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The morning after the morning after

| Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2006

I am glad to see you. It is always a good idea to seek professional help. Many people are coming to us psychiatrists for help overcoming fanaticus blackandgoldus . As you laymen would say, Steelers mania.

Perhaps you have had some of these symptoms. Yes• I see. This morning you were singing "Pittsburgh's going to the Super Bowl." Waving one of those Horrible Towels. Not wearing a shirt. And painting yourself black and gold.

Perhaps that was not the right behavior for your annual report to the CEO.

Yes, the Super Bowl was a wonderful time. But surely it is time to return to reality, is it not?

Here, take a tissue. That's all right. Many people in Pittsburgh are emotional today. You're probably screaming along Fifth Avenue for the parade right now.

Still, we must face reality, yes• The Steelers cannot always be winning the Super Bowl. They ... please, calm down. Put down the letter opener, please. Perhaps they will win again next year.

Let us try some reality therapy. Just look at this newspaper.

You may not believe this, but other things have been happening in the news in recent weeks.

You have heard of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, yes?

No, he is not a cornerback for the Cleveland Browns. He is president of Iran. He is what we in the psychiatric profession refer to as "a total nutjob." Many people think his country is building atomic bombs.

Now, now, that's all right. I'm sorry, that was too much, too soon. Let us look at some other news. Let's see. Violence in the Mideast. Bird flu. Global warming. Budget deficits, trade deficits, squabbles in Washington.

I know, we will look at the local news. Oh. They're going to build a huge, ugly casino in Pittsburgh. And they're going to dig a tunnel under a river for hundreds of millions of dollars, even though there are a dozen bridges over that river.

And this says that just in the last nine months, Allegheny County lost 83 manufacturing plants. Mmm.

Can I share something with you• Now that I have given it some thought, I'm not so certain now that reality is all that wonderful.

How does that song go again• "Pittsburgh's going to the Super Bowl ..."

Sing it again for me. And when you are done, perhaps you'll be so kind as to show me how to wave that Horrible Towel.

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