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If the press agents have their way, this will be a memorable week for Cheshire cats, Ipana users, and greeting card manufacturers. The idea is extremely simple; it's called "National Smile Week," and the dreamers at the agency want everyone to go around smiling. "Be a Joy Scout!" they smirk. National Smile Week is backed by a Chicago greeting card company which is selling "smile cards" as its contribution to the spreading of cheer.
The publicity that these Chicago sons of joy have been scattering gives no hint of what there is to smile about. More significant, however, the implications of National Smile Week are being ignored. It is obvious that, should sufficient cause for smiling be found, organized madness might soon grip the country. A popular old song informs us that "there are smiles that make us blue." A wave of melancholia caused by such smiling could easily start a wave of suicides. People obliged to smile through their tears would suffer deeprooted psychic conflicts, as well as possible internal drowning. Smiling during a cold snap could easily result in little-known maladies such as frozen teeth and gums.
The originators of National Smile Week have not thought of these frightening potentialities of their apparently innocent idea. For the sake of the mental and physical well-being of the American public the best way to look at National Smile Week is with a straight face.
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