My Sunday starts with a jolt: Napoleon Bonaparte was not short.

As a short guy, Napoleon is one those guys. And I don’t mean that he’s a role model like Prince, Tom Cruise or Gary Burghoff. Napoleon is the ‘Well if you think I’m short, take a look at this guy,’ of short guys.

He was 5’2 (157.5 cm), got exiled twice, has an entire psychological complex named after him, evidently had a one inch prick, got cheated on by wife Josephine (see previous mockery), and, and, as though that all wasn’t enough, he was French.

But now, because of the bloody Brits, Napoleon was my height.

For the record, I’m 5’7; 5’7.4 if I lay in bed for sixteen hours doing leg stretches and sacrificing Barbie dolls to the Pygmy god Seth. Napoleon was indeed listed as 5’2, however, according to Smithsonian Magazine, at the time French inches were longer than British inches, so he was really 5’7. The British, being the French hating, warm beer drinking soccer hooligans that they are, have chosen to ignore this and continue mocking him as the undersized compensation obsessed toolbag he is argued to have been.

As this is my blog, the most important aspect of this massive historical misconception is how it affects me. So, the fact that Napoleon is no longer the punch line that has grounded me in times of height anxiety is a blow. Insult being a constant Dancing with the Stars partner to injury in my life, it gets even better. When Napoleon was 5’7, it was considered average or above average height.

But now at 5’7, I am short.

I know short men that have obvious, glaring issues with their height. When you see a man under 5’9 who is built like a stocky post office, he is overcompensating. This goes for short guys who drive Hummers, listen to Gangsta rap and start fights with other men who resemble oak trees wearing pants. Being short has very rarely bothered me, though it surely has had an effect on me. I hate basketball, crowded bar rooms and the Brobdingnag section of Gulliver’s travels. I love underdogs, cats and Hobbits.


As if in foresight to this terrible Napoleon business, I arranged a few days ago to see The Hobbit today. Hobbits are like the Rosa Parks of short people. And The Hobbit is far better for short people than the Lord of the Rings. In the LOTR, Hobbits are caught up and run around by a bunch of tall people. In The Hobbit, they are with dwarves, their miniature comrades. And together, they run around kicking tall ass in Middle Earth.

They did short people proud all over the world(s).

I consider wearing an armband to commemorate short people’s rights, but instead elect to attend the film with a tall girl. A few people raise their eyebrows at the mixed couple, clearly wondering why a nice tall girl like her would be seen in public with a vertically challenged Pygmy like myself.

Upon my return home I switch on the computer and look up Napoleon. I stare at the (not so) little (anymore) runt and wonder what other misconceptions history has in store for us. I scroll down and review information I know: he was Corsican, from a noble Italian family and…

Great. The little prick was Italian.

  1. #1 by Andy on December 17, 2012 - 4:11 pm

    Preach on, brotha!

  2. #2 by greg galeone on December 17, 2012 - 8:00 pm

    if only tom thumb were here to enjoy your rantings about jrr tallkien’s[birth name] short story. it was all about breaking bad hobbits. i will pre-apologize for this before you call up and bitch to me about it-love-dad.

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