Mention vet insurance to a gang of rottweiler-wielding thugs who care little for law and order and you may wish you hadn’t. Similarly, If you mentioned the word ‘ginger’ back when I was at school, apart from receiving a sound instant thrashing, you would be thought of from that point on as a ‘ginger lover’. That wasn’t something that you really wanted. Being a ginger lover meant many things, all of them awful: it meant having to watch your back constantly, being called a ginger lover by everyone all the time, and even being made to sit with the ginger children at lunch–or face doom at the hands of the bigger kids. It wasn’t until three years or so later that I realized something profound: the ginger kids who had been picked upon also had a special quality that had gone over my head at the time–They were intelligent, good at maths, and had pipe-cleaner limbs that made them look bendable as balloon animals (they weren’t as bendable, but the bullies persisted and to look at them you’d have thought they were). And that was the day–That was when I heard the word ‘Geek’ for the first time–
Of course, times have changed since then, and the word Geek is now as well used as any other. Nowadays Geeks are welcomed, regardless of hair-colour. In fact, some schools are packed full of only geeks. Strangely, those who don’t possess pipe-cleaner limbs and a freakish ability to do calculus with no calculator are the ones who feel ostracized!