May 26, 2024
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May 26, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

We always say that bigger is better. But if bigger is better, why not make ourselves smaller? Then everything else would be bigger relative to us!

I’m referring here to an idea that has recently been making its rounds that has a unique solution to our planet’s overpopulation and shortage of resources. According to a Dutch man named Arne Hendriks, mankind would survive longer if we were all shrunk down to the size of chickens. He wants to shrink the entire population down to about 19 inches. Mankind would be adorable.

Hendriks isn’t a scientist, by the way. He’s an artist. Which I guess means he’s an expert on starvation. I should also mention that he’s 6 foot 4..

I don’t know how he proposes to shrink everyone. I’ve been trying to shrink myself for years. I also have no idea how to get shorter. As a kid, all I wanted to do was get taller. I’m not sure why. Taller people don’t necessarily have better lives. Just better views.

We, as a society, love the idea of getting taller, because of all the advantages that come with it, such as winning back-to-back height-measuring contests, and… wait, I got one. You can reach things. So as a result, everyone keeps asking you to.

Okay, so the perks of being tall are mostly storage related. But if we were all significantly smaller, says Hendriks, we’d also have more horizontal space, and we wouldn’t have to store things as high.

And anyway, being short has benefits too. For one, clothes are cheaper. In theory.

Also, when you’re short, no one seems to notice that you’re short. No one mentions it. When you’re tall, people do not stop talking about it. “Boy, you’re tall!” is considered a socially acceptable greeting, like this is a physical accomplishment that you worked really hard on. But you can’t say, “Boy, you’re short!”

So it turns out he’s looking into developing some sort of elixir. Which sounds delicious.

In fact, Arne says that if we were the size of chickens, a chicken could feed like 50 people. Assuming we could catch it. Also kaparos would be a lot more difficult.

Also, for the first little while, I’d probably buy the same amount of groceries, because that’s how I am. And I’d still try to bring it in on only one trip from the car.

He also says that at that size, the entire population of the world would be able to live in the six largest areas—Tokyo, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Mumbai, Delhi and New York—leaving the rest of the world empty, or turned into agricultural lands. Six cities. The rest of earth would be “rewilded.” And then all these rewilded animals would come after us. Also, the Arabs would still want Israel.

Hendriks also says that we’d live longer. Unless we’d get snatched up by a bird. This claim might be true, because studies say that tall people don’t live as long. For example, Abraham Lincoln was 6 foot 4, and he got shot at a play. Whereas if he were shorter, he probably would have been sitting in front, and no one would’ve been able to sneak up behind him.

But on the whole, this is such a simple solution to overpopulation, right? Why didn’t you think of this? Well for starters, you don’t ingest some of the substances that are legal in Holland.

Also, who says shorter people consume fewer resources? My kids don’t. They take all the same resources as adults, and then leave them on their plates.

But I’m not sure we need to shrink everyone. I read somewhere, while I was researching a goldfish article that I wrote (Yes, I research my articles. Though it’s less about using the material I find and more about procrastination.) that if you want a goldfish to grow, you should keep him in a big enough tank, and by “big enough,” they mean at least a gallon per goldfish. If you keep it in a fishbowl, like I do, it will never grow. So maybe at some point if the world hits maximum occupancy, we’ll just automatically get smaller, because the bowl will be smaller. But that’s just my uneducated opinion. Against his uneducated opinion. Also, he’s trying to get educated. He’s spent the last several years looking into this. And apparently he has not as of yet come up with a single good reason that we can’t do this other than that it’s impossible and that no one would ever agree to it and that the people who don’t shrink themselves would be more dangerous than ever.

Because the thing is, no one will agree to shrink themselves unless everyone’s on board. No one will want to go first, because there’s no guarantee that that last person will go at all. The temptation not to is too big. And since when have we ever gotten the entire mankind to agree on anything?

So not only would you have to convince the naysayers to do it, you’d have to convince them to go first.

This is really the kind of thing you have to get to after world peace.

By Mordechai Schmutter

 Mordechai Schmutter is a freelance writer and a humor columnist for Hamodia, The Jewish Press and, among others. He also has five books out and does stand-up comedy. You can contact him at [email protected].



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