the alzheimer test
The alzheimer test is easy and can be self-administered any time of day and under any circumstances.
So, today we visit the local Woolworths for a lettuce, rockmelon and bottle of water before proceeding to the checkout where a young lovely waits behind her plastic see-through Covid screen. I’m wearing a baby-blue Covid mask – she isn’t, as a matter of fact I only saw one other person wearing a mask in the shop. Everyone else must be immune.
As I approach the lovely she shouts at me through her screen, ‘Are you using cash or card?’ .. shouts at me twice. Big voice. Melodic. She’s probably in the school choir, either that or plays netball.
I mean, there’s a sign there that says card only and I’m where I want to be. In any case the business gets done and on the way out I say g’day to another young Woolworths lovely who I know likes reading graphic crime novels, David Simon, Don Winslow – the heavy stuff. She’s laughing, says it sounded like someone shouting to an old dodderer with faulty hearing. Har har har.
Ok, I need a shave and there’s no getting past the baggy duds and old T shirt, but really?
There’s only one way out of this type of unfortunate scenario and that is to apply the alzheimer test to someone far too young to have it.
‘So,’ I sez to her, ‘how quick can you count down from one hundred in nines?’
Bullseye. Her both eyes went blank and the laughter dried right up.
‘Start at 100, go down by nines, how quick can you do it?’
Right about then young Nigel the trolley-boy rolled up and stopped to listen – this is because when you are on a six-hour shift pushing supermarket trolleys from the carpark to the line inside the shop your life needs whatever entertainment it can find.
‘Howabout you, Nige, reckon on having a shot?’ Everyone knows everyone in a regional town.
This was good, now the dodderer with old clothes and faulty hearing had two youngsters about his grandkid’s age hanging off his every word.
‘No,’ says Nigel, ‘I’m too dumb for that sort of thing.’
‘Bullshit! It’s simple.’
’91 …. um .. 82 …. aaah … seventy one?’
That was the lovely having a shot at it. And you know what? She just scored a big ..
But all of a sudden Nige went for it .. 91 82 73 64 55 46 37 28 19 10 1 … bang bang BANG !! The kid is looking like the Kelly Slater of short-cut mathematics right now.
What could I do but suggest but he pat himself on the back, help himself to some petty cash and take the rest of the day off. The bloke’s a champion.
Meanwhile, the lovely is looking like she’d rather be refilling the unwashed potato bin because Nigel is supposed to be the dumbest kid in the store holding down the dumbest job. But he fights down his BIG GRIN, looks at her and says, ‘It’s easy, just take away 10 and add one.’
header pic is Einstein