OK, boys and girls, it’s time to sing along with the Schnoz: “If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands!”
Jeepers, maybe the experts are right. Maybe we the people of the greater Seattle-Bellevue-Tacoma region really are a bunch of Gloomy Guses and Debbie Downers.
Collectively we rank No. 62 out of the 100 largest U.S. metropolitan areas rated on a happiness scale released this month by researchers at Gallup-Healthways. That’s a sharp drop from 2010, when we were among America’s Top 20 happiest campers.
The peaches-and-cream utopia whose citizens feel the most zen and well-being? That would be Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida. The dreary place with the largest herd of Eeyores? Why, the Cincinnati, Ohio, area, natch.
Overall, Washington falls in the bottom half of states in the happy/sad index, coming in at No. 28.
The only city in our borders that cracks the Top 25 of America’s most chipper cities is ... wait for it ... Spokane (!?) It ranks No. 15 — a remarkable feat, considering it doesn't even have a Chik-fil-A.
Can’t say we’re surprised: That Seattle and Bellevue are running low on joy juice. Having too much money, education and Internet access makes it hard to ignore the world's problems and can depress the socks off of anyone.
Plus, we hear it rains all the time in Seattle.
Those wet blankets up north are bringing us down, Bruce.
So how happy are T-Towners when judged apart from the sad sacks of the 206 and the 425?
Then your face will surely show it: We created a sliding scale represented by a smiley face on one end and Mr. Yuk face on the other.
In the middle is a poker face — the blank visage of a mysterious Tacoman indicted for 10 federal felonies who somehow seems to float above it all.
Also known as state Auditor Troy Kelley’s face.
To find out where you fall on our local index, answer these questions:
When I go downtown on a Saturday afternoon and look inside the building at 1801 Dock St., I see:
a. The glass museum half full.
b. The glass museum half empty.
When I gaze at the panorama of Mount Rainier on a clear spring morning, I see:
a. A priceless treasure of outdoor adventure and environmental wonder.
b. A decent view, if you don't mind a little haze.
c. A seething cauldron waiting to explode and make the doomed citizens of Orting run screaming for the hills like extras in a “Godzilla” movie. (That's how The Washington Post sees it, anyway.)
When I look ahead to this summer's U.S. Open at Chambers Bay, I feel:
a. Excitement that 30,000 visitors a day are coming here to spend millions and spread the gospel about our world-class hospitality and golf course.
b. Mild amusement that these fat cats will pretend to watch golf but really just want our legal weed.
c. Sorrow and desperation that none of the fat cats will rent my house for $10,000 a day.
When I consider the breadth of Tacoma's arts scene, I feel:
a. Richly blessed by the range of dance, music and drama available in the Theater District.
b. Quietly introspective about the traveling exhibit of still-life Georgia O’Keeffe paintings at the Tacoma Art Museum.
c. Still super bummed out that the Emerald Queen Casino canceled last summer's Ted Nugent concert.
The most romantic night of my life was:
a. My honeymoon night at Hotel Murano.
b. My bachelor party night at DreamGirls at Fox’s.
c. Any night curled up with my cat and a tub of ice cream watching “Downton Abbey.”
When I reflect on the local news media landscape, I feel:
a. Proud that Tacoma still has access to a nationally respected daily newspaper that has won 10 Pulitzer Prizes.
b. Disappointed that the aforementioned paper is The Seattle Times.
c. Miserable because the Times and that other paper in Tacoma print nothing but bad news — the Islamic State, the Legislature, the Mariners, etc. How about giving a free Prozac prescription with every subscription?
When I think about the current state of violent crime and resources for crime victims in the 253, I feel:
a. Very happy that the the Crystal Judson Family Justice Center provides advocacy, housing and other help to domestic violence victims.
b. Very sad that it took the Brame family tragedy — 12 years ago this weekend — to wake us all up.
Let’s stop there before we get really depressed.