We all know about the classic excuses students offer when their homework is late: “My dog ate it.”, “My Dad spilled coffee on it.”, “A big kid on the bus stole it.”
My friend Pat is a script writer. He recently was delayed when turning in a script.
Here is how a professional writes an excuse for late work:
This would have been ready before five o’clock today, but I had to kill a chicken.
It doesn’t seem like killing a chicken should take up too much time, but there were complications. The reason I had to kill the chicken is because of my wife Cathi’s Christmas present.
The kids got Cathi two Bantam chickens for Christmas. We hid them until Christmas morning and Cathi loved finding her tiny rooster and hen under the tree. Things were great at our house… until we put the newcomers outside.
Our pre-bantam chicken population consisted of two full-sized roosters and four hens. One of our roosters was driven away from the hens by the other rooster about a year ago. We have been trying to figure out what to do with him every since, because there isn’t a much sadder situation than being a hen-less rooster.
As soon as our hen-less rooster saw the tiny hen and her equally tiny rooster boyfriend he decided that if he could kick the tiny rooster’s ass on a regular basis, then he, the hen-less rooster, could move the little rooster one step down the pecking order. I guess he decided that a tiny hen was better than no hen at all.
So… since Christmas morning our days have been spent breaking up cock fights and shooting the big rooster with the BB gun. Watching her tiny boyfriend get beat up three or four times a day has not made the bantam hen like the big rooster even a little bit. Instead she and her boyfriend have holed up on the porch, afraid to go into the yard. They are not afraid to drop little bantam mounds of chicken poop all over the porch while waiting to try and sneak into the house every time someone opens the back door.
Clearly something had to be done. Today, after talking to you, I hosed tiny piles of chicken droppings off the porch, shot at the big rooster with the BB gun, and sat down to finish the script. Cathi and the kids left to run errands.
Before they cleared the driveway, the big rooster cornered the bantam and almost killed him. I chased him away, the bantams ran under the barn, and then…. I went after Cathi’s pistol.
I stood inside the house and as the rooster walked by the door looking for his prey, I dropped him with one shot. I was dumbfounded as a geyser of red liquid sprayed into the air from where he landed. I had never seen so much blood come out of a moose, let alone a chicken. As I stared in disbelief the liquid cleared ……and the geyser of blood became a geyser of water.
I was amazed.
Shooting down from the house, the bullet went through the chicken….. and shattered the main water line coming from the well. The water had to blow up through about a foot of red clay and it took a long moment before it ran clear. That’s why the rooster had clear “blood” after a while.
So…. this afternoon, I wrote your script for about ten minutes, I killed a chicken for about two minutes, and I repaired my water line for about three hours.
It’s not that much more believable than the dog ate my homework, but that is why you are getting the script tonight instead of this afternoon.