The Dog Ate My Homework

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An excuse explains why you are not responsible for the failure.  It is plausible deniability.

Every teacher has heard the cliché excuse from a student, “The dog ate my homework. ” I wonder if that excuse ever actually worked and whether a gullible educator ever accepted it.  I have my doubts.  In my many years teaching English, I heard many excuses why students did not read an assignment or finished a paper.

“I had to care for my sick mother.”

“My homework fell into a puddle on the way to school.”

“My computer wouldn’t power up.”

Creativity abounded.  Here at RCN, we used to employ a graphics person (who was very good at his craft, by the way). In fact, he now works for ABC in New York.  However, he was famous in the office for misspelling words and NEVER, EVER taking the blame for it.  This was astounding because there was no other person who could have been responsible for the mistake!  He, somehow, blamed the computer or there was a glitch in the rendering (both impossible, by the way).  Excuses abounded.

Just last week, during the British Open, Bryson DeChambeau had a particularly bad round of golf.  When asked why, he responded, “With the driver right now, the driver sucks.”  In other words, he took no responsibility for his poor performance.  He was swinging perfectly, but the piece of equipment was letting him down.  His equipment sponsor, who I am sure pays him millions to endorse their product, was not happy with his reasoning.

With the Olympics going on for the next few weeks, imagine if this “excuse” mentality becomes the norm.  We could be hearing the following:

Artistic swimming – “The water was too cold.”

Badminton – “The shuttlecock had seen better days.”

Beach Volleyball – “The sand was too hot.”

Boxing – “Mom, he hit me.”

Judo – “I couldn’t concentrate because he was making these awful sounds.”

Fencing – “His epee is longer than mine.”

Surfing – “Whatever ‘rad’ is, I didn’t have it.”

Baseball – “I did not catch the ball because the laces on my glove were not placed properly.”

Basketball – “I missed the shot because the rim was not properly attached.”

Soccer – “The soles of my shoes were coming off.”

Wrestling – “Eww, he was sweaty.”

The list could go on and on.  But the best excuse I ever read was:

Zambian tennis player Lighton Ndefwayl was in no mood to be graceful in defeat after losing to compatriot Musumba Bwayla in a local tournament in 1992. “Bwayla is a stupid man and a hopeless player. He has a huge nose and is cross-eyed. Girls hate him. He beat me because my jockstrap was too tight and because when he serves, he farts, and that made me lose my concentration, for which I am famous throughout Zambia,” he said.

I am done, not because I want to be, but the ink on my computer ran out.


  1. One of the early shockers in the Olympics so far has to be the 83-76 Men’s Basketball loss by the USA to France. That snapped a 25-game Olympic winning streak by the Americans dating back to 2004.  The real shocker came in the last four and a half minutes when the US team did not make a basket.  If the team is to advance, they must beat Iran and the Czech Republic.  Neither is a basketball powerhouse.
  1. I found the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics a bit too “artsy” and “classical” for my taste. It was beautiful and I always enjoy the parade of nations, but, overall, I would have liked a touch of “lightness”.  Perhaps, in the Covid environment that exists in Japan, this was the best approach.
  1. This week the Cleveland MLB team announced they will be dropping “Indians” from their name. They will become the Cleveland Guardians.  It will be official following the 2021 season.  You will have to wait at least another season for the NFL’s Washington Football Team to change their name.  They claim the new name is on the horizon.
  1. The Phillies are in second place right now. The first-place Mets are vulnerable due to injuries and the Phillies General Manager, Dave Dombrowski, has a history of deal-making.  Up next for the Phils should be a starting pitcher, a center fielder, and some bullpen help.  I doubt if they can fill all of the holes.
  1. Our Blue Mountain League baseball television coverage ends this Tuesday LIVE at 6:00pm. The game features the Limeport Bulls and the Egypt Orioles, both battling for the regular season championship.  Congratulations to the League for another successful season, their 75th.  The playoffs begin this weekend.  Join Chris Michael and me for the broadcast.