“But That’s Okay”

I had a roommate in college named Skippy (not his real name, but it should have been) who was a Philosophy major. We would proofread each other’s papers. The funny thing about his papers was that he never said anything and he always got a “B”. I mean always, on every paper and in every class. I remember reading the final paper he wrote for his final class as an undergraduate. I forget the actual topic, but basically it said that some guys said this while other guys said that with a noncommittal conclusion. By the time I finished reading the paper, Skippy had already began celebrating the accomplishment by making a healthy dent in a quart of Coors.

I handed him his paper.

“Interesting.” I lied.

Skippy snatched the paper from my hand. With quart in one hand and paper in the other, he romped around the house, barking, “Yes, it’s good. But it needs something extra.”

Skippy ruminated on the paper as he finished his quart. Finally he shouted out, “I’ve got it!”

He took the paper upstairs to his room, reinserted it in his typewriter and added this sentence to the conclusion: “But that’s okay.”

We all laughed and laughed at this, never thinking that he would actually turn in a paper with such an absurd ending, but, being Skippy, he did. I couldn’t wait for Skippy to get the paper back. As a History major, I knew that any one of my professors would have had a fit if I had pulled a stunt like that.

When Skippy finally got the paper back, his professor made no mention of the “But that’s okay.”

Oh yeah, the paper got a “B”.

by Richard W. Bray

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