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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. → 

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No one wants to hear excuses, I know, but but but! My class started. And these students! It's all their fault. With their demands on my attention. Distracting me with their smarts and charms. I think I love them. I also loved my first group of students, of course. Oh, hell, I love all you people. A couple of you I merely like, but that could change at any moment.

So hey, hello! Who has the flu? Not us, suckers! What we do have is a raging case of hypochondria. So many of our friends and neighbors are succumbing, day after day, that every sneeze or cough or unusual fatigue has one of us moaning OH NO HERE IT COMES. Taking our (normal) temperatures. Running out to buy chicken-soup ingredients before the aches hit. Stocking up on cough drops. Etc. We're annoying, but fortunately we understand each other, and even more fortunately, we don't have the flu. (Yet.) (My legs feel funny.)

If you have it, or have had it, I am so terribly sorry. There is nothing worse. I've had the flu twice in my life. The first time, I tried going back to work after two weeks and fainted (fortunately while sitting) on the F train. I regained consciousness only to find myself face-down on the subway seat (gross). When I managed to sit up, two young women were giving me the "sick or drunk?" questioning look. I believe I saluted them. Did that answer your question, ladies?

The moral of the story here is, if you're sick, give yourself plenty of time before considering mass transportation. And once you're out there, maybe pin a note to yourself. A note that says "Not Drunk." That's the note I wear every day. I'm not sure where I'm going with this. I'm not drunk right now, I swear. You'll have to take my word for it, since you can't see my pinned note.


Reader Comments (23)

this is hysterical !

January 24, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjoanlvh

Suuuuuuure you're not drunk. ;)

January 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDaddy Scratches

Hi Alice,
It's me, Hildie, your former student! I love you too! And I did not get the flu even though several of my children did. They are inferior weaklings, though.

January 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHildie

Hildie! Hello! I'm glad you were triumphant over your children's illnesses. They're so weak! Bwa ha ha.

January 24, 2013 | Registered CommenterAlice

I had the flu. I'm still exhausted and coughing three weeks later. I had a friend walk my dog because, look, YOU try walking a not-quite-two-year-old dog when you have the flu, it's not happening. She's been an excellent nursemaid, though. Hasn't eaten all the tissues.

January 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMeg

Oh, Meg, no! I'm sorry. I do NOT want to try walking a young dog in that condition, no sirree. I'm sure I could barely manage my senior-citizen dog, who's happy to walk a half-block and back.

January 24, 2013 | Registered CommenterAlice

I've passed out on public transit more than once but never so dramatically. It's the rocking plus extreme sleep deprivation. The note never occurred to me--great idea! There was a brilliant Japanese sign you could actually put over your whole head that told people which stop to wake you up at.

I hope you keep doing this class so I can someday take it--preferably next Summer. (Not this summer.)

January 24, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterozma

I love it when people are weird like you.

January 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEnid Melanie

You are hilarious. I definitely need to wear a "Not Drunk" note at all times. One time I made a joke to my daughter's nursery school teachers about drinking during the day (remind me, why do I ever talk out loud to people?) and then I kept tripping over my feet and then I became paranoid that they really did think I was drunk and the more paranoid I got, the clumsier I became. I'm pretty sure they were watchful of me all year.

January 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoyce

I started laughing at the salute, and the note pinned to you is even funnier. Like I'm now picturing a Tina Fey sitcom moment, no lie.

January 25, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermjb

Why not go with something a little more permanent, and order a classy little "Not Drunk" button from cafepress or zazzle? That's what I would do, because I'm so clumsy I would tear my note on the first day. Which probably wouldn't do much to support my not drunk status.

January 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmber

I once passed out at a bar at about 5:15pm while drinking Diet Coke. Nope, not drunk. Just going through a phase of randomly-passing-out. Not my best moment. And I don't think the "Not Drunk" sign would have helped, given I was at a bar.

January 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

Be careful pinning notes to your chest, the girls probably have PTSD.

January 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnne Phillips

Another former student here checking in to say 'hey!' My writing dropped off during the holidays, so I've been trying to get back in the saddle. But the steed, he's HUGE.

I admit I experienced a twinge of jealousy when you said you love your current students. Then I took a deep breath and told myself WE WILL ALWAYS BE MRS. BRADLEY'S FIRST CLASS! No one can take that away from us.

January 26, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdgm

Nice try, but if you think I'm going to admit to not having the flu because I got the flu vaccine so basically I am now immortal, it's not going to happen, because I know they're listening to what I say on Mt. Olympus.

January 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMarinka

I'm not one of your students, and now I'm worried that I'm one of those people you merely like. I laughed out loud at the "not drunk" sign, so I'm hoping that's enough to vault me into the higher category.

January 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMJ

Pfft, MJ, it takes a lot less than that to make me love you. Being worried that you're not loved, for one.

January 28, 2013 | Registered CommenterAlice

I am so envious of all of Mrs. Bradley's current students. Heck, the chance to be a student again was a big reason I signed up. I enrolled in graduate school for almost the same reason (back in the '90s) and it was an experience cost me thousands, and I'm sure none of my grad school teachers remembers my name, much less loves me, so The Practice of Writing was quite the value-added experience.

January 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterReid

The flu has been bad this year, my husband works at the schools and he said that kids have been dropping left and right with the flu. Luckly our family have not got it yet. Hopefully your luck and mine holds out

January 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNiki

Sure drinking and being dizzy is the worst thing you can do in this case.

January 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

The video interview between you and Jessie was thoughtful, honest, and inspiring. How about a video of you talking to us, your students, on some topic? It would not have to be long, but it would make you "real" to us even more than your amazing (helpful, funny, challenging) written lessons. No idea of how technically difficult or costly this might be, and you have probably already considered it and decided against it for some reason. Anyway, thanks for your course. I look forward to seeing what the lesson and the prompt will be each time.

February 1, 2013 | Registered CommenterBonnie

Hey Bonnie, thanks! I did consider doing that, and will try to see if I can get it done before the end of the class.

My problem is my husband. My professional-film-editor husband. He gets his paws all over these videos, makes 'em look great and makes me sound smart, but in the process spends an ungodly amount of time on them and forgoes sleep and food. Then I'm like "just let me do it on my own!" and he's all "I must make it perfect for you, my one true love!" (I realize there could be worse problems.)

Aaand I just realized we're not on the TPOW site. And the non-students are wondering what we're talking about.

February 1, 2013 | Registered CommenterAlice

This is hysterical. I cannot make sense of why people do not take flu shot seasonally. It really can go along away to help you during the flu season. Most awesome website for free classified ads

February 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVincent

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