I’ve been reading Frank McCourt’s Teacher Man. McCourt is the author of Angela’s Ashes and ‘Tis – two of my favorites - and Teacher Man is the continuation of his story. Anyway, as a teacher of a creative writing class in New York City in the 1960s, he notices that the most creative things his students write are the forged excuses they bring from “home.” He gives them an assignment based on the Excuse Note. He has his students write an “Excuse” to God from Adam and Eve. Or from Napoleon Bonaparte to the French for Waterloo. Or some other moment in history. If I’d had the good fortune to be in Mr. McCourt’s class, here is what I might have written:
Please excuse my daughter Hilary for missing class. Her husband Bill is out of work and she has been seeking a promotion, which requires that she frequently be out of town.
Sincerely; Mrs. Rodham
Please excuse my son Alec for missing class. He had a terrible hangover.
Sincerely; Mrs. Baldwin
Please excuse my soninlawdaughter Brangolina for missing class. They have been out of town collecting babies.
Sincerely; Mrs. Jolie
Please excuse my son Jamie for missing class. He couldn’t find a thing to wear.
Please excuse my son Smokey for missing class. He had such a raging fever, it was like he was on fire!
Please excuse my son Alfred for missing class. He was having dizzy spells and got crapped on by a flock of birds.
Please excuse my son Carl for missing class. He was all worn out from coughing billions and billions of times during the night.
Please excuse my son Stephen for missing class. He was all out of time.
I’ll probably think of more as the day goes on, but do you have an excuse to add?