Dear Dr. Spielman,
Thank you for the postcard reminding me that I’m due for a dental check-up in April. I look forward to it because you are my favorite dentist and you have state-of-the art equipment I helped pay for.
Since American Idol was not on Thursday night, I had a lot of time to sit and think about this postcard and how it stuck out of my pile of mail and frightened me. In fact, now that this terrifying image has been burned into my psyche, I would like to express to you how I feel.
The postcard poses the question “Who doesn’t like a nice smile?” Indeed, the only exceptions I could think of would be anti-masticationists, gingivitists, or people who don’t have teeth and might not want to talk about such things. I’ve never met an anti-masticationist or gingivitist, to be honest, and they probably have a smaller base than Ralph Nader. Also, people with no teeth are usually too old to read small text, or they live far from regular postal service. So, the question would seem to be easily answered: Nobody doesn’t like a nice smile, silly!
And rightly so. Normally, a smile is a good thing because it means someone is happy. When someone is happy, that puts you at ease because there is statistically less of a chance they’re going to try and stab you or set your car on fire. That’s how I look at it. Happy people don’t rob banks or steal your lawnmower. Happy people don’t cuss at you or file frivolous lawsuits. They just smile nicely.
But in this case, the smiles presented on this postcard are collectively unnerving and potentially not nice. Indeed, there are some individual smiles presented here that I would have run away from outright, so you can imagine how terrifying I find seeing all seven of them at once.
The upper-left girl’s smile seems fine. I would probably smile back at her. Maybe she works in Public Relations. I have no problems with her, though she slightly resembles an ex-girlfriend whom I’ve done a good job of not remembering.
The black guy in the back seems pretty happy too. His smile is quite nice and if I had to vote for the one smile that didn’t frighten me, he would be my pick. His teeth look great and I hope they have a long life together.
The guy in the back on the right, well, I start to question the nice here. I don’t see the happiness reflected in the eyes. It doesn’t seem sincere. I think he is about to try and sell me a Buick. I’m not crazy about the hair, but that can be taken care of by inviting a band of stereotypical gay guys over the house and appearing on Bravo Network.
For obvious reasons, the gentleman in the front left is the absolutely most terrifying, and I will lose sleep over him. Not only is his expression and nice smile nerve-shattering, but his eyes are slightly red and very glassy. If I came home, opened the front door, and a strange man came running down my stairs with a bloody hatchet screaming “Jesus said to do it, and I do’d it!” – this is pretty much what I would expect him to look like.
The blonde next to the axe-killer seems to be laughing more than smiling. I don’t know why she’s laughing – there’s a crazed lunatic on her shoulder – but she seems to have heard a funny joke. Maybe she’s watching some prop comedy from Carrot Top, or a hilarious improvisational comedy troupe. We’ll never know, because I assume she was murdered by the crazed freak next to her, after the photo shoot.
The middle lady isn’t really smiling as much as she is politely asking “What?” with her face. Perhaps she doesn’t speak English. In fact, she seems Latin. Speaking of, the postcard is almost perfectly Politically Correct. Women, men, black, white, Latin, gay, murderer… But no Asians. Don’t they like a nice smile?
Lastly, the girl on the front right is missing her lower teeth. She seems friendly enough, and you’d have to be if you had no lower teeth, but it’s not necessarily a nice smile. Incidentally, my former Marxist/Feminist/Lesbian film professors would flip out on you for showing a black woman with no lower teeth being pushed down by a smiling white man. Personally, I always thought the professors were full of it, so you should just take their umbrage at symbolism with a grain of salt and get mediocre grades like I did.
And so Doctor, in closing, I’d like to say that the answer to “Who doesn’t like a nice smile?” would be Me – if the nice smile comes from an entourage of murderous freaks, Carrot Top fans and Buick dealers.
See you in a few weeks.