Anorak News | Small Matters

Small Matters

by | 20th, February 2004

‘WHEN Randy Newman sang about the nuisance of short people and how they had no reason to live, many thought he was attempting humour.

Newman was right

Newman is a deft lyricist, who sprinkles his lines with a light touch of sardony, but looking at today’s papers, we realise that short people can cause problems.

Take the Mail’s front-page story on the council “tax rebel”, 83-year-old Elizabeth Winkfield.

While her age is held up here and in the Express (where it’s given headline prominence), it’s the Mail’s comment on her height, or lack of it, that strikes a chord.

Winkfield is just 4ft 10in tall. Sure, she knits her own clothes and grows her own vegetables, but we venture that her fighting spirit – evidenced in her refusal to pay her council tax bill – is based not on her frugality but on her lack of inches.

Short and bumptious Mrs Winkfield is taking a stand – a short one, we grant you, but the pictures confirm it to be a stand, nonetheless.

And it’s a campaign that is sending ripples though the Devon area where Winkfield lives.

Forget grey power, it’s the short who are revolting, as the Sun tells how the 80-yard annual pancake dash for ten-year-olds in Okehampton, Devon, has been cancelled.

The organiser of the Shrove Tuesday race, Derek Godfrey-Brown, has been told that be needs to pay a £280 insurance premium for the race and station a steward every three yards of the course.

The fee – it’s four times what it was last year – is attributed to the rise of the so-called compensation culture. The insurers fear a competitor will sprain an ankle and do them for millions.

And it’s a fear based on good reason, given that the average ten–year-old is not overly tall. They are, for want of a better word, short.

And short people, as Newman told us, tell great big lies and have grubby hands.’

Posted: 20th, February 2004 | In: Tabloids Comment | TrackBack | Permalink