Pass Fail Music Appreciation Class

by Cat Weaver

Mr. Koenig’s assumption that Philip was lying somehow crept into Philip’s face and made him wear it like mask of shame. He could feel himself sweating, his eyes darting, his mouth twitching downward at the corner.

He had attended the stupid pointless idiotic “Baroquen-in” music concert; was able to answer some of Koenig’s questions about the pieces the Bacchanalia Orchestra played and even some tough ones about how the individual players had altered the original Bach compositions. He’d simply forgotten to pick up the damned playbill.

“But, listen, Mr. K” — Koenig allowed students this friendliness— “think about it: the students that went and remembered to pick up a playbill, they don’t have to remember a thing, do they? They just had to pick up a playbill and sit and play with their phones for an hour and a half and flash their receipt at you and they get a pass. But me? I forget to pick up a playbill and I get quizzed, and I show I paid atten—”

“You can’t even tell me what they played. You can’t even tell me what key the mass was in and it’s in the name!”

“They changed the names.”

“Not that one. Not the Mass in B Minor. Look, I told the whole class to pick up a playbill. All you had to do was attend.”

“I did.”

“It’s a pathetic thing to lie about.”

“I went. I paid as much attention as anyone. And I wasn’t expecting a quiz.”

Mr. Koenig shook his head, “Unbelievable. Philip, I’m not going to do this.”

“Look, Tedra. My girlfriend. I took her with me.”

Mr. Koenig looked at Philip from under the ridge of his giant salt and pepper eyebrows.

“Seriously, Philip.”

“This isn’t right, Mr. Koenig. This isn’t fair at all.”

Philip sat and stared, face gone beet red, ignoring Mr. Koenig’s “That’ll be all, Philip.” Because, no. That would not “be all.”

“Mr. K? What if I can get the kid who was ushering to say he seated us? He’ll remember because Tedra got her skirt caught and the kid tried to help us untangle it, but he pulled too hard and it tore. It was so awkward I’m sure he’d remember!”

Mr. Koenig put his hands in the air and burst out laughing. “Okay. This is embarrassing! Philip, I felt sure you were lying. But that usher is my son, Edgar! He told me about the skirt incident!”

Philip, laughed nervously, “S-sooo. Pass?”

Koenig stopped laughing and leaned forward, proffering the eyebrows of doom again, “Edgar said you’d cursed him out.”

“Oh. Yeah. So…”


“Tell Edgar I’m sorry.”

“That’ll be all, Philip.”

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