Summer’s here! Have you loaded up on the Blahs?
If not, it might be a good idea to stock an extra supply of these small, pre-packaged doses of general dissatisfaction.
That’s the message from the National Ennui Center, a US government agency tasked with producing annual estimates of the number of Blahs Americans are expected to get during a typical summer. Given the depressive effect of current economic conditions on travel and other spending, the Center is projecting the need for more Blahs than usual this year.
“We’re forecasting a long, monotonous summer,” says Dr. Tee Dium, the Center’s spokesperson. “We urge all Americans to make sure they have enough Blahs to carry them through the next three months.”
The Center’s warning was met with yawns by many, in part because the accuracy and skill of past forecasts have been criticized. For instance, last summer the seasonal prediction proved too optimistic and many Americans were taken by surprise when they needed more Blahs than anticipated.
The Center says the error occurred because an unexpected economic decline developed rapidly and created an environment too hostile for enthusiasm to form and strengthen. That, in turn, caused a surge in the demand for Blahs.
Experts agree with the explanation. They also point out the natural volatility of economic statistics causes annual errors to vary significantly from year to year.
While there’s still uncertainty about how severe this summer’s doldrums will be, Dr. Dium says the Center’s working model was adjusted to reflect prior forecast errors.
“Even if we’re wrong, the conditions associated with the ongoing recession still favor an above-normal need for the Blahs,” says Dr. Dium. “People should get them early.”
The summer Blahs season is officially defined as the period from June 1 through August 31. Historically, peak activity occurs during the first two weeks of August, just before the start of the new school year. The National Ennui Center will issue an updated Blahs forecast in late July.