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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

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. → 


Some insignificant points about Florida.

Florida makes you a little stupid, or at least it makes me a little stupid.

It’s something in the water (which, by the way, is liquid evil—mix a squirt of hand soap, a wee dab of poop, and a smidge of kerosene into a bucket of water, and you’ll get something tastier. We had to live on bottled water and, as Henry calls it, “seltz!” My son, the New Yorker.). Or the cloudless sky enabled the alien’s gamma rays to more efficiently make its way to my brains, quietly burning off all the smarty-pants lobes while plumping up the idiot nodules. I gave up the idea of “reading” or “thinking” by the second day there, and spent the rest of the time reading girly-girl magazines (note to men: this is different from “girlie magazines”) and shopping with my Mom for cute tops. Cute tops. I almost bought a clothing item that looked “fun.” “How fun,” I almost said. Scott caught me referring to someone as a “panic.”

Old people abound.

Everyone there is very, very old. Those who were not very, very old were wheeling around their very, very old relatives.

Whitey rules.

Sanibel is blindingly white—and I don’t mean the sand. There was not a person of any color to be found. Scott was possibly the most ethnic person there, being (probably) the lone Jew of the island—a fact that he did not appreciate me observing, loudly, in the middle of Ye Olde Sanibel Shoppinge Place. I mean, we’re white (and anyone who knows me knows that I, Little Miss SPF 45, am almost as white as they come.) But these people were white white. They all had blond hair and roundish middles and wore pastel tops and pastel pants hiked up above their navels and said “super” with alarming frequency. While waiting for a table in a restaurant, they exclaimed over the Clams Casino on the menu. “Ooh, it has Jack cheese broiled on top. Ooh, super.” That kind of white.

Tampa is not the place to be.

If you spend your last night in Florida in Tampa, so that your harried toddler will not have to endure a 3-hour car trip and a 3-hour plane ride on the same day, do not expect a fun time. The Tampa right outside the airport is not fun. You will eat dinner at Ruby Tuesday. Your dinner, whatever it is, will be served “buffalo-style.” You will drive around, looking for a place that sells diapers, and find many tattoo parlors, topless bars, and “exotic gift” stores. You will be glad you don’t live in Tampa. On second thought, maybe you should visit Tampa.


Lo, I have returnedeth. Returndth. Yes.

Well, you see. First I was working hard, then I was hardly working! Haw! The Husband, the Child, and I went to Sanibel, Florida with one set of the Grandparents. A fun time was had. It was sunny and warm. We did the things vacationers do—the sunning and the funning and so on. Not much of it was all that interesting, although to Henry it was an unprecedented thrill-a-minute adventure. He scooped sand with shells! He dunked his head in the water! And again! And again! He laughed death in the face—death, in this case, being a caged parrot at the local foodmart—a minute after he screamed his head off, and two minutes before running away! He tottered about the various shopping plazas, kissing strange women on the shins! He put a water bottle INSIDE his sand bucket, and then dumped the sand OVER the bottle, and then he put some sand IN his shorts, and then he said “sand” and “shell” and “Henry” and “poop,” and then!

But now we’re back, the kid’s asleep, and the husband and I are recovering from the fried, key-limed food we ingested on an hourly basis. More tomorrow.


Judge Reinhold makes any joke funnier.

The brains of finslippy are currently busy working for a faceless corporate giant this week. Said giant is soulless as well as faceless, but has roomy pockets stuffed with cash. So I'm writing about antioxidants (good!) and retirement planning (sensible!) all weekend, and then I get to shimmy up the giant's leg, extract my cash, and skitter away before he squashes me. Wait. What was my point?

Oh, right: I'm busy. Meanwhile, this is funnier than anything I could come up with. From Matthew Tobey's The City Of Floating Blogs:

Disney Asks Judge to Throw Out Pooh Suit

Walt Disney: Seriously, you stink! Throw it out.

Judge Reinhold: But I think I look handsome in my pooh suit.

Walt Disney: Oh screw it, just keep sucking.

Judge Reinhold: Okie dokie, boss.


Naughty, naughty toy designers.

Henry has a couple of toys that, I'm sorry, are just really dirty. This could be my undertaxed imagination at work--or it could be a conspiracy led by a covert league of perverts.

My parents recently gave Henry a ring-toss toy that my nephews used to enjoy. The center of this thing, the object upon which the rings are tossed, is a large, flesh-colored stalk, topped by a red bulb with a smiley face on it.

My Mom hauls this device out, thwaps it on the floor, and calls out, "Henry! Come say hello to Mr. Penis Head!"

And that's my Mom who made that observation. My Mom, who once, completely innocently, asked Scott and me what a "boner" was.

Mr. Penis Head is a giant phallus, and I can't see how he can be viewed in any other way. I don't think he could look any penis-ier (I made up a word!). Not if his head squirted when rubbed vigorously. Etc. He's a penis.

Henry loves Mr. Penis Head. We snap pictures as he gums its smiley noggin, but I think I can't print them out without risking jail time. Even making such an observation is probably a federal offense. Hey, Feds--I'm just saying! Sheesh.


Henry has this pony. Not a real pony. A rocking-chair pony that we purchased from Toys 'R' Us. The wily people at Toys 'R' Us made the store very, very loud, so that we couldn't hear what the pony sang when his ear was tugged.

Then we got home, and we listened. And here it is.

I'm a pretty pony

Clippity-clop, clippity-clop

Such a pretty pony

Clippity-clop, clippity clop

I love to have my coat brushed underneath the old oak tree

So jump and run

We'll have lots of fun

When you come and play with me.

The lyrics are maybe not so creepy when you read them. (Although I think the phrase "I love to have my blank blanked" is going to be really dirty, no matter what you put in there.)

But they're intensely creepy when you hear them. They're sung by a breathy tenor whose voice positively trembles with anticipation. I can't help but picture the recording of this little ditty. The producer pushing Mr. Pretty Pony--a middle-aged, moist-palmed, slightly balding guy, with an eerily high-pitched giggle and a predilection for Hello Kitty paraphernalia-- for "more pedophile."

The pony's other ear, when tugged, elicits the following: "I like it when you brush me!" and "Let's go for a ride!" Strangely, these comments are purred by a woman, which either indicates that it was too creepy when the guy tried uttering the same comments, or that the manufacturers of this pony ride are suggesting that the pony is some kind of pansexual hermaphroditic love-beast.

Know what I just figured out? Know what? Do you? Bet you don't.

"Covert League of Perverts" = CLOP.

As in clippity-clop.

Is your heart beating as fast as mine? I'll be up all night, trying to decipher what "clippity" could mean.

Anyway, Henry really likes his pony.