Hello readers. How tall are you?
Scratch that – I shouldn’t have said hello until after inquiring about your physical stature.
For those of you who don’t know me, my name is John Miller, I am a second year physics major from Evanston, Illinois, I play bass in the orchestra and jazz band, and I bake a mean peach pie. But none of that matters, for I am a tall person! Hardly a day goes by where I’m not asked, “How tall are you?” or “Do you play basketball?”—or am simply told, “You’re so tall!” Well, I’m writing this article to set you all straight.
I’ve decided to do this by divulging secrets that have been passed down to me from the tall people that have gone before me. First of all, we all know each other. Those who haven’t risen above an average height percentile aren’t aware of the networks tall people have formed. A common misconception is that basketball teams are organized to play basketball. No–we’ve simply organized the game to provide comfort and support for each other after enduring the day’s interrogations from the vertically challenged. Our community stretches even further than just organized sports. When flying, we congregate in the premium seats with extra legroom not only to stretch our legs, but also to share tips on which websites have the best deals on shoes size 15 and up. There’s even a network of shared, extra-size bikes in Goshen…
As a tall person who has been asked his fair share of awkward questions, I feel compelled to set those straight, who don’t quite see on the same level as me. Surprisingly, the Northern Indiana weather up here is just as overcast as it is for everyone else on campus. It’s only when a strong breeze blows that I have to duck to avoid being blown over. I’m also startled when people ask how I fit in my bed at night. What most people don’t realize is that a handy diagonal line pretty much bisects all rectangles. The last time I slept headboard to footboard in a bed, I had to call Roald Dahl’s BFG to get me unstuck.
As common as the questions are the exclamations and commands. Apart from having my unusual height pointed out to me by complete strangers, I’m often given commands by those I thought were friends. In fact, someone just now came into my room and interrupted my typing to ask me to stand in as a prop for one side of a volleyball net for their game. The next time you ask me to check if your friend is across a crowd of people, know that I will find you later to pick up any objects I deem too close to the ground to warrant my own exertion.
Perhaps everything I’ve revealed here today will help curious onlookers without such lofty stature to think twice when accosting a tall person. We are people too. Heck, there’s more to us than you shrimps.
–by John Miller