Forget banal excuses such as "The dog/my baby sister/an alien from Mars ate my homework" and look instead to culprits of the electronic variety.
In a strange twist on a familiar schoolroom theme, Justin Gawronski, 17, from Michigan is blaming Amazon for losing his homework after it deleted his copy of George Orwell's 1984 from his Kindle book-reading device, ruining all the notes he had taken for his homework.
In a federal class action lawsuit in Seattle, reports WSJ.com, Gawronski said that all the notes he made on the book were rendered useless when Amazon remotely deleted the edition of 1984 because, although they are still accessible, they are no longer referenced to the pertinent parts of the Orwell's famous creepy novel. His lawyer claimed that "Mr Gawronksi now needs to recreate all of his studies".
Gawronksi is seeking to prevent Amazon deleting books from Kindles - as well as monetary relief for the work he claims to have lost. He filed the lawsuit, he said, because he sought to "help set a precedent so that Amazon doesn't do this again".
And here Folklaw was thinking that he filed the lawsuit as a particularly creative way to avoid twisty Orwellian analysis.
Folklaw also thinks it's Orwellianly creepy that 1984 should happen to be the book reappropriated by the evil omniscient totalitarian society that is Amazon.
Folklaw also wonders whether such arguments could be extrapolated to suit the office: "I would have come into work on those really sunny days earlier this week but the digital co-ordinates on my SatNav were inexplicably recalled by the provider!"
Or, better yet, Folklaw has a new take on an old tale: "I would have finished that report/story/analysis/pile of work that you somehow fobbed of onto me, but the dog chewed through the cord of my printer."