In order to promote his upcoming performance at Bumbershoot, Michael Stipe, of the revered rock 'n' roll group R.E.M., has graciously agreed to put any animosity toward our paper aside and return to writing his former and very popular Stranger column, What's My Gripe? by Michael Stipe. We appreciate his generosity and heartily welcome back Mr. Stipe to the Stranger family. -- eds.

Okay, so I finally got my own box at Safeco Field? And it SUCKS! First of all, I like to bring a picnic basket to the game, right? And EVERY SINGLE TIME they have to search through it at the gate! Hey, I'm Michael Stipe -- okay guys? I'm not carrying a gun! Second, what do I have to do to get a little privacy? The whole reason I bought a box is so I could watch the game in peace, but the wet bar caddy (or whatever you call those guys) is constantly asking me if I want anything! It's really annoying! All I'm asking is for 15 minutes... just 15 minutes without somebody wondering if I want another Tanqueray and juice! Third, even though I'm Michael Stipe, the box they gave me has absolutely ridiculous sight lines. It's right off third base, which means (a) there's no way in hell a foul ball's gonna make it up to me, and (b) I have to stare at Russ Davis' ass the entire time! When are they gonna drop this jerk? His average is only .259, and he makes more errors than a dog performing calculus! Safeco Field's got all that money, and they can't do anything about the annoying staff, the sight lines, and Russ Davis? I CALL BULLSHIT ON THAT!

-- Michael Stipe