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Let's Panic: The Book!

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How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant
who Will Ruin Your Body, Destroy Your Life, Liquefy Your Brain,
and Finally Turn You
into a Worthwhile
Human Being.

Written by Alice Bradley and Eden Kennedy

Some Books
I'm In...

Sleep Is
For The Weak

Chicago Review Press

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Let's Panic

The site that inspired the book!

At LET'S PANIC ABOUT BABIES, Eden Kennedy and I share our hard-won wisdom and tell you exactly what to think and feel and do, whether you're about to have a baby or already did and don't know what to do with it. → 

« Death! Sort of. | Main | And she didst have the sickness, and the sickness didst prevent her from tending to her blog. »

An Alice comes in many guises.

I am beset with work (the paying kind, not the baby kind), which is good, of course, except that I have neglected my poor little infant blog, and if I can’t take care of a 4-month-old blog, how can I ever expect to take care of a child?

Speaking of which!

I dislike it when people say, “I’m not sure if I’m going to have a baby, because, you know, I can’t even take care of a plant.” Because 1) one does not generally have the depth of feeling for a plant that one is biologically compelled to have for one’s offspring, and 2) a baby is not a plant, only more so. They’re actually sort of different from plants. Get out your biology textbook, put it side by side with your horticulture textbook, and study for a while. I’ll be here waiting.

And now I supply an anecdote!

(What do you think of these segues? I’m working on creating the most awkward segues imaginable.)

(You know what’s a great word? Segue.)

Saturday morning. The doorbell rings. It’s a large and merry band of religious proselytizers! They implore my kind, yet Jewish, husband to accept Jesus, but he politely demurs. Then they stand outside our window and jabber at each other about Jesus, and how great it is to love Jesus, and oh, Jesus Jesus Jesus, if he were there right then they’d want to give him a GREAT BIG HUG because they love him THAT MUCH. Now, seeing as how they’re leaning against our window and talking so loudly they might as well come on in, pour themselves some coffee, and wrench our unholy bagels right out of our blasphemous hands, I have the nerve to ask them if they might leave. I heretically lean toward the window and godlessly ask, “Do you think you could walk away now?”

“We’re doing the Lord’s work!” one of the proselytizers exclaims. “We’re here in Christ!”

“That’s swell. But it’s time to be somewhere else in Christ,” I say (more or less; it was probably something less clever than that. But this is my blog! Here I can be clever! Hello!).

At that, there is huffing and muttering among the group, but they eventually shuffle away—about five inches. That’s five inches more than Christ would have wanted!

A few minutes later, I’m leaving my apartment, off for a few hours of (undevout) freedom from the (heathen) child, when I pass the group of proselytizers (notice how I’m subtly not mentioning their religion, so as not to alienate any readers who might share that particular faith! Do you love me? You do!), who are now standing in the middle of the sidewalk, DOING THE LORD’S WORK by blocking everyone’s path, when the woman I had verbally tussled with grabs one of the child-proselytizers by the shoulders, turns him toward me, and said, “A satan comes in many guises.”

Does anyone know what "a satan" is? I am, of course, intimately familiar with Satan, but "a" Satan? What, I'm not good enough to be the real thing? Jesus.

Reader Comments (60)

i had some ladies of the jesus persuasion catch me in the driveway a few weeks ago. i got rid of them pretty quickly by threatening to vomit on them. i just told them i was feeling ill & was pregnant (i actually was at the time -just not very visibly so, like the fat cow i am now) and they practally shooed me into the house to lie down & put up my feet. this method was so effective that i plan to use it well into the future.
May 19, 2004 | Unregistered Commenterperl
Oh, I know the wonder of the early morning religious prosthelytizers (sp?). When in Brooklyn, I lived less than a mile from Jehovah's Witness Central, and they were ready and rarin' to convert! (Just guessing that these are the folks unsuccessful in talking you out of your Satan Ways.)

Now I live in Arizona, and it's the same story, just substitute the Mormons. And there's not even any fun-looking Watchtower building here.
May 19, 2004 | Unregistered CommenterMartha
If it really was Jeh's Witlesses (heehee--I crack me up), then the convenient thing is, if you cut them badly, then they often die because they can't get transfusions ... So just send 'em off to the Herald Sq. area and you've probably seen the last of them.Hooboy--looks like I'm turning into a satan after all! Like my new guise? TJ Maxx--you should go!
May 19, 2004 | Unregistered Commenterjilbur
I'm pretty sure you're not a satan, because satans have the sex parties which you are not going to.

Also, that plant/baby analogy is number 2 on my pet peeve list, right below the pet/baby analogy. I wrote a blog post about it. Wanna hear it? Well, it goes like this:
May 19, 2004 | Unregistered Commentersac
I kill plants and goldfish, but not children (yet). As for Jews, however: a Jehovah's Witness once explained to me in great detail how Jews killed and ate their own babies. So my question to jilbur is this: if you cut a Jehovah's Witness, will she not bleed? And if she's a hemophiliac, because generations of her family were afraid to marry outside their own small circle of believers, will she not bleed to death? And will this eventually solve the problem of our blocked outer-borough sidewalks?
May 19, 2004 | Unregistered CommenterMrs. Kennedy
By the way, Sac's post is brilliant.
May 19, 2004 | Unregistered CommenterMrs. Kennedy
I'm supposed to kill and eat her? Damn. By now she is probably *way* tough. Plus, she's only recently gotten adept at some routine household tasks.

Guess I'll just have to make another. *sigh*
May 19, 2004 | Unregistered Commenterjilbur
Re: Things I thought were coy ways of announcing a pregnancy

I was tragically misled by the last line of the "mothers must be judged" entry. After listing the multitude of non-helpful suggestions that mothers of new babies receive, you then said "I'm sure I'll have more in a few months." In a few months? What could Alice be doing in a few months? Perhaps she'll be having a baby! And then the thing today, about how could you take care of a child, well, I suppose I just conveniently overlooked the fact that you already have a child.

Your mother reads your blog? Really? My husband casually mentioned to my mother that I'd been writing, and I just about died thinking that she'd intuit that I have a blog and she'd find me on google and discover that I called her a "garden whore". That would be bad.
May 19, 2004 | Unregistered CommenterSummer
My mother not only reads my blog, she actually mentioned it in her Christmas letter. So geriatric WASPs of every stripe are Zapruder-ing every goddamn word.

Posts like this are why I love Quakers, because they're soooo not into conversion. They just sorta sit in the corner and dream their dreamy dreams.
May 19, 2004 | Unregistered CommenterDoug
This is totally a tangent thing but I know you'll forgive me.

Logan worked with a Jehovah's Witness and he started calling them the "Jay-Dubs"

The 'Jay-Dub' actually thought it was funny at least but it brings to mind all sorts of funny and incongruent images.

I must be dense also, because I never sensed another baby but then maybe that's because I'm entirely sterile and I think everyone is living a life that looks remarkably like mine.
May 19, 2004 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa
My father not only reads my blog, but keeps his own. He once wrote about static in his pants on cold Vermont mornings. It made me worry less about what I write.

I think that they were Jehovah's, as well. I used to live next door to Jehovah hub-- and the visitors to my house seemed very similar, except I don't remember them carrying bibles. Dooce, they definitely weren't Mormons, now that I think about it. I seem to remember the missionaries who also hung in my hood wearing nametags and being far less pushy.
May 20, 2004 | Unregistered Commentercorie
Funny thing about some folks "spreading the love of Christ." Seems like they always forget to practice what they preach. It's all well and good if you join the bandwagon, but if you don't, sorry, no love for you. It must be a real jolt to be that self-righteous.
May 20, 2004 | Unregistered Commenteroffonoff
I just got my order for Orwell's 1984 and Animal Farm from Powell's. It came in one book. On the back, with all the other niceties, is this quote from Time: "There are no replacements for a George Orwell, just as there are no replacements for a Bernard Shaw or a Mark Twain." Perhaps, also, there are no replacements for a satan.
May 20, 2004 | Unregistered CommenterRita
While I was moving into our new house (see URL), I was approached, in my new neighborhood, by some finger-lickin' good-lookin' Mormon boys in crisp black suits. They were probably doing their two (?) years worth of going 'round botherin' every damn person they ran into about converting. Might I also reiterate, they were hot? Anyhow, they asked me if I needed any help moving, to which I responded, and this is the honest-to-god truth, "I don't accept help from Mormons".

Well, they looked at each other and opened their mouths, and then looked back at me, sized me up one last time and walked away.

To this day, I don't understand... Was it something I said? ;) Although now I wish they had called me a satan. That would have been rad!
May 20, 2004 | Unregistered CommenterSarah
The last time the Jehovah's Witnesses knocked on my door, I opened it a little too quickly, glared right and left as if I was making sure they were alone, and said, "I'm so glad you're here for the sacrifice. Where's the chicken?" And they left. Rather quickly, sadly, as I had a whole, "sacrifice to the devil" schtick worked up.
May 20, 2004 | Unregistered Commentertoni
Was it Kirk Cameron? Where they followers of the "Way of the Master" ?

Did I win?
May 21, 2004 | Unregistered Commenterrobb
About eight years ago, I was recovering from my wedding and three-day honeymoon when some religious men of some church knocked on my door. Assuming it was UPS with more reasons for me to write thank-you notes, I answered the door. One of the dark-suited, bible-toting men asked if they could discuss their faith with me. I panicked and said "just a minute" and raced away from the door.

I scrambled around until inspiration struck... grabbing a scarf from my dresser, I wrapped it around my head and went back to the door.

"You have to leave, now!" I hissed urgently. "My husband doesn't allow me to speak with other men!"

"But..." said the lead Man.

"You must GO! Please, I'll get in trouble!" And I slammed the door.

I noticed the same men ringing doorbells on my block all summer long.... but they never returned to mine.

Score one for the Jewish heathens!JT
May 21, 2004 | Unregistered CommenterJT
it would almost be worth it to make a pile of VHS copies of The Big Leibowski to distribute to door to door missionaries: "I can't talk now, my brothers and sisters, but take this and watch it for it is the work of the Lord, our Savior. Truly the Dude is as meek as a Lamb!"
May 21, 2004 | Unregistered Commenterrobb
Had to be Jehovah's witnesses--they're the only ones I've ever observed bringing children with them. Poor kids, not even allowed to celebrate their BIRTHDAYS.

May 21, 2004 | Unregistered Commentergiddy
Wow, you know, there's lot of that good ol' time religion in your blog lately....I think maybe Jesus is speaking to you. I might very well be A Satan too, as I do partake of the birth control and support John Kerry.
May 21, 2004 | Unregistered CommenterLunasea
Lol!The first time I had them at my door they interrupted me while I was reading, so I carried my book downstairs. The man standing there saw the title, "Godel, Escher, Bach" and asked, "Is that numerology?" I decided to enlighten him, and I started in cheerfully explaining the book point by point. After about five minutes he excused himself and fled. :-p

The other time my son got to the door before me and asked them, "Is that Bible-stuff? My mommy reads Bible stories to me, and I think they're great!" I managed to push him back and explained that we're quite happy with our own religion, but-thank-you-very-much-for-caring.I think we must have looked an awful lot like scary homeschooling fundamentalists, because those two also excused themselves quickly and never came back. My son was disappointed because he wanted to show them his story Bible.

I'm so frightening, even the religious proslytizers run from me! ;-)
May 22, 2004 | Unregistered Commenterdarby
Approaching husband at the door:"Babe?! I've got the candles lit and my cape on, I just need you to slit the goat's oh! Hello!"
May 23, 2004 | Unregistered Commenterdayment
Oh God, I'm laughing my ass off here!!! I work in a library and they come in here all the time. I guess there's just something about us librarians, we're crying out to be saved! I hear the chicks in the Children's room are sacrificing children during storytime. Ahhh, good times!
May 24, 2004 | Unregistered CommenterLindsey
Spouting nonsensical Latin in a nu-metal voice works, as well.

"Hi, can we speak to you about Jesus?"

"Dol-ethroc! Demiatra locus contempre!! Voltupica umBASA!!!"

May 24, 2004 | Unregistered Commentersac
I found the link to your blog from DotMoms and this is the first post of yours I've read. As for the plant analogy, I for one am glad it's untrue as every plant I've ever had has died at the mere sight of me.

I laughed so hard at the image of the entire scenario with the "merry band of religious proselytizers". And if you're a satan I will surely be back to read more posts as you must have a lot of juicy material ;)
May 24, 2004 | Unregistered CommenterJulie

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