THE SMILE OF DEREK FLETCHER
The smile of Derek Fletcher was a true phenomenon; it beamed and it beamed. There was never a sad or dull moment. Every thing in Derek Fletchers life was A-one hunky dory. He was the happiest man alive.
It all came so easily to him and the easier it all came the happier he became.
Not one day of illness, nor broken bone, sprain, bruise, scratch, burn or even itch had he suffered.
He failed at nothing and everyone loved him. He could have become anything. Mayor, President, King, God. He knew no fear for he had no enemies and good fortune was his closest, dearest friend and ally.
Derek Fletcher was born to the world silent and bewildered. He emitted no first-breath scream just let out a soft hiccup, which, of course, won him the hearts of all those present at his inception. As a baby he never cried. Truly Mother's little treasure. Always fed before hungry, always changed immediately after delivering a little gift. Throughout his childhood he asked for nothing, there was no need, he received everything he wanted, just when he wanted.
Usually an upbringing such as this would be a sure fire method of creating a spoilt, obnoxious, brat- monster. Not so in Derek Fletcher's case. Quite the contrary; for the more love and generosity that was showered upon him the greater the warmth and happiness he radiated towards others, and oh that smile, it just grew and grew.
With eventual maturity, like the best wines and spirits, he improved with age. Always caring, hard working and understanding, he became both intelligent and entertaining. A more warm hearted, satisfying personality you could not wish to encounter.
His social popularity was matched only by his professional ability. A superb businessman, with public relations second nature, he inevitably became extremely successful financially. Impressively shrewd, he invested wisely and researched new avenues meticulously.
At the age of twenty-five, Derek married Annabella, a partnership rarely experienced beyond the domain of Hans Christian Anderson and the Brothers Grimm. Not only was she breathtakingly beautiful, Annabella Fletcher was intelligent, understanding, kind, a wonderful cook and an excellent housekeeper. She took a keen interest in all her husband's affairs, both professional and social quickly becoming his number one adviser and confidant.
After just less than three years marital bliss the Fletchers became the proud parents of twins Joseph and Belinda. Perfect children for the perfect mother and father. Derek had never felt happier.
And that smile, my oh my, how it grew.
Over two decades of domestic bliss flew by; the children grew up and embarked upon successful careers of their own, both won places at highly respected universities and with the help of their father's guidance and influence obtained positions in the private sector with excellent prospects. And in what seemed the blink of an eye Derek Fletcher's fiftieth birthday loomed.
It was decided that in celebration of his half century something very special would have to be arranged, something different, something Derek had never done before. As you can imagine this posed a serious, all be it pleasant, problem to the Fletchers. For what could a man who has experienced unlimited opportunity throughout his entire life find to do that he had not already done?
It was the ever-resourceful Anabella who came up with the solution. She pointed out that in their twenty-five years of life together, her husband had never once visited a racetrack. In truth, Derek had never visited a racetrack in his entire life.
So it was decided. The following week, on the morning of his birthday, accompanied by his two best friends, Derek Fletcher paid his very first visit to a race meeting and that day he experienced another first. He discovered gambling and forever true to form he won a fortune. He was hooked immediately.
So every morning from that day onwards Derek phoned the bookmakers. Once a week he visited the casino, twice a week the dogs. Then there were card games, billiards, pool, fruit machines, lotteries and even the football pools. In fact he would bet on practically anything with an element of risk, and every time he won.
In six months he had doubled his fortune, in another three, he did the same. As his wealth grew, so did that famous smile. It grew and it grew.
The following year Derek Fletcher was declared the most successful man of all time. Later the same year he was branded the wealthiest person in the world. All this praise and admiration only served to increase his happiness causing his smile to broaden incredibly until one day it became so wide that the corners of his mouth met round the back of his neck and the top of his head slid off.