The Search for Happiness

Posted on November 15, 2017


Thanks to the latest issue of National Geographic, we all now know where people are happiest on this planet. Contrary to what you might be thinking, it’s not the free food sample stations at Costco. Nor is it sitting in front of the computer, staring at friends’ Facebook postings and hearing the familiar ding that someone is texting you. It is even not being in the dentist’s office for one’s annual check up and hearing the dentist say, “There is nothing wrong with your teeth.” (Of course, Life in the Boomer Lane has never seen evidence that anyone has ever heard those words in real life.) It is, instead, the countries of Denmark, Costa Rica, and Singapore.

For those people who may be perplexed right now, LBL is here to help. Singapore is not the capital of  China nor the capital of any other country. It is an island on the edge of the Java Sea.  Some alert readers may now be comparing it to Ujungpandang, which is a city and is also at the edge of the Java Sea, but this would be bad and wrong. Singapore is actually an actual country. And don’t you forget it.

One may be wondering why residents of these countries are so darn happy, especially when they have done nothing to deserve this.  LBL has done some digging, and she is here to tell you the truth about these places:

Costa Rica:  Don’t be fooled by the hype and by the fact that so many American are retiring there, the country is in danger of both tipping over from the number of new all-you-can-eat buffets. Here are the sad facts about Costa Rica:

  1. You cannot flush toilet paper in Costa Rica. Instead, a small container sits on the floor next to every single toilet in the country. Think about that one, as you dream of white sand beaches and endless blue skies.

2. Mosquitoes and ants. Yes, you may say, we have these as well. But the mosquitoes and ants in Puerto Rico are so large as to qualify to get onto most amusement rides.

3. Fresh fruits and vegetables are plentiful and affordable. On the surface, this may seem like a good thing, right? But think about living in a country that promotes its healthy food in an embarrassingly extravagant way, instead of the God-given right we have here to down Big Macs and endless Cheetos.

Denmark: Wait! you are yelling.  Denmark is the home of polite, thoughtful citizens, who get free health care, have total gender equality, and live in a culture that emphasizes the positive in life.   What could possible be wrong with that?  LBL will explain:

1. Because Danes are so darn polite, they omit saying “Thank you” and “Please.” They consider it redundant, because their very behavior is kind, considerate, and grateful.  This is an affront to most Americans, who wait for people to say “Thank you,” so we can answer “No problem.”

2. Prisons have special suites that prisoners can rent for the weekend when family comes to visit.  This should come as a complete insult to anyone inhabiting a group home or to anyone living in Brooklyn, where visiting family often sleep in vacated baby cribs, bathtubs, or grimy vestibules (look up that last word, you people who were born after 1960).

3. “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.”  Think about it, please. Why would Shakespeare have written this in Hamlet, if there weren’t something actually rotten in Denmark?  LBL doesn’t know about you, but she would find herself walking around with a kerchief over her mouth, constantly fearful that something rotten would suddenly appear in front of her.

Singapore:  This country may be the safest, best-educated, cleanest, most highly paid country in the world (with low taxes, to boot), but LBL will now stop that happy train in its tracks:

1. They talk weird.  Prospective employers in Singapore expect educated, cultured English spoken by prospective employees. They won’t hire you if you simply answer “Yes” or worse, “OK” to any questions asked.  LBL strongly suspects they will also react negatively to  “Like,” “I mean,”  “Just sayin’,” “My bad,” “give 110 percent,” “gazillion,” and “It is what it is.”

2.  Singaporeans ran out of names for their streets and so decided to use the same names over and over and just add numbers after the name to denote which street one is looking for. LBL doesn’t understand how a country can run out of street names. Surely, they could have checked out any suburban subdivision in the US, in which developers have an endless supply of names, based on one specific theme (names associated with Robin Hood or Camelot, the developer’s children, birds and/or trees, any name connected to wealth or romance especially if it sounds British)

3.  Turkey bacon is really bad in Singapore. LBL doesn’t know why anyone would want to eat turkey bacon, but she needed another reason why life in Singapore is the pits.