Lanky Boys
High earners, high achievers, high inflation of the head

by Tim Watts
October 2011

What is it exactly that I've always had against tall men? A strange grievance perhaps for someone who isn't classically short but I find lofty types have this tendency to look down upon us and I'm not just talking literally.

The average height for the British male is said to be 5' 9" which, without shoes, I stand just an inch above. Perhaps not one of those 'angry dwarfs' we often read about yet I would prefer to be a couple of inches taller. Making it to the desired 6ft would have been nice but ONLY for appearance as I would in no way like to adopt the attitude of the arrogant twits who normally stand at this height. Short men are often branded with a certain cockiness owing to a complex over their stature but then that is something only acquired over time. Tall men I believe have this arrogance ingrained. There are also a number of tall women around these days but I often find them to possess a natural kindness and gentleness in their nature whereas their lanky male counterparts have a competitive streak and will never hesitate in asking how much you earn, what car you drive, your golfing handicap and generally what level you're at in life.

It comes as no surprise that tall men are the higher achievers, better qualified, earn more and have no trouble getting dates in addition to having a longer lifespan to their long frames. Then there is this question of intelligence as height has often been associated with the old grey matter yet that is one of those theories which isn't always true of the opposite. For instance, if shorties truly are dense owing to the theory then it would never explain a nation like the Japanese, probably the most intellectually gifted race whose height earns them the nickname of "ankle-biters"? As so many of these tall boys are from public schools and universities their height may point to class upbringing rather than the notion they're just born tall and brainy. Each year during the Oxford & Cambridge boat race we're met with the usual press coverage beforehand showing a dinosaur-like fop from either team with an oar in his hand booming in that baritone roar of how he's going to make mincemeat of the opposition, often pictured next to a coxswain just to demonstrate superiority in the vertical contrast. It could even explain the ritual of throwing dwarfy into the water after the race!

There are common behaviour patterns I find in tall men such as whenever there's a group task to be carried out the lanky boy always takes over like they're an authority on the subject and are never backwards in coming forward. The lanky boy likes to lead and take over making sure their ideas override everyone else's. This I feel is behind their much bloated academic achievement, especially if their shorter peers are always pushed to the back. Even their annoying body language demonstrates something about a supposed superiority; the way they always sit with their legs crossed, the way they're unable to keep still when explaining something and expressing everything with their hands like a lengthy puppet on strings. There's also the way they need to be the centre of attention and can go to make great twits of themselves in the process. Did anyone ever find that stupid dance alleged comedian Michael Barrymore used to do at all funny? It was as though the lofty funny man had those overactive long legs and couldn't resist making a goose-like prat of himself. It is not unlike lanky Liverpool striker Peter Crouch with that equally daft body-popping he would do on the field. Why DO tall men have to act like that??

I also believe many of the male celebs who are not short of height display these cocksure characteristics and many get to where they are because of such arrogant self-belief. The long gangly 'funny man' Jim Carrey is just an unbearable, hyperactive irritant. And notice how lengthy jack-the-lads like Jonathan Ross and radio DJ Johnny Vaughan are cursed with that untamed verbal diarrhea where their guests are almost interrogated. Take note on how the 10ft boyish know-all Jeremy Clarkson appears so unquestionably correct all the time. Could you ever imagine Clarkson driving up in an old banger on his show Top Gear and admitting something like; "oh dear look how I messed up with this one"? Bringing a 6ft 7in bouncing fop Anthony Robbins back into the equation who not only preaches his misleading sermons to us on stage like an evangelical extortionist, but has that familiar clownish trait that all tall men have of throwing themselves all over the place when they need to demonstrate things so passionately.

It is quite often that the cocksure tendency tall men have comes packaged with its own immaturity because in the event that they're not chasing skirt you can bet they will be boasting about it. Lanky boys seem to giggle a lot about sex and are always the ones you see making gestures about 'birds' knockers' with that usual hands in front of chest demo and chimp-like gyrations of excitable boys. Whether they really have "shagged this shagged that" or simply like to brag, it seems bizarre how bedroom activities will amuse them so because whatever attitude you have about sex - it is rarely a giggling affair - unless on saucy postcards perhaps or of course if you're over 6ft tall. Digging up Jonathan Ross again, he pretty much sums up this high-altitude immaturity because what you really have here is a 12 year old boy in a 7ft frame. Each crude sex comment he makes gets followed with a coy look at the audience much like a kid who just learned the facts of life and later repeats stuff at home in the event that granny might pick up on what he said. Yes John, we've all recognised the crudie now; get on with it you soppy big kid! Tall men with their boyish authority on 'shagging' really makes me want to see brothels legalised because perhaps having sex on tap might deter it from being the hilarious adventure it always seems to be with these ceiling-butting adolescents.

Tall men I find are self-important with an ego that seems to grow with their height but that is not necessarily true of every tall man on the planet. There is a growth condition known as "gigantism", every bit as distressing as dwarfism which I doubt the sufferers would even ponder upon the notion of self-importance or ego. I dare say there are some very pleasant long fellows out there, one or two I should admit I've actually met but as a rule of thumb if they're 6ft or over they stand a strong possibility of inheriting the gene that makes them behave like a wanker.