Daily Prompt: Happy Happy Joy Joy
Google How To Be Happy and you’re going to have to trawl through 2 billion sites. However, choose How To Be Less Miserable and there’s only around 48 million – and most of those seem to think I mean Les Miserables. Of course you could argue that they are one and the same as I watched Les Miserables and cried a lot, particularly when Fantine fell on hard times, and felt much perkier for it. So, if around 47 million sites are about the musical, that leaves only around 1 million sites for How To Be Less Miserable. Take out half a million YouTube clips of kittens falling into swing bins, and 400,000 or so adverts for products that make you at least look less miserable, then you’ll have to agree that this is a hugely untapped market.
Discovering you aren’t quite as happy as you thought you were can be rather depressing. Depression takes many forms and some people don’t know if they are actually depressed, or just a bit miserable. To be honest, in either instance, the last thing you want to be worrying about is diagnosis, so my advice for anyone wrapped in their duvet in the corner of their bedroom is: assume clinical mardiness
The fact is that even the happiest of us can spend some time being mardy (footnote: often attributed to children, mardy, or the more formal mardy pants, is a useful way to give feedback to someone miserable as it has the ring of affection about it: “We’re not at home to Mrs Mardy Pants today” is a much nicer way of telling someone that they have a face liked a slapped arse. A slapped arse may also look like having a cob on. (footnote to footnote: A cob is a bread bun and may be known throughout Britain variously as a batch, a barm cake, a bun and a bap. Breasts are also known as baps. People who do not speak English will find this tricky. Colloquialisms are never easy to grasp, and even English speakers find the Hot Pork Baps sign hugely funny. End of footnotes). Sometimes though, being miserable is very comforting and is a useful way to spend a rainy afternoon.
Stop complaining about thebloodyweather
Not talking about a rainy afternoon of course is a very useful way to be less miserable. We English love to talk about the weather, but more accurately, we English love to complain about the weather. In other countries they talk about revolutions and bananas, but as we have, compared to most of the rest of the world, a moderate, temperate, stable and tolerant society we have very little to complain about. In fact we set so much store by the weather, that we expect to hear about it every half hour on the radio. This obsession with broadcasting the weather began in 1939 with the outbreak of the Second World War. Before then most people were content to simply look up at the sky and depending on what happened next, would feel rather secure in the knowledge that they knew what the weather was doing. Also, as we all know, if you see cows lying down, this is a sure sign that it is going to rain, whereas if you see cows lying on a barbeque, it’s a sure sign that summer is here. (footnote: vegetarians and vegans have traditionally been poor forecasters of weather). Once war had broken out, the British were warned not to look up at the sky in case they got hit by an incendiary bomb. This was a real threat, as for several hundred years the British have known that when Harold looked up to see what the weather was doing, he got hit in the eye with a tapestry needle.
Ban the news
Going to bed on an indigestible meal of tragedy, suffering, hopelessness and despair is hardly going to guarantee a restful night’s sleep. (footnote: Or indeed, satisfactory sex. Concerns about the badger cull, especially if it involves Brain May singing his new single Save the badger, badger, badger – presumably to the tune Price Tag) – will not promote arousal). Similarly, waking up to men getting cross with each other won’t start your day well and it has been statistically proven that people who read The Daily Mail or listen to The Today Programme on BBC Radio 4 are five times more likely to tut, shake their head/fist and roll their eyes. This however is nothing compared to those people who listen to The Archers. In the olden days we all took huge pleasure from just hearing the continuity announcer at 7.01pm saying “It’s Wednesday, and David and Ruth are discussing aphids”. These days however, Ambridge is a rather depressing place and has never really recovered from the armed robbery at the Post Office. Since then we’ve had farmageddon, racial hatred, Alzheimer’s, affairs, hit and runs and burger vans. (footnote: What’s more, Ambridge is home to the Royal Society of National Regional Accents so it is possible for everyone across the UK, (as well as Eastern Europe and the Antipodes for that matter) to be represented. This makes Ambridge the most extraordinary village in England)
Do not attempt to live in the countryside
Attracted by the fantasy that is Ambridge, town and city dwellers have traditionally moved to the countryside in the pursuit of being less miserable. Any joy however will be temporary and lasts only as long as it takes to discover the countryside is actually bereft of shops, is populated by people who knit their own clothes but secretly long for a Primark, is inaccessible in the winter, has no cinema, is far too dark and thus attractive to burglars, is prey to child-eating animals, and smells of manure (footnote: I am happy to be challenged and can evidence all of these key points with the exception of the child-eating animals aspect which on reflection, I believe to be a town-based-urban-fox issue. Nevertheless, as there are more animals in the countryside, the statistical probability of having your children eaten by animals in Coventry is relatively slim)
Edit your playlist
Adele really does not understand your sadness . Delete her.