HOW TO ACHIEVE INSTANT HAPPINESS
(not just quickly but before you were even born)
Actually, I don't know, but I know a man who does. Let him speak for himself:
"If a man were called to fix the period in the history of the world during which the condition of the human race was most happy & prosperous, he would, without hesitation, name that which elapsed from the death of Domitian to the accession of Commodus."
(Gibbon, The Decline & Fall of the Roman Empire)
Well, didn't you just know it? All this time, the answer was staring you in the face. Bet you feel a right Charlie Chaplin, don't you? How could you not have realized before now? It's obvious when you know, isn't it?
No, it's that 'without hesitation' that gets me. I mean, personally, I have to admit it might give me temporary pause for thought. In assaying a reply, perhaps I'd er stumble over my words a little.
So, who is this man? Mr Know-it-all. Mr A-man. Often to be seen in-the-street, I'm told. I'd really like to meet him, make his acquaintance. We could chat about such momentous matters, get to the pith pronto without any detours. Being in the street & probably raining, there'd be no time to tarry in trivialities or dawdle about discussing the weather. You'd just go straight up to him & say 'What's the score, man? What's it all about? Give me the lowdown, the gen, the Information, the Knowledge, without er hesitation, repetition, deviation or irrelevance. You have one minute starting from now. Tell it like it is.'
Anyway, that's the Secret of Happiness & Prosperity. Go live in the period between Domitian's death & the accession of Commodus. Simple as that. Of course, you'll need a ticket for the Time-Travel-Express. And it would probably help if you learnt a little Latin before you went.
PS - How exactly do you fix a period in World History when it goes wrong? Call a man, of course.
PPS - I got it wrong. He's not a man at all. According to the New Collins Concise Dictionary, a Gibbon is 'a small agile arboreal anthropoid ape' (lovely alliteration there) 'inhabiting forests in S.Asia'. It speaks Gibberish.
Music: The Beatles - Happiness (is a Warm Gun)
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