A student at the University of Massachusetts Boston was recently expelled and placed in quarantine. According to officials, her smile was believed to be infectious, and there were legitimate concerns of an outbreak. Within days of this episode, similar incidents began popping up across the country, striking our nation with fear of contagious smiling.
After further research, scientists established that smiling is in fact communicable, and can spread rapidly through groups of people. One smiling individual could infect any person standing within visibility of their grinning face. Due to the disease's highly contagious nature and the rapidly growing numbers of those infected by the outbreak, a smiling vaccination, known as the Anti Smiling Serum (ASS), has been created. Officials have reported that large quantities of ASS are being shipped across the country, and that everyone should be immunized as soon as possible. According to recent findings people do not possess natural antibodies to the virus, and smiling will continue to spread rapidly nationwide until everyone has been vaccinated.
College students make up a majority of the infected at this time. Presumably, students are the most susceptible because of active participation in many of the at-risk behaviors. Engaging in enjoyable activities with large groups of people is the most concerning behavior commonly practiced by students, because of how quickly a smile can spread throughout a group. If one student in the group were to suddenly crack a smile, almost immediately, the others would come down with a smile as well. The smile would spread out from there, as each individual maneuvered across campus, infecting any person that witnessed their pearly white grin. It’s like Night of the Living Dead, except instead of becoming a freakish zombie upon contact, you become stricken with the permanent need to smile. The most severe cases of infection have been reported in students under the influence of alcohol and/or marijuana. Often these individuals are unable to stop smiling for hours, and endure numerous fits of laughter – a symptom synonymous with the illness.
Universities are working hard at ending the spread of smiling by mandating that any student who has not yet received ASS, be barred from school grounds, no matter the circumstance. Many students, however, are avoiding the vaccine. “It's my right to smile, and no school can take that away from me!” one student commented. This has become a very popular stance among students, and the nation is experiencing a large number of ASS dodgers, forcing schools to keep databases reporting those who have or have not received the vaccine. These lists are given to all university faculty members so that students on the list can be recognized and reported immediately to authorities. Each student will remain on this list, and a permanent hold will be placed on their account, until a record of their vaccination has been presented to the university. To help enforce this action, President Obama has dispatched the most ornery, stern faced members of the National Guard to most major colleges in the United States to deter untreated students from attempting to make contact with their peers on campus.
The government has also been working hard at thwarting the spread of smiling. In a recent statement released by the Surgeon General, each citizen must take full responsibility in preventing a possible smile pandemic. For those who have not yet received ASS, the statement suggests avoiding large crowds, ending any use of drugs or alcohol, and sidestepping anything that gives you the urge to laugh, such as midgets riding unicycles.
A further statement has been released, warning of the recent increase of infections among the gay community. Large numbers of homosexuals across the country have been reported to have overly zealous behavior, along with extreme enthusiasm for everything and a new method of conversing with the sound of a smile in their voice. Many gay men have denied treatment, and have ironically joined in the ASS dodging movement, declaring their extreme dedication to happiness. The smile virus has been known to mutate if left untreated, and has been most commonly observed within the gay community at this point. The mutated virus has become known as Perpetual Involuntary Smiling Syndrome, or PISS, and has no known treatment at this time.
Symptoms leading up to the smiling virus include an extra glimmer in your eye, a little more pep in your step, a warm fluttering feeling in your chest, as well as a general euphoric or elated feeling throughout your body. Often these symptoms are soon followed by, or accompanied with, a large toothy smile. Treatment should be sought immediately, especially for men over 50 experiencing smiles lasting longer than 4 hours.