The Perfect Excuse

If you're anything like me, you sometimes let an e-mail from a friend, relative, associate, or life partner languish in your inbox for so long that you're too embarrassed to write back.  I've composed this little letter that is guaranteed to get you out of hot water.  Just copy it from this page and paste it directly into your e-mail reply.  Remember, it's always better to tell a lie when the truth is too embarrassing or cruel!  Don't forget to fill out the blue sections with the required information.  :)


Dear (insert name of person you are writing to),

So there I was, (insert elapsed time since you received the e-mail) ago sitting down to write you a letter.  When all of a sudden three people I never met before came into my house and insisted that I go with them to Syria. 

Apparently they needed someone to help them carry a gym bag across the border into Turkey.  At first I thought it odd that the bag was really the only piece of luggage between the four of us but they explained that their other luggage was already waiting at the Gaziantep bus station.  

I stepped off the plane and headed toward the terminal to buy a souvenir coffee mug for you and one of those little silver spoons for my collection.  When I walked out of the gift shop I noticed my new friends were nowhere to be seen.  At first I was worried, but then I remembered they told me that if we were ever separated I should meet them in the coastal city of Iskenderun at the Big Boy.  

The bus ride was fun and the people were so friendly.  The old woman in the seat next to me was a magician of some sort who repeatedly baffled me with a slight of hand trick involving the largest denomination coins that I had in my pocket.  

As we neared Iskenderum we were stopped at a check-point by armed guards.  The previous check-points were manned by amputee guards that were less intimidating but the guards at this one definitely looked like they worked out.  The most surly guard was named Patricia and she immediately recognized that I was not Turkish.  She came over to where I was sitting and asked me to open my bag. I was nervous and explained, using my little translation dictionary, that I was told the store at airport was duty free but that I would be glad to pay whatever taxes I owed for the mug and the spoon.  Patricia did not seem to understand what I was saying.   I flipped through the pages of my English to German dictionary as fast as I could but could not find a better translation. Patricia ripped the bag from my hands and gently pulled back the zipper.  She reached in with her well toned arm and pulled out six little Ziploc bags full of a brownish white powder.  She screamed something that sounded like "the flamingo is innocent" and pistol whipped me into unconsciousness.

When I awoke I was tied to a chair in a courtroom.  My bleary eyed lawyer was sitting next to me staring with rapt fascination at his pencil.  The judge banged his gavel three times and sentenced me to (again insert elapsed time since you received the e-mail)  for non-payment of the 13 cent luxury tax on all ceramics and decorative utensils.  I asked my lawyer about the Ziploc bags that Patricia had found in my bag and he said that I should forget that they ever existed and never speak of them again.  He then wiped some powdered substance from the rim of his nostril, winked at the judge, and staggered out the back door of the courtroom.

The next (again insert elapsed time since you received the e-mail) went by like a dream.  The prison had beautiful facilities and was right on the beach.  We would play dodge ball all day long and sip frozen cocktails as the sun set over the Mediterranean.  Every Sunday we would have an Easter egg hunt and Wednesday was pizza day in the cafeteria!  The massages were long and thorough and the maids left a tiny mint on my cot each night before bed.  On my last day the other inmates and the guards all sang a song that they had written about me.  It was very beautiful and has become a minor hit at the dance clubs in Greece. 

So anyway, I just wanted you to know that I haven't been ignoring you and I would have written using the laptop that was in my room but my cellmate was always on line trying to hook-up on some computer dating service.  So what have you been up to?  Anything fun and exciting?  Write back and tell me all about it.

bye for now! 

(your name here)  :)