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No excuses, not even my poorly cat, I simply forgot

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: January 10, 2013

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IT is with deep regret, but also with open honesty, that I begin this article with an apology. I forgot to write this week's article!

This means I have a deadline of one hour and counting to get at least some words of inspiration/desperation to the editor's office. It may be in vain and you may not be seeing these words, but it seems absolutely the right time to offer up tales of forgetfulness and excuses.

You must know the feeling – the same one that I had just 10 minutes ago! – the moment you realise you have forgotten something important. I'm talking about an important date – guilt-ridden if it's the parents' anniversary, painful if it's your wife's birthday – a meeting or appointment you just had to make, or a date with a girl you met the previous weekend.

The moment you realise this forgotten task or event is palpable in its shock value. Your body experiences a sort of rush of sickness, followed soon after by a flight or fight mechanism which sometimes manifests itself in an immediate need for an excuse!

The excuses I am talking about here are the weird and wonderful, the split second reactions to your own mistakes, the mistakes you want and feel the need to cover up for.

Usually your reasoning takes over and these excuses never surface, but how many times have we heard about the taxi driver's brother-in-law, daughter, or cat which is poorly – or the boiler exploding, or the bath running over, the kitchen flooding, the drain blocked (there is a water theme here, I know)?

But we have all heard them and they will still be made because sometimes there is an inherent lack of accepting responsibilities. Well I am making this week's article super short to send a message out to all (as well as the fact that regrettably I have seven minutes left to my deadline) that you can make mistakes, it is just how you react to them that is the difference.

I simply forgot – which we all do – but I didn't say I had the flu, I didn't blame the cat or the mother-in-law.

It did however leave me with a message for this week's column. Planning ahead would be one message, but where would the spontaneity be? Having a plan B would be good, but in the modern world time is short.

Instead, there will be a picture of panic in your mind when you have had this instance of forgetfulness, when your life is too busy to sit down and think: "Now what is it I have to do?"

I'm sure you have all been there, and will be again.

OK, I now have five minutes to get ready for training, get changed, organise the lads, organise myself, and appear relaxed – easy!

I will leave you with a picture – if the production editor can find one in four minutes – of people in panic, of the moment you realise the game is up.

If this ends up on the cutting room floor then no problem, but if it gets to print, be rest assured next week's article is being written tonight. That is, if the cat gets better!

(Editor's note: Sorry Chris, but perhaps this image will give you a gentle shove in the right direction...)

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