Charlie gets snubbed by the Phillies "Phrenetic."
Generally a normal person 10 months out of the year, the Phrenetic comes out only during baseball season, and starts off innocently enough. It's fun to root for the home team, especially when the home team is good! But as the playoffs loom, and the sports pages speculate, the Phrenetic finds themself thinking about baseball more and more. They start wearing Phillies apparel -- first once a week, then Friday-Sunday, and start talking about things like Chase Utley's grip, and the pitcher's (what's his name again?) curveball. Then, when playoffs finally arrive, they find themselves glued to their television sets 20 hours a week, showing up to work blurry-eyed and groggy the next morning because the game ran til 2 a.m. This is the beginning stages of Phreneticism.
Phreneticism. Poor animals.
The full-fledged phrenetic emerges completely during the game itself, where each strike or out pierces their soul with the force of 10,000 knives -- causing them to grip their beer glass tightly, and hold their breath each time a pitch is thrown. Loss can result in angry fist-pounding, beer-spilling and general grouchery -- while a victory means whooping, hollering, running into the streets, and the insatiable desire to climb street lamps and honk your car horn incessantly.
World Series '08 Broad Street celebration. More photos here.
As long as their team keeps winning, the Phrenetic is great to be around -- they're buoyant, and excited, and likely to buy people celebratory drinks. Should the Phils lose, they're liable to call out of work sick the next morning. Non-sporty compadres might think this behavior is a cop-out -- but the truth is, the Phrenetic should be nowhere near normally-functioning society on such occasions. It's best to leave them curled up in their Ryan Howard jersey, sleeping in their Phillies sheets, as they dream of happier seasons to come.