Tag Archives: Smile

Stranger Encounters

They happen.

At times and in turns unsolicited, unprovoked, utterly unreal.


1. Flower Market, New Delhi

Random Man: “You there! You are at the flower market and you can’t smile?”


2. Dog Park, High Park, Toronto

Dogwalker [runs up to me and Lou]: “Look at him! Him? He’s beautiful. Lovely bone structure. You’re lucky to have him. Congratulations!”


3. Coffee Time, Kitchener

Woman Steps Through Front Door: “Dang, dang! Y’all got none of them there cheese cussiants, do ya?”


4. Beaches, Toronto

City Garbage Worker [jumps off side of moving truck ]: “Hey! [points to truck driver] He’s Filipino!”


5. Ben Thanh Market, Ho Chi Minh City

Vendor [referring to Stephen]: “He has such a gentle face!”


6. Beaches, Toronto

Random Man [points to Lou]: “Heinz 57! Heinz 57!”


7. Downtown Kitchener

Random Man [blocks my path, bows]: “Ni hao, ni hao, ni hao!”


8. Calgary, Alberta

Random Man [yelling from driver’s side of parked pick up truck as Stephen and I walk down the street]: “Got him walking on the outside of the sidewalk! Good man you got there!”





Filed under Communications, Dogs, People, Places, Plants, Uncategorized

Smiley-Face Joe

There is this one person who I cannot stand and the only tangible I can come up with is “he smiles too much.”  That’s it!

Am I horrible? 

*Postmodern shrug*

I don’t smile that much myself, but I don’t do a lot of Things that other people enjoy and that seem, actually, quite enjoyable.  Like singing.  Or dancing.

Or paragliding.

Smiles light up faces!  They illuminate entire rooms!  They are as contagious as colds and as infectious as syphilis!

They transcend.  

A worthy contender for The Big Book of British Smiles.

"When is a croquet mallet like a billy club?"

Helen of Troy had a face that launched a thousand ships.  Do you think she was smiling?

But this guy. Everything is a smile!  I glanced at him out of the corner of my eye once, and there he stood, staring at us while we talked, not talking, just smiling. Patiently – magnanimously – waiting for us to please to stop talking so that he could once again hear himself talk, with an audience. And a smile.

I can’t help but wonder if – without that smile – whether what he says as he smiles means anything, and if he means it.  But I just can’t get past it!

That smile.

Of course, it’s not just him.  Of course.

It’s me.

I have been told – often, repeatedly – that I need to smile more.  It happens among acquaintances, at customs, in the library.  Once in India.  It happens so much and so often that I’m beginning to think that I may, in fact, be violating some unspoken agreement simply by leaving my face on the wrong setting.

It takes 17,978.523[1] muscles to frown and only 2.5[2] to smile.

Not that I even frown that much, but I suppose when you’re comparing light and dark – that’s it!

That’s the show.

Who is the Mona Lisa without her smile?

Probably just some lady who may or may not be Da Vinci, who never smiled anyway and never got shit for it like I am!

I’ve been told that I’d feel better about Things if I smiled more.  But I’m fine.

As for Smiley-Face Joe.  I think if he didn’t smile – so much or at all – he’d be more than fine.

That smile.

It’s the same but completely different!  Like the way an image, totally reversed, looks identical from the other side.  And suddenly, that happy, beautiful, charming, lovely smile is that self-satisfied, vacant, patronizing, stupid smile.

At least it can be.

Hope for the worst so things turn out better, right?

Turn that frown upside-down.

[1] Rounded down.

[2] Rounded up.

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