So Do You Sudoku?

Hello. My name is Doug and I’m an addict. There I said it. It feels good to get that off my chest. I have a problem and I need help. I’ve been seeing this series of numbers everywhere I go. They are 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. If it were just such a simple thing then it wouldn’t be that bad. Think about it! Just ten minutes of Sesame Street and I’d have my counting fix for the day. The Count would be my hero. Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha. (Imagine lightening!) But for an addict like me it is not that simple. Sometimes the numbers are 4, 7, 2, 8, 3, 5, 9, 1, 6. The other day I found 2, 9, 4, 7, 6, 5, 8, 3, 1. Then there was this series that looked like

1 4 7

2 5 9

8 6 3.

Yes. I admit it! I am addicted to that stupid Sudoku square. I can’t help it. Every time I see a nine square grid, I start filling it in with nine numbers. The problem became apparent the other day when I was trying to play tick-tack-toe with my son and developed this nervous twitch in my left hand. My right hand was writing O’s while my left hand wanted to erase the X’s and O’s and fill in the numbers. I just barely made it through one game… and lost! Curse you Sudoku! Now my son thinks he’s smarter than dad!

At that point I decided to take inventory of how desperate the situation had become. I started to count the number of Sudoku books I have. One…look! There is an easy one. I’ll just do it real quick. Put a 6 there, an 8 there. Where does that 3 go? And then there are sevens in those two rows so that row needs a seven there… O.K. So I couldn’t even get past my first book without getting sucked in to that greedy grid. Now what do I do? Is there a Sudoku Anonymous? Do they get together on Wednesday evenings and do word searches and crosswords to keep their minds off the numbers? Are there support groups to help people such as myself who are trying to quit but do not have the willpower to give up cold turkey? Cold roast beef, maybe…

I think this is a suspicious circumstance. Consider the trade imbalances around the U.S. Now look at those who are spending their mental energy counting to nine on little grids instead of counting the shipping containers coming in from overseas. And from where did Sudoku come? Coincidence? I think not. Could this be a masterful manipulation on the part of a group of Yakuza to gain criminal control over the minds of Americans? Is this a creative corporate control contrivance from Tokyo to distract us? This one thing is certain: If Congress starts putting tariffs on Sudoku books, I will lead the protest marches with tattooed Japanese gangsters on my right and suited Sony execs on my left.

Help me!