The Short Humour Site

Home : Writers' Showcase : Submission Guidelines : A Man of a Few More Words : Links

Writers' Showcase

Testing Time for Politicians
by Walt Giersbach

“The principal method for assessing psychopathy is a 24 point checklist — the Hare PCL-R — and the resulting diagnosis often leads to permanent institutionalization… Ronson begins by testing a theory that psychopaths are disproportionately represented among those in positions of power.”

--Review of The Psychopath Test, by Jon Ronson, in The New Yorker

Interviewer: I’m happy to have former Congressman G. join us as he begins his candidacy for President of the United States. Sir, after you left Congress you served as a university professor. I assume you gave your students pop quizzes.

G: My little quizzies, I called them.

I: [Aside] Glib charm. I’m glad we don’t have to see his little testes. [To guest] Let’s talk first about your long-term goals.

G: Yes, we need to reform Washington, get Big Government off our backs, and pray for rain in the south.

I: [Aside] Lack of realistic long-term goals. [To guest] But, you were all for Big Government during the last Administration. Started two wars. Lowered taxes on the wealthy.

G: But, that was because we dominated the House and Senate and had the White House in our pocket.

I: [Aside] Pathological lying and irresponsibility. [To guest] So, you have no remorse or guilt about changing your mind 180 degrees or manipulating the American people?

G: Of course not. That was then and this is now. My wife and I….

I: Are we speaking now of your second or third wife? [Aside] Short-term marital relationships.

G: Um, I think my third.

I: That would be the wealthy one. Would you describe your marital relationship as parasitic? [Aside] Like a giant leech!

G: I’ll have you know I’m a church-going, born-again, dyed-in-the-wool, tax-avoiding….

I: [Aside] Poor behavioral control. [To guest] Just kidding. This isn’t an interview. It’s a psychological test — the 12 question Hare PCL-R test psychiatrists use to determine those people [interviewer rotates fingers around head] who need to be institutionalized. I’m afraid, Sir, you’ve failed.

G: What do you mean?! We can run this country without anyone paying taxes! Billionaires will create more jobs as soon as the aliens stop taking over our way of life. The Eastern elitists are all speaking foreign languages, saying things like “entrée” and “ambience” to mean dinner and decoration! We’re under attack!

I: [Aside] Lack of empathy. [To guest] Sorry, Sir. Time’s up. We have a crew of TV psychiatrists who’ve determined you’ve gone ‘round the bend. There’s a nice institution full of Middle Eastern death squad leaders and callous CEOs where you’ll feel right at home, behaviorally speaking. Thank you — and good night.