The Washington Post

This the season to be jolly

It’s always the season to be jolly. Psychological studies now tend to concentrate on ‘happiness skills’ and why not? Who doesn’t want to be happy? I do, and am, sort of. Except not quite so much at this time of year, the jolly time.

But evolution made us be not-happy some of the time. Why? For the same reason it gave us pain. As an incentive to avoid harmful situations. If you look up and see your ceiling beams bowing and melting snow dripping through onto your rug, you’re not supposed to be happy. You’re supposed to get worried, enough so that you get up and fix the roof before the beams give way and a sled falls through and Santa is lying on your floor with a broken neck under a pile of tiny reindeer.

It is in this seasonal spirit of appropriate misery that I share a story that vies with my own capacity for gloominess and (accurate) forecasting. It even has the phrase “constellation of catastrophic,” something I could have written myself, and maybe have. It points out a little something to be not jolly about.

As a bonus, he blames the boomers, The Gratingest Generation, who are now all over thirty and not to be trusted. Cheers!

Tom Toles is the editorial cartoonist for The Post and writes the Tom Toles blog. See all of his cartoons here.

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