Feature Contributors

Column: Why aren't Americans happy?

Dear readers,

ABC news reports that according to the latest Gallup world poll, America is no longer in the top 20 of happy countries.

O Fortuna, what has happened to us? How can this be? Somehow people living in Lithuania and the Czech Republic are happier than us. 

I realize Mercury is in retrograde but pineapples at Kroger are selling for only 88 cents. So, how can Americans not be happy? I know what you readers are thinking.

Kris, you silly prankster. You fooled us on April Fools’ Day. We fell hook, line and sinker for your fake story announcing the city was removing The Helbing, but 88-cent pineapples at Kroger, no way!”

All I can say is “Yes way.” Last week I received a coupon in the mail for a discount on Fig Newtons. Just getting such a coupon made me happy.  The week before, all I got was a fake check in the mail. On close inspection the check was just a $200 coupon to apply to the purchase of a Kirby vacuum sweeper. 

Holding the coupon in my hand, I could already taste those Fig Newtons just like one of Pavlov’s dog. I wasted no time in getting to Kroger.  Arriving in the aisle where Fig Newtons were located, I found it to be as bare as Mother Hubbard’s cupboard.



Others with coupons must have already done their hoarding. There were plenty of those new mod Newton flavors, such as apple, cinnamon, strawberry, raspberry and even braunschweiger, but no fig. If Nabisco had stuck with just making the original Fig Newtons and not wasted their effort on these lesser flavors, there would have been more shelf space for the figs.

I don’t know who beat me to the Fig Newtons. I’d like to think that many local families took this opportunity to introduce their children to the wonders of the fig. It was probably just one of those super coupon shoppers like I see on reality TV.

I imagine when they got to the cash register it rang up three or four hundred dollars’ worth of zuzu snacks. After tabulating the super shopper’s coupons, Kroger probably had to give them change for their dollar bill.

Since I couldn’t buy any Fig Newtons, I ventured over to the real fruit section. I discovered pineapples on sale for only 88 cents. I told myself a fresh pineapple is probably a better snack than a Fig Newton anyway.

I picked up a pineapple and gave it a good once over. It was large and nicely proportioned. I looked closer because I thought there must be a catch. How could a pineapple only cost 88 cents? I’m not sure where pineapples come from, but I would think that shipping would add at least 88 cents.

I do know that years ago when I detasseled corn for a living, I spent quite a few hot days riding around the countryside in an old school bus. I never remember passing by a pineapple farm. However, when I told this story to Uncle Tony, he claimed there might be an Amish pineapple farm over by Milroy.

Cousin Tom later told me “Kris, as Beaver’s older brother Wally would say, Uncle Tony was just giving you the business. There is no pineapple farm near Milroy.”

Anyway, I kind of got off on a tangent. In summary, I can’t figure out how America fell out of the top 20 happy countries. Thomas Jefferson put it in our Declaration of Independence, we have the right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” 

Of course, the “pursuit of Happiness” isn’t a guarantee of happiness.  Happiness must be pursued. So, if you find the Fig Newton shelf bare, keep looking. You just might find an 88-cent pineapple. 

 See you all next week, same Schwinn time, same Schwinn channel.

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