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People in the Office: Creepy Smiler

Of all the people in the office, the creepy smiler is by far the one most likely to murder you, stuff you, and play with you like a life-sized dead Barbie. This is the person who obviously learned how to smile by reading a book and diligently practicing in a house with no mirrors. She practiced her smile as hard as you work at Barre. Step one: Pull back lip skin (with your face muscles, not with your fingers, you creeper); Step 2: expose teeth; Step 3: express smile in eyes by opening them brightly, but mind you, the line between smizing like super model Tyra Banks and smizing like psycho Tyra Banks is very, very thin.

Creepy Smiler has the kind of smile you often find when meeting contestants on Jeopardy! and one of the contestants is desperately trying to suppress his desire to make skin puppets out of the audience.  Or it’s that smile you make when you’re stuck on public transport and you’re holding back a fart but you don’t want anyone to know that it might be you. It’s the type of smile you find on a woman trying to peddle muffins in order to lure you to join her shitty, second-tier cult; the kind of cult housed on the third floor of a five-story walk up which uses its free parking spot to store their goat because none of them have good enough credit to buy a car; the kind of cult where the charismatic leader is replaced with a 70 year-old beer gut wearing saggy pink undies which always threaten to expose his two hairy balls of different sizes and yet he expects teenagers to do him sexual service; this is the kind of cult that began as an Uber ride, but why is David Hasselhoff your driver and why is he kind of convincing you that you want to work on his communal farm, which is just three terrariums purchased from Urban Outfitters at a discount; the kind of cult that thinks pot is still a drug, so they spray a skunk around the apartment so it smells like weed because no one is going to sell these people actual weed because they might be cops. Hers is the smile of insanity; hers is the smile that makes you question your desire to join a commune.

The creepy smiler also tends to say hello, a lot. Whenever you look at her, she’ll creepy smile and say hello to you like she were a butler at a haunted house. Her hello reminds you that one day you’re going to die and actually makes you long for it. Even at 3pm she lifts her hand and tilts her head and lilts out ‘hellooooooo.’ Because she hangs onto that o like it was the only thing keeping her from sinking into the ocean. No matter what you, you can’t avoid her because she’s a hello ninja.  It doesn’t matter where you are, she’s there too, like a murderer in a movie, always stalking in the distance and capable of coming back to life even if you drop a computer on her head. You try to dodge her by pretending to be  entranced by your phone, and suddenly her head appears in your view and she moans ‘hhheeeelllloooooo’ You look up and she’s there leaning over with her halitosis freezing you like a gust of Boston wind.

Worst of all? You get this distinct feeling that, if HR allowed touching, she would hug you in this awful, moist hug. It’s not like she sweats excessively, but in some way she’s just moist, like she’s the walking definition of the word. And when you finish with this hypothetical hug you’ll have this weird sheen on your person as though you just walked inside from a very humid day. You kind of expect this person to squish as she walks. Some people just embody everything that the word moist was meant to convey when it came into existence. Next time you see your creepy smiler, just hear the squish, squish, squish sound and you’ll get it.

Not only does this squishy creeper ninja attack you with hellos throughout the day to the point where hello loses all meaning, but she sidles magically into conversations like any character Fred Armisen has ever played, except she’s supposed to be a real person. In reality she’s a marionette that she controls. You have to question people who choose to marionette, but those who rely on the marionette version of themselves are probably going to eat your liver. I’m not saying that creepy smiler is going to turn Hannibal and kill you to eat your liver, but also I’m not not saying to mention your rampant alcoholism in front of her constantly. Who’s going to want to harvest your disgusting organs? I have been preparing for a cannibalistic apocalypse for years through a steady destruction of my innards. Chew on that, mother fucker. You just ate cirrhosis and undigested candy corn from 1993. This is why I could only cannibalize vegans who shop at Whole Foods. Yummy organic deliciousness. You take care of your body so I can take care of mine.

Sometimes you feel bad about being an uber-bitch to creepy smiler (cause mostly you’re just a regular bitch to everyone). You are not immune to human sympathy, or so your therapist insists and something about this sad, squish of life makes you think ‘if she waere my mom, I would hope that someone would be nice to her; maybe I shouldn’t leave the room every time she walks in. Maybe I should say more than one word to her.’ But then you look into her eyes and you know that she could be the topic of a Lifetime movie: she’d be the Kelly Martin to your Tori Spelling. Or what was that Lifetime movie called when seemingly innocuous aunt-like figure kidnaps a girl and then forces her to have tea parties and play bingo. That has to be a movie, right? Plus, let’s be honest, we live in a world that encourages people to behave at high school level. We hate bullying, but only when it gets too serious. She’s smelly kid. High school has trained us all to eviscerate the smelly kid. I’m a product of society. Wah. Pity me.

Even in that moment of weakness when she talks about her husband and kids and you know that she actually means an eggplant and some Cabbage Patch Kids surrogates, and you’re truly considering how life has done her wrong, and you feel something in your chest try to rejuvenate the warm feelings you once felt in your heart when you read The Lorax and rooted for the trees, she smiles her creepy smile and relates how wonderful her recorder festival went. Because yes she plays recorder, she’s director of a recorder club and she attends renaissance fairs (and she pronounces it re-nay-sance cause obviously). And in her words and in her smile you sense that she’s definitely content with her life. She is happy with a life that you’ve been taught to judge and ridicule. Creepy Smiler, who still wears butterfly clips, is happy with herself and her life and you hate everything about yourself. Your life is a black hole that generally destroys everything in its path. And yet Creepy Smiler keeps with her creepy smile, that creepy, genuine smile. If I were as happy with my life as she is, I’d be smug. As it is she smiles to expose teeth brushed willy nilly, while I go running in the belief that if I look good enough I might feel some sense of satisfaction. My age starts with 3 so I’m past my prime as a woman to be satisfied (or so the majority of society tells me.)

I won’t destroy Creepy Smiler, because I don’t know how. And even if I learned her secret, perhaps I might let her be, because there’s something grotesquely beautiful in her existence, like a gargoyle. But if I ever do go missing, please check her basement. She lives in a cabin in the woods.

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