Citizen: Oh God! It’s all flooding back now: the credit crunch, the recession, the coalition. Thanks for reminding me – not!
Bureaucrat: The prime minister hopes that if voters focus on being happy they won’t mind living on low incomes in a tuppenny ha’penny country. It’s worked well in Bhutan.
Citizen: But this is Tonbridge.
Bureaucrat: What were you doing when I arrived?
Citizen: I was relaxing with a glass of wine while listening to the opera.
Bureaucrat: And that makes you happy, does it? Hitting the bottle with only the radio for company? According to wellbeing research you’d be 25 per cent happier if you joined a squash club.
Citizen: (glumly) I can’t play squash.
Bureaucrat: What’s your occupation?
Citizen: I work in insurance.
Bureaucrat: Shuffling paper all day satisfies you?
Citizen: I thought that it did. But now I’m not so sure. That’s the problem with happiness. It evaporates under scrutiny.
Bureaucrat: Rate your level of happiness on a scale of one to 10.
Citizen: Two now. But it was eight before I met you.
Bureaucrat: Thanks. I have to go now. Enjoy the opera.
Citizen: (miserably) I’ve missed the overture. That’s the best bit.
Bureaucrat: I’ll leave you this number for The Samaritans. It’s surprising how many people start feeling depressed when they learn that the government wants to make them happier.
Full article by Jonathan Guthrie here. No matter what blame the government for unhappiness!