文 / 马特·法尔
在机场书店,只有大约一打是专门的书架。这也应归咎于达尔文那野蛮的进化论:只有最流行的作家,最新的小说以及那些被公认的经典作品才得以幸存。你不可能在这里找到王尔德、伏尔泰乃至海明威这些名气稍差一点的作家的作品–因为这里已经没有足够的空间来摆放它们了。简·奥斯丁的作品也只是那种最普通的平装本,至于埃德加·艾伦·坡的则只会在万圣节前夕才会被放上书架。这里更不会有休斯博士的诗集。

但是,这里却有整整一架子”**自助”之类的书。

人们总为那些诸如怎样怎样让自己更具魅力、更聪明、更苗条之类的书着迷。你可以买本书来提高自己的单词量,也可以一目十行地啃下一大堆教你如何如何提高工作效率、更残酷、更快地往上爬之类的书,也可以看那些教你如何停下来赏闻路边玫瑰、怎样更好地享受人生之类的书,甚至还有书教你如何安排自己的洗手间。

所有这些都围绕着这样一个基本的主题:我们都希望快乐,我们都希望被爱、希望发现生活的真谛,还希望体验到因自我奉献而对周围带来的改变。

这就是了。所以我们这个”方脑袋专栏”,就是要告诉你快乐的秘诀。

●多吃几块饼干。少吃一块饼干并不会让你看起来更苗条或者曲线更优美。所以,继续放心地吃饼干吧,我推荐那种双面巧克力,中间还有巧克力馅儿的那种。
●无论是在汽车里、电梯间、超市、特别在Crate & Barrel and Pottery Barn这样的商店里,都要哼哼歌。在医院的走廊上,在会见重要客户的会议上,也要哼歌。当人们注目你的时候,朝他们眨眨眼睛。
●自己做冰棍。
●周末呆在家里,并拔掉电话插座。
●带上一根塑料吸管,去一家有特色的餐馆吃饭。在你喝完杯中的最后一滴可乐之前,一定要发出咕噜咕噜的声音。
●只点菜单上你从来没听说过的东西–类似名叫Gkaeng Cheud Bplah Meuk Yad Sai (鱿鱼汤加纳帕甘蓝或南瓜) 之类的。
●去跟陌生人交谈。
●收集那些虽不算贵重,但是却很难找到的东西。
●在公共场合出现的时候戴一顶很古怪的帽子。
●存一大罐硬币并埋在你家后面的院子里。然后画一张藏宝图,交给你的一个朋友。 (让他找去吧!)
●去你家附近的公园散步。在公园里翻几个筋斗。再想想,你最后一次翻跟斗是什么时候了的事情了?
●直接吃从罐子里取出的淹菜。
●自己建立一个网站,写自己的”方脑袋专栏” (仅适用于马特) 。
●独自在家过一天。把手机丢在家里。到街上去闲逛,自己叽哩咕噜一番,偶尔也反驳自己一番。
●买条小狗。给他取名为沙罗。
●戴上洁白的牙套,然后搬到好莱坞去住。然后成为明星。(这不是你一直所梦想的吗?)
●在法衣下穿的是系皮带的衬裤 (仅适用于修女 ) 。
●给朋友举办一个很突然的生日派对,邀请很多人参加。但实际上,举行派对这天跟你朋友生日还差好几天呢。
●当众打嗝。然后心满意足地长舒一口气。
●在沙滩上裸体晒太阳。在这一天要用欧洲腔来解释为什么这么不端庄的原因。
●中止你手上毫无意义的工作,然后集中全力去学摩洛哥长笛。
●去放放风筝。
●不要再把生命浪费在学摩洛哥长笛上,去找一份实在的工作。
●在图书馆、教堂、本地的汤馆或是居住区去充当”义工”。衣服一定要穿得破烂到你经常会被认为是”贫困一族”的程度。
●加入某一个保龄球联盟。买一个大红色的保龄球,取名为”戈尔巴契夫。”
●开车到最近的国家森林公园去。背一大包油煎鸡块和饼干步行一英里。然后找个干净的,不会碰上其它单身人士的地方搞一次野餐。
●用整个下午的时间盯着天上的云发呆、做白日梦。
●考虑考虑自己喜欢做的事儿。现在可以多去做做。
●遇见某人, 堕入情网, 然后幸福地生活。

How To Be Happy
By Matt Farr

At the airport bookstore, there are only about a dozen freestanding shelves of books. It's Darwinian selection at its most brutal: only the most popular authors, the newest novels, and the most recognizable classics survive. You won't find the lesser known works of Oscar Wilde or Voltaire or even Hemingway — there isn't space for them. Jane Austen makes only the briefest appearance, and Edgar Allen Poe shows his face only at Halloween. There are no collections of poetry beyond Dr. Seuss.

There is, however, a whole rack of self help books.

Americans are obsessed with making ourselves better. Smarter. Thinner. You can buy books to improve your vocabulary. You can devour a stack of books that will teach you to work more efficiently, more ruthlessly, and claw your way to the top — and then you can read books on how to stop and smell the roses and enjoy your life more fully. There are even books that will teach you how to organize your closets.

All of these things dance around the essential truth: we want to be happy. We want to be loved. We want to find meaning in our lives and feel that our contributions make a difference.

This, then, is the Rusty Brain Guide: How To Be Happy.

Eat more cookies. Abstaining from a single cookie isn't going to make you look svelte and toned. Go on, eat some cookies. I recommend the double chocolate ones with chocolate chips inside.

Sing. In your car. In elevators. At the mall, especially at Crate & Barrel and Pottery Barn. In hospital corridors. Before important client meetings. When people give you that patronizing look, wink at 'em.

Make Popsicles.

Stay home on the weekend and disconnect your phone.

Bring a plastic straw to a fancy restaurant. Make loud gurgling sounds when you get to the bottom as you attempt to drink every last molecule of diet Coke.

order the stuff on the menu that you've never heard of — like Gkaeng Cheud Bplah Meuk Yad Sai (Stuffed Squid Soup with Napa Cabbage or Squash).

Talk to strangers.

Collect something weird that isn't expensive but is relatively hard-to-find.

Wear odd hats in public places.

Amass a jar of coins. Bury them in your back yard. Draw a treasure map and give it to a friend.

Walk to the park near your house. Do some somersaults. When was the last time you did a somersault, anyway?

Eat pickles out of the jar.

Build a Web site and write your own Rusty Brain column (Matt only).

Spend a day by yourself. Leave your cell phone at home. Wander the streets, muttering to yourself and occasionally disagreeing with what you've just muttered.

Buy a puppy. Name it Charo.

Get your teeth capped. Move to Hollywood. Become a star. (Isn't that what you've been dreaming about anyway?)

Wear thong panties under your habit (nuns only).

Throw a surprise birthday party for a friend. Invite lots of people. Make sure that your friend's actual birthday is nowhere near the date of the party.

Belch in public. Then sigh contently.

Suntan naked on a public beach. Adopt a European accent for the day to explain your complete lack of modesty.

Quit your worthless job and dedicate your life to the study of the Moroccan flute.

Fly a kite.

Stop wasting your life with the Moroccan flute and get a real job.

Volunteer at your library, or church, or your local soup kitchen, or Habitat for Humanity. Wear clothes so ratty that you are often mistaken for one of the “needy.”

Use the word “Jonesing” as often as possible. As in, “Man, I'm Jonesin' for some homemade Popsicles.” Studies have shown this will make you happy.

Join a bowling league. Buy a large red bowling ball. Name it “Gorbachev.”

Drive to the nearest national forest. Hike a mile with a backpack full of cold fried chicken and biscuits. Find a clearing where you will not meet a single human and have a picnic.
Stare at the clouds for a full afternoon and dream.

Think about the things you love to do. Now go do those things more often.

Meet someone, fall in love, live happily ever after.

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