A dozen time-tested and gin-soaked
alibis for would-be lawyers and has-been liars who have trouble passing
the bar . .
"Young Wives' Tales"
by Jeanne Hines
Vol. 3 No. 3 January, 1961
me, Blondie," they say earnestly, leaning on the bar, "what can I tell
my wife? Here it is almost 2 a.m.--I'm afraid to go home! Come on now,
you're a barmaid--you must know some great alibis!"
Well, I do. At least
I know some alibis that some smart guys have tested and swear work out
real good--and some that landed them in the courts.
Some alibis, let's face
it, just don't jell.
"I missed the train."
this one, brother is only good until the next train time. Just how can
you explain missing three trains?
"I was knocked down
by a car but they let me go from the hospital." Shows an interesting
mind, but in its present form it's so full of holes it resembles a sieve.
Hospitals have records, boy; accidents are reported.
variation is: "This scared kid knocked me down with his car and he didn't
have a license so I had a couple at this cafe to get my breath back and
came on home. Poor kid--it was my own fault; I should have watched the
light!" Somehow this makes you sound like a helluva fellow; she'll be glad
she married a jerk like you. Never admit that the "poor kid" was
a glowingly busty blonde and the "cafe" was a dimly lit rendezvous! Of
course, if she's still suspicious; and if it was a crap game you were in,
and you won--and that's a lot of "if's"--the real clincher is to pull out
twenty bucks and say, "The poor kid felt so bad he asked me to buy you
a bottle of perfume, but I thought you'd rather pick out something yourself."
Take my word for it, she'll snatch the twenty bucks, and if she does that,
she just has to believe you, doesn't she?--or at least,
believe you, which amounts to the same thing!
"I forgot my briefcase
and had to go back for it." This one goes over better if you actually
the briefcase in hand while you are talking. It's pretty embarrassing
to admit you went back for it and still don't have it!
"I met an old friend
on Forty-Second and we stopped in at a bar to kick around old times." True
or not, this one can get you beheaded. She may not like it for itself alone,
but even if she's broad-minded enough to let you stop in at a bar with
an old friend, she's probably also narrow minded enough to believe the
"old friend" is a curvaceous redhead, and that she, your wife, is the one
who's getting kicked around!
"I met Joe; he needed
an alibi about where he'd been--you know what his wife is like, honey;
he'd been working late at the office, but she'd never believe that--I felt
so sorry for the poor guy, I rode clear over to Brooklyn to explain to
his wife." So why didn't you call your wife and say so? You
forgot. Well, your touching sympathy for the other guy may not go over
so well with your missus, but the real danger is--does Joe's wife have
a phone? If so, your wife may call Joe's wife and then you might
just as well prepare to spend the rest of the night out; the door will
be locked against you anyway!
"I was working on
a great idea and I got so wrapped up in it, I forgot all about the time."
one can work--especially if you are inventive enough to outline
the "great idea." Depends on your job, too. She may snarl, "Oh, so now
you have plans to run the elevator sidewise--say down the hall to some
blonde's room?" Or, "New uses for cookies, no doubt?" if you're a pastry
cook. Well, into each life some rain must fall, but there are regular cloudbursts
if you don't prepare, boy, prepare; think up your summer alibis
in December, your Christmas-week ones as you bask on the beach in July,
and you'll never be caught groping for words, tangled tensely in a tall
tale, mouthing ridiculous lies--no, indeed; all your
lies will have
the nice mellowed sound of age and thought--the soothing sort of lie a
woman likes to hear on a cold night.
"I couldn't start
the car and spent the whole evening in a crummy garage. I had to drink
to keep warm." To the obvious "Why didn't you call me?" explain that
their phone was out of order and add darkly that you didn't trust this
mechanic, see, who you thought might be out to steal the spark plugs or
maybe the whole motor. If she's a completely non-mechanized doll, this
may work. I don't advise you to try it on these chicks who drive souped-up
sports cars, how ever; they'll make you eat axle grease all week just for
One brazen guy I know
practically broke down his door and went in howling, "What the hell have
you been doing? I dialed this phone for the last three hours to tell you
I was going to be late and all I get is ring--ring--rringgg! Where were
you? You steppin' out on me?" The shock value of this was so great, as
his bewildered mate explained over and over again that she hadn't left
the house all evening and the phone was really on the hook all that time,
that, well, she completely forgot until the next morning that he
the one who had come in late, and by then she was scared to make him mad
again by bringing it up. Don't try this one twice--the second time, no
matter how meek she is, brings broken dishes and chairs wrapped around
"I went to sleep
on the bus and woke up in Hoboken." This is nice, but depends on an
exact timetable and stop-watch precision. It's a funny thing, but a wife
who keeps you waiting for two hours when you're going out on the town,
who has no sense of timing at all when you're supposed to pick her up,
suddenly can figure a count-down that would do credit to Cape Canaveral.
As in other things, the main thing in giving excuses is KNOW YOUR WOMAN.
And if your alibi doesn't jell, you can count on this, you'll know her
lot better afterward--at least, you'll know her temper a lot better.
"I lost my hat and
had to go back everywhere I'd been, looking for it." This is especially
good if you really did lose your hat. Works even better with coats
and billfolds. All women understand that you feel really naked running
around without your money. And under the tension of the circumstances you
forget to call her. It is best not to let this end in an aura of gloom,
but on a happy note that you have found it! Remember, in a burst
of overzealousness she will probably check up on the state of your funds,
so have your answers ready, men--also an itinerary you can roll off as
glibly as a politician rolls campaign promises. Otherwise, pffft--and the
fright she has felt that you might really have lost something be sides
virtue won't help your cause, either!
"I fell and hit my
head in the subway and must have been wandering around in a state of amnesia."
one is really fifth rate, and has a high note of hysteria about it. She
will ask you if you really don't remember
and start picking
long blonde hairs off your coat. Just about the time you are ready to crack
up, she will insist on phoning the doctor--and you'll spend your next two
weeks in a ward being asked if you have gun-barrel vision. My advice--don't
"I lost all my money
in the football pool and was afraid to come home." This may go well
for the Bewildered Boys and their Motherly Mates, but the average male
will find it destructive to his home life, and his epidermis--not to mention
the lumps on his skull. No, no, No!
"I got a message
to meet you at the Red Parrot. I was sitting there waiting for you all
night." Well, this one explains the six martinis you drank, and the
fact that you believed her to be in transit could explain why you
didn't call her, but your muttered "The message must have been for Jones,
not me" won't satisfactorily explain to your wife why you don't can your
secretary the next day. Unless your secretary is really being given the
old heave-ho, I don't advise it; at least, give interviews first.
And then there are the
THINGS NOBODY CAN GET OUT OF--and they can happen to anybody. Like that
fellow you see drinking morosely down at the end of the bar there--what
happened to him shouldn't have happened to a teetotaler!
He was picking up his
wife at this bridge club, see, and he was late, so he jumps out and leaves
his car unlocked and goes in to collect his wife, and when he and his wife
come back to the car, this good-looking broad has climbed into the back
seat and she is stewed to the gills and she won't get out of the car. "Honey
bun!" she squeals, her eyes completely crossed. "You promised sugarlamb
a ride in your aut--hic!--aut--hic honeybun!"
By now his wife is screaming
who is this hussy?" and the poor guy is explaining all over
the place that he never saw her before in his life and a tittering crowd
has collected and then his wife socks him and runs down the street and
the strange girl in the car hollers, "That's O.K., honeybun--you still
got me and you didn't like her anyway!" And just as the guy's wife disappears
around the corner, a big tough mug comes out of a bar two doors away and
hollers, "Maisie! You two-timing me again ?" and rushes up and knocks our
hero flat on the cement.
So you can see why he
has staggered in here--he has Big Troubles; Fate is obviously his Foe;
he was born at the wrong time of the moon. And pretty soon I'm going to
get so sorry for him that I'll phone his wife and say it was my
girl friend who got in her husband's car by mistake and she was so pie-eyed
she couldn't tell a short, fat, blonde guy from a tall dark, thin guy and
please accept her heartfelt apologies, which she would have delivered herself
if she had not passed out cold. And you know what will happen? The guy's
wife will probably come tearing down here and knock out one of my teeth--it
was a similar situation which got me this bridgework on my right jaw, but
it pains me to see an innocent guy suffer when so many guilty ones are
having such a ball!
Well, getting back to
alibis, that one about sitting up with a sick friend is also a pretty sick
alibi. Much better to say you were consoling a well friend on the sudden
death of a dear departed. This takes co-operation from your friend, but
if properly handled, it's almost foolproof. After all, you couldn't go
off and leave poor old Joe to drown his sorrows all alone, now could you?
He might have
done something! (Leave her to imagine what.) This
story is calculated to make her feel guilty for suspecting the truth about
But the alibi that amazes
me the most is the one used by the big good-looking guy who breezes into
his house three hours late, sweeps his glaring spouse up in his arms in
a big hug, kisses her fondly, and when she says, "And where have you
howls, "Out with another woman, of course!" and roars with laughter. She
doesn't believe him, naturally, and she pouts as he leads her into the
bed room. He says in six years she has never yet believed him, so I guess
he is the living proof that there is one thing a woman won't believe--and
that's the truth!