“There are three things white people are good at. Swimming, convincing us that broccoli is good, and fake smiles.
The fake smile has those ‘Please don’t steal my bag’ and ‘Please don’t talk to me’ qualities about it.
White women have a black belt in the fake smile.
It’s quick and attacks you with very transparent fake sincerity. It approaches with the lethal speed of a ninja. You don’t see it coming. The one moment it’s there, the next it’s gone. If you blink while it’s been flashed, you might miss it.
For some odd reason, it happens to me regularly when I’m shopping at Woolies.
Make no mistake, my black friends (and you too, my white friends; oops, I almost forgot the coloureds and the Indians and Mshozas), white people give each other these fake smiles as well.
The most surprising thing of all is that this smile is starting to infiltrate the black community as well. It’s still very rare, but i have seen some black people flash it, usually when they suspect that one is being directed at them by a white person. Sometimes they use it like the Bush Doctrine – a pre-emptive strike. The moment she suspects she might get one, she quickly flashes one first, and thus the irritation of having been a potential recipient of the smile vanishes.
I find fake smiles disturbing. The Bible tells us that Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss. I bet that the first thing he did before the kiss was to give him a fake smile The root of all evil, my friends, isn’t money, it’s the fake smile!
Let’s drop the fake smiling, people. Smile if you want to smile and don’t if you don’t want to. A fake smile is a rude way of trying to be polite.“
That’s an extract from ‘In My Arrogant Opinion’, a novella by Khaya Dlanga, an award-winning South African writer and advertiser who isn’t afraid to speak his mind. More importantly, he manages to simply get across an idea that’s bigger than it seems. He entertains whilst challenging the reader. I spent an hour with a smile on my face. He’s worth reading. BUY HIS BOOK for as little as R70. Also available on Kindle.