10 best things about being short

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MY FRIEND BRIAN is the biggest guy in town.

AND the smallest.

Huh? Let me explain.

T. Brian Stevenson is chairman of the Hong Kong Jockey Club, a massive global betting operation rumored to be the most powerful organization on earth (I believe it).

And Brian is also “compactly designed”, ie, short.

He took the stage to give a speech the other day and the audience waited agog to hear this famously wise man’s grand words of wisdom. Instead, he got a laugh by pausing for the technicians to fiddle with the sound gear and saying: “The first thing that happens whenever I speak is that they have to lower the mike WAY down.”

Next on stage was your humble narrator, who couldn’t resist teasing him.

“Don’t worry, mate,” I said, pointing to the programme. “The next people due on this stage are even shorter than you are—they’re from a kindergarten.”

Brian smiled at the dig but then narrowed his eyes and looked me up and down.

He raised his hand to stop the proceedings and returned to the stage to stand next to me.

Horrors! The guy I had just been teasing for being a shortie was the same height as I was!

short people rock

Brian (left) and the present writer (right)

JOCKEY CLUB

(Kindergarten kids)

After me and the kindergarten kids, the next speaker was a man from Holland who was so tall I had to borrow a friend’s binoculars to see his face.

“And I’m a little below average height,” he told me afterwards.

You know that mysterious verse in Genesis which says “A race of giants walked the earth”? Could Moses have been talking about the Dutch?

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Anyway, the following day, a guy who had been in the audience at that event sent me a clipping about short people from last week’s UK Daily Mail.

A short woman entered a court in Germany. A man who was in court as a witness burst out laughing and pointed to her, singing: “Hi ho, hi ho,” from the movie Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Unfortunately for him, the short person he was mocking was Silke Schoenfliesch-Backofen, one of Germany’s toughest lawyers. By the time the sniggering guy was on his way out of the courtroom, she hit him with a quickly-hand-drafted summons for insulting a short person. Apparently it’s illegal there!

So be nice to short people. We sometimes bite.

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Anyway, dedicated to Brian and Silke and all other short people, here’s a list:

Ten Best Things About Being Short:

1) We can pull our trousers up really fast.

2) We can tell people: “I’m not short, I’m fun size.”

3) To us, all airline seats have business class leg room.

4) Clothes in the children’s dept are much cheaper.

5) We can stand up in airplanes without hitting our heads.

6) Babies don’t cry when they see us.

7) We can tease tall people: “What’s the weather like up there?”

8) When it rains, we’re last to get wet.

9) We can tell jokes like this: “Knock knock. Who’s there? A short person knocking because your doorbell’s too @#$%^ high.”

10) We can skip meetings by saying: “Willy Wonka just texted me to say I have to return to Oompa Loompa land.”

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A READER WHO was stabbed owes his life to his flab. Stephen Durie, a pastor, was attacked by a villain with a knife which went several centimeters into his left side. “If I had been thin it would probably have penetrated my chest cavity,” he told me.

Stephen shared his story in response to a report in this column on Monday last week about a man who survived a being shot when his pot belly caught the bullet.

Reader Chaminda Da Silva commented: “Now I know why two-thirds of the US population is obese. It’s a natural way of protecting them from the guns all over the place.”

But be warned. Reader Jason Teng, formerly in the army, warned that most pot bellies would be too soft to work as bullet-proof vests. You’d have to eat “a diet of rusty nails and broken dishes” to develop “a pot belly of steel”, he said.

A doctor I called for a comment admitted that if you were fat, your flab could, in theory, make it difficult for bad guys to stab you to death or kill you with low-velocity bullets.

“But doctors generally don’t recommend getting hugely fat as a way of increasing your personal security,” she added.

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A plus-sized reader who did not want her name in print thanked me for adding a sixth item (“Impervious to knife-attackers or gunmen”) to her list of:

Five Good Things About Being a Fat Person.

1) “More fun to cuddle.”

2) “No wrinkles.”

3) “People like me for my wit and charm, not for my looks.”

4) “Having said that, fat women have astonishing boobs.”

5) “Would survive longer without food.”

Meanwhile, Stephen, who is based in Macau, said the stabbing happened a few years ago. Today he is good health, although still slightly overweight.

Last time he visited a clinic, the doctor told him that he would probably live longer if he lost a few pounds.

“Life is so ironic,” Stephen sighed.

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TALKING OF criminal activity, boxer Mike Tyson was asleep in his hotel bedroom when an intruder opened the locked door and entered the room, I read in a celebrity news magazine last week. What a terrifying thing to happen! I just hope the burglar got out of the room again without having a heart attack. Poor guy.

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THOUGHT FOR the day: What happens if you get scared half to death twice?

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THE HOT new gadget for 2012 has been revealed by the tech websites: the voice-controlled TV. (Pressing the button on a remote control is apparently too much like hard work for modern people).

Now you just open your mouth and tell the TV to switch channels and it reacts instantly.

Downside: if you accidentally say a rude word in front of the sound-operated TV, such as “O poop”, does it switch to The Bachelorette?

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SNOOP DOGG (full name Snoop Doggy Dogg) was in trouble the other day after a drug-sniffing dog apparently smelled marijuana on his tour bus in Texas. How appropriate: a snooping dog catches Snoop Dogg. Will the furious rap star change his name? Kick Dogg? Eat Dogg? How about Shoot Doggy Dogg?

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