How is your desk?

We can hardly wait for next Monday, Jan. 16! That is, our boss can hardly wait - and our wife. In case you hadn't heard, it's National Clean-Off-Your-Desk Day. And our metal desk at work looks like - well, finding the ringing phone is an adventure in discovering buried treasure. The desk at home - is it wooden? - is similarly encumbered.

Personally we do admire a colleague's sign: ''Muddled desk, muddled mind. Empty desk. . . .'' But every desk, even a journalist's, should meet minimum safety standards. Perhaps this is the year for the biennial desktop cleanup.

Certainly Monday would be the perfect day, given its stated purpose of providing an annual day ''for every desk worker to see the top of the desk and prepare for the following year's paper work.''

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On the other hand - Monday also is National Nothing Day Anniversary. That contradictory appeal is stronger in its lure than the siren songs of ancient mythology's sea nymphs. This is the 12th anniversary of the day established ''to provide Americans with one national day when they can just sit without celebrating, observing, or honoring anything.'' And without, presumably, cleaning off their desks.

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