88 year old Johnny Barnes is known as a purveyor of happiness. He stands on a corner in his native Bermuda for six hours a day and shouts, "I love you!" He's so well liked, a statue of him was erected in his honor.
They call him Mr. Happy Man, but it has been my experience that any extreme behavior or personality masks a deep duality that can strike at any moment. It's why people like Tony Soprano could kill at the drop of a hat, but cried over ducks swimming in his pool.
Maybe Johnny Barnes is your classic, "crying on the inside" kind of clown. Maybe deep down inside him, under all the "I love you's" and "god bless'" he's a powder keg of unexpressed rage.
And before you ask, yes, I am just that cynical. I'm not saying he's a bad guy. By all accounts, he's a very pleasant man with a kind heart, but no one is always happy and no one is always sad. If following the middle path means anything, it says you can smile at your neighbors when you see them, but more importantly, you can tell them to turn down their goddamn tv when they're watching their music shows.
There's a new documentary coming out about Mr. Happy Man. I'm sure there's a dark side to all of this and to him -- the happiest man alive.