5 Legendary Excuses People Made For Their Bad Behavior

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by Ian Fortey

When you make a mistake, there are three ways you can handle it: 1) Ignore it and hope nobody notices. 2) Admit the mistake, apologize, and learn from it. 3) Dig deep into the dark recesses of your depraved yet creative mind and come up with an excuse so outlandish that makes the other person question their own sanity. These people chose the third option.


Woody Harrelson Attacked A Photographer Because He Thought He Was A Zombie

Actor Woody Harrelson became an international superstar back in 1992 when he teamed up with Blade to prove that white men are vertically-challenged, and we've loved him ever since. One of his notable non-jump themed films was Zombieland, which was known for its exotic zombies ... and its land. What none of us knew, however, was the psychological toll that movie took on poor Woodrow.

On April 8, 2009 Harrelson was at La Guardia airport in New York City. A TMZ photographer approached Harrelson with camera blazing. Rather than posing in that suave, lovable manner we're accustomed to, Harrelson opted to smash the living hell out of that camera as he lunged at the photographer's face. He didn't punch, really, but pushed. He face pushed a photographer.

The photographer of course filed a complaint, and the Port Authority said they'd investigate and file charges if they were warranted. But luckily, Woody had an explanation.

Columbia Pictures

Columbia Pictures

Surprisingly, it was more than, "I'm Woody Harrelson."

He had just finished shooting the movie Zombieland and was still in the Tallahassee zone -- that's his Zombieland character. He was so into that character, so full-on Daniel Day-Lewis method acting, that he thought the photographer was a zombie. You can see how that would be a thing. So just to make this clear: he punched that photographer for fear he was the hungry, slavering walking dead. And that makes all the sense in the world.

Track Star Dennis Mitchell Blames Excess Testosterone On His Wife's Birthday Sex

Back in the day, Dennis Mitchell was a rising star in the world of track and field. In 1988, he placed fourth in the 100-meter at the Olympics. Likely he would have gotten a gold medal in the 100-meter relay, but the team was disqualified when a baton was passed too late, the most nefarious of all baton-related crimes. He went on to win a 200-meter NCAA championship and set a 100-meter relay world record in 1991. In 1992 he returned to the Olympics and won the gold. Things were looking good.

Fast forward to 1998. Mitchell had competed in another Olympics where he won silver. He also competed in various other events, including the Goodwill Games, and he was still training ostensibly toward the goal of entering the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. Except there was a bit of a speed bump in the road ... drug tests showed Mitchell had elevated levels of testosterone. As in twice the normal level. That's a serious infraction that could've removed Mitchell from competition and called his previous victories into question. The International Association of Athletics Federations wanted an answer. Lucky for them, Mitchell had one.

As Mitchell explained, the day before he was tested was his wife's birthday. As any good husband should, he wanted to make it a special day for her. So he'd enjoyed about five beers and then proceeded to rock his wife's world no less than four times. And that, Mitchell explained, accounted for his elevated testosterone. He wasn't doping. He was doing ... it. With his wife. Repeatedly.

Which is why he's so out of breath, here.

Incredibly this excuse was cool with United States Track and Field, maybe because the board members are also fans of passionate birthday presents. The IAAF was less convinced and banned Mitchell from competition for two years.

Charles Barkley Blew A Stop Sign While Drunk Because He Needed A BJ

If you ever doubt Charles Barkley's status as a legend in the world of basketball, know that he is the only NBA player to ever take on Godzilla in both a commercial and a comic book. The best Michael Jordan did was Looney Tunes. Pfft. And that's why it's kind of tragic to hear about the heroic Sir Charles being a scofflaw.

It was just after Christmas in 2008. Charles Barkley was driving his Infiniti SUV through Scottsdale, Arizona at 1:30 in the morning, as one who fights Godzilla over shoes does. He was pulled over by a police officer who witnessed Barkley roll through a stop sign at about 10 mph. Upon speaking with Barkley, he discovered the Godzilla-smashing titan to be somewhat intoxicated. Was it the stress of having to take on a nuclear-powered lizard that drove him to do it?


As the officer noted, there was a woman present in the vehicle as well, and Barkley had only rolled through that stop sign so he could park around the corner for the very pressing need to receive what some folks in the more blue sections of Hollywood refer to as "amorous mouth relations." As you can see, there was no time for a full stop. However, the law is the law and Barkley was still arrested.

A Teacher Claims He Killed A Little Girl With His Car In Order To Get A Day Off

You know how sometimes after you've been working a job for a while, you start to feel like maybe the entire thing is siphoning your very soul away, replacing it with a cold, hollow sense of dread? It's easy to get to the point where you exaggerate your personal ails in order to get the day off. Like maybe you woke up with a kink in your neck, so you call in and say that you shattered your spine in a luge accident. We all do it, it's fine. Everything's fine. But it has to be within reason. Derek McGlone could have used that advice.

McGlone was a music teacher in Scotland who was bummed out by teaching. Who can blame him? Dude probably had to listen to bagpipes 8 hours a day, with nothing but a plate of haggis to keep him sane. From 2008 to 2011 his bosses noticed he had a penchant for calling off work with some interesting reasons. Once he said he was being held at bay by a cloud of ash from an Icelandic volcano. Remember using that old excuse? Classic.

At some point you run out of volcanoes to blame for why you're missing work, so McGlone had to try a new direction. The direction he chose was claiming that he ran over a little girl. He even went as far as describing the feeling of the car tires crushing her. You know ... to death.

It's strange that he'd make that up, because he doesn't look like a psychopath at all!

Don't feel bad for McGlone's vehicularly homicided child; she's not real. He just made that up to get a day off of work, because in Scotland you go hard or you go home. Or maybe you go hard so you can stay home. In any event, he decided manslaughter was a decent excuse for not putting pants on one day, so that's what he went with.

In a stunning display of school board power, when news of McGlone's deception came to light, he received a 12-month reprimand against his name in the teaching register. Whatever the hell that means.

Boris Johnson Never Snorted Cocaine Because He Sneezed ... Also, It Was Probably Powdered Sugar

Once upon a time, Bill Clinton didn't inhale, and the world of political drug use was forever changed. In all honesty, most people will try drugs or alcohol or burning down a cracker factory when they're young. That's just part of growing up. And then when we get older, we feign shock and indignation when we hear about these things because, in politics, we like to pretend a lot. So the tradition of politicians being caught in a jam and then pretending it was no big deal is kind of a cliché at this point.

Boris Johnson, who's a famous British politician known for being the former mayor of London (he's kind of a Euro Donald Trump) had his own not-quite drug scandal to deal with. Johnson was once asked about using cocaine, and he admitted that he'd been offered it in university. But it ended up being not so bad, because according to Johnson, he didn't actually snort any of the cocaine, thanks to a one-two punch of excuse-making gold.

No, seriously, he's Trump right down to the hair.

He claims that he didn't snort, because as he made the attempt, he sneezed. Like Superman using his incredible super breath, he blew that foul substance to the four corners, never to taint his nasal cavity. But here's the kicker: Even if some particulate had weathered the storm and come back at his big ol' nose holes, it didn't matter, because he's pretty sure it was actually just icing sugar. Check and mate, good sirs and ladies.

Like this article? Check out "Reading In Bed Was 'Tempting God' (5 Petty Historical Controversies)" and "5 Marketing Stunts That Made Companies Look Like Idiots".

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