old man winter is upon us, and it's getting fucking cold. and you know what that means: get your flu vaccination, vitamin C, echinacea, drink lots of water, and do NOT get sick. and then, pretend to be sick and stay at home. remember that scene from ferris bueller's day off? or that scene from horrible bosses? something like that. i feel like my whole life as a corporate monkey lawyer is trying to emulate ferris bueller. he gets away with it AND gets the girl. shaa-BANG.
OK, anyway, short of building your own elaborate sick voice soundboard and/or sticking a pen down your throat and yakking all over someone, which you could do, here are some other ways to give credence to your uh....hol-ill-day.
i guess in general when you want to play hooky, there's a general risk/reward table you need to consider - the risk that you'll be caught and the ensuing 'punishment' (you can only cry wolf so many times before people start to call bullshit, but if you just don't show up and tell no one, it's not like you were lying to anyone, and if you have no work then this is probably the way to go), and the reward that you get (e.g. people trying not to bother you if you are sick, your 'right' to just ignore your phone, etc.).
with that in mind, if you want to call in sick, there are two ways to do it: leave in the middle of the day after appearing at work sick, or, just not showing up and calling in sick. the first is tougher because you have to credibly look sick, at least to someone, but then you've got a solid alibi rather than a questionable one. the second is obviously easier, but not necessarily simpler, because you still may need to have a 'sick' voice if called for some reason (and maybe that's a good idea), and it's always a nice idea to go back to work with a touch of whatever you used to have to make your 24-hour bug more believable. not all sicknesses are equal either. usually when you say 'sick' you think of the cold or flu, which is more likely during the cold season. but if you've used that or need something more short term (a morning/afternoon or just a day), sometimes a stomach bug works better - something funny you ate the night before or the day after. you don't need evidence for this which is even better, but something you can't use too often or conspicuously. most people don't like to go blabbing about their explosive diarrhea. i'd suggest calling it 'gastroenteritis' which is what the docs call it or just 'stomach problems'. usually people won't want to ask about it either, but unless you have a full blown stomach flu, lasts only a little while.
but if we are going to go with a cold/flu, physically, how can you look sickly? well, if you are a lawyer, you probably already look like a donkey has kicked the shit out of your face a few times. on top of that though, consider ice cubes on your nose, will redden it up and get you stuffy. rub your eyes excessively or with soapy water to get them red. turn of your lights and hold your head to get a nice sensitivity to light and noise theme going. practice your blank stare. wear a lot of clothes, even if the heater is on or it's not cold - like a sweater and gloves in the office. suck on a lozenge constantly (so you don't have to fake a phlegmy cough which is tough). act grubby and irascible, like your a little angry elf that gets made fun of too much. get 'caught' with your face planted on your keyboard. use pepper to fake sneezes. remember, you are an adult, people should give you the benefit of the doubt, so you don't need to overplay this, just a little so people are like 'oh shit (s)he is really sick, let's cut him a break', so that you can get 27 holes in without being bothered.
also, consider scheduling a doctor's appointment with your secretary, you can always pick up some more allergy medicine or something, and telling her to tell the other people you work with you are not feeling well. you know, out of courtesy. we aren't animals here.
this could be you