Yesterday evening, I had the pleasure of exercising my elbow with the Good Professor Willard Spiegelman, writer of many fine sentences that have appeared in our magazine (and elsewhere). Willard told me over a gin martini that he’d just come from an interview with a gent named Duarte Geraldino, who was doing a story for The 33 News about a study that has found happiness is tied to income. (Shocker!) Willard was interviewed because he wrote a book about happiness — or, as Duarte said in his report, Willard wrote the book on happiness. Willard’s book is titled Seven Pleasures: Essays on Ordinary Happiness. So, using Star Trek technology that allows me to control my digital video recorder with my cellular telephone, I recorded the segment and gave it a viewing once I’d returned home and put the children to bed. Here is a transcript of Willard’s appearance.
DUARTE: “He believes there are seven activities that can help you become happier.”
SPIEGELMAN: [entrapped by piles of books, gripping arms of chair as if he were bracing for an electrical shock] “Reading, walking [glances up and to the left, clearly having forgotten five of the seven pleasures], looking, dancing, listening, swimming, and writing.”
That was Willard’s contribution. A total of seven words. Each one brilliant.