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Friday 17th October

How treacly is the glue that drips through the brain of a morning! The snail has been ejected from the thorn, the lark mopes in its shadowy nest, nursing its wing bent during last night's revels, and the morn arrives like the last in a series of escalating doomsdays. I, like the strait-waistcoated inmates of Chicago and Boston, slept but fitfully last night, and today, after hitching the clips from the car battery to the tips of the toes and doing a kind of St. Vitus' jig in order to rise from my own deathbed, am now trudging, nay, shambling down the windswept streets, hollow-eyed, baying for blood, or failing that, the head of a sacrificial lamb on the end of a splintered stick.

Chicago's sporting problems are well known, from the moment that one of the less well-known denizens of Mrs. O'Leary's barn, a goat named William, possibly a tippler, kicked over the ivy outfield wall of Wrigley Field in 1727. The karmic results have been devastating. After viewing the video of this year's National League Championship Game 6, I am in complete agreement with Chicagoans that Jared from Subway must be hunted down and flayed alive. The gutters will run with honey vinaigrette spilt from his currently taut veins. Boston is another story, however. Its curse can be traced back to the fateful spring training day in 1945 when Ted Williams, the Splinter di tutti Splinters, chewed a bit too energetically whilst inhaling a balmy Florida breath of air, as the legend has it, and he inadvertently lodged a cross-section of a Baby Ruth bar in his windpipe and nearly went down with the ship. Things have never been the same. Today Bostonians awakened from their own Game 7 nightmare with the customary murderous rage in their hearts, usually set on something akin to a high simmer, now turned up to a full boil, and they too seek to free themselves from the hateful bonds of fate in the only way their prehistoric-imbued instincts tell them they can: in a blood-spattering berserker. Today in two metropolitan cesspools of misery, the wheels have begun to turn to their inevitable horrible conclusion: Jared must die.

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