Sometimes you just have to lie

Some six months ago, my very dear friend, “John,” moved from the northeast, where people are pretty normal, to Florida, which is, you know, different than here.

John had the audacity to FaceTime me tonight, and I don’t like these video Skype/FaceTime apps because I don’t want anyone to see my face or my messy place. I don’t usually pick up but I did for him, but only because I love him.

Anyway, I noticed John’s nice new short Florida haircut, and he told me he just got it at the very convenient barber shop he’s been going to that’s just a few blocks away. Likes the barber, who does a great job on his hair. But, he tells me, the poor guy has been having a hard time finding reliable people to work in his busy shop. When John showed up for his haircut, he asked about the guy who used to work there, and the barber said he had to let him go. “And I have a new guy now, and he was supposed to be here 20 minutes ago, but he’s late,” he said.

So, John was sympathizing with this barber about the lack of good help when the barber’s cell phone rang, and he said he had to take it. And while John is sitting there, he heard one side of the conversation, which involved statements like “What?” “Oh,” and “Um, okay,” coupled with some perplexed facial gestures.

When the barber got off the phone, he said that it was the other barber who had just called and that he was not going to be able to come in that day because — and this is exactly what he said to his boss — he had been fingerbanging his wife the night before and his hand was all cramped up and he was unable to hold a scissor.

He did not say he had food poisoning or the flu or that he had a fever, but that his hand was cramped from fingerbanging his wife.

I guess I’d like to know what other human being in the world would tell their boss this. Under what circumstance is this something you’d say to your boss when calling out sick?

And I have more questions. How does the boss ever shake this guy’s hand again without thinking of fingerbanging? How does he shake his hand, period? Forget ordering lunch and sharing French fries. That’s not going to happen. What does the boss say if he ever meets this guy’s wife? How do you look a woman in the face knowing she was recently fingerbanged so rigorously that her husband could not hold a scissor the next day? I mean, do you think to yourself, “she’s got a vagina that really likes a beating”? How do you avoid thinking that?

Look, I have to be honest: I am not a wise person. I make a lot of mistakes. I am overly emotional. I have anxiety. I take medication for it. I am not one to be able to offer anyone useful advice.

Still, I think I am doing you all a favor by telling you that if you ever need to call out for work, do not use the excuse that you were fingerbanging your wife so hard the night before that your hand is all cramped up.

Say you have diarrhea, Ebola, huge clots from your period, or that you lopped off some toes in a tragic farming accident. I would not lead you astray. Any of those, all of those, are far better than telling your boss you have cramps in your hand from fingerbanging your wife.

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