“Everyday I die,” Gary Numan once sang. He was talking about masturbation, but lately I recall that refrain every time I hear or see the name of my former mentor Ben Carson in the news. Yes, it’s true, I went to med school, I was a pre-med—and yes, I dropped out three credits short of graduating. My obnoxious hipster cousin Bennington dragged me kicking and cawing to a Hüsker Dü show at the old 9:30 Club in the mid-1980s while I was studying for my finals. He insisted that they were “better than The Replacements,” which went right over my comb. Bleary-eyed, we stood waiting in the packed crowd for the Minneapolis threesome to take the stage, and right when the pudgy one turned his wall of amps on, the audience surged and ebbed, and I nearly got squashed. I made my way to the back, where a very cool punk chick named Monica was sitting at the bar. The rest is lore. We went home to her coup that night, and I never went back to UMD.
Before I gave it all away, I had a brief meeting with Dr. Ben Carson, only a couple of years before he separated those Siamese twins. My class made a trip up to Johns Hopkins, and I was selected to speak with the doctor, then beyond reproach. But I quickly found out he was a pretty strange bird. But fuck, he could do magic on an open brain, so who cared? Brain surgeons, despite their colloquial reputation, were not exactly highly regarded within the medical community. They didn’t have to guess, or diagnose, or do any work really—they were told what to do, and essentially succeeded because of fine motor skills. Anyway, I sat down with Dr. Carson in his office. Like I said, he was a screwball. A couple minutes after welcoming me in, he was still staring plaintively out the window onto the falling leaves, deep in thought. Or so I thought.
“You know, Rooster…” I was all ears. “I haven’t thought about it in years, but… looking at this gorgeous fall scene, God’s gift, nature’s wonder… I remember… the pyramids…” He trailed off. I still hadn’t said a word. He turned to me. “What do you think they kept in there?” I honestly didn’t know what he was talking about, but I answered honestly, thinking on my claws. “…Grain?” I was hungry, since it was lunchtime. “They look like grain silos to me.” Dr. Carson’s beady eyes widened and he looked at me like the messiah. “My God… it’s beautiful… tombs, no… grain…” He went back looking out the window, and dismissed me with a wave of his hand. As if I needed any more convincing after meeting Monica, I told her the story and she looked at me like a cuckoo. Now, we’re both privately enjoying the once-great Doctor using my spitball answer on the campaign trail. May success lead to many roads of excess for Ben Carson.
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