Home - Top Row


Home - Bottom Row

Let's Panic: The Book!

Order your copy today!

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

Home - Middle Row

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. → 

« Soon they will be gone, and I will dance upon their eensy graves. | Main | The answers! My god, the answers! »

Tartar-sauce-loving witches will dislike me after this one.

I am sorry for the my six-day absence, but I couldn’t write, as I was dying.

Late in the week I was overcome with a malaise so overpowering that my eyes would slam shut during dinner (a time when I am normally quite animated, as I am being fed—or more accurately, feeding myself, which I can do now because I’m a big big girl) and I would be overcome with the need to put my head on the table, and then I would, and I’d get tartar sauce in my hair and my husband would have to excuse himself to retch quietly in the backyard.

(Note to literalists: we don’t really have tartar sauce at dinner. And my husband usually retches right in front of me, to teach me an important lesson.)

(Not that there’s anything wrong with tartar sauce. I just can’t eat it, or look at it. Or think about it.)

Walking up the stairs became an insulting chore. My skin began to ache, which was completely uncalled for. And worst of all—adding injury to injury—my eyes wobbled whenever I tried to use the computer. I couldn’t read the words on the screen! How would I live! The words! I needed the words!

I used exclamation points like this in my daily narrative to my husband, who (correctly) thought maybe I should go to a doctor. I refused and instead looked up “sudden fatigue dizziness” and thus learned that I suffer from shin-byung and that soon I will become possessed by my ancestral spirits. I can only hope that Uncle Lou is kinder to my body than he was to his own. Lay off the saus-eege, Lou, you hear?

Anyhow: “Stop looking up culture-bound syndromes!” my husband demanded in his standard manly baritone and then begged me (in sort of a high tenor/alto II) to go a doctor. Instead I decided I was suffering eyestrain and that I should lay off the computer, even though it is my only friend, as I am on it approximately 35 hours a day.

This lasted 47 minutes, all of which I spent gasping on the floor.

And then the next day I woke up sick. Wow, wasn’t that a story? I am going to publish it. I shall call it “Dizziness Isn’t Impending Death but a Bad Cold.” Or maybe “Being Sick Sometimes Takes You By Surprise.” The New Yorker will buy it. Rich! I’ll be rich! Short story writers are incredibly wealthy, as we know.

Where was I? Yeah, so, virus, boring. Just your run of the mill, swollen-gland, painful-head syndrome. The real kicker was when Henry woke up the same morning looking like he had been in a prize fight, and lost. He stood by our bed and cried out, “I have only one eye left!” And then I got out of bed and reeled around, weeping, “Sick! I feel sick!” And poor Scott, who you may recall has a mild aversion to pink eye, shoved his head under his pillow and time-traveled to 1672, where they burned people like me as witches and pink eye was illegal because only witches got it.

The End.

Reader Comments (50)

The drama. How I love it!

Okay, and gross: tartar sauce. Ewwww. I've never been able to eat the stuff.
August 15, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterjes
Sorry your feeling poorly, Alice, but I have bigger fish to fry so I'm hijacking your comments like the tarter sauce loving bitch that I am just to say HEY! All fans of Granny Vibe listen up! Her son Finnegan has put up a paypal link to help her out with some unexpected medical expenses and the obligatory therapeutic shoe fund. Use the following linkage to show Granny some love!

Thanks, Alice! Hope you feel better soon.
August 15, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterBeth in Michigan
Give the fools their tar tar sauce!
August 15, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMr. Burns
Mmmm... tartar sauce.
August 15, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMike
So funny. And: I think I love you.

August 15, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJB
Hope you feel better soon! Being sick in the summertime is, like, so unfair. :-)

(BTW, total porn spam in your pink eye post comments. Dang spammers.)
August 15, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterBeth
Here's a pillow .

Go lay down right now.
August 15, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterDorothy
Placing my fish-cauldron-stirring-ladle down long enough to take the above-grade road less traveled and wish you continued health...
August 15, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterTartar-Sauce-Loving Witch
Oh Alice! This is why we love you so much. Because you make us GLAD they haven't yet invented a cure for the common cold.
August 15, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterSassafrassa
Awww. Sorry you guys are feeling crappy. Henry's just about the cutest damn thing ever. Feel better soon.
August 15, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJ
That's how I feel about mayonnaise.
August 15, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterLeland
Tart Sauce is a major food group and a pillar of the food pyramid. I know, pyramids don't have pillars, but if they did, they would be made of tarter sauce.
August 15, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJeff
Tarter Sauce is a major food group and a pillar of the food pyramid. I know, pyramids don't have pillars, but if they did, they would be made of tarter sauce.
August 15, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJeff
I posted twice for emphasis. Not because I am a technical idiot who can't post a simple comment, if that is what you are thinking. And I know some of you are. So stop.
August 15, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJeff
The maladies with no names are always the scariest. Fortunately I have...had (just retired. Sob.) a wonderful physician who, when I had this very thing earlier this year gave it a name for me so that I could stop worrying about it. Something about spontaneous dizzy something. Anyway, it was comforting. So let's just say you have that.

Feel better.
August 15, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMom101
Well, all I can say is at least you don't have Genital Retraction Taxon! Whew!! (Where did you even FIND that site? Do people really HAVE some of those things?!?)
August 15, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterLisa
Tartar sauce is like willingly putting vomit on your food. The same goes for 1000 island dressing.

Alice, how I adore you. Feel better.
August 15, 2006 | Unregistered Commentersamantha Jo Campen
If I was paid a nickel for every time someone demanded that I stop looking up culture-bound syndromes...I'd be rich. Hope you're feeling better soon.
August 15, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterKarl
Can't you use tartar sauce to shine silver?

Now there is something to ponder whilst putting it on your food.
August 16, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterKari
So glad you are back.
August 16, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterbellabugs_mom
So let me get this straight.... you hate tartar sauce, and it makes your husband retch.... so why would it EVER be on the dinner table? Why? Ever?

It's things like this that keep me up nights.

This, and insomnia.
August 16, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMarcheline
does it help to know that you are officially the funniest person alive? i am dying at this post. the "standard manly baritone." the inability to look at or think about tartar sauce. the time travel to 1672. all of it! hee!

thanks, alice.
August 16, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterlizpenn
I'm so sorry for your misery...hope you are well now. I too have an aversion to tartar sauce as when I was a wee little one, myDad would sit us down at Skipper's with a vat of tartar sauce with fish & chips and was not allowed to move till I ate my fish along with the vat, like it was a side dish. Oh, the love.
August 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMonica Edwards
I was late getting around to the blogs this week, but this was one of those posts that made me email the link to my mother and TRY to explain, "Missing the chance to MAYBE meet this woman? This is why I threw the super-manic hissy-fit when my surgeon said I could not go to BlogHer. And then that rock-throwing trantrum over the unused tickets...because, see? SEE???"

And my mother, bless her heart, ALWAYS says, of finslippy, "I really do see why you love her writing." And she does. So I get to keep loving HER, too.

So I guess it's all good. But I'm still pretty upset over the whole surgery-instead-of-BlogHer things.
August 29, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterBelinda
Haha! You are quite hilarious. :)
August 30, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterColin

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>