33 Lame Excuses

Well, that’s just great. Not only does some governor in South Carolina have a tryst in Argentina, his staff uses my excuse. Now I can never again trot out the old hiking-the-Appalachian-Trail-so-I-couldn’t-be-reached defense. I don’t even like to hike, but I do like a good Argentinean tryst, and I really love a good excuse. We all do—that’s why we reach for one whenever we’re trapped. “Any excuse is better than none,” says John Rooney, a professor emeritus in psychology at La Salle University, “because if you tell a good story and entertain, that’s sometimes more important than the truth.”

Lame excuse© 2009 Jupiterimages Corporation

I’m all for that, as is the woman in Ohio who was arrested for torching a bar’s bathroom. When asked by a cop why she did it, she stated unequivocally, “I felt stressed because of the death of Michael Jackson.” That’s certainly more entertaining than “I was blotto.” And what about the Polish woman who insisted that her teenage daughter came down with a bad case of pregnancy after swimming in a hotel pool? Were you entertained, or did you think, That sounds plausible? If the latter, then you’ll believe these excuses.

Slideshow: 21 Lame Excuses

Starter Script–11 More Lame Excuses From Celebrities
Are you routinely in need of a good excuse only to find yourself resorting to the same, tired retreads? If so, we’ve put together this handy script, using only tried-and-true whoppers. In this scenario, we’ve created a confrontation between an employee and his employer. But these lame excuses work anywhere, so clip and save for easy reference.

Employee: Yes, sir, it’s true that the words “big, fat idiot” were preceded by the phrase “You are a.” However, I assure you, my words were “taken out of context.”(1) But “I apologize if my comments offended.”(2) “The truth is, I’m not perfect. This is not about perfection.”(3)

I understand that our harsh words stem from the fact that I neglected to get you the Frobisheyer contract this morning. But “I had other priorities.”(4)

Last night, I was busy with a friend. No, we don’t have to tell my wife—”I was just giving her a ride home,” (5) that’s all. But after what happened, HR insisted that I take a certain test, and, well, I didn’t pass, you know, due to my “vanishing twin.”(6)

I believe I told you all about that. No? My bad. But I swear “I didn’t inhale and never tried it again.”(7) And no, there is nothing suspicious about those pills security found. I need them. “I have really bad menstrual cramps.”(8)

Yes, I’m aware that I am a man: I suffer sympathy cramps. Besides, I also need them because “I have severe acid reflux.”(9)

The police weren’t convinced either. Then again, “the police, since my trouble, have not worked out for me.”(10)

But not to worry, I’ll get that contract to you just as soon as my trial ends. No, I’m not sure when that will be, since  “I didn’t show up for court, because I didn’t have a professional bodyguard.”(11)

1. Russell Crowe’s representative, after Crowe implied that Sharon Stone had had a face-lift and looked like a chimpanzee

2. Kentucky senator Jim Bunning’s non-apology apology after saying that Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg would not survive her cancer

3. Laurie David, green queen and producer of An Inconvenient Truth, after it was revealed that she’d flown several times on a carbon-spewing private jet

4. Dick Cheney on why he avoided serving in Vietnam.

5. Eddie Murphy, after he was pulled over by cops for picking up a transvestite prostitute

6. Olympic cyclist Tyler Hamilton explaining away blood-doping charges. He claims his twin sibling died in utero, so he has two kinds of blood in his body.

7. Bill Clinton on his attempt at smoking pot

8. Nicole Richie explaining why Vicodin was in her system after she was found driving the wrong way on a freeway

9. Ashlee Simpson, after she was caught lip-synching on Saturday Night Live

10. O.J. Simpson on why he didn’t call the police to help him retrieve his stolen goods from a Las Vegas hotel room

11. Courtney Love on why she failed to appear for her hearing on a drug-possession charge