Dilbert groaned and rolled over in his bed. Monday already? How can that be? Saturday had just started. Forget his job; he needed his sleep. And how could —
BRRRIINNG!!! BRRRIINNG!!! BRRRIINNG!!!
"Are you going to stay there all day? Because, you know, it might be an improvement."
Granted, Dilbert thought, it was kind of hard to get back to sleep with an alarm clock blaring off behind him and his white, egg-shaped dog leaning expectantly in front of him. Dilbert groaned again and sat up, finally dragging himself out of bed long enough to put on his robe and descend downstairs to the kitchen table, where he fixed himself a nice big breakfast — of a single bagel.
"Since when is it so hard to get up?" Dogbert asked, sitting in a chair facing Dilbert and leaning toward him with his elbows on the table. "Did you have a wild party night, or what?"
"Hey, don't even joke about that," Dilbert said sternly, pointing his knife at Dogbert and accidentally getting some butter on his own glasses. Wiping them off, he sighed and continued, "It's just that ... I don't know ... work really hasn't been that enjoyable lately."
"It's not supposed to be," Dogbert immediately responded. "I would think that you would know that by now, because this is what — your eleventh year there?"
"Twelfth," Dilbert groaned. "...and I mean, it's been worse than usual lately at work. And it's not just for me; it's for everyone! Even Asok, who's normally really calm and controls his temper, blew up at Alice when she jammed the copier machine. Of course, after she had stuffed the copier into his mouth he had second thoughts ..."
"I still think you're making a mountain out of a molehill," Dogbert replied, jumping down off the chair and making for the living room. Before he left the kitchen, though, he turned back to Dilbert and smirked, "Of course, you know what will happen if you actually start to enjoy work ... don't you?"
That took Dilbert's appetite clean away. He closed his mouth and put down the remaining bite of his bagel.
He did indeed know what would happen if he was happy at work. Besides the fact that the apocalypse would probably occur, he would also be visited by the FBI. It had happened once before; therefore it could happen again, Dilbert reasoned. He sat back in his chair, reclining, allowing the unhappy memories to flood back...
"Dogbert! Come quickly!"
Dilbert was sitting at his desk, mixing chemicals with the help of his trusty computer, and he was very excited about something.
"You rang?" Dogbert groaned, sitting in a chair opposite Dilbert.
"I've identified the brain chemical that controls happiness!" Dilbert exclaimed, typing feverishly on his keyboard. He twisted around to face Dogbert, and grinned, "and I found the exact mix of fruit and vegetable juices that stimulate its production."
"Okay ... that's great. So what happens now?"
"Dogbert!" Dilbert cried, exasperated. "Don't you realize what this means?"
"Yeah," Dogbert responded, without any emotion whatsoever. "Fruits and vegetables will be banned by the government."
Dilbert froze, his fingers hovering over the keyboard as he turned his head slowly toward Dogbert. "...What?" he asked slowly.
Dogbert just smirked and jumped off his chair, going into the kitchen.
It was at that precise moment, ominously enough, that the doorbell rang.
Dilbert jumped, his hair standing on end. Scolding himself as he ran down the hallway to answer the door, he pulled it open to find —
"We're the government," one said immediately, holding up his hands: in one was an FBI badge; in the other, a gun. "We came to confiscate your so-called 'happiness drug'."
"Wait a minute — wait —" Dilbert spluttered as the agents forced their way in, all the while pointing their guns at Dilbert. "What — how on earth did you find out and get here so fast?"
"We're the FBI," the other agent said simply.
"Good point," Dilbert muttered, then suddenly found a gun muzzle jammed into his nose as the two agents backed him into a wall. "Where is it?" the first asked. "Where's the drug?"
"It's — it's not a drug!" Dilbert protested as the gun was forced deeper into his nose. "It's just a mixture of fruits and vegetables that makes you feel happy! You can't outlaw good nutrition!"
The other agent paused, then muttered to himself, "Hmmm ... I guess that wouldn't make sense, would it?"
The first agent slapped him. "Ignore him," he said to Dilbert, "he's a new guy. Tell you what, Dilbert, I'll make you a deal. Erase all the formulas for making your 'happiness potion' and we won't jail you."
He gestured with his gun toward Dilbert's computer.
"Okay, okay..." Dilbert muttered angrily, sitting down and pulling up the files. The agents glanced at them for a moment, then Dilbert began deleting the files. As he did, the agents explained, "You citizens only have the right to pursue happiness; you're not allowed to be happy. Citizens need discomfort in order to be productive."
Dilbert finished clearing away the files and spun around in his chair. "Then you'll love this."
Unbeknownst to the agents, Bob the Dinosaur had crept out of his hiding place in the closet and was now behind them. Quick as a flash, he raised their trenchcoats and pulled on their underpants, giving agent each a vicious wedgie. Bob lifted the two hollering agents off the floor and spun them in the air ("This is my newest maneuver, the 'twirling wedgie'," he explained to a grinning Dilbert), finally flinging them out the door. Dilbert heard a loud crash and then the sound of a car engine sputtering to life as the two agents pulled away.
Dilbert laid his knife down and sighed again. He could never truly be happy at work, because he'd get arrested. And he couldn't be happy without work, because then he would have no money. What was the point of it all? Why should he keep trying? Where was the meaning? What was the purpose of everything — of life?
He looked down at his breakfast. Maybe the meaning of life is eating bagels, he thought. That thought cheered him up slightly, and he stuffed the bagel into his mouth. Then he put away the dishes, showered and changed, and headed off to work.