Monday, 16 August 2010


There was a room full of nervous and excited, or at least excitable, midgets. They kept jostling and bumping into each other, and there seemed a psychological mania - though perhaps all manias are psychological manias - for measuring each off against each other to see who was the taller. So, once a third party acceptable to both parties had been requisitioned, back to back two midgets would place themselves - not though that it could be in any way certain that they could be relied on to stand still long enough back to back to effect the measuring, and even when they could remain roughly in the appropriate geographical spot, the third party, whoever he may be, still had his work cut out, as each tended to engage himself, when that is a little restraint governed his behaviour, in thrusting a little skywards by means of standing on his toes, and when unrestrained, by positively hopping, constantly battling gravity in the attempt to prove the victor.

In the rare instances when a decision could, with alleged certainty, be offered by the third party, awarding the height advantage to one or the other, then accusations of partiality, stupidity, blindness, littered the air, shrill words would be sent hurtling back and forth; but soon enough the squabbling parties would find themselves split apart by the ceaseless movements of the wider buzzing throng, ensuring by a kind of accidental but certain logic that things never got too serious . . .  and so on things went.

Happily though, relations between the midgets weren’t always so, if not hostile at least, competitive. Sometimes two midgets would be arm in arm, even at times hand in hand, expressions of bliss across their slightly oversized faces; and, if one asked why the pleasing comradeship, they would be delighted to inform that "We are exactly the same size!" - perfect equals, and what’s more might be intimated, the greatest of equals. If one asked whether they had measured each other to ascertain whether this perfect equality was certain, the answer would be that no, there was no need. If one pushed the point and this equality were then ever put to the test, sadly, after initial laughter, the earlier described scenario would unfurl itself and the brief friendship dissolve.

An odd room, a bit exhausting after a while.

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