I had lost my student.
This was unfortunate, since I wanted to blame him for our group's analysis computer suddenly and mysteriously dying.
Walking into the last office at the end of the hallway, I found my other student dutifully working. (This was quite impressive since I'm fairly sure each and every time my supervisor crept up on me, I was reading the BBC news). Stopping this productivity mid-flow, I asked if he knew the location of his counterpart.
"He saw a star last night," came the explanation.
… and so …? Left the field of astrophysics in shock? Was kidnapped by aliens? Made a wish for a real job and is even now on a flight to Tokyo?
My present student made a whooshing motion with one arm. "He saw a…. comet?"
He'd been crushed by a falling meteor. That would definitely make a fairly original excuse.
Then a more likely explanation occurred to me. "Oh, he was watching a meteor shower; shooting stars?"
"Yes," my student nodded as I filled in the correct English term. "All night."
"So… why isn't he in?"
I'm a bad ass supervisor.