Sunday, 17 November 2019

Being Happy—The Police Way

Updated: December 3, 2015 12:06 pm

IS SATIRICUS happy, or is he unhappy? It depends. On what? Well, he is unhappy when he must sit down to write this column. He is happy when he receives the peanuts the editor sends him for the said column. But what is he to do if and when he is unhappy because he thinks the number of those peanuts is not what he expected? Should he complain to the police? He could—if he was in Dubai. For according to a believe-it-or-not report, if you are unhappy in Dubai, the police may call to ask you why. Why on earth? Because, says the said report, Dubai is trying to find a place among the top 10 of the world’s happiest cities by the year 2021. That is certainly a very happy idea, but how will the police assess your happiness when they visit you and put the question? The answer is happily simple. Says the report, “the simple survey users choose between a frown, a smile, and an unimpressed straight line”. Well, well, well, what do you know? Your face is certainly an undeniable index of your happiness (or the absence of), but what if the man the police ask happened to be a bearded cheat? Is it not possible that he might smile and smile and yet be an unhappy villain?

Then there is another problem. The police may take it that a man is happy if he smiles at them, but what if he laughs at them? Will that not make the police unhappy? Again, what if those who are asked do not smile, but they grin? Will that not mean they are not happy but trying to “grin and bear it”? And finally, will the unhappy police file a court case against those who laugh this whole idea out of court?

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