Thursday, March 03, 2011

A Break From Our Normal Service...

Dear Reader...

Once upon a time there was a waitress, she was of typical waitress stock, smiling, funny, if slightly indifferent, but polite enough to always ensure 10%. One day she woke as usual and prepared to go about her day making lists as she walked to work drinking her coffee. Unbeknownst to her, in the middle of the night her smile had jumped from her mouth and scampered across her pillow to rest in a place until it could be rightfully restored. You see, lately, her smile had been feeling well, I guess, a little devalued. In a world where, lets not mince words, most give to get, the smile had not been getting reciprocated. Maybe it was in the eyes, he had indeed tried to speak to the eyes about the matter, but they were, to say the least, disinterested. So the smile thought to himself, I’m off! This, I realise, is a dreadful tangent dear reader, but you will see an integral part of our story, for what is a waitress without a smile? No more than a woodcutter without an axe, or a fireman without a hose. You do not know her name, nor do you need to, but it is the smile that is your link for the duration of your meal and so we are back to our waitress. She was unaware of her loss as she slept; she was unaware as she woke, as she walked to work and as she worked. A couple of her friends asked if she was okay in tones of concern and she responded with a breezy “I’m good, thank you” yet they didn’t seem convinced. Her customers seemed a little cold and her tips a little down, still everyone has bad days she thought to herself as she bid, what she wrongly thought, was a cheery goodbye. The next day it was more of the same, except her friends seemed more concerned, her customers a little colder and her tips definitely smaller. Still she thought, tomorrow will be better, as she bid once more, what she wrongly thought, was a cheery goodbye.

Meanwhile, her smile was having the most extraordinary time, having met up with a nose and some fingers, which knew how to have a good time; he had decided to take an extended break. After all he had worked so hard all of his smiling life and lately it felt at times like he was being fish hooked on either side for very little in return, not even an acknowledgement. I mean truly, a smile makes no demands, it does not require fame or fortune, it simply requires a smile back and then like a virus needs a germ, it spreads like chickenpox. Meanwhile, things were going from bad to worse for our waitress, people no longer seemed concerned for her well being, after all, how many times can a person answer “good thank you” and clearly not mean it, before people stop asking? Our waitress was confused, what had happened for her friends to change so? What had she done? For dear reader, you will remember our waitress did not know she was not smiling, to her, everything was as it had always been, except perhaps the world seemed to have gone a little mad, well maybe not the world, just the people in it. Until one day, her boss asked to speak to her in a very serious tone indeed. He said her sparkle was gone, she looked so glum, she appeared to have lost her smile and a whole lot of other stuff she was sure was important but she had long since stopped listening, for was it really and truly possible for a person to loose their smile? She shrugged off her silliness but none the less checked lost property on the way out, just in case. Meanwhile, her smile and his new friends had decided to drive across America. Never before had the smile felt so free, smiling because he wanted to, not because he should or worse still had to, for he was tired of a brave face, tired of a stiff upper lip, his new friends merely made him smile because….

Our waitress on her walk home had started to panic; she couldn’t stop the fear rising in her stomach. She held her hands to her mouth and thought the happiest of her happy thoughts, no response, it was at this point she started to look under a few rocks and bushes and while it seemed she had indeed lost her own ability to smile, her effect on other peoples remained, if maybe not for the right reasons. So crazy as it seemed, it was decided, lost, misplaced, mislaid, irretrievable, never to be regained and for the first time, in a long time she started to cry. Oh dear reader, if only our waitress knew the fun her smile was having, eating ice cream while sitting on top of the Hollywood sign. She arrived home to be greeted by her flatmate, Greta, a woman who never stopped smiling, perhaps she stole it our waitress thought rather uncharitably. She started to pull their flat apart, looking everywhere and very quietly Greta joined in, she never asked what they were looking for, she just figured she would know it when she saw it, for that is sometimes what real friends do, they don’t ask, they just join in and hope that it helps.

Our beloved smile was on the road again, in search of adventure, he thought fondly of our waitress but the further he traveled the further he wanted to go, lately he had even begun thinking about space, I mean, the moon in particular, it just looked so lovely and that fella who lived in it, sure he was always smiling. Our waitress and Greta sat in the middle of the destroyed room and started to laugh, well Greta laughed, our waitress made a very peculiar noise through an even more peculiar shaped mouth, for whatever it was, it was not a smile. It was then she realised she was not unhappy, granted she might look a bit miserable but people made whole careers out of being miserable, like funeral directors and trumpet players for example. Our waitress felt strangely hopeful, she could be any number of things or she could spend the rest of her life lamenting the loss of her smile and walking the earth on some ridiculous quest, this seemed less than appealing. A decision had been made, granted it had been made for her, but none the less, it had been made. In the meantime, her smile had started to build his rocket. Our waitress began to scour the internet and newspapers everyday for her new career for it was surely in there somewhere, she had little success and was feeling a little despondent when there it was, like a gift from Santa Claus at Easter, unexpected, yet no less delightful, Newsreader required. She loved the news! She loved reading! How hard could it be? And so, terrified, she went to the auditions. One by one, the girls got knocked out of the competition and still she remained, after all getting the giggles in the middle of a very serious story indeed was hardly the stuff of Moira Stewart. They tried everything to make her smile, at one stage they even resorted to tickling, tickling, dear reader can you imagine? But still she did not smile, she did not smile as she sailed through round after round of the grueling auditions, she did not smile when the producer shook her hand and she did not smile when she signed her contract. She was polite, friendly, warm, but you could not make her smile and so my friends, a news reading legend was born.

As for her smile, he was last seen boarding his rocket somewhere south of the equator and on certain nights if you look closely at the moon and are very, very drunk indeed, you will surely see two of them smiling down at you. As for our waitress, well, she just goes to show you, with good lighting, hair and make up, who needs a smile anyway...?

Yours sincerely,


  1. i really enjoyed the break! nothing like expecting a note and getting a letter full of story. Does the smile connect to the happinsess bucket and vise versa?
    mine went awol yesterday but today I am feeling it lurking already - thanks!

  2. bloody brilliant, you genius! For some reason I imagine the smile looks a bit like Noel Fielding's. Am I right?

  3. Correct Suzie, although with better applied lipstick!

  4. Oh wow. This was just wonderful. Thank you! You've got mega awesome writing skills. Greta sounds nice. *s*
    PS. My sincere apologies for the lack of internet porn to browse yesterday.. I was holidaying sans internet - twas rather nice! ;)

  5. Thanks so much *s*, oooh a holiday, now there's an idea.