Ben Carson n’ The Psych Exam

Ben Carson is crazy, that much we know. We’re only bickering over whether MAOIs or tricyclics would put the patient back in touch with his senses. Because let’s be honest it’s funny as hell to watch a dog chase its tail but after an hour or so there are ethical considerations. There are also aesthetic considerations vis-a-vis the rug, which I can tell you does not well tolerate vomit (long night). Hey sometimes it’s fun being a liberal…for a few minutes. It’s a thrill to point and laugh…in Nelson Muntz’s world. And would that not be fun? Yourself running with a darting red kite, into a bristling wind atop a towering cliff in crisp Monterey County, aside a crested roiling sea in a boner pill ad, ha ha. Kindness and decency put the Magnificent Frigates of fantasy to ground, now isn’t that better?

Carson provided the world with a stirring account of being feted by his psych professor after being subjected to a cruel fake examination (hyuk-hyuk ‘To see who was the most honest student in the class.’). But the novel-worthy tale of a soul-vetting by the Lord and His Teacher turned out to be his jerk classmates writing for a humor magazine and playing a prank on freshmen.

“When I read about the story in the Wall Street Journal, I immediately said, to my wife and friend, ‘That was the prank we played at the [Yale] Record! And Ben Carson was in the class,’” said Bakal, who noted he wasn’t actually present during the taking of the fake test. “We did a mock parody of the Yale Daily News during the exam period in January 1970, and in this parody we had a box that said: ‘So-and-so section of the exam has been lost in a fire. Professor so-and-so is going to give a makeup exam.’”

“We got a room to do the test in and one of us from the Record impersonated a proctor to give the test,” he said.

And Ben of all people – can you imagine? – ended up being the most gullible.

The new exam, Mr. Carson recalled in the book, was much tougher. All the students but Mr. Carson walked out.

“The professor came toward me. With her was a photographer for the Yale Daily News who paused and snapped my picture,” Mr. Carson wrote. “ ‘A hoax,’ the teacher said. ‘We wanted to see who was the most honest student in the class.’ ” Mr. Carson wrote that the professor handed him a $10 bill.

Yale’s ‘most honest student’ was so stupid he couldn’t grasp he was the butt of a joke. To this day he doesn’t understand what happened. The pranksters apparently felt so sorry for him, the world’s biggest pigeon, that they put a ten-spot in his pocket and shooed him out the door with a broom. He still believes (really!) that he earned the admiration and praise of his psych professor and His Eminence, and that such an thing comes with a front page photograph, a few bucks of well-deserved reward, and a presidential nomination after recounting the story in a gripping autobiography. Ben ignores the evidence that he was a fool, Ben rather assumes he was chosen by God.

It is tempting to want to compare Carson with the fanciful liberator of Buchenwald, Ronald Reagan, in his benighted second term, during which Don Regan probably had to take Li’l Ronnie by the hand from time to time to relieve the WWII hero. But the current GOP frontrunner has been this way his entire life.

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