By the time summer finally rolls around, you've probably already torn through most of your classic get-out-of-work-free excuses (stomach flu, plumbing trouble, cursed amulet that caused you to swap bodies with your mother). How can you get out of the office now, when you desperately need to join your Summer Friday-having friends for Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey cocktail hour?
You need a new stable of excuses. Luckily for you, you've got the best "lying to authority figures" specialist on the case (me), and I've assembled a collection of get-the-day-off-work excuses that will pass muster with your boss, but are unusual enough to keep your coworkers from asking too many questions (to your face, at least). No need to thank me — your tweet complaining about being stuck in bed all day, covertly sent from your beach cabana, is thanks enough.
"I've caught a rare tapeworm found only in the rain forest...from some pre-packaged snack foods that I bought in town."
How It Works: This one works because it plays upon fears we all share — I mean, who hasn't wondered where those gas station potato chips actually come from? Make sure to play up that you're not in any actual danger, just experiencing some physical side effects that would make you very unpopular at work right now.
How to Not Get Busted: Set your your out-sick email to go out to your boss at 4AM , as if you were truly up all night, cursing your fate and having stomach cramps; a well-timed, mid-day tweet about how no one should ever buy food at the same place where they get their oil changed couldn't hurt, either.
Monday Morning Behavior: Nothing special — but you can't gleefully purchase any vending machine snacks for a few months after you pull this (too soon), so think this one through beforehand.
"I twisted my ankle after delivering a lecture at a commemorative plate collectors convention last night, and need to stay off it for the day."
How It Works: This excuse strategically utilizes embarrassment to achieve your goal— your boss will be so busy wondering what kind of bizarre, decorative dinnerware-filled life you lead outside of work, they won't even remember to be suspicious about your injury.
How to Not Get Busted: When preparing for your newly-scored three-day weekend, play up your fake injury by getting someone else to run the errands, pack the car, and do the driving. This not only will convince any passing co-workers of your injury; it's also way more fun than running errands and packing yourself.
Monday Morning Behavior: Fake a convincing ankle sprain by limping to your desk, and also brace for about two months of hardcore co-worker mockery about your limited-edition porcelain plate-loving ways.
"I seem to be coming down with something...something weird"
How It Works: Fact: no one believes in your summer cold. Instead, fake a new, strange illness that no one can call your bluff about. Claim odd symptoms throughout the week ("does anyone else smell burning plastic?") and alternate looking painfully cold and desperately overheated every hour. By Thursday, your boss will be begging you to take Friday off.
How to Not Get Busted: Practice your best "incredibly sick voice" (1/3 early Bob Dylan, 1/3 Steve Buscemi, 1/3 Urkel), and bust it out for any conversations you have anywhere near your office building. Not washing your hair will also give you that extra touch of "totally bedraggled."
Monday Morning Behavior: Claim that you're feeling much better ever since those clever scientists down at the university helped you out. But they still suggested you refrain from any strenuous work for 4-6 weeks or something terrible could happen.
"My kooky friend is getting married on Friday...and she only told me on Monday."
How It Works: When you know you need a Friday exodus a few days in advance, nothing works quite as well as a wacky friend's spontaneous wedding.Who would deny their employee the opportunity to witness a close friend's hurried public affirmation of eternal love AND have free run of a hot buffet?
How to Not Get Busted: Lay low during commuting hours — the last thing you need is to run into a co-worker who wants to know why you're wearing flip-flops and cut-offs instead of formal wear.
Monday Morning Behavior: Come in with an air of annoyed exhaustion, and a good yarn about how the ceremony involved a sunset reiki circle and hours of lute music. Grumpily tell everyone that you give them six months, and then change the subject.
"I ran over a french horn on the way in, and now I have a flat tire."
How It Works: When you're driving to work and realize you just want to keep on driving (ideally to a place with sand and Jack Honey), pull onto the shoulder, and call your boss with a woeful tale of driving behind a high school marching band's bus, and the series of unfortunate events that led one of their brass instruments to become roadkill under your tires.
How to Not Get Busted: This one requires some maintenance throughout the day — make a follow-up call from a place whose sounds could pass for an auto shop (i.e. not on the beach shore). And be wary of this one if you have a do-gooder boss — the last thing you need is an offer to drive on down and pick you up.
Monday Morning Behavior: If any office gearheads/busybodies start asking too many questions, just start crying. That always works! If that doesn't work, fake amnesia. If that doesn't work, well, sorry, buddy— you're on your own here.
Summer only comes along once a year, and you've only got so many days to make the best of it. Don't let a pesky thing like the truth stand in the way of a great weekend beach trip and a Jack Honey cocktail at 2 PM. You can go back to being a hard worker after your beach share ends or you get caught, whatever happens first!
Gabrielle Moss has written mostly funny stuff (but also some serious stuff) for GQ.com, The Hairpin, Nerve, etc. You can follow her here.