Are you there Sidney? It’s me, Damien.

No ProstitutesAs I get to the school I perform my Monday morning ritual. I sigh, tell myself that I’m good enough, I’m smart enough and doggone it, people like me. I hope for a bomb threat and then utter my daily prayer.

People pray for all kinds of different reasons: world peace, health, happiness, sex, tacos. I pray to avoid people. Almost every prayer that I say starts like this: Dear Sidney, please don’t let me see…followed by a name.

This morning there are four people on the prayer list. One is a mouth breathing narcissist who enjoys a near-romantic relationship with his mobile phone. His name is Q and he is a student and permanent member of this Monday morning list. The other three (B, C and D) are acute additions for various reasons. In any case, I do not want to see any of them.

The elevator doors are closing as I run up and pound the button; I let out a victorious growl as the doors halt and then inch apart. I am almost to the hidden Narnia of my office.

Though my prayer might be working today, Sidney isn’t always the most attentive deity.

Epic fails of this prayer include ‘Dear Sidney, please don’t let me see any students’ of 2009 and the ‘Dear Sidney, please don’t let me see her’ debacle of 2007. The first involved a house of ill repute, a toga and luck and timing so bad that the night could be titled “Titanic: The Evening.” The second involved my ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend at a grocery store at 11 a.m. I was wearing a bathrobe, pajamas and vigorously shaking a cantaloupe. I had a bottle of Jack Daniels in the crook of my arm. Her boyfriend was the most attractive person I had ever seen in real life.

Whenever these prayers fail I react with a curse-laden oath of atheism. I suggest, in colorful language, that Sidney does not exist. And if he does, he’s got one hell of a sense of humor.

The elevator doors open and B, C or D are not in there, B, C and D are in there. I smile and stare into my phone as though I am studying math in it. When the elevator stops for extended periods between floors I grumble to Sid. I implore his help.


When I hear the first snorts of Q’s laughter break the stillness of my classroom, I decide to denounce Sidney and join a thrash metal group in honor of his nemesis: Arthur.


  1. #1 by Andy on May 21, 2012 - 6:44 pm

    Praying for happiness, sex, and tacos seems incredibly redundant to me.

  2. #2 by E on May 22, 2012 - 11:32 pm

    I suggest praying to The Flying Spaghetti Monster. You might at least get a good lunch.

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