A local Word on the Word

by Rev. Patrick Thomas Rabun
Wednesday, April 17, 2013

One of my favorite stories of all time is about a young boy named Alexander. This story made the rounds back in the early 80s and maybe you read it. Please indulge me as I share it with you.

Alexander went to sleep with gum in his mouth and woke up with gum in his hair. When Alexander got out of bed he tripped on his skateboard, then stubbed his foot on the bedpost. He thought to himself, “This is going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.”

At breakfast, Alexander’s brother Anthony found a Junior Undercover Code Ring in his breakfast cereal box, and his sister Becky found a comic book in her breakfast cereal box, but all Alexander found in his breakfast cereal box was breakfast cereal.

In carpool Mrs. Gibson let Becky have a seat by the window, and Audrey and Elliot got seats by the window, too.  Alexander said he was being scrunched, he said he was being smushed. Alexander told Mrs. Gibson that if he did not get a seat by the window that he was going to be carsick. No one even answered. Alexander knew that it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

At school Mrs. Dickens liked Paul’s picture of the sailboat better than Alexander’s picture of the invisible castle. At counting time the teacher said Alexander left out the number 16. 

“Who needs 16 anyway?” Alexander thought to himself. He could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good very bad day.

He could tell because Paul told Alexander that he was not his best friend anymore. He said Philip Parker was his best friend and that Albert Mayo was his next best friend and that Alexander was only his third best friend. 

“I hope you sit on a tack,” Alexander said to Paul.

There were two cupcakes in Philip Parker’s lunch bag, and Albert got a Hershey bar with almonds, and Paul’s mother gave him a piece of jellyroll that had coconut sprinkles on top. Guess whose mother forgot to put in dessert? Alexander was having a terrible, horrible, no good very bad day.

After school mom took all the children to the dentist, and Dr. Fields found a cavity only in Alexander’s mouth. Alexander was having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

There were lima beans for dinner and Alexander hated lima beans. There was kissing on TV and Alexander hated kissing. His bath water was too hot, he got soap in his eyes, his marble went down the drain, and he had to wear his railroad train pajamas, and Alexander hated his railroad train pajamas.

When he went to bed, Alexander’s Mickey Mouse night light burned out, and he bit his tongue. The dog wanted to sleep with Anthony and not Alexander.

As Alexander lay in bed he thought to himself, “This has been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.”

I am guessing that many of us have had days like Alexander. When we put our head on the pillow at night we wonder why we even got up at all. The important question for us is: What do we do when we have bad days like Alexander? When I have a bad day, I like to talk about it sometimes with another person (usually my wife). Maybe you do the same. But the thing I find most helpful is to pray. Somehow, when I pray, it calms me down and helps me to think better. God is always there for us; not only is God around when things are going good, but God is around when things are not going all that good. It’s important for us to always remember that to talk with God can be the best way to handle those “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days.”

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