When I saw this challenge, of course I thought right of Peggy. Without question, it is my wife who makes me smile more than anything else. But rather than turn the blog into more of an embarrassing paean to the magnificent Peggy, I thought I'd talk about someone who also brings a smile to this craggy face of mine.
Born Philip John Clapp in Knoxville, Tennessee, Johnny Knoxville is the creator of the show most often regarded as "America's gift to world culture." That show, which began on MTV and is now preparing its fourth in a series of movies that expand and deepen the way we look at life and how we can improve the ways we live it, is called -ironically - "Jackass."
"Jackass" is usually described as "an ensemble comedy in which the latest trends in literature, drama, poetry, expressionistic art, and music ranging from the classics of Wagner to the Gregorian chants of the nobleman Sir Mix A. Lot are discussed and held to the prism of our national gestalt."
And then, they put a blindfold on Knoxville and lead him into a bull's corral. In this memorable sequence, of course, Knoxville's red shirt serves to infuriate the bull, who represents the spirit of evil that lurks in our world, often against our better wishes. Knoxville lights a cigarette to indicate that he has no fear of death, and yet, death lurks around every corner, as we have been taught by Grandpa Simpson. The bull's actions are predictable; he has no compunction about re-claiming his territory. Knoxville is able to demonstrate an ability to keep calm under pressure and even shows a previously-unseen talent for backflips.
Until Peggy gets home.