Dr. P. called for me quickly and asked if I were ready. "To what? Get scientific confirmation that what my son has said for years is true?"
"What country do you live in?'
"What state do you live in?" State might be her, punning; I'm not sure.
"What year is it?"
"What is today's date?"
"Mr. W., they get a little tougher now." [I grasp my spectacles and nearly twist off an ear-piece.]
"Spell the word WORLD backwards." She says it like WHORL. I stab "DLROW!"
"Very good!", yanking me back to Miss Jane's Kindergarden.
"Now, If I give you 100 light bulbs, take three away and then take away twenty more, how many do you have?"
"Repeat these numbers in reverse order: 8317." [I do.]
She reads me a three-sentence story about Jack and Jill. Jill is a Chicago stock trader; Jack, her husband, appears to have no work, a Ward Cleaver acolyte. They have three grown children, two daughters and a son, all of whom subsist. I am asked what state they live in. I elicit a smile when I say "Illinois". I am asked about other aspects of this compelling telenovella.
Finally, I get something wrong. Thank God. She'd asked me, earlier, later to repeat back PEN, TIE, HOUSE, CAR, and something else. It's now later. I have no idea Something Else.
She shows me a triangle, a circle and a rectangle and asks me to mark the triangle with an "X". She asks me which figure is the biggest. I ask, "In terms of interior area?" She looks at me as if she's dealing with an idiot. I say, "The rectangle." She smiles.
She says, "In one minute name all the kinds of animals you can. Go!" I recall saying "Marmalute! No...Malamute!" I say close to forty in sixty-seconds. She says average is 23 or 25. The Dominoes ain't got nothin' on me. "I'm Your Sixty-Minute Man. Second. Sixty-Second Man."
She says I got 29 of 30 overall. She says the average is far less. I say, sure, but it's a somewhat self-selected group of The Demented.
She says, "Well, no need to see The Neurologist. Lotsa people who retire early and work alone all day writing and reading...watching politics and listening to music as you do...MULTI-TASKING...experience this..."
"I wouldn't say it quite that way."
"Okay. What would you say?"
She offers her hand, smiles. "Great to see you, Mr. W. Let's do a follow-up in...."