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Best Places to Panic

By The Second City | Mar 10, 2014

Yesterday was Panic Day– and we’re melting down because we missed it! The annual celebration you train for like an Olympian year-round! When better to celebrate than a day late? Make this year’s (or every day’s) signature Freak-Out™ extra-special by pairing it with the perfect environment to really get the most out of losing it.

Here are our best places to panic, in all of the most anxiety-inducing important/itchy/sweaty freak-out scenarios.

Career Freak-Out

WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR LIFE?!  The best place to ask yourself this productive question is in the long line of weary souls at the pharmacy. You’re finally going to get the inhaler you’ve been needing for weeks after a long day of work while wearing the black tights with the hole your pinky toe always pokes through. Also, don’t forget that your husband texted you earlier to please pick up toilet paper and that THIS IS YOUR LIFE RIGHT NOW!

Relationship Freak-Out

It’s never too soon. I can highly recommend a church-sponsored lock-in for high school students where everyone is fasting. Find a multi-purpose room, pick a massive fight with your 17-year-old boyfriend/girlfriend and figure out WHERE THIS IS GOING!

Humankind Is Ruining Everything Freak-Out

Best spot: Alone in your car while parked at a Wendy’s eating chicken (?) nuggets and reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma. You are the problem.

Money Freak-Out

Starbucks. The delicious cognitive dissonance of sipping a $6 coffee during pauses as you discuss your inability to responsibly budget your finances with your equally baffled friend is what makes this ubiquitous spot the tops. Expand your mind as you puzzle over one of life’s truly unsolvable mysteries – the ability to get one’s financial poop in a group.

Alternate locale if no Starbucks nearby: The long line for clean drinking water miles from your village.

People I Love Will Die Freak-Out

This one requires some advanced planning, but it will be totally worth it. Get married. Stay married for 10 years. Celebrate this accomplishment with a trip to Mexico. Pick a night when your partner falls asleep before you and only then imagine what would happen if your plane home crashed and you survived but she/he didn’t.

Pro tip: Order a club sandwich from room service before you commence your thought experiment so you can eat it while weeping over pictures of your children/listening to the ocean.

Out of Shape and Eat Too Much Garbage Freak-Out

On your couch waiting for your roommate to finish using the TV for his MMA workout so you can watch Top Chef/anticipate your GrubHub burrito’s arrival. Extra-satisfying if you pay for the burrito with a gift card. That a friend gave you. Because they know you like burritos.

Also helpful: Demand lazy roommate move the coffee table back where it goes, ugh.

Dream Freak-Out

Bed! The bus! Wherever you sleep! A source close to the author relays the following: “I have dreams where I’ve already murdered someone. The details are unclear, but I know I’ve already murdered someone– and I know I’m going to get caught, because I didn’t take the right precautions.”

I’m Married to a Dream-Murderer Freak-Out

Everywhere. All the time. From now on.

We’ve only just scratched the surface, so don’t be afraid to open things up! Mix and match to find your own optimal freak-outs. Sometimes, you don’t even need to plan or prepare – let the extreme panic t unfold organically, and work with the environment you’ve got!

Liz Joynt Sandberg is a Chicago-based writer and performer. She’s a graduate of the Music Improv program at The Second City Training Center and currently performs with Infinite Sundaes: An Official House Ensemble of The Second City Training Center and around town with her wonderful friends. Find out more at


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