My Boomer Smile

I'm going to talk about something I've always been self conscious about.

My smile.

Basically, I'm a fun loving guy, and in almost any social situation (except wakes and funerals), I can joke and laugh as well as a high priced comedian.  The problem is, I only have a one row smile, and oddly over the years  I've become obsessed about it.  Years ago I noticed it in pictures, most of the people around me in it had two row smiles.  I could only manage a few top teeth, and none on the bottom.

Why is this?  I'm not only having half the fun as everyone else.  If anything, I'm having more fun, since my laughter is turbo charged when I hear others laugh.  A few times in a crowded movie theater, other patrons have looked over at my cascading laughter with a "really?" expression.  About the same time, my wife gives me a nudge; she embarrasses easier than I.

Could it be my mother's large Italian teeth in my father's small German mouth?  

No, if anything, the two set of braces (I didn't wear the retainer the first time) should have stretched my lips while putting the bands on my wisdom teeth.

Anyway, I know I'm obsessing, but these two row smilers are NOT happier that I.  They are NOT more optimistic or inspirational either.

I look at celebrities in magazines and on line, and most are two rowers, but I know I'm having more fun than they.  Besides, I'll bet most of their smiles are fake.  They would rather be elsewhere than trying to keep us adoring them.

There, I got that off my chest.  So if you ever see me smiling, you'll know that I'm just as happy or happier than any of those two rowers out there.

How will you know?  This blogger told you so.  (Sorry Dale Evans).


Andy the Duck

I already told you about growing up in Bergen County, NJ in the 50's, that is, all of our parents starting the race for parenthood about the same time (just after World War II).  I also mentioned my mother's childhood, surrounded by barnyard pets (see Gook Gook).

Sure enough, the kid across the street, Franky, had a menagerie in his back yard, but over the years, in stages.  First, he had some hens and chicks, then some rabbits, box turtles, you get the picture.

I guess it was the late 50's, we were 10 or 11 years old, when Andy the duck showed up.  

I was used to cats and dogs, having one of each, but Andy was the first duck I'd seen outside of a storybook.  Today, every time I see the Aflac commercial, I think of Andy, who like that duck, was definitely bi-polar.  One day you could walk into their yard, and Andy would saunter over with a little chuckle under his beak, scoping your hand for any feed you might have for him.  The next day, he would chase you out of the yard upon sight.

During late spring, Andy, who usually spent more time in the yard than in the makeshift coop he had for shelter, seemed to be "sleeping late", so to speak.  Franky, myself, and a few other kids from the block slowly approached the coop to see if Andy was OK.  As were go close, Andy came out of the coop like a shot, and started chasing us around the yard like a border collie.  Franky, while Andy was chasing one of us, was able to peer inside the coop, and yelled,

"Andy laid an egg!"

It turned out Andy was short for Andrea.