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In Search of the Mother of All Excuses

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Now that the spring semester is in full swing, I’ve concluded that excuse writing deserves its own genre. College-level excuses are a) painfully specific and b) include details better kept to oneself.

Profgrrrrl’s recent post sparked a personal mission to track down the best excuse ever given. (Hat tip: Sherman Dorn.) There are excuse generating websites (if you need to squeeze out of a wedding or work, click here), but my colleagues can beat them all. Some candidates included missing the final exam because of a heroin overdose, having “totally THE WORST cramps ever,” winning last minute tickets to Spamalot, and getting stuck in an earthquake in Pennsylvania. But this one beats them all, and even ended up in the Chronicle last year:

I will be unable to be in class today because every year we have a Jell-O wrestling competition on campus, and it has just come to my attention that the 50 gallons of Jell-O that we previously made has spoiled. So now I have to remake the 50 gallons before 9 o'clock tonight. ... I understand this is a really weird circumstance, but without the Jell-O we have no competition, and without the competition we lose all of our fund-raising. Thanks you, and have a good weekend.

Image credit: trpaulsen.com
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Real, a few years back.

"Yesterday I was in the bodega and they robbed the place - got the cash register, took our money, and I said 'well at least you left me my books, they're worth more than money' and so they took them too..."

Now I introduce discussion on missing homework with that one. "If you're excuse isn't better than that, don't bother, just tell me that you know you'll be penalized lateness, and when you'll have it in to me."

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