Ric Latarski - Excuses thrive in the spring

Spring has officially arrived.

The good thing about this time of year is that for a brief moment we believe that all things are possible. It is in spring when hope, how shall we say, springs eternal.

The bad thing about this time of year are the storms, which we have already experienced, and the fact the General Assembly is not quite finished.

Spring storms are never fair, as evidenced by the fact the tornadoes that ripped through downtown Atlanta disrupted the basketball game but missed the General Assembly.

Of course, had the tornado hit the Cheetah III we could have lost the entire legislature.

Spring is when a young man sees the wonders of love and when the old man sees the wonders of Viagra.

It is spring that offers the smell of fresh cut grass - although the chore is horrible - and air cleansed by a thunderstorm that makes you feel younger than your age.

While spring renews your faith, it is not all showers and flowers because spring also forces one to face certain realities.

Spring is when you charge out the front door determined to get serious about your exercise program and promise to lose weight, only to pull a groin muscle and have to hobble back to the sofa and get under an ice pack for the next week.

Spring is when you head to the golf course ready to play without layers of sweaters and windbreakers only to discover that the sweaters and windbreakers were not the cause of your lousy swing and now you will not have them to use as an excuse.

Spring is when you pull out the shorts you bought on sale at the end of last summer and put them on for the first time, which is also when you find out that clothes can shrink while they are sitting in the drawer.

When you do go outside in shorts for the first time to enjoy the weather, your skin is subject to the real rays of the sun for the first time in months and it is only after you feel a little twinge that you realize you should have put on sunscreen.

This is brought home when you take a shower and the water hits the back of your knee and you think someone is ripping off your skin.

Spring is when you look around the house and see all those outdoor projects that need to be done - projects you promised you would wade into the moment warm weather arrived - and then realize that is a lot of work and the day would be better spent cooking on the grill and having a cold cocktail.

The key to dealing with home improvement projects in spring is to hold out until summer arrives and then claim it is too hot to work outside.

Spring does offer the perfect excuse for all mistakes. You can do something stupid and when the Boss says, "What do you think you were doing, you moron?" you can reply, "It's such a wonderful spring day I was staring out the window communing with nature and my mind started drifting."

If you have planted the right seeds, this can be a very strong position. My Boss has no choice but to mumble and accept defeat based on the facts when I evoke my "drifting mind" defense.

But the most devastating effect of spring is having to face the grim reality that when those first truly wonderful days roll in, you still have to go to work - unless you happen to be one of those people who might consider calling in with some other sort of ailment.

If you are smart, you start a list of medical conditions to use as excuses and about the time really hot weather sets in you have used them all.

A head cold or "24-hour bug" is usually the best because they can be real and not require going to a doctor. It can also be difficult to prove you did not have the condition.

However, if you plan on using something like scurvy, beriberi or double-beriberi, you need to hope the day you call in your boss has also called in with double-beriberi.

Spring makes all things possible and allows us to think of, well, the possibilities.

I guess that means in the next day or so I'm going to have to tell the Boss I've been hit by a case of scabius. Fortunately, that doesn't affect my golf swing.