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10 Ways to Respond When a Stranger Tells You to Smile

10 Ways to Respond When a Stranger Tells You to Smile

By Melissa Albert

It's a scientific fact that young women who refuse to constantly smile in public are the number one cause of poverty, starvation, and uncomfortable feelings in the hearts of men, which explains why strangers like to yell, "Why don't you smile, sweetheart?" when you walk down the street. Instead of going into a rage blackout and wasting a perfectly good two-by-four on their heads, try one of these responses next time it happens to you:

1. "Why DON'T I smile? Good god, I never thought of that! I feel so happy and freeeee!" Pelt them with rose petals and dance away like a fairy.

2. "Because chronic asshattery is a medical condition, and I don't want you to think that I'm laughing at your affliction."

3. In creepy slow motion, bare your teeth in a horrifying shark's grin. Hold it till they back away.

4. Stare at them for 45 seconds, then whisper, "Smiles are for the damned." When they ask you to repeat yourself, insist you said nothing.

5. Tell them the sad tale of The Girl Who Lived In the Town of No Smiles, ending with, "And you know who that girl was? It was...THIS FIST!" Pop them one and run away.

6. Laugh loudly and humorlessly. Proclaim, "Why smile when I can laugh! If smiles are king, then laughter is EMPEROR!"

7. Explain that you just had face surgery, and smiling will undo all your doctor's hard work. A funny animal video could literally ruin your life.

8. Remind them of how many people have died since you started talking, taking into account the fact that approximately 1.8 people die every second. What kind of psychopath expects you to smile under those conditions?

9. "I'm psychic, and I'm just too bummed over what's about to happen to you to smile."

10. "It's said that sharks' eyes turn white just before they strike. With teen girls, it's the whites of our teeth. Watch out for the smiling ones, you fool!"

Topics: Life
Tags: annoying things, advice, smiling, good ideas, best responses, what to say, things to yell

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About the Author
Melissa Albert

Melissa Albert reads books, worries about other people’s dogs (they look thirsty), and eats horrible candy for fun and profit. When not wearing her extremely tasteful Sparkitor hat, she’s an editor for the Barnes & Noble Book Blog. You can find her on Twitter @mimi_albert, or in the hot pretzel section of your local cafeteria.

Wanna contact a writer or editor? Email contribute@sparknotes.com.