Notes from an emergency room doctor: I don't
mind when medical research comes up with healthful
recommendations that I can enact. Stop smoking,
eat less fat, and exercise more. This is advice
I can use - if I choose. What irritates the hell
out of me though are those scientific studies
that document some portending doom that I have
no control over.
For instance, a recent health study of 22,000
men conducted by researchers at Harvard Medical
School determined that men over 6' tall were 35%
less likely to have heart attacks than men under
Now that's just the kind of useless information
I can't act on. What do they expect me to do,
go right out and grow five inches.
But then I wondered just what the point of this
research could possibly be. Who could most benefit
from knowing that short people were at greater
risk of having a heart attack than tall people?
And who could afford to waste the resources of
a prominent university doing such a banal study?
Well, using all the investigative acumen I acquired
from reading John Grisham novels, I soon realized
who was in the best position to benefit from such
knowledge. It had to be a tall guy. And in particular,
an underling tall guy looking to overtake his
boss. Put a little extra cream in the boss' coffee,
stress him out a little by holding back some important
report until the very last minute, and voila,
that short guy is history or at least laid up
long enough in some cardiac care unit until "tall
guy" can get his job.
My first thoughts went to the seat of power.
Vice-President Gore is a tall guy. But then so
is Clinton. That wasn't the answer so I lowered
And then - eureka! - the answer came to me.
This research was not the kind of scientific exploration
that requires a combination of Nobel laureates
and high tech facilities to succeed. This kind
of study could just as well have been made by
the Health Professions Department at Podunk Community
College. And yet it came from Harvard Medical
School. Why? I called Harvard to find out.
It turns out that the Dean of Harvard Medical
School, Dr. Tosteson, is a short guy. "He's
about five foot, seven," his secretary told
me. The entire phalanx of leadership there also
appears to be short. Dean Nessen is 5'7".
Dean Adelstein is also about that height. But
just under them, the few associate deans, I discovered,
are tall guys, over six feet tall. I don't know
which one yet or if there are several, but it
is rapidly becoming obvious that there is a conspiracy
of tall people to take over the leadership of
Harvard Medical School.
As you might have guessed from all my investigative
efforts, I'm not at all happy with tall people.
They're not only better off when it comes to avoiding
heart disease, but they block the picture if they
sit in front of you at a theatre, and they have
an unfair advantage at basketball.
I plan on encouraging new research, perhaps
to be conducted at Podunk Community College that
will prove that short people are smarter and better
leaders. But we all could have surmised that already
by remembering those great short people - Alexander
the Great, Napoleon, and Ruth Bader Ginsberg.
We're watching you "tall guys." And
now we all know about the conspiracy at Harvard.