There’s a debate going on about which day of the year is the most depressing. Perhaps it was yesterday, the first day back at work? Or today, another day back at work but without the warm exchange of New Year pleasantries and Christmas telly post-mortem? Or is it January the 16th, this year’s ‘Blue Monday’? Or is it ANOTHER DAY? The day you woke up having not slept very well and realised that your milk was on the turn after you'd poured it on your last two Weetabix, perhaps?
Similarly to most questions, we don’t know the answer. Nor do we care. It’s quite a macabre debate, anyway. A bit like Christmas bleakfest Sophie’s Choice, but with poor Soph's beloved being victims of a toss-up between a gas chamber and the onset of malignant melanoma.
They've even devised a formula to calculate the exact day you’re most likely to emotionally combust at the depressing futility of it all and contemplate faking your own death, adopting a new personality and running away to join the circus.
W = weather
D = debt
d= ability to pay debt
T = time since Christmas
Q = time since failing New Year’s resolutions
M = low motivational levels
N = feeling the need to take action
Helpfully, they haven't said what the little 'a' stands for. Even if they had, we’d still have no clue how to calculate any of these things. Look at the start of it: “Weather plus debt”… Okay, let’s take a look out of the window and then a nervous glance at our bank balance like a Greek MP, shall we?
Does anyone know how to add "pitch black and raining cats, dogs and every other animal, we told Noah that zeppelin was a bad idea" to "Dear Sir, you are SEVERELY OVERDRAWN. We have reason to believe that your account has been the victim of fraudulent transactions. Please contact our security department as soon as possible. P.S. If it was you that spent all that dosh, your kneecaps are about to become very familiar with Mr. Debt Collector. Hope you had fun in Sophisticats, though, you dirty devil, you"?
No? Thought not.
Thing is, you see, a formula to determine when we should be most depressed is rubbish. If you're someone who can make formulas, put that talent to good use. Come up with a formula that eliminates the flu virus, or teaches us how to eat an oven pizza without being deprived of the roof of your mouth for the following three days - something like that. Don't tell us when we should be most miserable; we've got politicians and the Daily Mail for that.
Luckily for you, we're here - a bit like the Samaritans, but with a lot less thoughtful advice, patience and eagerness to help, but a heap more desire to entertain - with some reasons to be cheerful.
They say: The economy is ruined.
We say: So we're all broke - who cares? Money can't buy happiness, can it? Money can't buy the simple pleasures in life, like waking up before your alarm. "Hmm, there's no jingly-jangly polyphonic tune of doom shredding through my slumber and jolting me awake. Could it be...? Have I...? Is it...? As you lean across to check your phone, you pray - don't let it be time to get up, pleeeeeeeease - and it's not. You have! You've woken up before your alarm! You've inadvertently beaten the system! You've got time. Your number's not yet up. Enjoy it. Savour it. And don't drag yourself out of bed and across the unforgiving cold of the hallway for that wee your body yearns for so ravenously. Chance your arm.
They say: It's another three-hundred-and-fifty-odd days 'til Christmas.
We say: Aww, sad that Christmas is over and that it's such a long time until the next one, are you? Is that the exact same Christmas you spent the last six months bitching about, with its too-early shop displays and its incessantly annoying adverts and its unrelenting cheer? Oh, it is?
"Ooh, look at that grass over there! IT'S SO GREEN!"
They say: The weather's shit. And it's gonna be shit for ages.
We say: Sure, it has been a bit damp and blustery of late. But, now the winter solstice has passed, every day, it's light for a little bit longer. Every single day, you gain a small but delicious morsel of extra time. And, better still, the amount you gain gets bigger every day. Tomorrow, for instance, will be about 1 minute and 27 seconds longer than today. But the day after will be 1 minute and 32 seconds longer than that. By the end of January, you'll be gaining over 3 minutes a day. Even more after that. You're like Bernard-fucking-Beasley. (Him off of Bernard's Watch. Jeez, the humour's really lost when we have to explain these late-nineties kids' TV references, isn't it?)
They say: Ooh we've got all fat over Christmas and now we're going to have to detox and slim down.
We say: Slim down? Are you a catwalk model? Is your name Kate Moss? No? Then don't be so ridiculous. D'you know who knows their shit? BEARS. Bears are ace. Do you see bears worrying about their waistline after one too many river salmon/seals/berries/honey sandwiches/park rangers? No. No you do not. So you enjoy that festive plumping and all the warmth and comfort it provides; by jove you've earnt it.
"Get in! It's my Tesco Direct delivery!"