Feb 27

Usually, I complain about stuff here on this site.  I tend to go on and on about many of the small, unfair things that transpire in my life.  My motto is “life sucks and then you die”, so rarely will I point out the positive in much of anything.  This post is going to be an exception to my rule.  This post is going to emphasize the positive.

Today, I went to the youngest boy’s middle school band competition thingie.  As I was standing around after the performance with the wife, I looked around at the other people waiting for their kids.  I noticed, as I have increasingly done, that I was the single shortest adult male at that performance.

At work, I am one of the (if not “the”) shortest man at work.  I am surrounded by college students all day, and the vast majority of the male students and what seems like a smaller majority of the female students are taller than me.  Needless to say, I spend the vast majority of my time looking up at people and being looked down upon by others.

I know, it may seem like I am heading into my usual mode of bitching about stuff, but that is not the case.  One may think that being a short man is horrible, but the opposite is true.  Being a short man is complete and utter awesome-sauce.

As a short man, I don’t have to worry about making as much money.  According to an article on Slate, for every inch a person is taller, that person makes about $1000/year more than his shorter counterpart.  So someone who is six-feet tall will make, on average, about $5000/year more than me.  Now, I know that may seem like a bad thing for the shorter person, but money is not a good thing.  Money is inherently evil.  Think about it, money leads to buying those luxury items that you really don’t need.  The lack of money means one is more likely to just be able to afford the basic necessities in life.  People with a lot of money take their fancy vacations and have their luxury automobiles.  Us shorter guys have to save for years to take a middle class vacation, so we appreciate them more, right?  Us shorter guys can never afford a brand new automobile, so we don’t have to worry about our vehicle losing 20% of it’s value by driving it off the lot.

Those who make more money can put more money away for retirement and have better retirements.  Us short people get to work our entire adult life.  That’s a blessing, working until the day you die, because… it just is.

Tall men are seen as more powerful and garner more respect… those suckers!  Who wants to be respected when you can spend your entire adult life being looked down on.  Being looked down on is FABULOUS!  No one expects much of you as a short dude because, you know, you’re so tiny.

Another great thing about being short is we shorties tend to be, according to Time, unhappier than the tall. Unhappiness RULES!  Who would want to walk around feeling happy all the time.  Happiness is overrated.  Try being bitter for awhile.  Bitterness is pretty fantastic.  The Time article also points out that tall people tend to view short people as having chips on their shoulders, like us shorties have to make an extra effort to command attention. Command of attention is something that just comes naturally for taller people because of their size.  But I wonder, who really wants to command attention when you can just sit unnoticed in a corner and lead your insignificant life in peace.  Then, you can die and be forgotten.  See, being short is pretty awesome.

I love how the things that we have absolutely no control over (like height) can have such a dramatic impact on our lives.  Of course, there are plenty of happy short people out there, I’m sure.  Short people just have to work a little harder to find happiness.  Short people just have to look in more non-traditional areas to find their happiness, since it won’t come through income, respect, admiration of peers, or anything like that.  Tall people don’t have to work harder to find happiness, because they do command attention just by walking into a room, and they will make more money and command more respect in general.  So tall people are inherently lazy because stuff comes easier for them.  I know, I’m digging, but I’m really trying to find the positive in all of this.

My wife says she is going to ban me from Google, which may be a positive…

 

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Feb 01

Being short is not cool.  Short people are seldom respected, self-confident, successful, or desirable.  If being short was a positive trait, then in your youth, your parents would have lectured, “Drink your coffee.  That stuff is good for you… it stunts your growth!”  Instead, parents emphasized the danger of coffee stunting growth as a warning, much like the if-you-cross-your-eyes-they-will-stay-like-that-forever warning, or the if-you-do-that-too-much-you-will-go-blind warning.  Being short is perceived to be as undesirable as walking around for the rest of your life crossed-eyed, blind and acne-scarred… with hairy palms.  sigh Being short is not cool.

If you haven’t been able to guess this fact, I’m short.  So, what exactly does “short” mean?  Well, I’m kind of thinking that “short” means below the average height those around you.  In other words, I’m short because I’m below the average height of a male in the United States of America. Wikipedia actually has a really nice breakdown of the average heights around the world.

Ok, so I’m 5′ 7″. The average male in the U.S. is 5′ 9 1/2″. See how they do that crap? ‘1/2″ ‘. They gotta throw in that 1/2″ just to rub it in a short guys face. The bastards! And that’s just “average” U.S. males. The average “white” U.S. male (which, I’m a cracker) is 5’10”. Seriously?!? I’m a full 3″ shorter than my cracker brothers?!? sigh… no wonder I can’t seem to get a fair shake.

Alrighty, so let’s think back to short people who have been successful.  Any leaders that you can think of who were short?  Well, of course, there was Napoleon Bonaparte, right?  You know, the little French dude who was thought to be a little power-hungry.  In fact, Napoleon, had a complex named after him: Napoleon Complex.

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Napoleon Complex

The Napoleon Complex is an informal term describing an alleged type of inferiority complex which is said to affect some people, especially men, who are short in stature.  So, Napoleon must have been a real shorty, huh?  Just a tiny little guy, right?  Guess how tall Napoleon was.  C’mon, take a stab at it!  That’s right, Napoleon was 5’7″!!! Oh, for crying out loud…

So, who are some other famous short guys… or, maybe I should write, who are some other guys famous for being short?  Well, there aren’t really many famous athletes.  In order to be a competitive athlete, one has to be relatively tall.  So, a career in athletics was never in the cards for me.  So when I complain that athletes are overpaid entertainers, and people say crap like, “They had to work hard to get where they are,” I have to come back with, “Yeah, I guess working hard at having parents with the right genetics earns them a multi-million dollar-per-year contract.”  Seriously.

Hey, what about Danny Devito!  He’s a short dude, right?  He’s famous, right?  He makes a ton of money, right?

Danny D

Well, who would honestly want to look like Danny Devito? I mean, c’mon. If he wasn’t an incredible comedic actor, he would probably be a side-show act at a circus.

Ooh, ooh, what about Tom Cruise?  He’s real short too, isn’t he?  I mean, he’s a dinky little guy, right?  By the way, Tom Cruise is 5’7″…

T Cruise

Tom Cruise, is well respected, right? And he does the whole acting thing, right? He was even nominated for an Academy Award for that Born on the Fourth of July
thing, right?  And the hotties… how can anyone forget the hotties of Tom Cruise?
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N Kidman
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K Holmes

Tom Cruise has done pretty well for himself. And like I wrote earlier, he’s well respected…
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Crazy Cruise

I mean, it’s not like he’s a little crazy or anything…
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Insane Cruise

Oh, who am I kidding. Tom Cruise is a complete freaking nutjob…
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Jumping Crazy Cruise

See, being short is enough to drive a person absolutely INSANE!

Ok, so being short sucks because you really can’t be a professional athlete, and being short can drive you crazy.  Oh, I know, there is gonna be some dipwad who says something like, “What about Spud Webb… Spud Webb was only 5’6″?”  Well, Spud Webb is what is known as an “anomaly”.  He is one of the shortest pro basketball players of all time. So people of his stature… err, our stature… are not likely to have much success in sports.  Also, Spud Webb wasn’t a cracker.  Crackers can’t jump.

In addition to the lack of multi-million dollar athletic contracts and the whole going-insane thing, short people are have a 50% higher risk of having a heart problem or dying from one . Also, tall people earn more money than short people, both due to height discrimination and also the fact that tall people are apparently smarter than short people ! For crying out loud… can us shorties catch a freaking genetic break here?!?

Even renowned marketing guru Seth Godin, who stresses that our “Lizard Brain” (which, according to Seth, is the primitive part of the brain that keeps us mired in fear and self-doubt) keeps us from accomplishing our real goals in life, uses a typical short-dude slam to get his meaning across.  Of course, Seth is saying you need to build a quality reputation and a lot of anticipation for you and your products online before clients meet you in real life (or something like that), but “I thought you’d be taller” could be taken as “I’m disappointed that you are physically short”.  I know (hope) that this is not what Seth meant, but c’mon, Seth… way to help feed the Lizard Brains of the vertically challenged!

So, yeah… us shorties have a rough go of it.  I did happen to notice on the Wikipedia link that the average height of a man in Mexico is around 5′ 4″ to 5′ 5 1/2″. Suddenly, I’m all about allowing unlimited immigration (legal, illegal… who cares) from Mexico to the U.S. Hell, let as many of our little Mexican neighbors in as want to come. In a few short years (no pun intended… who am I kidding, pun definitely intended), I will feel like a giant around all of the short Mexican dudes.

lil' Mex

Or, maybe I should consider moving to Bolivia. Dudes are only like 5′ 3″ there. I would be like a god to them… MWAHAAHAAHAA!!!

Me in Bolivia

… and all of you jerkholes who look down on us smallies, stick it where the sun don’t shine… err, or in the above picture, where the sun does shine :)

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