Monday morning. Are you stressed? Feel overworked? Underpaid? Unloved? Wanna feel better?
Just say "Fred"!
Stress-relieving methods run the gamut from such old standbys as nail biting to drinking Scotch to listening to whale-mating calls on CD. But Fred?
Author David L. Mocknick of Philadelphia says that the name Fred - derived from Frederick, a German name that means "peace ruler" - has curative powers. Think about it and take a deep breath and shout it out: Fred! Do you feel its officinal effect? If not perhaps you’re procedure isn’t orthodox enough.
But don’t fear, Mocknick has written a whole book (Who's Fred, Ha!: Silly, but Fun Stress Relief: Clear Brook, $17.95).to tell you how to properly use the word "Fred" to be a more relaxed, healthy, effective person.
It's not science, admits Mocknick, 47. "I'm no psychologist and I don't have a medical background. But I've seen it work firsthand."
Check it out: Fredding begins when someone "baits" another person by getting him or her to say a word that rhymes with Fred.
When the target - a waitress in a diner who suggests bread when asked for an alternative to rolls, for example - falls into the trap, the Fredder calls out, "Bread! Fred! Who's Fred, ha!"
That’s it! Now your task is to go fishing for unsuspecting soul who’ll take the rhyme bait.
It's no secret that Fredding is weird - and beware - fredding comes with side effects.
Fredders are subject to strange looks, allegations of insanity, and even, as Mocknick knows firsthand, restaurant eviction. "One time the owner of a diner threw me out," he says. "But I was stress-free when he did it."
And one more thing, Mr Mocknick advises not to engage in Fredding on a first date.
OK, let's try this based on an obituary item in the New York Times last week: "Ramona, a Zapatista Guerrilla Leader, Is Dead."
Dead! Fred! Who's Fred, ha!
Believe it or not, I do feel better.