A perpetual smile


We approach a patient's room. My clown partner, Dr. Gizmo waited outside the room. As I walked into the room, I saw a mother and a young girl, about eight years old. I asked the young girl if she had seen another clown in the area. As I was asking, Doctor Gizmo walked by the door. He was behind me. I couldn't see him, but clearly, the patient could. Her eyes lit up. She pointed to the left, the way Dr. Gizmo just walked. She smiled and said. "He went that way!" I thanked her for her help and walked in the direction she pointed.

After I left Dr.Gizmo walk by the door once again, this time in the other direction, I returned to the room to say that I didn't see the clown. The girl giggled. She pointed frantically to the right this time. She said with an even bigger giggle, "He just went that way! You missed him". She pointed to the right again. This time sharing the laugh with her mother.

At this point, the routine was set. We repeated this several times. Gizmo would walk by the door of the room. I would return to ask if she had seen the other clown. Then Gizmo would pass in the other direction, and the patient would tell me he went the other way. Each time she would point in a direction and laugh. Finally, I return to the room to ask her one last time, Where is the other clown? I told her that her instructions were not helping because each time I asked, she pointed in the wrong direction.

She paused between laughs, look me in the eye and said, "I can't stop smiling."

I paused … and said, "I understand you can't stop smiling. However, I need to find the other clown. Where is he?" She laughed again. She said, "He went that way!", smiling and pointing. We continued to another room, leaving her with her smiles.