(Tara Jacoby for The Washington Post)
Columnist

We are, apparently, in the stage of the campaign where the question becomes which candidate you would like to have a beer with. This has always struck me as an oddly specific litmus test, unrelated to fitness to govern; the answer often turns out to have no actual relationship to whether the candidate in question even consumes beer! Yet I do not mind asking it, as long as we also subject the candidates to the following equally specific litmus tests unrelated to their fitness to govern:

  • Which candidate would you like to send to the basement to see what is making the noise?
  • Which candidate would you like to build a bear with?
  • Which candidate would you like to serve a vegan bean loaf to? Keep in mind that this is your first time making a vegan bean loaf, and it has not turned out very well.
  • Which candidate would you like to see address a group of men and women in suits from all 50 states in the month of January, maybe annually?
  • You reside in the cruel kingdom from that Frank Stockton story where those accused of crimes are sentenced to enter an arena and open one of two doors. Behind one door is a lady; behind the other, a tiger. Opening the door with the lady is taken to be a sign of innocence, and your reward is to wed her. Opening the door with the tiger indicates guilt, and the tiger devours you. You are sentenced to the arena, but you can look to one of the candidates to indicate which door to choose. Which candidate would you look to?
  • Which candidate would you like to see stand next to someone dressed in the world’s most frightening Easter Bunny costume and make some general remarks before children roll eggs around him or her?
  • Which candidate would you like to go to a Whole Foods with and eat all the samples but then leave because the line is too long?
  • Which candidate would you allow to watch your toddler for a brief time while you lie down, exhausted, and take a nap?
  • You are on a camping trip that has taken a turn, and you have sent all the candidates off to get help. You hear a rustling in the bushes, drawing ever nearer. It sounds almost like an animal, but it might be human. There is much grunting and the sound of struggle. Which candidate would you like to see emerge?
  • Which candidate would you like to star opposite you in a Broadway revival of “Starlight Express”?
  • Which candidate would you like to perform an emergency tracheotomy on a close friend?
  • Which candidate would you like to perform an emergency tracheotomy on a family member, but not that close of a family member?
  • Which candidate would you like to attend “Shen Yun: 5,000 Years of Civilization Reborn” with?
  • Which candidate would you like to have offer you LaCroix, only to have them watch you drink the entire LaCroix while they themselves drink nothing?
  • Which candidate would you like to attend a friend’s baby shower with? (The friend is one of those people who insists on opening each gift and making a remark about it.)
  • Which candidate would you like to attend a friend’s baby shower with? (This baby shower is geared toward adults and involves no gift opening; instead, there will be a game of flippy sippy cup.)
  • Which candidate would you like to bite you gently on the arm?
  • There is no toilet paper in your stall, and you are going to need to ask for some. You can see a pair of feet in a neighboring stall. To which candidate would you like those feet to belong?
  • Which candidate would you like to allow to navigate and select the music on a long car trip?
  • You are at a restaurant, and someone in your party is giving the waiter a hard time because he made a special request for his order and the kitchen does not seem to have accommodated it. Which candidate would you like to determine how the waiter will be tipped at the end of the evening?
  • Which candidate would you like to threaten to burn at the stake to bring the crops in safely, but at the last minute it rains, and the candidate looks at you and winks?
  • Which candidate would you like to see as president of the United States?

Read more from Alexandra Petri:

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