Things Only Tall People Understand

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
You gotta pick them up just to say hello.

Submitted: August 19, 2015

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Submitted: August 19, 2015

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Go ahead, ask me what the weather is like up here.  I’ll spit on the top of your head and tell you it is raining.  That is what it is like when you are 11.5 inches taller than 8 feet.  I am the tallest man in the world.  Maybe the tallest man to have ever walked the planet.

Let’s get this out of the way from the start.  I do not play basketball.  I did once.  It is a stupid game.  It was way too easy to put that ball in the hoop with nothing but 7 footers around me.

I am a mathematician.  Being tall means the top shelf in the professor’s lounge is all mine.  It means I sit down when people pull out their camera at math club meetings.  That’s the only way to get everyone in the picture.

Vince McMahan is one of my favorite people.  But I am getting tired of telling him I do not want to be the next Andre the Giant.  It doesn’t matter how much being a pro wrestler pays.  Wearing wingtips and delivering lectures is preferable to wearing tights and delivering body slams.

Once I walked in on a robbery at a convenience store.  It was over before I knew what was happening.  Dude took one look at me, turned pale.  He put the gun on the counter and ran out of the store.  He could have shot me, I’m a big target.  But those little bullets wouldn’t have kept me from getting my hands around his throat.  He made the right decision.

My favorite song is Short People by Randy Newman.  You gotta pick up “normal” sized people to say hello to them, in case you were wondering what I meant by that.  It is a testament to human creativity that someone as tiny as Newman could write a song that profound.

I don’t go to movie theaters or fly in airplanes.  Neither have seats that are large enough.  I drive a 2015 Mercedes Benz Free Spirit.  It is an oversized van.  Most people use them as RVs.  I had them leave all that stuff out.  All I needed was a seat and the “high” ceiling, so I could get in by bending over a lot.  The body shop made a special fitting to bolt the driver’s seat to the second row floor slots.

My mom cut up four sleeping bags and sewed them back together to make one that was sized for me.  There is just enough room in the Mercedes for me to stretch out and sleep comfortably when I travel.

From the outside, my house looks like a two story, but it isn’t.  The 14 foot ceilings aren’t an extravagance.  Anything less and I would knock light fixtures loose when I do aerobics. 

Mostly I will tell you that being tall is a curse.  It makes life complicated.  Do you have any idea how isolated it makes me?  Occasionally it does come in handy.  I don’t need a ladder to clean the gutters.  Or to change lightbulbs.  And, there was the time I became the human bridge.

After Al Gore invented the internet my life became a lot simpler.  I no longer spend hours driving around north Alabama and southern Tennessee to buy a single item of clothing.  Back in the day, I wore out more than one set of Michelins on shoe safaris.  And I didn’t have the Free Spirit back then.  When the weather was nice, I drove my 1967 Cadillac Series 62 convertible, with the top down of course.  The front seat is in one of my dad’s utility sheds.

My favorite big and tall store in Decatur had gotten hold of some sweet high top Keds.  I was all the way down Highway 20 to the Tennessee River when traffic came to a halt.  It always did when the drawbridge went up.  This wasn’t the first time I’d watched a tug boat slowly push barges under the old bridge.  But unlike the other times, as the sections of the bridge folded down, there was a loud pop, a brief sound of metal grinding on metal, then the bridge stopped.  There was a six foot gap between the two sections.

My first thought was, how long will it take for the traffic to clear out so I can head back home?  I figured I’d call the store later and ask them to ship the sneakers to me.  I forgot about high tops when the panicking young man began shouting at the policeman to “do something”.

Turns out his pregnant wife was having contractions every two minutes and they were on the way to the hospital.  The one on the other side.  The closest bridge without a 6 foot gap was 20 miles away.  Too far.  The officer was on the radio, requesting a boat.  There was a dock he could get the lady to.  But I had a better idea.

I asked the man if his wife could walk across if there was a temporary bridge and a rope to hang on to.  Temporary bridge, meaning me.  I figured I could reach across that gap, from my knees, and grab the other side.  If she could walk, she could cross on my back, and the police car on the other side would have her at the hospital in 2 minutes.

I got on my knees and began stretching across the void.  I noticed how far it was down to the water.  I focused on the billystick the cop on the other side was holding out.  I grabbed it, then made contact with the other side.

Four men held on to my arms and legs, two held a rope, and one pregnant lady walked all over me between contractions.  Unlike Nancy Sinatra, she took her boots off first.

While I was wiping gravel dust off of my hands, I heard a siren moving away from me on the other side of the bridge.  Just another day in the life of Super Tall Guy.

A few weeks later, I drove the Caddy across the newly repaired bridge, and attended a ceremony where the City of Decatur presented me a plaque for my heroics.  It hangs on the wall behind the math tournament trophies.  They also gave me a JC Penney gift certificate, free movie passes, and a bright orange pair of size 23 high top Keds.


© Copyright 2017 Serge Wlodarski. All rights reserved.

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