SOMETIMES you might just want to take a duvet day - a day for phoning into work and saying sorry, you'll have to get along without me.
But what excuse to use? Well here are nine ready-made, 24-carat, batteries-included reasons right here...
Invoke the Irish mammy
Say that in an Irish household no meal is complete without the mammy nagging everyone gently throughout. Say that you knew something was wrong when Ma seemed pleased with everything, including your choice of partner, your hairstyle, the fact that you’d turned vegetarian. She just nodded happily.
The family knew immediately something was wrong, and feared the worst.
Say you took her to hospital but turned out she was fine, just a spot of laryngitis. But because of the panic and shock no way could you come into work.
Blame the GAA
Explain that your county hurling team has finally beaten the neighbouring local side after 23 long years.
Say: “Nobody beats the (enter team name here) 23 years in a row and gets away with it.”
Explain that celebrations are set to continue well into the week so best you take at least one day off to join in.
Claim transport difficulties
Fall back on the old transport difficulties — say you were back home in Co. Armagh/Co. Louth and that you must have filled the car up with dirty diesel, whihc meant you missed getting to the airport/ferry terminal on time.
Gesticulate heavenwards, claiming religious intercession
Say you belong to some obscure Celtic religion, something like the 14th Day Adventists, and emphasise that today is the holiest of holy days, a solemn day when you honour St Duvet of the Quivering Hands and Mighty Headache.
And sorry for not mentioning it last year, but last yera it fell on a Sunday and it wasn't regarded as quite such a holy day, funnily enough.
Blind ‘em with medical science
Tell your boss you suffer from a rare Celtic disease quite prevalent where you come from called Plumbum Osculorum.
It’s just Latin for swinging the lead, but if you sound sufficiently learned you’ll probably get away with it.
Explain about the supernatural forces
Explain that when you were home in Ireland at the weekend you sneezed and there was nobody around to say 'Bless you'.
So you were carried away by three banshees to the seventh level of perdition. Say that you don’t want to go into all the details, but the devils were unswayed by your pleas that you had to get to work.
Eventually, however, an Angel of Goodness appeared and banished the evil spirits away.
Just say: “So I’m sorry I had to take the day off, but I’m sure you’ll understand.”
Everybody else is...for all manner of failures and fiascos. So blaming EU machination for your non-appearance should be entirely acceptable to your bosses.
Blame the chaotic intersection of chance and the laws of physics
No exposition of excuses for being off work could possibly be complete without mention of The Bricklayer’s Lament by Gerhard Hoffnung (usually known as Gerard) in which he explores the consequences of Newton’ Laws of Motion in the workplace.
In his monologue, Hoffnung describes the interaction between a bricklayer and a barrowload of bricks being hoisted up a building.
We've reproduced the text below, but for full impact listen to Kerryman Noel Murphy put a version to music here...
Here's the Hoffnung text:
When I got to the top of the building, I found that the hurricane had knocked down some bricks off the top. So I rigged up a beam, with a pulley, at the top of the building and hoisted up a couple of barrels of bricks.
When I had fixed the building, there was a lot of bricks left over.
I hoisted the barrel back up again and secured the line at the bottom and then went up and filled the barrel with the extra bricks.
Then, I went to the bottom and cast off the rope.
Unfortunately, the barrel of bricks was heavier than I was and before I knew what was happening, the barrel started down, jerking me off the ground.
I decided to hang on.
Halfway up, I met the barrel coming down — and received a severe blow to my shoulder.
I then continued to the top, banging my head against the beam and getting my fingers jammed in the pulley.
When the barrel hit the ground, it burst its bottom — allowing all the bricks to spill out.
I was now heavier than the barrel and so started down again at high speed.
Halfway down, I met the barrel coming up — and received severe injury to my shins.
When I hit the ground I landed on the bricks, getting several painful cuts from the sharp edges.
At this point I must have lost my presence of mind because I let go of the line.
The barrel then came down giving me a very heavy blow and putting me in hospital.
I respectfully request sick leave.