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The Smile of Mescaline Franklin
A Tale of Urban Ape-Wrangling Woe


My man Mescaline Franklin, perhaps my best friend, who has advanced to big-brained nimbus status and acquired a more fitting moniker, visited me every month for a decade or so in Harm City. Sensei Steve once said, as Mescaline thanked him for his hospitality, “Anytime you want to stay, I like having Mister Jim’s scary-looking white friends staying here.”

While walking about, Mescaline confided that he didn’t want to be scary-looking and wanted to know how to put a more benign impression on strangers. I told him that the main thing that made him scary was that he paced and prowled like a caged tiger in the zoo, and that flexing incidents and stare downs with subhuman warrior types could be minimized with a slight smile to the foeman in passing.

I insisted on him staying behind me off my shoulder for an echelon response to aggression when walking and had noticed young guys seeking his attention to start a fight, so we discussed that situation and he assured me that he was “mister friendly” from here on out.

Lo and take hold, I noticed that ebon warriors were no longer flexing on young Mescaline, somewhat absently, as I began to lose care about 3 to 9 o’clock on my urban bronar reaction clock.

Then, one day, as I was enjoying the giggle-pop curves of some ebony queen, I noticed that her dronish escort was regarding Mescaline with some deep measure of fear and hustling her out of my appraisal range. And then again, two ebon youth, just at that age when they should be challenging bulls of the enemy race to combat—or at least curbside dick measuring—I noticed these two 65-IQ wonders were skittering out of the way as if I were Renfield with Count Dracula looming ominous behind me.

I did not mind the results, but was beginning to expect that Young Mescaline was not developing the Mister Friendly persona he had set out to cultivate. So, with an eye towards his personal development, I did some social experiments, asking him to cross the street to get some pork rinds as my hip was paining me and suchlike deceptions, so that I would be able to employ my societal observation suite to advise him more astutely.

What I noticed was that my Soul Brother’s honest attempt to befriend our traditional street foes looked something like this, in the way of a smile:

He’d roll his right shoulder down, just like he was ready to slide his hand into a dangerously filled pocket, raise his left shoulder in an “who gives a fuck” shrug, and curl his thin Sicilian lips back over his bared teeth as the cords on his thick wrestler’s neck pulled taught and his eyes narrowed. The overall effect on his rather handsome face—all of my girlfriend’s and female relatives think he is quite good-looking—was something often achieved by fantasy artists when rendering the countenance of Conan the Barbarian when he’s cutting off a Pictish head, breaking the chains that bind him or otherwise balefully seething under the weight of civilized restrictions.

I felt kind of bad, knowing his intent, as I approached him as he came back across the street from the Rite Aid across from what had been Inchon John’s liquor store and said, “What the fuck are you doing to my negroes? You see those two over there ready to piss their pants, don’t you?”

He said, somewhat taken aback by my disapproval, “They seem harmless enough. I just smiled like you suggested.”

I put my hand on his shoulder in a fatherly way and advised, “Bro, you need to stop flashing Dracula teeth at my negroes—you’re scarring them!”

So, there you go, what works for one of us of a certain facial type, and inner mind and age, does not necessarily work for another. And, in retrospect, that month-long experiment in chimp-out abatement worked about as good as it would at a zoo if you put a leopard in charge of feeding the primates. It also brings to mind Robert E. Howard’s totemic dictum that the man who does not buckle to emasculating social pressure in the from of adopting civic sensibilities, is, among emasculated denizens of the domesticated social space, literally a wolf among dogs, a lion among hyenas.

Thanks, brother, for that reflective lesson. It was some while coming.

The Mind of Mescaline Franklin

The Awakening of a Paleface Ethnocist

Add Comment
MannyOctober 24, 2019 8:20 PM UTC

Might I suggest the Covington Catholic Smirk as an alternative to the outright toothy smile? Made famous by a certain Indian/American/Black Israelite conflict, this technique hides the teeth generally. Keep your lips together mostly and act like you’re holding back a funny joke. I deploy this frequently to good effect. All the best to you and Mr. Franklin.