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Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Size matters

Two sizes of glass to illustrate this story about short people at Friendly Encounters
While we're on the subject of words you can't use any more, I heard one the other day in a context that was more offensive than the word.

"You can hire a midget to handcuff to the groom on a stag night now," Susan throws into the conversation in her living-room.

Carol laughs, but I don't think it's funny and say so. "a) that's terrible, b) the word 'midget' is offensive and c) how on earth would you know that?"

"My son's the best man for an old pal in two weeks' time," she says. "He's organising the stag night. Said he'd found this company online you could rent a midget from and a set of handcuffs."

"Is he going to?" Carol asks.

"I told him if he does I won't be at the wedding," Susan says.

"Being a short person handcuffed to a drunk in the company of other drunks who'd think that's funny sounds dangerous," I say.

"I think it might be," Susan says. "He says they've got rules."

"Like no throwing the midgets," Carol suggests.

"That's Rule 1," Susan says. "Then there's 2. 'Remember the word 'midget' may be deemed offensive by your dwarf',' 3. 'No spiking of drinks and 4. 'Remember your dwarf is a person and not an object.'"

"What a bizarre business," I say. 

"I know," Susan says.

"Speaking of short people, Ellen and I have split up," Carol says. 

"I don't see the connection," I say. "Ellen's average size."

"She is but the midget she caught me snogging wasn't."

Susan's mouth drops open.

"Can we agree on 'dwarf' or 'short person' please, for the rest of this far-fetched story," I say.

"It's not far-fetched," Carol says. "It's true. Except I wasn't snogging him. It was a misunderstanding. But she doesn't believe me and I'm dumped."

She looks genuinely upset, so I put her fertile imagination and love of storytelling to one side and park the doubts. "Tell us what happened," I say.

"Well we're out for the night in a gay bar and Ellen is at the other end of the room chatting to a cute chick with a star tattoo. I've got talking to this butch babe at the bar who is making me nervous. You know what happens when I get nervous."

"You do something stupid," Susan says.

"Always," Carol says

"What was it this time?" I ask.

"Well I reach to the side to put my drink down on what I think is a bar-stool beside me. I don't look because I want to keep both eyes on the risky chick."

"And?" I say.

"And it isn't a bar-stool," she says. "It's the bald head of a short person."

"Bloody hell!" Susan says. 

"Yeah," Carol says. "He goes 'Hey!' I bend down to apologise and the little bastard lobs the gob at me. Ellen looks across, sees us kissing, storms over and gives me hell. Big argument. I'm dumped."

"That's a sad story," Susan splutters, looking like the effort not to laugh is going to cause an injury.

"It's not funny," Carol says. 

"No it's not," I say seriously, and stand up. "Can I get you a drink, ladies?"

"Lager for me," Susan says.

"Same for you Carol, or are you moving on to shorts now?" I say, smartly sidestepping the cushion she throws at me.

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