Status: Undetermined (is it a joke or meant seriously?)
image David Mocknick has written a self-help book that describes a novel new form of stress therapy: Fredding. This involves saying the phrase "Fred! Who's Fred? Ha!" It's not clear to me whether he's serious about this, or if it's all an elaborate joke (in which getting people to think he's serious is part of the joke). An article about his book explains:

Fredding (which can be done in solitaire but works best in a group setting) 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!"

Fredding strikes me as the kind of thing Alan Abel, or someone like him, would dream up. So I'm inclined to classify it as a hoax. But on the other hand, it might actually work as a stress reliever. Though if you actually did this, people would probably think you had Tourette's.


Posted on Thu Jan 12, 2006


This could be a stress reliever for the Freder, but it'd be a stress enhancer for the Fredee.
Posted by Mark Willcox  on  Fri Jan 13, 2006  at  01:16 AM
I've been a friend of Alan Abel's for nearly 30 years now and I'm in touch with him via email all the time. To the best of my knowledge, he has nothing to do with "Fredding," but, hey, you never know.

To be honest, it sounds kind of dumb to me, but the guy is getting some press so I guess I don't know shit.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Fri Jan 13, 2006  at  01:40 AM
Sounds more like something Satchel would come up with.
Posted by Craig  on  Fri Jan 13, 2006  at  05:26 AM
It seems to be available on Amazon
Posted by Andy  on  Fri Jan 13, 2006  at  06:30 AM
Of course it's not a joke. Obviously. How could anyone think it's a joke? If he didn't want to be taken seriously, he would've changed his name from 'Mocknick'.
Posted by Mr Henderson  on  Fri Jan 13, 2006  at  06:44 AM
If I hear some say this, and I answer "I'm Fred," what happens then? 😊
This sounds to me like a sort of rip-off of the Seinfeld "Serenity now" episode.
Posted by Frederick J. Barnett  on  Fri Jan 13, 2006  at  08:02 AM
I do this sort of thing to my friends all the time. (But then again, I'm a big dork. =P)
Posted by Sakano  on  Fri Jan 13, 2006  at  09:35 AM
This is just stupid.
Posted by Maegan  on  Fri Jan 13, 2006  at  10:13 AM
Interesting, especially to me, since for many years now whenever I'm annoyed with an inaminate object, I call it Fred. (Say if my purse gets caught on a doorknob, I'll grumble, "Come here, you stupid Fred!" Or if I can't find my glove, I'll mutter, "Where is that stupid Fred!") I don't know how I got started doing that. I don't recall knowing any annoying person named Fred. Maybe it's an unconscious substitution for another four-letter word that starts with F.
But I don't do it around other people. If I drop a fork in a restaurant, I don't ask the waiter to "get that Fred for me, willya?"
Posted by aka_donna  on  Fri Jan 13, 2006  at  10:49 AM
Oooh, that could turn out to be really stressful if the waitress doesn't fall into the trap of saying a word that rhymes with Fred. How about toast? No. Muffins? No. Crumpets? NOOOOO!
Posted by Pixie  on  Fri Jan 13, 2006  at  11:10 AM
This has inspired me to develop a new form of therapy called 'Elmoing', I walk around saying "Who wants to die?"
Posted by Craig  on  Fri Jan 13, 2006  at  11:29 AM
Craig you crack me up! 😛
Posted by thephrog  on  Fri Jan 13, 2006  at  09:26 PM
This post turned out slightly less interesting than I first supposed. On the 1960s Jefferson Airplane "Volunteers" album the printed lyrics used the word "Fred" in place of the F-word -- though the songs were uncensored. aka_donna has the right idea.
Posted by Ed  on  Sat Jan 14, 2006  at  12:07 PM
The name "Mocknick" is doubtless also made up. Probably it is a bastardized version of the German "Macht nichts" translated roughly as "it doesn't matter" or "no problem."
Posted by Sam  on  Mon Jan 16, 2006  at  09:19 AM
Not unlike aka_donna, I use "Fred" moderately often. Someone might say to me "Name the time" and I'll say "ok, it's Fred" ie, the time has been named Fred. It's one of those language pedant things.
Posted by cvirtue  on  Mon Jan 16, 2006  at  09:28 AM
I tried this with my five-year-old and got a big laugh out of it. However, his idea of a hillarious joke goes something like this:

him: Knock knock
me: Who's there?
him: Eyeball.
me: Eyeball who?
him: Eyeball in your underwear! Hahahahaha

My humor's always been pretty infantile 😊
Posted by UsuallyDark  on  Mon Jan 16, 2006  at  03:37 PM
Hey, go easy. My mum's name is Fred.
Posted by Wendy Collings  on  Mon Jan 16, 2006  at  05:11 PM
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.