THE BLOG

For a Change, Let's Not Forget the Little People

02/09/2014 12:21 BST | Updated 01/11/2014 09:59 GMT

It goes without saying that Tom Cruise is more popular than me. Google him and you get 49,500,000 results. Google me and you get...well, let's skip over that bit. Meanwhile, he has 4.7 million followers on Twitter. I think the last time I checked I had 14 - that's not million.

He's also richer than me, better looking than me ("Thanks for disagreeing, mum". "Oh, you're not."), more talented than me and fitter than me. Plus, he still has all his own hair.

However, in one respect, I'm the bigger man. At 172 cm (5ft 7.5), I'm a whole two centimetres taller.

Mind you, I'm hardly crowing about this. On the contrary, I'm rather dismayed. I always reckoned I was slightly more lofty. Obviously, I knew I wasn't 6 foot. I just had the notion that I might be 5ft 10. Or 5ft 9. Alright, 5ft 8. But definitely nowhere below that.

Last week, I went for my regular medical check up and stood on this machine that informed me of my blood pressure (perfectly normal), weight (perfectly normal) and height (umm).

The doctor, who to make matters worse, had the appearance of Dolph Lungren - 6ft 4 - tried to cheer me up by saying that those devices always take 10 cm off you. Naturally, he was being kind. He could plainly see how crestfallen I seemed.

To help me regain my confidence, he insisted that I stand up next to him."Yes, you are tiny, aren't you?", he said. I'm really not sure about that man's bedside manner. I felt like asking for a year's supply of valium to help get over the feelings of depression that were now engulfing me.

As I cycled - just about reaching the pedals - back to work, I couldn't help but wonder about the height of everyone I passed. 'Look at him', I thought to myself. 'He can't be more than 5ft 7'. The fact he was ten years old and barely out of shorts didn't matter.

In a vain (I admit it, I'm vain, but then aren't we all?) attempt to brighten my mood, I decided to check the typical height of males in the UK. You might be surprised. I was.

For my age, I should be 5ft 10. Damn! I pondered emigrating. What about Turkey? 5ft 8.5. New Zealand? 5ft 9.5. Germany? 5ft 10.

As for the Nordic countries, forget it. In Finland, it's 5ft 10.5. In Sweden, it's 5ft 11.5. And in Norway, it's 6ft. Jeez, they'd hang me on the branch of a christmas tree.

Thankfully, there are other places where I'd be taller than the average. For varying reasons, Iraq (5ft 5), North Korea (the same) and Bolivia (5ft 3) didn't exactly appeal.

So, I guess, Britain is where I'll remain. Forever to be looked down on by those with their heads in the clouds. I'll always be a tiddler, the equivalent of a fish that's continually thrown back because it's too small to be concerned with.

Before I know it, I'll have developed a Napoleon complex, compensating for being so minuscule - by the way, Boney wasn't 5ft 2, but 5ft 6 - by rampaging across Europe, before eventually ending my life in Saint Helena. That reminds me, I must find out what the average height is there.

Alternatively, I could always go join the Pygmies (often less than 4ft 11) of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. I have a feeling they might worship me as a giant. All the same, I would miss my little - there's that dreaded word again - luxuries like shoe lifts.

Actually, I think I'm worrying unnecessarily. There are plenty of famous people out there, Mr. Cruise included, who are considerably more compact than me. Bruno Mars is 5ft 5, Prince is 5ft 2 and Martin Scorsese is a diminutive 5ft 3. I bet their height doesn't bother them, so why should mine bother me? Surely, it's what we're like as people that counts. Not the number of inches we rise above the ground.

I'll tell you why it should bother me and other similarly stunted individuals.

As we get older, we tend to shrink. If you think it's currently inconvenient trying to see over people in front of you at the cinema, theatre or football match, wait till you're 86.

Personally, I can't afford to shrink. I'll soon be auditioning for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The only part I won't qualify for is Happy because I won't be bloody happy that by then, I'll be 3ft 11.5.

Befitting my newly discovered stature - or rather the lack of it - this blog really should have been shorter. Much much shorter.