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  • Jeff Eaker

A horrible mistake.





I made a horrible mistake, I did.

This morning I got out of bed.

That was my folly.

A disastrous blunder for which I’ll be punished accordingly, no doubt.



I’ll be walking along the street and surely a piano will fall on my head.

Or a bus will suddenly veer out of control and take me right out.

If not a bus, then an angry swarm of bees.

I’ll be stung to death in minutes.

They’ll be no saving me.


Was I insane?

Did I not realize the terrible things that one could encounter?

There could be a lunatic, with a knife.

A lion, escaped from the zoo.

A bridge could collapse beneath my feet.

An enormous twister could drop right out of the sky.

I could be bitten by a king cobra.

Eaten by a bear.

Or electrocuted by a fallen power line.

Any of these could no doubt do me in in an instant.

Oh, why did I get out of bed this morning?

What on earth was I thinking?


I should have been warned.

Yes, that’s it.

Someone should have alerted me and whoever that someone was did not do their job.

I should be pleased to file a complaint.

Nothing short of a full refund would be considered acceptable.

Plus, any damages incurred of course.

Naturally, they’ll fuss and fret over my demands.

But I will stand my ground.

I’ll ask to speak to a manager if necessary.

I’ll threaten to call headquarters if need be.

The squeaky wheel gets the grease, is what they say, and no wheel will be

squeakier than mine.

Someone needs to be held accountable.


I was doing just fine before all of this nonsense began.

I was in bed.

I was safely tucked away.

I cannot say for sure, but I may have been dreaming.

It’s nothing short of inhumane to tear someone away from their dreams.


It was perfectly peaceful, I tell you.

There were no airplane crashes, runaway trains, rampaging hippos, angry mobs, incompetent surgeons or poisonous spiders.

There were no lightning strikes.

No earthquakes.

No monsoons.

My goodness, it wasn’t even the rainy season.


And then… this…

This horrible mistake was made.

I got out of bed.

Ruining what otherwise, very well, might have shaped up to be a perfectly lovely day.

I could have purchased a winning lottery ticket.

I might have gotten a phone call and been told some wonderful news.

There could be packages arriving.

A courier could be in route as we speak.

It’s entirely possible that had this dreadful error not occurred something completely marvelous might have taken place.

What if today was the day that I was supposed to be given an award?


Think of all the trouble they would have gone to in order to arrange the ceremony.

It would be such a letdown for all of those poor people who had worked so hard to bestow me with such an honor.

They’d be devastated.

Demoralized.

Their efforts wasted.


And what about the children?

There’s always a children’s choir to sing an uplifting song to the crowd that has gathered to witness the event.

Those children would have rehearsed for weeks.

All of their practice would have been for naught.

They’ll be absolutely heartbroken.


Yes, of course, I would be the individual most unfairly impacted by the tragedy.

But don’t weep for me.

Save your tears for the children.

After all, they are our future.

Which unfortunately, is going to be absolutely terrible.

It’s bleak.

Unbearably bleak.

All of the scientists agree how very bleak it is.

Which is another reason I’m so upset about this morning’s debacle.

My gaffe couldn’t have come at a bleaker time.


The bleakness is simply too much to bear.

It’s absolutely crushing.

Why, it’s a wonder there’s a single person amongst us who can still stand upright.

Where do they get their strength?

What is their secret?

I want to know.

I’ll need to know if there’s to be any hope for me at all.


I suspect they’re on a special diet or engaged in some sort of regimental exercise.

I also hear there are vitamins that deliver impressive results.

But I haven’t the faintest clue which vitamin it is.

There are so many of them I simply can’t keep track.

And besides, who has the time for vitamins when one is constantly surrounded by such a vast array of dangerous obstacles, perilous pitfalls, booby traps, villains, vandals and miscreants?


It’s as if I’m lost in a dense and dangerous jungle.

And it’s all through no fault of my own.

I was not the one who chose the jungle route.

My vote was to remain in the village.

It was safe there.

The people were absolutely lovely.

There was singing and dancing every night.

But no one listened to me.

No one ever listens to me.

“Onward,” was all they would say.


Again and again, we were told to keep moving.

So that’s what I did.

I was merely following instructions.

The blame cannot be placed on me.

This predicament is no fault of mine.

Blame it on the quicksand.

Blame it on the piranhas.

Blame it on the savage tribes that attacked us out of nowhere.


Place the blame wherever you like.

It doesn’t matter anymore, because I am the sole survivor.

The last man standing.

Which, though momentarily advantageous, provides absolutely no long-term

comfort at all.

It merely means I’m next.

My number is up.

My ticket has been called.

My trip has been cut short.

I’ve been cancelled.

I’m doomed, I say.


But truthfully, are we not all doomed?

Not a single, solitary one of us has ever been spared.

From pauper to prince, ultimately, we all face the same inevitable demise.

Which is frustrating to say the least.

You’d think that in all this time there’d be at least one success story.

But there simply isn’t.

It’s horribly disappointing.

Especially since I’d be facing none of this had I merely remained in bed.


Day after day.

Year after year.

Decade after decade we inch closer to it.

Or would it be more accurate to say that it inches closer to us?

Because if we are the ones inching closer to it, then the implication would be that we could merely choose to cease the inching.


Which, of course, we cannot and that’s all the proof I require.

One does not willingly inch towards whatever this thing is that lays on each and every one of our doorsteps.

No. Only a buffoon would inch towards that.

Therefore, one can conclude with quite a bit of confidence that IT is the one doing the inching—not us.


Which makes the burden of this horrible mistake all the more difficult to shoulder.

I can't deny all responsibility.

I opened my sleepy eyes just to sneak a peek.

And before I knew it, the covers were thrown back.

The curtains torn open.

The bottoms of my feet on the cold, wooden floor.

I’ve really no one else to blame.

I brought all of it upon myself by getting out of bed.


The worst part of it, though, is that I’ve made this mistake before.

This is not the first time I’ve gotten out of bed.

You’d think I’d learned my lesson.

Thick-headed is how you’d describe a person who makes the same mistake over and over again.

Dull-witted.

Lazy-minded.

Doltish.


My fate is sealed.

My die is cast.

Nothing further can be done for me.

But you needn’t suffer the same fate.

I implore you.

Do not follow in my footsteps.

Save yourself.

Think of your loved ones.

Put your health and safety first for the sake of the people who depend on you.

If nothing else, let this story be a lesson.

Don’t make the same horrible mistake.

Stay in bed.

After all, for Heaven's sake, it’s Saturday.




Thanks for reading. I'll see you again real soon.













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