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The Archive of posts

Old posts from the original Blackframes site

>No Small Feet: An Ode to Being Tall

Lach Ryan

I stand here (well I'm actually sitting but go with me) at 193cm or 6'3 in the old measure. It is called 'old measure' as only Old people use it. According to the standard definition, I am what is classed as 'Tall'. That is, I am above the average height range for my species. With the average Australian Male (there is alot of average ones!) standing at 179.84cm, that gives me nearly 14cm of free air to breathe and a unique perspective on the topic of height.

I am continuing, from the previous post, the series analyzing my physcial identity . Perhaps this reflection has something to do with the slow creep of age down the hallway of my body, or maybe I am just stuck for topics. Either way, being Tall has defined me for fairly much all my life. In fact, for much of my early years in Kindergarten and Primary School, it was THE defining character.
All kids have a base defining character when young and my school was no different.There was the rich kid, the smart kid, the sporty kid, the smelly kid, the foreign kid, the slightly out of town kid, the kid with pirates for parents and the kid who sees dead people. All very common. I was the Tall kid. This had many advantages. I was picked early for most teams, could wear my Dad's clothes (how many other Grade 5's wore a business shirt and tie to the afternoon disco?) and act as a sun dial if positioned right in the playground. The disadvantage was that I was typecast as a bully, something which was entirely contrary to a child who was charming, personable and with a worrying solid knowledge of the works of Gilbert and Sullivan. I remember returning to school from a family holiday to Queensland when I was swooped upon outside the classroom by an aggressive magpie of a mother. She proceeded to peck at me, call me a 'Big Bully' and ask why I was harassing her son Gregory (I didn't know him, but assumed her naming of him was the cause of alot of his problems). It turns out Greg had joined the class while I was away, and despite us having never met, he had obviously heard tales of my height which caused him great distress. I was simply singled out due to my tallness, which is possibly what the teen modeling agency/scam saw in me also.
This concept of height attracting aggressiveness would continue to pop up throughout my life. More often than not, it was sufferers of a unique disease called Smallman's Syndrome (SMS). The disease causes the Male sufferer to overcompensate for their lack of height. One of the best ways to express this was for them to attack me in some effort to reclaim valuable centimeters of my frame in an attempt to add to theirs, thus reducing the effects of SMS.
I was never on a Guinness Book of Records scale of freakishness, being tall does comes with its own unique struggles. Here, in no particular order, are some things you may wish to consider before asking the Genie for height, thus potentially wasting one of your wishes.
  • Most seats have backs designed for those of average height. In 29 years, my upper-back has never known the supportive caress of a chair.
  • With a size 13 foot, I have trouble finding shoes. I cannot decide whether I am on the bad side of shoe manufacturers production runs or there is a Size 13 Phantom who enters footwear stores purchasing the exact shoes I would want to buy, before I can.
  • Ties are made for people of a certain body length. Exceed this length, and you will be short tied like a 1980's Computer salesman.
  • You learn far too young, that anything is NOT ACTUALLY possible. When you are 6ft at 13 years of age, being a Jockey quickly disappears as a career option, thus highlighting the reality that an individual's capacity is often determined before it is fully formed.
  • People always assume you are really good at basketball. Which is actually a good thing, if you want to play basketball.
  • Flying is not for the above average, with the exception of the A380, big things aren't meant to fly. You will constantly be extra charged for your beloved legroom, whilst fatty's overflow free of charge all around you.
This is the plight of the Tall. Sure you can see everything at music festivals and find great bargains on the top shelf of the supermarket. Yeah, you probably will save hundreds of dollars in a lifetime on ladders. If you happen to be dark and handsome, adding this ingredient will make you irresistible to ladies but intimidating to men if you happen to be a woman.

I would much prefer to be a tallish poppy than to be standing in its shadow. However, from what I can tell, it is always those in the shadows that are responsible for the cutting down. But then I guess if the poppy wasn't so bloody tall, it wouldn't be blocking the sun and angering the Midget Albinos named Gregory, who are just busy being jockeys and dreaming of basketball success.