IF YOU'RE READING this Wednesday morning — and I have to assume you are because you are — the Bay Bridge is supposed to be open.

It was supposed to be open Tuesday morning before they found that big crack. Then it wasn't, then it was. Bridges that carry thousands of cars every day aren't supposed to crack. Ships aren't supposed to hit the bridge and leak oil. Earthquakes aren't supposed to knock part of the bridge down. I'm supposed to be rich and live on a giant estate where exotic women dressed in hula skirts attend my every need. Sometimes we just can't control these things.

Test drive

Anyway, let's assume the bridge has been open for 24 hours when you read this. Even if it were, I'd want to have a few hundred thousand other cars go over the thing before me, just to make sure the king's men put it back together again properly.

So if you're smart, you're home today, letting everyone else test ride the bridge for another day. I don't work anywhere near San Francisco, but I'm staying home, just in case. You know what they say: You have to take it one game at a time. Which, when you think about it, really has nothing to do with bridges.

So where were we "... oh, right, women in hula skirts. And how you're going to justify to the boss you're staying home today when you just had a three- or four-day weekend.


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You could try the ol' "working from home" trick, but it's just too obvious. Everyone says that "... right before lying around watching "Walker, Texas Ranger" reruns while trying to wrap their head around the fact that a professional TV executive once believed a show featuring a guy in a cowboy hat doing in karate all over Texas would make sense when it's obvious the first time he'd try that in real life, someone would simply pull out a gun and shoot him. The show should have lasted all of seven minutes. Or just about half as long as it took you to comprehend that last sentence.

But the point is your boss doesn't believe you're working from home because you won't be sending them any work. You'll be too busy marveling at how Chuck Norris can kick so high while wearing a belt buckle the size of Rhode Island.

Some great excuses

So you'll have to do better. You can say your kids are sick but you probably used that one last month. You can say all the roads in the East Bay were destroyed by a typhoon, but your bosses in San Francisco probably won't believe you. There may be a long, broken-down bridge between us, but people in San Francisco still occasionally glance over here. Even if they won't admit it.

You could tell the boss you're a tropical disease carrier, which means that even though you aren't sick you would definitely infect and kill everyone in the office. Tell them it's so rare they can't go on Wikipedia to see if you're lying. Say the disease is so infectious they can't even put its name on the Internet. But you'll probably be OK by Thursday.

Or you could say coming to work means the terrorists win. It won't make sense, but people are still terrified to question anyone who says they're fighting terrorism or who thinks it's necessary to sing both the national anthem and "God Bless America" at baseball games.

Reach Tony Hicks at thicks@bayareanewsgroup.com. Read his blog, "Insert Foot," at www.ibabuzz.com/insertfoot.