Excuses Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything


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Making excuses is something we all have to do, unless you happen to be one of those saintly types that everyone admires but nobody can honestly stand. Excuses are a part of being merely human, a way of showing that you really are trying to keep up a standard that everyone acknowledges is hopelessly beyond the reach of ordinary, everyday life.

Why You Need Excuses

You have to make excuses, and they have to be good enough to convince someone to forgive you... for whatever you may have done wrong. An excuse doesn't necessarily have to be totally convincing, as long as it's amusing and reasonably plausible. The main thing is that you have made the effort to provide one. Not offering an excuse, however insincere, compounds whatever you may be guilty of by showing that you are insensitive.

The following is a list of possible excuses for you to use to get out of sticky situations. It is fairly comprehensive; but it is not quite complete, because things keep breaking down and there are constant interruptions...

I'm sorry I'm late....

If you are late for an appointment or work you might try one of these:

  • 'My ____ threw the key to our house into the toilet and flushed it... we couldn't get out.'

  • 'My dog has diarrhoea.'

  • 'The bus driver got out to have a fight with the driver of another bus1.'

  • 'My car was struck by lightning and I didn't dare get out!'

  • 'Well, I was having breakfast, and the orange juice container said concentrate!'

  • 'The man on TV told me to stay tuned.'

  • 'I got mistaken for _____ , and had to spend ages signing autographs.'

  • 'I'm not late, you were early!'

Sorry for Being Early

If you're too early you may want to try offering flowers... a great distraction while you think up an excuse.

  • 'The buses are normally so unreliable; so I set off early to compensate.'

  • 'I wanted to ensure that you didn't arrive first and feel silly.'

  • 'I just had to get away from my room mate as soon as possible!'

  • 'I've already got a round in2.'


These are mainly for maths homework, which seems to inspire the greatest need for excuses:

  • 'I couldn't do the geometry, because they don't let me use anything sharp where I live.'

  • 'I had the answers on the tip of my tongue, but when I licked the paper they just dissolved.'

  • 'My dog ate it... but we've given it syrup of figs so you should get it tomorrow.'

  • 'I've given up the things I like best for Lent. I really love Maths homework.'

  • 'I came up with something really new, and Steven Hawking is still looking at it.'

Computer Excuses

If you have to work with a computer, you have a whole wealth of excuses available.

  • 'Three words: Fatal Exception Error.'

  • 'But I e-mailed it to you yesterday!'

  • 'The disk is corrupted3.'

  • 'Take a file of any type, which is about the correct size for your work, and rename it to something along the lines of 'work.doc'. When you try to load it up at work, you can say 'here's the file, I don't know what happened to it, though'.

1Based on a real life incident... honestly!2This isn't an excuse, just a redeeming remark that usually seems to eliminate the need for one.3For this you might try putting the floppy next to a magnet, or just get a disk that is already broken.

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