Daisy Bateman

World’s Tallest Man Saves Dolphins

From Nature:

The world’s tallest man, Bao Xishun, was called in to save two dolphins that had swallowed plastic shards at an aquarium in Fushun, northeast China. After surgical instruments failed to remove the sharp slivers, Bao used one of his 1.06-metre arms to reach in and extract the chunks from the dolphins’ stomachs.

As scintillating as this account is, it leaves out a few key details, which I have supplied below by making them up:

(Scene: It is early afternoon and the World’s Tallest Man is relaxing in his Fortress of Height when he notices a light shining on the clouds (it’s a cloudy day).)

World’s Tallest Man: The Tall Signal*!

He leaps up (and up, and up) and grabs the phone.

World’s Tallest Man: Hello, Commissioner?. . . I see; that sounds serious. . . . You want me to stick my arm where? . . . No, I understand, I’ll be right there. (To his trusty companion, the World’s Second Oldest Cappibera) To the Tallmobile!

EXT. FUSHUN AQUARIUM– DAY: The World’s Tallest Man arrives and is greeted by the Commissioner of Dolphins.

Commissioner: Hurry! This way!

World’s Tallest Man: Right.

He steps out of the Tallmobile, up the steps and through the door.

INT. FUSHUN AQUARIUM– DAY: Two sick dolphins are lying on a table. A crowd of worried doctors and spectators is gathered around.

Dolphins (telepathically): Save us, World’s Tallest Man!

World’s Tallest Man: (shaking out his arms) Be calm, my finned friends. I’m here to help.

Short Spectator: I don’t understand tall people, and I don’t trust them. I think they should all be locked up. How do we know they aren’t going to turn on us one day and crush us with their giant feet?

Another Spectator: He sure is tall, isn’t he?

Yet Another Spectator: My cousin is pretty tall, you know. He’s at least, like six-three.

Previous Spectator, Not The Short One: I think this guy’s taller than that.

The World’s Tallest Man sticks his arms into the dolphins’ mouths, all the way up to the shoulder, roots around for a minute and pulls out two handfuls of sharp plastic shards.

Spectators (Except The Short One): Yay!

Commissioner of Dolphins: Thank you so much! How can we ever repay you?

World’s Tallest Man: (sagely) You owe me nothing. With great height comes great responsibility.

He leaps into the Tallmobile and drives away, avoiding low overpasses and overhanging trees.

New Spectator: Who was that tall man?

Spectator From Before: That was Bao Xishun, the World’s Tallest Man. Where the hell have you been?

*For the purposes of this story, everyone in China speaks English.

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