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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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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)

Ah well, at least you're not stage managing a high school play while wearing one of those esprit sweaters with the patches, getting second hand smoke blown on you by the actors and techies because the knees of your leggings are baggy, because your mom bought you the cheap-ass leggings, without enough lycra.
December 12, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBipolarlawyercook
OMG!!!! You mean you're SUPPOSED to tip the Shampoo Girl?! How could I not know about this? No wonder my hair always looks like crap!
December 12, 2007 | Unregistered Commentertamara
I didn't know I was supposed to tip the shampoo girl either. Hey Alice, thanks a bunch for giving me one more thing to worry about!Oh yea, my 2 year old lives on taco shells and chicken nuggets. I'm just happy that he's eating.You didn't mention what might happen if you remove that "Do not remove" tag from your new pillows.I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who has this much anxiety.Jill
December 12, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJill
I love that the cool girls from high school showed up, too. That makes it all more plausible somehow.

It also makes last night's dream involving cheating on the boys' preschool homework less traumatic.
December 12, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterManic Mommy
Although mostly recovered from a bad cold, I laughed so hard that by #8, I had contracted bronchitis. Thanks, Alice.
December 12, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSpandrel Studios
I know that these items were supposed to be "the worst that could happen" and that should make me somber while reading them, but I couldn't be. This post made me laugh and I really enjoyed that. Thank you.
December 12, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJessica B.
December 12, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterHeyJoe
alice, i see you play the worse-case scenario in your head too, huh?

these thoughts. when will the ever go away?

December 12, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterIsabel Kallman
Okay, this entry just got you a donation! THANK YOU!!!
December 12, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterLisa C
I cut my own hair.
December 12, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterNotFace
Funniest blog entry ever.
December 12, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer
I hope I don't dream what you dreamt...

BTW, nice way to express your visual imagery...

So scary.. imagine a child imagining what you imagined.. also a little humorous..
December 13, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterRonak Shah
Well, I thought you were talking about my life, but you left out the part where the planet bursts into flames because I once again forgot to bring my cute canvas grocery bags to the store and asked for plastic instead.
December 13, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterdianne
Do I detect a note of cynicism there?God All those things could happen to me too! Have you had the dream about your teeth all falling out? I have,luckily I always wake up.Also the one about forgetting to feed the gerbils for months and then going into the shed one day to discover the gory remains(we havent had gerbils for 13 years so dont know where that one comes from,the depths of my subconcious obviously)
December 13, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterchris
I know how you feel. I hate days those.
December 13, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterLori
This is so funny that my daughters came over to see why I was laughing. It was funny enough to make me break my cover as the permanent blog lurker. Yeah you!
December 13, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterGail
Don't worry-- I'll make sure that my son writes that poorly constructed yet poignantly tragic book about how I ruined his life by not getting him to eat more as a child before your son does, and then your son's book, despite its original, a-grammatical genius, will just be seen as cheap copycattery and will not garner nearly the same attention.

You're welcome.
December 13, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterjaelithe
Don't worry-- I'll make sure that my son writes that poorly constructed yet poignantly tragic book about how I ruined his life by not getting him to eat more as a child before your son does, and then your son's book, despite its original, agrammatical genius, will just be seen as cheap copycattery and will not garner nearly the same attention.

You're welcome.
December 13, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterjaelithe
How dare you wear those sweats. What would Stacy and Clinton say?
December 13, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJulie
Wow. Now that was funny. But, get out of my head, will you?
December 14, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterPeetSwea
oh alice, you're so good because you make us feel like we know you, and you very clearly know us as well. you always make me smile.
December 14, 2007 | Unregistered Commentertexasgurl
My great fear is that when watching coverage about obese people on the news, I'll see my own ass waddling by the camera.
December 14, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMary Tsao
Hilarious. They do sound like nightmares. I used to have recurring nightmares where my contact lens would fall out of one of my eyes and when I looked down on the ground there were thousands of little round plastic pieces that ALL looked like my lens so I couldn't figure out which one was my real contact lens. I wonder what THAT meant.

December 14, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMauigirl
Is it weird that the first scenario totally reminded me of Calvin and Hobbes, and his Spaceman Spliff daydreams?
December 15, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMarcy
Ohmigod. #2 had me crying with laughter. I had to read outloud to my husband who did not get it at all. You have captured my recurring nightmare - that my twin boys grow up to be stunted adults because they only eat goldfish and pretzels.
December 15, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterLissa

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