Motivational talks, for me drum up fond memories of feeble attempts on the part of high schools to inflict a rather mainstream message: that success amounts to the key ingredients – staying in school, partaking in sport and abstaining from drugs, with liberal amounts of hard work, and a personal hygiene level well above reproach.
Every now and then when I gaze upon the stature of my flatmate, a flash back is triggered to a time when Rob Waddell came to motivate my school. Sadly he was unable to successfully motivate me in the conventional sense, but his tale of an exchange trip to China did have a lasting impact. Rob being a noticeably large and blue-eyed chap created quite a stir amongst the locals. It was immediately clear to me that Rob was in fact ‘too big for this town’ in the sense that his outlandish height had caused him to search for acceptance far far away from the narrow sense of humour of little old NZ. Far away from the bad puns, because after all as Fleur would say “There’s more to life than being ridiculously tall looking.” The absurdity of this particular exchange has motivated me to reach for new heights/bad puns for my flatmate Fleur. Fleur being a strapping 6ft 3 inch wonder, is an endless source of entertainment to me, allowing me to crack bad jokes : ‘How’s the atmosphere up there?’ ‘Do you play basket ball?’ and of course my favourite puns ‘you are the height of hilarity’ (incorporating irony in making fun of Fleur’s cracker sense of humour) and ‘you’re reaching new heights of…’. All this friendly banter is not new to the life of Fleur. Our Fleur has been plagued with being unusually tall. All her life, childhood was an experience of mammoth proportions for her and all concerned, and was documented meticulously with family photos galore in which Fleur can always be found at the back. Seeing as I missed out those painful growing up stages it’s become clear that now is the time to make up for it. It has become apparent that sending Fleur to China would be the ultimate height of hilarity. And would also be a means for Fleur to escape. It seems Fleur has suffered at the expense of people with very narrow senses of humour and those who lack subtleties and choose to remark about her height, simply because it is the most obvious and outstanding thing about her. Admittedly sending Fleur to China wouldn’t actually solve this problem but at least she would not be able to directly understand the ridiculing due to cultural differences and language barriers. Another flatmate who we’ll call anonymous short person spends her spare time wondering “What would it be like to be able to see the tops of our highest shelves”, and to not have to lower her self (pun) to asking someone of a more average height, or Fleur, to get certain items for her stacked out of her reach at the supermarket. There was one time when this given flatmate had to create a flatmate pyramid of sorts, involving her, another abnormally small flatmate and …(suspense) a chair and they were still unable to change the given light bulb…where was Fleur? Picture the endless looks of awe. If every student at uni pledged the low amount of $0.20c to the cause we could send Fleur to China and document/ ridicule her travels. We would be providing the Chinese People with endless photo opportunities. (Hey honey, sorry about being late, I was walking down the street and I bumped into a giraffe-like white girl, and had to take a photo.) Think of it as a civic duty or a type of gift to the people of China. We would be providing a sixth of the world’s population with endless entertainment and perhaps even a new Deity. Anything less would be moral fraud, so come on Vic Students get on board. (rhymes composed by Helen Breeze (Go Helen))