This isn't an excuse but i know someone that called in sick to work but was spotted smiling at the TV camera in the crowd at a Snooker final that was live on TV. The patrons at the pub he worked in found it very amusing, however his boss that was covering for him, well, not so much.
A few years ago, two women who live near to me did not show up for work. The next day, they told the boss that they had set out for work the day before, and were walking together down an alley, when they were abducted by aliens. This was reported on the local news. I don't think they were believed for some reason.