The world wants it.
You say you want it.
But do you? Do you really?
Do you dare?
Are you willing to do what must be done to win the glittering prize of happiness?
Undergo any trial? Endure any sacrifice. Pay any price?
Wow! You mean it? Man, not me! Why go to a lot of trouble when the secret to perfect bliss is as close as your nearest bookmonger? I refer to any of the dozens of gladness-inducing works of P. G. Wodehouse. His Wooster and Jeeves stuff is the best, in my considered opinion, but anything by Wodehouse — whom jokester Evelyn Waugh himself called “The Master” — will do.
With a Bertie Wooster novel (or story collection) in hand, a plump pillow at neck, and trained cats at your beck and call, the world is your oyster. The Bluebird of Happiness has settled in for a longish visit.
Leave it to others to climb the Himalayas for guroid advice. You, scrunch down with Right Ho, Jeeves or Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit and read your way to a good night’s sleep, untroubled dreams, a fresh mind upon waking, confidence in you capabilities, a spring in your step, a gleam in your eyes (and teeth), a mien bordering on arrogance, an insouciant barking laugh, an impregnable optimism, a cheerful tune on your lips, and pocketsful of coin to spend as your warbling heart desires. This I guarantee.
If you don’t believe me, take the 7 day challenge: Begin by self-administering the Beck Depression Inventory test. During the week immediately following the BDI, read Wodehouse for one half hour nightly before retiring. Finally, re-adminster the Beck Depression Inventory. If your score hasn’t plummeted to the single digits — or even mere fractions of one — well, sorry: you are doomed: Study Kierkegaard. Read Epictetus. Take in a nice Igmar Bergman movie. Pout. Moan. Kvetch. Mewl.
But even now all is not necessarily lost. In the unlikely case Wodehouse fails to cheer, try the backup author: Waugh. Read Scoop and call me in the morning
Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit
by P. G. Wodehouse
(Overlook Press, Hardcover, 231pp.)
Right Ho, Jeeves
by P. G. Wodehouse
(Penguin Books, Paperback, 256pp.)
by Evelyn Waugh
(Back Bay Books, Paperback, 336pp.)