Tall Tales This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

     Are you happy with your size? Do you wish you were bigger? I am 6'5" and weigh over 300 pounds and my peers always say, “I wish I were your size.” If only they knew. It isn’t easy being big, though it does have some benefits.

Being tall and round, I have problems getting around. My grandma’s house has low ceilings and ceiling fans; I sometimes forget and stick the top of my head right into the fan. A lot of times I have to duck when I enter houses.

I am round but not extremely so. My height evens out my weight, but my weight has limited me, too. Last year at the state fair I wasn’t able to go on the Rings of Fire ride because the operator said the harness would not fit. My size also caused me embarrassment during a church service when I fell between two pews and got stuck there.

I am stereotyped all the time. People see me and think I must be strong and mean like the Hulk. They always say things like, “You could probably punch me through a brick wall” to which I reply, “I’m not the dad gum Hulk, you know.”

Another frequent stereotype is that I must be a bully and mean since I’m so big. The truth is, I’m the exact opposite. People have told me that I am nothing like they thought when they first saw me. People also think that because I’m big, I must eat a ton, which actually is true.

Though being big isn’t easy, it does have some benefits, and I have fun with it. For one, people always think I’m older than I actually am. Years ago I was helping my youth pastor move furniture and an 18-year-old thought I was his age. I was 13 at the time, and since he was a small guy, I thought he was my age.

An awesome benefit of being big is being strong. You can’t be that big and have all those muscles and not be strong. It is like a bank not having money. I’m big, you know I’ve got to be strong, but I’m no juggernaut, for Pete’s sake.

Another cool advantage of being a head or two taller than most is that I can see a lot in crowds. I love to sneak up behind people and wait for them to turn around and bam, there I am. Scaring people is really fun because it takes no effort, especially with strangers. I love to see the look on their faces, especially when I get out of a small car. My size can be very entertaining.

I would have to say, though, that the cons outweigh the pros. And it really is lousy always bumping into people when I’m in a crowd. Even though it is fun, I’d rather be shorter. But in the famous words of Popeye the Sailorman, “I am what I am and that’s all that I am.”

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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