Wednesday, November 4, 2015


My wife tells me that I can open her mail if I so choose. Usually, I give that honor a pass, even though it would afford me the only chance I ever get to open any mail at all. But yesterday, she received a letter I couldn't resist ripping into: a fundraising plea from Dr. Ben Carson, with a "personal" message in an almost-real handwriting font on the front of the envelope:

You’re the first in the nation to see this! Please tell me what you think.  Ben

The first? Man, did it make me feel special that Ben would take out time from his busy book-signing schedule to put my wife, not yours, at the top of his to-do list. But wait, that's not all! For inside was this:

There's some reflection there, and I got rid of my wife's name, but you get the idea. It's something like a credit card, only you can't use it except inside your wallet: American Express to Nowhere.

So what it is it then? Let the good doctor explain:

This is it. The first of its kind. My campaign has never issued a Supporter Card to anyone before. And now I'm sending Charter cards to the people whom I believe would be inspirational members of my team. I see yours is #48.

Well, I see that Carson is a very poor judge of people, since my wife's a registered Democrat. Therefore, he most likely bought the mailing list from L.L. Bean. And how can my wife be the "first," as the envelope states, when she's #48? To quote Dr. Carson himself, this is the worst thing to happen in America since slavery. 

Just for fun & games, I went online to see if anyone else received it. And sure enough, a Carson supporter proudly posted a photo of her #48 card on CNN's "iReport" site. Can you imagine how dirty we feel now, knowing that Carson is feeding everybody the same line?

Still, I was intrigued. There are an infinite number of numbers Carson could have chosen, yet not many to make one feel special. I guess #1 would look phony, and #3 would make you feel like a loser. But 48? That seemed rather arbitrary. I went to Wikipedia to get the lowdown.

Not that big.
Forty-eight, I learned, is a semi-perfect number. That's befitting donors who would vote for a guy wholly unqualified to hold the title "Dr. Leader of the Free World." 

Being a Charter Supporter means that you're expected to fork over some dough. He certainly doesn't make it enticing with the letter he enclosed to include with the contribution, written in such a way that it's supposedly written by the donors themselves:

Thank you for my Charter Supporter Card. I am honored to receive the 48th card in the country. I have signed the back of it and I will proudly carry it as a symbol of our bond [...] I believe that as our President you will humbly serve the ideals of freedom, God, and we-the-people with integrity, with optimism, with a commitment to honor the Constitution... 

This makes further sense upon learning, in addition to being imperfect, 48 is a Narcissistic number. Which leads us to one more piece of relevant information:

Siddhartha Gautama, the founder of Buddhism, sat under a bodhi tree for 48 days attempting to understand the nature of reality and Universe. Buddhism was the result.

Carson, I believe, sat under a palm tree for 48 days attempting to understand what he was going to do in retirement, when he got hit on the head with a coconut. Carson for President was the result. You got another explanation?


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