My fellow Australians, you probably do not care about my sexual preferences, but I care deeply that you should care, so I have decided after many hours of anguish and internal debate to be upfront and entirely frank about what I like to do, and with whom I like to do it, behind closed doors.
The fact of the matter, and I make no apologies, is this: I like red-headed women. I like tall red-headed women. I like petite red-headed women. I like lithe and limber red-headed women. I even like one particular red-headed woman whose politics lean somewhat to the left; indeed, the idea of life without her is intolerable, even allowing for occasional eruptions of disagreement in regard to the one red-headed woman I do not like, a former Prime Minister, home renovator, slush-fund facilitator and subject of ongoing police investigation.
We are all equal these days, as everyone knows and children are forever being taught, and my ambitions to be fully accepted by fellow Australians are modest in the extreme. I have no desire, for example, to see a 13-year-old girl removed by police from her guardian’s oversight and thereby stake my claim to the title of Australian of the Year.
Nor do I demand the addition of fresh Human Rights commissioners, even though I understand that two of the current incumbents are fully occupied in (a) noticing that boat people are being discriminated against by the current Liberal government under policies introduced without adverse comment by its Labor predecessor, and (b) ignoring the ethnic composition of student enrollments at Melbourne and Sydney universities in order to assert the existence of a certain Bamboo Ceiling that stops Australians of Asian extraction reaching their full potential.
No, all I want to do is attend dinner parties and other social functions where, apropos of nothing in particular, I can hijack the conversation to talk about the sort of people with whom I enjoy getting horizontal, and then to appear on Sunday-night TV in order to further reveal whatever else there is to know about my inclinations in silk pyjamas. Most likely it will be more than viewers want to know — if they want to know at all, that is – but that is not the point, which is my right to hold forth about my sexuality in front of as many people as possible and for as long as I feel the need.
Tonight (Sunday, July 13) according to media reports, a well-known sportsman will outline his attraction to other men, so regard that interview as the first installment of what is to be hoped will be an ongoing series. Next week, when the bookers call, it will be my turn to talk at great length about myself, the most fascinating subject I know. Lovers of blondes and brunettes, of leatherwear, smelly shoes and bicycle seats, please take a number. Your chance to revel in the spotlight of maximum public exposure is surely in the pipeline.
And after that, who knows? Surely Australians are not now so blasé, so accepting and lacking in prejudice they would merely yawn and change the channel on tonight’s soul-baring.
Tonight’s ratings, if they are poor, will answer that question once and for all.
Roger Franklin, the editor of Quadrant Online, isn’t joking about redheads’ immense appeal