A while back, Fiona sent in a list that she found somewhere out on the 'net, along with her own preferred additions to that list. In that we haven't heard from her in a while, we figured that this would actually be a relevant piece to run. So, without further ado, we bring you.....

The Five Maxims of Making Excuses

  1. The feebleness or banality of an excuse should never be a deterrent to its use.
  2. Always put the blame on something that can't defend itself. Children, pets, inanimate objects, and relatives living in foreign countries make perfect scapegoats.
  3. Whine convincingly.
  4. Certain ailments work better than others as excuses. No doctor or machine in the world can prove that you don't have that headache.
  5. Try to remember that nature allotted each of us only two grandmothers to attend funerals for.

And then there are mine...
  • If you don't know the person very well, blame it on a member of your (extended and oh-so-fragile) family. A stranger is unlikely to recognise your sister who's just been diagnosed with leprosy when they compete against her in the City to Surf this year.
  • Alcohol is good. Always begin with "I was sooooo drunk..." even if you weren't; you're just ashamed of the depths to which you sank.
  • When trying to get out of sporting commitments, always state how much you desperately want to play but it's just that you think you've done your knee/shoulder/ankle(/hammy-for the real professionals) again, and don't want to risk it yet. Promise that you'll be there next time for sure.
  • Tell your best friend/mother/psychiatrist before you give the excuse, so that if the excuser has the hide not to believe you, you can say (while rolling your eyes) "Hmph. If you don't believe me, you can even ask my...."
  • Never take the soft excuse option. Yes, you're late because your alarm didn't go off but if you hadn't been wrestling it back from a drug crazed burglar, it never would have become unplugged. It wasn't just that the bus didn't come on time, it didn't come at all because the top of the street (and out of your viewing range) was the scene for a dramatic siege. You're alive... and that's what matters.
  • If you're having relationship difficulties, blame it on your ex, your ex-ex or your exes-ex. Your partner's parents and friends can also be good scapegoats if needed. "It's not that I don't WANT to spend time with you John, it's just that I get the feeling Matt really misses you. You guys used to be best friends, remember."
  • Authority figures add credibility. Police, fire services and hospital staff seem to invoke the best reactions, while the Village People, escort services and casino staff give less than impressive testimonies.
  • Use work at home, and home at work. "Sorry I forgot to do that, it's just that I've been kept up three nights in a row by the neighbours/my boss has really been giving everyone hell at work". Pretty easy.
  • If you are studying, don't bother with excuses. You don't care, you lecturer doesn't care and your class doesn't care.
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