APR. 1, 2018 2 min read

Recently, overwhelming evidence has called into question the existence of two so-called “Reed students,” Ben Read and Ted Hume. “Ben Read?” said someone who I can’t quite remember but I’m pretty sure had red hair. “The name’s just so average he can’t possibly be a real person.”

“Oh, I know of Ted Hume,” said another. “Or, at least I know of someone who knows of him, I can’t quite recall … come to think of it, I don’t know anyone who’s ever actually interacted with him.”

An anonymous online poll addressed the sweeping calls for investigation into the corporeality of these enigmatically average students. Results are as follows:

To the question, “Who is Ted Hume?” 37% claimed the name referred to an “umbrella brand”, 39% responded “Ghost of Herodotus’ son who haunts Vollum Lecture Hall,” 21% responded “other,” and only 3% answered “Reed Student.”

For a similar survey published about Ben Read, 52% answered “My second cousin’s brother-in-law who I supposedly met at my cousin Mary’s wedding but just can’t quite call to mind,” 22.1% thought he was a “permanent fixture in the Admissions Office,” 15.6% responded “John Kroger’s pen name,” and only 0.3% considered him an actual Reed student.

Reed College classics professor Wally Englert commented, “As far as I know there’s always been a Ted Hume at Reed. It would just feel wrong if there wasn’t one.” Some students reported seeing Ben Read’s name on several student publications, but Claire Pask, active in the Quest, the Grail, and the Creative Review cleared up this mystery as well. “Ben Read is just a by-line we use when no one else wants to accept responsibility for an article,” she admitted.

Not one person interviewed could name a time they’d actually interacted with either Ben Read or Ted Hume. When searching “Ted Hume” on the campus directory, all that came up was a flashing troll face on the screen. “Ben Read” produced no results at all.

Considering the data, it is clear these two bland-named phantasms are in fact not real students. Any students who find themself under the misguided assumption they are actually interacting with them should double-check they are not in fact being targeted by Kroger propaganda or being haunted by the ghost of Herodotus’ son.