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Post by Ray »

They called her "smiley".

I don't think I ever heard her given name. When I knew of her she was on the wrong side of 40 but well preserved. You could easily see how she would have been so popular back in her day. Imagine actresses stella stevens and barbara eden were sisters. Now imagine that they had another sister between them in age. Now imagine that sister was "smiley" and you catch my drift.

How she got the handle "smiley" was quite obvious. Reverse psychology, of course. She never.....and I mean never smiled. A clever person who could deliver a punch line might cause arched brows and a brief sparkle in her eyes, but, if anything, the corners of her mouth always turned down instead of up.

She was a civil service clerk in a state/county govt. office annex where you paid property taxes and bought car license tags and got your driving licenses renewed. So in other words, a tax collector and a d.m.v. clerk to boot ! The possibilities of rudeness and verbal abuse by these civil servants are legendary but smiley was efficient and helpful and polite but you always left there feeling tongue lashed and slapped around on account of the dour way she glared at you. To me there was an indefinable spookiness about "smiley" and I am probably not alone in that suspicion.

I had just finished some official business there and, on exiting, guess who I happened to run into on the sidewalk ? None other than Euell_____.....popularly known as Pill. I'm quite sure I have introduced Pill here before, most recently here: ... =1&t=79595

and formerly here : ... =1&t=79585

"How long is the queue in the county ?" Pill asked.

"Not bad," I replied with an involuntarily shiver like a cracked mirror or passing black cat might provoke.

"Ah ! I see you've been waited on by smiley." Pill observed astutely. "You got time, meet me down to the feed/seed and I'll buy you lunch....or at least a cold R.C. and we'll share a can of puppy peters (vienna sausages) and a sleeve of saltines."

So Pill went into the county bureaucratic annex I went down to morgan's hardware to feign shopping while waiting for him.

In fullness of time the bell at the glass door tinkled and there was Pill. He fetched us a couple of cold pops while I hunted up the tins of nitric-toxic charcuterie and the saltine crackers. We got comfortable, snacking and sipping until he lit a cigarette and got that far-off look in his eyes and cleared his throat.

"Smiley.....thompson, was her maiden name....belinda, given, but she's had four or five married surnames since. Her first baby daddy was james______, otherwise known as "hawkbill". He got that moniker on account of his tendency to both tote a wicked hawk billed knife and to use it in anger at the drop of a hat. Hearing the stories of the day you got the mental image a seven foot tall and four foot wide viking or outlaw biker gorilla of sorts. Yes, hawkbill was dangerous man and insanely jealous of smiley, his ex-first wife and baby momma."

"Now along about this time that I'm harkening back to.....the days of swingers and convertibles and mini-skirts and surfing music, I had just split-up with Mrs. Pill # 1 and was on that fatal hunt of what they called revenge fornication, you know, hound-dog around amonst her peers to make her emotionally pay with jelousy and shame. Smiley had just divorced hawkbill and was thought to be willing and able. Smiley also was rumored to perform things that you first heard of on the grade school playground and in locker rooms that made your randy little ears all pointy and your hair kinky."

"Now smiley had a trailer home on the highway that I took to and from the tire factory. It was small, something like fourteen by forty but it had been expanded on by a twelve by twelve den/family room in front and about the same size aft for a master bedroom. In this trailer home she raised hawkbill's spawn and subsidized her living by entertaining men."

"Now you could not precisely accuse her of prostitution nor was she the wanton harlot character of sunday schools and fiery sermons. But you could spend a pleasant evening after your shift ended, lounging about on her sofa and watching the telly with one eye, the other on smiley's gorgeous gams and bosoms. The standard fee was only a couple of bags of staple comestibles, a twelve-pack of suds and, invariably, she would, with a sad, sobbing tale, borrow at least a half a sawbuck."

"Think about that for just a sec. Entertaining just three days of the week and she netted all of what was needed to keep the wolf from the door and then some. Of course nothing else happened. Smiley had all the proper equipment but it had gotten rusty from unuse, but you could lie about it the next day, boasting to your workmates with bawdy descriptions of a vigorous boudoir rodeo."

"So there I was at smiley's watching the gong show and drinking a brew and gnoshing fried chicken when we heard the sqeal of brake shoes and the crunch of tires on the chert drive. Smiley jumped up and bounced and swayed across the floor for my benefit to peer out of the glass door. She swore an oath that made even me flinch and blush, and exclaimed that it was hawkbill, her ex-husband and it looked like he was spoiling for a fight. Now I wanted to show a brave front but the thought of that curved, razor-sharp blade made my feet act all on their own. I was past smiley, through the door, through the spikey holly hedge, into my pickup and slinging chert and gravel in mere seconds."

Pill, as always had told the tale matter of factly without emotion, never imagining it was funny. I tried my best to keep a straight face but first came the smile then the brief chuckle then the raucous , gut-busting laughter. Of course he left all in a huff with a sideways glance of disgust and disappoinment, leaving me to pay for the gedunk.

Some years later I had ordered brochures and flyers and business cards from a local printer for the shop where I clerked. Into the shop waddled a short, santa klaus looking old codger, so fat, his arms stuck-out at the sides. He set the tape sealed boxes from the printer on the shop counter and requested that I inspect random samples of the printing with a whimpy, lisping voice.

While I was looking about for a knife to slice the tape, he whipped-out a wicked looking blade from the frog on his belt and deftly opened the boxes. I asked to see the knife. He explained that it was what was referred to as a doffing blade and he had had it since his first job in a yarn mill. Imagine a smaller, more precise version of a roofer's hook-shaped knife. Then the term "hawkbill" suddenly came to me and I impertinently asked him if he was or was not the infamous james______of local pool hall and back alley fighting lore. He admitted as much.

So we chewed the fat a bit then I asked him if he ever knew Pill _____ and did he ever remember seeing Pill at his ex-wife's place.

"Fact I do," he replied. "I remember, must be at least 30 years ago or more I had gone by smiley', I mean belinda's place to give her some cash for the brats' school lunchroom tokens and Pill was there. Was none of my business who visited her but he must have panicked. That butt-ugly, tale-telling essobee wrecked a perfectly good storm-door, the screen-door beyond and plowed a yard wide gap in the holly hedge before slinging gravel all over my van and belinda's trailer !"
m.A.g.a. !
Scott Tschirhart
Levergunner 3.0
Posts: 559
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2020 2:56 pm
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: Smiley.....

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

Its often interesting to hear the story from different perspectives of the people who were in attendance.
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