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  • Ellen King Rice

Naked Came A Fungus: One Speedy January

How to survive the long month of January?

To survive a January, there’s consuming chocolate followed by consumption of more chocolate. Then there’s the barrage of trips to the gym, each filled with determination which lasts to the tenth of the month and perhaps even to the fifteenth.

The endorphins from chocolate and kickboxing do fade, however ­– and binge-watching Netflix leaves one bloated and whiney when the wine is finished.

To survive January, we need more. Much more.

We need daring-do. We need an over-extension, preferably in front of a crowd.

Few things focus the mind like the threat of being de-pants-ed or impoverished in some highly public fashion.

Scheduling a performance, or a book launch, or an art show are all most excellent paths to a January that goes whizzing by, with the days of the month disappearing like the few rare lobster canapés at the library social where typically only pallid cheese sticks appear.

Hiding behind sweat pants and the television remote is no way to manage a January.

Let us boldly go, like Star Trek’s most historic split infinitive*, and let us do so in sequins or snowshoes or, at the very least, in cheerful Hawaiian shirts with neon-rimmed nametags so the entire world knows we’re out and about.

January is calling your name! Throw open the door, wave to the crowd, and launch into the universe of adventure!

By the time you have recovered from your face plant or your arm-waving, skittish near face-plant, the month will have sped away.

The watching crowd may linger. How fun! New friends! And they all know your name. . .

Note for Writers

*A split infinitive occurs when something like an adverb splats down between the word “to” and a verb of some sort, e.g. “go”. Your Language Arts instructor prefers you “to go boldly,” or simply “to go,” but your buddies waiting with their capes of knotted-at-the neck towels and phasers made of Legos definitely want you “to boldly go” with them.

Writers must spend serious amounts of time studying sci-fi movies to learn the important elements of grammar. It’s in the Writer’s Guide to Secret Handshakes and other Good Stuff. Don’t mess with the lesson plans. There’s a swamp of Comma Rules in it. You have been warned.

This group of mushrooms in near-observation mode are the very adorable Orange Chyrsomphalina or “Chrysomphalina aurantiaca.”

Another way to have January linger forever is to be on a goodwill diet. Be cheap and unkind and the month really does drag on. Get out of the grumpy slow lane by helping kittens at

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