The best excuse?
"Sorry I couldn't get there...Larry's cows were blocking the road."
Quite large cows...being very content, there in the middle of the road.
Trailing smaller cows, who spend quite a bit of time nuzzling each other.
In the middle of the road.
And then comes Larry to herd the cows out of the road for you.
And you think you're on your way, but then Larry comes up to the car window and in his charming, unshaven, toothless way kisses your cheek and tells you he's missed you since you were here two years ago (how did he remember that???) and says don't you look not a day older. Asks that you're what, not a minute over 30 years old, right? And that he's shocked - he means SHOCKED - that you're 44 years old. And that Minnesota must be close to Chicago, right? And here's his brother Paddy's phone number in Chicago - call him up and stop in for a visit when I get home, right? And isn't the sea gorgeous today? And how are your friends with you...oh that's your mother and aunt? Why, they look like young girls they do. And the day is quite hot, isn't it? And that tomorrow the breeze should be fresher. And that he'd better go move the cows along, so he'll see you again before you leave Mermaid Isle...(at least I think that's what he said...)
And with another scratchy kiss on my cheek and a slap on the hood of the car, he sends me on my way to town.
I'm going to use this next time I want to play hooky: "Sorry, can't come to work today. Cows in the road..."