I've heard a lot of good excuses in my life - some of the most creative being drummed up by yours truly in younger days - but none that can compare to this one: the Meatball Defense.

The NYPD fired a veteran counter-terrorism Detective, Anthony Chiofalo, for violating the Department's drug policy by testing positive for marijuana in 2005. Chiofalo claimed that he had not used any drugs, but rather his wife had spiked the meatballs with marijuana against his knowledge so he would lose his job.

But the department wasn't buying it, and Commissioner Raymond Kelly upheld the dismissal.

Now, technically, I don't know what really happened in this case. And perhaps we'll never know the truth. But this story is just wrong on some many levels.

On the one hand, spiking home-cooked Italian meatballs would be a very cold thing to do to your husband after 22 years. On the other hand, if it was fabricated, then it's an insult to his wife's Italian cooking as well as a terribly foolish alibi for a guy who was serving on the Joint Terrorism Task Force.

Either way, I feel really bad for the meatballs. They are the centerpiece of classic Italian food - the Lion King of the Pasta World - as far as this non-Italian is concerned and they have no place being dragged into a shameful situation like this one.

Capiche?