there was this little orange container in the spice rack in the kitchen. I saw Dad putting into something he was cooking for tea so I said, 'Can I have some?' and he said, 'No. It's too hot. You can only have it when it's mixed into a curry&' or something like that.

Any way, I waited for what seemed like a month until one day I was in the kitchen by myself. I got a chair and climbed up onto the bench and got the orange container out of the spice rack. I opened it and inside it was filled with this orange powder stuff. It smelt funny but it looked good. In fact, it reminded me a bit of me. It was nearly the same colour as my hair. I thought, 'Yum. I'd like to try that.'

So I got a teaspoon and stuck it in the container and got out a heap of it and stuck it in my mouth.

For a second I thought it just tasted like cardboard, and I was disappointed. Then the fire came. My mouth was on fire. I ran around the kitchen wondering how to ring up the fire brigade. I spat out the orange stuff all over the kitchen floor. Then I ran to the bathroom and put my mouth under the cold tap in the bath and drank and drank.

Then I had to go back and try to clean up the mess before any one noticed.

All I remember after that is a lot of people laughing. And my mouth and throat was sore for a long time.

After that, I treated the little orange tin with respect. The first words I learnt to read were KEENS CURRY.

 


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