He stood at 5’6, weighed around two-fifty pounds, lived with his mother, worked a nine-to-five job, drove a Fiesta, and devoted a substantial proportion of his salary to Netflix subscriptions and pizza deliveries. He wasn’t, however, your average Englishman, for he knew something no one else did. He knew The Secret To Happiness.
It occurred to him on the 2nd of October, 2010, while Manchester United’s goalless draw at the Stadium of Light was on. He wasn’t a fan of either team–or of anything involving a bunch of men playing with balls–but he had to keep himself busy so the two minutes his microwave popcorn took to get ready wouldn’t feel like hours.
“That was a brilliantly timed tackle by Paul Scholes,” uttered the commentator, much to the surprise of anyone who has ever heard of Paul Scholes. And due to the (yet incalculable, unsubstantiated, and inconceivable) force a statement of such absurdity could possess, that particular line by the commentator, against all odds, had managed to slice straight through the man who would then soon know The Secret To Happiness’s rather diminutive mental realms and sink deep into his subconscious to trigger an unprecedented chain of thought that would consequently bring forth The Secret To Happiness. It was so staggeringly simple, it could easily have been taught to a third grade class. And not long after that epiphany, he realized that what he had discovered was big. Really big. So big, he simply couldn’t resist the overwhelming urge to tell someone about it. He thought of phoning his best-friend, Eric, but then thought twice, what he had failed to do with most of his life defining decisions. What if Eric turns out to be a back-stabbing prick and steals all the credit? After all, Eric was the sort of self-centered whoreson who parks the bus on FIFA when 1-0 up.
He then considered writing a book on the subject, but could only conjure up a page and a half. The Secret To Happiness was fairly simple. There wasn’t much to say. Besides, it was already difficult enough to give an editor a mere glimpse of the idea, and not have your body wind up on a riverbank shortly afterwards while worldwide sales of “The Real Secret To Happiness Yes It’s Real This Time I Swear Look!” soar. As do the editor that claimed authorship’s hopes of finally achieving his lifelong dream–one commonly shared amongst editors–of finding a girlfriend.
Posting The Secret To Happiness on Facebook, he thought, was the only reasonable solution. The most sought after bit of knowledge in the world. Millions of books published, dollars invested in research, and lives inefficaciously spent trying to decipher it, and The Secret To Happiness was somehow discovered by a financially unstable, chronically single bloke who had never really bothered to put much thought into it anyway. For once, he felt genuinely proud of himself. Until a rather disturbing thought interrupted. After his Facebook post blisteringly disseminates across the globe to invade minds of all ages, extreme euphoria would permanently engulf our world. The poor would be perfectly satisfied being poor, the rich wouldn’t mind going poor, and Eastenders fans would remain Eastenders fans, creating a population of slothful wastes-of-space that did nothing but tweet corny epigrams in-between naps, thus making human development of any type virtually impossible.
The world’s population would then naturally adjust to its general state of sheer delight, but what if experiencing happiness afterwards is beyond our emotional capabilities, and the human race slips into an abyss of incurable depression? Sure, he’d be a highly acclaimed icon for a while, but then forever be the most despised villain in human history. Possibly even more than Simon Cowell…
But for now, his popcorn was ready.
The man who knew The Secret To Happiness committed suicide three days later.