Well, after scouring the globe and asking hundreds of thousands of people, a U.S. government funded survey discovered who the happiest country in the world is. And guess what, it isn't us!
Who is the lucky country, you may ask?
When I think of Denmark, I usually think either 'fish' of 'Vikings.' Sometimes both. But I guess there's more to it than that.
I decided that I wanted to know more about this tiny little land and their happy, happy people, so I headed straight to the interweb land. Denmark has their own website (how quaint!) and, after briefly looking over the offings, found this explanation:
The Danes are generally well educated, well informed, yet at the same time enjoy a distinctly Danish lack of formality. This gives the Danes a relaxed and often humorous attitude to authorities and life itself"
'Relaxed? Humorous? Well educated? These people don't sound like Vikings at all!' I thought, 'Oh wait, what's this little factoid here? The Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen has been decapitated twice. Huh. Maybe there's a little Viking left in them after all.'
For a brief moment, I fantasized about my potential life as a Dane. How I would wake up in the morning to the sounds of relaxed laughter, how I would bicycle through the quaint cobblestoned streets to the shipyards, where I would build Viking warships. For lunch, I would eat herring that I caught by myself straight out of the crystal-clear seas, maybe read the newspaper to stay well informed and then laugh about the unhappiness in the rest of the world. Then I would bicycle home, making sure to appreciate the picturesque streets and plazas. Maybe that evening, I would head out to a local bar and enjoy a large mug of mead and relax with my politely humorous post-Viking neighbors and friends. Then at night, I would dream of Danish fairies carrying me off to the sea, where I could make sweet love to a mermaid!
Okay, maybe it wasn't just a brief moment of fantasy. Maybe it's become a nightly obsession.
But then I realized that the grass is always greener in Denmark and, besides, in order to live in the happiest country in the world, I would have to be Danish. I'm not sure that's a price I'd be willing to pay. I mean, have you seen these people?
Yikes! No, I think I'll stay here in humble Chicago, where I at least know the language. After all, I've invested a lot of time in figuring out the public transit system here. If I left, I'd feel like I wasted two years of my life.
Incidentally, the Happiest Country in the World study found that overall the world is getting happier. So for those of you who are complaining about skyrocketing gas prices, the fact that people are stealing manhole covers and funeral urns to sell for scrap metal, or any of the other crazy quasi-apocalyptic catastrophes happening every day, keep that in mind.