Fool that I am, I thought I was happy. I didn’t realize I wasn’t happy until I read an article that told me no one was happy. That’s a lot of people – no one.

Thankfully, Hollywood has come to the rescue.

Jim Carrey has a video called “How to Find Happiness in Life.” Four hundred plus thousand people took the seven minutes to find out.

Matthew McConaughey’s video, “This is why you’re not happy”, is two minutes longer. It has 13 million views.

Must be one heck of a two minutes.

I haven’t watched either video. As a rule, I don’t turn to Hollywood for advice. Besides, I already know the secret to happiness. All you have to do is answer three simple questions, then adjust things based on your answer.

Question #1: Are you currently being boiled in oil?

If you answered ‘Yes’, then good for you. Most people being boiled in oil patently refuse to take a survey of this nature – self improvement being low on their immediate list of priorities. As an individual who is obviously committed to bettering yourself it is my sincerest hope that you are being boiled in sunflower or canola oil as they are lower in cholesterol and saturated fats.

If you answered ‘No,” then in the greater scheme of things you really don’t have anything to be unhappy about at the moment, do you? Studies show people who are not being boiled in oil are 97 percent happier than people who are.

Live for the here and now. If in the here and now you are not being boiled in oil, then shut up, perk up and get on with your day.

Question #2: Have you ever been beaten up by Mary Elisabeth Higginbotham?

Well, I have and let me tell you it was one of the more humiliating moments of my life. I was ten at the time and Mary Elizabeth was fourteen. What started the fight has been lost to the passage of time, but, believe me when I tell you, she didn’t just whip me, she stomped a ‘mudhole in my tail’ (as my Dad was so fond of saying, only he didn’t say “tail.”). Worse, she did it in front of all my buddies and no less than three other girls, one of which I liked. It didn’t help that I screamed a few times and wound up in a fetal position crying.

If you’ve never been beaten up by Mary Elisabeth Higginbotham, count yourself fortunate and let’s knock off the whining.

If you have been humiliated by her, see Question #1 and get over it.

Question #3: Did you ever see that “I Survived” type documentary where a giant python, in a complete disregard for hygiene, constricts the owner of one of those roadside zoos while he is cleaning the cage?

It let the owner go only after the man’s heart stopped beating. A worker found him and called the paramedics. In what many consider nothing short of a miracle, the paramedics resuscitated the owner. He is alive and no worse for wear except for a near pathological avoidance of tight fitting clothing and a tendency to shriek when family members hug him.

Reading something like this kind of puts things in perspective doesn’t it?

Sure, you might have a crummy job that you hate, but at least you didn’t make such bad life decisions that you wound up cleaning the cages of giant constrictors.

At least your not some poor, unsuspecting paramedic who is hoping for a routine Sunday of hauling around drunks and old people, but winds up dodging snakes between chest compressions for some jerk who got himself into this situation because he didn’t bother paying attention in high school.

At least you’re not working for some fly-by-night road side zoo for slave wages where you save your boss then don’t get so much as an extra five in your paycheck as a token of gratitude. Like an attaboy puts food on the table. Worse, you can’t say anything. You have to smile and go along with it all the while secretly hoping that the next time your boss gets in trouble with one of the animals it involves that gropey, over-sexed baboon in the monkey cages.

By comparison, your job probably ain’t all that bad. Put on a smile and get to work.

I actually lied a bit in this article. I did once get a great deal of inspiration from Hollywood in the form of a book I read called “Don’t Shoot, It’s Only Me” written by Bob Hope and a guy named Melville Shavelson.

The takeaway I got from that book and the message I want to pass on to you is this: No matter how hard things get; no matter how crummy things currently are for you, always bear in mind you don’t have to go through life with a name like Melville Shavelson.

Now go be happy. No need to thank me.