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Hoses of the Holy in the Parallel Universe

March 23, 2005

Lame Excusage

I'm an unsympathetic bastard. You should know that about me. One of my team is off work today, dog-minding. I ask you. Not because said dog is ill, but because the dog is just not left on its own. I could have had the last 7 years off work to look after my kids, on that basis, instead of paying what should have been my pension plan in childcare fees.

The local shopkeeper mentioned that he knew someone who phoned in sick because he had an "ant infestation." They were all over the bin and everything, apparently.

When I was at school, my ex-best friend went through a deeply rebellious period, which involved him styling his hair like John Travolta in Grease and wearing a non-standard tie. Blue with red stripes, as opposed to the standard VIth Form gold bling.

One day, he was halfway down some stairs when the deputy headmistress saw him. She immediately asked why he wasn't wearing his school tie. He fluttered his fingers through the tie in an ineffectual manner and said, "It's in the wash," with a simper.

[The whole point of the deputy head, of course, is to question your compliance with the uniform code. I once went on a creative writing course and turned up at school on the day I was to leave wearing jeans and a shock-horror collarless shirt.

I was nabbed by this same headmistress and subjected to a 45 minute interrogation. When I explained that I was about to go on a weekend residential course, she asked what it was for. I said, creative writing. She said, and these were her actual words, "But you don't write dressed like that! Why are you dressed like that?!"]

At the opposite extreme to the lame excuse is the over-the-top excuse. I was late to registration once in VIth form, and the woman who took the register complained at me. I said, "I could be suffering from cancer, and all you care about is that I'm five minutes late."

I was particularly peeved because this was probably the only day in 12 years of schooling I was ever late, even by a little. Later that day, a senior teacher took me aside and asked if it was true that I had cancer. Apparently, concerns had been raised about my welfare.

And since this is turning into a freeform jazz session, I'll add this. I remember reading a quote about Bob Dylan, concerning, I think, his song "Bob Dylan's 115th Dream," which features the verse:
I went into a restaurant
Lookin' for the cook
I told them I was the editor
Of a famous etiquette book
The waitress he was handsome
He wore a powder blue cape
I ordered some suzette, I said
"Could you please make that crepe"
Just then the whole kitchen exploded
From boilin' fat
Food was flying everywhere
And I left without my hat

The quote went something like this: "Bob Dylan. That guy's ridiculous. He gets thrown out of a restaurant and writes a goddam song about it."


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