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-   -   I need a new excuse... (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=803604)

Ranger Jeff 09-03-2016 05:21 PM

I need a new excuse...
 
... or just more of them. My standard answer when I'm asked to do something I have absolutely no desire to do (like move cinderblocks from a friend's basement Saturday afternoon) is "I'd love to but I'm washing my hair that day. Or I have a cake in the oven. Or I have an arms deal in Tangiers. I don't remember which." Well, that's getting a bit old; I think I got it originally from Bored Of The Rings. So, are there some different excuses I could put in there? I'd like to still keep the one about the arms deal in there. It lead to an amusing conversation with some guy I knew who lived in a barnhouse and had a cinder block problem.

Leaffan 09-03-2016 05:38 PM

I'm surprised you still have friends.

Robot Arm 09-03-2016 06:06 PM

I'm having my house moved six inches to the left.
I'm shooting an ad with Linda Ronstadt for my snow plowing company.
I'm having a kidney transplant.
The Pulitzers are going to be announced that day, so I need to stay close to the phone.
I have a friend who's a rodeo clown and I promised I'd fill in for him.

Ranger Jeff 09-03-2016 06:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Leaffan (Post 19603687)
I'm surprised you still have friends.

So, what do you say to a friend who lives 3 states away asks you to stop by to move some cinderblocks from his basement?

Jennshark 09-03-2016 06:43 PM

My work bestie and I were just talking about "excuses that no one will challenge you on, ever." In our case, we were fantasizing about ways to get out of a monthly, extremely boring and unproductive meeting.

Best one: "I've pooped my pants and have to go home."

RivkahChaya 09-03-2016 06:53 PM

"That's when I'm scheduled for a colonoscopy."

And don't forget, Jeff, if they're doing it on Saturday, "Can't; it's Shabbes."

enipla 09-03-2016 07:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ranger Jeff (Post 19603796)
So, what do you say to a friend who lives 3 states away asks you to stop by to move some cinderblocks from his basement?

A friend would not ask me to do that.

Ranger Jeff 09-03-2016 09:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RivkahChaya (Post 19603819)
"That's when I'm scheduled for a colonoscopy."

And don't forget, Jeff, if they're doing it on Saturday, "Can't; it's Shabbes."

I like them both.

Oh, I just remembered, "I can't, I have cramps."

don't ask 09-03-2016 09:18 PM

I find that no-one ever questions an excuse that makes you look stupid. So something like, "Sorry I can't because I fucked up my hand by closing my own car door on it," works. Maybe, "For the next year I'm not allowed out on weekends without Betty because I was fucking some woman I work with. And Betty isn't free that day."

Weekend detention used to be a fine excuse until they did away with it. No-one likes to ask why you are doing time, even if it's only weekend time.

TruCelt 09-03-2016 10:02 PM

Howard Wolowitz (Big Bang Theory) has some hilariously horrific ones. I don't have specifics, but along the lines of "That's the day I grate the dead skin off my Mother's heels." It's really the squicked out shudder that sells it.

I volunteered for a medical trial so I'm in quarantine on the weekends. Yeah, they're using live virus apparently . . .

I have a weekly appointment to get my abscess drained.

The voices said "no."

The Mothership will be in range soon; I have to get the beacon going.

I'll be working on my car. Yeah, gotta replace those muffler bearings.

Emtar KronJonDerSohn 09-03-2016 10:20 PM

I'm already scheduled on a charity cinder block moving that day.

snfaulkner 09-04-2016 06:41 PM

You want me to do what? Drive three states over and help you move cinder blocks?

Nope. I don't like you that much.

-or-

I've got a lot of work to do around the bed to do first.

-or-

Sure thing, just let me finish this 12 pack first.

-or-

Do as Nancy Reagan told us. Just say no.

PastTense 09-04-2016 07:35 PM

Moving cinderblocks?

You have a bad back.

Spiderman 09-04-2016 08:20 PM

If the date is far enough in advance:
  • I have a funeral that day.
  • I have an emergency scheduled for that day.

ThelmaLou 09-04-2016 09:23 PM

Miss Manners (columnist Judith Martin) says you don't need an excuse not to do something. In fact, offering an excuse only gives the OP something to react to, attempt to work around, offer an alternative, etc. She says all you have to say is, "I'm sorry, it's just impossible." No more. And keep repeating that until the OP stops asking.

"Hey, Bob-- can I count on your to come by next weekend and help up move those cinder blocks?"
"I'm so sorry, but it's just impossible."
"Wha--? We were expecting you. We really need the help. There's lots of beer in it for you."
"Sorry, Impossible for me to make it."
"Why? What's so important?"
"No can do." <shakes head> "Just impossible. Gotta run. Talk to you later."

Mona Lisa Simpson 09-05-2016 01:53 AM

I can't; I am installing sky hooks that day.

Balance 09-05-2016 03:13 AM

"I have a prior engagement, which I shall make as soon as possible."

kaylasdad99 09-05-2016 04:26 AM

"I would if I could, but I don't want to, so I can't."

Joey P 09-05-2016 10:31 AM

Something like this?

kopek 09-05-2016 10:36 AM

Sorry --- I have a life. Or my usual fallback of walking my goldfish.

(I had a pair of those shoes way back when)

Spud 09-05-2016 11:24 AM

Three states away... very simple.

My ankle bracelet won't let me go that far from home.

TruCelt 09-05-2016 11:38 AM

As for your friend with the cinder blocks? Just buy him a fitbit. Within a week he will be gleefully carrying them up the stairs one by one, checking his wrist every three steps or so.

He'll probably carry them back down again too . . .

Czarcasm 09-05-2016 12:10 PM

"Ohmyghod! When I was a kid my puppy, Squirts, was killed when someone tossed a cinderblock to me and I missed. It hit him right in the head and, and...dude, I have to hang up now and call my therapist. Ohghod!"

Mean Mr. Mustard 09-05-2016 12:41 PM

I know this thread is approximately half in jest, but I don't get why so many folks feel the obligation to provide a reason they are declining an invitation.

"I'm sorry, I can't make it."

This works for me, and I think it much better than inventing an excuse.


mmm

kopek 09-05-2016 09:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mean Mr. Mustard (Post 19606549)

"I'm sorry, I can't make it."

This works for me, and I think it much better than inventing an excuse.

Unless you are like me and have a reputation for inventive excuses. If I told a friend "Sorry - can't make it" they would probably be insulted. :smack:

ZipperJJ 09-05-2016 09:36 PM

Sorry I already promised someone else I'll help them move cinder blocks that day.

Chefguy 09-06-2016 10:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mean Mr. Mustard (Post 19606549)
I know this thread is approximately half in jest, but I don't get why so many folks feel the obligation to provide a reason they are declining an invitation.

"I'm sorry, I can't make it."

This works for me, and I think it much better than inventing an excuse.


mmm

You find out who are your friends and who is just using you pretty quickly, for sure. Happened to us recently concerning some rather tedious pet sitting. We finally said that we weren't going to be available for that any longer, and haven't heard from them since.

Cornelius Tuggerson 09-06-2016 01:31 PM

Sorry, I can't, that's the day I wash the gimp.

gnoitall 09-06-2016 01:57 PM

Sorry, allergic to cinders. And blocks.

Also, I'm pretty sure the statute of limitations hasn't yet expired in your state. You know how open arrest warrants can be.

Omar Little 09-06-2016 03:19 PM

I don't have many rules in life, but this is one of them.

I don't ask friends to come and move my cinder blocks, so I'm not coming to move your cinder blocks.

BeeGee 09-06-2016 06:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mean Mr. Mustard (Post 19606549)
I know this thread is approximately half in jest, but I don't get why so many folks feel the obligation to provide a reason they are declining an invitation.

"I'm sorry, I can't make it."

This works for me, and I think it much better than inventing an excuse.


mmm

That's what I do. "I'm sorry, I can't." If pushed hard enough, the answer may change to "Because I don't want to." But only if you push me hard enough.

That's the answer my cousin finally gets. She always wants me to go to this one restaurant when she comes to town. It's way on the other side of town. It caters to tourists and loudmouths. The food is reputed to be very bad. The clientele wants to pretend they're in Key West. No. I've been in this town for 35 years and I've never gone there.

control-z 09-07-2016 11:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cornelius Tuggerson (Post 19608870)
Sorry, I can't, that's the day I wash the gimp.

It's refreshing to see someone advocate proper gimp maintenance.

Nava 09-07-2016 11:14 AM

Sorry, it's my turn to put the streets in place.

Sorry, it's my turn to hang up the sun.

Sorry, gotta go help organize the next round of Middle East peace talks.

Sorry, I've got to see the Pope about redecorating the Sixtine Chapel.

Teuton 09-07-2016 11:18 AM

Test match? Lords? Good god, man, you mean you didn't know?

Czarcasm 09-07-2016 11:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cornelius Tuggerson (Post 19608870)
Sorry, I can't, that's the day I wash the gimp.

Is it bath day already? :)

gigi 09-07-2016 02:48 PM

"This nap isn't going to take itself."

Rigamarole 09-07-2016 05:16 PM

I go with the Deadpool excuse... "You know, I would, but... I don't want to."

Billdo 09-07-2016 11:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jennshark (Post 19603803)
My work bestie and I were just talking about "excuses that no one will challenge you on, ever." In our case, we were fantasizing about ways to get out of a monthly, extremely boring and unproductive meeting.

Best one: "I've pooped my pants and have to go home."

My favorite medical excuse is "gastric distress." No boss will ever ask any follow-up questions about the details of your gastric distress or whether it is a real excuse.

Joey P 09-07-2016 11:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Billdo (Post 19613105)
My favorite medical excuse is "gastric distress." No boss will ever ask any follow-up questions about the details of your gastric distress or whether it is a real excuse.

I think the "Does anyone else smell burning hair?" excuse trumps that.

(TL;DR OP had a stroke this morning :eek: )

edwards_beard 09-08-2016 02:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Joey P (Post 19613143)

(TL;DR OP had a stroke this morning :eek: )



Wow...that dedication to an excuse.

gnoitall 09-08-2016 02:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by edwards_beard (Post 19614579)
Wow...that dedication to an excuse.

And yet, I know from personal experience that even a medical condition wouldn't be an ironclad excuse.
"A stroke. Those, like, only happen on one side, right? Ok, so you can carry one cinderblock at a time with your good hand. See? So, when can I expect you out? Those blocks ain't movin' themselves!"

WOOKINPANUB 09-08-2016 03:31 PM

I have to blow dry my gerbil. I said that to a boyfriend once and he, quick lad that he is , said "who are you, Richard Gere?"

Seriously though, as others have said, there is no need to say anything but a polite "sorry, I can't make it".

santiago42 09-09-2016 02:30 PM

Sorry, but 7 out of the 11 voices in my head said we should stay home and clean our guns. Democracy in action. You don't hate freedom, DO YOU????

Daylate 09-09-2016 02:59 PM

Was following a sort of elderly pickup truck last week, and got close enough to read a sticker on the rear of the bed. It was a preemptive strike, so to speak.

"YES, THIS IS MY TRUCK.
NO, I WON'T HELP YOU MOVE"

gnoitall 09-09-2016 04:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Daylate (Post 19617418)
Was following a sort of elderly pickup truck last week, and got close enough to read a sticker on the rear of the bed. It was a preemptive strike, so to speak.

"YES, THIS IS MY TRUCK.
NO, I WON'T HELP YOU MOVE"

This is in the same vein as my "No, I will not fix your computer" coffee mug.

Daylate 09-09-2016 05:56 PM

Quote:

This is in the same vein as my "No, I will not fix your computer" coffee mug.
Darn - was going to get one of those but they're "out of stock"!

Cardigan 09-09-2016 06:05 PM

Help move cinderblocks? Sure I'd love to. Lemme check with my Parole Officer and see if it's okay to drive three states away.....

Haldurson 09-09-2016 11:48 PM

"I've got the 24 hour Ebola" (Firesign Theater)
"I'm spending the next week dead for tax purposes" (Douglas Adams)
"I'll definitely help after you get rid of this body for me. By the way, what do you recommend for getting bloodstains out of the carpeting?"

dracoi 09-10-2016 03:06 PM

There's always astrology. "Sorry, Mercury is in retrograde for the next two weeks."

(I had a client use that exact excuse for why they wouldn't have their income tax documents ready until March.)

gigi 09-12-2016 04:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Daylate (Post 19617908)
Darn - was going to get one of those but they're "out of stock"!

SURE they are. :rolleyes: Geez, ThinkGeek, if you don't want to send out a mug, just say so.

Quote:

Originally Posted by WOOKINPANUB (Post 19614797)
I have to blow dry my gerbil.

I haven't heard it called that before.


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