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Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Public Service Announcement

Every year in this country 6-8 people are killed and perhaps a dozen are injured by a falling can of tomatoes while the victims are reaching for something on an upper shelf. Most of these people are short; perhaps some even children, which could explain the complete absence of national outrage. If tall and averaged-sized people were perishing in these horrific numbers you can be sure that those bureaucrats in Washington would sit up and take notice. Instead, our elected officials sit back and enjoy the bribes they receive from the powerful 32 ounce canned tomato lobby. In size and importance the 32 oz. can tomato lobby trails only big tobacco and assault weapons influence peddlers.

Think about it. Do we really need 32 oz. cans of tomatoes? Wouldn’t two 16 oz cans serve the same purpose without risking the ghastly consequences of falling 32 oz. cans? How much longer are we going to force the short people of this country to play Russian roulette every time they make spaghetti or a pot of chili? With top shelves stocked with 32 oz. cans of tomatoes, cooking for short people becomes as dangerous as over-running a Nazi machine gun nest.

“What about step stools?” That’s the extremely specious argument put forth by America’s liberal media. What they don’t tell you is that almost 10 short people are killed annually and God knows how many are maimed in step stool-related accidents. If short people need a can of tomatoes why don’t we just make them walk a tight rope while juggling live hand grenades? Step stools? How can people be so hateful? You make me sick. We may as well just kill short people in their sleep; that would be more merciful.

Some of you insist that short people should wear helmets. What is this, the Warsaw Ghetto? Must we further stigmatize short people beyond that which their lack of vertical height already inflicts upon them? Imagine for a moment that you are a midget and society demands that you wear an outward symbol of your shortness besides your Gap Kid jeans with the nine inch inseam.

Perhaps you just don’t care. I’m sure some of you even think that it’s funny when a short person gets cracked on the head by a falling can, but let me warn you that even short people have their boiling point. Not to digress too much but I actually figured out the boiling point of short people. I was bored one day so I stuffed a very small person into my biggest stock pot. The boiling point was 212ยบ, just like water, which makes sense seeing that people are something like 65% water—even short people, who generally seem meatier than taller folks. My point is that eventually short people will rise up—if you’ll pardon the pun. The conflict looms just over our horizon (short people can’t even see it yet unless they use a step stool—what a bitter irony). The coming storm will make the Tutsi-Hutu genocide in Rwanda look like a harmless coed softball game at a company picnic by comparison.

Have you ever noticed that the word ‘coed’ can either tick you off a little or turn you on, depending on how it’s pronounced? If you say “co” “ed” this just means that you have to find a few girls for your softball team and they’d rather lay out by the pool and drink wine coolers. If you say “coed” as one word it brings to mind such film classics as Coeds in Heat. English is such a rich language.

Now comes the truly shocking news. I myself almost became a statistic. I wouldn’t consider myself to be excessively short but let’s just say I won’t be dunking a basketball any time soon. Let’s just say that when I sit in a chair my feet won’t be touching the ground any time soon. Let’s just say that unless I’m standing on a couple of New York City phone books the bartender won’t be able to see me when I try to order my grasshopper. I was trying to get something from one of my kitchen selves when I was almost killed by a falling can. After regaining my composure from this near-death experience I noticed that it wasn’t a can of tomatoes; it was a 32 oz. can of pure coconut milk. After thanking the lord for sparing me, the first thought I had was, “What in the fuck am I doing with a 32 oz. can of coconut milk?” I wondered if perhaps I was from the Philippines and this could explain why I am only 5’9.” With a helmet I top out at 5’11.”

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