I know a guy who bought one of those big SUVs. Called a Ford Exterminator or something like that. He's a big tall fella, and his wife's a 6-footer. His two kids are monsters. Horse-sized dog. He bought this thing for safety. Yeah, safety. So what if he occasionally has to pry a crumpled Volkswagen Beetle or Mini Cooper from one of the wheel wells? He's just protecting his family.
Yep, size matters for a lot of things in our culture. Like the shorts NBA players wear. Teen boys took the cue. Their pants have to be triple-sized, barely hanging on for that ever so hap-nin' baggy-ass look. Go figure.
Any basketball player taking the court these days in '80s-style tight, short trunks would be laughed out of the arena as a silly embarrassment. Wouldn't matter if he could play like Kobe Bryant. Kobe could get away with wearing the short tight ones, but that's just not gonna happen.
Cups of soda pop, burgers, fries, TV screens, dogs, NBA centers, NFL linemen, even men's equipment all aren't quite as good unless they're big enough to do their part in blocking out the sun.
Try giving a fast-foodie one of those little green bottles of Coke and those miniburgers they used to sell for 15 cents back at the dawn of man, when fast food was merely a Ray Kroc experiment. Do that today and you'd have a riot:
"A six oz. bottle of Coke? What, are you kidding? I need to wash down my three-quarter pound Intergalactic burger topped with bacon, cheese omelette, pizza, mayo, ketchup, mustard, special sauce, and a triple order of supersized fries, OK?
"I'm gonna need a tall tankard of double-caffeinated carbonated sugar water with a double straw for that task, bro, trust me. So don't bother me. I'm stuffing my piehole with as much fat, salt and sugar as is humanly possible in one sitting for a simple reason: I have a big appetite, OK?"
Seem to have touched a nerve here.
"By the way, whoever heard of a small appetite? If you don't wanna eat food and a lot of it, there's something wrong with you. Just like if you watch TV on a small screen, and your dog is anything smaller than a 100-pound Great Dane/Shetland pony mix, there's something wrong with you. Where's your pride? This is America!"
Good point. And supersized people are also in demand for big bucks. If you're going to play center in the NBA or be a lineman in the NFL, there's one thing you've gotta be besides tall and more coordinated than a three-legged giraffe: big. Really big. If you want to make an NFL offensive line, better also have a big fat, hangin' belly.
The notion of big even gets symbolic. If Fred displays an act of bravery, he's automatically credited with having a supersized man-package, the highest of praise.
"Wow, Fred has some big cajones (that's CA-HO'-NAZE)," an admiring friend might offer. "He ran with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. I'd never do that. Too bad he got trampled and gored in the buttocks."
On the other hand, if Clyde accidentally spilled a cup of hot coffee on a biker's crotch at Starbucks, prompting the leather-chapped fella to scream "You're dead!" and making Clyde whimper and run, how would his manhood be graded?
Smaller than raisins under a grapefruit tree. "C'mon, Clyde, show some (round things used in games)!" his friends would scorn. "It was an accident!"
Big-box stores, malls, ships, jets, bridges, skyscrapers and pumpkins. They're all ranked by which one is biggest, tallest or longest.
But while jumbo sizes are worshipped all over the place, you occasionally run into an annoying "tiny is better" scenario.
Like cell phones.
Remember the wireless phones of the '80s? How embarrassing. It was like walking around carrying a wooden barstool on your shoulder while you talked.
Now, the smaller your cell phone is, the more fashionable you are. If this miniaturization trend keeps up, cell phones will ultimately disappear altogether as chip implants.
Still, there's a factor in this size-happy world which we can't forget. Fashion trends, like bellbottoms and Day-Glo polyester shirts, always come full circle. Before we can think to say, "Hey, short basketball trunks look ridiculous," they'll be back, and as popular as they were in the '80s.
Large fast-food portions will someday be considered garish violations of a civilized world, as will jumbo-sized TVs. And someday the NBA and NFL will recruit Mini Me clones to bring disillusioned sports fans back to their former selves as rabid, bet-hungry maniacs. Even mondo SUVs will go the way of the woolly mammoth.
Yes, I know. Sounds crazy now.
Just wait. It's only a matter of time.