November 11, 2011

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“The Devil’s Dwarfs”

 

In honor of Veterans Day in America and what the British call Remembrance Day, here’s an article honoring the Bantam Battalion, a group of over 50,000 British and Canadian soldiers under 5 feet 3 inches who fought in the trenches during World War I.

When the war broke out, the article reports, the British Army restricted entry to men over 5 feet 3 inches tall, turning away thousands of short men anxious to fight for their country.

A quote from a  a 5 ft. 2 ins. coal-heaver from North Lambeth:

“They didn’t even let me inside. They said, ‘get away home titch’.”  [...]

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November 6, 2011

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A Lot of Spunk

Here’s one more for Monty’s growing collection of quotes about being short. From singer Dolly Parton, who reportedly stands about five feet tall without her heels and wacky wigs:

“I have a young heart. I have a lot of spunk left in me. And I think short people seem younger.”

So not only do shorter folk live longer and take less toll on the environment, but we look marvelous while doing it. Maybe that tips the scales a tad.

The quote comes from Parade magazine. I’ll add it to the list. If you come across any yourself, please send them along.

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November 1, 2011

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Ballad of a Short Man

Just came across this song called “Ballad of a Short Man” by Thomas Anahory.

Here’s the key lyric:

“Yes I’m a short man you see
But I will get to places
No one can”

You can listen to it here.

Anahory’s bio is in Spanish, so can’t tell you much about him, except, thanks to Google Translate, this comes from his first solo effort after several years with another band and as a sound man. A big ol’ Monty salute to that lyric.

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October 20, 2011

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A Regular Riot

Back when old Monty was slaving for the tall, knuckle dragging peabrains of the corporate world, your humble servant was asked to present his game-changing ideas to a group of about 60 people during a bus ride to a corporate retreat.

When my turn came, I bounded to the front of the bus, excited to share my thoughts on how to turn this profit-less enterrpise into a thriving business. But, before I could get a word out, the over-six-foot, bumbling chairman of this illustrious organization, which I’m happy to report slid into the crapper a year or so later, called out, “Why don’t you stand up so we can see you?”

Of course I was standing, as he well knew.

How do these insecure halfwits wind up heading so many organizations? And how do you deal with such clueless bullies? [...]

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October 17, 2011

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King Among Short Men

Came across an interesting quote in the wake of the dedication of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial in Washington this week.

Here is how Dr. King’s wife, Coretta Scott King, described her first encounter with the man who would go on to lead the civil rights movement:

“I saw this green car coming up the street and this short man. He leaned over to open the door, and when I got in the car I saw this very young looking man. I thought, ‘Oh my God, I expected to see a man but this is a boy.’”

Ouch. [...]

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October 14, 2011

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Napoleon? We Don’t Want Him

I remember it clearly, all these years later.

It was back in the days when I was smuggling bootleg rum into the Bahamas for a group of radical Mennonites. There I was, standing on deck, overseeing the men as they unloaded the cases. They were mostly Peace Corps volunteers, skinny college kids in need of a haircut and some spending money to buy weed before they went back to their villages. Usually a willing crew, but in need of a kick in the butt from time to time.

It was the end of a long day. Dark, the deck slippery with brine, a chance the harbor police could show up at any time. (Fat, corrupt, greedy swine with hair in their ears and glazed donuts on their breath, firmly in the pocket of the local politicos.) You could smell a storm on the moist sea wind. I was hurrying the men along.

“Let’s keep moving, mates,” I said. And then I heard it. One saying to the other, “Listen to him orderin’ us around, the frickin’ little Napoleon.”

Napoleon. I hate that guy. Continue reading…

October 12, 2011

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What They Say

I’ve been collecting famous quotes about being short. Wisdom, descriptions of characters, anything that provides some insight into how the world perceives us little guys. Some are pretty ugly. Others inspirational. Here’s what I’ve got so far:

“Give me a guy less than five feet eight, Johnson, and I’ll give you a real bastard nine times out of ten. It has been my experience that short men get a chip on their shoulders as big as an aircraft carrier. They’re pissed off at life and God and everybody else just because they’re midgets. I’m a blunt man, Johnson, and I’ll tell you that I always keep my eye out for a little guy because I know he’s down there low with his hands around my nuts waiting for a chance to give me the big squeeze.”

Colonel Bull Meecham, Pat Conroy’s The Great Santini. Continue reading…

October 10, 2011

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Mel Brooks on Sharpening His Tongue

When old Monty was in his formative years, I rarely missed checking out the latest issue of that essential publication for shaping the young mind, Playboy magazine.

Of course, to see this venerable publication, I would have to visit my friend Clyde’s house. Clyde’s father, a wiry bald man with a pencil-thin moustache and yellow teeth, had a stash in an oil-stained STP box way up on the shelf above his workbench in the back of the garage. Under an old blanket. Behind a pile of newspapers. He’d go out there at night under the pretext of smoking a Phillies Blunt stogie. I think the stink kept Clyde’s Mom from investigating, although not much got her to leave the couch. Don’t ask me how Clyde found it. All I know is he was generous enough to share this magnificent collection after school, while his Mom was absorbed in General Hospital and a bag of Vanilla Wafers. Continue reading…

October 7, 2011

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Good reasons to come up short

No advantage to being short, you say? Think again.

Monty has some news for you. Us little guys lift more weight per pound, run further, live longer, and face cancer less, and that’s just for starters.

Here’s a long list of proven advantages to being of lesser height from The Truth about Your Height by researcher Thomas T. Samaras, who argues that us wee folk are better for the environment.

  • Short men require less fuel to live and work
  • We are less prone to injury when falling (short guys hit the ground with less impact because they are falling from a lesser height). Continue reading…

October 6, 2011

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Fat, Bald and Short – the Movie

Spotted the synopsis of a movie this morning by Columbian director Carlos Osuna with a message that may hit home for some of us little guys. Here is the description from Hispanically Speaking News:

“’Fat, bald, short man’ is a dark humored animated movie telling the story of Antonio Farfán, a 46 year old lonely man working in a Notary’s office, rejected by his colleagues, who has always believed that his personal and professional failure is because he is bald, fat and short. However, someday a new notary arrives, Mister Enriquez, a shorter, balder and fatter man that, unlike Antonio, has a successful career and earns people’s respect pretty easily. After seeing this, Antonio realizes that his existential failure is not because of his looks and begins reproaching himself [for] the kind of life he has lived so far.” Continue reading…