I have a confession to make: I am a tall man.
Not that tall — I am almost invariably the second tallest person in a random selection of thirty people — but certainly not short.
While there are upsides to being tall, there are also an awful lot of downsides to balance this out. I have to Lean conspicuously to one side to carry heavy shopping bags to stop my back from snapping in half, for instance.
Short people are rarely convinced of the terrible privations that come from being quite tall, so I have taken the liberty of compiling a definitive list of the weaknesses that come with being a tall person. Enjoy, or failing that, read the words, or failing that, see how rapidly you can lick your knees (you have to lick alternate knees or it’s cheating. Note that this is another sport tall people are bad at).
- Tall people are always asked to reach the highest shelves, even if we’re really tired and don’t like you very much.
- Tall people sway violently in strong winds.
- Shorter people can see up the noses of tall people.
- Shorter people end up with their faces crushed against the armpits, belly, arse or crotch on busy underground trains. This might seem like it’s a curse of being short, but for one thing tall people don’t want a short person in their crotch (or at least, not without some sort of spoken arrangement beforehand), and for another thing, it makes us feel like just by being tall we are imposing on the world.
- The elderly are terrified of us.
- When we lift up young babies above our heads to play aeroplanes, they are instead cut into small pieces by electric fans.
- There is more of us to punch.
- We have a higher centre of gravity.
- Because our seats are further back in our cars, we cannot see out of our windows as easily, and thus we must edge forwards at busy crossroads until we are already causing a dangerous obstruction, and frustrated motorists make very mean gestures at us.
- When we suddenly need to be sick into a toilet bowl, say, on a convivial night out during the wee hours of the morning, we are faced with a choice of aiming from a distance and spattering ourselves with vomit, or rushing down to meet the bowl and risk an inebriated miscalculation that could leave us with ceramic stuck in our faces. Not that this ever happened to me.
- The word “gangly”. Ditto “lanky”. Even the worst insults levelled at the short have some degree of squat, energetic dignity to them. There is no dignity for a gangly man.
- Seriously, even the phrase “gangly man” is ridiculous.
- We are naturally disadvantaged when it comes to potholing.
- Elbows. Elbows everywhere.
- Same for knees.
- Dancing is impossible. There is too much going on, too far from the brain, to make any sense of. A tall person’s body is like a puppet, only instead of strings there are a series of tubes that intermittently blast angry weasels into the puppet’s limbs.
- We are unable to wear hats. A (tall) friend of a friend described tall people in hats as fitting two Dickensian archetypes: the chimney sweep and the undertaker. Nothing else.
Alright, it might not be that bad being tall. If you want to see more pointless complaining, try reading my post on getting through crowds, or trying to.