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How are you today? Feeling good? Happy? If you answered yes, statistically you're a liar. Only 1 in 3 Americans is happy. The other two are reading this while practicing noose knots. It's a dismal scene. I can't account for all the reasons a person isn't happy from day to day -- lots of people hate their jobs (statistically speaking, Americans hate their jobs the most), plus some dude suggested that only 17 percent of all marriages are happy ones -- but there's clearly a lot to be unhappy about. So what the hell makes someone happy?

The short answer to what makes people happy is me shrugging while I type this. I don't know what you want out of life. Is it me? Do I make you happy? Does the idea of me in your shower put a smile on your face? Soft, soapy, and supple me, lathering up my man-bosom while I playfully frolic in the spray? I assume so, but clearly I can't shower for all of you or I'd get pruny. There must be more realistic happiness goals we can shoot for, some down-to-earth things that we're overlooking in our day-to-day lives that can help perk up these dismal statistics that make it seem like everyone is a droopy-frowned sad sack. Stop moping about! Enjoy some of these happy good fun times!

4
Hitting Your Own Mattress After the Worst Day Ever

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There's an old saying that goes "Tomorrow is another day" that has the good fortune of being true simply because it's a statement of fact, just like "Ham is delicious" and "I thought you'd think it was funny." But it means you get to redo things, and it's usually said to someone who just got shit on in the cosmic sense of the word. Or maybe the literal one; that's always a downer, too. But how does one transition to tomorrow from today? Sweet, sweet sleep.

The best cure for a terrible day, assuming your terrible day doesn't involve you running for your life throughout the night, is one perfect night of sleep. And even if tomorrow is worse than today, even if the shitstorm rises to a crescendo of foul bastardry that makes you curse the day your father forgot to use a condom, for a pristine moment, when you're on a firm but not-too-firm mattress, a soft pillow, a comforting blanket -- damn, that's the stuff.

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"Tomorrow I'm having my colon removed, but tonight is A-OK!"

Sleep is a process of releasing yourself, of letting go. You yawn, you go limp, you pop a fart or two, and you relax. It's telling the day that came before it that you're done. This is not to be taken for granted, as we so often do. Sometimes this is the only thing that stands between you and homicidal insanity, and that's not necessarily even hyperbole. How many tragedies have been averted by a good night's sleep? How many fights have been cooled off, how many feelings spared?

There's a reason we tell people to sleep on things, or sleep them off. Off and on, sleep goes both ways -- it's the bi-curious mood enhancer that everyone from the richest czar to the smelliest fishmonger can enjoy. And maybe that's why we take it for granted -- because everyone does it every day. We're so caught up in the process of a five-day workweek that every night is just a stopgap before we return to the grind. It's hard to just stop and think "I'd fuck this bed if it were a person because it's so loving and supportive and soft and wonderful in every way." Think of me when you sleep tonight. As if I had to remind you.

3
The First Time You're Naked With Someone New

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Friendly co-nudity is one of the great joys of life. Now, that 83 percent of people in unhappy marriages may disagree, but if they're being honest, they remember that first time. That exhilarating first time. And it's true that you can't ever have your flower back, but that's not even relevant. Sex is better when you know that Tab A fits into slots B, C, and D and how much pressure to use in each one. No, the real thrill is that initiation of a sexual relationship with someone new. Because that first time, barring your extremely crippled emotions and deadened heart, is a thrill ride. Each new person resets that clock. You feel the fear of potential rejection and the pulse-pounding joy of seeing new boobs. God, that's great. I bet it's the same for ladies or gay fellows who probably exclaim something like "My, that's a swell dong" internally and proceed to whack it about in a thoroughly enjoyable way.

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Whack it good!

One of the most common things you hear about marriages and how they go stale is that the sex gets boring, which for the sexless among us is a pretty hard concept to wrap your head around, but if you try to imagine eating nothing but pizza and beer every night for 10 years, maybe it gets a little easier to understand. Maybe. Supposing you never take the pizza from behind or whatever. But that's also why that first time is the pinnacle of sexual awesomeness and probably, sadly, why unsavory types elect to have illicit affairs. It's swapping your pizza for a 10-pack of tacos that like it when you choke them a little. That's a good meal.

For unclear reasons, even in 2014 we still have a sort of sexual stigma, mostly against women who enjoy sex, especially if it's frequent and with multiple partners. This, to me, implies a personal sexual dysfunction of the bitchy whiner, rather than the person who enjoys festive boinking, but what do I know? I know that if you're not spreading disease or children and you're enjoying it with another responsible, consenting adult, then anyone who complains about your sex life is probably an asshole. Stop calling people names for fucking, yo. It makes you an asshole. And besides, we can all agree that sex feels pretty damn good, so stop raining on other people's parades and go have some for yourself. Or just get naked with a new friend for that tingly, all-over zing feeling. It's delightful!

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2
The Perfect Meal

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As an avid fan of mine, you've no doubt read past columns in which I abused my innards for your amusement. It's true, I am a man devoid of gastronomic shame. You want to visit a far-off land and eat fried bugs? I'll do that shit. You accidentally ordered suicide rolls with our sushi and neglected to tell me? It's cool, I'll eat that, too. It should come as no surprise then that, having sampled culinary triumphs and culinary turds, I am a man who enjoys a good meal.

I wouldn't go so far as to call myself a foodie, because that term is fucking stupid. Never use it, and scorn those who do. Look at them with slightly squinted eyes, and as they speak, keep repeating "douche like-a talky" over and over again in your head until they finish, and then make sure there's a long pause so they wonder why you're just staring at them. That said, I do enjoy food for any number of reasons -- the social aspect of eating with friends, the delight in something either new or familiar, the sensual contrasts in textures, the way it can evoke memories and feelings and the pure enjoyment of flavors from eating something you like. Food is good times.

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Doesn't she look satisfied?

Every so often in the life of a man and (I imagine during those moments when I tuck it back and stand in front of the bathroom mirror all damp after a shower and appraise my girlish physique) a woman, you'll find yourself at the center of a perfect storm of both physical and mental trials that have left you battered and bruised, possibly literally, drained and tired and famished. And when you do get to eat, when the dust has settled and you have a moment's peace to yourself, what you eat may just be the most delicious, savory, fantastic meal in your life. It will transcend normal food because of the situation itself. Is the food really more delicious? It may be. But that circumstance is the intangible spice that elevates it to unforgettable. It is your 30 sliders from White Castle at the end of Harold and Kumar, that perfect food moment where you get what you want after so much strife. It's magnificent.

The perfect meal is, by virtue of my description, extremely hard to plan, but you can get close. You can plot out a meal that has that perfect fried chicken you tried on your trip to Florida that one time. The most excellent potato pancakes your grandmother used to make. Those tacos from that little stand on the Mexican Riviera. Some beer, because beer is always delicious (might I recommend a dollar store Grolsch?). Then all you have to do is sit and eat. Maybe naked with a new friend. And goddamn. Goddamn! That's the stuff.

1
Vindication

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Does anything feel better than the childish, smug satisfaction of being right? Well, maybe that sex thing I mentioned earlier. But there's something to be said for being right. And not just right, but knowing you're right when others have claimed you are wrong.

Generally speaking, this feels right for all the wrong reasons, or reasons we're told we shouldn't feel good about, anyway. It's you sticking it to someone else, the triumphant "I told you so" feeling that, even if you manage to forgo your inner douche by not explicitly saying it, you still feel it, and it's so sweet.

We've all had at least one moment in life -- whether it's something as small as defeating a know-it-all at Trivial Pursuit or a loftier endeavor such as getting articles about how you attended an orgy published on a major website in spite of your parents' endless assertions that you're awful and no one will ever want to hear about the disgusting things you do in your spare time -- that makes us feel alive. We are the winners. And not just winners: We are the winners after being assured we were losers. That's the edge vindication has over a regular triumph. It's probably great to sleep with a supermodel when you look like Brad Pitt, but if I ever sleep with a super-hot actress, holy shitballs is that going to be a major coup. A better example would be something I've actually done, but you get the idea.

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"Oh Felix, I want to be on a trampoline with you in the shower!"

We tend to overlook the feeling of vindication, except in maybe the legal sense, as something to take pride in. If you go to jail for a crime you didn't commit and then DNA evidence exonerates you 15 years later, that's vindication, but almost a shitty, reverse kind, because while it's probably nice not to have a prison husband anymore, that's still a raw deal. Yet that's the vindication we respect. When you assure a friend that Jean-Claude Van Damme was cast as the original Predator and they argue with you about it and you have to stop what you're doing as your childish argument escalates until you Google it and prove that yes, Jean-Claude Van Damme was the original Predator, you get that same awesome sense of victory, but everyone thinks you're an immature douche for even taking it that far. But inside you still feel good, and that's OK. Because you were right, and someone else had to argue with you based obviously on faulty information and that's why people get so pissed off in this situation. The other person is wrong, and either willingly or not, they're being a dick about it. You setting them straight is your win.

Don't feel bad about your little moments of vindication; just try not to rub them in, because then you are a douche. But if you can be modest in your victory, you take all the pride you can get. That's a fine feeling, and you earned it.

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