Today boys and girls, we will be looking at the oft-misunderstood topic of joy. I hope to delight, inspire and enlighten you with a few little-known facts about the elusive concept:

Joy spelled backwards is yoj.

Notable joy enthusiasts of history include Walt Disney, Pete Postlethwaite, Winston Churchill’s younger brother Wilfred, St Thomas of Aquinas, Marie Curie and Flat Eric.

Joy was invented in 1382 by the prominent German mud-wrestler, Friedrich Joy. Most historians believe the breakthrough came during a three-day long giggling fit prompted by watching a compilation of the month’s best Vine videos on YouTube.

Another, less popular theory holds that he made the discovery when he finally won an argument with his wife after 25 years of marriage.

Sadly for Friedrich, his joy was short-lived, as his invention was widely discredited in the scientific, economic, political and grammatical communities of the time. He became a laughing-stock throughout Europe, his name a byword for poor judgement, outlandish claims and questionable body odour.

And so for many years, joy wandered lonely, forlorn and forgotten on history’s wastelands – cast out as a rumour, a myth, a debunked theory.

That is, until the early 18th Century when a number of unsubstantiated sightings began to be reported – particularly throughout South America, India and Scandinavia. Most notable among these was that of a small boy called Pedro out on a fishing expedition with his pet armadillo, Brutus.

Political and religious leaders attempted to quash these rumours but as the tales grew in frequency and prominence, it became nearly impossible to deny the existence of joy. In spite of this, many people – particularly those in the middle and upper classes – remained wary of it. It was branded a harmful, highly addictive substance and outlawed in most countries.

But gradually it began to gain mainstream acceptance. Starting with Norway in 1797, the legalisation of joy spread throughout the globe. Britain was actually one of the last to formally lift the ban on the controversial substance, waiting until 1964 when the Labour government under Harold Wilson raced to victory on the back of their promise to finally legalise joy.

Still, joy was gravely misunderstood at times – often with tragic and deeply bizarre results. Most memorably in 1976, a group of well-meaning Mancunian maths teachers attempted to use the newly legalised material in complicated mathematical equations that they dubbed ‘joy division’. The ill-fated experiment caused widespread panic and confusion amongst the teenage population of Salford.

More recently, scientists have been able to research joy in greater depths, uncovering some of the centuries-old mysteries that lie under its surface, leading us to the comprehensive knowledge that we have today.

They have discovered that joy is in fact a rare noble gas compound. Chemically, it is comprised of one neon atom, two helium atoms, three parts bubble wrap and seven fluid ounces of butterscotch angel delight.

Nutritionists advise that the recommended daily allowance of joy for an average adult male is five pints. Or eight at the weekend.

Despite such research, it may surprise you to know that joy is still outlawed in the Republic of South Sudan and some regions of France.

And there are those who, even in the face of overwhelming evidence, continue to deny its existence. Prominent ‘joy-sceptics’ include Michael Gove, Roy Keane, CJ from ‘Eggheads’, Mr Kipling and the CEO of

I hope that this gives you even just a little introduction to the fascinating subject of joy. If you wish to do any further reading on the topic, I would strongly recommend borrowing a number of excellent books from your local libratorium. To begin with, Beethoven’s oddly-abridged, inverse-alphabetical encyclopaedia Ode to Joy is a seminal work that no intellectual should be without. A more controversial and challenging choice would be the second book in Sir Chris Hoy’s aggressively uninteresting series Words That Rhyme With My Surname.

Anyway. That’s quite enough for one day.

Class dismissed.

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