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Bizzaro Acrophobia

By Tom 'Mutombo' Waters
September 1 , 2006

I'm often asked to reach for things, which makes me feel special. 'Hey, tall guy, would you get me that brochure off the top shelf?' 'Sure thing, ma'am, just glad to be of service to my community.' It's like being a superhero, in a way. I have a talent that's in, well, short supply, no pun intended.

Thank god I'm a tall man. There are some days that it's really annoying, and some instances where it's not terribly helpful, but overall, I'm grateful to be six foot three. Firstly, it's a relief to be neurotic without the crutch of having a Napoleonic complex. There are so many other valid reasons for having a chip on your shoulder besides being five feet tall. I'd rather pick fights with people for deep and lasting issues than punch out every man who's two inches above me. To be honest, there aren't many guys taller than me, except for the next generation of children raised on hamburger hormones and super vitamins, but if there were, I wouldn't mind it. There's a cut off around five foot eight for Napoleonic complexes and after that you're just deemed as an angry son of a bitch. Dikembe Mutombo, for example, would not be allowed to lay claim to 'short guy syndrome', as he is eighteen feet tall. Unless, of course, he was raised in an African village full of twenty feet men walking on stilts.

Studies show that tall guys have something along the lines of a sixty percent chance over lollipop men of getting married. Why? Because women are attracted to men who are taller than them. It's a basic primal response. The biggest, tallest caveman is the one who can protect the woman, gather the food, and drag stone furniture into the cave. How do you think Fred Flintstone wound up with such a hottie? Because he had some height over Barney, and because he was a fat bastard in the stone ages! If food is scarce, follow the fat guy, right? Girls don't feel terribly proud if their men have to stand on top of a telephone book, hang from the ceiling via theater wires, or strap on some platform shoes to slow dance with them in public. It's embarrassing for both of them. It works the other way, too. By law of averages, I generally end up with women who are shorter than me. My girlfriend is five foot two, which is perfect. I dig pixie sized chicks. We like to play airplane sometimes, so I zoom her around the room in one hand and spin her nose like a propellor with the other one. So generally, the tall man gets paired off and married first leaving pygmy men to fend for themselves. Which is fine because they have a complex about it anyway. In the end, short dudes just punch out the remaining single guys and drag whatever eligible women are left out of the room.

I'm often asked to reach for things, which makes me feel special. 'Hey, tall guy, would you get me that brochure off the top shelf?' 'Sure thing, ma'am, just glad to be of service to my community.' It's like being a superhero, in a way. I have a talent that's in, well, short supply, no pun intended. I can reach things in high places. When I'm old I'll never need a rotating claw to get strawberry preserves off of the top shelf in my pantry. Ho, ho, ho, Green Thomas to the rescue! People assume that tall men are strong, which is partly right, as we have more of an upper back to leverage large items around with. Therefore, I don't mind lifting and carrying things, either. You can call me stretch, I don't mind. And when we get tired, we simply pull out a slide whistle and summon some short guys to do our bidding before they've punched themselves into exhaustion.

The downside: they will never make a car that's suitable for the vertically gifted. Anytime I get into someone else's car they've got the seat adjusted for people under six feet and I end up bashing my knee against the glove compartment or the rear ashtray depending upon if I'm sitting in the front or the back. When I go to the movies, I have to take an aisle seat on the end to let my grasshopper legs breathe a little bit. I prefer to take baths, and there is not a standard sized bath tub that I can sit in without having to plant both feet up near the hot and cold knobs to dunk my head while I'm washing it. I have a twin sized bed which is very comfortable, aside from the fact that I've got two feet of foot hanging off of it. Buying shoes is a chore because I'm a size thirteen. That's a foot and an inch if you don't want to crunch the metric system on that one, which means that nine out of ten shoe stores will have two marginally fashionable lines of shoes for you to choose from while short guys can afford the luxury of sporting the latest fashions. I can never be a flight attendant as they have a height requirement that I'm way over on. I never thought about being a flight attendant until someone told me that I couldn't be one, and now it haunts me. That's one profession that I'll never know the joys of, so I fantasize sometimes and hand out single servings of mixed nuts out to guests while fluffing their couch cushions and asking if they need some headphones when they're over. It's not all thrills, spills and chills being a tall man, let me tell you. I don't pound my chest and pluck stars out of the sky every day, you know. Some days, Babe the Blue Ox and I get a little grumpy because we have to adjust to a tiny person's world.

Then again, though, people are normally smart enough not to start a fight with me. I'm tall, and they assume that they'd get their ass kicked. They're probably right, so why find out? I simply yell with a giant's booming bass tone during an argument and lollipop men run for the hills to secure their livestock. Women assume that if I've got three feet of torso that the rest of my anatomy along that scale should be pleasant. They're right! And aside from low flying airplanes and the occasional weather balloon, the air is a lot better up here. You could never fit fifty tall guys into a telephone booth on a bet, but how many times are you going to feel like doing that in one lifetime? All in all, I'm grateful to be a tall guy, but I'm sick of getting tied down with baling wire every time I take a nap in a deserted meadow. Have a little sympathy for the six footers, eh? We're people too, little man. Show us some respect or we'll step on you before you punch the top of our socks. It's a good thing I'm a tall man.


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