How to be happy

Here in Australia we have just enjoyed Mental Health Week, during which every radio program it seems had some shrink as a guest. Let me save you the worry of downloading all of those podcasts.


Open google maps, switch on the bike layer, then find a residence for sale or for rent in your city beside the longest solid green line. It’s pretty clear where that would be if you lived, for example, in Adelaide, pictured above. To hell with a central location: the 15km ride to the city will do you good anyway. Simply moving to this location will eliminate 90% of your worries.

Don’t move with all your possessions, just what you’ll need for a month. Put the rest into storage and don’t pay the storage fee, content in the knowledge that some auction hunter will be very disappointed when they buy it all as one lot.

Allen and Ton--Spike

By now you will have reoriented your life to those green lines on the google maps bicycle layer, sold your car, put your kids into schools they can bike to, and forgotten about any friends you may have once had, or shops you once shopped at, that are a pain in the arse to get to by bike. You’re slim, rich and tanned and ready for self-actualisation.

It’s time now to get along to a doctor with your hair in a mess. Tell them you think about popping yourself everyday, can’t get out of bed—you know the drill. They’ll put you on happy pills, which since you are already fine will turn you into the Fonz.


Your new carefree demeanor will put you on a level playing field with the capitalist pricks who were making you depressed in the first place. Look them in they eye so they know you are the revolutionary who will be their undoing.

That’s as far as I’m up to myself—give or take a few doctrines I preach but don’t always practice; I am nothing if not consistent in my own inconsistency. Nevertheless, the gist of this plan is working for me, and I suspect quite a few others. Let me know if you’re further ahead, and share the link with someone you know who may be way behind. You might save them a trip to the shrink.


  1. Roberto says:

    That explains everything …

  2. Jonathan R says:

    Definitely true here in New York. I know more than one person who moved to Upper Manhattan because of the Hudson River Greenway (our long green line). Though it takes some time to get downtown, the river views and lush greenery are worth it.

    • Steven says:

      Jonathan, I’m trying to select a manhattan block to propose a new kind of super bike-friendly apartment block type. How far up are they moving?

  3. Jonathan R says:

    Steven, Suggest using 115 Fort Washington Ave as your sample property. It’s the north half of a double block between 163d and 165th St and FWA and Riverside Drive. Right now it’s a parking garage but it is zoned for residential use. The south half of the double block is public housing.

    Excellent access to the Greenway from there, especially if you can design an exit onto RSD, which is substantially lower in elevation than FWA.

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