OPINION: Any fool can be jolly in January when we're awash in all that post- Christmas sunshine and relaxation and still a little bit drunk from New Year's Eve.
But it takes a robust spirit to find the joy in June.
Which is why, with Winter Solstice just two days away, I propose we institute a new off- season tradition of rewarding anyone who brings us a moment of delight.
We could borrow the system they have for kindly donors with those "Be Nice To Me - I Just Gave Blood" lapel stickers. I say we all rush out to a $2 Shop - or an independently owned local stationer if one is still trading in your neighbourhood - and buy a pack of smiley faces or sparkly stars to slap on the chest of anyone who brings us a ray of metaphorical sunshine.
Life, I always say (starting now) is less a box of chocolates and more a perennial Easter egg hunt. You've got to go digging for the fun bits, eyes peeled, nose a quiver.
I've unearthed a couple of foil- wrapped jollies to get you started, which were hidden in the corner of my news garden where I've been steadfastly tossing things to make mulch.
There is fertile stuff here, tucked under all the Winston Peters leavings, Kardashian compost and Prism privacy poop.
Top of the heap is the Invercargill Fire Service, which was called last week to Waverley Kindergarten after a pupil got a tambourine stuck on her head. It was a simple snipper job, no harm done.
The joy of it was that the fire brigade, or possibly the local reporter, had sufficient joie de vivre to later describe the girl as suffering from "percussion". Brilliant. Gold star to all concerned.
One can only assume that, if one were to get one's jersey stuck while taking it off, one could be described as suffering a minor cardigan infarction. Heart sticker for me.
You make your own fun in the provinces. Or in Copenhagen, where male train drivers and conductors on a commuter line, prevented from wearing shorts in the current hot weather on the grounds that employers want them to look "nice and proper", have taken to wearing the skirts from the women's uniform.
Bosses have been unable to stop this because that would be gender discrimination. Apparently, commuters have been immensely cheered at the sight. Smiley stickers for the rail workers.
And in Turkey, a flustered Welsh family passing through immigration noticed - too late - that their 9-year-old daughter had inadvertently presented a toy passport to the official, which featured a picture ID of a pink unicorn.
The official had cheerfully stamped the passport and provided the unicorn with a proper Turkish visa, despite the fact the unicorn in question wasn't actually travelling with them at the time. Teddy bear sticker for him.
Getting the hang of how this works? Excellent.
Grab a packet today and get sticking. You've only got three more sleeps till the nights start getting longer again and we're on our way back to summer when any amateur can find fun.
You, my friend, can be a joy professional.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Which new NZ flag would you choose?Related story: A black flag is the colour of death