The Best and Fairest excuse

So I called the boss at the newspaper the other day. Said I wasn’t coming in. He asked why.

“General soreness,” I said. “A bit of this, a bit of that. You know how it is.”

“Um, no,” he said.

“Not able to take the mark like usual. Not able to fly into the contests.”


“Remember, I’ve been there for every edition the past four months. Haven’t missed a scheduled day. Hardly missed a deadline. Remember my smother in the Tour de France story? I don’t know why Ed thought Cadel Evans was Austrian. That would have been quite a clanger.

“Or that great head from a few months ago: “Tiger turns tail.”

“But enough big-noting myself. You want me at my best for the big games and projects, the two-page spreads with all the charts and stats, the season previews, right?”

“Well, sure.”

“So I need a break from the finger-pounding in the runup beforehand. That four-day high school football preview just about made my head go out on the full. Felt like I was on the receiving end of a sling tackle.”

“From editing copy?”

“From editing copy written by used-car salesmen and second-year university students and McDonald’s managers and whomever else you rounded up to string for us. Grammar got run over by a reindeer, if you catch my drift.”

“So when will you be back?” he asked.

“No worries,” I said. “Soon as I pass the fitness test, I’ll be back sitting in the slot, ready to patrol the corridor.”

“The fitness test?”

“I’ll sit down at the home computer. Type a few sentences. See if I can get from “QWERTY” to “UIOP” without breaking stride or cramping fingers. Maybe look for typos on our website. Have to make sure the muscles and the brain are fresh. You wouldn’t want me to disappoint the editing group.”

“Well, no.”

“Not going on holiday. Just feeling a bit crook. You won’t regret it.”

“Suppose not. Have a good one.”

“You too, mate. G’day.”

A good day indeed. Like catching one in the goal square.

Next time? Maybe cricket. Wait until he hears about stumps and leg breaks and sandshoe crushers. I might get a week off.

About Glenn Brownstein

I'm a red, white and blue supporter of the red, white and black who became a footy fan through ESPN telecasts in the 1980s and a buddy who founded the American version of the game. Yup, I chose the Saints, but I'd like to think they chose me, too.


  1. Jake Stevens says

    That’s fantastic Glenn.

    I only wish I could get the doctor to write me a note for ‘General Soreness’.

  2. I have often thought the other way around.

    What if someone did a knee at work? I couldn’t see many rushing for LARS to get back into the office in under two months.

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