How to not get caught playing hooky for sports

Brian Tinsman
June 17, 2018 - 10:01 pm

Peter Casey-USA TODAY


Tuesday was a sports fan's dream in downtown Washington, D.C.

For hardcore Washington Capitals fans, it was a day more than four decades in the making, as they celebrated the first championship in franchise history. For more generic D.C. sports fans, it was an opportunity to experience what a championship feels like for the first time in 26 years. 

And for some, it was an unbeatable excuse to get out of work.

Studies have shown that 35 percent of American workers admit to playing hooky and using a sick day to get out of work at the last minute. That seems like a conservative estimate, especially when a parade stretches down Constitution Avenue and the weather is just about perfect.

At 4:33 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon, after much of the celebratory crowd had dispersed or headed inside for beverages, we got a message on the official 106.7 The Fan Facebook page from a long-time listener and supporter.

In order to conceal his identity, he will be referred to in this article as Hooky Hank (aliases also considered: Contagious Craig, Dead-Grandma Dave, Skippin’ Work Steve, Callout Carl, AWOL Angus, Mental Health Day Melvin).

Hank was in a bit of a pickle and reached out to beg for mercy. Yes, he played hooky from work in his job in sales, but he was smart enough to keep it off of social media. We, however, did not.

It turns out, he came to a special post-parade broadcast of CDVTW at Clyde's and was front and center in a picture posted to our social media. He isn't on that particular social media platform and only found out about it when someone that he works with sent him his picture at the bar on a day when he was supposed to be out *cough*cough* sick.

That's a gut-wrenching feeling for anyone to endure (especially after a world-class party), and we were full of sympathy pains. 

In fairness, what are the odds of Hank getting caught? According to Metro, there were more than 840,000 rail riders on Tuesday, making it the largest single crowd since the Women's March in January 2017. If he stuck to the middle of the crowd and wore red, he was a virtual lock to never get caught. After a successful day, showing up the watering hole afterward was his fatal mistake.

The social media post was deleted, thus destroying the evidence. Now, Hooky Hank had to wait for the other shoe to fall, and we asked him to check in once he went back to the office.

It took two days, but we finally heard from Hank on Thursday night, as he gave the all clear sign. His punishment wasn't even that bad.

"Just a healthy dose of stink eye on Wednesday and Thursday," he wrote, obviously relieved. "Which I’d say is a fair trade in exchange for the experience of going to the parade."

Darn right.

So, what can we learn from Hank's experience? Here are a few lessons followed by some questionable advice:

1. Everyone is Out to Get You

To the world, you are another excited face in an ocean of bliss. They don't know (or care) how many people you blew off to be there, or what you have at stake for being caught. Anyone with a phone or camera is essentially a spy out to ruin your day. It's up to you to ninja your way out of every single picture. Trust no one. Then no one can let you down.

2. Think of a Better Excuse

Listen, we're not going to tell you to "be responsible" or "go to work." We love our listeners and want you to come out to our broadcasts. Therefore, it is your job to think of a foolproof excuse that covers you in case of emergency. Calling in sick won't explain the sunburn you got at the parade, or if you end up on social media. The details are up to you, but if you start planning now, you'll be ready for the next can't-miss event.

3. Lead a Double Life

No one ever noticed that when terrible things happened, Clark Kent disappeared and Superman appeared. Therefore, any time good D.C. sports things happen, Hooky Hank disappears and All Caps Austin shows up. Apparently, all you need is a button-down shirt and glasses to become a different person. At least that's a little easier than wearing a Guy Fawkes mask.

In all seriousness, thanks to Hooky Hank and all of our listeners for helping to make Tuesday a historic day for D.C. sports and 106.7 The Fan. Please start planning your excuses for our next remote broadcasts now.


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