No doubt you read the glorious news: Minneapolis topped the list of happiest cities in the nation. The cynics might have asked if the list had Pompeii at the head of warm-weather beach destinations.

Some might blanch at the No. 1 spot. Top 10, sure, but considering . . . (waves around at all the things) . . . No. 1?

What's the metric? I know a guy who's been eeyoring around in a slump-shouldered mood for a month, the emotional equivalent of a corpse plant in full bloom. At the very least, he contributes no joy. At the worst, he creates a joy deficit.

Are there people out there who are so incredibly happy, so demonstratively joyous, running around strewing flowers and shouting tra-la-la, how I love our lakes and high ratio of theaters to citizens, that they compensate for the unhappy?

It probably doesn't work that way. The quantity of communal happiness is not adjusted on a daily basis. There is no daily forecast for happiness. Be nice if there was, though.

"As you can see on the map here, an incoming front of reality is going to meet a retreating mass of expectation, and that's going to cause some scattered sads over the metro. Then we'll see a mass of calm vibes moving in from Canada, so the forecast is partly to mostly happy, with patches of regret in the late evening."

Perhaps some people rolled their eyes because the idea of "happy" is subjective, the state of happiness ever fleeting. Bad people can be happy for bad reasons. Good people can have their mood hairpin in a second when the mail has a letter from the IRS.

Happy sometimes seems like a rather banal and simplistic condition, predicated on willful ignorance of the nature of things.

But people who are constantly unhappy because of the news of the day are tiresome types whose cars have 37 bumper stickers. Happy people who exude lightness and gratitude are a delight to be around.

Except when you're wrapped up in your own troubles, in which case cheerful chipper people are annoying as a June bug down your shirt.

If you're wondering how they figured out Minneapolis is so gosh darned merry, there there are empirical criteria at work. The Daily Express US said the study, done by the Institute for the Quality of Life, a research group in London, is based on "citizens, governance, economy, environment, and mobility." The Institute also rates other cities around the world, and if you're wondering who takes top happy honors on the planet: Aarhus, Denmark.

I looked it up on Google Street View, and was instantly unhappy that I did not live in Aarhus. The downtown looks thriving, neat, clean — no graffiti — and full of old buildings that carry a common culture from the past to tomorrow.

You see people at sidewalk cafes eating — oh, I don't know — pippenwiffles and candied herring, perhaps, and reading the daily paper, the Kroenendaggerposten, published since 1273, or walking around thinking about art, or ways to reconcile the historical struggles between capital and labor.

Maybe. It just seems like a typical northern European city where you bask in wan light and repress unhelpful emotions, and that has a certain appeal. There are days in which I'd like to have a coffee — or, as they call it in their curious language, kaffe — and contemplate life in a bar whose name had an O with a diagonal slash through it.

Then again, Denmark was in the news last week for an unhappy culinary embarrassment: The government recalled a Korean ramen noodle for excess spice. Apparently Danes were going up like oil-soaked rags after a bite of "Samyang's Bulk 3x Spicy & Hot Chicken," and the government stepped in to stop the pain.

This could affect their happiness rating. Aarhusians could be saddened that the state deprived them of spicy food, or annoyed that the state did not act quicker. They could be embarrassed that they were, as a people, unable to grapple with something that's 1/10th as hot as the bottle of Bob's Cheek-Reamin' Murder Sauce you can buy at the hardware store.

If we flood Instagram with pictures of us smiling and weeping as we shovel in the spicy ramen, we might have a shot at knocking Aarhus from the top spot. Would we be happy to win? Sure. Would we be happier than we are now? No. "Citizens, governance, economy, environment, and mobility" notwithstanding, that's up to us, one by one.

Me? At the moment, not so happy. Just looked up the cost of a flight to Aarhus.