I have a friend who used to love to use food bugs as an excuse to take a day off work or otherwise avoid things she didn’t feel like doing. It’s a pretty good lie because food bugs can make you feel really awful but only for a short amount of time. No one will be surprised at how totally okay you look the next day as you lament how very bad yesterday was. Except that this friend used it way too often and I assume everyone must have suspected it was a lie.
That’s why pretending you have a flat tire is better — you can send photographic “proof” and people will genuinely feel sorry for you. I can’t claim full credit for this idea. It actually came from Reddit user u/EROAaron, who says:
If you ever have a flat tire, take a photo of it so you can use it as an excuse to get out of things you don’t want to do.
The real trick here, though, is to take many pictures from multiple angles. It’s ideal if you can’t even tell which tire it is. (Say later that they were able to patch it, lest anyone wonder why none of the tires on your car look brand new.)
If your car ever ends up on a tow truck, all the better, according to u/WhatDoesAFAIKMean:
I had a tow from before sunrise until the sun was out once. I milked that one. Had “night time” pics and day time pics in different angles and places. Especially great for when I was in college.
Other commenters suggest sending a screenshot of the original photo, rather than the original photo itself, lest some info in the EXIF data gives you away; or scrub the data entirely. However, if your boss or friend or whoever is already suspicious enough to go looking for EXIF data, the jig is probably up anyway.
One other potential snag? Weather conditions. If your next flat tire happens on a rainy day, you’ll only be able to use it on future rainy days. Still, specific weather can also make it extra believable if you time it right.
It’s Evil Week at Lifehacker, which means we’re looking into less-than-seemly methods for getting shit done. We like to think we’re shedding light on these tactics as a way to help you do the opposite, but if you are, in fact, evil, you might find this week unironically helpful. That’s up to you.