“Red Hat”, or “kolah ghermezi” in the local vernacular, was an extremely lame, extremely unfunny, extremely annoying puppet character and the hero of his eponymous children’s TV show from the mid-nineties. The valiant people of Iran fell madly in love with this stupid creature, and his badly-made, stupid felt face with the round button eyes could be seen in posters and shows all over, while his high-pitched nasally whine, his trademark, could be heard everywhere.
But I mean, like, everywhere. For it was not enough to watch Red Hats shows and movies, wear Red Hat t-shirts, and generally behave as if Red Hat was a cross between Madonna and Michael Jackson come to entertain us. Unfortunately, with our peculiar talent for pushing things one step further than absolutely necessary, people began talking like Red Hat too, affecting that distinct nasal whine in their voice in the badly mistaken belief that it made them sound cute, loveable, hip, cool, edgy.
Gentle Reader, it did not.
Like all crazes, Red Hat faded gradually from TV screens and billboards, but his horrible legacy remains. Even today, you will find these smart, sophisticated Iranian girls their late twenties to mid thirties, all over the world, pursuing their PhDs in nuclear physics and rocket science and gender studies and business management, knowledgable on sex and the city and not afraid to show it, wearing smart fancy fashionable clothes with lots of dark smart make-up as only Iranian girls know how. They open their mouths to utter their smart sophisticated utterances, and holy cow, that awful nasally whine comes out, putting Red Hat right there on the table, making them sound about as smart and sophisticated as a dumb five year-old. And the sad part is, they don’t even know they are doing it. They were so young when they were afflicted with the Red Hat sickness that they don’t even know they have it. And they look so smart and chic and as if they know everything about everything under the sun, that no one has the heart to tell them.