The very real and annoying problems shortarse men always face
"I wish I was a little bit taller, I wish I was a baller; I wish I had a girl who looked good, I would call her."
So said American rapper Skee-Lo in his popular 1995 hit 'I Wish'. As a man of 5ft 7in, Mr Lo knew only too well the lot of the vertically challenged male. We're not referring to those technically classed as 'little people' either. We mean the just below average-sized male, who is sadly not yet accepted as a put upon minority.
In our own small way (pun not intended), we hope to raise awareness for men who fall just short of normal and are routinely ridiculed and mocked for their lack of physical stature. Here are just a few of the disadvantages they must face on a daily basis...
A big one for small blokes. There's nothing like the visceral enjoyment of being at a live gig, and it's not the same if you're sat down in tiered seating. You want to be in amongst the mosh pit of the standing area...unless you're short.
Any distance from the stage and your view is obscured by relative giants. Your only option is to get there an hour early and stand amongst the groupies at the front.
I'm all for gender equality but it's got to work both ways. As a diminutive man, your pool of potential dates is already cut short by the number of women who are unprepared to get with a more grounded man.
Then your odds are slashed even further by girls who love their heels. Sadly this form of 'height-doping' isn't deemed socially acceptable for men, which is plain sexist.
Not an obvious one for your average fella, but they'll be many a slightly lower head nodding in agreement. For some reason, other men think you're invisible on a crowded tram, train or bus.
They think nothing of reaching over your head to hold a rail or handle and annoyingly rest their elbow on your head. Plus you're only at armpit height compared to most so it makes for a very pungent commute.
Clothes maketh the man, but clothes shopping maketh the short man insecure. There are many high street stores that carry shorter sizes, but they tend to be the likes of M&S and Debenhams - hardly cutting edge style.
Any swankier and retailers suddenly assume that minus-sized men don't exist. Generic clobber like football shirts and leather jackets are always too long by half.
A slightly niche one granted, but significant nonetheless. Male pattern baldness is on the rise in the general and shorties aren't immune to thinning on top.
Unfortunately for them, their 'top' is significantly lower than others, and so sparse foliage becomes instantly apparent to all and sundry. Lanky blokes loosing locks can seem perfectly hirsute to your average passer-by and that's not fair.
Not all shortarses are natural extroverts - and no, we haven't considered a future in the circus. Yet any time there's a group photo of some sort, miniature heroes are always pushed to the front whilst their more inch-laden brethren are able to look all cool and aloof in the background.
Standing in the back row would at least allow pocket pals to stand on their tiptoes for bonus millimetres.
Obvious one this, but the vertically-challenged amongst us have a distinct disadvantage when it comes to most every sport. It's not like the cartoons where you can simply dodge in and out of the taller foes' legs.
Heading a ball, connecting with a punch, going for a slam dunk, or reaching for a catch are all tougher as a titch. And don't bother with the patronising 'low centre of gravity' line.
It may sound bizarre but it's all too true. After a few drinks, everyone gets a bit more open and uninhibited - there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.
But a very annoying manifestation is mullered mates getting very gropey with their smaller pals. It's all throwing about and cuddling like you're their real-life teddy. Girls do it too, which isn't as fun as it sounds - it's downright emasculating.
Think of all the archetypal heroes in popular culture - Superman, Han Solo, Batman, the Incredible Hulk, anyone the Rock plays - they all tend to be strapping gentleman of ample height.
Now consider some of the weasely baddies - the Penguin, Brain (from Pinky and the Brain), Chucky, Lord Farquaad, Adolf Hitler (who was real) - all short. It's a conspiracy to keep the already lower man down.