The time of year when sports starts bright and early in the morning on the West Coast, when sports is served with lunch on the East Coast. When no matter what you do for a living, from janitor to billionaire, or how smart you are, Stephen Hawking to Texas Governor Rick Perry, we all gather around and watch college basketball with a gleeful joy.
Yep, we're all gay! (The mirthful kind. Yep, I'm bringing back the old school gay).
Walt Whitman heard America singing, well on the opening weekend of the NCAA Tournament I can hear America not working. The sound of America not working is something like the slap of a frosty beer mug on a bar table, mixed with the groans and cheers of a last-second shot, made or missed, all rolled together with the sound of a crisp, crunchy nacho bite.
How can you make sure that you're out watching all the tourney games?
Well, you should just take the days off.
But what if you can't take the days off or you've got a boss who is a complete ass about everyone being at their desk for every hour of every day no matter what's going on in the outside world?
It's time for a convenient case of Bracketitis.
And I've got 11 excuses that are guaranteed to get you out of work.
1. Your kid is sick.
Kids are an awful lot of work.
But they're also one hell of a ready made excuse when NCAA Tourney time rolls around.
Which boss out there is going to call you on a kid being sick?
I can't wait for when my boys are old enough to care about sports and I can hold them out of school for the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday and Friday. My dad used to do this with me when I was elementary school. It's one of the most fun things we did together in the world of sports.
And let's be honest, what are you really missing from two days of elementary school. (Note: Alabama dads, make sure this isn't the day that the school chooses to teach the difference between your and you're.)
So why not go ahead and let them pretend to be sick to stay home from school while you get to use their sickness as a reason to stay home from work?
2. Explosive diarrhea.
No one is calling you on this.
3. Watch games on your computer and bill your client anyway.
This is the lawyer's excuse.
Which is completely abetted by modern technology.
I always see those studies where businesses figure up how much money is being lost via declines in productivity during the NCAA tournament. And I think, not at law firms. Lawyers are watching the games and billing their clients for the work.
4. Manning Mania.
If you're in Nashville, Phoenix, Denver or Miami, you've got the toxic mix of March Madness combined with Manning Mania.
This is enough to make any sports fan go insane.
Speaking of Nashville, tomorrow Peyton Manning could announce for the Titans, Vanderbilt could win a first round game, and Radulov could return from Russia to play with the Predators.
If all of this happens, I think the city would burn.
5. Client meetings.
All you need to do is get out of the office.
So save up all your monthly meetings and set them for the sports bar on Thursday and Friday of this month.
What better way to curry favor with your clients than allow them to get out of work to meet you at the sports bar? They'll love you for this.
Plus, you get to expense the food -- and drinks too if you're sneaky?
This is just genius.
6. Menstrual cramps (for women with a male boss).
Just like women can pretty much get away with wearing anything in the dress code with a male boss -- what man is risking a sexual harassment charge over this? -- you can play your period for all its worth.
There isn't a single male boss on Earth who is asking a second question when menstrual cramps are tossed out there. (Note: gay male bosses might call you on this. At least they would in "Will & Grace.")
7. Someone died in your wife or girlfriend's family.
Again, it's unlikely you're getting called on this.
But this is still getting risky because you don't want to build a pyramid of lies here. You just want enough to get out of work, not an inquisition. Or, God forbid, the phone call about which funeral home to send the flowers to.
One lie begets another lie and pretty soon you've got "A Separation" level issues. (That's the Iranian film that won an Oscar this year. Add it to your Netflix list).
8. Mole removals due to skin cancer threat.
This is one of those things that sounds much more serious than it really is, but it's serious enough that no one is calling you on this. So people will probably be sympathetic when you make it up. Also, you can even put a tiny little patch on your arm or something and claim that’s where the mole removal was. No one really knows whether you had moles on your arm or not. At least they shouldn’t. I just looked down at my own arms because I wasn’t sure whether I had any moles on them. I do, and so do you. Stop looking before you convince yourself you have skin cancer.
9. You threw out your back.
I know lots of people have bad backs, but I also think lots of people exaggerate having bad backs when it's convenient to have a bad back. Why? Because a back injury is almost impossible to disprove. Show a doctor any person’s back on earth and he can find something wrong with it.
That’s great news for you when the NCAA Tourney comes.
10. Circumcision for religious conversion.
Again, who doubts this? Even if you were circumcised when you were a child. Unless you're sleeping with your female boss, she doesn't know if you still have foreskin. (And even if you're sleeping with her, she might not know). Pull aside the HR person at your office and whisper this to her.
I guarantee you’re not going to have to work the next two days.
11. Your mom is having surgery.
Everyone thinks, who would lie about their mom having surgery.
Especially if your team was playing during the middle of the day and you'd otherwise miss it.