Humor Magazine

Rule #29 – Be Polite, Don’t Mention Height

By Don Mega
Rule #29 – Be Polite, Don’t Mention Height

Holy [email protected], you’re tall! What are you, like 6’10”!?

Did you know that height, whether incredibly tall or extremely short, is the only physical abnormality that society has no reservations about bringing up right to the person’s face? I have no idea if that’s actually true, but for the purpose of Rule #29, I’m going to pretend that it is. Seriously though, name another physical deformity that you can mention as an icebreaker without getting punched directly in the crotch.

Hey man, you’re really giving that belt a workout. You gotta be pushing 3 bills!
What is that, a flipper arm!?
Have you always had that annoying stutter?
You’re only 22 years old. Why are you already bald?
Have you ever noticed that your right arm is quite a bit longer than your left?
Why is your nose so red? Too much of the drinky drink?
Aaaarrrgh, Matey! What’s with the peg leg? Get hurt while hunting for hidden treasure?
Can you even see me with your eyes crossed like that?
Man, you sure do have a lot of moles on your face.
I’ve got one word for you: Dermatologist!

Alright, well that was a fun exercise. Okay, so maybe it’s a bit of a stretch to categorize tall and short people as deformed. But they are abnormal. If they weren’t, we wouldn’t have fifty different names to describe them – munchkins, dwarves, midgets, little people, giants, monsters, beanstalks, mammoths, freaks. This kind of silly discrimination is all around us. Just look at Randy Newman’s 1977 hit, “Short People,” which made it to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 list, primarily because listeners misinterpreted the lyrics as an attack on the vertically-challenged (the song was actually meant to point out the absurdity of such prejudice).

I’m not saying we need to get rid of discrimination altogether. That would be ridiculous. It’s just that discrimination is at its best when it involves three men walking into a bar, not when you tactlessly blurt out, “Wow, you’re really tall!” within ten seconds of meeting someone. That’s not funny or clever. It’s just…annoying. So the next time you’re introduced to an extremely short or tall person, refrain from uttering the obvious and instead, try complimenting him on his necktie or his inviting smile. Find out what his hobbies and interests are. Learn about his family. Treat him like the fellow human being that he is.

Unless he’s a dick. Then you’re totally allowed to make fun of him.

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