I am so sorry I couldn’t be with you this evening for this important reunion! I’ll never forget all our good times together! Anyway, I thought I owed you all an explanation for my absence, and perhaps one of you will read this letter to the Class for me. There are actually several possible reasons I am not with you — unless I suddenly do in fact show up, in which case please stop reading this letter immediately! Otherwise, please continue. (Why not scan the room one last time? Am I still absent? Excellent. Proceed.) As I say, my absence is almost certainly due to one or more of the following reasons, listed here in the approximate order in which they were typed.
1) I got lost on the way over and just turned around and headed back home, totally frustrated. I’m kicking myself for not asking directions. Doy!
2) Tonight is the night — yes, I am blushing — they usually update the section on eBay that deals with antique corduroy plush animals. Frankly, I don’t trust my wife to bid for me. Last month while I was indisposed she let a handsome narrow-waled lemur slip through her fingers. He was Edwardian-era and in the original box — ouch, ouch, ouch! I will not let that happen again.
3) I got lost on the way over and turned around and headed home. And then I got lost heading home! Ugh!!! In this case I may be on my way over after all — but I have no way of knowing. guess you shouldn’t hold your breath.
4) I got lost on the way over and almost almost made it to where you are. In fact, I got as far as just next door to you! I am so furious with myself! Anyway, I’m there right now, unable to get out, because whoever just shut the place down and turned out the lights when they left simply didn’t know I was trapped in here — ugh! If this is the case I am likely attempting to smash through the wall to get to you this second. If so, please step away from the wall now. Go! I am using a large handtruck which I’ve loaded up with some cases of Enfamil. I should be able to get enough momentum to crack through the sheet rock — unless, of course, I hit a stud, in which case I’ll be a few more minutes. Please go ahead and start eating.
By the way, all the Enfamil here leads me to believe this is a Duane Reade or CVS, which makes no sense. Wasn’t there a Mom-and-Pop bookstore here, like, yesterday? I could really use a stud-finder. Of course, I own one, but where is it now? At home in my toolbox!
5) I am stalled on the shoulder of that big interstate near you where you all are and I could really, really use a jump. Hello? If you have jumper cables and can get here really super quickly I’d appreciate it. I’m not sure exactly which exits I’m between, but I know I just passed one about a mile or so back, if that helps. Also, there are lots of cars whizzing past — I just saw a rust-colored El Camino! — and there is a guardrail to my right. Just beyond the guardrail there is some kind of bush. No, wait, it’s not a bush, it’s…sorry, turns out it is a bush after all. There’s a Waldbaum’s plastic bag caught in its branches. You can’t miss it. There are some buildings in the distance and there’s a little bird nearby. Anyway, I’ll probably be inside the car writing this when you get here. A U-Haul truck just drove past. I’m really freezing. Please hurry!
6) I’m very ill with something embarrassingly, horribly gastric and the mere thought of the rubberized yellow-skinned chicken and wax beans I know you will be served shortly makes me want to scramble to the commode except I’m on the couch sweating with pain and can barely move. I suppose if I had to I could use a mechanic’s creeper. Of course, I have one — but where is it? In the freaking garage!!
And finally — 7) One of you blasted me to Kingdom Come on the way here. I believe you know who you are. And because of the look on your face right this second — now! — the others in the room are on to you! Seize him! Incidentally, just before I coughed up the ghost, gargling your girlfriend’s monstrously pretensious name, I dialed 911, so the authorities are pulling up outside where you are right now…(Nobody kills me and gets away with it — understand, fat boy?) Hey, when the cops show, could someone please ask them to check the basement next door — just in case I’m actually still in there! And hey, by all means, have a super time tonight. Again, my sincerest regrets to everyone! You guys are so awesome!
Eric Metaxas is the author of Everything You Always Wanted to Know About God (but were afraid to ask). His humorous essays have been published in The New York Times and The Atlantic — Woody Allen has called them quite “funny” — and during college he was the editor of The Yale Record (the nation’s oldest college humor magazine). He has written for VeggieTales and is the author of over 30 children’s books, including Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving. Eric lives in Manhattan with his wife and daughter and is the host and founder of Socrates in the City, a monthly speaker’s series on “life, God, and other small topics.” For more information or to contact him, go to: EricMetaxas.com