Short People

Short people got no reason to live
They got little hands
And little eyes
And they walk around
Tellin’ great big lies
They got little noses
And tiny little teeth
They wear platform shoes
On their nasty little feet
They got little baby legs
And they stand so low
You got to pick ’em up
Just to say hello
They got little cars
That go beep, beep, beep
They got little voices
Goin’ peep, peep, peep
They got grubby little fingers
And dirty little minds
They’re gonna get you every time
Well, I don’t want no short people. – Randy Newman

When Bill and I married in 1992, he admitted to me that he has always been drawn to short women. He claims nearly every girl/woman he dated throughout his life was short. I can neither confirm nor deny. I can only tell you that I’m short, and I’m glad he likes me that way.

Baby Boomers will undoubtedly remember the song cited above about short people. I know very little about the history of the song. Randy Newman, himself, is a full 6 feet tall. According to Wikipedia, the song was about prejudice in general rather than an actual bias against short people. He used short people to illustrate the stupidity of judging people by their looks, color, race, and so forth.

Since I am a full 5′ 2″ without shoes, I was never a fan of the song. But he made up for it with You’ve Got a Friend in Me. That’s a sweet song, even if it’s sung by a toy.

I’ve always liked being short. Of course, I liked it way better when I was young and short and weighed 105 lbs. Then I was just considered small. Nowadays, I try to argue that I’m not overweight, I’m just under-tall. We all know better.

But here’s what I’ve learned about being short over the years. It’s a handicap when it comes to grocery shopping. And it’s even worse since the grocery shelves are now often emptier than normal. I can’t tell you how very many times I have had to ask a nearby taller person to help me reach something on the very top shelf. The sad truth is there are many things that I simply can’t reach, especially if the first one or two of the items is gone. Reaching that third can of baking powder on the top shelf is a no-go, even on my tippy-toes.

When I was younger, I didn’t think twice about climbing on the shelves to reach the item in question. There have been a number of occasions when a grocery worker has come running, begging me not to climb on their shelves. I feel like I’m being disciplined like a 4-year-old kid. Here’s an idea: put the Joe and Nelly’s key lime juice somewhere that we can all reach.

And then the dairy shelves! Oy vey. I have taught myself a trick that often works because the shelves are wire. I fish out a pen from the bottom of my purse, dust off the cracker crumbs or tissue lint, and use it to coax that 1-pint bottle of Cinnamon Spice creamer towards the front where I can reach it. If I can’t find a pen, I look around for someone taller than me. In the olden days, I would have scaled the refrigerator shelves.

The good news is that I can almost always find someone taller (that isn’t difficult given my height), and every single time, the person has been very nice about it. Perhaps they’re of the Short People Matter mindset.

By the way, since I was 15 years old, I’ve been 5’2″ tall. At my last well check, the nurse broke the news to me that I was 5’1-3/4″ tall. I made her measure twice.

Short people got no reason to live.

2 thoughts on “Short People

  1. AMEN! I come from a really long line of short people. It would help if anyone in the grocery store fronted their shelves.

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