Came up with an idea for a short story.
Yeah, I’m one of the short ones, not quite 5-foot-six, and have lied about my height since age 19, and got drafted out of Philadelphia to help Uncle Sam stop the “Domino Effect.” Remember that from just a short time ago? Got sent to Vietnam despite my size to prevent country after country from falling to Communism. The “evil empire” and its plan for World domination, by knocking over nations one by one like dominos one could tip and crash into its neighbor, bringing both down to the lowest depths of humanity.
Short people never feared that fall. We were closer to the earth to begin with. And, we knew “Bull” when we heard it, by experiencing it from the fertilizer spread on the ground close to us.
Jimmy Cagney was short. So was Alan Ladd, two Silver Screen stars of note. Studio directors would place a box beneath Ladd to give him an appearance he was as tall as, if not taller, than the bad guys he’d defeat, as he did in one of my all-time favorite movies, “Shane.” Who could ever forget Cagney, the one who gave the world that infamous quote “You Dirty Rats,” winning an academy award for “playing against type” while performing in “Yankee Doodle Dandy?”
Napoleon was short. Not that I have his complex. (I wonder, however, if height had anything to do with getting commissioned an officer: did I want to order around guys much taller than myself?) Randy Newman, a short fellow from New Orleans, had a hit song crooning about “Short People. Even though it poked fun at us, it made me feel better someone understood us at last.
Being short, I could always relate to kids. Didn’t need to lower myself that far to get to their level.
Tough on meeting someone you really liked, but stayed away for fear she’d look down on you. (Yes, pun intended. How did Dustin Hoffman ever make out with the wife taller than him. Wonder if they’re still together?)
And what about tall girls, taller women? Did you ever wish you were two to four inches smaller to date a guy or fit in more comfortably. I know this tall Buddhist woman. She’s one of those who “greet” new people. (Like me!) Got nearly six inches on me. Whenever she’d speak one-to-one with me, she’d slouch. Let her whole body get shorter so she could get closer to looking me in the eye. I loved her for it. I mean, I didn’t “Love her, love her.” I loved her compassion, her sensibilities to someone shorter than your average Joe.
I think Buddha was short. Christ was tall. He’s always been pictured tall and lean, nearly a foot above the women in the New Testament, and not one apostle has ever been portrayed looking down on him.
Same with Krishna, Moses and Mohammed. At least 5-foot, 10-inches, which I guess is closer to the norm than my height.
Some good things happen for us short fellows. We get placed up front in group pictures. Usually go to the head of a line when being sized up by height.
And when sitting across the table from beautiful women like many of you reading now, no one can tell the height difference and we can imagine we’re as big as our hearts allow us to grow. With lots of love that even the tallest among us would have difficulty in outdistancing.