Growing Pains: Being the Tallest Without Being Taller

Robert Wadlow, the tallest man in history, lived to be nearly nine feet tall. Throughout his entire life, he never stopped growing. I used to dream about being Robert Wadlow and of bearing the title of “World’s Tallest Man.” Of course that’s a silly dream because being 8’11” would be horrendous. Wadlow’s organs and joints were under constant stress and imagine trying to find decent blankets with a body like that.

Therefore I’ve decided to revise my dream slightly. I still like the cachet of the Tallest Man label, but I’d like to avoid the physical hardships. So I’ve been thinking: what if all the people in the world who are taller than I am were to instantly, shall we say, disappear? Then, I’d become the tallest man on Earth without having to change a thing about myself. My new dream is to wake up in a world in which everyone who is taller than I am has been eliminated. I don’t know where they’ll go, but that’s irrelevant to my dream.

When I think only of utilitarian aspects, I like being 5’11”. I can reach the top of pretty much any cabinet if I stand on my tippy toes, but I can also fit into airplane seats comfortably. I can easily place stars atop Christmas trees, but I don’t have to crouch when I sneak around in tree houses. The world is nicely constructed for the average man. If everyone who is taller than I were to vanish, I would have all of the advantages of being physically average with all of the prestige of being the tallest person alive.

I would no longer have any trouble finding a mate. As the most physically superior specimen on the planet, women would be bound by biological law to be attracted to me so that they can pass on my “tall” genes to their children. I would no longer need to add one inch on my dating profiles. (If you ever bump into a SeriouslySixFootSeany online, don’t say I didn’t warn you.)

I wouldn’t even miss the tall people that I’m giving the boot. All of my nemeses are taller than me, so hasta la vista to them. I would inherit the coveted position of ChiBus Humor Editor. Most professional athletes would be gone, so ESPN would finally be off the air. You’re welcome.

Heck, I wouldn’t mind if we also eliminated everyone who is better looking than I am. Then, by comparison, I would be a knock-out (and probably very lonely). I could be the smartest person in the world without reading, the strongest person in the world without lifting, and the best-dressed person in the world without taking a steak knife to my jeans. I would also wish to eliminate anyone who has more freckles than I do. That isn’t because I have aspirations to be the freckliest person on Earth. I just don’t really care for freckles.

After all, it’s so vain to want to change yourself. Be happy with who you are and long for the day when everyone who is in any way better than you has vanished into oblivion.