STERLING HEIGHTS, MI—Saying he had displayed a remarkable level of dedication and persistence in recent weeks, members of Patrick Malliner’s family admitted Tuesday that they were impressed by the extra effort the 51-year-old father of two has been putting in to concealing his excessive drinking from them. “You’ve got to hand it to Dad—he’s been coming up with elaborate excuses, making sure to cover up the smell on his breath at the end of the day, and really going the extra mile to keep his drinking hidden from us,” Malliner’s 16-year-old daughter Alexa told reporters, noting how her father had recently begun setting up his drinking binges days in advance by grumbling about how an upcoming project deadline had been keeping him late at the office. “Before, he used to do things like bury his empty bottles at the bottom of the kitchen trash can, but now he walks them all the way to the neighbor’s garbage bin down the block. Honestly, it means a lot to know he cares enough about us that he’ll go to such lengths behind our backs to save us from worrying.” At press time, the family was reportedly marveling at how their father had gone to the trouble of coaching his friends to corroborate his alibis, with Malliner’s wife needing to call three different people before finding out where he actually was.
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