11/19/08

Tall-minded short guys

Each one of us knows someone who falls under the category of a "tall-minded short guy". This is a guy who is short, but carries himself as if he were tall. People are not just broad or narrow minded. They can be tall or short-minded (in the literal sense) as well. How do I know this? I used to be a tall-minded short guy myself. I mean I am still short, but I am no longer tall-minded. Its not like I went to a rolling mill and flattened myself out to be six inches taller!

Tall-minded short guys or TMSGs have some funny behavioral traits. Mind you that these mannerisms are pretty banal in and of themselves. But they suddenly become interesting or even entertaining, when applied to a TMSG. For instance, a TMSG would lean against a wall, fold his arms and cross his legs as he stands in line for movie tickets. Now, this looks cool for a tall guy and conveys an impression that he is a laid back and patient individual, who is not too perturbed by the long wait. But this kind of leaning makes a TMSG even more inconspicuous and harder to spot. Good luck if you are a friend trying to find him in this line. Another fun sight is a TMSG in summer, wearing shorts that are a few sizes too big and thus fit him like a pair of ill-designed capris. He is of course oblivious to this. In fact, he thinks he is looking cool and casual and his female colleagues (and even some male ones) are developing quite a crush on him. A real friend would subject a TMSG to public ridicule in this situation and thus make him aware of the sorry state of affairs. But why spoil the fun for everyone, right? Sports is another activity where TMSGs can be "fun". A TMSG would insist on playing the center position in a friendly game of basketball. He would then get mercilessly dunked upon, to the delight of his opponents and chagrin of his teammates. But as far as he is concerned, the other team won because they got away with committing too many fouls. It had nothing to do with his tall-minded shortness. I could go on... but I think you get my point.

So where do you think this tall-mindedness comes from? Like so many other things, its seeds are sown in childhood. So TMSGs like many other folks, can blame this on their parents and move on. If you become the tallest person in your family at an early age, your mannerisms are shaped by it. Now this is fine, as long as your family ranges from average to tall in stature. But if they are all very short, you get set on the path of growing up to be a TMSG. At least, that seemed to be the case with me. I think I may be onto something here... don't you? Perhaps, I have discovered a new syndrome using some retrospective introspection ... that could be fondly named after me? Ladies and gentlemen dare I say, I give you the "Sunjoo Krishna Syndrome"!

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