The City of Ottawa is mulling a public education campaign and possible bylaw to outlaw happiness in workplaces and other public spaces. Complaints from members of the public have been rising in recent months, with some claiming that they have seen excessive smiling taking place on buses and the O-train.
"For some people, seeing someone else happy is a real problem," said Bay Ward councillor Alex Sullen. "It can lead to feelings of jealousy, depression and rage, and sometimes bring on a severe attack of moonbattery."
City councillors acknowledge that happiness may be a naturally occuring phenomenon, but stress that in the wrong hands it can be both dangerous and addictive. Says Sullen, "I really don't feel that the general public can be trusted with happiness, and I think it must be regulated and controlled by the City."
Sullen's vision is of a public misery campaign to reduce happiness, and ultimately that bylaw officers will patrol Ottawa, extinguishing the last few holdouts.
(with inspiration from this story in the Ottawa Sun)