Wow, Oct. 1 and both baseball teams are still playing. In the final two weeks, I kept saying, “I wouldn’t bet on the White Sox making the playoffs, but if they make it, I wouldn’t be against them.” Oh what the hell, let’s have a City Series. The world’s coming to an end anyway.

Speaking of which, we have lots of reasons to obsess in October–baseball playoffs, presidential election, collapsing economy. It doesn’t get better than that for a society of obsessives. The question is: Can obsessives obsess about more than one obsession at a time? By definition, obsessing implies “to the exclusion of all other considerations.”

Sox fans are a little more relaxed. They didn’t expect to get here. This is gravy. Plus, they have a world championship tucked in their belts. Cub fans, on the other hand, are likely to explode. In the topsy-turvy world of predicting Chicago sports, it seems almost inevitable that the Sox and Cubs will meet in the series. But one never knows.

As for the election, things are even more topsy-turvy. Will Bullwinkle J. Palin fall flat on her antlers in Thursday’s debate or pull another rabbit out of her hat? Will McCain stop self-destructing and reverse his freefall, aided by his Republican colleagues? Will any of it matter if the entire economy dissolves before our very eyes?

Who would have thought we’d ever live through an Apocalypse? If we all survive October, we may be able to survive anything (except maybe another four years of a Republican living in the White House).

As for the economic crisis, how about a total “do-over”? We practice debt forgiveness for certain Third World countries. Why not this country? Let the air out of the balloon. No harm, no foul. Start over. Only this time with better regulation.

And put the Republican Party in the penalty box for the next two or three elections. We can’t afford these clowns anymore.

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