My post-doctoral clinical hours were finished in 1975, and it was time to prepare for the clinical psychologist licensing exam. Like all professions the exam was controlled by academics, many had never been involved in direct care so the questions were mostly geared toward research. It was one of those herculean tasks where you spent months preparing for the written and oral parts realizing once accomplished you would rarely use what you had studied. The oral part was particu…larly grueling, and I had to keep reminding myself to keep my cool because two of the interrogators were rude ,academic snobs who appeared to believe that none of the candidates were worthy to be anointed by them.
The bonus in appearing before the grand inquisitors was that it was reunion time with some of my graduate program buddies. One night after a few drinks one of my friends announced that we should have a contest and select the most outrageous case we had encountered in our practice. I was nominated to go first and protecting the anonymity of the persons I regaled them with my choice. Two of the Bay area’s finest and wealthiest came to me for marriage counseling. The precipitating event was that the woman poured herself bowl of cornflakes in the kitchen but left to take a phone call in an adjoining room. When she returned to the kitchen there was a human turd in her cornflakes. Her husband denied that it was his, and could not fathom what had happened. Now the story became more outrageous when you added the facts that their mansion was surrounded by a fourteen foot wall with top of the line cameras and motion detectors. So the villain scaled the wall, avoided the motion detectors and did his duty without stealing any item from the home. I smugly thought my story would easily be the winner.
However a serious contender offered the following: He had a couple where the wife would bring home some stranger for extra curricula activities in bed and the husband would go with his pillow and sleep in the bathtub. Certainly this had to be seriously considered on the merits of its bizarre nature.
Not to be intimidated by two weird cases a friend offered his candidate. Again the case revolved around a married couple. His female client would bring home a total stranger and make love while her husband would observe the frolicking through a venetian blind that was hand held.
Three outstanding candidates worthy to win first prize, but after much deliberation the rest of our colleagues voted for a three way tie.