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Friday, December 03, 2004

C.R.A.P. Principles of Stress Management

Dr. Potato O’Brian of the Hypercon-Feelgood Institute suggests that in order to navigate the road to stress management, one need only follow four holy principles. To assist those of us who are intellectually challenged, and that means you, Dr. Potato offers a compelling acronym to help you remember these principles: Catharsis, Relaxation, Analysis, and Pretend, or CRAP. Dr. Potato assures us that following these simple CRAP principles will lead to stress free peace of mind.
For example, let’s say that you are taking that Alaskan Cruise you’ve always wanted. You feel a slight shudder, and next thing you know you and about 2000 other people are milling around in life jackets. In trying times like this, just remember these CRAP principles. First, try Catharsis. Purge your negative emotions with a good cry, or vent your rage by throwing a few people into the ocean as they queue up for a lifeboat. Then try a little Relaxation. Picture yourself floating in the Pacific, with the soft undulating waves and assorted debris and ice floes bobbing hypnotically in the background. Those soothing cold waters are excellent for those muscles that are sure to be sore after you flail about in the ocean for a few minutes. Of course, a little Analysis will demonstrate how meaningless your fears are, since modern cruise ships are pretty well unsinkable, have more than enough lifeboats, and can surely swerve in time to miss that iceberg you see just ahead. Besides, even if you are dumped into the icy waters, you will likely be retrieved and stored in a big freezer, and thanks to modern science, will be thawed out in the 24th century, when you’ll get a complimentary cruise ticket to the icy satellite of Jupiter, the moon IO. Finally, as you dangle over the railing as the stern slowly descends into the waters, you can play let’s Pretend. Looking to the stars, you can imagine that Superman is on his way after hearing your distress call, or that Orca the whale will hear your whistles, and carry you to shore. Besides, if the worst happens, its not all that bad, since in the afterlife, all of the dead people on the ship will welcome you with warm applause, and a real swell cocktail party afterwards. As you sink slowly into the water, just be remember these four principles, and you’ll surely realize that these stress principles are nothing but a bunch of crap.

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