Stand tall 0
Life was fine at our table at the Dominion Hotel – right up until a sound bite from that stupid song blared across the room.
Though I immediately lunged and pulled the radio’s plug, I wasn’t quick enough. So fellow reporter Chad Ingram and I were briefly subjected to Burton Cummings singing a line from what we short people consider one of the most offensive songs ever.
“Stand tall…” he crooned.
“Did you hear that?” Chad asked. “More height discrimination!”
There and then, I knew that things were about to get awkward.
You see, Chad, who at five-foot-four is what I’d generally consider tall and lanky, was suddenly reminded of his height.
Perhaps he was being oversensitive after having recently been escorted off the premises of a George Richards Big and Tall Menswear store after getting lost in a three-piece suit. Or maybe it had something to do with the fact that he recently mistook a crawl space for a basement with a cathedral ceiling. Whatever the reason, his height was getting him down.
As someone who once made a decent living as the groom on high-end wedding cakes, I could relate.
It is true that we vertically challenged people face a glass ceiling – one that, to add insult to injury, we have to use a ladder to reach. But, I’ve always maintained that there is no use getting upset over that glass ceiling – unless of course a highland pipe band wearing kilts is on the floor above you.
“If only we could stand tall,” he said.
“It would take a miracle,” I muttered.
Suddenly, a miracle worker walked right through the door.
“Did I hear someone say they wanted to stand tall?” Sarah Adams chirped.
“Sure,” said Chad. “But unless you’ve got some way to incite a stubborn growth spurt, it’s not going to happen.”
Sarah, who works for the Haliburton County YWCA, was undeterred. She expertly sized up our feet and then pulled two pairs of red ladies’ high heels from her purse.
“Try these on,” she said.
“There’s nothing you can say that would make us wear shiny red ladies’ high heels,” I muttered. “Absolutely nothing.”
“Me neither,” said Chad. “I’ve got far too much dignity.”
“You’ll gain three inches in height,” she said.
Walking in high heels is not as easy as you might think. But soon Chad and I were strolling down Minden’s Riverwalk, which is coincidentally along the same route that Sarah wanted to scout for the upcoming YWCA’s Walk a Mile in Her Shoes. Accompanying her on the walk seemed like the least we could do. Plus, she said if we didn’t, we’d have to give the shoes back.
It turns out Sarah knows a lot of people. Practically every car that drove by honked its horn and a few even whistled.
“You think anyone has noticed our shoes?” Chad asked uncomfortably.
“Nah!” I said, “They’re marveling at our height.”
“Sure,” Sarah said, “Hey Steve, I’m trying to predict liability issues for the Walk. Could you try to walk on this grassy slope?”
After using my heels as picks to crawl out of the river and up the steep bank, I began to realize that being tall is not all it’s cracked up to be.
For one thing, my feet really hurt. And, you know, the air up there wasn’t any better either.
Still, Sarah insisted that we finish the whole route with her – despite the fact that, in that short walk, Chad and I had both developed life-threatening bunions.
Fortunately, as we passed the Ommh Beauty Boutique on the way back, Sean and the gang had already received Sarah’s 911 call and were ready with a full foot rehabilitation program.
There, because no one else wanted to do it, Chad and I decided to take turns pampering each other’s feet. He had just finished working on mine before I decided that it was a horrible idea, however. So the deal was immediately discontinued.
In the end, Chad and I agreed that though it was nice to be tall for a while, the cost was too high. And though we did help Sarah get familiar with the pitfalls of her route, enjoyed the scenic Riverwalk, and got whistled at by passing truckers, something just didn’t feel right about the experience.
Maybe it was because we wore those ruby slippers. Whatever the case, all I can say is there’s no place like Ommh.
Hey guys, forget about height issues and really bad fashion. If you want to wear high heels for a good cause, participate in the YWCA’s Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event on Oct. 20. It’s a light-hearted event that encourages men to wear heels and walk a mile through Minden in support of abused women.
All proceeds will help women and their children who are victims of domestic violence in Haliburton County. High registration numbers will mean higher awareness of the life-saving services available to women at the YWCA Women’s Centre, Haliburton County, such as HERS (Haliburton Emergency Rural SafeSpace).
To register for the event or to pledge a walker, contact Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.walkamilehaliburtoncounty.com during the first week of September. And, don’t worry, the YWCA provides the shoes!