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.