Song, by Toad

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Five Funks on Friday

Sick Kid

I am currently off work sick, which sucks donkey balls.  Even worse than being sick of course is actually having to phone in sick.  I get into a conundrum – I actually do feel like shit, but I don’t sound like I do at all, so how the hell do I convey the fact that I am actually telling the truth over the phone.  In one sense I feel that seeing as I really am ill I shouldn’t have to try, and then risk sounding deliberately perky, which seems like the wrong approach, but then trying to actually sound ill probably sounds forced and even less convincing.  So I think I generally just end up sounding indecisive, which is crap.  Maybe from now on I should aim to only contract illnesses which leave an obvious audible signature in my voice, like bronchitis or something like that.

It would be easier if you could just tell the person who answers the phone and bugger off back to bed of course, but we aren’t allowed to do that, we actually have to speak to the director in charge of whatever project we’re working on and explain to them, which has the rather unnerving effect of making you feel like a naughty schoolboy.  I’m thirty-three years old for fuck’s sake, why do I feel like I’ve been caught pissing in the plant pots?  Gah!

Anyway, there is going to have to be much delurking today as I am going to be asleep or in bed being a moaning baby for most of the day I am afraid.  As you can tell from recent threads, we’re a really nice, friendly bunch here and the chat, whilst obscure, is always the very epitome of good-natured.

It’s nice outisde too, and I don’t even have the gumption to go and sit in the garden with a nice cup of tea.  Moan moan moan.

1. Most unbelievable but genuine excuse you’ve ever had to make for missing work.
2. Worst thing about being off work sick.
3. Best thing about being off work sick.
4. Off sick munchie menu.
5. Bed or couch, for sleeping it off?

Alabama 3 – Too Sick to Pray

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The Sick Bed of Cuchuliann

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The Smiths – Still Ill

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Grandaddy – Pull the Curtains

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Eels – Hospital Food

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Fucking lurgy.

68 witty ripostes to Five Funks on Friday

  1. avatar

    1. Diagnosed with cancer.
    2. Being sick. Duh.
    3. The freedom to flatulate with impunity.
    4. Anything with ginger. Ginger snaps, ginger candy, crystallized ginger.
    5. Bed, until it gets too hot, then switch to couch, which will feel deliciously cool by comparison, then back to bed, which will have cooled off while you were on the couch. It’s all a dance you see.

  2. avatar
    Coriander

    1. Arsenic poisoning*. First week in a new job; away up north with the boss’ car. You could hear the eyes rolling over the phone when I called in.
    *diagnosed after the event – I put it down to food poisoning at the time. Never, ever touch ratty old deerskins that an old man may haul down from his loft for you to feel how brittle they get. Turns out they cured animal skins with arsenic in the old days.
    2. Depends. If you’re in serious pain, then the pain, no contest. Otherwise, the GUILT, particularly if you know others are going to have to step in and cover for you when they’re all really busy as it is.
    3. The moment after you’ve called in and you can go back to bed with a clearish conscience.
    4. Toast, grapefruit juice or whisky macs, depending on ailment.
    5. Bed all the way. Daytime telly just doesn’t cut it when you’re grizzly.

  3. avatar

    1. It was for being late rather than being away but, whilst living less than five minutes walk from my sixth form college I had the genuine late excuse that I’d been held up in traffic behind a tank on salisbury plain.
    2. Being sick. Having to get on with stuff anyway because with children around at home I find you have to be ‘actively’ ill in order to actually get out of all of the day to day. I’m off sick because my kids are ill far more than becuase I’m ill, anyway.
    3. Sleep, books, radio. Depends how sick I actually am.
    4. Nothing at all if I’m actually ‘sick’ ill (although I’d recommend coke – that’s cocacola or suchlike – if you’re actually ‘throwing up’ sick, not because it makes you better but because you do fizzy black sick which is difficult not to laugh at even whilst you’re doing it). Whisky if I have anything coldy. Otherwise, maybe toast, eggs. When I was a kid my dad would make me a kind of mashed potato omelette as a ‘you’re better now’ meal – kind of plain but stodgy all at once, and I do kind of crave that these days when I’m starting to get better.
    5. Bed, definitely. I like the idea of keeping moving to something deliciously cool but you can do that on your own in a double bed.

  4. avatar

    There are far too many ‘kinds’ in that #4 of mine.

  5. avatar

    1. I didn’t miss the whole day, but I was late the first morning when they closed Princes Street for the tram works and the whole city centre just gridlocked. People were getting off buses and walking in the middle of the street.

    2. Just the feeling crap.

    3. Sitting around in your undercrackers watching re-runs of Star Trek all day.

    4. Eggs, scrambled. Toast, brown. Tabasco, a good few drops. Earl Grey, hot.

    5. The beauty of a bedsit with a sofa-bed is I don’t have to choose! 32″ Flat Screen TV, Surround Sound, DVD, Wireless Internet, all available from bed!

  6. avatar


    3. Sitting around in your undercrackers watching re-runs of Star Trek all day.

    Oh, hang on. That’s just “Saturday”.

  7. avatar

    1) Chickenpox…..aged 30. I got sent a postman pat video from work to assist recovery
    2)Not being able to play out on the swings on the weekend after being poorly
    3)Going to sleep even if you’re not tired. I love sleeping during the day..it’s well underrated.
    4)Lucozade original with the metal top you can peel for ages
    5)I think both too, wherever you loud moaning will be heard most

    and stop skiving Matthew,sick on a Friday is well dodgy

  8. avatar

    1) “Ive slept in and missed my flight….my alarm call never came”. Slurred via telephone to my very suspicious boss through one of the worst hangovers of my life whilst panicking at Belfast airport.

    2) Daytime TV. (all the antiques in the UK must surely have had there 15 minutes now…surely)

    3) Not being at work.

    4) Soup with cheese and crackers

    5) Bed all the way, making sure the visual wireless equipment is nearby and remote is operational.

    Hope you’re better soon.

  9. avatar

    1. I can’t think of any for me. One of the girls in the lab didn’t come in the other day because she was supposed to be doing some mouse work, but the mouse house called her before 9 and told her she couldn’t do it, as the mother mouse had just eaten all the babies she was planning on using. Oops.
    2. Jeremy Kyle. I used to relish awful chat shows when they were across the other side of the Atlantic, but now they’re ubiquitously here (and mostly with an accent very like my own), they give me the shivers. I don’t switch the TV on during the day anymore.
    3. Wearing your pyjamas all day.
    4. Some exciting kind of winter vegetable soup, but with plenty of ginger and spicier stuff in to chase away all the germs.
    5. Bed every time, with a good book. Although I’m trying to read Underworld by Don DeLillo at the moment and it makes my arms ache after about ten minutes. I need some kind of stand.

  10. avatar

    1. Nothing sick related, but when we were getting the house done up we used to persistently leak into Gregg’s the Baker below us. It happened at least once a week, and I am sure that work thought I was just making up handy excuses for being late every day, but it genuinely was because our plumber was a clueless fuckwit.

    2. Because I have forgotten to get my resident’s parking permit, no matter how shit I feel I still have to duck out of the house every couple of hours to feed the fucking parking meter.

    3. Books. Because of music I haven’t read a book in ages, and it’s very nice to be able to do so inbetween sleeps.

    4. Crunchy Nut Cornflakes, assuming that eating is an option.

    5. Bed until sweaty, then couch. Then back. I am 6’2″ so the couch has its limitations when it comes to long-term malingering.

    Adam – fizzy black sick sounds disgustingly fascinating.

  11. avatar

    It was like turning into a human equivalent of one of those soda dispensing hose things they have in pubs.

    Last day of the half term here and, unsurprisingly, a number of people who are off sick are back -you can’t self-certify on the last day before a holiday and so without a doctor’s note you lose your pay for the holiday that follows. An interesting fact from the world of education to brighten up your day.

  12. avatar


    One of the girls in the lab didn’t come in the other day because she was supposed to be doing some mouse work, but the mouse house called her before 9 and told her she couldn’t do it, as the mother mouse had just eaten all the babies she was planning on using.

    What were Fridays like before Becky and her horrifying tales of the violent world of mice?

  13. avatar

    I should imagine they were a bleak, bleak place.

  14. avatar

    I hope the evil mouse in question used the appropriate cutlery.

  15. avatar

    1. I had to phone uni once to say I couldn’t make it due to being stuck in Bath (I got drunk and went accidentally) this was heard as stuck in the bath which caused much hilarity amongst my peers.

    2. Feeling shit and worrying about your workload.

    3. Last time I was off sick I spent the day dosing whilst watching a dvd of Thundercats. Ace.

    4. Soup.

    5. Couch

  16. avatar

    1. I am never sick to the extent I have to stay at home. Thus, I never need to skive off anything. At all.
    2. Being ill…?
    3. Don’t know
    4. I would expect that if I was ever sick to the extent I’d be at home I wouldn’t be able to eat anything, but I never am sick, so don’t know
    5. Sleep?

  17. avatar

    1. “i’m sorry i didn’t make it in to work yesterday, i was lost in the bush.”

    i was at a party in the middle of the australian bush. we ended up sleeping in a shed and woke up in the morning with no real idea where we were, no transport, no mobile reception.

    2. WHY is it ALWAYS a nice sunny day whenever i’m actually too sick to move?

    3. sleep. lots of sleep.

    4. for cold/flu-things i agree with the importance of ginger foods. also, honey, lemon and ginger tea. lots of juice. home-made soup. apfel strudel from lidl.

    5. bed when the flatmates are around. couch when they’re not, or couch when you want someone to moan at and to make you cups of tea.

  18. avatar

    What’s the secret then AC?

  19. avatar

    AC, I presume when you take a crap it’s golden and smells of honeysuckle?

    :)

  20. avatar

    first up, yes, i actually crap honey. at home we have a special toilet into which i crap and it gathers the honey and packages it up and then it goes down a special flume direct into tesco.

    the secret is a secret but i’ll tell you anyway:

    drink lots of orange juice and eat apples

  21. avatar

    That is so not the secret.

  22. avatar

    no, i know, sorry to disappoint, but i am never sick, and this is what i eat a lot of. sometimes, i am physically sick, but this is due to excessive alcohol consumption, then after i’ve been sick i get on with my day

  23. avatar

    1. being trapped in a fire
    2. facebook
    3. real books
    4. hot toddies, home-made soup and sweat-out-the-flu tea, boiled with garlic, chilli, echinacea, tabasco, ginger, limes, vitamin c tablets, honey and whisky.
    5. bed. obviously.

  24. avatar

    So no Gregg’s pasties, 3am doner kebabs, or semi-defrosted microwave ready meals then, AC?

    Just apples and orange juice?..

  25. avatar

    nope, none of that. but cigarettes are ok, beer is ok. wine is ok. eat lots of fish. and potatoes.

  26. avatar

    Contrary to popular belief there was a time when I had a job…

    1. However, I never had a day off for anything particularly unbelievable – I think the one time I did call in sick I had done my ankle in watching the ashes
    2. It’s generally the achyness of being ill that gets to me, be it head or limbs or stomach or whatever else.
    3. Snacking.
    4. Pitta bread and humous (how is this spelt? firefox seems to think hummus but that’s surely not right). Cups of tea, lots of tea.
    5. Couch generally.

  27. avatar

    Depends – is it offensive and inappropriate humous?

  28. avatar

    Bugger! Internet Explorer crashed on me and you beat me to the humous joke.

    Arse!

  29. avatar

    If I hadn’t I would just have changed the time on your comment so it looked like I was first anyway.

    I’m a cunt like that.

  30. avatar

    You didn’t get the link in though..

  31. avatar

    Some of us are fast and some of us are thorough.

  32. avatar

    Mmm-hmm..

    And thorough’s usually better.

    Isn’t that right, ladeeezzz?…

  33. avatar

    1. Having a wisdom tooth out.
    2. The feeling bad when you call in sick -like you say, the ‘look i know I sound okay but i am actually feeling really crap.’
    3. Chance to catch up on reading/listening to music
    4. Cheese on toast
    5. Bed

    Sympathies, am currently off myself. get well soon.

  34. avatar

    Ooh, there’s a lot of it about!


    all the antiques in the UK must surely have had there 15 minutes now…surely.

    I was at home the other day and there was this crap with Angela Rippon on where they were hunitng down antiques in France, so, yes, you could well be right!

  35. avatar

    1. I hate to copycat C&B but …. falling down due to numbness in lower extremities from spinal tumor which they eventually discovered.
    2. Morphine nightmares
    3. Oxycontin highs
    4. Oreos or ice cream, or both together
    5. Bed, big king-size bed with laptop, breakfast, dog, and book.

  36. avatar

    Becky, that’s got to be the best ever excuse answer. You totally made me spit out my cheerios and MChutney declared, with glee, “well they DO eat their babies when stressed and labs must be stressful for mice!” hahah

  37. avatar

    1. waiting for a vacuum cleaner to be delivered

    2. being bored

    3. not having to do anything except recover

    4. all depends on the illness but any kind of comfort food (beans on toast, cheese on toast, egg on toast, or a combination of all three on toast, toast with jam and cheese – actually anything with toast is good when you’re ill)

    5. bed, but only if there’s a tv & dvd player in the bedroom, otherwise it’s the couch

  38. avatar

    Toast rocks. TWotH has it right.

    Would my older readers stop getting fucking cancer please. I don’t want to have half the fucking readership in six months time.

  39. avatar

    Top picture by the way TWotH. Gorgeous.

  40. avatar

    I like how Stupid Kate’s face has got squished a bit in that picture.

    Makes her look ever more stupid.

    Stupid.

  41. avatar

    1. I used to kill off a lot of relatives when working in McJobs throughout uni so actually legitimately taking time off for a funeral seemed weird.

    2. Vomiting sucks. I once woke up in the middle of the night and projectile vomited suddenly, exorcist style, all over the floor. Mr Toad patted my bemused and fevered brow before he cleaned it up. Which is why he is a nice person really.

    3. That relieved feeling after vomiting is good.

    4. Being able to eat whatever you like. You want a bowl of buttered new tatties – go ahead, you’re ill.

    5. Bed. No question. Couch is ok for a bit but when you do that “sleep of the dead” that illness brings on, you wake up with a crick or cramp somewhere.

  42. avatar

    Excuse me TWoTH, Matthew & Dylan would you kindly give me back my face? It’s not yours to use. It’s mine.
    Yours sincerely
    Stupid Kate Silverton

  43. avatar

    Oh gawd yes to the toast! And for the record, mine was benign, … the tumor, not the toast, that usually is benign, well over here it is at least :)

  44. avatar

    Nothing about you is benign, Tarticles, darling.

    Someone who’ll clean up your sick without being asked is indeed a precious find, eh sweetheart. ;-)

  45. avatar

    1. Ye, i have had the 3 relatives in 5 months excuse – which was met with suspicious sneers, as was the subsequent breakdown after. 3 relatives is a lot. But the worst has to be ‘i lost my keys and i slept in a mates spare room and i am in yesterday’s clothes.’ i got a right bollocking!!
    2. I just hate being ill – can’t stand lying around the house when there could be so many better things to do on a day off.
    3. No work…. seems apt
    4. This is where i wish i still lived at home and no matter how old you got, boiled egg with soldiers was the cure to everything – along with forty cups of tea a day
    5. i get bored and uncomfortable in bed if i can’t sleep, so i go to the couch but watching telly makes you sicker i am sure…

  46. avatar


    ‘i lost my keys and i slept in a mates spare room and i am in yesterday’s clothes.’

    I remember that – it was well funny!

    That was the night you spilled Strongbow all over your phone and it stopped working.

    You’d have thought your phone would have been safe in your handbag. Probably a bit daft to put the pint of ‘Bow in there with it!

    :)

  47. avatar
    M.Chutney

    1. Most unbelievable but genuine excuse you’ve ever had to make for missing work.

    Hm. I don’t think I have any good stories there. I’ve made up plenty of hopefully believable but not at all genuine excuses. I once had an employee who supposedly had Lyme disease, pneumonia, epilepsy, and something wrong with his skull… um… there were more, but I can’t recall – and all this within a span of maybe 8 months.

    At the moment, I’m out “sick” because an administrator suggested I take time off after I broke down and cried in front of my students on Wednesday, but that’s just mortifyingly embarrassing, not unbelievable, since the entire South Side knew about the event, from eyewitness accounts, within fifteen minutes of its occurrence. Evil cell-phone-toting brats.

    2. Worst thing about being off work sick.

    Well today… I won’t be getting paid for today, possibly yesterday, or Monday. Because of the holiday thing that Adam wrote about above. I’m trying to figure out how to tell the Tartlet – she will not be pleased. Maybe I can get my shrink to certify me unfit for duty.

    3. Best thing about being off work sick.

    Well since I’m usually out “sick” (like AC I really don’t get sick much): hanging out, going shopping, going to the movies, fucking wifey, and doing things that are too annoying to do on weekends because of all the crowds. (Ok, well, crowds during fucking can be any night of the week; the crowded bit mostly refers to the movies & shopping). Note: do not try this with museums (musea?). They may be crowded on the weekends, but at least they’re crowded with grownups, who tend not to scream as much as children on school trips.

    4. Off sick munchie menu.

    I think Coke (-ca-cola) does help you feel better when you have tummy bugs. Just small sips, Adam, ya big goof.

    I do know what you’re talking about, tho. I once puked up an enormous slice of chocolate cake, which tasted almost as good coming up as it did going down. Best vomiting I’ve ever done.

    Ginger things are also nice.

    5. Bed or couch, for sleeping it off?

    Bed. Couch creates cricks and cramps. Bed, oh, glorious bed. Bed also good for “sick” days. As Cogstar noted, sleeping during the daytime is one of life’s great pleasures. Along with crowded fucking.

    kisses darlings.

  48. avatar

    1) “Er, sorry. I moved to Southampton 6 months ago.”

    2) Not being able to eat good food.

    3) Naps with dogs curled up. It’s oddly comforting.

    4) Spicy tomato juice. Sweat it out!

    5) Couch.

  49. avatar
    M.Chutney

    arg. that should have been “like AC, i really don’t get sick much.”

    and i so pride myself on appropriate linking.

    which reminds me to note that, since hummus is actually spelled حُمُّص , you can pretty much spell it however you like when you write it using the Latin alphabet, don’t you think? As long as you don’t spell it “humus.” That’s dirt.

  50. avatar
    M.Chutney

    OK and while I’m blathering on, Matthew, didn’t you mean “my particularly charming and witty readers” instead of “my older readers”?

    i knew you did.

  51. avatar

    Erm, yeah, something like that.

    But mostly just old.

  52. avatar

    1. I woke up in Mexico.

    2. can’t really smoke.

    3. you could sleep on the kitchen counter and nobody would say boo. Sportscenter.

    4. cold cereal, tea w/honey

    5. Couch. Got to be pretty f’d up to be in bed all day. Plus the better tv is downstairs

  53. avatar

    Did you hear about the Scotsman who passed out drunk in a gutter during the World Cup in Mexico in 1970 and was promptly popped on the next flight back to Glasgow, only to wake there and inform everyone that whilst he was Scottish, he actually lived in Mexico?

    Brilliant.

  54. avatar

    That’s a good one.

    Enjoy your weekend all. Going to see The Virgins in Solana Beach this evening.

  55. avatar

    my mate doesn’t even bother phoning in sick, he e-mails his boss

    FFS

    how do you sound poorly in an e-mail?

  56. avatar

    That’s the beauty of it – you don’t have to.

    (Hey – have you done your five yet?)

  57. avatar

    RULES!!!

    (only shouting for us aged amongst us)

  58. avatar

    I texted my boss to say I wasn’t coming in once. I’d probably have fired me for that…

  59. avatar

    ‘Hi, I’d like to come in today but, like, whatever. Laterz.’

    Or were you even more professional than that?

  60. avatar

    I discovered the joys of vomiting fizzy coke due to being very ill whilst watching ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ – I missed about half of the film having to run off and be sick, (I’ve watched it lots of times since, it’s brilliant) but afterwards I wasn’t allowed to go home as we had a film quiz to do and so settled on coke as the thing to keep me going (actually Fentemans Curiosity Cola, how terribly lovely) before finishing the quiz and fizzing it all back up on the train on the way home.

    I’ve texted in sick from time to time to my department boss, although I also have to phone the main office and give my reasons to them.

  61. avatar


    Did you hear about the Scotsman who passed out drunk in a gutter during the World Cup in Mexico in 1970 and was promptly popped on the next flight back to Glasgow, only to wake there and inform everyone that whilst he was Scottish, he actually lived in Mexico?

    There’s a similar urban legend that circulates amongs the rugby fraternity; which involves a bunch of tired and hungover Welshmen boarding their coach in Edinburgh to return home after a Wales / Scotland game in Murrayfield, who spot a fan in a Welsh rugby shirt passed-out drunk in a nearby dorrway. Unable to rouse their compatriot or get any sense out of him, they decide the best thing is to chuck him on the bus with him and get him home.

    He sleeps off his hangover all the way back to Wales, only to come round – confused and dismayed – as the coach pulls into the car park at Abergavenny (or wherever) Rugby Club; at which point everyone finds out he’s a Scotsman from Edinburgh who had just swapped shirts with a Welshman during a moment of drunkenly brotherly bonding during the festivities the previous day.

  62. avatar

    Erm, yeah, something like that.

    But mostly just old.

    You’re only as old as you are. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go exfoliate my bunions.

  63. avatar

    And trim the hair from your toes. When DC met you all he could talk about was your age actually. Sort of the Gandalf of Song, by Toad.

  64. avatar

    Cheeky bastard. And tell this DC person that if I ever see him again I’m going to take him across my knee.

    Gandalf indeed! Don’t take me for a conjurer of cheap tricks, Matthew Young! Say that again, DC, and you shall see Campfires & Battlefields uncloaked!

  65. avatar

    Ugh.

  66. avatar

    Ooooh if ya take him anywhere near your knee just remember to keep the camera running! YouTube is our friend :)

  67. avatar

    Just catching up on a backlog of blogs…I have no Five for you but given that I’m a week late I’m sure you won’t mind too much!

    Regarding the calling in sick thing, lie on your back when you make the call – it always makes you sound really croaky. Works a treat!

  68. avatar

    Hooray, Agnes! Welcome back.

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