“Y” is for: Y Weren’t U @ Skool – 10 Pre-Written Excuses for Teenaged Tardiness/Absence

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I’m a night owl, except for the nights when I go to bed with the sun.  I’m an early riser, except for the days when I snooze until the McDonald’s menu changes from breakfast to lunch. Basically, I’m saying I’m inconsistent.

And because of that, I don’t get up to see the crumbsnatchers off to school.  Knowing that teenagers will take advantage of opportunities afforded by lazy parents, I think ahead.  At the start of each semester, I prepare notes the crumbsnatchers can choose from if they decide they don’t want to take responsibility to get their drowsy derrieres to school on time.

I realize school is almost out for summer, but here’s a sampling:

1)      Please excuse ____________________ tardiness.  His/Her sheets were so dirty we had to de-flea this morning.  Yes, the sheets.  Not the student, but feel free to check him/her upon arrival.

2)      Please excuse ____________________ tardiness.  He/She was dreaming about unicorns pooping rainbows and butterflies.  I read a lot of Dr. Seuss to him/her before bedtime.

3)      Please excuse ____________________ tardiness.  He/She ate an entire box of Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Pop Tarts before bed and sat up all night tweeting things like “#Poptarts #sugar #high”

4)      Please excuse ____________________ tardiness.  He/She was feeling ill and wanted to stay home but I don’t want their germs so I dragged him/her from under the covers, loaded him/her up with cold meds and sent them on their way.  Three hours ago.

5)      Please excuse ____________________ tardiness.  He/She claimed it was Saturday but I never flipped my calendar and I still say it’s Friday.  If it actually is Saturday, then please disregard the necessity for a tardy excuse and heap praise on him/her for Monday’s early arrival.

My method also works to hold absences to a bare minimum.

1)      Please excuse ____________________ absence yesterday.  He/She had explosive diarrhea that ran us completely out of the house.  Have you ever smelled a town with a paper mill and a skunk preserve?  Kind of like that, only worse.

2)      Please excuse ____________________ absence yesterday.  After a thorough interrogation and lie detector test by local FBI, he/she was cleared of all suspicion of being a Russian spy.

3)      Please excuse ____________________ absence yesterday.  He/She ate my last Klondike bar and was hiding in his/her closet all day.

4)      Please excuse ____________________ absence yesterday.  He/She had a cereal hangover after eating an entire box of Frosted Flakes doused with chocolate milk.

5)      Please excuse ____________________ absence yesterday.  He/She died from embarrassment about something stupid that happened the previous school day, then had an out-of-body experience where he/she saw all the people that wanted to follow them on Instagram!  It brought him/her back to life.  It’s a miracle!

Which one is your favorite excuse, and what pre-written excuse would you write?  I need to stockpile for the “Senioritis” attacks we expect from Wolfy and Sweet Pea when they return to school in August.



If I’d Drowned The Crumbsnatchers at Birth, I’d Be Out of Prison By Now!


The teen years are traumatic.  There’s the crying, the mood swings, the feelings of insecurity, the desire to permanently check out of Lifebook.

And that’s when I’m having a good day.

The stress is enough to make even Freud go mad.  Take this  for example:  Sweet Pea’s a teenaged girl.

And by that I mean she’s crazy.

She asked me last week to bring Boyfriend2.0 to her softball game.  Then she sent a text ten minutes after I should have left telling me what time I should leave.  Then she sent another text telling me to come early.  Half-way en route to Boyfriend2.0’s house, she sent another text.

“Don’t come.” 

I called Boyfriend2.0, gave him the scoop, did a U-turn and headed to the house.  Once home, I poured a glass of wine, left it on the counter for Chief Money Maker, grabbed the rest of the bottle and settled down in the recliner just as my phone went off again.

“NVM.  Come.”

I resisted the urge to reply, “Can you chill Sybil?” only because I knew she’d respond with a confused Emoji.

Dazed and Confused

Not an Emoji but sill Dazed and Confused (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Instead I retreated to my favorite hiding spot.  The washing machine.  Trust me, they never look there.

Split Sweet Pea personality aside, we’ve also got another newly-licensed teenaged driver in the house.  And by that I mean our insurance rates have just surpassed the national deficit.

It’s a good thing we live on a corner lot because the streets around our abode look like Harry’s Honda Hacienda, only with less reliable vehicles.

1951 Buick

1951 Buick (Photo credit: Hugo90)

The upside is that with two teen crumbsnatchers out and about on weekend nights, I don’t have to fabricate ways to push Sweet Pea’s curfew up so I can go to bed at 8:30 pm.  Now I feign a headache—instead of admitting my right knee feels like a grenade sporadically exploding because I know CMM will make me go back to Dr. Frankenstein—and leave the watch to him.

Don’t mistake my words for complaining—despite the truth that I am complaining.  Having teenaged crumbsnatchers isn’t all that bad.  As parents of these communication-challenged Cretans, we get fun experiences like debating their anemic critical thinking processes.

“Wolfy, can you run to the grocery store and pick up some milk?”

“Sure, if you give me gas money.”

“You want ME to give YOU gas money to compensate YOU for driving to the store to get milk, which I don’t even drink, in MY VEHICLE?”

“Uhhhhhh, yeah.”

Thank goodness The Eldest has matured to the point that we can hold productive intelligent conversations.  Just the other night he offered great feedback on the cover for my short story, “The Butterfly Wish.”  I felt proud, optimistic, and hopeful.

Right up until he said, “Oh, and you should consider a pen name.  Who names an adult Cheri?”

“Well, I wasn’t an adult when my mother named me!”

“Think about it, Mom.  Would you want to read a book written by Strawberry Johnson?”

“That’s not my name!”

“Ok, so would you want to read a book written by Fruity Thacker?”

“That’s still not my name…but I get it!”

The Crumbsnatchers might not be the brightest baubles on Pinterest, but sometimes…they do make good points.

© 2013 CThacker

A Post Valentine’s Day Analysis Results in 5 Thou Shalt Not’s and 5 Thou Shalt’s


Dear Chief Money Maker,

Since I plan to spend the rest of my life with you in spite of yesterday, and although I appreciate your valiant efforts, I’m offering you some advice in regards to Valentine’s Day.  Please feel free to apply in years to come only if you desire to remain among those we fondly call “The Living.”

Let’s—simply for organizational purposes—put these in the form of Commandments.

5 Valentine’s Day Shalt Not’s

Thou Shalt Not greet your bride, early in the morning, wearing a sparkly red Speedo while shouting “Happy VD Day, Honey!”

Thou Shalt Not claim the full glass of wine as yours, when your bride says it’s hers.

Thou Shalt Not refuse your bride’s offer of hot gummy lips –the candy you weirdo’s—by saying your recently pulled tooth makes it difficult to chew.

Thou Shalt Not tell the waiter your wine choice was inspired by your bride while circling the air around your ear with your pointer finger no matter how funny you think it is.

Smoking Loon Wine

Smoking Loon Wine

Thou Shalt Not argue with your bride when she says the first twenty-seven holes of putt-putt were warm-up and declares herself Champion after winning the back nine.

5 Valentine’s Day Shalt’s

Thou Shalt feel free to punch the waiter for calling your bride “fat” by asking, “And now for you, sir?” after she ordered three sushi rolls for the both of you.

Thou Shalt remember to bring earplugs for your bride in the event a dear old great-great-grandmother, perhaps even one of the flying monkeys in the Wizard of Oz, decides to sing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”….very poorly.

Thou Shalt support me in the future when I tell the Crumbsnatchers that I am not talking dirty after yelling, “Stop exacerbating my ill mood!” instead of calling me a “Potty Mouth” in front of them.

Thou Shalt make mental note that, “We’re tight honey, don’t worry about getting me a gift,” really means don’t worry about getting me one that costs over $100.00.

Thou Shalt let your bride win the first twenty-seven holes of putt-putt so you don’t have to argue with her when she tells you they were warm-up while declaring herself Champion after winning the back nine.

With all my love, kisses, and wishes for many more Valentine’s Day’s to come,

@}>—>–Mama Bread Baker

 X O X O X O X O X O

We’re Not Racists. Our Cat is Black


I joke.  I kid.  I make my pennies-a-day salary writing humor.  But there is one topic I won’t joke about because I just can’t find anything funny about it.

Ok.  Maybe I find it funny when comedians poke fun, but they are more skilled than I.  I’m not gonna touch it.  Yet still, I couldn’t help but chuckle a little when Chief tossed out some ridiculous things people could say about their own beliefs:

“We’re not racists.  We’re just really slow runners.”

Maybe it was because we’d recently seen Django Unchained.  I don’t know what led to the topic, but we tossed a few more out for fun:

“We’re not racists.  Our cat is black.”

“We’re not racists.  We just think the SEC is better than everybody.”

Ok.  That’s about as far as we got ‘cause like I said, I don’t find much funny about racism.  And for all my fine “Yankee” readers, if you think prejudice is extinct in 2013’s New South, you’ve got some mighty fine rose-colored glasses to shield you from the scorching truth.

There has never been another subject that stirs me up as a writer more than this one does.  I don’t know why.  Oh, hell, yes I do.  I lived in Mississippi, the fire of racism that boils the cauldron of hatred and imagined superiority.  The Eldest and Sweet Pea lived in the coals of this ignorance when they lived with their father.

Consider this:


It’s a humid July Saturday night in Panola County, Mississippi.  Three teenagers party all night.

It’s Sunday morning, 6:30 a.m. Hot, because it always is in July in the south.  Johnny Lee Butts set out for his 4-mile morning walk.

Later, his body was found lying in the road 172 feet from where, according to statements, Matthew Whitten “Whit” Darby ran over him with his white Monte Carlo at an estimated speed of 55 mph to 70 mph.

Johnny Lee Butts was African-American.  The driver and two passengers were Caucasian.

Source WPTV.CM – News Channel 5


I spilled eleven years of my life in the county where this heinous murder happened.  Officer D.A.R. is a police officer in Batesville, ONE of the two county seats.  Fitting, for an area where as recently as 2008, when The Eldest attended high school there, they still held separate proms disguised as “private parties”  where the attendees were rather bland.  I’ve met John Champion, the District Attorney.  I’ve driven past David M. Bryan Sheriff’s Complex more times than I have fingers, toes, and extra fat on my hips.  I served a year on Panola County’s Grand Jury, voting for indictments of Panola County’s alleged criminals.

I could make your toes curl with recitations of the experiences of racism I’ve witnessed first-hand in that Mississippi county.  But I won’t.  CNN already did that for me.  I could give you my thoughts on whether or not this senseless murder was a hate crime.  But I won’t do that either.

Because my Mama taught me, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

Subscribe to Crumbsnatcher Tales by entering your email in the box on the right, comment on this blog posting, like it on Facebook, or Follow @MamaBreadBaker on Twitter and you will be qualified for a chance to have your blog showcased Sunday in Mama Bread Baker’s “The Spotlight’s on You!”

© 2012 CThacker

A Bean Counter is Never the Life of the Party – Unless They’ve Turned Humor Writer


I spent 20 years in the accounting field.  I was never expected to be the life of the party.  A bean counter never is.  If I occasionally zipped out a zinger that made people laugh, it was just a bonus.

English: Picture of Azuki Beans. The ones show...

Day in…day out…I counted these.  I was so boring. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But now that I’m a writer, and more specifically a humor columnist, I carry a special new responsibility.  I’m expected to be the life of the party; even if that expectation is only in my mind.  I just can’t seem to help myself.

We had dinner with another couple last night and my newfound responsibility got me in trouble.  The wife is a former co-worker of mine.  She caught me up on the office gossip that I could not have cared less about.

Which brings to mind the question, why do people say “I could care less”?  If you could care less, then wouldn’t that mean you have some measure of caring when you are trying to purvey the message that you really COULDN’T CARE LESS which is what you should have said in the first place?

Who’s on first?  I Don’t Know.  Then who’s on Third?  Who’s on first?

Abbott (right) and Costello, 1942

They just don’t make Sunday afternoon movies like they used to make.  Abbott (right) and Costello, 1942 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So back to dinner and how my newfound responsibility got me in trouble.  I felt an unbelievable pressure all evening to provide snappy one-liners.  I did a good job, too, which is surprising because another friend of mine–yes, I have more than one–was always the one that should have manned the 1-800-OH-NO-SHE-DI’UHNT Hotline.

I did it at Bunco the other night too, but since my Compadres for the evening could have been subscribers of the suburban paper that carries my humor column, I censored myself a little more.  Except for when we were in the garage and my filter completely disintegrated to the point that I called my son an asshole for a laugh.

It went like this:

Soccer Mom1:  Your husband is such a great soccer referee…our girls just love him.
Soccer Mom2:  Absolutely!  He’s much better than that other referee.

Soccer Mom5: (‘Cause Soccer Mom3 & Soccer Mom4 were huddled in the bathroom talking about the other 9 soccer moms and the sub they invited, being me) The one with the red hair?

Soccer Mom2: Yesh (’cause she was tipsy), that’s him!
Me: That’s my son.
Soccer Mom2: OMG! I’m so sorry.
Me: It’s okay. I know he’s an asshole.

<Everyone laughs, which was really the point.>

The Eldest didn’t think it was too funny when I told him about it later that night!  In retrospect, I can understand how he could actually care less about the situation, whereas I really couldn’t care less that he could care less.

Who’s on first?  I Don’t Know.  Then who’s on Third?  Who’s on first?

So back to dinner and how my newfound responsibility got me in trouble.  We laughed and laughed and talked about the dedication of my first published novel that is going to read, “To Denny.  If you hadn’t fired me, I wouldn’t be where I am now.  Thank you.  No, really.  See that picture on the back jacket?  That’s me! Thank you.”

Then Chief Money Maker said, “You got fired?  I thought you quit.”

“Kinda sorta both.  When I asked if I’d be eligible for rehire and he said ‘We’ll see after the two weeks’ I figured those two weeks of doing nothing I’d planned to do at the office could be more fun from the comfort of our sectional sofa so I just didn’t go back.”

Chief shot me a look.  I smiled and said, “But hey, I bet this would make a good blog.  Who wants a boring ole bean counter anyway?”


***Legal Disclaimer***

Any resemblance of Soccer Mom1,Soccer Mom2, Soccer Mom3, Soccer Mom4, and Soccer Mom5 to the actual Soccer Moms I based their representation upon is purely accidental because I’m not that great of a writer.

© 2012 CThacker

Dr. Phil Asks “How’s That Working for Ya?”



You’ve got to wonder about the kind of life someone lives when they’ve emailed the Dr. Phil Show only twice in their lifetime, and both times a producer has called to request they appear on the program.

Well, I can tell you it is pretty normal—except for those two things I emailed the Dr. Phil show about.

English: Phil McGraw photographed for the cove...

English: Phil McGraw photographed for the cover of Newsweek magazine by Jerry Avenaim (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In my defense, Dr. Phil has some misleading web forms.  He has an “Ask Dr. Phil” section where, by nature of its name, I thought it to be exactly that.  So back in 2005 I emailed Dr. Phil a question about a pressing life situation.  I expected an email response from a psychology intern on the “Ask Dr. Phil” staff that would offer up some sage Texas advice like, “When you walk a mile in someone else’s boots, you’re a mile farther down the road than you were before.”

Instead, I came home from work one afternoon to find the message “Call Dr. Phil” written on our family message board.  That’ll put dinner on hold for just about anyone, I betcha!

I called the number which put me through to an assistant producer.  She explained they had an upcoming show on the topic I’d emailed about.  “Do you think your ex-husband would be willing to come on the show as well?”

Officer D.A.R. barely tolerates existing on the same planet with me.  I knew there was no way he would agree to sit on a stage with me. Besides, he hates doctors.  Especially ones that might tell him what an idiot he can be at times.

So recently, I had another pressing life situation and, because I suffer from the inability to learn from my previous mistakes, I shot another question off on the “Ask Dr. Phil” section of the website.  A couple of days later, while I sat waiting for my minivan to be cleaned, my cellphone screen announced a call from area code 323, Los Angeles, CA.

I immediately thought, “This must be the Dr. Phil Show calling about my Ask Dr. Phil question.”

Ok, not really.

I thought it more likely to be a skip tracer—calling the wrong number, of course—and sent the call to voice mail.

Lo and behold, when I checked my voice mail, it was Julie from the Dr. Phil show with a request that I call her back as soon as possible.  So I did.  This time it seems I’d caught their attention with a situation they’d never heard of before.

“Not even Dr. Phil?” I asked.

“Not even Dr. Phil.  And we’re very interested in having you on the show so he can help your family.  Do you think your husband would be willing to come on the show as well?”

In that moment I realized I was 2 for 2 in “Ask Dr. Phil” situations, neither time resulting in a solution because it required the presence of a man, past or present, from my life.  There was no way Chief Money Maker was going to sit on stage and publicly discuss family matters on television.  Besides, he hates doctors.  Especially one’s he thinks are a discredit to people everywhere bearing the name “Phil.”

“Well why did you write us?” asked Julie.

“Because your website says ‘Ask Dr. Phil’” I exclaimed.

“And how’s that working for ya?” she shot back.


Subscribe to Crumbsnatcher Tales by entering your email in the box on the right, or comment on this blog posting, and you will be qualified for a chance to have your blog showcased Sunday in Mama Bread Baker’s “The Spotlight’s on You!”

The Spotlight’s On You! Vol 1:1


As part of “2013 Means Bigger Better Things”, I promised to showcase a blog posting from one of the previous week’s new subscribers, or someone who left a comment on my blog.  Subscribe to my blog, or stop back by and comment on new blog postings, and one of your blog posts could be featured next week!


The blog I chose for this week was posted by Liz Rosema over at “Seize the Absurd.”  She dropped by and commented on a couple of my blog postings.  The post I chose caught my eye because The Eldest turned 23 this week.  I’ve often wondered why my children don’t throw ME a party on their birthday.  I did all the work!

Please go over and check out this funny post.

Thanks Liz!

“Sorry Mom” Day

Introducing a brand new holiday invented by Seize the Absurd….”Sorry Mom, Day”.
The day after you party yourself into unconsciousness in celebration of your birth, stop and reflect on your state of being. If at this point you have nothing to apologize to your mother for…
you are deceiving yourself.First of all:
Every single one of us enters this world like an absolute cuss.
We begin as incredibly needy things that don’t let anyone else sleep. If your boss kept you up all night working, you would be furious, but babies get away with that kind of behavior all the time. Jerks.
Your first action was to be a total douche.
Sorry Mom, that you had to put up with our weepy infant-selves.In celebration of this special holiday I have some apologies:  Read the rest of this post by clicking here: