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Friday, April 20, 2007 | Yesterday, I engaged in a proud San Diego tradition: ditching work.

Yep, that was me at the San Diego Padres day game at Petco Park, and that was me influencing my coworkers to shirk their duties with me.

And, yes, we schemed for days on how to do it without the boss getting testy about how there was no one in the office.

Sure, it sucked for him, but I had to do it, because ditching work — especially in spring and summer — is a proud San Diegan tradition.

Why live in a place with great weather if you can’t enjoy it? And why work when there’s something more fun to do — like avoid it.

Transplants don’t understand this. They feel that we should live to work, when actually we should live to surf or play Frisbee golf or go to Petco Park in order to drink beer and cheer on the Padres.

I am so convinced that ditching work is an important component to San Diego life that I am actually writing this article on Wednesday night just to make sure I can ditch without too many consequences.

But I’m not the only one. I’m getting support from members of the City Council, like Kevin Faulconer who is ditching work in order to hang out in the Caribbean with his wife.

And Jim Madaffer is shirking some important votes in order to be in Mexico City and he’s using the excuse that it’s important government business. I’ll have to use that one on my boss when I tell him why I was out of the office for four hours on Thursday.

I’d like to use Brian Maienschein’s “I’ve been sick” excuse but even a 3rd grader can see through that one.

I’ll probably rely on the old “We had a story meeting” excuse and try to avoid talking excitedly about Jake Peavy when I do it.

Although our duly elected City Council officials deserve a lot of flack for pretty much everything, I don’t think Faulconer, Madaffer and Maienschein should be criticized for ditching work.

After all, when Roger Hedgecock was mayor, the locals liked knowing they had a mayor who might quit early to surf, and certainly no one begrudged Susan Golding for wanting to ditch work in order to get to the prison to see her hubby before visiting hours were over.

On the other hand, Dick Murphy wasn’t known for ditching work — unless you count resigning right when things started getting hot.

I would rather know that someone isn’t on the job because the surf is up or because they are taking advantage the 5-cent sale at Beverages & More than have them be absent mentally all the time (like Toni Atkins, for instance. I work in Hillcrest and we’ve called her office a few times asking for help to get rid of the sketchy people living in the canyon below 163. However, unless you’re a member of her core constituency, she doesn’t bother to help).

Plus, I think shirking one’s duty is healthy and adds to an improved sense of well-being. For all the criticism Mike Aguirre takes, no one has accused him of ditching work. Perhaps if he did (maybe to attend a Padre game with me), he might gain a little perspective that would help him in his dealings with the comparatively lazy people on the council.

Maybe I’m wrong. But I’ll have lots of time to think about it. I’m hoping to quit work by 1 p.m. today as well.

David B. Moye is a La Mesa-based writer who says having a lovely wife and two healthy kids has given him even more B.S. excuses to leave work early. You can reach him at moyemail@cox.net. Or, send a letter to the editor.

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