OPINION: Connecticut — The land of happy habits?

OPINION: Connecticut — The land of happy habits?



After reading and hearing about and pondering and worrying about Connecticut’s many and varied problems, for several years now — stuff like, but not necessarily limited to, the chronic red ink in the budget and the declining population as everybody and his brother-in-law moves to the Carolinas and the anemic job market and the high taxes and the way I-91 and I-95 turn into linear parking lots at the drop of a muffler or fender-bender and the rusty bridges and stuff like that — I would’ve thought we’d rank fairly low on anybody’s list of the happiest states.

Steady habits? Sure. But happy habits? Not so much.

However, I stand corrected: WalletHub (a personal-finance website that loves to make lists) has us down as the 10th happiest state in the Union. The WalletHubbers have allegedly analyzed each state in excruciating detail by somehow quantifying such categories of well-being as “Emotional & Physical,” “Work Environment” and “Community & Environment” — and we come out smelling like a rose, or maybe a nutmeg, or maybe both.

Thus, with a happiness score of 57.93 points out of — well, the sky’s probably the limit — we Connecticutites (Connecticutters? Connecticutians? Connectigasques? Connectiwegians?) come in just behind Nebraska (59.04) and just ahead of Iowa (57.88). OK, we’re beat out by Massachusetts (60.50), California (64.11), and even Utah (65.93.) But still.

Hawaii (66.48) is the happiest state of all, and West Virginia (33.73) the unhappiest. So, smile! We’re 1.7 times as happy as West Virginians, even though we’re only about 88 percent as happy as Hawaiians.

But what did we expect? We’ve got Hammonasset; they’ve got Waikiki. We’ve got Gillette Castle and the Mark Twain House & Museum; they’ve got Iolani Palace, from which some descendants of Queen Liliuokalani (1838-1917, Hawaii’s last monarch) hope to someday reign again over the islands). Plus, they’ve got volcanoes.

On the other hand, Hawaii is worst for “adequate-sleep rate,” while Connecticut is “safest,” and tied with California for “fifth lowest suicide rate.” And, of course, we’re “Still Revolutionary.” So there’s always that.

***

WHERE’S THE BEEF? Last week I finally broke down and tried one of those new non-meat non-burgers from an outfit I’ll call Burger Hell. My report: It was OK.

This thing, according to NBC News, is made with “a plant-based, protein-filled patty that's making waves across the food world as the demand for sustainably made goods rises.” Well, I must’ve missed those waves, but I get it that a meat-based diet has big problems for the environment & stuff, and may be less healthy.

But waves of demand? When was the last time you saw your next-door neighbor and said, “Hey, Hank, what’s shakin’?” and he said, “Hey, hot enough for ya? Trouble is, nobody’s meeting my demand for sustainably made goods, like veggie burgers.”?

Vegans presumably won’t eat this thing because it comes decorated with cheese and mayo, vegetarians ditto because it gets cooked on the same grill with beef and chicken. And the non-meat non-burger contains more salt than the meat burger it will never replace. So, what’s the point?

The real accomplishment here is that a giant fast-food company has invented a non-meat burger that’s exactly the same shade of gray as the real thing, and tastes just as bland.

Success.

Reach Glenn Richter at grichter@record-journal.com.


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