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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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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. → 

« Speaking of bananas... | Main | My head is packed, but not with ideas. »

Six foot, seven foot, eight foot, bunch!

Behold! I am all but recovered, having received antibiotics for my various infections. You know you have something impressive when the doctor whoops every time he peers into one of your head-holes. Whoa! Hey! What the--! That’s infected too? It’s disconcerting to think that a cold can lead to total bacterial invasion. It might not have helped that I was on a steady diet of Christmas cookies. I’m betting that filling your body with refined sugar every day doesn’t exactly support a weakened immune system. But the cookies, they were so delicious.

After so many days of staying inside, drinking warm liquids and seeing what items I could smell (really, I did this for days), I am now socially crippled. I try to talk to people and I don’t know how to modulate my voice and I can’t remember what questions you’re supposed to ask. “Is it a nice day out?” No, wait, I’ve already been outside, I had to go outside to get here, WRONG QUESTION! STUPID! STUPID! It doesn’t help that my ears are still clogged and most of what I hear is the loud roaring of my brain trying to work correctly.

Years ago, when I worked at a faceless corporation, I had a morning routine: When I got to my building I went to the kiosk in the lobby, said hello to the nice kiosk man, took a banana and a Times, gave him my money, and went upstairs. Then one day I came in, said hello, took a banana and a Times, took out my money, then put my money in my other hand, and handed the guy behind the counter the banana. And the poor man accepted the banana, looked at me sadly, and said, “Oh, no.” (As if I wouldn’t correct my mistake and give him actual money. You accepted the banana, sir. You accepted that transaction. Eat the banana. EAT IT.)

Anyway, that’s what I’m like today. People try to talk to me and I keep handing them bananas.

Reader Comments (46)

This story would be so much better if it ended with "And so, I quit my job."

hee hee
January 11, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterDorothy
In some cultures, you just proposed to the man. Be careful to whom you hand bananas.
January 11, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterDawn
Yeah, that's what they don't tell you about antibiotics. They kill the infection, but they criss-cross all your brain wiring, too: Handing someone a banana for payment = socially acceptable and not strange at all.
January 11, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterKristen
You know when you are laughing so hard that it's silent? All you are doing is shaking, with your mouth wide open, tears streaming down your face, completely unable to breath.

That's what the image of the man looking sadly at the banana did to me today at work.

Excellent writing!
January 11, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterGarnigal
Garnigal, you forgot the wheezing as your body tries to force you to continue breathing and your co-workers are wondering whether you are a) having an asthma attack or b) completely bananas (Okay, I had to work bananas in there somewhere).

The loopy part of being ill is the only fun part. Because it is fun when you remember it later or someone says "Hey, remember that time you were so hopped up on pain pills that you made a pound purry fly around the car while shouting 'Captain Kitty to the rescue'?" Good times.
January 11, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterDM
You've made my day. As usual. Bananas all around.
January 11, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterLulu
I know sometimes people use "lol" in a general, non-specific way. But the banana transaction with the "oh no" really and truly made me lol.
January 11, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterLiz
I HATE the part of being sick where it messes with your sense of smell, but messing with the hearing, too? That's like rubbing butter on a 3rd degree burn!
January 11, 2006 | Unregistered Commentercagey
What is that line from? Six foot, seven foot, eight foot bunch. I know it, but I can't place it. Please tell me--it's driving me crazy!
January 11, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJill
You mean you can't pay with bananas? Shit.
January 11, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterCandice
Jill: Daylight come, and me wanna go home.
January 11, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterdebl
Oh and glad you're feeling better, alice. At a party recently I asked one of my best friends if she had driven her car to get there. She gaped incredulously at me as it slooowwwly struck me that since she was hosting the party, she probably hadn't - well, she had, in a way, but you know what I mean. And I was only a little drunk, too.
January 11, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterdebl
Awww hope it all helps, so that the voices inside your head can be heard clearly without confusion. Ohhhh wait, nevermind on that last bit, that is my secret wish.

Seriously, glad you are getting better.
January 11, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterSassy8877
Well it's about fargin' time! We need our funny, ma'am, sick or no! That's why god gave us laptops--sickebed blogging. Priorities, woman.

9:02 boogers are green

10:15 napped, dreamt of Jon Stewart eating bananas.

11:47 Hacked up lung. Saved as gift for husband.
January 11, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterDeana
funniest thing i've read all day.
January 11, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterkatie

Better comment before delurking week runs out. (Or did it already?)

Anyway, a-MEN to being validated by the doctor. I had to go to a doctor when I was studying abroad in Kenya. He clearly thought I was just another whiny white girl...until he looked in my mouth and got all serious. "That is a veddy bahd sroat." Damn straight. It was advanced strep.

Oh, and the loopiness. Twice now I've had the good fortune to be visiting my sister when her cat has had to be anesthetized for some small veterinary procedure. There's nothing better than watching a cat try to pull off "dignified" right after it overshoots jumping up onto its favorite chair and finds itself stumbling off the other side.
January 12, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer
I'm just thrilled that someone else in the world uses the term "head-holes" comfortably. Thank you, Alice!! Glad you're feeling better.
January 12, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterBelinda
Delurking to say I've been sick since December 23rd. I've had exactly five social interactions in between then and now and I can't even use the phone - coughing. Not that I have anything interesting to say as all I do is drink tea and blow my nose.

Anyway, I nearly cried when I read this. I understand exactly.
January 14, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJessica
I have a son the same age as Henry. Reading this post is like reading about my son. You are not alone. We are all being destroyed by 3-year-olds.
January 16, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterChris
Oh my god. That may have been the funniest thing I've read in months in the blogshphere. yes sir ree. I may actually make a shirt to that effect "Handing people bananas since 1987". Then giggle at everyone's puzzlement.

January 19, 2006 | Unregistered Commenteronbeelay
Just stumbled across your website googling for a photo of Ernie's rubber ducky...lo and behold...I'm enthralled! You're on my favorites, now. And I'm emailing my friends, too.
January 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterLisa C

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