guns before chocolate

I got mailed a gun the other day…

No, I haven’t joined a terrorist group, nor investigated the loonier regions of e-bay. The gun came as promotion, a rare occurrence in the book trade. I have on occasion received promo artisan chocolate (‘we do bribery and corruption properly’, said the PR lady), and a really tacky skull keyring from HarperCollins. A certain publisher was going over the top out with a thriller, and somebody’s bright idea was that the package should include a toy gun, capable of firing caps. The timing of this particular package was particularly inopportune given a recent spate of of random shootings, almost but not quite ho hum in the news, and entirely the product of too much guns too readily available.

I don’t think my gender get guns, except as useful objects of last resort, as when you live in the bush and need to cull the feral dog population. Need I say anything about the phallus fetishized? Overcompensatory hormonal power fantasies?  [Makes a gesture favoured by nice Italian nonnas who have just been honked at by hoons, of which a rough translation is Big Car Little Dick.]

Right to bear arms? If you insist, but don’t point them in my direction. I have met three people who found themselves at the wrong end of a gun, and none enjoyed the situation. Indeed, one was the victim of a celebrity criminal. Their career paths happening to coincide, years after the event, he has taken every opportunity since for small but telling acts of revenge. No closure there…

Such is the power of a gun. Such is the power of revulsion in a gun that I wrote a narky email to the PR responsible, telling them I had been totally put off the book concerned.

Then the editor of Overland said: could he have the gun?

Er, Jeff, I went and stood on it, hard, until it crunched in its plastic packaging like a cockroach.

Yes indeed, we girls don’t get guns.

Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places.

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  1. What an appalling promo. Maybe Jeff should think about mailing anthrax to people to promote ‘Killing’.

    But ‘I don’t think my gender gets guns’? Surely this generalisation sells the smellier sex short: the men in my life despise them as much as I do.

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