After President Donald Trump's latest physical exam at the Bethesda Naval Hospital, his doctor sat down with him to discuss the findings. In my imagination, this is how it went:
Doc: "Aside from your oversized gut, things are mostly good. It's for your own good, Don; you need to bring your weight down by at least 75 pounds to get you below the 300 mark."
POTUS (alarmed): "Oh, dear, I didn't realize I'd gotten that heavy. You need to promise me you'll never tell another soul."
Doc (reassuringly): "Don't worry; your secret is safe with me, and, as your personal friend and physician, I would never betray that trust. Besides, it would be very unprofessional—as well as violating patient privacy laws."
POTUS: "Thank you. It's nice to know, during this time of constant siege, that loyalty still exists."
Doc: "If you'll go easy on the Big Macs and carry your own golf bag, you should do just fine. That said, Don, it turns out that my last diagnosis of your podiastomatitis—inflammation resulting from a foot stuck in the mouth—was incorrect, although I'm sorry to say that your lab results came back, and you tested positive for pernicious oral diarrhea (POD)."
POTUS: "I suspected that I might have it—even tried wearing a pad, but it made it impossible for me to deliver my splendid oratories. Have you been living under a rock? I'm on a 'Send her back!' high."
Doc: "Luckily, the POD is a problem that's easily solved. I'm going to prescribe a high-potency fiber supplement to see if we can firm up those oral stools."
POTUS: "Gosh, doc, I feel very relieved that it's not anything that will interfere with my insane work schedule. I'm sure you realize just how hectic my life is as Commander-in-Chief—rushing between golf courses and making those chit-chatty love calls to my bosom buddies in Israel, North Korea and Russia. I have to do all that and somehow be finished in time for the Colbert monologue. It's going to get even worse with the 2020 campaign underway."
(POTUS rises from his chair, obviously headed to some important meeting.)
Doc: "Wait just a moment, Don. There's more. I wish I could say that everything else is A-OK, but it isn't. A 73-year-old man will always have a few problems, and I do have just a morsel of bad news: Your colorectal sonogram revealed another, actually more serious malady. The tests confirmed that you are talking out your ass."
POTUS (with a worried look): "Gosh, doc, is there any cure for it?"
Doc: "Well, this is really on the frontiers of medicine, so, as of now, there's little clinical data. Only in the last couple of years has it come to the attention of the medical community. Luckily, we caught it early—yours is only Stage II—which gives us some hope for a cure. You know how lots of people criticize you for using a 3-year-old's vocabulary? Well, it seems to have been a blessing in disguise."
POTUS (looking confused): "How so?"
Doc: "Well, the size of your words is actually what saved—excuse the expression—your ass. You still have a functioning anus because large words never stretched it. If you'd had a Harvard vocabulary—or even a Wharton one—the damage would have probably been irreversible and even terminal."
POTUS: "So, what's the cure?"
Doc: "Don, we can only hope it can be fully resolved, and that means, at the very least, a recto-oral bypass procedure. I'm going to give you a prescription for fiber, and I'm going to refer you to Dr. Lou Kinn Heiny. He is considered the top vocoproctologist on the planet."
POTUS: "I'm feeling more relieved by the moment."
Doc: "Don, if you take the medication and have Dr. Heiny do the surgery, I believe you will recover fully."
POTUS (looking tentative and confused): "Wait a minute; I'm not sure I'm liking this. If I wasn't talking out my ass and showering reporters with my oral diarrhea, who would I be? I'd lose my entire identity, and I'm not sure I'm ready for that."
The author is a former Vietnam-era Army assistant public information officer. He resides in Riverton with his wife, Carol, and one mongrel dog. Send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org