When I first saw the acronym F.A.Q. (Frequently Asked Questions), I had no idea what these letters stood for, let alone that they were even an acronym. It doesn’t help that I have been diagnosed with A.C.D. (that’s Acronym Challenged Disorder to you, fellow A.C.D. brothers and sisters).
With the help of Therapist Bob, I was able to pinpoint when my A.C.D. began spiraling out of control and would inevitably need professional intervention, preferable by someone who has multiple acronyms listed behind their name.
In college I was obsessed with vanity license plates. Initially I was intrigued by vanity plates that had the driver’s first name followed by a number (e.g. “Mitsy 7”). I deduced that either Mitsy had six other cars like the one she was driving, thus exacerbating her vanity even more so, or the “7” represented the I.Q. (Intelligence Quotient) threshold required by the D.O.T. (Department of Time-Suck) to qualify for vanity plates. Then the R.C.I. (Roof Caved In) when one of my roommates pulled up in his mom’s grocery-getter, which sported “IYQYQR” on the license plate.
When I asked him what the letters stood for, he admitted: “I Like You Like You Are.” (Not really an acronym per se — unless you’re willing to suspend your disbelief for baby-talk.) Why any respectable adult male would openly admit this to another respectable adult male (that’s me, F.Y.I.) was beyond me, but the fact that he was driving a turquoise Chevy Imapla with a “Have You Hugged Your Librarian Today?” sticker on its bumper indicated he was beyond the peer-recognition phase of his life — namely because he was already doomed in most social circles.
Enter Therapist Bob, who provided me with some A.R.S. (Acronym Reading Strategies) to help break the dispossessed letters down to find meaning and/or pinpointing alienated letters ostracized by the rest of the alphabet for reasons unbeknownst to me. One strategy he recommended was to sound out and exaggerate the letters individually, before moving on to combinations. I started with F.A.Q. and tried several combinations before settling on FA – Q, pronounced “FAA – Que” (slang for F*CK YOU). This revelation, which I repeated over and over like a small child who just learned to pronounce his own name, inspired Therapist Bob to blow microbrew through his nose and laugh at me.
Or at least I thought he was laughing at me. Either way I stormed out of his makeshift office — the window seat at the Deadwood Tavern in downtown Iowa City – thus ending our session for the day.
Nonetheless, the new A.R.S.s (pronounced “Arses” (which is British for Asses), when implementing A.R.S.s) gave me a new sense of empowerment. Upon leaving the Deadwood, I walked through the downtown area repeating “FA – Q, Arses” aloud, maybe too loud as passersby paused to ascertain whether I was talking to them directly or if I had Tourette’s Syndrome.
My Tourette’s-induced monologue did not bode well with one, apparently intoxicated, older gentleman, who turned and yelled at me: “Well, FA – Que too, buddy!” Unfortunately his F.A.Q. drew the attention of two nearby beat cops, who thought he was talking to them and wrote him up a ticket for P.I. (Public Intoxication).
And now that I know W.T.F. F.A.Q. means, I can finally field some of the questions people have been asking me about Say Something Funny since its debut less than two weeks ago.
So stay tuned, dear Reader, and I will churn out some responses to the pile of F.A.Q.s clogging my e-mail account A.S.A.P. If you have any questions you would like to ask me, please send them to me @ firstname.lastname@example.org or post them in the comments section below.
I appreciate your patience and for those of you who don’t have any patience, I have three letters for you: “FA – Q!”