I am not a tall man. In fact I'm a shade closer to five feet than six. This hasn't generally been a problem in my life. When I was growing up the pediatrician would always tell my mother that I'd be experiencing a growth spurt any day now.
I'm still waiting for that day.
But all in all I think I've handled this hideous deformity with grace and good humor.
The other day, though, I had an unfortunate incident. My wife and I were dining at a new French restaurant. While we were waiting to be seated I took the opportunity to visit the men's room.
I don't know how to put this delicately, but, well, the urinals were somewhat higher off the ground than I expected. This seemed an odd thing to find in a French restaurant. Let's face it, there aren't too many Francois or Pierres playing in the NBA.
Usually when confronted with a "high" or a "low", uh, "fixture" I choose the high one. After all, a man has to maintain some degree of self-respect. But in this case I was a bit daunted. I stood back a moment, mentally comparing the height of the porcelain receptacle to the length of my legs. After a brief interval of indecision, I decided to have a go.
I will say right here and now, with God as my witness, that I did not have to stand on my tiptoes! However, it was a close call.
I came out grumbling to myself and as we were being led to our table my wife said "What's the matter with you, grouchy."
"Oh, the damned urinal was too high," I blurted out, perhaps a bit too loud. The waiter froze for a moment, the back of the chair he was pulling out to seat her balancing delicately in his elegantly manicured hands.
"Excuse me?" she asked with the usual patience and aplomb that she has spent 22 years of marriage honing to a fine art.
"Never mind," I whispered as I sat down. "It's not important."
"Fine," she said, then added to the waiter, "Oh, and Francois, can you bring him a phone book to sit on?"