10 Better Excuses Than 'I Fell Asleep'

I was all set to write a really thought-provoking, cerebral column on faking cultural literacy that probed how the Internet lets us skim the surface of knowledge enough to make us sound smart, without having to really understand anything. If you say things like "DSP" and "programmatic" in conversation, you more than know what I mean.

But then a number of  more important issues surfaced demanding our attention, such as: New York City  losing its final legal attempt to limit the size of soda drinks; the Supreme Court telling cops and Aereo to F*** off -- and, of course, Marissa Mayer arriving nearly two hours late to a dinner with marketers in Cannes because she had fallen asleep.

Now I don't know about you, but when I take a crap in the hand that feeds me, I put some exhaustive and creative effort into my excuses. Fell asleep? Really?  Sounds like a teenaged rationale for missing first period, or a better defense for running over a pedestrian than "I was searching my iPhone for my 'spin' playlist." Since Marissa seems to have little to no imagination, herewith are some better excuses:



1) I ran into Tim Armstrong, and he said that he thought the best global agency holding company was Omnicom. It took six rounds of Jagermeister shots and eventually a couple of tazings, but I finally convinced him it isInterpublic Group. Sorry, did I miss anything?

2) You know, changing the culture at Yahoo took me just a tad longer than I had planned. I mean, once I got everyone out of their pajamas and back into the office, I had to figure out what to do with them. I was thinking of asking them to work on only charging for display ads that actually come into view on someone's computer screen, but then I remembered I had to come here and GET some ads.

3) I swear to God, every time I use local hair and makeup, they can't get it right. I show them THE PICTURE and say, "Make me look exactly like this -- because I always look exactly like this" and don't you know, they just couldn't get it right.  But hey, don't I look great now?

4) I am so sorry; I was coming up the steps when I bumped into Sheryl Sandberg, and you know her. Lean in, start a circle, connect with peers, change the conversation, blah, blah, blah -- and before you know it, two hours had passed.

5)  I am sorry. I was watching Shelly Palmer's TED talk on losing weight. It was like an electronic Ambien.

6) I swear to God, I spent two hours trying to tell the door people that I was ON the MediaLink list to get into their party. Didn't help. Never saw Mariah (or even Wenda).

7) You know, I still have just a touch of baby fat to work off, so I thought I'd walk over. I wasn't five feet out of the door of my hotel when I was SET UPON by this horde of ad tech vendors all yelling something about being "a perfect fit or "only 5x earnings!" I felt like the only Christian in Tahrir Square on a hot summer night in between governments.

8) Two hours? Christ, most people wait outside my office for at least two hours. This is ON TIME for me, pal. I'm sorry, who are you again?

9) Oh my God, we are in WHAT time zone here?

10)  I had this Muslim driver on the way over, and we just kinda of got lost in the historic background of the Sunni–Shiite split. I sort of suggested that Abu Bakr should have succeeded Muhammad, but the driver kinda leaned towards Ali ibn Abi Talib. In the end, we just laughed and agreed it was all ancient history.

5 comments about "10 Better Excuses Than 'I Fell Asleep'".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. George Simpson from George H. Simpson Communications, June 27, 2014 at 9:47 a.m.

    Gotta say you nailed it today Paula.

  2. Barbara Lippert from, June 27, 2014 at 3:10 p.m.

    Hilarious, George! And btw, she was only 90 minutes late. She could have said she was just gobsmacked by the beauty of the Mediterranean and had to wade in!

  3. Paul Martecchini from Connexity, June 27, 2014 at 5:32 p.m.

    Hilarious George, I think you could do stand-up. Adtech needs you!

  4. Al DiGuido from Optimus Publishing, June 30, 2014 at 9:36 a.m.

    Really pretty sad. Has Marissa come out and apologized as yet ? Has she said as someone who leads Yahoo..that this is totally inexcusable ? Haven't heard that as yet. Isn't it past the time that we held "overly well compensated" leaders to a MUCH higher standard? Heck...many of us who led companies were paid significantly less than Mayer and accomplished more in a professional and ethical manner. Where's the indignation by board members and stockholders. Has everyone reduced this behavior to a late night comedy act ? Yahoo has serious challenges ahead and needs leadership that is focused on building shareholder value...NOT financial engineering to stimulate growth. Ugh

  5. Gary Fuges from YuMe, July 2, 2014 at 12:03 p.m.

    Great stuff. How about: "Sorry for being late, but Jack Ma called and asked me to run some errands for him. I'm sure you understand."

Next story loading loading..