Procter & Gamble has reported increased absenteeism. Mechanics are seeing more and more engine damage due to people's failures to get their oil change. Wendy's restaurants in Cincinnati complain that people are ordering Big Macs and Whoppers at their stores more than ever. Bethesda Hospital has noticed an increase in insomnia cases from people who won't go to sleep for fear that it “might all end.”
What has the city all out of sorts? Call it Reds Fever.
It's one month into the season and the Cincinnati Reds have the best record in baseball at 18-8. They had more wins in the month of April than any previous Reds team in history. They have won or tied every series that they've played in so far, except for one. And they lead the defending division champions by one game and the defending league champions a game and a half.
And the city of Cincinnati doesn't know what to do with itself.
“After the Bengals went to the playoffs last fall, I thought it couldn't get any better,” says Cincinnati native Al Kayhol. “But now with the Reds winning too, my perception of reality has been destroyed. The other day I tried to take a shower in my dishwasher.”
Fans like Liz Beyin have seen their lifelong habits mysteriously forgotten. “I went to the game Monday and ordered 31 hot dogs,” Beyin said, “and I'm a vegetarian. PETA is definitely going to kick me out of the group now.”
Kayhol and Beyin are not alone in their befuddlement. Stories are all over the city about fans forgetting to put pants on before going to work, cutting their grass with scissors, and paying almost three dollars a gallon for gas.
“People in this city are in a total state of euphoria,” says clinical psychologist Dr. Iman Idyut. “They are doing things that you would never expect to see from normal citizens. And if the team keeps winning like they have been, we will likely see an increase in the amount of unusual behavior as the season goes on. People have lost all sense of who they are now that the local teams are winning.”
Dr. Idyut reminds people to be safe with their celebration and try to keep some perspective.
“The Reds' success is definitely something to be excited about. After so many years of suffering for their teams in this city, fans have the right to be joyful. But the important thing is to try to keep grounded in what is happening around you. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go walk my car and shave my bowling ball.”