Sunday, April 12

#15 - miniature / gigantic

You awake to find yourself in room with no ceiling and smooth white walls. It is a sort of pit, about the size of a racquetball court. There is a hole in the side of one of the walls, but it is much too small for you to fit through. The tops of the walls are too high for you to reach, even if you jump.

The only other items in the room are two small jellybeans, one green and one yellow, which sit in the middle of the floor.

As you continue to take in your surroundings, you notice something etched on one of the walls. Taking a closer look, you read the following words:
Green will cause you grow to a height of 10 feet. Yellow will shrink you to a height of 3 feet. The effects of these beans are permanent.

You mull this over. At ten feet tall, you would be able to reach the top of the wall and could pull yourself up. Shrinking to three feet would allow you fit through the hole near the floor. Underneath the words you find a map also inscribed on the wall. To your amazement, you see that you are 500 feet below your town's city hall. The small hole leads to an extensive passageway. The top of the wall is actually the floor of a room that leads to a separate passageway (one large enough to accommodate someone, say, ten feet tall). Both paths lead upwards and would eventually take you to your town's sewer system, where you could rejoin society at large.

Which jellybean do you eat to escape your bizarre cell?

A few notes. You will grow or shrink in proportion to your present body shape (so you won't compress or stretch). Also, if you ate one bean and kept the other for later, consuming the second would override rather than "cancel out" the effect of the first. Finally, do not allow health concerns to affect your decision. Assume that the beans have the ability to prevent any complications from being much taller (or smaller) than the average bear.


HeatherR64 said...

I feel like these heights aren't fair - 3 feet is much closer to a legit 'normal' height than 10 feet is.

I feel like being tall has both advantages and disadvantages, but I'm not sure that being short has any advantages.

There are already people out there at both heights, but a lot more of them (it seems) at the shorter one. I'm not sure if that means I should go with short because other people have already learned how to deal with it, or tall because I could get help donated from people because of my uniqueness.

So, as usual, I'm still thinking...but my initial inclination was to choose tall.

Andrew said...

I'm slightly surprised that Heather thinks there are already people out there who are 10 feet tall...

But that aside: I'd choose 3 feet for practical reasons. Fundamentally there are already plenty of people in the world who are 3 feet tall (children) and they are basically able to function in society, albeit with some restrictions (can't drive easily, can't walk/run very fast), whereas being 10 feet tall would make it really hard to live in our world - you wouldn't fit in cars, buses, trains, planes, houses, etc.

So in an effort to maintain a relatively normal life I'd go for 3 feet tall.

Of course, if you didn't want "normal", but wanted to live an extraordinary life then obviously being 10 feet tall would make you famous and super-hero like, which could lead to a fascinating life - but it certainly wouldn't be normal.

Chris said...

I believe the tallest human on record was just under 9 feet tall while the shortest adult human on record did not even reach 2 feet tall.

I agree with Andrew, 3 feet is more practical. While I do not know the statistics on gigantism versus dwarfism, it seems to me that there are more people in the latter category. That being so, there are more resources for individuals of shorter stature. At 3 feet an individual could buy children's clothing or adult clothing and have it altered. At 10 feet tall, clothes would have to be tailored just for you. Being super tall would mean custom vehicles and furniture, constantly crouching through doorways, and always sitting in the back row at a movie theater (if you even fit in the seats without your knees hitting the seat in front of you). What would happen if you had a medical emergency? Would a hospital be prepared for someone of your stature?

I also agree that the extra height would bring added attention and possibly charity. However, I think the world is getting so used to "extraordinary and miraculous medical cases" that interest in your height would be short lived and any charity would quickly run dry and you would be left alone feeling very cramped in an average-sized world.

HeatherR64 said...

Excuuuuuuuse me for not remembering correctly how tall the tall guy was who got a specially made bike for a gift in some news story I read awhile go. Jeez. It just backs me up further in saying that the 2 heights aren't really fair. It should be 3 and 7 or 3 and 8 or like 1 and 10. Hah.

Matt said...

Okay, in defense of my numbers...

Robert Wadlow was the tallest man in medical history, an inch under nine feet. Though it seems like there have been lots of people as short as three feet, it looks from some internet searching that the average height of a little person is around four feet.

So yes, I maybe could have gone with 2 ft and 9 ft, but 3 ft is still a significant drop from that 4 ft average.

Amy said...

I am much more interested in blending in than standing out, so I would have to go with 3 feet.
1. The jokes would get old.
2. The leaning on my head as an
arm rest would be annoying.
3. Reaching.

1. Shopping in the kids section
is cheaper and more fun.
2. Not worrying about wearing
high heels.
3. Cell phones would reach from
ear to mouth.
4. Celebrity would finally be
within reach. lol

laura said...

The people who chose short have provided excellent practical considerations backing them up. However, I think I would want to make the accommodations necessary to be extra tall.

Due to my occasional delusions of grandeur, I *would* like the notoriety. My stride length would be impressive, and as Andrew suggested, there would be some sort of superhero-esque advantage to being really tall.

But, you know, it'd also carry inherent loneliness and solitude. Heavy lies the crown, I guess, of being the tallest person in the world.

HeatherR64 said...

Maybe you could get a reality show to find a companion with some sort of clever pun in the name about how tall you are.

mikeygee said...

I would hands down pick 3 feet. The limitations of being 9 feet is just ridiculous to me. I couldn't travel anywhere, I couldn't work anywhere comfortably, children would be afraid of me, etc. And I'm sorry, just because you're 9 feet, it doesn't mean you're suddenly super human. I am a somewhat tall guy (6ft1in) yet I am sure there are many 5 ft girls who are much tougher than I am.

The invention of the ladder makes this question, in my mind, an open and shut case.

That being said, I would be very sad to have to be 3 feet as that also would be very difficult. I think the social stigma would be what upset me the most... from what I've heard, little people are treated very rudely especially by strangers.

Joe said...

i'd definitely go for the taller pill.

being short would be a gigantic pain in the butt--it'd mean that i couldn't go on roller coasters, i would have to fetch a chair for when i needed to get stuff off of shelves, i would get carded EVERY time i ordered a drink, and so on. also, i'm afraid that my kids would be short too.

being tall would allow me to be better (a lot better!) at basketball. my kids wouldn't be short either. i can't think of a lot of advantages other than basketball...but man, it would be awesome to be that tall and have the chance to play college (and maybe pro!) basketball!

Matt said...

There are so many reasons to choose the short jellybean. There are more individuals that size, we've all been through a phase where we were three feet tall already, and you'd probably develop a not unhealthy dependence on others.

But for reasons unexplained, my heart says tall.

Ry said...

Tall pill. I would grow proportionately, which means proportionate strength, which means I'd be better equipped to beat the everloving crap out of the sonuvabitch who locked me down there with two jellybeans. Plus, if I were shorter than my girlfriend, who would get the waffle iron off the top shelf?

Pietro said...

I'm with Joe on this one. Without a doubt, the tall jelly bean.
Assuming I don't loose my coordination, I'd walk on to the NBA summer camp of my choice and get a job. The next closest person would be Yao and I'd have over a 2 foot advantage. The money from my new job would help me adapt to society as a super large person.