A few weeks ago, Lily and Ben went to Jeff’s office for a “take your sons and daughters to work day.” The office interns planned a whole day of activities ranging from an ice cream sundae bar to a treasure hunt to various work presentations. It sounded like it was a blast of an event.
The best thing to come of the day, though, was an intern with no summer plans. She was moving to Baltimore and was desperate for money. She was CPR certified, experienced and enthusiastic. Jeff vouched for work ethic and maturity and she agreed on the spot to be our summer babysitter. The icing on the cake was that she was free the last week in July and excited by the notion of accompanying our family to the beach for the week. We’d been unsuccessful searching for someone for months and finally, we’d found the right person. We’d have help with the kids during the day! Be able to go out to dinner alone at night! It was all falling into place and I was ecstatic. She sounded perfect. Jeff passed her e-mail address on to me and I made plans for her to babysit all three kids together the following week.
Last Wednesday, she came over. I was in the midst of some time sensitive work that needed to get done, so I stuck her with the kids and retreated to the office to bang out a couple hours of writing. Two hours later, I returned to see how she managed all three of them. “Want to back out of that vacation?” I joked, “Did the kids scare you off?” She laughed nervously and accepted her payment. “We’ll talk later this week,” I called after her.”See you soon!”
I called Jeff and told him the kids all loved her. She was a go.
I e-mailed her immediately to follow up. “Thank you for coming,” I wrote. “Let’s talk about flight times for the beach!”
Jeff e-mailed.”The kids had a great time with you. Looking forward to the summer.”
I started to wonder if she was alright. Previously, she responded to my e-mails immediately– her prompt responses only made me love her more. Did she get in a car accident on the way home and never arrive? Had she suffered a horrible family emergency? Undergone a stroke or heart attack? Clearly, something was very, very wrong. I sent a final text asking her to please let me know that she was OK. I was getting worried.
She must be dead.
Finally, a few days later, Jeff received the following message: “I’m sorry, Mr. Smokler, I’ve become busy and will be unable to work with you this summer. Take care.”
Clearly, she was abducted by aliens, brainwashed and ordered to return to their planet for the summer.
It’s simply the only explanation I can think of.
This article was originally published on