Everything I need to know about life I’ve learned from Skee-Lo

Skee-Lo... The day's eminent philosopher.

Skee-Lo... The day's eminent philosopher.

It has been said (by me) that early 1990’s rapper Skee-Lo is the one of the great civil rights leaders of our time. Skee-Lo is most famous for his 1995 song “I Wish.” (Side note: Skee-Lo’s version of “I Wish” sounds nothing like the R. “the Serial Urinator” Kelly song by the same name.)

It is in this song that Skee Lo’s inner philosopher comes out. He tells his audience:

“I wish I was a little bit taller / I wish I was a baller / I wish I had a girl who looked good I would call her”

Skee-Lo’s words resonate particularly strongly with me because I see a lot of myself in him. I, too, sometimes wish I was a little taller. On occasion, I have longed to be a baller. And if I did have a girl who looked good, I would text her. (This seems to be the one thing Skee-Lo and I don’t seem to see eye to eye on. I’m attributing it to the fact that texting technology was in its infancy during Skee-Lo’s time.)

Skee-Lo spoke out about the injustices done to men under 5’8 all across the country. For decades, those of us who may not have been granted the gift of height were left without a voice. We were forced to stand (on our tip toes) in the shadows of those taller than us. We had no iconic figure to look up to.

Oh, sure, there were some shorter, sexy male celebrities. There was Woody Allen. He was small and scrawny but still somehow sexy in the eyes of women. But, come on, no one is that witty in everyday life. Maybe he could use his clever little dialogue to land Diane Keaton and Mia Farrow and his adopted daughter some years later, but I would never be able to turn a phrase the way he could. He was so damn clever he might as well have been six feet tall.

Woody Allen and the moderately good looking Diane Keaton

Woody Allen and the moderately good looking Diane Keaton

Several years later there came another short sex symbol. Tom Cruise flew out of homoerotic beach volleyball games and into our hearts. Cruise looked the perfect spokesman for short men everywhere. He was articulate, good looking, and, most importantly, not at all crazy. As time passed, Cruise became progressively weirder. Eventually, he went off the deep end. Before we knew it, he was jumping on couches, worshiping a dead science fiction writer, and giving medicinal advice to Matt Lauer. When Tom Cruise told Matt Lauer he was glib, not only was he making an ass of himself, he was condemning a generation of short men to a life of loneliness.

Nuff said.

Nuff said.

Out of this darkness, rose Skee-Lo. Maybe I couldn’t be as funny as Woody Allen or as charistmatic a cult recruiter as Tom Cruise, but I can rhyme. Skee-Lo had to overcome the very same obstacles I and thousands of others like me have to face everyday. Despite being small in stature, Skee-Lo was on MTV. And if shows like Rock of Love and Flavor of Love and Shot at Love and Double Shot at Love and The Real World and The Road Rules and The Real World/Road Rules Challenge have taught me anything it’s that everyone who has every appeared on MTV get’s some booty. And that, my friends, fills me with hope.

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2 Responses to “Everything I need to know about life I’ve learned from Skee-Lo”


  1. 1 Will January 30, 2009 at 4:37 am

    Randy Newman (born November 28, 1943 in Los Angeles, to Adele and Irving George Newman) would disagree with your optimistic, hopeful view on being the victim of exceptionally powerful gravity.

    I will focus on the following lyrics:

    “Short People got nobody / To love / They got little baby legs / And they stand so low / You got to pick ’em up / Just to say hello”

    We will begin by dissecting the first phrase, “Short people got nobody to love”. It may not be clear what this 2002 Songwriters Hall of Fame Inductee is trying to say, but I believe it is along the lines of: short people do not have anybody to love. In other words, he is saying that a person of below-average height does not have another person to adore and cherish. If I had to sum up what the message of this first line is, I would assert that Mr. Newman would say that people like Peter just are not going to be able to find a life partner of any sort.

    But let us move beyond decoding Mr. Newman’s cryptic linguistics and on to the implications of this bold statement. Love is a concept that is deemed to be universal; that is, anyone can find love and anyone can appreciate love. Mr. Newman’s powerful declaration shatters this by implying that the “little baby legs” (and the ensuing low standing), along with the need to “pick ’em up just to say hello” makes short people unappealing, indeed, downright odious to the general population. But it stands to reason: why would I choose to mate with Peter, when there are a host of taller (and thus, more qualified) individuals?

    In short, I think it is imperative that Peter, and all other “Little People” should not set such high hopes. If you take a step back and really look at the big picture, I think you will quickly see that your argument falls short of your goal and that much of your logic is flawed. It is truly a tall order to ask a woman (or any average sized person) to love a small man. This is not cause for alarm. There have been short people throughout history who have made their presence felt: Napoleon, Verne Troyer, the Munchkins, Pikachu, the midget hanging from Ludacris’s necklace, etc. (those are some big shoes to fill!). So I implore you, Peter, to be the bigger man and not to dwell on such genetic shortcomings, because, in the long run, you may be disadvantaged in the short term. But people like you are in short supply, and if you show determination and a little spunk, you will never fall short of your goals.


  1. 1 Pretzel Day turns one month « Pretzel Day Trackback on February 28, 2009 at 10:54 pm

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