Happiness as commodity

If there was a way to commoditize happiness, wouldn’t it sell well? If you can sell cat litter over the internet, there’s no question about happiness. I think I’ve hit on a brilliant idea here. First off, we would start off by going door to door, hawking our cans of happiness. Skeptics abound, but we have really good salespeople here on earth. Some of them have even succeeded in selling life-insurance to twenty something couples. Twice.

Then we can progress to strip-mall based outlets. The fitness people have done it, and the stores that sell just tires. I’m sure we can do it. Who cares about one more billboard advertising happiness. If they’re happy using the happiness we sell, all these billboards and the drab personality-bereft shopping malls won’t really matter, will it? Look at the car dealerships. We buy cars from them even though we loathe the very thought of having to enter another one ever again. We tolerate their audacious presences, lots after lots after lots along our commute roads. Happiness will sell. We’ll even franchise happiness depots. Yes, Happiness Depot, now that’s a good name.

Market economy is amazing. It is the great stabilizer of all things saleable. No question about it. Pretty soon, they’ll be imitators popping up. Then the Japanese will come up with a whole new product line, probably called Emotions Unlimited or something very similar. Before you know it, there’ll be high-school kids creating potent mixtures of shame, a bit of anxiety, a bit of grief, and a whole lot of anger, on the cheap. $20 bucks a pop. Damn, I’ve hit on a great idea here. Only once in a while does an idea become a tradition bound for the history books. This one’s definitely going to be remembered eons from now, just like the lard-laden fries and burgers from bred to order cows. We’ll worry about the competition when we get there. By then we should have enough money to squash out all the other startups, or buy them out, or litigate them all the way back to their Silicon Valley cubicles. Or we could just hire one of the big six to do the entire strategizing for us, just like Enron.

Now that we have the logistics of the marketing and the business plan all sorted out, let’s think about how we’re actually going to come up with the product happiness itself. I could always just sell the idea and leave the product engineering to an anonymous idea house in Taiwan. But, no, not this time. I forgot it’s not the late 90s any more.

Now all you geneticists out there, I know you’re reading this. We’ll get you your stem cells, just figure out the chemical basis for happiness. I know you’ve already started on it. What’s Prozac doing anyway, was it something to do with dopamine? Which among other things, is also found to be a building block for love? I forget. I’m not an expert in these things. Get your creative juices flowing, get cranking, and I’ll make sure you’ll get a cut of the pie, a condo in downtown Paris, a piece of the bank in dazzling Cayman, or even a permanent suite at the Moon Hotel. Aren’t the Chinese building one up there?


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