Deborah Ross: Happiness is Essential

If you ask me...

Share
Related Topics

If you ask me, these are tough times for shallow people, such as myself, who have neither the wit nor the energy to think things through and make sense of them. Breast-feeding at work? How is it possible? Wouldn't it be like taking a puppy to the cinema? And David Cameron's "happiness survey"? What is that all about? Apparently, come spring 2011, the Government will conduct regular surveys of our well-being and happiness, on the grounds that, as Cameron says, and materially privileged people always do say: "Money isn't everything" although when I recently told this to the VAT man, he still seized my car and television and handled me quite roughly.

How can happiness be surveyed? Whose happiness, anyway, ever stretches to more than a few seconds at a time? I'm thinking it is probably no more than an average of 11 seconds a day, down from 16 seconds in 1958, when it peaked due to the nationwide launch of Bird's Eye Arctic Roll, which excited shallow people enormously.

So happiness is the odd moment here and there; moments like these: beating someone to a seat on the tube and catching their eye for a fraction of second, ha, ha; noting the "Essentials Balsamic vinegar" on sale in Waitrose and asking the girl on the till: "Whatever next? Essentials saffron? Essentials halibut?" and making yourself laugh, at least; marvelling at Shaun Ryder's teeth, and wondering if he asked his dentist for "big, white, strong teeth, good for chewing kangaroo cock"; thinking you've run out of wine but then piercing the silver foil thing inside the box and discovering another glass in there, hurrah; watching dads who, having left the mother to it all week, struggle down the swimming pool on a Sunday morning ("Now, Oscar, does mummy let you do that? I'm sure she doesn't. Or does she? I wish I was at work..."); Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon in The Trip; new socks; a driver moving off promptly from a parking space in a hard-to-park area without faffing about at the steering wheel (what are the steering wheel faffers doing? A tax return?); tormenting telephone cold-callers ("No, I'm not in. No, I don't know when I won't be back."); a new five-pack of socks (five lots of happiness!; all served up together!).

So it's moments like these, and that's it. It's how it is. It's the human condition, and no-one should expect true happiness although, if Piers Morgan and Jeremy Clarkson were to punch each other at exactly the same time, that would probably be it, pretty much. I'd tick "overjoyed" if I were ever surveyed about that.

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Does earning a 6 figu...

Recruitment Genius: SEO Executive

£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: New Lift Sales Executive - Lift and Elevators

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A challenging opportunity for a...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Errors & Omissions: A widow’s tale with an unexpected twist

John Rentoul
 

For all his faults, Russell Brand is utterly sincere, something politicians should emulate

Janet Street-Porter
The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss