So I’m thumbing through the New York Post making my way to Sports, when what do I see jumping off the page but a picture of David Caruso almost smiling. You know, the guy who almost never smiles… that actor who found a second career after jumping ship from his first, on NYPD Blue, half believing he was James Dean destined for bigger things, only to fall on his freckled tookus til CSI Miami threw him a script, a pair of sunglasses, and apparently Clint Eastwood’s voice coach from the Spaghetti Westerns. To comical yet preposterously popular results. But I digress. David’s picture was just a grabber (it grabbed my attention, didn’t it?), simply because the man happened to be a redhead. That’s right a redhead! For the title above his picture read, NYPD ‘RED’ ALERT’… Hair-Bias Warning, and David seemed to be the perfect poster boy.
Here’s the Alert… “An anti-bias message went out this month to Manhattan sergeants and lieutenants, who were told that redhead harassment would not be tolerated.” Translated… no more disparaging words to the amber coif set, or a lawsuit could ensue.
And why, you ask, would this be a topic of interest to me? In other words why is your friendly bartender taking the time here? Because I, dear reader, was once what you’d call a redhead. That’s why. Or to put it in the verboten, I was a carrot top! And though my hair has gradually darkened over the years and I’m pretty much in the clear, I still can feel the pain these cops are suffering. And I can’t stop laughing. Because this is political correctness directly from Mars. You know, the “red” planet?
I mean did a cop actually go one day and complain about this to his sergeant, that one of those mean I-talians called him “Red”? Or worse, “Carrot Top”? If so, a portion of New York’s Finest is now it’s Wimpiest, it’s politically correct-est. Which makes me wonder how Erik Thorvaldsson would’ve handled this. Certainly not this way…
“Oh, Halgor, Halgor, would you please tell that Sven to please lay off. He just called me ‘Red’ again.”
“But you’re Erik The Red, for crying out loud, why shouldn’t he?’
“Oh yeah, that’s right. Never mind, keep rowing.”
No, no one would’ve given old Erik any guff, as red as that bastard was, or soon they’d have found themselves overboard swimming back to Iceland. As well they should’ve been. So in honor of all the great redheads we’ve known (myself and Erik chief among them) I’ve put together this list to bring back some pride: Thomas Jefferson, Lucille Ball, Vincent Van Gogh, Red Barber, Red Skelton, Woody Allen, Maureen O’Hara, Napoleon Bonaparte (yeah, crazy Nap), Greer Garson, Danny Kaye, Winston Churchill, (no, not Carrot Top), Red Grange, Galileo, Mark Twain, (still no Carrot Top), David Bowie, and Elizabeth I to name just a stellar few. And the list goes on…
So to those who suffer from red, white and blue… that’s red hair, white skin and feeling blue ’cause you have them… buck up, old chums, you come from pretty good stock. And to those on the New York Police Department who deal with some of the toughest crime in the country, and who have red hair, surely a little carrot cake ain’t gonna’ hurt ya’.
See you soon, dear reader, I’m off to paint the town red!