I always wanted to be six feet tall, but I never made it. As tall as I ever got was 5’ 8 3/4,” which caused the Tacoma Police Department to reject me in 1966. They demanded I be 5’ 9” to become a TPD street cop.
Then there was that crushing blow in high school when our first-string, star, girls, basketball player, Penelope Peabody, who was 6’ 3”, did not ask me to accompany her to our girls ask the boys Sadie Hawkins school dance.
I have been rejected all my life because of my height or lack thereof.
Do you have any idea how disappointed I am that my life-long dream my friends would nickname me Stretch was dashed by the time I left high school. Stretch, yes. Shorty, no.
After retiring, I noticed that I was not even 5’ 8 3/4” tall anymore. I had shrunk to 5’ 7”.
As you can see in the photo above, today I am about as tall as I am wide. Either way, standing or laying down, I am 3’ 10”.
If I were still with the Sheriff’s Department, at 3’ 10”, I would make my former boss, Sheriff Paul Pastor, feel like a giant.
For those who have known me over the years, my current stature or lack thereof might easily make me unrecognizable.
I do enjoy this photo because it makes me look as tall as the rooftop. I can tell my JW Dant Genuine Sour Mash Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey drinking buddy, Tommy, who lives right next door to the Dant Distillery Company, I am tall as a rooftop. See? See? See?”
Dr. Highly tells me I am shrinking because I spend too much time sitting while slumped over my MacBook Air laptop and iPhone screens working on Westside Story column edits. If I want to stop the shrinkage, I must spend more time standing erect and walking around so I can stretch out my bones and muscles.
If I fail to get more exercise by this time next year, Dr. Highly calculates, through scientific measurement (Reference Note #1 below.), the continuing metamorphosis (Reference Note #2 below.) will bring me down to about 2’ 6” tall.
Humph. At the rate I am shrinking, I will not even be allowed to ride the rollercoaster at the Puyallup Fair or get up onto a barstool. The cops might make me sit in a child booster seat when I drive around Lakewood.
I can’t help getting old, but please do not look down on me.
- Scientific measurement” – Actually Dr. Highly used a yardstick she had kicking around her exam room. I could still read the old logo, Lakewood Hardware.
- Metamorphosis is a big doctor word. Had Dr. Highly used the word change, the rest of us could understand what she was talking about.
I feel your pain.
Hilarious. Enjoyed reading it. I feel your pain. I’m 5’4”. Or at least I was…
Larry King says
If you get any shorter or wider, Kjeri will put sticky-notes on you like her refrigerator.
Jim Hills says
As a person who is also “shrinking” I really enjoyed the story. I have considered shrink wrap to slow the progress.
P Rose says
The choice of going over you, or around you, has gotten much easier to make! ?
I could bring a rope over to your house and hang you from one of your fir trees for a few hours. That might get you back to 5’8″. Or, you could model children’s clothes and make a ton of money. Or, you could star in a sci-fi movie as The Incredible Shrinking Man. You’re an options guy. Think outside the box.
ex officer boyle is a genius – nearly everyday writing with such vitality that even old-fart retirees enjoy – does the new york times know about him? How about Le Monde?
Joseph Boyle says
What I want to know is who among you recommended me to the Carson & Barnes Circus. Their recruiters have told me if I shrink to 3′ or under they have a low position they wish to offer me. By low, they mean low pay and low height of under 3′.
As my dad always taught me, “Joe, how long do your legs have to be? I don’t know, Dad. Long enough to reach the ground.”