John Morgan: ‘Gulliver’s Travels’ should be required reading for psychology majors

Dear Editor: So how is the great University of Wisconsin doing these days? I can only offer anecdotal observations. They are producing psychology majors who can sit down by you in a tavern and in five minutes give you a diagnosis and a prognosis for whatever your mental condition might be.

One night a drunken young woman sat down to my right. I asked her if she'd like to trade places so she could talk to her friends. She declined. Then she said, "Do you know you have OCD?"

I said, "Yes, I have some old compact disks. How did you know that?"

She said, "No that's not what it means."

So I replied, "Well, I also have occupational collapse disorder. How did you know that?"

She said, "No, you're obsessive."

I asked, "What makes you think that?"

"By the way you fiddle with your beer coaster."

"No, that's just a nervous habit."

"No, you're in denial."

So I agreed that I'm in denial; otherwise, I'd prove her point.

"You must be a psychology major," I said.

She said yes, she's graduating in a few months.

"Then surely," I told her, 'you have read 'Gulliver's Travels' in your English class."

She said no. I said that's hard to believe. "You aren't truly educated if you haven't read that book, one of the great satires of English literature. you should read it when you get a chance. And if you do, remember that the author, Jonathan Swift, had OCD."

John Morgan


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