Aug 21 2011

Overheard By A Tall Person

My dearest Height of Lifers,

I haven’t taken the Overheard By A Tall Person feature out for a spin in quite a while. Does that mean that I haven’t had to dodge all kinds of idiotic comments like so many games of dodge ball and I’m not even in this gym class? Alas, no. I’m lucky in that most of the comments I get now are of the well-meaning but mind-blowingly repetitive, annoying and kind of intrusive variety. Yeah, it may wear me down to hear this tripe on rewind from gormless idiots who somehow feel entitled to ask random strangers highly-personal information, but I am genuinely lucky that I don’t have to endure hate-crime-level harassment. A sense of perspective is always important.

All that said, since many comments I get are like cut-out snowflake versions of each other, there haven’t been too many memorable, truly bizarre/hilarious ones of late…except for last week.

We lay our fair scene at the gas station (not even the gas station in Verona, I’m afraid). I’m filling up my car, as one does at gas stations, and I see this older man (for visual clues, see the over-enthusiastic Texan from “The Simpsons”), staring at me with a big grin on his face. The wheels are turning. He gets really close, even though is pump is on the other side, and asks me how tall I am. Before I could respond, he bellows the question at me again, just in case I missed it a second earlier. I don a long-suffering smile, and give a “oh, pretty tall” in my reply. Missing the point, he goes, “6’2?” I was so shocked at him actually getting my height right (most people who try and guess my height come out with a “7-million-foot-eleventy?!”), so I answer with a surprised yes. He then starts telling me about his grandsons, and how they’re 6’6. This is a pretty common element of Stupid Tall Comments, but a lot of people blather on about their suuuuuuuper-taaaallllll uncle who stands at a towering 5’9 SO TALLLLL!!!!, so at least the grandsons were undeniably tall.

Up until that point, this exchange hasn’t been anything memorable. Same tedious-chats-with-strangers, different day, y’know?


We’re talking about the grandsons, and their hobbies, and yadda yadda yadda, and then he brazenly looks me in the eyes, and brazenly goes: “They’re too young for the likes of you, anyways.”


Mar 17 2010

Overheard By A Tall Person

Cream is not amused

My dear readers…er…don’t get ahead of yourself Kylie… ”reader,”

Although we as individuals might lead radically different lives from one another, and probably have different life experiences as a result, there is one common experience that binds us all together.  Or at least tall people together.   That experience?  Suffering through Stupid Tall Comments (term coined by my friend Verity).  These comments run the gamut from being overwhelmingly flattering, to downright rude, to annoying and repetitive, to well-meaning-but-positively-insane.  Maybe this says more about me than I care to admit, but I sometimes get a kick out of the positively-insane ones.  I figure that as long as it isn’t cruel or annoying, a solid gold ridiculous comment often yields a screamingly hilarious story to tell both friends and strangers alike.    Of course, questions like why people feel so entitled to comment on other peoples’ bodies in the first place, the different “genres” of STCs that one might encounter, as well as effective comebacks and coping strategies to deal with them are different beasts altogether, and ones that I’ll be addressing soon.

There are some stories that are just too good to keep to yourself, and that’s where “Overheard By A Tall Person” comes in.  This new feature here is an opportunity to share those golden encounters with the rest of us; the more ridiculous, the better. They can be face-to-face conversations or simply overheard (surely you’ve also had the strange experience of hearing people talk about you as if you’re *not* standing right beside them?)   Some of the best on-field news reporting of this kind is from the fantastic blog, Don’t Harass the Tall Girl.   The blogger rarely updates nowadays, but I highly, highly recommend reading through the archives.   She’s straight-talking, unapologetic in her observations, and has a wicked sense of humour.   So if you have a wacky STC story or experience you’d like to share, please send me an e-mail or write it in the comments.  We’re here to laugh and commiserate with you!