At a Naval Air Station, somewhere in the United States…

Let us harken back to the late 1960s. During an unpopular war. Operating in a strategy-free zone. A Naval Air Station’s base perimeter is protected by an asset with three characteristics:

  1. It is made up primarily of twine.
  2. Secondarily, there are index cards taped periodically with the following label: “Wire, Barbed, Simulated.”
  3. Taken very seriously by the fleet guys

…An intrepid Naval Aviator faced systematic EAHFCCTMYDJATMU

What about a gas attack, you ask? No problem. The squadron personnel were issued equipment with the following characteristics:

  1. Made up primarily with a 3” x 5” Index card.
  2. With neat and professional block lettering indicating, “Mask, Gas, Simulated.”
  3. Taken very seriously by the fleet guys.

A civilian might remark: “What a hassle!” or “Thanks to the fleet guys, my day has been made unpleasant by the management of an asset that brings zero value to the business of fighting a war.” A civilian might even rant about it.

But this was the Navy.

The characterization of the situation required brevity. Clarity. And above all… an acronym that was pronounceable… sort of.

And thus was born the acronym: Extra Added Harassment Factor Carefully Calculated To Make Your Day Just A Tad More Unpleasant. EAFCCTMYDJATMU. Yah Fished Muh Jot Moo.

Rumor has it that there are official records from a VP squadron stamped with the EAHFCCTMYDJATMU moniker. Tellingly, the stamp was never questioned.

By anyone.

How You Can Help

These things tend to be self-selective. Start using the expression with your friends and neighbors who have some self awareness and understand that proactivity is not really about planning ahead, it’s about being the master of your reactions to various stimuli (particularly the hassle laden ones).

Decline the invitation either to someone else’s drama or preference to make decisions based on dogma instead of evidence.

Above all, try to laugh at it. Particularly in 2020, a Sisyphean Rock of Absurdity if ever there was one.