The start to this winter as well as the labor crunch going on here in New Hampshire has made it increasingly difficult to staff the offices of F.A.T.S.O.
Many of you know what F.A.T.S.O. stands for, but due to new federal regulations put in place by the Secretary of Acronyms under The Bureau of Linguistics which was formed in 2013, I am required to explain at least once each time I introduce it in a column.
F.A.T.S.O stands for Flatlanders Adjusting To Solitary Oblivion and is a winter support group to help new transplants to New Hampshire adjust to their first winters here.
It’s a twelve step program with only eight steps to make it easier. After all, there is enough to worry about.
Last year’s mile winter helped us to get by with a small staff of five. The lack of calls for assistance made it very manageable. Still, we knew that things would be different if the next winter turned out to be cold an snowy.
And here we are.
We are fortunate that many of our members are adjusting nicely and don’t need our help as much. It is the influx of new transplants that causes us concern. We would love to be able to help everyone (and collect that nice membership fee) but we know that we will never be able to accommodate all applicants fairly.
So, we are now requiring that all new Flatlanders needing help with their winter adjustments here take a short quiz so as to help us decide who really needs our help and who will most likely be able to manage to figure out for themselves.
The quiz will consist of twenty multiple choice questions as well as one essay question.
Some of the multiple choice questions are:
Frost Heaves are:
a) An Intestinal Disease
b) The latest Ben & Jerry’s Flavor
c) SLOW DOWN!
Besides Skiing, what is another great Winter Sport in New Hampshire:
a) Ice Fishing
Black Ice Can Best Be Described as:
a) Something bought at a joke shop.
b) The newest rap star
c) Oops! Too late
It is only safe to take a vehicle on a frozen lake:
a) When the ice is four inches thick
b) When the ice is a foot thick
c) ARE YOU OUTTA YOUR MIND?
When the temperature recaches below zero one should be concerned about:
a) Frozen Pipes
b) Car Batteries
c) Did you say BELOW Zero?
Roof Rakes are used for:
a) Raking leaves off of your roof
b) Raking snow off of your roof
c) A What??
In case of a power winter power outage you should always have:
a) A generator
b) Bottled Water
c) Tickets to West Palm Beach
Cabin Fever is:
a) What usually accompanies Frost Heaves
b) A sequel To “Saturday Night Fever”
c) “You talking to me? You talking to me? Well, I’m the only one here.
I hope this small sampling of quiz questions will help you decide if you still think you need F.A.T.S.O. before giving us a call.
Of course, we will never turn anyone away if they need help (except, of course, during the airing of the final episodes of “The Bachelor” as per the contract with some of our employees). When my friend Vinnie and I started this group so many years ago, it was our commitment to helping each and every transplant to help them adjust.
Even with our current shortage of employees we will do all we can, we just ask that you first make sure that you really need our help.
Good luck and be careful out there!
Brendan Smith is the author of “The Flatlander Chronicles” as well as Best Of A F.O.O.L. In New Hampshire.” He also loves to tell his Flatlander Tales and other stories to groups and organizations. Find out more at his website www.BrendanTSmith.com