THERE's a nip in the air, the nights are fair drawing in and I'm in a mood so black that makes Victor Meldrew look like Julie Andrews in the Sound of Music.
Apparently this new-found ability to strip wallpaper with a single withering glance has a name. I have a textbook case of what's been dubbed by experts as the "holiday hangover".
A phrase coined to describe a severe dose of post-summer-break blues, it is a phenomenon that would appear to manifest itself in several ways: an inability to abide the close proximity of fellow commuters, nuclear-esque grumpiness without a mid-afternoon nap on a poolside sun lounger and a steadfast unwillingness to wear socks. Or even proper shoes.
Other symptoms include an email inbox that stretches further than a list of back stage demands from Madonna. This comprises roughly 1.5 billion deathly dull round robins, special discount restaurant flyers, offers of penis extensions and all the angry reminders that you gleefully ignored pre-holiday. It's like playing Whac-A-Mole. As soon as you delete one, another pops up. Over and over. Your own personal electronic purgatory -presuming you can get into your inbox in the first place. Gah! Why didn't I make my password simply "password".
The smallest things irritate. Like people breathing. Smiling. Or even existing. Social networking sites, meanwhile, are torture. Smug so-and-sos posting photographs of white sandy beaches, tanned limbs and neon cocktails. Please desist. I know karate and won't refrain from using it.
And who is this frowning individual in a suit called "the boss" who keeps talking about "work"? The only person I answer to is Carlos the barman when he asks: "Another drink, lady?"
Imagine living through more than any other human being on earth? Certainly if the claims of a man in Ethiopia are to be believed that could be the case, having spoken of being able to vividly recall Italy's invasion of his country in 1895.
Retired farmer Dhaqabo Ebba told reporter Mohammed Ademo: "When Italy invaded Ethiopia I had two wives, and my son was old enough to herd cattle." He went on to recount his childhood eight-day horseback ride to Addis Ababa - a journey which takes only a few hours today.
In an interview with regional Oromiya TV, Ebba provided such minute detail on the changes of power in his local area that Ademo has become convinced that he must be at least 160 - 46 years older than the oldest ever recorded man - although he is unable to provide a birth certificate. Perhaps he just owns a really good set of encyclopedias? Either way, bagsy him on my pub quiz team.
Finally, hold the front page: the end is nigh. The Mayans were only out by about eight months. I can barely bring myself to say it out loud: woman flirts with younger man shocker.
At least, I believe that's the crux of what caused Twitter to go into near meltdown the other day when BBC Breakfast host Susanna Reid got a tad twinkly eyed while interviewing Arctic Monkeys singer Alex Turner, telling him: "I bet you look good on the dancefloor" - a play on the name of one of his hit records.
A deluge of tweets described the exchange as "awkward" and "cringeworthy", horrified that Reid should have the audacity, according to those with enough fingers and toes to count, to make a coquettish remark to a man some 15 years her junior. Imagine. The blatant scandal.
Next women will be wanting the right to vote, ride horses without a side saddle, wear trousers and go out in public without a man.
In fact, pass the smelling salts. I think I just saw Cheryl Cole flash an ankle beneath her petticoats.
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