The Long And Short Of It
6″4 TIM SQUIRRELL explains why it’s actually the tall people that get the short end of the stick in life.
Last term, Felix gave us a sob story about how difficult it is to be vertically challenged. Being 6’4”, I read the article with incredulity. ‘How could he possibly think,’ I wondered, ‘that being short is harder than being tall?’ The complete lack of awareness of the issues faced by tall people almost made me weep the tears of the oppressed, until I realised that his lack of perception likely went hand-in-hand with his lack of height. I’m not angry, Felix, just disappointed. We’re clearly not going to see eye-to-eye on this (or indeed anything), but I hope that I can show you the error of your ways and make you admit just how good you’ve got it.
I’m not a fan of clubs. It’s too hot inside and too cold outside, the music is either reminiscent of a school disco or too loud or both, my ears ring for two days afterwards, and there are multiple wankers buying 50 VKs each at the bar (who even drinks VKs?). All of these slings and arrows I would happily suffer if it were not for one thing: I can’t fucking hear anyone.
If you are under 6’ tall and try to have conversation with me in a club, good luck to you. The chances are that I won’t be able to hear a word you say, unless I either crane my gangly, giraffe-like neck down to your level and allow you to shout directly into my eustachian tube, or I pick you up and we have a face-to-face conversation at my level, with your feet a full foot off the ground. The latter is a real lady-killer, and leaves me dumbfounded as to how I haven’t pulled since Michaelmas.
If the conversation involves two or more people who are all – putting it bluntly – short, then all hope of my engagement is lost. If I try to involve myself, every second word out of my mouth will most likely be ‘pardon?’ as I attempt to decipher yet another witticism that has been squarely delivered at 5’7”, a level to which I have not been privy since I was 12. I know you have a girlfriend, Felix, but if you could put yourself in my (doubtless much larger) shoes, then you would understand that it is incredibly difficult to maintain any form of interpersonal interaction when most heads ends at your armpit.
Felix, you complained about your lack of options in the clothing department. I don’t think you understand the plight of the tall person in this area. At least when you buy children’s sizes you don’t have to pay VAT. I don’t know if you’ve ever looked at the sizes which the rest of us buy, but if you have then you’ll have noticed that trouser lengths tend to stop at 34”. My legs are not 34” long.
How much extra money do you think tall people have to spend every year, just to subsist? Our budgetary misfortunes are not limited to fashion: not only have I had to invest in a larger bed since the age of 13 so that my calves don’t hang over the edge, but I have to consume enough food to build a Felix-sized food statue every single day, just to maintain my striking physique.
Please, Felix, think before you speak next time. It might be all jokes about Hobbits and Oompa Loompas to you, but there is a real systemic bias against the tall, and it’s about time you recognised it. I’m not going to make any jokes about Short Man Syndrome or suggest that you’re bitter due to either your poor fortune in the genetic lottery or a lack of nutrition as a child. I just want you to understand the real struggle that tall people go through on a daily basis. You may have drawn the short straw in life, but there’s no need to go around trying to bring other people down to your level.