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Please Excuse…

picture of sign

The last post dealt with students' excuses for the way things are. Today's will focus on the parents of those young scholars. My first eleven years of teaching were on the high school level where meeting the parents of my students was often quite interesting. It left me thinking one of two things — either "Is that child really from that family?!" or "Well, that explains a lot!" As one of my college teachers used to say, "The apple doesn't fall far from the horse, does it?"

The following are reputed to be real notes written by parents. I have left (mis)spellings and grammatical problems intact. Some of them are funny, but some are just sad.

My son is under a doctor's care and should not take P.E. today. Please execute him.

Please excuse Lisa for being absent. She was sick and I had her shot.

Please excuse Jimmy for being. It was his father's fault.

Dear School: Please ekscuse John being absent on Jan. 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, and also 33.

Please excuse Roland from P.E. for a few days. Yesterday he fell out of a tree and misplaced his hip.

John has been absent because he had two teeth taken out of his face.

Megan could not come to school today because she has been bothered by very close veins.

Chris will not be in school cus he has an acre in his side.

Please excuse Ray Friday from school. He has very loose vowels.

I kept Billie home because she had to go Christmas shopping because I don't know what size she wear.

Please excuse Tommy for being absent yesterday. He had diarrhea and his boots leak.

Irving was absent yesterday because he missed his bust.

Please excuse Jennifer for missing school yesterday. We forgot to get the Sunday paper off the porch, and when we found it Monday, we thought it was Sunday.

Sally won't be in school a week from Friday. We have to attend her funeral.

Please excuse my son's tardiness. I forgot to wake him up and I did not find him till I started making the beds.

Please exuse Tiffany from being absent she had a sour throught.

George was absent yesterday because he had a stomach.

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To give the benefit of the doubt, it could be that the notes were actually written by the student and signed by the parent. Now we know why parents are screaming for better education for their kids!

As I prepared for this post I found a excuse form from one fairly tough school district:

picture of excuse form

On the other end of the spectrum I offer you an All-Purpose Excuse Form, designed to help get you out of the trouble you've gotten yourself into. It's multiple choice, so pick the items that work best for your situation. You'll be surprised how effective this form can be! If nothing else, it will serve as fodder for learning to write your own excuses. (I realize this is something some of you may need no help with. In fact, you could probably make suggestions on how to improve the form below....)


a) Mom,
b) Dad,
c) Love of my life,
d) Assistant Principal,
e) Local Police Chief,

Words cannot begin to express how sorry I am that your

a) car
b) house
c) pet
d) espresso maker
e) left arm

was severely damaged by my

a) infantile
b) tasteless
c) inept
d) comically brilliant but nonetheless sadistic
e) woefully underappreciated

prank. How could I have known that the

a) car
b) jet ski
c) large helium balloon
d) rodent driven sledge
e) Zamboni

I was riding in would go so far out of control? And while it is true that I should not have pointed it in the direction of your

a) house,
b) wife,
c) Cub Scout troop,
d) 1/16th sized replica of the Statue of Liberty, complete with light bulb in the torch,
e) priceless collection of Coca-cola bottles,

you must understand that it was all meant in fun. The subsequent carnage that I caused is beyond my ability to

a) imagine,
b) fathom,
c) comprehend,
d) appreciate,
e) pay for,

and I must therefore humbly ask your forgiveness. I know that you are perfectly within your rights to

a) hate me,
b) sue me,
c) shun me,
d) take my firstborn,
e) gouge out my eyes with spoons and feed them to the fish in your koi pond,

but I ask you to remember all the good times we've had, joshing around at

a) school
b) work
c) church
d) the bowling alley
e) the municipal jail

and to remember that I am first and foremost your

a) friend.
b) child.
c) sibling.
d) lease co-signer.
e) only possible match, should you ever need a bone marrow transplant.

I think that counts for more than this one prank, especially a prank that

a) was so stupid.
b) was so silly.
c) would have been funny, if it had worked.
d) you would have done, if you had thought of it first.
e) I'm surely going to use again on someone else.


Enter name or alias here: ________________________

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Have any of you heard of received a great excuse that you'd like to share in the comments?


"There's nothing we can do to get God to love us more, and nothing we can do to make Him love us less." - Richard Stratton

=^..^= =^..^=

Someday we'll look back on all this and plow into a parked car.

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12 Comments on “Please Excuse…”

  1. #1 M.
    on May 3rd, 2010 at 7:10 am

    Ah ha ha! I love the excuse about the newspaper, and the one about making the beds. 🙂 Also, is this line your original: “Someday we’ll look back on all this and plow into a parked car.” ? I love it. I want to steal it.

    I don’t think I have been in a position to receive funny excuses from people very much. I have received a lot of painful excuses, such as “It’s not you, it’s me,” and “I don’t think God wants me to pursue this right now,” and “we’re too much alike.” Oh, well … their losses!

  2. #2 Michael
    on May 3rd, 2010 at 8:59 am

    Having loose vowels is an excellent reason to stay home from school.

    Receiving excuses from parents for their children is something that I have trouble dealing with. The streak of justice in me doesn’t want to grant any special favors since it often looks like the child has manipulated the parent, but since I’m in Christian education and our survival depends upon the tuition money these parents pay, more and more I try to follow the philosophy that the “customer is always right”. I’m here to serve the parents after all.

  3. #3 Rob
    on May 3rd, 2010 at 9:03 am

    @M. – Glad you enjoyed this. You are certainly free to use the sig line.

    @Michael – Ah, yes, the customer is always right, even when he isn’t. 🙂 In France, they would never hold to that tenet. Many people have been corrected and upbraided in many a store in France, including Frenchmen themselves.

  4. #4 Sarah
    on May 3rd, 2010 at 11:47 am

    A fellow teacher received an email requesting that since her son was so respectful and obedient to the teacher would she please give him the 2 points he needed to move up a letter grade. Funny thing is, the son is about as opposite of respectful and obedient as you can get.

  5. #5 Ray
    on May 3rd, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    The Mechanicsburg form is pretty soft compared to the trade school I attended after high school. They helped to prepare us for the working world in a number of ways and the first one was that “the only excused absence was a bullet between the eyes”. The only day I dared to miss that year was a family funeral where I was a pallbearer – which didn’t quite fall into the excused absence guidelines. Oh, well… I haven’t worked in that trade for nearly 10 years now.

    My dad had a slightly different line about “the apple”. His was “the apple didn’t fall far from the tree” and as I got older, I could see what he meant. It may be a New England derivation on your version.

  6. #6 Ann
    on May 4th, 2010 at 6:10 am

    Along that line…I once received a note from a mother saying that her child had not brought home the new spelling list and that she needed one. (Her note was written on the back of the spelling list that I had sent home!!!)

    Thanks for the continued smiles! I always look forward to them.

  7. #7 Rob
    on May 6th, 2010 at 10:51 am

    @Sarah – Ah, the little ironies of life with humans. So often it seems as if it’s the other way around — parents wish they could get their little darlings to behave for them at home the way they do at school.

    @Ray – What you’ve quoted is the actual proverb. My former teacher and colleague, may he rest in peace, delighted in saying it the way I related. (Think “road apples….”)

    @Ann – That’s hilarious! I remembered a handwritten parental excuse that has been in my file for almost 30 years now. I’m grateful to my friends, the school secretaries, who photocopied it for me. I’ve blurred the last name to protect the guilty. (So the note of the one secretary to the other secretary shows that the note was indeed put “on file.”) This is a special bonus to those who come to the blog itself and read the comments.

    picture of excuse note

    My children would say WTMI (WAY too much information)! Poor Rachel! 😀

  8. #8 Vikki
    on May 7th, 2010 at 9:19 am

    This comment is a little late in coming, but I just had to add it to the list.

    When my son was somewhere around 3rd grade he decided to write a note to his teacher from me. I received a call and was asked to come to the school because of it.

    I don’t remember what the note said or even the reason for it, but he was very ingenious when it came to the signature. There, below an obviously child-written excuse, neatly cut out and glued to the bottom, was my signature. He had come to me the night before and said, for homework, they were suppose to collect signatures from people so they could see the different ways people wrote in cursive. I never in a million years would have dreamed that this is what he really wanted it for!!!

  9. #9 Rob
    on May 7th, 2010 at 11:12 am

    @Vikki – How did you keep a straight face when you had to dress him down about that escapade? 🙂

  10. #10 Vikki
    on May 7th, 2010 at 11:16 am

    The teacher/principal (I can’t remember now who it was) and I had a really good laugh over it because it was so original. I guess I got the snickers out of my system then. I don’t remember how we even handled it with him. But I do know that he never tried to do anything like that again.

  11. #11 Rob
    on May 7th, 2010 at 11:19 am

    @Vikki – It’s good that you had the chance to get the laughing done before doing business. Whatever you did, it must have been effective since there was no repeat performance. 😀

  12. #12 JD
    on May 17th, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    the portfolio requirement for homeschooling in that district (ours) is horrible too