A Plea for the Short-Legged
To all and sundry who have the placing of telephones, looking-glasses, hooks, washbasins, and so forth, on trains, steamships, in hotels, and so on: —
My height, five feet one and one-half inches, exceeds that which tradition ascribes to Napoleon the Great — the Little Corporal — by one and a half inches. Height, the anatomists tell us, depends chiefly on the length of the legs — hence my title.
When I shave, or wish to adjust my necktie, I usually find that I can see only as far down as my mouth; my chin and neck in the one case and my chest in the other are invisible because the mirrors are set too high.
I can rarely reach a telephone mouthpiece fixed on a wall even by standing on tiptoe. Usually I have to shout, into the receiver from a distance of four to six inches. As for a prolonged conversation, it is impossible to stand a-tiptoe for more than a minute.
As for hooks, it is impossible to hook — and especially to unhook — an overcoat or other garment, even by an extreme uplifting of my arm aided by tiptoeing.
Washbasins are placed so high that it is difficult or impossible to get a double handful of water to wash my face with.
I am heartily in favor of uplifting the community, but I fain would downlift, too, — if I may coin a word not recognized by Webster, the Century, or even the N. E. D. — such mirrors, basins, hooks, and telephones.
We, the short-legged, develop upward at the expense of our nether extremities. Our heads are as good as those of the long-legged; we even think some are better.
Combining the adult short-legged and adolescents who later will attain long-leggedness, we are many and, as becomes our lack of height, we humbly crave the relief which can so easily be given to us.