Upon Further Review

I am an idiot.
Let me explain.
I have had the date circled mentally in my head ever since Mrs. Shife told me about it.
December 11.
The day I would be the teacher-helper at Kyle's pre-school.
My number had finally been drawn, and even with more than a month's notice I was starting to panic.
The anxiety kicked in. Then the doom and gloom. Followed by the nuclear apocalypse.
I don't know if any of you have anxiety but I do, and the way it works with me is that I just start to future worry about stuff and I imagine the worst-case scenario happening. It also has to do with fear. The fear of the unknown. As I have never been a teacher-helper before, I fear it is going to be a horrible experience for me leading to a series of non-stop downhill events until I am eventually turning tricks in dark alleys to support my bath salts habit.
Yes, it is absolutely absurd that somehow I will go from a teacher-helper at a pre-school to giving hand jobs in a Honda but my mind dreams up these ridiculous scenarios where I hit rock bottom doing unimaginable stuff.
Yes I know. Like I mentioned earlier, I am an idiot.
After a few moments, I realize the ludicrous chain of events I have created will not happen.
I return to reality, and my mind calms down thanks to modern medicine or by taking a few moments to breathe and relax.
Anyway, after the initial panic attack I was fine.
However, as the date drew closer, I started to feel the anxiety creeping back in, and knew I was going to be a little crazy on the morning of December 11.
I didn't want to worry about it so I knew I was going to take a Xanax that morning just to calm me down. I even joked about it on Twitter by saying that I hope they don't piss test at my kid's preschool. I'm going to be hopped up on Xanax. My 1st day as a teacher-helper. Me and 16 3-year-olds.
Sorry you had to read all of that to get to the day's events but here is the timeline:

8:30 AM: It was a little chilly outside so I went ahead and started the car up then headed back inside to get Kyle ready for school.
8:40 AM: We are heading out the door to load up and go to .... OMG!!!!!!!!!!!
I locked the keys inside the car.
Are you kidding me? Are you effin' kidding me?
I locked the keys inside the car.
I need to be in the car right now to go to school because I can't be late today because I am the TEACHER-HELPER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
WTF?!? Did you really lock the keys inside the car? Uh, yes you did idiot.
8:41 AM: I survey my surroundings for a time machine (come on you know people just leaving those lying around everywhere) so I can go back to 8:29 AM.
8:42 AM: Time machine is not found. Neither is the Unlocking Car Fairy that I summoned with wishful thinking and the offer of a Costco size can of tuna. I once heard on NPR that fairies love tuna.
8:43 AM: OK. I need to pull it together.
We have a spare key. It is in the wooden box with the other spare keys. It is also the same wooden box that has been missing longer than a Ambushed Paddington reference on my blog.
8:45 AM: I search for it but it seems I would have better luck giving myself a vasectomy at this point. The box is in the wind. Of course we will run across it in the next week or so because that is how things always work out.
8:48 AM: I call Mrs. Shife to ask for suggestions/tips/advice/the location of the Jagermeister bottle/permission to wrap my lips around tailpipe of the running car.
Her only suggestion is to have my sister-in-law come over and I take her vehicle while she waits at the house for the locksmith to show up.
8:50 AM: I call my sister-in-law and she will be over in a flash.
And for the record, Kyle's school starts at 9:15 AM, but I have to be there at 9 AM at the latest because I am the TEACHER-HELPER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
8:53 AM: I call AAA. Thank the fat bassets I decided to renew my membership this year and they will have a locksmith over by 9:30 AM.
8:55 AM: I realize that my sister-in-law's definition of a flash has drastically changed in the last 2 years. She now has a 2-year-old and an almost 8-month-old. Plus she is watching Little Miss Hayden for us since I was going to be away at pre-school. So unless the actual Flash helps her round up the kids and load them into the mini-van, it is not going to to fall under the Merriam-Webster dictionary's definition of a flash. 
8:56 AM: I explain to Kyle why Daddy is running around like his pubic hairs are on fire. I assure him we will make it school on time. 
8:57 AM: I distract Kyle with the Kindle and episodes of Go Diego Go, and I am now pacing in front of our windows waiting for the silver mini-van to turn onto our street. 
8:58 AM: Realize that even though this morning is not going as planned it is going to make at least a good blog post. Find the positive. 
9:00-9:07 AM: Still pacing. Waiting. Pacing. Waiting. Pacing. Banging head against wall. Work on my Gangnam Style dance moves. Start wondering about life's many mysteries and other silly thoughts. Why doesn't glue stick to the inside of the bottle? Why don't penguins have knees? Is it me or are dogs forever in the push-up position? Did Jimmy really need to crack corn? When does it stop being partly cloudy and start being partly sunny? Is Tank Tank actually giving me kisses or is he seeing what I taste like in case he needs to go cannibal on me? 
9:08 AM: My sister-in-law arrives with her cargo, and we make the switch as I bring babies into the house and she loads up Kyle for me.
9:09 AM: Kyle and I are on the road pushing that mini-van to its structural limits to get to school on time.
9:14 AM: With one minute to spare, Kyle and I make it, and I explain the situation to his teacher. She fires me, sends us home, and Kyle has been expelled.
9:14 AM: Just kidding.Kyle's teacher is totally sympathetic and she puts me to work as Kyle and I begin our pre-school experience together.
11:30 AM: I am done as a teacher-helper, and Kyle and I are off to the hardware store to get a spare key made.
The End.

I hope you and yours have a Merry Christmas.

I will persevere. I will keep moving forward. I will be the stream. 


  1. Absolutely perfect. That might be one of the best posts I've ever seen you do, and that's going back pretty far now. Merry Christmas to you and yours, my friend.

  2. You have NO idea how well I can relate to this post.
    Your family is beautiful. I am sure you were a terrific teacher-helper!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Oh My, that was a good one. I often let my 17 year old daughter read your blog too, she loves it. But she does ask how it's rated before she does, ha. I get so worried when I have to do something new and imagine all sorts of things. And things usually turn out just the opposite. So I suppose except for the car part, it was a good day. Loved your card; we never get to see your wife, she's very pretty. Have a Wonderful Christmas Shifley Family!!

  4. This post should get you the top Blogger prize.... it was brilliant. Your best EVER. Don't ever lose it, Matthew ... print it off and give copies to all your friends.

    Wishing you and the Shifley family a GREAT Christmas and please accept my thanks for all the entertainment.

  5. LOL! Of course.OF COURSE.Of course this would happen...then it all turned out fine in the end and you didn't have to degrade yourself in a back alley Honda. See? Silly Shife. Merry Christmas goofball. ;-)

  6. My dreams include vaseline, a blind midget and a Buick... but I know what you mean.

  7. excellent story mr shife. in cases like that i always invoke the good samaritan law. there's 90% chance all with be forgiven. except of course when the wife is involved, where the chances of forgiveness plummet.

    have an excellent christmas and may you have enough batteries to get through the holiday season.

  8. Quite brilliant mate. It is the story of Christmas with a modern slant. I shall explain what I mean by that. No I won't. It would just complicate things. Particularly my life. You will have to work it out yourself. I could be talking bollocks!
    Happy Christmas to you and your lovely family.

  9. One little mistake, leads to all that. Great post sir!
    Merry Christmas.

  10. Don't call yourself an idiot because you have anxiety. You really smart and funny because this is the best blog post I have read in a long, long time.

    Happy holidays, buddy.

    : )


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