the pretty fucked up website

The Not 100% Complete FAQs for the Pretty Fucked Up Person in a Pretty Fucked Up World

If there is a hell, we're there right now...

Remember to Skip...

So what the hell is going on with these places like the DMV, the phone company, my so-called Internet Service Provider? Do these places take out a patent on rude and unhelpful or what? Do they actually enjoy making other people's lives miserable? Am I wrong to expect decent, courteous treatment from companies that I AM PAYING?!?!

Yes, you are wrong. And what the hell is going on with them can be explained very simply by a number of trademarked Crackpot Theories only found here at the pretty fucked up website. Although the resulting theorems are simple, elegant, satisfying and will improve your life, there is a bit of math and technical jargon involved so brace yourself.

Things like the DMV, the phone company, ISPs and so on belong to a class of objects known as 'Institutions'. Institutions are the offspring of two complex phenonema commonly referred to as 'Capitalism' and 'Society.' (For the moment we are going to leave out the confounding variable of 'Government' to simplify the math, but the calculations apply equally well.) Capitalism and Society are made up of tiny units known as Other People. They both belong to the broad category of stuff we like refer to here at the pretty fucked up website as 'Fucked Up Shit.'

Now when Fucked Up Shit and Other People interact they produce an outcome known as Fuckedupness. In this particular case, Fuckedupness will express itself as rudeness, meanness, general unhelpfulness and obstinacy, items that we will collectively refer to here as Grumpiness. (I warned you there would be technical terms.) It is a widely observed but little understood reality that Other People are frequently grumpy and mean. We can't do anything here at this website about the widely observed part of the preceding sentence but, using the glories of mathematics and the intricacies of my own brain, we are going to do something about the little understood part.

One of the universal laws is that human Grumpiness arises when People encounter Fucked Up Shit. Since Institutions are the offspring of the Fucked Up Shit of Capitalism and Society, using the laws of Mendelian genetics we are able to deduce that Institutions themselves are Fucked Up Shit. The Other People involved with the Fucked Up Shit of an Institution you are dealing with will display Grumpiness according to formula that can be expressed as 'Amount of Fucked Up Shit multiplied by the Inherent Propensity Toward Grumpiness' factor of the particular Other Person involved. Using a standard bell curve distribution based on a statistical sample of self-reports from Other People, we see that between 40-60% of Other People report an Inherent Propensity Toward Grumpiness factor in the range of 'Occasionally' Grumpy to 'Fairly Frequently' Grumpy. Everyone else is lying.

Now by rapidly executing a dazzling array of mathematical calculations in which we factor in every Other Person's amount of Fucked Up Shit they have to deal with times their personal Inherent Propensity Toward Grumpiness factor, we come out with the startling result that Other People who work for Fucked Up Institutions will be Grumpy at least 40-60% of the time! Amazing but true! It's a mathematical law. Which leads to the following simple but elegant explanation for the behavior of Institutions (made up, as we previously saw, of Other People).

To summarize: The people who work for Institutions are Grumpy because they don't like the goddamn phone company or the DMV any better than you do.

How can I use this amazing mathematical insight to better my own personal life? Is it advisable to attempt to blow up the phone company or the DMV since I always seem to hit that 40-60% Grumpiness factor when I deal with an Institution? Will that help? Why do I always get the Grumpy Other People anyway? Are they just picking on me personally? By odds, shouldn't I get Ungrumpy Other People sometimes? Not that I'm paranoid or anything but everyone is out to get me.

Excellent questions. First, it is NOT advisable to blow up anything these days. Actually, it's never been a very good idea. It's a pleasant fantasy but a bad practice. And you are paranoid but yes the world is out to get you. And here's why: It all has to do with your personal Expectation of Grumpiness Correlate.

You see, the default settings for the human Expectation of Grumpiness Correlate are: 1) re: My Own Personal Grumpiness - I will be Grumpy any time I have a damn good reason to be, thank you very much! This coincides with a Grumpiness Frequency of .5, which as we saw above is well within the limits established by reality. 2) Re: Other People's Grumpiness - Other People have no reason to be Grumpy unless I say so! This coincides with an expectation for a Grumpiness Frequency of 0. Which as we saw above varies significantly from the limits established by reality.

Whenever your personal Expectation Correlate varies negatively with reality, you will encounter an experience known as an Emotion. In the case we've been dealing with the applicable emotion is Sudden Indignation. Sudden Indignation causes your blood pressure to rise, your eyeballs to bulge slightly out of your head and sarcastic remarks to vie vigorously for a chance to come out of your mouth. Sometimes your Social Inhibition Mechanism will catch the sarcastic remarks and beat them up before they can leave your lips but not always. But it doesn't matter whether they get beat up or slip out successfully, once you are in the throes of Sudden Indignation you are now what is technically known as All Fucked Up.

And Other People, particularly Grumpy Other People, quickly realize that you are All Fucked Up and become keenly interested in making you miserable whether you say anything sarcastic or not. There is nothing like being All Fucked Up to bring out the blood lust in a Grumpy Other Person. You are now not only Suddenly Indignant but vulnerable, and the Grumpy Other People will move in rapidly for the kill, erasing your bank records, disconnecting your DSL service, or even sending you to wait in another long line, all while hiding an evil smirk. You become a stand-in for the evil Fiucked Up Shit of an Insitution which they hate and against which they are powerless due to the extortionary device of a paycheck. Quickly you become powerless against them and the Grumpy Other People revel in your powerlessness, gloating and frolicking and mocking you as the hapless projection of their own repressed and hated powerlessness against the Insitution.


Exactly. This leads immediately to a Vicious Cycle, such as Hassling Endlessly with My Insurance Company, or Completely Unable to Get Technical Support to Fix the Problems with My Goddamn Fucking Computer, and so on. These kinds of vicious cycles are incredibly common and you must avoid them or suffer terrible, terrible ongoing bouts of Sudden Indignation.

I had no idea it was so serious. How can I avoid this terrible prospect?

There are three easy ways:

1) Adjust your Expectation Correlate. Expect the Other People who work for Institutions to be Grumpy. Slyly manipulate them with clever weapons such as politeness, sympathy, patience, and understanding. Align yourself with their silent struggle against the Fucked Up Shit of an Institution they work for, subliminally encouraging them to strike a satisfying yet useless blow for personal freedom by subverting the Institution in your favor by giving you a driver's license, or submitting your claim for reimbursement, or actually fixing your computer. Make your cause their cause - now that you know what their cause really is - and manipulate the holy living fuck out of them until they are whistling happily and handing out freebies like an extra month's service at no cost. This kind of ruthless manipulation and steely-eyed confronation with reality makes everyone happy and improves the overall health of the world.

Imagine the surprise and admiration of your friends when you GET EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT from a gigantic Insitution like the IRS. You'll become unexpectedly popular in no time! (By the way, consistent practice of this technique does lower your personal Inherent Propensity Towards Grumpiness factor.)

2) Hide your Sudden Indignation. Sometimes you don't feel like dealing with reality and you'd much prefer to become Suddenly Indignant. This is fine. Simmer, stew, boil, and steam (cooking metaphors go naturally with Sudden Indignation) but LIE ABOUT IT. PRETEND you are being very nice to the idiot you are dealing with. Make your sarcasm so subtle that even you can barely understand it and it whooshes right over the head of the luckless Institutional employee you are dealing with. If you are good enough at lying, this works just as well as adjusting your Expectation Correlate. Except that instead of experiencing happiness and whistling and all that other perky sunny crap you get to experience Self-Righteous Malicious Glee at outsmarting the dreaded Institution. Your call.

Bonus Tip: Silent Self-Righteous Malicious Glee is often even more fun than Loud Self-Righteous Malicious Glee which often sounds a lot like Defensively Self-Righteous Malicious Glee and makes all your friends think you are defensive, self-righteous and malicious. Just a thought.

3) Just become Suddenly Indignant, get frustrated, and then slink away defeated before any serious damage is done. This is, in some ways, the most practical and commonly used technique. Sometimes you can't be realistic and ungrumpy or even be Grumpy and lie about it, because your own personal level of having to deal with Fucked Up Shit is so high that even with a low Inherent Propensity Towards Grumpiness factor you are all the way over into the red zone and you're just going to have to get All Fucked Up. When this happens, don't panic, just flail helplessly, give up, go wait in the other long line, and mutter to yourself about how if there were a fistfight between you and any of the idiots at the DMV you could easily take them all out. No harm done.

Final Bonus Tip: If there is anybody at the Institution you are dealing with that is oh, say 6'4" and 250 pounds of pure muscle or who looks like they might be carrying a weapon, mutter your remarks about fistfights and taking people out very, very quietly.

That's it. Go now, and conquer the Insitution of your choice.

More FAQs about our amazing Society...


Vocabulary Words from Today's Rant:

Fucked Up Shit

Other People

Emotions! What the fuck are they and why do they frequently put me in a bad mood?

Social Inhibition Mechanism


More FAQs about

How do I get my FAQ to qualify for

Will I get in trouble with my mother if she finds me at this site?

Who the hell is behind this site? Who are you, anyway?


The I am Making This Up Disclaimer

The Scientific Disclaimer

The I Don't Know What I Am Talking About Disclaimer

The This is No Substitute for Professional Help Disclaimer

The Don't Sue Me Unless You Really Really Really Want to Disclaimer

The This Site is Not Endorsed by Anyone Disclaimer

Bonus! Your FAQ here

copyright 2003