Tuesday, November 6, 2012

What They Said: Excuse Me

By JccKeith

“Sorry, I can’t today.  My sister’s friend’s mother’s grandpa’s brother’s grandson’s uncle’s fish died.  And yes, it was tragic.” – anonymous

O.k. now I did steal this quote from someone’s page on Facebook.  And I’m fairly certain I’ve posted it at least once.  It’s funny.  Admit it.  It is the epitome of the word ‘excuse.’

We’ve all heard the typical excuses from our friends, family, bosses and other annoying people present at our jobs.  The point is, it doesn’t really matter what the excuse is, it is still an excuse and just as annoying as any valid reason for not doing something.

I encounter far too many excuses on a daily basis from my husband and kids.  They are not the profound stuff of the above quote rather they are simple phrases which seem as though they could possibly be true.  

“I’m tired,” “I forgot,” and “I didn’t have time,” are the most common.  These might work on the average person who doesn’t know better but I am not the average person.  I live with these people.  So when my kids use the excuse that they’re too tired, I feel justified in pointing out that they were just running up and down the stairs, chasing each other through the house, yelling at the top of their lungs and just shoveled down enough candy into their mouths to give an elephant a sugar buzz.  Yeah, the “I’m too tired” excuse doesn’t fly.  Not in my house.

Which is why I am sitting here typing away on my laptop at nearly midnight.  I joined the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month for those who don’t know).  Joining the challenge to write 50,000 words in one month has added a new pressure to my life – because I so need more of those! I must be crazy but then again me being crazy is not exactly front page news.  Anyway, here it is that time of night when most people have long since gone to bed and fallen asleep.  Probably those healthy, wealthy and wise people who follow Ben Franklin’s advice and are ‘early to bed, early to rise.’

I am not among them.  I tried turning off the laptop with a realistic sounding reason of “I’m tired.”  Then I remembered that it’s not true and I wouldn’t allow anyone else in this house to procrastinate by using that lame old reason.  So I tried finding a better excuse to procrastinate and not write any more on my novel but all I found was the above quote about the fish.  It reminded me that indeed, we have had a death in our house recently, just two days ago, my youngest daughter’s hamster died.

It was not tragic, she wasn’t even upset but then I don’t think she even remembered she had a hamster since I and my husband were the ones cleaning its cage and giving it food and water.  I did, however, launch into an immediate in-depth investigation into the cause of death. 

Totally Unrelated, Just Making Sure You're Still  Paying Attention
My prime suspect was the cat.  Her shady behavior, lack of expected emotional response to the loss of a family member and curious disappearance from the area were quite suspicious.  Finding her in the upstairs asleep on a bed, I questioned her about her whereabouts over the last 24 hours.  She pleaded the fifth and refused to respond.  I listed her as an uncooperative witness and a cat of interest. 

The rats, despite being rats, were sleeping quietly in their megacage across the room.  They had nothing to say on the matter either.  They’re a close knit group, the three Muskateers really, so they all stuck together and kept quiet.  What else could I expect from rats?  The dog was equally uncooperative but kept close by my side throughout the investigation.  An examination of the crime scene yielded no clues or signs of a struggle.  The deceased on the other hand, upon being removed from the scene appeared to have no claw marks or bite marks or signs of distress of any kind, other than being dead.

Concerned about a possible outbreak of whatever mystery disease had killed the hamster, I inquired at the pet store later that day while buying crickets for the reptiles.  The general consensus of the pet store people was that small rodents like hamsters just die sometimes and you’ll never know the reason, could be wet tail disease. 

My Cat is Shady
The rats and other pets were at no risk since the hamster, presumably never had any contact with them.  Just in case, the crime scene, a.k.a. hamster cage was properly removed from the house and disposed of in a dumpster.  We may never know the true cause as the other animals in the house still have not spoken about the events leading up to the death of the hamster.

Closing the case of the hamster death, not being tired, and having taken care of all other household and family concerns for the day – here I am with no reason to not write.  While I have managed to successfully distract myself by writing this detailed post about procrastination and excuses for twenty minutes, I am back where I started.  Excuses.  There just aren’t any valid ones for not writing a brilliant, amazing novel.  

Although I am starting to feel a little tired.

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