Friday, April 29, 2011

The Smaller They Come, The Lower They Hit (Poem)

'They got little cars
That go beep, beep, beep
They got little voices
Goin' peep, peep, peep
They got grubby little fingers
And dirty little minds
They're gonna get you every time'
- RANDY NEWMAN, "Short People"

As you know by now, discerning readers,
I am happily free from prejudice of any sort.
To me, all men are my brothers and all women, my sisters.
And if animals could talk, they’d say that I’m a “jolly good sport.”
I recently tried to hand-feed a crocodile, my dears,
Which is why I’m writing this poem from hospital
And I once had to endure some embarrassing anti-rabies shots
After I returned a lost puppy to its vicious mother.
The doctor injected me as if he were playing darts
‘Easy, doc,’ I begged. ‘You’re not tranquilising an elephant!’

To cut a long story short,
The only category of people I can’t handle
Is the league of extraordinarily short people.
I don’t know why but dwarfs tend to think little of me.
Although I stopped saying things like, ‘How’s the air down there?’
And ‘The smaller the come, they lower they hit,’
They still treat me like some sort of enemy.
The long and short of it is that the “vertically challenged”
Often suffer from a condition called the “Napoleon Complex.”
To wit, they make up for their physical inferiority
By being more aggressive than you and me
And the balloon goes up when they overdo it
And end up rubbing others the wrong way.

So now I’m tired of extending the olive branch.
If any “little people” want to brawl, then I’m game;
I’ll even kneel down so that we’ll look the same.
It’s not my fault that you’re so close to the ground –
Shout at God if you want someone to blame.
In any case, you’re the ones selling yourselves short:
Lesser height does not rank under “physical disabilities”
And even the tall have their own insecurities;
Inferiority and superiority complexes are all in the brain.

(c) Alex N Nderitu

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