Hey, Hillary, use a peanut butter jar next time

By Jane M. Orient, M.D.

For those who missed it – ratings were said to be terrible – Hillary Clinton responded on national TV to the nasty people questioning her health, on a comedy show, to be exact: the Jimmy Kimmel show.

She invited Kimmel to take her pulse. He joked about there being nothing there. Then she introduced a comprehensive diagnostic test, not yet published in standard medical textbooks. She struggled mightily, and triumphantly removed the lid from a pickle jar.

Watch pickle-jar stunt:

[jwplayer hUE1BFkJ]

Maybe she intended to go a step beyond proving normalcy and show herself to be Superwoman. Many women cannot open a pickle jar, and they ask a man to do it. I couldn’t open one either, not even with a jar-opening tool – until I learned that the little protuberance on the end of the tool is designed to poke under the lid and break the vacuum seal. Now I find it quite easy.

What Hillary actually showed the world is that she doesn’t know how to open a pickle jar. She was treating it like a peanut butter jar. But then, why should she know? She probably has had no occasion to open either kind of jar for at least 40 years.

She didn’t open this one either. The performance looked fake, and Kimmel later admitted that it was. The jar had already been opened.

A peanut butter jar might have been a better diagnostic test. The ability (or inability) to smell peanut butter has been used as a screening test for dementia. Conditions affecting the frontal lobes also frequently affect the sense of smell. (But a lot of other things also diminish the ability to smell, so it is by no means definitive.)

So what we have is Secretary Clinton demonstrating her perfect health by pretending to open a pickle jar. Or was it demonstrating her sense of humor by mocking the American people – and laughing about it?

It was a rare appearance, and she looked like a million dollars. Not at all old, tired, frumpy, or shrill. Perhaps it was a million-dollar makeup job and voice coaching. You couldn’t tell from her face that she’s nearly 70. Any tell-tale signs of aging on the skin of her neck? Couldn’t see it, hidden behind the stand-up collar of her bright red Mao jacket. Is clothing preference diagnostic of anything? Revolutionary red, a la Mao? She does have the endorsement of the Communist Party USA (though not of Vladimir Putin).

She says that she’ll be doing the Macarena at her inauguration as president. I doubt it. It’s a challenging step, not for people who are pictured holding onto something while standing up. And is the choice symbolic? It’s a popular Spanish dance and song at weddings and family events. Most people who do it likely don’t know that in the English translation of the song features a girl who is cheating on her boyfriend with two other guys while he is being inducted into the army.

The comedy skit is very revealing and diagnostic in a non-medical sense. It shows Hillary’s view of Americans. The joke is on us. And we’re not the ones who are laughing.

Leave a Comment