There are a handful of good excuses for not going to work: illness, death in the family, and actually that's just about it. But considering just how soul-crushing so many jobs are, I think that list needs to be expanded. I know for me getting to work on time and in a productive state is dependent on so many rituals, all of which must go exactly as planned or I'm just no good to anyone.
Am I being a big baby? I sure I am, but when I'm King these will all be valid excuses. (Also you will be disemboweled for calling me a big baby, you fucking peasant.)
#6. Super Bad Nightmares
It doesn't happen often, but once every five years or so, I dream a member of my family has died. I don't see the incident or even fully understand how it happened. I just get the news, and I get it over and over again. Like twenty times in one night. First, I learn they're dead. Then I forget. And then it happens again. It's like a sick combination of Memento and Groundhog Day. I wake up with an aching jaw from clenching my teeth, and the need to snuggle the not dead family member lasts for hours.
After this nightmare, I then go to work, but I shouldn't. I should write an e-mail like this instead:
Sorry to hear your wife is dead. I hope it was painless. Sorry. She's not really dead, but that was pretty upsetting, right? No, seriously, they asked me to write you, it's true, she's totally dead. Not! Anyway, that's what happened to me last night. I don't mean I killed your wife (that was the drug cartel this morning when they sprayed machine gun shots into your living room window - joking!) Anyway, I had that dream where a loved one dies last night. Still shaken up. See you Tuesday.
Boss, you and your now dead wife. (Not really.)
#5. Interrupted Morning Dump
When I was in college I saw this Kids in the Hall skit extolling the virtues of the 20 minute morning dump as one of life's great pleasures. It always struck me as odd, but now that I'm a working man like Kevin McDonald in that skit, I have to say he is right on the money. The early morning dump is a pretty special thing. It gives you time to come up with a game plan. What needs to be done and in what order. Also, if you do it right, it will save you the indignity of the workplace dump in that ugly stall with the painfully thin toilet paper. Most of all, if it's a stressful day, purging yourself thoroughly in the morning will make it literally impossible for you to crap your pants at the office.
But what happens when that morning dump gets interrupted? Maybe you're out of toilet paper. Or you have some, but it's downstairs. Or the phone rings. Or you realize you'll never catch your train at your current rate of discharge. Well, then you've just ruined everything, haven't you? You're gonna be dumping at some stupid time like 10:40, well after your morning shower, and then you'll have that not so fresh feeling for the rest of the day.
Today I was like three quarters through a pretty glorious dump when I realized I had the cookies for our company bake sale in the oven. Well, needless to say I had to rush down there so they didn't burn. I washed my hands thoroughly, took them out, and then tried to get back to business, but as I'm sure you know, you just never really get it back. Now I'm all discombobulated and waiting for the rest of it, and I'm sorry, I just can't make it in today. And don't worry about missing the cookies because, come on, you know I didn't really think to wash my hands.
Trust me. You didn't want them anyway.
#4. Losing Hot Water in the Shower
For me, the shower is a special, almost holy place. Not only can a warm shower clean your body, but it can help quell an allergy attack, relieve a sinus headache, and provide a relaxing environment for a good shave. It can also be a sanctuary for that other thing men and women do depending on their shower head setting, and whether there's sufficient soap and imagination. Tis truly a magical place.
But all those things are made possible by hot water. Without that revitalizing steam, the shower becomes cold and upsetting like prison, but without all the male-on-male forced sodomy. (At least in my shower). Instead of emerging clean, refreshed, and brimming with good ideas, you hop out pissed off with soap still clinging to places you like too much to expose to the harsh realities of freezing water. Your hair is a mess (no time or tolerance for conditioner) and the towel mocks you with a thousand pointy fibers that still begrudgingly accept your freezing run-off because, let's face it, it's a towel even if I personify the hell out of it.
Shower lost hot water after only about 90 seconds in. Needless to say I didn't get a chance to condition or think about that chick in the ripped fishnets I hooked up with at Madison Square Garden after the Bowie/NIN show back in the 90s. Boiler guy is coming later today. I'll be back tomorrow.
She said Trent put on a better show than Bowie, but I let it slide.