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Smiler better

It's january. it's bloody freezing. So back we trudge to the grindstone, with no cash and a credit card bill the size of the GDP of a small country hanging over us.

All our cash has been spent, pounds have been gained -- in all the wrong places -- and the next pay day seems about as far away as Christmas 2010. Yes, moods are low. About as low as they can go. Which is precisely why we want to lift them. Rather than trot out another tired list of unlikely resolutions, we've compiled a compendium of what it is that instantly cheers us up. It's the little things in life that make us happy -- here are ours:

1> A smile from a stranger.

2> The cinema: 3-D glasses perched on nose, Ben & Jerry's Phish Food ice cream and mobile phone off.

3> "I wouldn't ride her into battle." Old Irish-isms. Find more at slang.ie.

4> Ralph Wiggum in The Simpsons. An endearing mix of stupidity and vulnerability. "Me fail English? That's unpossible."

6> The moment when hiccups at last subside.

7> Driving down the bus lane undetected.

8> Three green lights in quick succession.


10> Spooning -- ah, would you stop...

11> Discovering, and successfully laying claim to, the McDonald's chips tucked away at the bottom of the takeaway bag.

12> Driving forward as someone tries to climb into the passenger seat of a car. Continuously. An oldie but a goodie.

13> Seeing your luggage on the conveyer belt. A sign that your holiday is about to begin or your journey is finally over.

14> The nostalgia-evoking smell of Play-Doh.

15> Schadenfreude, one of the more sinister aspects of human behaviour, is delighting in the pain of others. Website F*ck My Life (fmylife.com) seeks the silver lining by asking readers to share their unintentionally hilarious tales of abject misery.

16> Laughing until you cry.

17> The Royles Sing Lily Allen (YouTube).

18> Olive's final dance in Little Miss Sunshine.

19> The Iveagh Gardens. A magical retreat in the middle of Dublin city.


21> Discovering that your ex's new partner has put on a pound, or 36.

22> Finding a can of Coke in the fridge upon waking up with a seemingly unquenchable, post-booze thirst.

23> Finding a scrunched up tenner in the pocket of a coat you haven't worn for a while.

24> Friday, 5:30pm = automatic immunity.

25> Country pub, fireside, pint in hand.


27> Babies' feet and puppies' paws.

28> You can take your gourmet burgers and your roasted rosemary chips because nothing -- nothing -- will ever top the carbohydrate orgy that is the humble chip butty.

29> Hairdressers who massage your scalp while washing your hair.

30> Dustin Hoffman Can't Stop Laughing (YouTube).

31> Extended deadlines = plenty more time to procrastinate.

32> The foetal position.

33> The Luas doors opening right in front of you when the platform is heaving with passengers.


35> Pulling off a bluff in poker.

36> Feeling the sun on your back.

37> Singing along to the car radio.

38> The post-dinner cigarette.

39> Text messages aplenty when you turn your phone back on -- and not one from a beauty salon.

40> Stealing office supplies.

41> Finally hailing a taxi after deciding to walk home. At 5am.

42> Waking in the middle of the night and realising you have four more hours in bed before you have to get up for work.

43> The exaggerated Minnesota accent in Fargo.

44> Chickatees: a Hall of Famer in the world of crisps.

45> Happy Endings: Alice Walker's The Color Purple.

47> Sneezing three times in a row. Powerful stuff.

48> Cracking into a crème brûlée.

49> American Apparel hoodies. Slick design, toasty lining and no flashy logos.

50> Ricky Gervais: David Brent Dance (YouTube).

51> Lavender-infused heated neck warmers.

52> Buying the Sunday papers on Saturday night.

53> Tom Hanks in Big.

54> Road trips.

55> Nice scented candles.

56> The quiet satisfaction of showcasing the Shazam "name that tune" app on the iPhone.

57> Free Wi-Fi. The best, bar none.

58> Afternoon tea at The Shelbourne Hotel.

59> Travelling light.

60> Other people's bad date stories.

61> Five Years Time by Noah and the Whale.


63> Highly Competitive bouts of paper rock scissors.

64> The smell of new shoes.

65> Baby Gives The Evil Eye! (YouTube).

66> Getting to €125,000 on Who Wants to be a Millionaire? -- with a live sitting room audience.

67> The picture pages in biographies.

68> The smell of freshly ground coffee.

69> The moment when the bartender confirms your mobile has been found when you ring the next day.

70> Toddlers dancing -- consistently funny.

71> Humunga Stache. You throw the moustache-ball, dog catches it and scampers back to you unwittingly wearing a curled moustache (pictured below).

72> Tree houses are the business, age irrespective.

73> Give and ye shall receive. Altruism engenders a feeling known as "helpers' high", an emotion, which researchers say has more health benefits than exercise.

74> "Shake it Like a Polaroid Picture" -- line from Outkast's Hey Ya!

75> Waking without a hangover on a Sunday morning.

76> Lift your mood with a clean-out this month. The impact they have on the mind space is immense.

77> "What are you looking at, Sugar Tits?" Mel Gibson to a female police officer during his DUI arrest.

78> Lovely Day by Bill Withers.

79> Peep Show. Series 6; Episode 5. Just watch it.

80> Jack Nicholson's (pictured below) devilish grin.

81> Sleeping on crisp, new bed sheets.

82> Outrunning the person on the treadmill beside you ("first I'll take Westwood; next the world ... ")

83> Ann & Barry -- instant nostalgia.

84> Peeing: one of life's most simple, yet sublime, pleasures.

85> Rich tea and sympathy.

86> A witty retort, delivered immediately (rather than hatched some 30 minutes later).

87> Saturday siestas.

88> Texts From Last Night (textsfromlastnight.com). Hilarious text message synopses of after-dark adventures.

88> Hangovers and fast food -- a classic combination.

89> Safety Dance by Men Without Hats.

90> Christian The Lion (YouTube).

91> Husky Dog Talking "I Love You" (YouTube).

92> Radio host Joe Duffy's strangely comforting sigh.

93> Pub chips served with peppercorn sauce.

94> David Attenborough documentaries.

95> Summertime by Will Smith.

96> Mossbawn: Sunlight by Seamus Heaney. "And here is love, like a tinsmith's scoop, sunk past its gleam in the mealbin."

97> Charlie Schmidt's "Cool Cat" (YouTube).

98> Dumb and Dumber, a comedy classic.

99> Sauna/plunge pool/sauna/plunge pool. Repeat ad nauseum.

100> "I don't know how to put this, but I'm kind of a big deal." Anchorman, Ron

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