As part of my annual physical last Monday, my primary care doctor asked if I’d like to take the same mental acuity test President Trump took last week [the Montreal Cognitive Assessment] that showed he was fit to be President of the United States. Mr. Trump is in his 70s. I am in my 70s. I said okay, let’s do it.
The whole thing takes about 10 minutes, and I’m here to tell you I have been pronounced fit to be President of the United States. Also, for anybody else who wants to check themselves out, here’s what happened. Consider this a sort of crib sheet, if you will—but for the elderly. If you are one of them, pay attention. But no writing anything down.
The doc sat across from me in her Hampton Bays office and handed me a pen and a clipboard with three pencil drawings on it. One was a circle, the next a triangle and the third a rectangle.
Draw the numbers on the circle to make it the face of the clock, she said. So I did. Little marks for 1 through 12.
Now draw in 10 minutes to 11. Easy. I drew a little hand pointing to almost 11 and a big hand pointing to 10.
I’d heard Trump got that right, too.
“Is that it?” I asked.
“Nope. Look at the drawings again. Which of the three drawings is the largest.”
The rectangle was the largest, and I told her so.
“Good,” she said.
She took that piece of paper back and handed me a new piece of paper. In large print were the words APPLE, PEN, CAR, DOG and HOUSE. They were one on top of the other.
“Memorize those,” she said. “I am going to ask you to tell them to me later. But first I am going to distract you. Take a minute or two to memorize them. Got it?”
I think I cheated on this but I’m not sure. I remembered them in order by association. I imagined an apple, then somebody sticks a pen in it, then it gets driven off in a car by a dog to a house.
“I think I’ve got it,” I said.
“Okay,” she said, “now give the names of 22 different animals. Any animals will do. I will tell you when it’s 22.”
Cat, dog, horse, crocodile, alligator, goat, fish, bird, lobster,” and I went on and on. At one point, I thought I was up to 22, but apparently not. I ended with “albatross, condor, dinosaur and penguin.”
“Stop,” she said. “Very good. Now I am going to tell you a story. After it, I will ask you seven questions about it. It’s about Jack and Jill.”
“Okay.” Trump did this?
“She married a boy she’d known in high school and they moved to Chicago. She became a stockbroker, then she became a homemaker when she had three kids. After they grew up, she went back to being a stockbroker. Here are the questions. One: What is her name?”
“Her name was not in the story.”
“I told you the name of the story.”
“What business did she go into?”
“Why did she stop being a stockbroker?”
“She became a homemaker when she had three kids.”
“What did she do after they were grown?”
“Went back to being a stockbroker.”
“When did she meet her husband?”
I couldn’t remember.
“She met him in high school. Where did they move to?”
“What state is that in?”
“Very good. Six out of seven. Now tell me the words I gave you a while ago.”
Easy. I thought. “Apple, pen, car, dog and, uh, I forget the last one.”
“It was house,” she said. “This was very good. Last question. What day is today?”
I panicked. But I quickly calmed myself. It was Monday. “Monday,” I said.
“Good. You passed the test.”
So, if anything happens to Mr. Trump, like if he says he is opposed to CHIP after telling everybody he is in favor of it, I’m available to step forward. I can also tell him if he’s on Saudi Arabia’s side or Qatar’s side.
My doctor said she would be sending me a certificate saying I passed. At least I think she said that. I hope you’ve remembered not to write anything down. That way, you’ll forget it.