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Great Ball of Fire

As I sit in the chemo clinic lazy boy chair, I see a headline on the tv about an episode of South Park inspiring students at a Canadian school to have a "Kick a Ginger" Day. I laughed and imagined kicking Seth Green in Radio Days. Nurse looks up at me. My IV bag shook.

The Animation Pimp by Andreas Hykade.

As I sit in the chemo clinic lazy boy chair, I see a headline on the tv about an episode of South Park inspiring students at a Canadian school to have a "Kick a Ginger"  Day.

I laughed and imagined kicking Seth Green in Radio Days.

Nurse looks up at me.

My IV bag shook.

While the bleomycin continues to drip in my arm, I grab my ipad and find more about the story. Turns out some grade 9 girl and some other red heads got kicked in the legs repeatedly by eager classmates. It was not the first time the girl had experienced Kick a Ginger Day. She's been through it in elementary school. Last year, she stayed home. Guess she figured high school kids were more mature.

Roots of the day go back to a 2005 episode of South Park called, "Kick a Ginger." Naturally... the South Park gurus intended to MOCK bigots not encourage them. Naturally. Seems, Kick a Ginger Day has become a big thing at schools in North America. Lots of charges and suspensions for kicking fiery reds.

It's under control though. One important adult said firmly, "We will talk to the kids that this is not acceptable behaviour. You can't be doing this to other people. It's not right. This has to be a teachable moment, that this is not how you behave and there will be consequences for their actions."

I can't stop laughing. If it was my kid, I'd be furious. Probably kick the thugs in the teeth till they were menstrual red. It's the naivety of the statement that gets me. "It's not right." Yes, we know that. We know it's not fucking right. Not a lot IS right about MUCH. That's the way the world fucking works. The world is a result of errors and fantasies. Maybe I feel relief. Kids are still assholes. They still bully. Yeah it sucks, but it's human.

Giggling, I fantasize kicking various red heads: Archie Andrews, Rita Hayworth, Alexander Petrov, Carrot Top, Lloyd Cole and the Commotions, heh.. all Scottish people.

As the nurse switches the etopocide drip to cisplatin, hairs tumble drunkenly onto my shirt sleeve. My hairs. Not unusual for chemo, except that the hairs are red.

"What the hell? I ask Nurse Caroline."

"What? You've had hair come off before."

"This is RED hair. Mine is beautiful golden brown."

"That's not all that uncommon. Sometimes the hair changes and grows back differently. It can return with a completely different texture and colour. It's like returning to yourself a different person."

Another drop.

What's that?

A tear.

I too have been the victim of bullying and hate at the hands of

YOU BASTARDS!

This is how you repay me for gracing the animation world with my presence? Twenty years of bringing my unique expertise to you, of staunchly supporting you and your little handmademonied films. Twenty years of composing epic texts that raved your stories to the cave dweller masses. Twenty years of hailing you, not as prepubes, but as adults, as masters, as serious artistes.

I should have known it was you. After years of hearing your moans and groans about not selecting your oh-so-great film, you fuckers finally got your revenge. Sure, you've unleashed your tepid venom on me through websites, blogs, comments, tweets and assorted impotent virtual vehicles, but no one takes squirrleynana69 seriously (except Dovas). 

Always figured one of ya would punch, knife or yell at me during a festival (it's not like you're the most mentally/emotionally sound lot). Maybe you'd take a potshot at me in a film (actually, wait, someone did do that. Was funny.) Nope. You were all just smiles, smalltalk and handshakes.

It didn't really surprise me. I always figured you for pussies.

Little did I know that all along you had a plan; a masterful, devious and subtle scheme that finally unveiled itself in late December 2010 as a lump in my balls.

There it was suddenly. An Xmas gift, I wondered? A squirrel hiding a nut? An explosive device ready to blow at first wank?

I better consult a professional. Doc Morash

After feeling my balls, he said, "Umm...yeah, I'm somewhat concerned."

"Really? How did it happen?"

"Do you have many enemies?"

"DO I!" I shouted ala Frank Nelson

"well, it seems that they've planted a cancerous lump in your bag."

"No! How can that be?"

"Have you ever let any of them get close to you?"

"Are you kidding? I've never stopped trying. They wont come near me."

"Hmm..." Doc Morash mused, "Well, they must have fond of penetrating you without being discovered."

"But how?"

Silence. Tic. Tock. Tic. Tock. Pages of a calendar break free. The date remains unchanged.

"Wait Doc, I got it!"

"What is it?"

"Between April and about July each year I watch a couple of thousand film festival submissions.

"Yes, so?"

"Now hear me out. The last few years I've been watching them with a laptop on my thighs. We're talking long periods of time. The computer frequently became hot. And I don't mean Barbi Benton hot either!" Ha ha.

"HA HA! Nice one!"

"I think that's how these fugly virgins did it. Laptops are loaded with more radiation than a John Holmes cock shot."

"Ah... so you think they got the lump into your balls via the laptop."

"Exactly!"

"So, animation, in essence, gave you cancer."

"BINGO!"

"It's ingenious."

"Let's not get carried away, but it does explain the rise in entry numbers. This was a conspired act of terrorism."

"You'll have to have an orchiectomony."

"A what?"

"We need to cut one of your balls off"

"What? Really? Why?"

"To confirm your suspicions and put an end to this animation axis of evil."

"Okay then. Cut it."

He did.

It was.

There is

He cut my stomach open.

Three more.

It's that it?

Looks like it.

My recovery coincides with selection screening time. The doctor is adamant that I use no laptops. He doesn't have to tell me twice. I watch every film on a tv screen or a distant desktop.

July comes. Selection is done. Still clean.

Is this really the end of the terror? Am I finally free of their ginger kicks?

No.

Sept 16th. The festival opens in 5 days. Email appears from Doc Morash: "Can I give you a call?"

Flush faced, I reply, "Fuck off"

-

Ten days later, one day after the Ottawa festival has wrapped up, I'm sitting here glazing in a chemo chair.

Doc Morash assures me that this will put an end to the terrorist threat. "This will shrink them' bastards and kill 'em'"

My tear transforms into a golden smile. You can take my ball, my nodes, change my hair, but I'm still here. You want me to sit here like the captured Norman Bates, and apologize for my wicked ways, for my lack of taste, for my hatred of Russian animation, for not kissing your dirty sponsor arses at festivals. You want me to be submissive, acquiescent, prudent, and considerate.

What you want me to do is slab my face with a mask of fear.

A fear of doing, risking, seeking, wanting and failing.

Remember Pooh Bear's problem?

"THINK THINK THINK"

Pooh needed to shut the mind up and SENSE again, like the fucking animal he is.

The more Pooh thinks, more unhappier he becomes.

Credibility, conscience and truth come from our senses.

So take your kicks in the shin, take your weed killer through the drip,  and get on with it.

or don't.

No one cares either way.

Except you.

Right?

--

The views expressed by the Animation Pimp do not reflect those of the Ottawa International Animation Festival. In fact, they often do not reflect the views of Chris Robinson.

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