If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands. 

That’s a strange thing to suggest. After all, like most of us, I only have fleeting moments of happiness in my life and I certainly don’t want them ruining by being contractually obliged to clap my hands, whenever it happens. Especially as they only occur for the briefest of seconds between: worrying about where my next meal is coming from, hiding from my creditors or avoiding the television news, which these days is run by the four horsemen of the apocalypse. I’m waiting for them to sample John Laurie’s voice from Dad’s Army so that every five minutes they can show a picture of a flaming planet earth with him saying “we’re doomed.”   

The next line is equally baffling. It orders the happy person to stamp their feet. This means that they now resemble nothing less than a reveller at a special needs disco. Is this really an appropriate way to behave? What would happen if you were in a meeting and were offered a nice job to write a television comedy series? Would you immediately start clapping your hands and stamping your feet? No you wouldn’t. Because if you did the commissioning editor would think you were a barking lune bag, with voices in your noggin. She or he would immediately withdraw the offer and commission a new series of My Family. Would you really want that on your conscience? Really? 

We’ll leave the song there or it may inspire somebody to act upon it. 

My disappearing water pipe. Do you remember that? 

Well I tracked down the culprit and it has been fully repaired. It would be churlish of me to reveal who they were; however they live not a million miles from my house. In fact they live next to my house and have a door; they also have no episodes of 24 on DVD. Turns out that one of their drunken friends had decided to climb my drainpipe (that is not a euphemism) and snapped the magic pipe in two and threw it in a field. This was a disappointing news as I had wanted to round up the suspects and accuse him in a drawing room. His confession has robbed me of that pleasure and so my next door neighbour (…oops…ah bugger it) is off my Christmas card list. 

Right! Time to go, this pie won’t make itself.

Clap

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