“The prison doctors had to remove part of his brain and shoot electricity through it to calm him down.”

Lacking the right words and a visual imagination, this student came up with a pretty bizarre treatment for an out-of-control patient.

“Frontal lobotomy” and “electroconvulsive therapy” are the words she needed, and if she had had these words the sequence described in the sentence would have been imaginable, albeit therapeutically questionable.

The brain, including frontal lobe. Source: Mike Farabee, Ph.D., Online Biology Book. Estrella Mountain Community College (Maricopa Community Colleges). Online via Maricopa.edu

Instead we get a picture of the prisoner sitting on his bunk, head bandaged, while one doctor holds up a chunk of brain for him to behold as another doctor aims a cattle prod at the chunk, ready to zap. I would think that even without his frontal lobe the prisoner would not find this sight calming. Larson could probably make a hilarious cartoon out of it, though—Gary, are you listening?

Luckily, most of us can be calmed with soothing words, soft lights, and a nice cup of tea (or wine).


About RAB

Teacher of English writing and literature (college-level); academic-freedom activist; editor and copy editor; theater director, costumer, actress, playwright. View all posts by RAB

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