On walking into the room at exactly the wrong bit in a conversation on the subject of a particularly tough cross-country race which took place in Devon last week
"Yeah, he's running in The Grizzly this weekend."
"Bloody hell - he must be mad!"
"Too right. Eighteen miles, cross-country, scaling cliffs, through all sorts of mud and crap."
"D'you know they actually supply spare running shoes for the contestants who lose their trainers in the muddiest bits?"
Enter Mrs Duck.
"So I hear. They're always getting sucked off in bogs."
Exit Mrs Duck.
Bejebus! Begorrah! Bevote-no!
Tomorrow is St Patrick's Day, which to the delight of every bar and pub manager in the world who has ever uttered the word "Begorrah", falls on a Friday this year. And what way to celebrate a country where it always rains than with a story about golden showers?
In which case, unless I chicken out again, tomorrow's story will be the foulest, mankiest, most shameful story I have ever written. And in honour of the man who banished snakes from Ireland, it will feature a genuine Irish trouser snake.
Oh God, I'm going into hiding for the weekend, and I may never return. So, in lieu of a Thursday vote-o, I present its bastard low-quality offspring, the Thursday suggest-o.
What's the worst excuse you've ever used?
Caught out horribly, I have used, to my eternal disgrace, the utterly hackneyed:
"My brother ate my library ticket."
"The dog ate my homework."
"My watch is running slow - see?"
...so I suppose I thoroughly deserved the ensuing detentions, letters home and rampant floggings. Such was my lack of imagination in the face of abject terror, I couldn't even bring myself to blame everything on Mexican bandits. For shame.
Why make excuses, then, when you have the burning sword of truth on your side?
"Doctors appointment. Licked a tramp."
Tell the truth, and you'll get your reward in heaven. And if you've got the Tramp AIDS, that might be sooner than you expected.