The Manual - How to escape

Christmas may be all but a distant memory and the most frugal month of the year may be upon us, but you can bet your bottom dollar, these failsafe get-out clauses will still come in handy when it all gets too much - whatever the occasion.

"Work called and my career depends on it."

"My girlfriend's mother is very ill."

"Next door's house has flooded into mine."

"Pete's broken up with his girlfriend and sounds in a bad way."

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"I am now absolutely certain I left the iron on."