Pine Nuts: The happiest place in the world |

Pine Nuts: The happiest place in the world

I thought Disneyland was the happiest place on Earth until today. According to a United Nations survey, Finland is the happiest country on the planet, and the small town of Kauniainen, pronounced: COW-nee-AY-nen, population 10,000, is in fact, the happiest place on Earth.

But why?

The article didn’t answer that question, though I have my own suspicions about why those Kauniainens are so happy. It’s the goat cheese. Goat cheese has been making people happy for 2,000 years, and it’s really easy to make.

First you need a goat (Kauniainen has a surplus) and then you need to know how to milk that goat without getting kicked or bitten. I wear heavy industrial gloves and bulletproof goggles. Then once you have your bucket full of goat milk you set that goat milk aside in a dark cave for a few months to let it curdle and form curds.

At the end of three or four months, if you have not forgotten about your goat milk, you will discover it to be an ever so flavorful goat cheese, and after tasting a few thick slices, well, you will start to swell with happiness until you feel like a float in the Macy’s Parade, or a cumulous cloud about the size of Manhattan. And that’s not all; you will be consumed by an irresistible desire to dance, and not just any dance, but the bugaloo, the boogie-woogie and the Funky Chicken, not separate, but together.

I suspect the Kauniainen survey was taken during the summer when Kauniainen is flooded with sunshine 18 hours a day, causing flowers to blossom out of the very cracks in the sidewalk, and songbirds to sing Hallelujah in three part harmony from dawn to dusk. On the other hand, had the survey been conducted about this time of year, when roosters don’t crow until 9 a.m., and people start climbing into their pajamas at 3 p.m., that survey might have revealed the loneliest place on Earth.

You see, everybody in Kauniainen heads south to visit distant relatives and strangers in January, leaving three or four residents remaining inside the city limits, and those three or four Kauniainens are ever so lonesome and miserable, as the only open door begging for business is the funeral home.

No, I’ll put our little Village of Incline up against Kauniainen for happiness any day of the year. Even the dogs are happier here than anywhere else. Just the other day I had a border collie named Daisy run up to me and hand me her business card with her own lips. As a St. Francis Service Dog, Daisy is always looking for people who need help, though I don’t know why she happened to single me out.

Daisy is just one example of how caring and giving our citizens are here in our village, right on down to their dogs. Yes, Virginia, if the definition of happiness is good health and a bad memory, well, you won’t find any more cheerful people than the residents of the happiest place on Earth, Incline Village, Nevada.

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