Might have told you about the time I was in school and had a politics lesson in the morning and one in the afternoon. Decided not to go in that morning, but wandered in for the afternoon. To avoid consequences, I slouched into class, was surly and silent and utterly preoccupied. Teach asked me what was wrong, and, come to that, why I hadn't been in her class that morning. "Oh, I was busy failing my driving test AGAIN!" I said. Poor thing was desperately sympathetic, thinking I was all heartbroken and churned up. It was only when she left the room that my friends gathered round, and I mentioned it was a complete con...
Best TRUE excuse for missing a deadline was my first month in a job on a magazine for merchant navy officers. I was hunting an interview with a captain of a ship whose ship had burned to a cinder in a port on the other side of the world. I was in London chasing him in Australia, he was in Australia chasing permission from his bosses in California to talk to this journalist in London - whoooole logistical time-zone nightmare, which ultimately fell apart two days after the dealine was past. Way not to impress the new boss.
In the same job, I've also missed a press conference because, with no word of a lie, I missed the boat it was taking place on. Couldn't find the dock in time, and saw it steaming off as I reached the pier. Had to make my way across London to where the boat was going, and beat it there, to get the interview I needed.
Come to think of it, in that same job, I was four hours late for "press day" - the most crucial day of the month - once because I was at home talking to Donna (who's now my wife) on the net. Blamed it on a broken-down subway, which I admit was stretching it beyond the point of reason. Was worth it though.
Very nearly missed a plane to Monte Carlo once because I was in a taxi to the airport when I realised I didn't have my passport. Missed an interview on a trip to Italy because I came down with food poisoning. Which was also true, but cut very little ice with my bosses, who'd allocated two pages to my words, which then didn't exist.
But I supposed the worst, true, excuse has to be the first time I met my wife at Heathrow. I was late arriving, and she was a bit frantic, having flown all the way to London to meet me for the first time. The weird thing is that this excuse was completely true. I'd got on a subway train saying Heathrow. Halfway there, the driver announced that in fact, he wouldn't be going to Heathrow after all, but somewhere entirely...else. A bunch of frustrated passengers got off, and we spent the next half-hour being British on a train platform in December, m uttering about how it just wasn't good enough really, was it...
And so I was late for our first real-world meeting. Don't think she believed the reason why at the time. I THINK, having now been married tro me for almost three years, and experienced first-hand my extraordinary relationship with transport of all kinds, I think she's come to terms with the fact that my life is just LIKE that!
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