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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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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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Wednesday
Dec122007

The worst that could happen.

1. I am driving on the highway and start to panic. The force of my panic is so great that it causes my car to lift into the air. Looking around me, I see that the other cars are also levitating. Now that our cars are in the air, none of us have any control over our direction or speed, and we hurtle higher and higher skyward, smashing into each other repeatedly. As we leave the earth’s atmosphere, I can hear the other drivers screaming, "Why, Alice, why?" before we all blow up.

2. Because I never got my son to eat more than four foods, he grows up--if you can call it that—to become a shred of a man, unable to find love, hold down a job, or walk down the street without breaking something. "The saddest part," his doctor tells me, "is he’s just aware enough to know what you did to him. That if he had only had a few more nutrients in his system, he could have been someone." In fact, Henry writes a memoir called "What Could Have Been." The New York Times declares it "terribly written, lacking in style or subject-verb agreement, that is nonetheless a grueling condemnation of possibly the worst mother the world has ever known."

3. After my haircut, I tip the woman who washed my hair, only I accidentally tip the wrong person. "What the hell is this crap?" the other hair-washer demands. "Why would I want money from you, complete stranger?" The woman whom I meant to tip bursts into tears because I have made her feel like less than a person. She runs out the door and straight into traffic. "WHAT HAVE YOU DONE," screams the salon owner. Everyone in the salon, clients and staff alike, beat me up. The next day the headlines read, "Alice Bradley is a Thoughtless Jerk." We have to move.

4. Afraid of tipping the wrong person because after all they all have the same damn hairstyle, I leave without giving money to the hair-washer. A ritual murder-suicide ensues. The note makes it clear that it was my fault.

5. I fail to take proper care of my yard. The earth spins off its axis.

6. I allow Henry to watch an extra half-hour of television while I nap beside him. The show turns out to be a PBS special called "How to Take Drugs and Kill People."

7. I forget to take Charlie for his rabies shot. He immediately contracts rabies and jumps the fence. His deadly rampage begins at the playground and ends at a day care center, with a brief stop at the nursing home.

8. I forget about Henry’s checkup. Somehow he also contracts rabies, even though rabies has nothing to do with his checkup. The world agrees that I am responsible.

9. I put off vacuuming for a few days. The next week there is an ABC special report on neglectful mothers. Turns out that Henry’s new friend from preschool was actually an undercover reporter with a hidden camera. As I watch footage of dust bunnies skittering across our floor, I realize that I should have wondered why his new friend was so tall, and carrying around that briefcase. "A little boy has to live in this squalor," the reporter intones. "That is, unless we intervene in time." The doorbell rings. The authorities are here to take me away, along with some cool girls from my high school, who wanted to see what a dirty loser I had become.

10. I go to the supermarket in my old sweatpants. The sight of my baggy-assed sweats renders everyone so desperately sad that half of them die and the other half throw up into their carts and then die. I am a pariah. The pictures of my ass make the newspapers, and the world is thrown into chaos. God gives up on us. He decides to create a better universe, one without hopeless pants like mine. Before He does, He offers me one last chance to apologize and make things right. But when I try to say something, all my teeth fall out, because I forgot to floss the night before. We are all destroyed.

Reader Comments (82)

Oh my god. Finally someone elegantly articulates the anxiety ridden brains horrible thoughts!!! I thought I was the only one. :)Hugs to you Alice!
December 12, 2007 | Unregistered Commentertulip
Whoah. That is so what panic attacks are like, but way funnier. ;)
December 12, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBeth
Maybe you should read up on my adventures with lexapro.



December 12, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterUnruly Duckling
Dear Alice, henceforth to be referred to as "the best damn blogger east of the Pecos", you are the best damn blogger east of the Pecos. I am ashamed to call myself a blogger and will henceforth refer to myself as "the blogger not worthy to clean the Newman-O crumbs from Alice's keyboard."

Pathetically,Joe

December 12, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterHeyJoe
Joe, HOW DID YOU KNOW ABOUT THE CRUMBS?
December 12, 2007 | Unregistered Commenteralice
I haven't laughed this hard in weeks!
December 12, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterRachel
May I just say how wonderful it is to read your fabulous posts EVERY DAY (except weekends, of course)??? Thank you!
December 12, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterjeanine
A paranoid tour de force!
December 12, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMelanie at Beanpaste
Wait, Charlie gets rabies shots? Is he a dog? I thought he was your husband.

I'm going to have to re-read some of your older posts.
December 12, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterUdge
VERY funny. I know you have heard it before, but I will say it again, you are a very very good blogger. You put me to shame...and almost make me want to just hit the "delete blog" button.

I also wanted to say that my 2 yo eats less than 4 foods and, yes, I have my moments of FREAKING out that something very bad is eventually going to happen to her because of it.
December 12, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterIrene
for some reason, this makes me think of "the producers"

Leo Bloom: I'm wet! I'm hysterical and I'm wet!Max Bialystock: [slaps him]Leo Bloom: I'm in pain! I'm in pain, and I'm wet, and I'm still hysterical!

just when you think you've imagined the worst that can happen...
December 12, 2007 | Unregistered Commentersusie
gurrrr, you crazy! :)
December 12, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterbephare
Yes! Yes yes yes yes yes! You have the same kind of fears that I do!
December 12, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJessie Mae
I laughed so hard, I had to stop reading so my co-workers wouldn't hear me!
December 12, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterHeather
Thanks for the biggest belly-laughs I've had in weeks!
December 12, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterLIB
Um ... What about not working out? Or, how about not breastfeeding for one more month / week / day / minute. Or, buying cheap plastic crap toys instead of blowing the college fund on HABA? Oops! college fund!

Surely you're letting yourself off easy ...

No. NO! I am so kidding. You knew that, right? Oh god. Now *I* have to comteplate the worst that can happen by sending dear sweet Finslippy over the edge ...
December 12, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterLisa O
I think I love you.So, what am I so afraid of?I'm afraid that I'm not sure of a love there is no cure for...
December 12, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterdianne
I love this. You're having a worse day than I am.
December 12, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSuburbanCorrespondent
I said this on another blog this week, so this fear is going around. When my boyfriend was a child he ate: frozen peas, rice, ramin, and sometimes balony. He turned out just fine, god knows how ;)
December 12, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMeg
Ah, maybe it's better that we're all destroyed. I mean, the better universe might have been nice but considering the circumstances it's probably best we're all out of our misery now.
December 12, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterozma
HAHAHAHA.

My worst fear today? The fox that has taken refuge in my backyard will suddenly learn to walk upright and operate doorknobs. The fox will steal my baby and raise Amos as a feral child named Bobo. Bobo will see me again one day, get therapy, and curse the day I ever birthed him.

Or not.

December 12, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterimaginary sarah
HAHAHAHA.

My worst fear today? The fox that has taken refuge in my backyard will suddenly learn to walk upright and operate doorknobs. The fox will steal my baby and raise Amos as a feral child named Bobo. Bobo will see me again one day, get therapy, and curse the day I ever birthed him.

Or not.

December 12, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterimaginary sarah
I knew a guy who I never saw (or heard of) eating anything other than french fries or hot dogs, and he was in his 40s. Somehow he was perfectly normal, too. His kids weren't, but he was. ;-)
December 12, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAnne
That was a feat of wordsmithing genius!JulesHouse of Jules

December 12, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterjules
OMG - That is EXACTLY what I have been feeling like lately! Only my mind isn't quite as creative and I usually just get so paralyzed with fear over the unknown that I get my crap done before I have to find out. Sometimes I hit the bottle, too. That helps.
December 12, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterLori

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