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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

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Sleep Is
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Chicago Review Press

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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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How not to make a pot roast.

1. Chop two carrots, two celery stalks, and two onions.

2. Blinded and weeping from the onion fumes, avert your eyes while chopping. After all, you’ve done this a million times, you know where the knife is supposed to go—

3. Drop to ground, holding what’s left of thumb.

4. Hold thumb-remnant under running water. Marvel at the amount of blood.

5. Search counter for rest of thumb.

6. Realize all of thumb is attached; what you’ve done is create a meaty flap you can’t look at too closely without feeling nauseated.

7. Think about the words “meaty flap” and feel nauseated anyway.

8. Wrap thumb in paper towels and lie on floor for a minute. The cool, comforting floor.

9. Push dog away. Consider whether the dog smelled your blood and thought you were offering yourself as a tasty snack. Decide your dog never loved you—all those times he gazed upon you with those watery eyes, he was just thinking, “Someday you’ll slip up with that knife—and on that day…”

10. Push dog away. Repeat as necessary. Stupid dog.

11. Look at thumb. Get up to replace blood-soaked towels.

12. Lie on floor again. Feel sorry for yourself. First Ted Koeppel’s cruel, gratuitous rejection; now this.

13. Does anyone even watch ABC/Nightline? And what’s with all the “-line” shows? Dateline? Frontline? Is there another –line?

14. Look at thumb. Get up to replace blood-soaked towels.

15. Staggering to bathroom, swaddle thumb in Blue’s Clues Band-Aids.

16. As the vegetables (along with part of your body) are already chopped, decide to just finish the damn thing.

17. Heat 1/3 cup olive oil in a skillet.

18. Put 2.5-lb bottom round in skillet.

19. Apply ice to the teensy 2nd-degree burns covering your face and neck.

20. Brown meat while weeping softly to self.

21. Open bottle of wine ineptly, causing cork to break off.

22. Push rest of cork into bottle while cursing.

23. Consider drinking wine. Realize that child is sleeping now, but soon child will be awake, and a drunken and bleeding you will not be sympathetic to his needs.

24. Put stupid meat in stupid slow cooker.

25. Do the other dumb shit that you have to do to make goddamn pot roast. Turn on the fucking slow cooker.

26. Look at thumb. Stagger back to bathroom to replace blood-soaked Blue’s Clues Band-Aids.

27. Lurch toward bed for much-needed nap.

28. Hear child calling you from his crib, a full hour before he’s supposed to wake up; you had an understanding, damn it. Decide you hate child.

29. Remove child from crib. Child offers to kiss the boo-boo on your thumb. Decide you love child. Politely decline offer.

30. Wince as your child repeatedly kisses your ravaged thumb.

31. Attempt to entertain child for 4 hours, even as blood loss and pain takes its toll on your mood and energy level.

32. Enjoy overcooked pot roast with husband. Glare at him when he offers, “The extra thumb means extra yum!” Announce that you’ll be ordering take-out for the next two weeks.

Reader Comments (56)

oh oh.. one more. I once dropped a very sharp paring knife, and it landed quite securely--point down--in the top of my foot. that was worse than the fingers, to me.
March 8, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterdenise
March 12, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterGolden
I was chopping carrots to add to the slow cooker and my husband was standing around chortling to himself. When I asked him what was so funny about me slaving away at our dinner while he just stood around in his bathrobe he blurted out "Don't do a Finslippy!" Then, he laughed so hard he had to have a little lie down.

March 15, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterlynn
This is the funniest thing I have EVER read!
March 15, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterLeah
Ok, that's remarkably similar to my recipe for chopped onions with a Kyocera ceramic knife...those suckers cut too, especially when you're being very precise. ;]

Oh, and I used Lilo and Stitch bandaids because NexCare ones are better.

On the other hand (bad pun) I agree with skipping the browning. My slow cooker never minded it and apparently the braising is more important when you're gonna roast the thing in the oven. (Ask Alton Brown at

Oh, and it could have been worse. Just look at CNN:

Diner Finds Finger in Chili

Your family won't sue you. :]
March 24, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterSiriusGrrl
You probably won't read this comment since you posted this so long ago. I just discovered you via sac and am crying real tears while reading this pot roast post. So funny. Thanks.
March 30, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterMaureen

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