A new "stress-relief" book by David L. Mocknick of Philadelphia, called "Who's Fred, Ha!" (described in December in New York's Newsday), prescribes a game based on the German name Frederick, which Mocknick said has curative powers. A stressed person listens out in public for words that rhyme with Fred, and hearing one (e.g., dead), he says, "Dead! Fred! Who's Fred, ha!" And that makes him feel better, says Mocknick. An accompanying CD suggests versions of the game based on double Freds or Freds with clues ("What's thermometer liquid called?" "Mercury." "Freddie Mercury (the late singer)! Who's Fred, ha!") [Raleigh News & Observer-Newsday, 1-9-06]
The fact that this technique exists is not the least surprising to me. That people believe it, buy the book and practice it, makes me shake my head in disbelief. Oh duh.