The 40 Lamest Excuses Ever Uttered

Your bad? Fine. Just don't follow it up with one of these lousy lines...

By Andy Simmons
Also in Reader's Digest Magazine November 2013

Cake being smashed

Gregory Reid

For Bumbling Employees…

On, an employer wrote that a male employee called to say he would be late because “his cervix was hurting.” This scenario, in which a goof-off attempts to sweet-talk his employer, is made up of reasons for missing work that were test-driven by various employees who tried skipping the office.

Hi, Ms. Vaccariello. I want to apologize for missing that three o’clock meeting yesterday. “I forgot to come back to work after lunch.” I have a good excuse, though. I’ve been preoccupied ever since I found out “a hit man was looking for me.” So instead of coming to work, I went to a bar and “drank too much and fell asleep on someone’s floor. I don’t know where I am.” In fact, I’m not sure I’m even talking to you because “I am hallucinating.” That or “I’ve had a hair dye disaster,” because for some reason my hair is green. Don’t worry, I wouldn’t think of coming to work with green hair. I washed out the dye, but now “my toe 
is trapped in the bathtub.” … Great suggestion: I will use soap to make it slippery, but even if that succeeds, I’m afraid I still won’t be able to come to work today. “My dog had a big fright, and I don’t want to leave him.” He’s upset because “my fish is sick.” You see, he’s been on edge ever since “my hamster died.” … I’m sorry, Ms. Vaccariello. I missed that threat you just made about my job security: “My brain went to sleep, and I couldn’t wake it up.”


For Audacious Criminals…

When Weston Reynolds saw a car in San Francisco with its window down, he rifled through the glove compartment looking for the owner’s contact information so he could tell her. Or 
so the career criminal said when he was arrested for breaking into the car. Did anyone believe him? Yes, the jury. They let him walk. If you want to follow in Reynolds’s fingerprints, we’ve pulled together excuses from criminals and traffic violators to create a script for you to follow the next time you’re patted down. In this case, we’ve also footnoted everything to give you the backstory.

Hi, officer, was I speeding? I had no idea. You see, “I don’t understand the speedometer because I suffer from dyslexia.”(1) But if I were speeding, I have a perfectly good explanation: “I was low on gas, and I wanted to make sure I had enough speed to coast home.”(2) You are correct: This is not my car. But I didn’t steal it; I borrowed it. “My director said I should try it.”(3) That’s because I’m an actor, and we were on set “filming Batman.”(4) … The driver said I commandeered his car after flashing a fake badge? The badge is not fake. It belongs to my dog. He “was trained to sniff out dead bodies and has since retired.”(5) That wasn’t me who tweeted, “Hey, look at me! I stole a car!” “My Twitter account got hacked!”(6) What empty whiskey bottles? Oh, the ones shoved under the seats? I didn’t drink them. “The whiskey probably evaporated.”(7) No, “I’m not drunk … hic … the horse is.”(8) That’s why I had to borrow the car. I understand that this woman in the passenger’s seat is not a horse. And, no, I did not smoke any of this pot you see here. I found it, and I was just “trying to get rid of all the marijuana.”(9) By the way, let’s not tell my wife about this woman. I want it to be a surprise. You see, she’s helping “me buy tomatoes.”(10) My wife loves tomatoes.

Lame Excuse Authors:

1. A British man, 
explaining why he drove 103 mph in a 60 mph zone.

2. A scofflaw, 
on why he was speeding.

3. Actress Winona Ryder, after she was caught shoplifting several years ago.

4. A Pittsburgh man, explaining why he jumped in a car occupied by a detective.

5. A California man, explaining why he had a fake police badge.

6. What football player Braylon Edwards tweeted the day after tweeting about a brawl 
at a nightclub.

7. A Pennsylvania man, after he was accused of drinking 52 bottles of vintage whiskey (worth $102,400) that did not belong to him.

8. A South Carolina woman, who reeked of booze, explaining why she was having 
trouble staying on a horse she had stolen.

9. A trio of Fort Carson, Colorado, soldiers, after they broke into a pot dispensary.

10. A British man, after he was caught with a prostitute.


What’s the lamest excuse you’ve ever heard?

Gregory Reid

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