The Seven Deadly Grins

by Ken Carpenter

Grins and sins

The following story is a take-off on the Seven Deadly Sins. As usual with my stuff, some will like it and some will not. Just because organized religion gets a lot of mileage out of the sins, don’t dare get the idea that I am part of one. It has no more use for me than I do for it, and that is all I’ll say about it.
Read on.

The Seven Deadly Grins

Both religious and archival history have gotten a lot of mileage out of “The seven deadly sins”. In reality there are many more, but I suppose you could encompass them all with some tie to the lucky seven if you wanted to get creative.
One day my shifty mind came up with the idea for a story title, The Seven Deadly Grins, and I threw my shoulder out of joint patting myself on the back. It was Pride, the deadliest sin, paying me back, I’m sure. I smugly decided to piece together a story to go with the, I was so sure, unique and oh so clever title.
I put the Seven Deadly Grins in Google, where it only had a miserable 38,700 hits. To my further and eternal disgust, one of the Seven Deadly Grins is a punk mariachi band. The concept makes me dizzy, and I refuse to ever put those two words together again as long as I live.
Out of pure stubbornness I will keep the title, though it does not roll off of my tongue as easily as it did before.
King Solomon, son of David, was the King of Israel from 970-931 BC. In some publications he is called one of the wisest men of all time. In others he is called a pervert, whose lustful ways caused the Jewish kingdom to be torn in two. He had 700 wives and 300 concubines, so in my mind he was simply crazy.
Anyway, he wrote much of The Book Of Proverbs, which included its own lengthy list of deadly sins. In the 6th century Pope Gregory the Great whittled the list down to the current seven, since a more manageable list would be easier to keep believers in line.
Just to jog memories and establish my ill-guided direction and focus, I will list the seven in the order from least sinful to most. They are as follows: Sloth, Greed, Wrath, Lust, Gluttony, Envy, and, to my great surprise, the original and most seriously hated by the pious, Pride.
Now that I have bitten off more than I can chew, it is time to create a few deadly grins to go with each deadlier sin. I wish I had stuck with my first idea, Fat-bottomed Gripers, which I know a little more about.
It should be established now that the difference in a smile and a grin is simple. One is used exclusively in a positive way and the other can be used both in a positive situation or a negative situation. A smile usually has love or appreciation as a sidekick. A grin can be happy, or it can be hiding an evil enjoyment of another’s bad luck.
Ogden Nash quoted that “The only people who should really sin are the people who can sin and grin.”
In my mind, even if it doesn’t always fit, he pretty much nailed it. Why sin if you can’t enjoy it? I think most people make a conscious decision to maximize their self-indulgence, prompting a sin filled life, and others do so accidentally.
Now, from the original sin Pride, considered the sin that spawned all others, and on down to the least of the seven, Sloth, my monument to ineptitude continues. I also have to point out that in ancient times when paintings were done showing all of the active seven sins, animals or women were the sinners depicted. Who was the true sinner there?
Pride-Deadly Grin #1: The Mocking Taunt, Pride is designed to limit excessive belief in one’s own abilities but can be induced by an inadvertent show of Pride, thereby sinning without meaning to. It may also be accompanied by a cheerful bellow if your child just hit a home run in the championship game. On the whole, overly prideful types have a superiority complex.
Envy-Deadly Grin #2: A Tight Lipped Grimace, fueled by Envy. These are not nice grins, nor are the thoughts that accompany them.
Have you ever pulled up to a stoplight in your ten-year old car, looked to your right, and wished with all your might that you owned the gun metal blue Mercedes without the payment that might accompany it? You always look at the driver, wondering what life could have been like with a few more good choices. Bottom line, you want the car and would stomp a bunny to get it.
Gluttony-Deadly Grin #3: The Bloated Sneer, because you just spoiled yourself rotten. This is often paired with a gurgling burp.
If you watch any TV, you know that the entire advertising world wants you to become a bigger glutton than you already are, if you have any hoggish tendencies at all. Eat the triple patty, six slices of bacon burger, then waddle next door and buy the biggest flat screen and flashiest phone you can find, neither of which you need.
Lust-Deadly Grin #4: The Lecherous Leer, usually brought on by four Aces, another overcharged customer or a bare bottom. Don’t deny it, we have all been afflicted with it at one time or another.
Lust is an uncontrollable craving for sex, power or money. Ask King Solomon about that, he of the 300 concubines to fill the time his 700 wives could not.
Anger-Deadly Grin #5: The Wild Eyed Smirk, providing self-justification for wicked ways, the only true fuel for an empty soul.
Some folks let Anger rule their lives, belittling others for no reason, bullying those who allow it and generally looking for a flimsy excuse to pound or push around somebody smaller than them. They are a great pleasure to embarrass.
Greed-Deadly Grin #6: The Lip Smacking Snigger, for pure greed satisfied will put you on an imaginary pedestal quicker than anything.
Greed should be further up the list, for it is usually the cause of every war, even if the foes say it is for ideological differences. A look of pure greed on a human face is one of the most unsettling things in the world.
Sloth- Deadly Grin #7: The Sly Jeer, no teeth showing. It takes too much effort, doncha know, but the unreasonable contempt these freeloaders have for their supporters can’t be hidden.
Lazy is sometimes in the eye of the beholder, for there are often unknown reasons for a person to ignore physical duties. On the other hand, the country is full of those who want their needs provided for by others when they are capable of doing it themselves.
So there they are, the deadly seven, all of which could probably be improved on with a little more practice. Don’t stand in front of a mirror and rehearse them, I don’t want anybody to sprain a lip.
I guess as we pass through the world we will either grin and bear it or grin and bare it, determining if any of the sins will pop up occasionally to steer our life.
Decisions, decisions.

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