The excuse of the day is
failure of the AE-35 unit
Somewhere in the middle of the 1990's, the gang at DMS (or was it still LIT then?) were fans of the BOFH series. One of the bits we liked best was the excuse generator the BOFH used from time to time. Not content with just reading about this, we decided to live the dream. Excuses were compiled, code was written, and soon we had our very own Excuse of the Day script.
That wasn't enough, though. Oh, no. We eventually extended the Excuse of the Day system to e-mail the excuses to ourselves, so we could come in to work and see the excuse right there in our Inboxes. Later on, we got an email-to-text-pager gateway, and were thereafter able to have the excuse sent to our pagers every morning. We were thus able to keep very nicely in synch regarding the day's excuse.
We would, on occasion, reflect on the vast amounts of money and time and energy that had gone into developing computers, operating systems, Internet protocols, pager technology—basically, almost every communications technology advance of the latter half of the 20th Century—and how they had all lead inextricably to our being able to page ourselves every weekday morning with a facile and silly excuse.