UNHAPPY people have been accused of undermining Australia's economic recovery and infesting society with a rampant glumness epidemic.
Reserve Bank governor Glenn Fiscal said the country was in its best economic shape since the 1850's gold rush but people were still miserable.
He said, until happiness returned, retail trade would be down, jobs would be lost and people would have permanent frown lines that would require Botox down the track.
"If people don't get happy soon I will have to put interest rates up again as punishment," he said. "We will just keep punishing people until they get happy."
Mr Fiscal, once voted Australia's most stylishly boring man, said he believed people could become happier if they whooped more often.
"I am calling for all Australians to do more whooping and hollering," he said. "I generally find a good whoop and holler in the morning gets me in the right mood for the day. Sometimes it also scares the neighbour's cat."
Mr Fiscal said people seemed to be harder to please than in the past, even though unemployment was low, wages were high, Lara Bingle had a new man in her life and Kim Kardashian had a fresh miracle diet.
"People just don't know how good they have it," he said. "Their whole attitude is getting me down and making me unhappy."
Social scientists blamed the glumness on a rise in narky role models, including celebrity chefs, radio shock jocks and almost everybody on the ABC.
"Television is awash with Angry Boys, Grumpy Old Men, stroppy dancing judges and current affairs programs full of whinging," Professor Bill Bulderdash said. "Glee is working hard to turn this around but it is no match for a full-scale whining epidemic."
Opposition leader Tony Abshot blamed the unhappiness on the government. "Of course, I blame pretty much everything on the government," he said. "If I become Prime Minister I promise that everybody will be happier because they won't have to put up with me whinging about the carbon tax every day."
Prime Minister Julia Gizzard said pretty much everything else was going wrong for her so it was no surprise that people were unhappy as well. "Great," she said. "They hate my policies, they don't want me as prime minister, they attack my clothes and now somebody has made a cake showing me being eaten by a crocodile. I'm just feeling miserable."
Ordinary punter Bill said he was feeling unhappy but he wasn't sure why. "The magic has just gone out of my toast in the morning and I've started listening to country music," he said.
Thirsty Cow is fiction. It is fabricated in the interests of research.
Thirsty Cow is a weekly humour column.