As a lifelong 98-pound weakling, team captains had good reason to choose me last when it came to athletic contests, but at the Sony ExploraScience museum, I finally found my sport: Smile Fighting!
Yes, they have a piece of technological wizardry that actually analyzes your beaming face and gives you a score! After extensive experimentation, my friend and I concluded that showing your pearly whites was key, as was eye crinkliness and grin wideness.
You can play against a real live friend or a random photo chosen by the computer. Both of you smile into the camera, then the rating begins. Shown as both a number and a graph, it’s obvious who gets the trophy, because the loser’s photo topples backward in defeat!
Every day, all the smile warriors’ photos are ranked against each other and displayed on a screen as you leave the museum. I made the mistake of going with a friend who’s a champion smiler, so she edged me out, but I’m totally going into training! Next time, it’s make the top row or die smiling.
Jonelle Patrick is the author of the Only In Tokyo mystery series, now out for the first time in paperback
…or watch the book trailer (0:52)