Posted here for May 8, 2023.
The road back home
"All right, then, Mr. President, are you ready to begin your intelligence test? This shouldn't take very much of your time.""Okay, here's the first question . . ."
"Wait a minute. Wait just a minute! Where's Dr. Jill? Where's my wife? She should be here. I need her to be here.""Oh, I'm sorry, Mr. President. This test is administered with no one else present."
"I didn't know that. I thought she could help me answer the questions. I don't think this is fair. It's not right!""I'm sorry, Mr. President, all the answers have to be your own."
"Why didn't anybody tell me?""Here's the first question . . ."
"Hold on there. Where's the tele-prompter? Gotta have the tele-prompter. I always have that. I need my tele-prompter. Can't start without it. We'll have to wait for the tele-prompter.""No tele-prompter, sir."
"That's outrageous! Just a second, while I get my note cards. My cards! Where did I put the cards for the test? Must be in my pocket. Nope, not there. Where the heck are they. Gotta have my note cards! Did you see my cards? I have to have them!""No note cards for the IQ test, sir."
"Well, I don't like that at all!""Sorry, Mr. President. Please let's begin. Okay, here's the first question: Who attacked Hawaii? Was it [A] China, [B] Japan, or [C] Australia?"
"Did you say Hawaii?""Yes, I did, sir."
"Well, I'm just fine, thank you. But, actually, my back's been pretty sore recently. There's a sharp pain right in the middle. It really hurts when I stand up. And when I sit down. And another thing: I keep forgetting things, all sorts of things. Yesterday -- was it yesterday? -- I forgot to zip up my pants. Again. And I keep falling down when I go up the stairs. Hate that. I've got bruises all over my body. And of course, there's the constipation. Every day I'm in the bathroom for hours it seems. Oh, and did I mention that my memory isn't so good? Just this morning I forgot to zip up my pants. And that wasn't the worst of it. I forgot to put on my underwear, too. Didn't notice that until the dog came in, my dog Commander, to greet me. That was an interesting sensation. Sort of liked it, actually. And by the way, how are you?""Is that your answer, sir?"
"And then some days, it isn't constipation at all. Quite to the contrary. Makes for very short meetings. Sometimes a change of pants, too.""All right, sir. Here's the next question: Who is the most dangerous person in the world? Is it [A] Vladimir Putin, [B] Kim Jong Un, or [C] Xi Jinping?"
"Hey, that's a trick question. You tried to trick me! It isn't any of those guys. You want to know who the most dangerous person in the world is? That would be Corn Pop. He's one really bad dude. Did you ever see his chain? Darn thing must have been six feel long. Maybe eight feet. I don't remember. But I took care of him, all right. Sure did. I told him, 'You don't scare me one bit, you' . . . whatever it was I called him. 'You don't scare me one bit!' I gave him a talkin' to he won't soon forget. No kidding! That was back in . . . um . . . oh, I forget.""Let's go on to the third question, Mr. President. Can you finish this nursery rhyme for me? 'Pease porridge hot, pease porridge cold, pease porridge in the pot . . ."
"Hate peas. Hate those yucky little green things. Who would want to actually eat them? Can't imagine. And they won't stay on my fork. No matter how hard I try, they keep falling off. They roll right off onto the table, sometimes onto the floor. I have to squish 'em all into a pile of mush. And that's what they taste like, mush. I mean a real bad-tasting mush. And they all have that thin coating of skin on 'em. And it gets caught in my teeth. All the time. Then, I have to go brush my teeth. And it tastes so bad when I brush my teeth right after eating peas . . .""Mr. President, you're whispering."
"I know.""But, I can't hear you."
"I just do it for effect. Makes me sound very dramatic, don't you think?""Please speak a little louder, sir. Now, Mr. President: 'Pease porridge in the pot,' how many days old?"
"Everybody keeps saying I'm old. I don't know how many days it is. Probably a lot. Probably more than a hundred. How would I know how many days it is? Two hundred? Three hundred? You expect me to keep track? That's a silly question. Who made up that question? Four hundred?""Perhaps we could go on to the next question, sir. If a friend owes you a hundred dollars and he agrees to pay you in four equal payments, how many dollars will be in each payment?"
"Nobody owes me anything. All those payments go through Hunter. Well, and through a few a couple of LLCs we set up. But Hunter takes care of all the money coming in. I really don't know how much each payment is. Well, come to think of it, some payments go through my brother. He takes care of some of them, too. Yes, but I'll tell you this: I don't discuss any of their business dealings. I just don't do that. That wouldn't be proper. I don't know how much they're taking in. No idea. Really! I don't want to know. I don't even know how much my cut is. As I've said over and over again, Hunter is the smartest man I know. I leave all those payment details to him. And, as I said, a few details to James. Well, and maybe a few to a couple other family members. But all the payments have been made. And distributed. I don't even know when the next payments are due.""Question number 5, sir: You have a clock, and the little hand is on 7 and the big hand is on 12. What time is it?"
"Well, let me take a look at my watch here, and I'll tell you. It's right on my wrist. How convenient is that! It's one of those new, fancy, digital watches, and it says -- let's see -- it says 4, then there are two little dots, one right above the other, and then 37. So, that's the time. You know, I really don't need to know what time it is, because I can always ask someone. Dr. Jill will tell me whenever I want to know. I just ask her and she tells me. People will take me where I need to be, whenever I need to be there, and they tell me what to say. I don't even know why I have this watch on. But when you say I have one big hand and one little hand, that sounds like an insult! What kind of test is this, anyway? It's an insult to my manhood! And I resent that! We should stop this test right now. I don't like it at all.""Please, let's continue, sir. Here's the next question: When I say a word, please give me an antonym. For example, if I say 'up,' you could say 'down.' If I say 'wet,' you could say 'dry.' Okay, please give me an antonym for the word 'good.'"
"MAGA Republicans! They are taking away our freedom. They are taking away our democracy. They will make it so blacks can never vote in another election. They will pass laws so no one can be gay and no one can have an abortion. Ever! They will drill for oil and the world's temperature will go up fifty degrees. They will allow people to use gas stoves, gasoline automobiles, even air conditioners. Here's the deal: They will take over the world and we'll all die! I'm serious. No joke.""Mr. President, please! You're standing on your chair! Be careful! Please sit down so we can continue."
"These awful MAGA Republicans will destroy the world! We'll all be doomed! Everyone! We have to stop them!""Let's just take a deep breath, shall we, and then go to the next question."
"But those terrible MAGA Republicans . . .""Here's the next question, sir:"
"I think I may have wet my pants.""That's fine, Mr. President. The next question . . ."
"I did wet my pants.""We'll tend to that later, sir. Next is a memory question. I'll tell you three words and then after one minute, we'll see if you can repeat those three words back to me. Got it?"
"That's only two words, 'got' and 'it.' What's the third word?""I haven't told you the three words, yet. Here they are: 'truth,' 'honesty,' and 'decency.' Do you understand these words?"
"No, I don't.""Truth is something that is actually true. It's not false. Honesty is speaking truth, not telling lies. Decency is being honorable and truthful and not being deceptive or unethical. Is that clear?"
"No, not at all. Don't understand any of it. It's all gibberish.""Maybe we should skip this question and go on to the next one. Mr. President, I'll tell you a short story, then ask you to answer a few simple questions about it. Okay?"
"Oh, I love stories. Dr. Jill usually tells me a story each night before I go to sleep. She tells some great stories. I always like the one where all the MAGA Republicans are led to the edge of a gigantic cliff, and then they jump off one by one to their deaths. They're all screaming as they plummet down to their painful deaths on the sharp rocks below. Wonderful story! Hard to top that one. Probably my favorite story of all.""That's nice, Mr. President. Let me read this story to you. Please pay attention. I'll have a few questions at the end. Here's the story: Alfonso and his sister, Margarita, walked one and a half miles into town one day to buy some potatoes. They paid 60 pesos for a 10-pound bag. When they returned home, they gave four pounds to their parents, three pounds to their grandparents, and kept the rest for themselves. If they divided the remainder between the two of them, how many pounds would each of the two of them have?"
"That's such a sad story. They need more potatoes. Ten pounds won't feed that family for very long at all. And why didn't they get some carrots? And maybe a loaf a bread? And beans. Beans are good for you, you know. I like beans. But, sometimes I regret it. Sometimes, I regret it a lot. But, that's why these two nice married people need to come here to America. Here, they can get twenty pounds of potatoes. Maybe thirty pounds. How long could they chew on those? And carrots and bread. And meatloaf. And probably even some chocolate chip ice cream, too. Everybody needs to come here. Everybody needs potatoes. Maybe some corn and tomatoes. We're the land of plenty, you know. If Alfred and his wife, Mary, came to America, and they brought their children with them, they could all be happy. And they could bring their relatives, and all their friends, too. And all their friends could bring all their friends. And everyone would be happy. And they'd all vote for Democrats. Every election. And Texas would turn blue as a slice of blueberry pie. And all those terrible MAGA Republicans would never win another election. Ever. Now, that's what I call a happy story.""I'm having some trouble scoring this, Mr. President. I think I'll just skip the questions about the story. So, let's go on to the next question. Here it is: If a dollar is worth less after one year, is that an example of [A] Inflation, [B] Deflation, or [C] Bum luck?"
"There's no inflation. None! So your question doesn't make sense. It's an invalid question. There's no inflation going on here. That's just something MAGA Republicans say to fool people. They know some people can be tricked into thinking the economy isn't doing very well, so they make wild accusations. They'll lie, just for political purposes. Here's the deal: Republicans want to scare you. They'll say anything they can think of to frighten you. Actually, the economy has never been better. No joke! On my word of honor. Best economy the world has ever seen! Ever!""Moving right along, sir. One of the greatest documents ever written states, 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.' Was that document [A] The United States Declaration of Independence, [B] The United Nations Charter, or [C] The first book of the Bible?"
"There's that word in there? 'Creator?' So, I think the answer's probably C. But, that's not a political statement, it's a religious statement. When you talk about political documents, well, that's a horse of another color. We are all bound together into a nation of people. We hold onto what we believe, but that's not what defines us. We are defined by how our actions and relationships relate and interrelate. You remember what the vice president said, and I quote her: '[T]he passage of time, right. The significance of the passage of time. So when you think about it, there is great significance to passage of time. There is such great significance to the passage of time when you think of a day in the life of our children.' And I couldn't agree more. She's so eloquent! We have an obligation to fulfill that commitment and relationship, and the passage of time takes us to a place where we can all express that fulfillment. It's a responsibility no citizen should ignore, because responsibility is at the heart of all relationships, and this one is particularly demanding. So the passage of time is a key ingredient in achieving responsible relationships, and our government and its people must fulfill that obligation. So, it all comes down to this: 'All men and women are created' . . . Ah . . . You know, the thing. And these words need to be said over and over again.""Are you finished?"
"I think so, but I'm not really sure. I think I need my tele-prompter. Badly!""Just one more question, Mr. President, sir, and that will complete this test."
"Oh, good. Then, do I get some ice cream afterward? Oh boy, a great big cone of chocolate chip ice cream. My favorite! Can't be beat. They always let me have some if I don't screw up too much. You know, if I follow what they tell me to do. They've got it all laid out: where I should go, what I should say, how long I should be there, the reporters I have to call on when I'm allowed to talk to the press . . . It's all written down in advance. I don't really get to say anything I want. I have to follow the script. But you know, it's not easy being old and forgetful. A lot of times I completely forget where I am. Dr. Jill is usually there to steer me right, but sometimes she's not, and I get all confused and can't figure out how to get off the stage. It frightens me. They don't like when I do that, and then I don't get my ice cream. Makes me mad. I wish I could think straight and say what I want to. I used to be able to do that. It was a lot more fun back then. I had things I believed in. Now, I have to pretend to believe the things I say, even if I don't. But actually, I don't know what I believe any more. I never thought being president would be like this.""Mr. President, here's the last question: An egg consists of two parts. One is called the yoke. The other one is called [A] The red, [B] The white, or [C] The blue?
"I have an egg for breakfast every now and then. Dr. Jill breaks it open for me when it's boiled. That shell is so hard. I just can't crack the thing open, no matter how hard I try. And it's so hot, too. Burns my fingers every time I try to pick it up. But, it's pretty, and its shape is pretty, too. And it has a real nice color. White! Ah, white . . . Supremacy! All those MAGA Republicans are white, and they're all supremacists. All those black and Hispanic MAGA Republicans, they're white supremacists, too. We have to stop them. Sure, we throw away Republican votes during elections, and double-count Democrat votes . Have to do it! It's our fundamental responsibility. It's our moral obligation. We can't allow Republicans to get into office. We can't allow them to interfere with our global warming plan to trample capitalism. We can't allow them to keep the family intact and free. We can't let them to disrupt our plans to transform the country into a Marxist government. We must not let them continue their religious customs and traditions. We must seize their guns, or we'll never be able to control them. If we can't control them, what's the purpose?""Well, I believe that completes the exam, Mr. President. Let me tally up your score. Okay, that does it. Mr. President, you got every single answer on this intelligence test wrong! You didn't get a single one of them right."
"Every single one?""Yes sir, every single one!"
"Sounds like I scored 100 percent! That's pretty darned impressive, I'd say. I wonder how many other presidents scored 100 percent on their IQ tests. The voters will be real pleased to learn I scored a perfect 100 percent. Makes me proud!"