Sitnews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska - News, Features, Opinions...


When you really need to call in sick...
Scripps Howard News Service


April 27, 2005

The business of calling in sick for work is neither an art nor a science, though certainly a craft whose inventiveness makes a strong case for adding a Nobel category in short fiction.

When the TV meteorologist is calling for a 90 percent chance of sun, you need an excuse for hooky that is 100 percent convincing.

You could try the old wastebasket-and-Kleenex trick: Stuff the ends of a tissue in each nostril and place a metal wastebasket over your head before calling in to work. It's convincing when the lie you are about to tell suggests a sinus infection.

When possible, go for an ailment that affects a part of the body usually clothed at work and about which your superior is unlikely to press for details. Irritable-bowel syndrome is always good because no one wants to hear the particulars.

Mumble a lot when your boss is on the line, occasionally dropping phrases such as "flesh-eating virus," "haz-mat suits" and "could spread to the brain."

If pressed for details, blurt: "Oh, no, the light is starting to fade. Grandma, is that you?"

If all that fails, try one these handy-dandy excuses:

- "What do you mean, today isn't Saturday?"

- "There's a SWAT team on my front porch."

- "My agoraphobia has flared up."

- "But I thought Arbor Day was a major holiday."

- "I have a nasty paper cut on my typing finger."

- "The only thing I have clean is my cheerleading outfit from high school."

- "The emergency room had to remove a suppository from my ear, but at least I know where I put my hearing aid."

- "I can't find the aluminum-foil beanie I wear to block alien radio transmissions."

- "I didn't know my cat fell asleep on the snooze-alarm button."

- "My only clean dress makes my butt look big."

- "I'm out of Xanax."

- "I'm at the drugstore. My arm is caught in the blood-pressure machine."

- "I'm clueless."

- "My electricity is out; my garage-door remote won't work, so my car is stuck in the garage."

- "I'm having a brown-acid flashback."

- "My Barbie is sick, and Ken can't watch her."

- "My cat died. The visitation is today."

- "I have poison ivy where the sun don't shine."

- "I'm calling in tired."

- "I'm waiting on the Publishers Clearing House van to arrive. The letter said I may already be a winner."

- "My get-up-and-go did."

- "I can't find my left sock."

- "My kids are sick, and my spouse's job is more important than mine."

- "Lately I've been bothered by a sense of ennui."

- "My horoscope says co-workers are out to get me."

- "I feel like I've been dragged through a sick cow backwards."

- "I've used up all my sick days. I'm calling in dead."

- "My brother's wearing our suit today for a job interview."

- "I feel so good, I can't come into work today."

- "My spastic colon just registered on the Richter scale."

- "My lucky thong is at the dry cleaners."


Mike Harden is a columnist at the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch.
E-mail mharden(at)

Publish A Letter on SitNews
        Read Letters/Opinions
Submit A Letter to the Editor

Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska