The question was asked, “How many infirm are smiled at on a typical Smile at the Infirm Day?”

Blocks and blocks of them. I lost count around 27. For as far as you can see, group homes, nursing centers, rotting pits, and foreclosed apartment complexes all haul out their infirm for a nice, friendly smile. The orderlies, nurses and caregivers line up the infirm real nice and even along the side of the road. Special care is taken to apply the brakes and locks of wheel chairs and gurneys to prevent a repeat of the third annual day’s pile up and stampede.

This year, the infirm were arranged in sections. The merely decrepit came first, followed by the disturbed, the previously chewed-on by large animals, then those missing limbs and/or heads and finally a fenced-in section for “Just Stumps.”

The smilers, who’ve all been checked out by county dentists, make at least three passes to ensure no one is missed. It’s nice for both the smilers and the infirm. On one of my passes I smiled right at a little boy who had completely white eyes, whose attendant was unceasingly rubbing a damp washcloth over his face and a woman strapped to a bed who looked to be entirely covered in snakes.

I’m heading off now to the Colgate sponsored listening tent to hear Mayor Pike bubble and spit and screech for 45 minutes. He’s being held up to the mic by two Lithuanian fellows who just came to town looking for work in the busy “final days” sector of the medical field.


Chris Weagel

Chris Weagel writes about the intersection of technology and parenting for Wired Magazine. No he doesn't. He can't stand that shit.

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