OK, this is comletely irrelevant to anything related to the blog – especially early Christology, my current topic.   But I thought it was too funny to pass up.   A fellow who lived in my neighborhood, but whom I never knew (to my regret: he sounds like he was a remarkably interesting guy), beloved chemistry professor Dr. James Bonk died Friday at the age of 82, ending his 53-year career at Duke University.

 According to the local newspaper:

Bonk’s classes were such a staple that Duke introductory chemistry classes became known as “Bonkistry” classes, which approximately 30,000 students attended.

He was nationally known for comical incidents with students, one rumored to have taken place in the 1960s.

The Bonk joke is that the weekend before a final exam, four students decided to visit the University of Virginia for the weekend and let off some steam. They were due back Sunday in time for their exam Monday morning, but were too hung over to travel. When they arrived back at Duke late, they told Bonk that they had a flat tire and he agreed to allow a make-up exam the following day.

The students were placed in separate rooms for the make-up exam. The first question, worth five points, was relatively easy and the students were confident they were going to do well. But when they flipped the page, the next question – worth 95 points – asked simply: “Which tire?”