That would be me, the undertall. As a child I was small, there were two girls at school in my class similarly sized. We had ballroom dancing, an absolute requirement for young ladies who would be of marriageable age in the fullness of chest, trying to ensnare someone suitable in the middle of a waltz, if they were able simultaneously not to peripateticize on the feet of the person they were endeavouring to charm and converse without gasping, no matter how Strauss the music. I could do all of this, but, sadly, for the girl I danced with was a quarter inch shorter than I, as the man. I can fling you like a cape, bend you over Dover, whirl you under my arm, especially if I am standing on a box and my bingo wings are encased and ensconce your Liberty Bodice clad chest to my massive knockers like nobody’s business and I can do it all whilst carrying on suitable conversation of a non-political, or in any way, controversial hue.
Remaining undertall I first saw the top half of Star Wars in the cinema. Like wise the Godfather, who I am not convinced had legs, and, seated in the aisle, the right hand half of Julie Andrews rushing up half a hill to tell us what half the hills were alive with. I only found out what happened to the Ghostbusters if you crossed the streams when it was streamed on TV.
As long term readers know (hello) I had an inadvertent career in journalism writing for craft and hobby magazines, but if I had been able to reach the top shelf in the newsagent’s I might have written fifty shades of a lot of money, who can say?
As I have grown rich in years, whilst my feet have remained size 4, a massive advantage in shoe shopping because all the samples are made in that size, my legs have shrunk quite a lot. I never had flanks to start with, the attenuated version is even more thighsable and now, having broken both, my arms have shortened too. When I try on my nineteen seventies jeans, they hide my size 4 sample, dirt cheap in the sale, shoes completely.
When I go grocery shopping I take an extendable reach and grab gizmo with me if I really want the thing off the top shelf because supermarkets do not like you climbing.
Life has been designed for people of average height, currently. I am of average height for anyone mediaeval and many Asian countries, just not here and now. I blame free school milk.
However, there is an advantage to being nearer the ground, which I enjoyed all day today.
Out in the newly pressure washed garden, the pressure of the washer had ejected many pieces of mortar from between the crazy paving. Today I first excavated any remaining vegetation, cleaned out the holes and then, having mixed up my mortar, repointed the lot, without having to kneel down. Your six footer could not have done the job without a kneeling mat and constant up and downing, your five foot sixer would have struggled, but I, the undertall, simply bent at the waist and there I was, ground floor. I did all the pointing, and there was a lot, in an hour and a half.
I also have no difficulty in washing the kitchen floor with a scrubbing brush, or varnishing the dining room floor, for a spruce-up (or alternative pine floor board) or anything else requiring a person to sink as low as they can go.
Of course the very astute reader (hello again) will have spotted that anyone bent in half will be at the level of their feet but if the complaints of the OH when requested to pick up the peanuts from round his armchair are anything to go by, the enormous five foot eight, when seated, find this a difficulty.
In the Sixties I had a friend-ish, who, going to drama school, was informed that the floor was her natural medium. This confirmed what a lot of us thought about her, and whether it was her affinity with the floorboards, or some other natural bent, she did actually act in a real film that was filmed and got paid for it.
All my work today was for free and for my satisfaction and I did enjoy every minute of it. Mortar is so satisfyingly permanentish. When I went to Pompeii, I was delighted to see Roman Opus Signinum still holding the walls together and filling the spaces in the flooring, and that was after an awful lot of lava. Of course, they didn’t have pressure washers to blast it out. What they had was a short servant, bent at the waist, scrubbing.
I am more than undertall, I’m practically historical.