Size Is No Shortcoming
For as long as I can recall, the most frequent insults to pierce my optimism have featured height as their key ammunition. If I had a millimeter for every time some self appointed comedian smirked, “you left your blanket in the kitchen, Paige” and held up a tea towel, I’d be tall enough to punch every joker in the ribcage.
While, at 5 foot, standing up for myself generally does nothing to level the playing field, I'm going to grab this opportunity by the bits that count (and are generally in reach) to set a few things straight. If you would kindly direct your attention South, I'd appreciate it.
We can all agree that society is fixated on categories and organisation. Be it race, sexuality, political alignment or football team – we’ve all been somehow classified. While the latter examples may be preferences based on of affinity, the former two are not. They are qualities informed by DNA, imprinted before birth and are profoundly taboo to slur in our peers. Rightly so.
But riddle me this, if the longitude of your body falls under ‘biology’ rather than ‘personal choice’, should it not be treated with the same respect and consideration as race or sexuality?
No matter how within the lines of political correctness you think you’re colouring, verbally prodding at someone based on a constituent they have no power (or perhaps even desire) to change is at best a failure of the imagination. I’m all for a spot of friendly-yet-insulting Aussie banter - I work in commercial radio - but please, can we forge beyond stating the obvious. I’ve heard every incantation of every short joke in the book and, ironically, it’s a really long book – one that is only helpful as a stepladder out of bed in the morning.
It’s not as if I just woke up this way, either. I didn’t go to the bathroom one morning and take a selfie in the mirror only to discover it was just my forehead that made the cut. I’ve been driving this vehicle my whole life, I’m well aware I am no transformer.
An look, yes, I may suffer minor neck injury after talking to anyone over 5'9 but you know people make wonderful sun visors. In fact, they do a much more consistent job than the sun visor in my car, which is useless unless I sit on someone’s lap. At least my outlook is always bright.
The point is, lets move past the altitude gags. The chances of me, or any other vertically challenged human, turning around and gasping, “gee that was a good one, can I write it down?” are about as good my chances of playing in the NBL.
If you do, however, choose to remain a stow away aboard the wagon of height humour, I suggest invest in a pair of shin pads.
Originally published in The Murray Pioneer