OK, Badlands fanatics, it’s time for some real talk.
We want to take a moment and get real, get serious and talk about an important issue that we all face. It can be a difficult conversation, but with proper planning and some preventative measures now, we can all have a better life down the road.
It’s time to start laying the groundwork for next season’s hunting trip work excuse.
Let’s face it, you screwed up this year. You burned up all your vacation time scouting (and your spouse is still making you pay for that one), which means you had to get creative so you can get some treestand time in. Now you’re trying to cram a week’s worth of hunting into a single afternoon while you’re “at a dentist’s appointment, which you forgot about.”
Sure, the sick parrot bit worked last year, and maybe no one will catch on that you’ve had six hot water heaters fail six consecutive falls. But you’re playing with fire if you think you can keep winging it.
And last-second dental surgeries, sudden “stomach flus” and losing your car keys for a week only work once… if the boss has no idea what week it is.
Be smart and start setting up your boss now for that inevitable week-long absence next season. Here’s a few suggestions from our team (who would never fib to the boss… he’s bringing the snacks for elk camp) for you to use.
The In-Law Wedding
Money quote: “I can’t believe (spouse’s name) has a cousin dumb enough to get married during the opening weekend of elk season.”
Why it works: No relative of yours would be that dumb, and it doesn’t point blame at your significant other. But, family is family, even if they’re foolish enough to get married during such a critical time.
Extra flavor: Drop a few lines about the toothless, Maury Povich-show escapee that the cousin is marrying. That’ll take some focus off of you.
Danger zone: Don’t get too carried away, or you risk getting the boss so interested he or she will want to see pictures from the circus.
The Elective Surgery
Money quote: “I can’t believe the earliest I can get this sinus work done is the same week as deer season.”
Why it works: Everyone hates medical work, and the general distrust of insurance companies is universal. No one will be shocked that it’ll take six months before insurance approves getting your sniffer Roto-Rootered. Plus, sinus surgery leaves no scars, has no bandages and takes about a week to bounce back from. And it sounds pretty awful (which we can confirm) so no one will want to talk about it!
Extra flavor: Talk in detail about how all the tools for this have to go in through the nostrils. The heebie-jeebie factor will cut off any potential probing.
Danger zone: The next time you fall asleep on a flight during a work trip, you’re gonna have to explain why you still snore like a sawmill that’s just had a 1963 Buick driven into the saw.
The School Honor
Money quote: “I can’t believe my old school is inducting me into (event) Hall of Fame.”
Why it works: Everyone has a (time-embellished) past at something. Football star. Band marvel. Drama queen. Some of us may have even been editors of the school newspaper (NERD!!!). Even the most hard-nosed boss will flashback to her days as president of the Future MBAs of America club. Plus, homecoming is in the fall and the activities can last a week.
Extra flavor: Bring in any clippings, trophies, yearbooks, etc. you can get your hands on. No one wants to listen to a high school hero relive his or her glory days. Heck, they don’t even have to be you. A simple “I was a bit thinner/more muscular/had hair/had an eyepatch back then” will do the trick.
Danger zone: Check to make sure the boss’ kids don’t attend this school. If there’s a homecoming shindig and you aren’t the guest of honor, be prepared to buy every fundraising thing the kids sell for the foreseeable future.
The real key to making any of this work, is building that plausible foundation now. Make it a deal now, so that come hunting season it’s already on (and probably slid off) the radar. If you’re lucky enough to have a boss who hunts, then you likely have no need for this. But, when 2/3 of the office call in sick on pheasant opener Friday, even the most clueless boss will raise an eyebrow. However, when you remind him a week ahead that “This is the week my wife’s bonehead cousin is marrying the carnival freak,” he won’t bat an eye.
Good luck, good fibbing, good hunting!