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Sunday, January 20, 2008

Entertainment: Short People

Henry van de Velde Chair from Wikimedia

You know what, Randy Newman? Fuck you, dude. Yup. We short people just have to - er, stand up for ourselves. 'Cause nobody can see us when we're sitting down, anyway.

Auntie Beeb tells us that short people in Africa, in the town of Bamenda, north-western Cameroon, have established an association against discrimination. The Association of Short People in Cameroon (ASPC). It's officially registered and everything. The article says, in part:
To belong to the association, prospective members have to be no taller than 1.60m (5'2").
Hey! Waitaminnit! That would exclude a whole bunch of short people! Guess we'll just have to start our own association. Besides, those of us who aren't Cameroonian probably wouldn't be allowed to join their organization anyway.
Jonathan Fru, 61, a Bamenda-based jurist, founded ASPC, and is the current president.
Members include Stephen Ngang, who stands 3'9". Mr Ngang is protesting against the height limit to join the armed forces. Well, we don't know, Mr. Ngang. Maybe during peacetime, joining the armed forces is one way of making a decent living, which is nice. But during war, trust us on this - no matter who's shooting, they tend to aim for the middle or lower, so you're bound to get hit.

However, Mr. Ngang went on to articulate a complaint that many of us share:
"Carpenters make chairs that are too high for us and so we are not comfortable sitting with others."

"We have difficulties reaching high counters in shops and in banks, then to add insult to injury, all billboards are high up in the air and we have to strain to read them."
Luckily, in this country, most counters aren't THAT high, and most billboards have glaring six-foot high electronic neon glitter letters so that even blind infants can be assaulted by them on a 24/7 basis. OK, maybe that part ain't so lucky. But you get our drift.

However, the chair thing - and cupboard, and closet, and whatever - we totally support. Why, it wasn't so long ago that we went shopping for chairs with Madame X, who is similarly diminutive, and we couldn't find a single fucking chair that we could sit on comfortably resting our feet on the floor. These are dining chairs we're talking about, here. Why do we short people have to sit at dinner with our feet swinging above the floor, looking for all the world like frequenters of the kiddie table, or extras from The Wizard of Oz? It ain't right.

And why the fuck do all these homebuilders build stupid kitchen cabinets that require all manner of athletic ass-shimmying just to reach the fucking wineglasses, or what-have-you? That ain't right either. We are heartily sick and tired of having to keep stepstools all over the house just so we can get sloshed in peace. Or put cinnamon in our honey-roasted chicken.
The associations' president adds that they have begun a vigorous campaign to right these wrongs and have so far met the provincial governor to table their grievances. As if to prove that good things can come in small packages, the association has the shortest constitution I have ever come across - just two pages long.

They also have an anthem which is just two sentences long -"If you want to join the Short Peoples' Association, you just come, for we are peaceful, you just come".
Yo, we are SO liking these people already!
Some tall people I met were, however, dismissive of the grouping of short people.

"Being short is not a problem - I wish I was shorter," said John, standing tall at 2m (6'6").

"Do short people know we also have problems?" he asked.

"Being too tall sometimes affects my balance and I need to bend down sometimes to listen to my short wife" he said jokingly.
Oh, put a cork in it, fella. This is OUR rant. You go start an association for tall people.
"We are normal human beings, our height notwithstanding," says [one of the people interviewed for this article].

The short people deny discriminating against their taller brethren through their height restriction and insist that they do not see tall people as enemies.

They say they just want to be treated with the same respect as the rest of the population.
Yeah. We've had it with the Randy Newmans of this world writing nasty songs about us, and people making - er - cutting comments.

Actually, we just want chairs we can sit on comfortably. But we got our revenge. Here at Casa de Los Gatos, we hang lamps low enough for us, and put all our kitchen pots and pans on a nice, reachable steel bar. Tall people - well, pretty much anyone over 5'9", really - never fail to tangle with lighting and kitchenware when visiting. And we always smile sweetly at them and say, "Sorry 'bout that. We designed our house for short people."

What are we doing about discrimination against short people outside the home? Starting the Short People's Basketball League, of course. No one over 5' 5" accepted.

Yeah, today's Funday. We're having a good time, and hope you are too.

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