How to Tell If
You're Having a Bad Day
by Mad Dog
Just think, if this catches on it could put astrologers out
of work. See, thereís a bright side to everything.
||A Welsh psychiatrist has
declared that January 24th is the ďmost depressing day of the year.Ē
Thatís easy for him to say, he doesnít have an April 15th tax filing
deadline. The reason he says the 24th is the day isnít because
weíre facing the reality of four more years with George Bush as
president. Nor is it because this year the Superbowl was pushed back to
February 6th and weíve already polished off the Cheetos, Little
Debbies, Slim Jims, and Bud Lites we bought for the occasion. No,
according to Dr. Cliff Arnall of the University of Cardiff itís about
mathematics, and his calculations prove that January 24th is the most
depressing day of every year. Put that in your PDA and smoke it.
By the way, you read that right, Dr.
Arnall actually calculated this. Tired of trying to figure out why the
Welsh language looks like a two-year-oldís first Scrabble game, he sat
down and came up with a mathematical formula that takes all the guess
work out of wondering if youíre going to have a bad day or not. Just
think, if this catches on it could put astrologers out of work. See,
thereís a bright side to everything.
His equation takes into consideration
the weather, your debt load, your monthly salary, the time elapsed since
Christmas, the length of time since you last failed to quit a bad habit,
your motivational level, and your need to take action. Strangely it
doesnít factor in whether youíve had sex lately, the daily stress
factor over the status of Jennifer and Bradís relationship, or the
number of sun spots, either the solar kind or the ones you think are
developing on the backs of your hands.
donít want to have my bad days predicted. Thatís why I ignore my
horoscope in the newspaper, donít pay attention to the fortune in my
cookies ó unless I like it when I add ďin bedĒ to it, and didnít
listen to my high school guidance counselor when she told me I was best
suited to be a bank robber.
Thereís no explanation of how he determines these factors for
all of us at once and why we donít all have different worst days. I
guess it means he knows everything there is to know about us. And to
think, all this time I thought only Santa Claus and the FBI knew all
that. The fact that this year January 24th falls on a Monday only adds
to its depressing capabilities, though Arnall doesnít include that in
his formula. Apparently heís not a fan of the Boomtown Rats. And
doesnít mind getting up to go to work after a nice weekend off.
Iím not sure why researchers like
Arnall and magazines like Time are so hell bent on quantifying
things like this. Recently Time ran a cover story on happiness
which talked about researchers who are trying to find chemical and
genetic factors that affect our innate happiness. Not long ago the
magazine ran an article about the possibility of a ďgod gene.Ē Cut
it out, already! Weíre humans ó weíre complex, weíre
unpredictable, and we canít be deconstructed to a particular
combination of chemicals. A mathematical formula, maybe.
Personally, I donít want to have my
bad days predicted. Thatís why I ignore my horoscope in the newspaper,
donít pay attention to the fortune in my cookies ó unless I like it
when I add ďin bedĒ to it, and didnít listen to my high school
guidance counselor when she told me I was best suited to be a bank
robber. Bad days happen. And I have no trouble identifying them without
having a self-prophesizing advance warning.
youíre the winner of the
first Survivor and the I.R.S. calls to let you know ó whoops! ó you
forgot to declare your highly publicized $1million winnings, then itís
definitely a bad day.
There are definite signs that youíre having a bad day, and
theyíre not algebraic. Unless of course this is the day of your
algebra midterm, in which case itís definitely a factor. If youíre a
construction worker in Colorado named Patrick Lawler and you go to the
dentist complaining of a toothache and wind up having doctors remove a
four-inch nail that you didnít know was in your head, youíre having
a bad day. If you then find out the medical bills to remove it total a
whopping $100,000 and you have no medical insurance, itís a safe bet
youíre having a really bad day.
If youíre a syndicated columnist
with a talk show like Armstrong Williams and youíre caught taking
$240,000 from the Department of Education to promote President Bushís
No Child Left Behind law and you lose your column because of it,
youíre having a bad day. If youíre a Palo Alto, CA eighth-grader who
goes to a school career day and learns you can make $250,000 a year as a
stripper or exotic dancer, but youíre a boy, then youíre having a
bad day. If youíre the winner of the first Survivor and the
I.R.S. calls to let you know ó whoops! ó you forgot to declare your
highly publicized $1million winnings, then itís definitely a bad day.
If the airlines decide to allow cell
phone calls to be made on airplanes, if someone hits the lottery using
the set of numbers youíve played every week for the past five years
except this one, or if you get a voicemail message from your doctorís
office asking if your will is up to date, you can bet itís a bad day.
Most of all, if you start believing a mathematical formula can predict
what your day will be like, youíre definitely having a bad day. But
donít worry, hopefully youíll get over it by tomorrow.
©2005 Mad Dog
Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
These columns appear in better newspapers across the country.
Read them, they might improve your day.