According to the latest Gallup poll, the happiest state in America is…Alaska.
My immediate thought when I heard this was, “Sure, they’re ecstatic. As I’m writing this, it is currently 25 degrees warmer in Nome, Alaska than it is in Stamford, Connecticut.” It is so friggin’ cold here that it turns out the new deer lawn ornament I thought my wife had purchased and placed outside my office window is an actual deer. There are little poop pellets suspended in mid-air behind it leading to a small pile of other pellets, kind of like a mini-Stonehenge, except in brown. And made out of frozen deer droppings. The overall effect looks like an upside down comic strip thought balloon for someone who thinks through their ass.
Where was I before I began making up that wonderful image?
Right, the Gallup poll. It was taken during 2014, so it can’t be the superior warmth that is making Alaska so happy.
When I heard about the poll, I had naturally assumed Colorado would be the happiest state because of recent changes in state law that makes it, shall we say, easier for people there to be happy. But, no, Colorado only came in sixth, possibly because of the limited availability of fried pork rinds after midnight.
Hawaii was second, which is understandable, because, although I’ve never been, I hear it’s nice if you like poi.
In third place is…
Wait! Alaska is first and Hawaii is second? How can two such different states be the Happiness Exacta of America? I mean, they have virtually nothing in common. Unless…
…could the fact that those were the last two states admitted to the union be the reason for their joy? Will Puerto Rico become perpetually pleased sometime soon?
Well, if it was “last in country, first in happiness” wouldn’t that mean Arizona should be third? Or has its potential glee been overcome by its political idiocy?
Maybe there’s another reason for all the Oahoopla and Juneau jubilation. Perhaps there’s a force in play that would be familiar to anyone who’s ever worked in an office:
The farther away you are from the boss, the happier you are.
Yes, that’s right: our two most cheerful states are the ones farthest away from Washington DC. I mean, jeez, Alaska has put an entire country between itself and Washington. And I suspect Hawaii drifts a tiny bit away from the mainland every year.
No wonder they’re so euphoric!
To prove this theory, I will now reveal the rest of the Top Ten:
3. South Dakota
9. New Mexico
Not a single one of them is east of the Mississippi! Congress isn’t just driving us Easterners crazy, it’s making us very unhappy!
But, wait! Washington State, Oregon, California, Nevada…they’re all farther away from the capital than the likes of Texas and Colorado. Why aren’t they delighted with themselves?
Good thing I have one more theory.
Seven of the Top Ten happiest states are in the bottom ten in population density, and two more are in the bottom half. In other words, it’s not how far away they are from Washington DC that makes Americans glad, it’s how far away they are from other Americans!
The one exception to this rule is Hawaii, which is 13th in population density.
Must be the poi.
See you soon.