Getting Away With It

How to Make Excuses Like the Pros!

I AM an expert excuse maker. I can squirm out of things better than the seed of a seventeen year old with a bright future and a punctured condom. Here are some tricks of the trade.

Avoid Cliches

Your excuses must be consistently fresh and
inventive. The excuses we hear every day like
“my car wouldn’t start,” “the alarm didn’t go
off,” or “she was dead when I got here,” are too
predictable. I recommend spicing up an old
favorite with a zesty new detail, e.g.: “My convertible wouldn’t start.” “The alarm didn’t go on.” “She was raped when I got here.” Etc.

Be Aware of Modern Cliches

Some excuses have only become unusable
within the last year or so. Keep abreast of the
times. If you’re really stuck, try combining an
old cliche with a new cliche. For example:
Old Cliche: My dog ate my homework.
New Cliche: My printer ate my homework.
Believable Excuse: My dog ate my printer. He
died of toner poisoning.


Notes are small scraps of paper onto which
the handwriting and signature of someone
with a post-graduate degree has been forged.
Notes are useful for excuses that come up at
the last minute. Slept through your job interview? Dr. Kline says you’re a narcoleptic! Is it too nice a day for discussion section?
Your psychologist says chalk reminds you of
grandma’s beatings! Being mugged at gunpoint? Not after Stephen J. Goldbloom Esq.
declares it a hate crime, you big queen! Got too high to play softball?
No. No you didn’t. You are never too high for

Contingency Plans

Invariably, one of your excuses will fail.
Don’t get discouraged! Just keep trying new
excuses until you find one that works, as in
the following example from my own personal

Policeman: Do you have any idea how fast
you were going?
Me: Man, my wife’s having a baby!
Policeman: License and registration.
Me: Man, your wife’s having a baby!
Policeman: I’m not going to ask you again.
Me: I’ll make you my man-wife, baby.
Policeman: Step out of the car, sir.
Me: She was raped when I got here.

Explaining Yourself

Double invariably, at some point all of your
contingency plans will fail and you will have
to either smooth things over or switch to a
section with a GSI who doesn’t know that
your mother has died before every major test
since the third grade.

It’s situations like these that separate your
amateur excuse makers from your white
house press secretaries.

First load up eBay on your computer. Then
search for “Ninja Smoke Bombs.” Don’t order
from TexasN1nja2; his high feedback rating
belies the low quality of his smoke bombs
and his use of media mail.

Now let’s try that last situation again:

Policeman: Step out of the car, sir.
Me: She was raped when I got here.
Policeman: What’s that in your hand?
Me: [Throws smokebomb and peels out.]
Policeman: [coughing] Fuck, that’s just what
Ari Fleischer did.