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Tuesday, January 24, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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It's almost official: Today's the "worst" day of the year

New York Daily News

NEW YORK — It may not be officially marked on the calendar, but Jan. 24 happens to be THE worst day of the year.

OK, so Hallmark hasn't given the day its seal of greeting-card approval yet, but it's only a matter of time before everyone comes to realize what Cliff Arnall has proved scientifically.

Armed with an actual equation, Arnall, a British psychologist, tallied up all the rotten things we humans must face in life and determined that they happen to peak in late January.

Which rotten things, exactly?

First, there is Jan. 24's distance from Christmas: way too far to look forward to, but way too recent to have recovered from financially. The misery of debt figures heavily in his equation.

So does weather. You generally won't hear meteorologists saying, "Dig out the bikini — it'll be sunny with a high of 86!" No, January weather — even amazingly good weather — is still amazingly bad weather compared with pretty much all of spring, summer and fall.

By now, Arnall figures, you have abandoned all your New Year's resolutions. You are smoking, drinking and overeating — possibly all at once. Possibly when you should be getting dressed for work. Possibly that is why you were hiding under the covers. That's part of what makes Jan. 24 stink.

And finally, there is the issue of what we have to look forward to: not much.

The short-term horizon is distressingly free of three-day weekends.

That leaves us with tax forms on the way and more predictions of bad weather. But look on the bright side!

Wait — there isn't one. Sorry.

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company


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