Chapter One: Hate

I recently suffered a major attack. No, I wasn't targeted by an Israeli military helicopter, and it wasn't a stroke or a heart attack or another anxiety attack. It was baseball--I just flipped out, man! I completely lost it. Witnesses told the press that I was ranting hysterically at a Little League game when I suddenly fell through the bleachers and began quivering like an epileptic, speaking in tongues. I've since realized that hating something I don't understand--baseball players, baseball fans, baseball stadiums, the seventh-inning stretch--is what brings on these fits of rage. I've thus reconciled myself to learn more about baseball so that I can hate it articulately and without crapping my pants.

Chapter Two: Hate revisited

I am the Commander in Chief of Jock Itch, for life, but due to a recurring ailment ("drunken outbursts," according to the police record), and as a safeguard against any future attacks, I'm promoting my shit-for-brains, baseball-obsessed friend Paul to the position of Second in Command of Baseball for Jock Itch. His responsibilities, once he stops eating his dingleberries, will include buffering me from any baseball news that may cause me to crap my pants (such as George Bush throwing out the first pitch) as well as making interesting presentations. This week Paul mentioned the obvious: The Mariners lost their first five games, which is a bad omen. He also mentioned the gross: When Ichiro strikes out or finds himself getting angry at his baseball bats, he takes them to his room and sleeps with them.

Chapter Three: Love, or "Yao Ming, do your thing!"

Love, thy balls be basketballs! The doctors warned me not to engage baseball for a few months, and luckily the NBA playoffs started last week so I've got something else to focus on. Like my hatred of Shaquille O'Neal. It's an all-encompassing, unreasonable hatred based on the fact that he can't dribble the basketball from one end of the court to the other, and he's as dumb as a bag of doorknobs. But again, things have changed since my near-death experience; I'm determined to find a way to better articulate how Shaq's belligerent dominance over the artful craft of basketball has damaged the game, instead of saying stupid things like, "I hope the Lakers (except for Gary Payton) take a long walk off a short dock into a lake of steaming piss."

jockitch@thestranger.com