Day 223: Call in Sick

My friend Jeremy has a great policy: If you’re going to call in sick to work, make it something your boss will be too scared or embarrassed to question. He has used “I have to get my lung drained” on multiple occasions. The response is usually, “Oh God, take as much time as you need.” BINGO. Here are some more suggestions. Try them out and let me know how they worked for you.

  • Organ rejections. “My body is rejecting the pig aorta I got when I was 17. Did you know I had a heart defect that caused me to need a pig aorta? Anyway, this rejection thing usually just lasts about 24 hours. I’ll be in tomorrow.”
  • Anything you can contract from an animal – Cat Scratch Fever, Squirrel itch, Monkey Pox, Canine Nausea. Two of those are real.
  • Choose any African or Asian country/city and add flu to it. Try, “My doctor says I have the Kinshasa Flu. He’s not sure how long it lasts but I’m definitely contagious.” Other possibilities are Mongolian, Guyanese, and Cambodian.
  • Any previously eradicated disease works extremely well as long as you  don’t go with something people know about like Polio or Small Pox. Some good examples are Whooping Cough, The Yaws (terrifying name), Diphtheria and Typhoid (Typhus). You can even have fun and make some up. Here are some favorites: Gapping Craw, Cranial Flenitus, Lymphatic Asynchronaeity, and  Juniper Circle. They might ask what these are, but as long as you answer, “you don’t wanna know,” you should be in the clear.
  • Emergency Circumcision (male or female use is permitted). If you can bring yourself to use it, it’s the best. It’ll probably get you a whole week NQA (no questions asked). Just hope that when you return to work, your boss was able to keep a secret.
  • Food poisoning. I know this is obvious, but it helps a lot if you say HOW you got it. “I can’t come in today because I had some fried oysters at Bennigans then went over to The Sizzler for all you can eat brie sticks. I’ve been on the toilet all night.”  Specificity is the name of the game for this one. In fact, if you provide enough details, your boss might just hang up on you. Have fun at the baseball game.
  • Anything to do with the brain. The brain is mysterious and strikes enough fear in people that they want to stop talking about it immediately. Try these: Synaptual Incongruity, Hemisphereitis, Brain Spots.
  • Any syndrome named after a person: You can make these up. Try Jarreau Syndrome. Then when you hang up the phone start singing Al Jarreau (just as celebration of your day off). Might I suggest the lyrics, “does anyone wanna go dancin’ on the ceiling? Does anyone wanna go dancin’ on the roof?”
  • Any emotion combined with a body part is weird enough to illicit zero questions. Excitable Neck or Sad Foot might work.

Sorry, I’m just making shit up now. Enjoy a day off. It’s on me (and Jeremy)

I'm a contributing writer to Parents Magazine, GQ, Psychology Today and some others. My book, "This is Ridiculous. This is Amazing: Parenthood in 71 Lists" is available here Look for two more books in 2015: "Must. Push. Buttons (Bloomsbury Kids), and an as-of-yet untitled memoir I’ve appeared on Comedy Central’s “Live at Gotham” and “Nick Mom’s Night Out." I live in New Jersey with my wife and two sons and enjoy making them laugh more than anyone else.

8 comments On Day 223: Call in Sick

  • I like to leave it general like ‘I stopped taking my meds again and my dr found out and called my probation officer’.

  • hee hee try anal glaucoma….you cant see your ass goin into work today. lol. if boss asks what exactly is anal glaucoma….without laughing say anal leakage. and its pretty severe lol. Used it once and got off for about an hour ….too bad my supervisor was a friend an knew what I was doing…i was so busted. lol

  • Love these … if only I didn't work in the medical field :P We should have a set of our own get-out-of-work-free options >.>

  • I'm a big fan of food issues. Back in college, there was this Thai restaurant that was both really tasty and notorious for playing pretty fast and loose with the food safety (and had a server with two thumbs on one hand, but I don't think these things are related). Anyway, I used to use it all time to get out of exams, midterms, etc.

    All was fun and games until I got lazy and lost track and used the same excuse and claimed venue twice on the same professor in the same class. His response of "I'd have thought you learned not to go back there…" was a pretty clear Game Over.

  • The Sad Foot is a disgusting ailment. It's weepy. Nobody likes excess body fluids. I think it is a perfectly viable option to use. Good job!

    Excitable neck sounds like something you get after youve ran the mouth vacuum a few times.

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