Smiling Is a Mistake You Can't Afford

SM Shrake

Things I keep meaning to start doing: 1) Referring to myself only in the third person; 2) Getting a gun; 3) Writing something good.

I keep — I mean, Shrake keeps — wanting to write something that will electrify you. He dreams of it. Maybe if he talks about his body it will electrify you. He’d like to bring some magic into your dreary little lives.

I will be 50 in October. Yet, as the most recent snapshot of me clearly shows, I have no wrinkles on my face at all.

smile March 22, 2008

The reasons for this are three. 1) Clean living, always; 2) Genetics (my parents and several grandparents baffled people for decades with their age-defying faces, just like me); 3) I have never known how to smile.

That last one is the key to avoiding wrinkles. No one ever believes me, that I don’t know how to smile. Then I demonstrate my “smile,” and they’re like, “Oh.”

I smile when I laugh, I guess. I was at the coffee shop across from where I work (I work) and the girl that waits on me every day was waiting on me and I yawned and she went, “Tired?” and I went, “No… it’s you.” Like, the opposite of when people yawn and then say, “Sorry about that. It’s not you!” Then I laughed really hard at my own joke, and that’s when she said, with a surprised look on her face, lightly tinged with a weird expression of pity: “That’s the first time I’ve ever seen you smile!”

Not for nothing, I had a tragic dishwashing accident this month in which I cut my arm so deep I had to go to the E.R. and sit up in there for six and a half hours while they: forgot to have me triaged while they spaced out, then after a couple hours gave me a tetanus shot but then had to go play Donkey Kong, then started sewing me up but had to take a Burger King break, and sewed me up some more and went for a smoke, and then gave me some more stitches and played some cards, and then went to get my paperwork, but had to call home and catch up with their moms a little bit, and then stood there and looked at each other for a while… then released me at 4:30 AM into the eerie Georgetown nightscape with a pat on the butt.

To paraphrase the Widow Cobain’s song “Celebrity Skin”: “I’m glad I came here to Georgetown University Hospital with your pound of flesh.”

The doctors wouldn’t believe that it was an accident, because of where the vertical cut was (on my wrist).

Now I have an “attempted suicide”-looking scar.

And I’m afraid to do dishes now, too! Just what my chore-life needs. I break out in a cold sweat standing in front of the sink. Because: One slip-up, and I cut myself again, and guess what? They will definitely not believe it was an accident a second time.

People actually get mad at me when they find out how old I really am. The clerk at the Safeway the other night spat in my face when she looked at my license while carding me. I had told her, “I swear I’m 49.” But she thought I was under 21.

Then as I wiped off my face with one of those cart handle sanitizer sheets, I said, “If you want to look like me, don’t smile.”

But no one ever believes me.

Read more SM SHRAKE at You Wanna Know What? and The Shrake-tionary.

Comments

comments. Please be civil, no pottymouths.

SM Shrake
SM Shrake

Storywriter, Personality SM (Service Mark) – Shrake has an acclaimed personality. To find out more about him, search the Internet with your favorite search engine. Make sure to use quotation marks around his name. More: www.storyleague.org

22 Comments

  1. No You're Not

    Really don’t want to toot your horn but you are NOT 49. I refuse to believe.
    I don’t know about 21 but 40 at the most.

  2. No You're Not

    Really don’t want to toot your horn but you are NOT 49. I refuse to believe.
    I don’t know about 21 but 40 at the most.

  3. Wizzer

    Scott, we’re worried about you. We get the thing about “swearing” and the gun and no one believing you. And it’s disturbing.

  4. Wizzer

    Scott, we’re worried about you. We get the thing about “swearing” and the gun and no one believing you. And it’s disturbing.

  5. Will

    Your Mind is a Wonderland.

  6. Will

    Your Mind is a Wonderland.

  7. Nancy

    I know you’re not 49

  8. Nancy

    I know you’re not 49

  9. Jeff Jeff Lyons

    I love that the nurses played some Donkey Kong instead of fixing you up, glad you survived.

  10. Jeff Jeff Lyons

    I love that the nurses played some Donkey Kong instead of fixing you up, glad you survived.

  11. Tim Lyons

    You have to wash your own dishes? I thought you lived with your Mum.

  12. Tim Lyons

    You have to wash your own dishes? I thought you lived with your Mum.

  13. Jules

    Everyone knows smiling is for imbeciles and Shrake is no imbecile. However, one does need to be careful not to get unattractive frown lines also. From the photo it is obvious that “bemused smirk” is the way to a more youthful complexion.

  14. Jules

    Everyone knows smiling is for imbeciles and Shrake is no imbecile. However, one does need to be careful not to get unattractive frown lines also. From the photo it is obvious that “bemused smirk” is the way to a more youthful complexion.

  15. Scott Jacob

    ‘Tis all true. Scott was born without the ability to muster up a genuine smile. What’s not true is his age. 47 at the most! He also wears a wig to conceal the fishhooks he has fastened to his temples – pulled taught with a string tied at the back of his head. Even a fake smile can cause this contraption to fail.

  16. Scott Jacob

    ‘Tis all true. Scott was born without the ability to muster up a genuine smile. What’s not true is his age. 47 at the most! He also wears a wig to conceal the fishhooks he has fastened to his temples – pulled taught with a string tied at the back of his head. Even a fake smile can cause this contraption to fail.

  17. Scott Shrake

    First stitches, now you’re all gonna “roast” me? I wish the Lord would just take me now…

  18. Scott Shrake

    First stitches, now you’re all gonna “roast” me? I wish the Lord would just take me now…

  19. Paul B

    Back in my salad days in DC, I nearly severed two of my fingers while chopping veggies. The wait in the ER at Geo Washington hospital was interminable (almost 3 hours, because some jerk had gotten himself stabbed), and to add further insult to injury,my friends insisted on seeing me hmme rather than go to even a nearby bar. Mr Henry’s was a block away, as I recall. Oh well!

  20. Paul B

    Back in my salad days in DC, I nearly severed two of my fingers while chopping veggies. The wait in the ER at Geo Washington hospital was interminable (almost 3 hours, because some jerk had gotten himself stabbed), and to add further insult to injury,my friends insisted on seeing me hmme rather than go to even a nearby bar. Mr Henry’s was a block away, as I recall. Oh well!

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