I'm 6 feet tall, or I was.
Two years ago, when I was 58, I switched doctors. The new doctor weighed me and checked my height. I asked her how tall I was, and she said I was 5 foot 11 and enough change left over to buy a bag of potato chips from the office vending machine. I was unprepared. I'd been 6 feet tall since I was 16, and I liked saying I was 6 feet tall. It's a manly height, but not freakish.
I'm an honest man, so when I got home that night, I told my wife I was under 6 feet. She's 5 feet 2 inches tall, and she said she didn't mind my new height. But I may shrink more, so at some point she's probably going to decide she wants a tall guy.
And now, just when the country has stopped trembling over the "s—-hole countries" controversy, we're loading the cannons to fight over President Donald Trump's height.
That was the relaxing thing about Barack Obama's presidency. He is black. Since this is America, being black is Obama's only physical characteristic worth a comment. How tall is Obama? Who cares? He's BLACK! When he was president, everyone knew he was black. It was an open secret.
As near as I remember, Obama never attempted to deny being black.
The headlines never read, "Obama's Doctor Says President Not Black. Just Has Tan," or "Obama Is Lighter Than a Paper Bag."
"What?" Obama could have said at a press conference. "Black? I'm not black. Here's a picture of my mom. She look black to you?"
Of course, back then, no one knew stuff like that could work. Back then, we figured people believed what they saw.
"That Kenyan guy in the pictures was our handyman," Obama could have said. "Look at my mom in that picture. She's whiter than a glass of milk."
I can remember my parents, both good Catholics, discussing the faith of John F. Kennedy, the first Catholic to be elected president. It was a big issue. A lot of ignorant bigots thought Kennedy would get elected and BOOM! the pope would be living in the White House.
Kennedy never denied it, either, though he could have.
"I'm not Catholic," he could have said. "Sure, there are pictures of me coming out of a Catholic church, but I just dropped in to use the restroom. Turned out it was the confessional. What a mess!"
That kind of joke proves the candidate is not a slave to political correctness. In fact, saying almost any kind of vile, stupid thing shows you're not a slave to political correctness, because vile and stupid is how "real people" talk, or at least it's how real stupid people talk, and stupid is the new patriotic.
For Trump, and for me, the real question is not how tall you are, but how tall you want to say you are. I want to say I'm 6 feet tall.
I figure it was a doctor who told me I was 5 feet 11 and some pocket change, so all I really have to do is find a doctor who'll tell me I'm 6 feet tall.
Shouldn't be hard. Sure, doctors are hard to bribe, but pharmaceutical companies do it all the time, so maybe I've got a shot.
Or maybe I can convince the doc into revising my height upwards.
"Whatta ya mean, 5 foot 11?" I'll say. "Look at me. I'm 6 feet tall! C'mon doc, write it on the insurance form."
If the doctor agrees to 6 feet, I may try for another inch or six. This time next week, I may be playing for the Chicago Bulls.
To find out more about Marc Munroe Dion and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com. Dion's latest book, a collection of his columns from just before during and after the 2016 presidential election, is called "The Land of Trumpin," and is available in paperback from Amazon.com and for Nook, Kindle, iBooks and GooglePlay.