Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Giving Excuses

Not many people realize this, but excuses are people at their creative best. They are usually forged under the stimulus of impulse and reflex replies. It is an ascribed trait that measures a person’s intelligence, like Mensa, academic merits, brain size and hair colour.

Excuses also act as a social filter, like an automatic induction into a specific caste. Quick witted people give good excuses which become acknowledge as ‘reasons’, while stupid people give dumb excuses which are received by frowns and should generally be acknowledged with a jab to the mouth.

A measure of how good your excuse is, is to always gauge it against the intensity of yelling or nagging that follows, since excuses are generally introduced to a conversation when a questioning nag erupts. Good excuses not only quell a torrential nag storm, but if you are really good, you might even get an apology.

Excuse : [noun] def:
1. an inferior or inadequate specimen of something specified
2. usually a well crafted lie
3. something people subscribe religiously to
4. by default, anything you say after doing something wrong

Excuses are staple diets in our life. They are seldom constructive and should never be confused with ‘White Lies’. Excuses are always well documented in several scenarios.

1. Being late

As much as people know that every reason behind a falter on punctuality is a blatant excuse, people still want to hear what you have to say. It’s not that they truly want to sympathize with you about missing the bus or that you got mugged along the way, but because subconsciously, they are just waiting for a dumb excuse to float by so that they can punch you.

2. Missing a deadline

This is because there are always a million things working against us when there is a deadline to meet. Like, procrastination, lethargy, complacency, X-Box and herpes. Also because people know that if they actually put in enough effort into thinking, they can come up with a valid enough reason to push back a deadline.

It’s weird because missing deadlines actually stimulates communication. Notice how no one bothers to ask how you managed to meet the deadline, but they probe incessantly about why you failed to meet one?

If you want people to know about your problems, miss a deadline. And if people like you in general, or if you have on a low enough blouse, people would generally be bothered to listen.

3. Forgot an important date

What do you do when apologies don’t cut it and a simple honest ‘I forgot’ is a considerate thought lost in the larger picture of disappointment. It’s like believing recycling paper actually saves the rainforest from the greater greed of industrialization. It’s like breaking your leg during a race and trying to valiantly complete it. It might look honourable, but let’s just keep that to the Special Olympics.

Excuses as such, have a strange pacifying merit to it. Largely because people cling desperately to hope and want to believe in the good of you, as disappointing as you may be. It doesn’t mean you won’t be yelled at to begin with, because women still believe that yelling is the best form of reminder a man can get. It’s weird they think that way because men don’t listen to begin with.

4. When you don’t want sex

The rejection of sex, how subtle it may be communicated, is always laced with a good dose of bruising to the ego. This is one time you cannot say ‘no’ and hope that your partner gets the message cleanly.

With blatant rejection, comes a parabolic host of paranoia, insecurities and a reach for that bottle of lube and stash of porn. There is never a ‘no’ that will be met without a retaliation of ‘why’. As such an excuse –well intention or not – saves the day –and erection.

Of course, there are times when excuses should never be used. The most extrusive moment being when the other party is furious, because anything you say, could say or should say is not only wrong, but is stupid.

As I said, excuses are seldom ever genuinely constructive to any situation, but that should never stop you from honing your abilities to dish out respectable excuses. Here are some guidelines on how to give a good excuse if you aren’t blessed with a quick witted mind and an equally smooth tongue.

a. Be convincing

Excuses always seem more credible when you pretend to be agitated about something. For example, if you turn up late for a meeting.

You: “Sorry. There was a traffic jam.”

That is a bad excuse. It lacks so much creativity that a spastic kid with half a nostril in Peru giving an excuse could have won a Pulitzer Prize if he was matched against you. But if you said,

You: “Fucking Chee Bye. I took a cab and I distinctively told the cab driver NOT to go by that way and he refused to listen. Fucking got caught in a jam and made me waste money.”

Now, with enough irritation – or tears -, not only would you have divert pissness, but you would have converted it to sympathy by sheer self-victimizing.

b. Exploit the elderly

Blame pushing is a paramount theme in excuses. Always make use of proven words like, ‘grandmother’ or ‘grandfather’. For added effect, throwing in conjunctive words like, ‘sick’, ‘dying’ and ‘leprosy’ usually builds a more plausible case.

Yes, it’s morally indignant but integrity and humanity are malleable clauses that can be censured at another time and place. The focal subject at hand, is to get yourself out of the situation. Remember, it’s always better when people are blaming someone else, rather then you.
You cannot imagine how many appeal letters I’ve written in mitigation for parking offences. And I think there is some automated appeal acceptance which traces for the above said key words, because you cannot imagine the bullshit I have written and gotten away with, simply by including the words, ‘sick grandmother’.

c. Keep it simple

When reasons get too complex or draggy, it becomes relegated to an excuse. The best reasons are sometimes the simplest.

When I was in primary school, I’d had this classmate who would have tons of excuses on why he didn’t complete his homework. It was usually always such an elaborate story of a series of unfortunate events that I sometimes wondered if we were in math class or at a Charles Dickens recital.

And I realized then that the longer your excuse, the dumber it becomes and the more irate the other maturates. Conversely, the abridged ones that fall along the line of, ‘I left it in school by accident’ always bode better. Think of it this way, a long erected dick looks impressive, but it's alot harder to cover up than a short one.

d. Contingency

Where all else fails, sometimes a more mature approach might work, like apologizing – and meaning it-, showing some cleavage, a lap dance or buying a diamond.

So who says there isn’t a happy ending for bribery?


At 4:06 PM, Blogger Start Experimenting said...

Great observations. Even like to add, one should try NOT to sound apologetic. The other person will take advantage of you and the witty excuse might go into abyss.

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