Are you a good judge of other people’s happiness? Tell us about a time you were spot on despite external hints to the contrary (or, alternatively, about a time you were dead wrong).
If you are greeted at your butchers shop with this sort of reception then you know you should handle the assistant with care. Begin the conversation with “good morning” and perhaps a friendly smile. If she is still holding the knife and begins to sharpen the blade then it is better to move onto the self-service section where the meat is packed in cellophane. It seems that the butcher’s lady might have had a bad beginning to the day. She is smiling, but a forced smile as if to say “I dare you”. (Many thanks to my colleague for posing for the photo and she let me live). It happens rarely in the butcher’s department and up to now I have heard of no deaths, murders or slaughter by butcher’s knife in this supermarket, so I was dead wrong.
On the other hand this might be your greeting
What more could you wish for: a happy smiling angel at the entrance to the supermarket. You feel safe and secure and what could possibly go wrong. I was sure that my shopping would be a successful task on this day. The angel sent me on my way with a leaflet advertising some Christmas bargains Those supermarkets do not organise angels for nothing, there must be a profit hidden somewhere. I was very happy to be photographed with an angel. Mr. Swiss found that taking photos of me with an angel for some sort of blog in the near or far future was not the idea when visiting a supermarket. The angel had fun and found it made a change to her boring angel day. I sensed that Mr. Swiss was unhappy.
As far as judging other people’s happiness or not, forget it. I have never seen a laughing, smiling undertaker (it would probably be bad for business) nor a miserable clown (unless he was paid to be miserable). Mr. Swiss was slightly miserable today as he decided it was the day to rid the tiles at the edge of the garden from the various weeds that decided to take root in between. It is not an easy job as you have to bend to do the work and each root must be separately removed from the narrow spaces. I judged he was not happy to do this work, but am sure that when he has completed the job he will be a happy bunny, although perhaps tinged with some random complaints about back ache.
This morning a piercing voice carved through the area outside my garden and I saw the flash of a naked cat body race through the surroundings on his way home. I saw the cat hating neighbour stalk out of her apartment which is on the ground floor, still muttering incantations. In this case I was a good judge of other people’s happiness. The neighbour did not treasure the unwanted visit of a Sphynx cat in her apartment (not everyone’s cup of tea) and the Sphynx cat and the neighbour were both very unhappy. That does not need an expert or a blog description: that is common sense.
I will have to have a few words with my friend Wordy, the little guy that wears a WordPress t-shirt about the themes of the prompts. They are OK, but not a great inspiration for my literature. More of these sort of prompts, and my Pulitzer Literature Prize is in danger.