Did Hitler hate chairs? 4 Nov 2012
In strange ways, my Jewish mother showed me that the Fuhrer may very well have sought a Final Solution for all things seatable.
Growing up the smallest in my class, my mother always told me there were many advantages in being short. When I asked what they were, she paused, gulped, looked skyward, paused, then replied, “Well, you can always hide under chairs”.
That was it. Definitely gets the award for piss-weak effort of the decade.
That was the 70s. Four decades later, I'm still five-foot-a-bit. I don't even bother doing a metric calculation.
And it's not a good country to be vertically decrepit in. Australian women seem to have a penchant for tall beefy blokes. I know this because every time I go overseas, I receive multiple advances from women (NB: two is technically a multiple).
But back in the 70s, hiding under chairs had no advantage – unless the chair was covered around all four legs down to the floor and the whole thing had a cloaking device that rendered it invisible to anyone living in this Cartesian space-time location.
Around the end of that decade of flares, and into the 80s, I attended a Jewish school that put great emphasis on studying the Holocaust.
So I started to imagine my life in that time. Could I have evaded the Nazis with some miraculous chair-hiding routine? Hmmm.
I saw Hitler himself berating his inner circle of Himmler, Goering and co:
“Those swine Jews, they fall through our traps again and again. Every time we search a house for them, they somehow vanish under chairs.”
His audience cower and nod. “Yes, Heir Hitler. Sorry Heir Hitler.”
He grows more enraged. “And what of our SS? Where are the Secret Stuhl brigade? Aren't they supposed to be trained to look under chairs? I want answers! Heads will roll!”
His yes-men stand silent.
“Is it true that the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto are instructing each other in ducking under chairs? I want that Ghetto searched. Every corner. Any stool instructors are to be executed on site.”
I woke from this fantasy by a clip across my head from my ever-loving mother.
I know it's a fancy, but a little part of me cannot but dream that maybe, in another world, being short might have bestowed me with some amazing evolutionary advantage.
There's a shiny world out there, waiting to be found. Of love, peace, pure equality. A world where short people stand tall, never to need a chair to rest on – or hide under – again.
We short people will stand and be counted. And then we will go forth and discover this promised land. And we will not recline until we are there.
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