The Happy Face Man is dead.
He had a name. It was, appropriately, Harvey R. Ball. I may have never known who he was unless I'd read about his death.
And now I feel bad because he won't ever see this site and I won't ever get to thank him.
But I don't feel as bad as I could be feeling because, you know, I'm not the dead one.
Sorry. I didn't mean that.
Harvey led a long, full life, and it never seemed to bother him that his iconic creation went on to become so popular. He sold it for $45 and made no real money from it. That's a cool guy. I mean, you have to be pretty at peace with the world and your place in it to not have the thought of those billions of dollars generated by your creation destroy you.
Obviously the guy had class. And talent. Class and talent. An excellent combination.
So today, I pay tribute to Mr. Ball. Mr. Ball created something very nice. And I'm indebted to him.
The weird thing is that I never really thought much about happy faces. This was not a life-long obsession. The idea for the site just hit me one day and I knew almost instantly how it would look and what the graphics would be, and it just tickled me that there'd be this happy face out on the splash page that would continually say off-putting, sometimes mean things to visitors. I find that funny.
Of course, Mr. Ball might not have approved of that, but as I stated earlier, he's quite dead now, and besides, he didn't own it anymore anyway.
Not that I'm not grateful. Really and truly, Mr. Ball is a hero.
But before this site, I had no real interest in smiley faces and what they represented.
Now, I'm discovering that Terribly Happy is making people believe that I have a strange fascination with the face, as if I wear a happy face mask when I have sex, and gorge myself with food and try to attain scurvy in the hopes of becoming a round, yellowed icon.
Not true. Well most of that isn't true.
One interesting side effect is that people have begun to buy me happy face memorabilia as a tribute to the site. That's cool, but I never in my life expected to own a collection of happy face items. It's like somebody who finds a cute picture of a pig that they like. All of sudden, people are buying them pig figurines and pig postcards for their "Pig Collection" and soon, the person is known as "that weird pig lady with all the pigs in her pig-themed house." It's not really fair.
But I'm getting to like it. It's making it easier for people to shop for me, and that's always good.
So here are a few of the items currently in the happy face collection in no particular order:
This little bad boy (actually about five inches tall) sits on top of my monitor at work, right next to a photo of my friends and a miniature figure of The Tick. He watches over me as I work, polluting my thoughts.
"Are you mocking me? You're mocking me, aren't you? Great. It's not enough that I'm pink."