I have a civic duty to be happy.

Share
Related Topics
News came this week that both sleep and happiness are good for the body's immune system. I'm happiest when asleep, so that saves some time.

The Me Generation obviously had it right all along. It's not only your right to be happy but also your civic duty. Think how much NHS money is saved every year by hedonistic people who dutifully keep their immune systems topped up with doses of happiness throughout the day (drugs and alcohol are a great help in this endeavour).

But this also means that anyone who makes you unhappy should really be sued. So sucks to you, cruel bosses and cold boyfriends. You are bad for my immune system. Unfortunately, the British are bad at storing the beneficial after-effects of happiness. In Britain, enjoyment is continually undermined by guilt, according to a new survey carried out by Associates for Research into the Science of Enjoyment (Arise) which sounds like some spooky CIA outfit (are our pleasures safe in their hands?). Arise discovered that the British are good at indulgence but prone to self-recrimination afterwards - especially about eating chocolate. But where's the pleasure in feeling virtuous all the time?

The founder of Arise says: "Chronic guilt can induce stress and depression, which could lead to eating disorders and contribute to infection, ulcers, heart problems and even brain damage." Yikes. Pass the chocolate.

ABOUT Blair and hair and women. One hairdresser thinks Tony's hair should be pinned down with thickening cream to become a more solid slab, while another insists it must have movement and hang loose. Forget Blairism. This is hairism. Why should anyone be castigated for failing in furriness? Perhaps it's the time of the year, what with the cold coming on. But it does seem unfair that animals should have more than we do, and so are better protected against chills and spills. And it makes them more cuddly.

As our opinion poll today shows, though, Blair clearly needs to woo the fickle female vote. But if women only vote on the grounds of sex appeal, the suffragettes died for nothing. Views canvassed from some of the more annoying women of our time last week didn't help very much, either. "His dentistry is chaotic," offered Germaine Greer. He "should be more like Heathcliff", said the mystifying Fiona Pitt-Kethley. "Women don't like rhetoric," advised Carmen Callil (speak for yourself, lady). And, "Major has more charisma and there's something kinky about him," reports gallery- owner Angela Flowers. Now, putting Major and "charisma" in the same sentence really is kinky.

I think the elusiveness of the women's vote goes much deeper than hair. It's the smile. Blair's entire face is only scaffolding for that perky smirk. No woman could trust a man who's that happy. Or perhaps we don't trust men period. Bring on Clare Short, cardigan, long-lost son and all.

A woman in Argentina recently divorced her husband of three years for waking her up every morning by blowing a bugle in her ear. This is the sort of thing that gives men a bad name.

AND so to Richard Rogers, who plans to erect a huge hairy mole the size of 13 Royal Albert Halls, on the banks of the Thames as "the centrepiece of the millennium celebrations".

In Yorkshire, tasteless householders can't even install a plastic front door without trouble from the council planning department, but Greenwich residents are supposed to grin and bear Rogers' excrescence, his unsightly blemish, his stubbly monstrosity. Besides its telltale hairs, this dome is surrounded by balls like beads of sweat, vaguely similar to the balls of the giant aluminium atom left over from the World Fair in Brussels, which is the only laugh to be had in Belgium.

Why couldn't we have had a verruca-shaped exhibition hall, or a toe- nail along the lines of Sydney Opera House, an underwater mouth ulcer millennial restaurant perhaps, or better yet, a plain and simple embossed carbuncle? Maybe that's what this mole is. I think a biopsy is called for.

IN honour of the new millennium, I travelled back in time to the previous fin de siecle this week, in the form of the penultimate day of shooting for Brian Gilbert's film about Oscar Wilde. There he was, sitting in the stalls of the Richmond Theatre whispering to his pals Robbie Ross and Ada Leverson, while some actors on stage rehearsed Lady Windermere's Fan. And buzzing all around them were people talking to each other on walkie- talkies.

For the record, Oscar Wilde had a full head of hair, and look what happened to him.

NOW children, draw a bunch of illiterate teenagers joining the dole queue. It turns out that the Ridings School is not a comprehensive at all. It's an art school! Most schools fail to give children enough opportunity to draw. Not so, the Ridings. In a lesson on religion, the pupils drew churches, in French they drew a table, in English they drew or traced the cover of the book they were supposed to read, and for a class on weather, they drew and coloured a snowman. How do their parents find room on the walls for all this creativity?

So much for single mums and moral decline. It seems that the teachers, not the pupils, were responsible for the chaos at the school. The teachers were the ones suffering from indiscipline. Badly brought up, I guess.

I do wish they'd sort the place out. Whenever "the troubled Ridings School" is mentioned, I imagine children falling off horses, or failing to master the rising trot.

I'M reliably informed by a correspondent that I was quite wrong to suggest a few weeks ago that the rabies vaccine is effective. She goes on to say: "You wouldn't know a virus and its habits if I stuffed it up your nostrils," and "You make outrageous statements about things you do not, cannot, possibly understand." At long last someone's noticed.

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
 

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

Janet Street-Porter
 

Never underestimate the power of the National Trust

Boyd Tonkin
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