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Happy Sign Holders Coming to Ballston Thursday

by Katie Pyzyk October 10, 2012 at 5:00 pm 4,595 49 Comments

If you need a reason to smile, the sign might be right in front of you tomorrow (Thursday) afternoon. A group called Make DC Smile will be gathering in Ballston in an effort to brighten up the day of passersby.

As reported in the Washington Post earlier this year, 29-year-old Massoud Adibpour and his friends set out on a mission to bring joy to seemingly overworked and unhappy people in the District. They have posted inspirational signs around town and have been spotted in high traffic areas holding signs with smile-inducing phrases such as “Honk if you love someone” and “Do more of what makes you happy.”

The Make DC Smile Facebook page says the following: “No one ever looks forward to sitting in traffic and going to work on Monday morning. What started as a simple bucket list idea to hold the sign ‘Honk if you love someone’ at a busy DC intersection has turned into a weekly movement to get commuters starting their week off with a smile.”

On Thursday, the happy volunteers will make their first appearance in Arlington. They will be holding signs at the corner of N. Glebe Road and Fairfax Drive in Ballston from 5:15-6:30 p.m. It’s also noted that this will be the group’s first smile session during the afternoon rush hour.

The Make DC Smile website isn’t up and running yet, but the group hopes to launch it by the end of November. Once the site is functional, visitors can download and print all of the positive signs in English, as well as other languages like Spanish, French, German, Arabic and Farsi.

The Facebook page says the group is working on a number of other projects. To get involved or to offer idea suggestions, email [email protected]

Photos via Facebook

  • J

    This is a wonderful concept, but the growing sounds of honking during rush hour just stress me out more! I advocate for all signs except ‘Honk if you’re happy / love someone’! But seriously, good for this group, I hope they do brighten many peoples’ lives in this area.

  • Norm Peterson

    Riot police should pepper spray these hippies!

    • Amen

      This is so hokey and annoying. Let’s all resolve to flip them the bird.

      • SLAYER

        Go ahead and try. You will be South of Heaven and Reign in Blood.

    • johnnie

      well you need to smile because you are able to read. some ppl cant read or blind. if the world would smile and be happy , the bad would not hurt so bad . i am just saying.

  • tumblebum

    I won’t go by.. I went to Crystal City and got “gazed”. There is only so much happiness a human body can take.

    • Tabs

      Did ya? How did it go?

  • Tre

    Sadness makes me happy

  • BlueSkies

    Call me cynical, but aren’t there plenty of things these eager young folks could do to help make people happier (feeding the hungry, visiting the homebound, etc.) instead of standing around holding signs telling people to smile?

    • BoredHouseWife

      I will call you cynical.

      there is more than one way to skin a cat.

      • Cat

        leave it out missus

      • kj

        are you hot?

    • NIMBY the Chicken

      Instead of signs, they could hold hoses up at the ballston bus bays and rinse off all the urine and more people would probably be okay with it.

    • B22201

      If you feed the hungry, they just come back for more tomorrow. If you read a sign that says “Smile”, and you honk your horn at them. . . that lasts a lifetime.

      • Tabs

        Give a man a fish and something something
        Teach a man to smile and something something

  • Ed King

    I’ve known these free spirits for awhile. God bless them, and god bless the United States of America.

    • who was the 1?

      God Bless the Whole Wide World. No exceptions.

      • Brian Lewis

        God Bless America. And no place else.

        • me

          who is this “God” to which you refer? email address? cell #?

  • kc

    They were on Key Bridge inbound to DC one morning this week when I was running that way.

  • Quackers

    I think it’s great–there’s enough mean-spiritedness around here.

    People in my building (mostly the younger crowd) can’t even be bothered to say hello–you just get ignored.

    • Ok, so I’m the jerk

      I have to say, maybe I’m the rude young something, that’s fine… BUT I get to work earlier than many of my coworkers specifically so that I can get settled in and get up and running at my desk because I know I’ll lose 20 minutes to the “ritual” good mornings that some people insist on that are super distracting. Now, the lady in the cube next to me says hi and genuinely asks about my evening before or weekend or whatever because we sit close and we talk, but there are 2 women who for whatever reason are ALWAYS late, and then almost advertise it with walking through the entire office, putting their head in every cubicle and saying good morning. If I’m sending an email or on the phone or mid thought and don’t respond right away I literally get “I SAID good morning” and I want to shout back “and I THOUGHT shut up already! You’re late, go to your desk turn on your computer and leave me alone.” It’s really annoying because for everyone who’s already started putting out fires in our office via e-mails and are working you’re just telling us that you don’t care that you’re late and by time you jump into these conversations or solutions you’ll only have glanced over the email history and you’ll make some stupid statement that’s not intelligent and we’ll all look like idiots for hiring you. Sorry, I’m the jerk that doesn’t want to say good morning. This is work, you came to work.

      **Just for the record I LOVE what I do and most of the people I work with. But the ritual good mornings take away from getting things done in order to not be here all night or to enjoy a real lunch break where I get to socialize with the people that showed up on time and that I do like.**

      • Peter

        Oh no…sounds like somone’s got a case of the Mondays!

      • llama

        Chillax brough. Have a slice.

    • Not Me

      I hear you. You know though, those people may be shy, preoccupied, and yes of course, some just have bad manners.

      Just like in traffic we all assume everyone else is an A-hole. The older I get though, I realize that not everyone is a jerk, it’s just the perception we default to since we don’t understand the real reason. Everyone is entitled to a bad day, month and even year(s).

      Some folks may have just lost a loved one, or lost their job, or didn’t get that promotion, or got dumped 10 minutes ago, divorced etc. The list goes on.

      I would venture to guess that it’s a minority of folks who are just plain old pricks 100% of the time.

  • PikeLatin

    This is better than those peoples with Anti Abortion signs at N. Glebe road N. Randolph St. last Sunday.


      You got that right.

  • Wilbur

    Start soaking the rotten tomatos now

  • ArlForest

    This is insensitive to people with Bell’s Palsy and whose horns don’t work. Please think of them.

    • NorthArlingTim

      Ugh, I had Bell’s Palsy many years ago. It sucked. It’s really scary!

      • malaka

        I had Bell’s Hopslam and it rocked!

        • Jay

          LOVE IT!!!

  • NorthArlingTim

    grumble grumble grumble


    • GrumbleDestroyer

      cheers 🙂

  • Rory of the Hills

    They won’t be smiling when they go back to their car and find a brand new parking ticket on the windshield.

  • ArlLater

    I’m not trying to be negative, but does anyone else think that the last thing we need on that stretch of road is more distraction and honking during rush hour? I already feel like I’m playing a game of paperboy every evening dodging abruptly stopping cars and pedestrians darting into traffic. I’m all for smiling, but I won’t be when someone hits me because they were too busy reading one of these signs.

  • Clarendon

    You can’t be happy all the time, or else it is meaningless. There has to be a contrast. The tension is what allows the vibrations of life. Having said that, it is nice to have a happy ending at least.

    • Dr_Klahn

      And when I get tense, I don’t know how I could cope without my local Foot Sanctuary… (or at least a suitcase)

  • DebDownr

    Honk if you think we just like attention! (What a kooky idea… if we go around the area holding signs telling people to smile, this could go viral! We could be YouTube legends… This could get us on the Today show!! We might end up with a freakin’ reality show man!!!)

  • nom de guerre

    I’m guessing there wouldn’t be a lot of noise if the signs said “Honk If You Love Hemorrhoids.”

    • Dr_Klahn

      I don’t know, I’m thinking that might get more honks, and less people that want to run them over…should we try it?

  • GrumbleDestroyer


    • Whirled Peas

      Ditto That! 🙂

  • Arlingtonian

    This is the dumbest thing I’ve heard yet today.

  • LuLu

    What a bunch of dopes.

    • drax

      You need a free hug!

  • Jay

    Wasting paper and obstructing progress. Turn em into soylent green and get on with it!

  • Bouncing Balls

    I puposely drove by that spot to see them, they were not there!
    I was driving N bound on glebe. Maybe I missed them, but a scan of the intersection yielded no happiness.

  • johnnie

    you know this world has alot of issues . why would it be so bad for a sign that said good morning. or your co workers being nice saying good morning. i have read alot of negative replies on here. do you ever think about how bad some people have it . hunger, disabled, single moms no income, and lets add more riots , drive by shootings on streets and schools. not to mention jobless towns. ppl losing theirs homes. oh yeah ppl without health coverage. ppl eating out of dumpster. and you know they are all on NOT on drugs or welfare cling on or lazy. so tell me why you ppl who think the sign msg is so bad. if i worked with you . i would say good morning even if you were rude…..WHY BECAUSE I LOVE THE WORLD AND I HAVE COMPASSION FOR OTHER HUMAN BEINGS. Now before you say i am bashing anyone I AM NOT. It is my freedom to voice my opinion just like everyone else has on this site. i think signing is great. MY SIGN ALL …SMILE AND THE WORLD SMILES BACK AT YOU.


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