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Senior News: Test your wits with a mental challenge

You are probably reading this on the Wednesday after Thanksgiving. But to have more time to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday, I wrote this a week ago—before Thanksgiving. Which makes me feel as if I’m in two places at once – now and then!

So to keep it simple, here is a fun mental challenge I found circulating on the Internet. I don’t remember sharing it before—which doesn’t mean I haven’t. (But if I did, you won’t remember the answers, right?)

There are only four questions, but you are going to have to think outside the proverbial box. And according to the mental health specialists who developed this test, if you miss all four, you should strongly consider scheduling an appointment with your favorite counselor. (I have mine scheduled for next month!)

Question 1. The Giraffe Test: How do you put a giraffe into a refrigerator? Stop and think about it and decide on your answer before you move on.

Correct Answer: Open the refrigerator, put in the giraffe, and close the door. This question tests whether you tend to do simple things in an overly complicated way.

Question 2. The Elephant Test: How do you put an elephant into a refrigerator?

Did you say, Open the refrigerator, put in the elephant, and close the refrigerator? Wrong Answer.

Correct Answer: Open the refrigerator, take out the giraffe, put in the elephant and close the door. This tests your ability to think through the repercussions of your previous actions.

Question 3. The Lion King Test: The Lion King is hosting an Animal Conference. All the animals attend ... except one. Which animal does not attend?

Correct Answer: The Elephant. The elephant is in the refrigerator. You just put him in there. This tests your memory.

Okay, this is your last chance before you have to pick up the phone to schedule your appointment. Think!

Question 4. The Crocodile Test: There is a river you must cross but it is used by crocodiles, and you do not have a boat. How do you manage it?

Correct Answer: You jump into the river and swim across. Haven’t you been listening? All the crocodiles are attending the Animal Conference. This tests whether you learn quickly from your mistakes.

So how did you do? Are you still mentally on top of your game—or are you slipping a few strokes? If you didn’t do so well, don’t worry. Maybe good mental health isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be!

This week’s events:

On Saturday, December 8, Habitat for Humanity will be holding their annual Christmas bazaar (with their famous selection of delicious soups) downstairs at the United Congregational Church, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. If you are interested in displaying your crafts and wares, call Becky Bailey at 541-980-9015.

The Mid-Columbia Senior Center has scheduled the always popular Nehemiah Brown to perform three more times thanks to The Dalles Health and Rehabilitation Center’s support. Nehemiah’s next performance will be a Christmas Concert on Tuesday, December 11, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., before and after the noon lunch provided by Meals-on-Wheels. There is no charge, but you are welcome to enjoy lunch for a suggested donation of $4.00 (anyone 60 and over) or $6.00 (others.)

The country singer who started playing honky-tonk, moved to the smoother Nashville sound, and over a time period of three decades recorded hits including “Release Me,” “For the Good Times,” and “You’re the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me” was Ray Price. Since I’m writing this column early, I’ll include the list of correct responses next week. But from last week, I did miss Cheryl Green, who enjoyed dancing to the BeeGees on a Disco Dance Team.

For our next question, it’s time to change gears from television and music to movies. Let’s see if I can spark any memories from the days of drive-ins and opulent downtown movie theaters.

The 1950s were a very successful decade for Disney Animation. For this week’s “Remember When” question, name two of the four Disney animated films that were among the top ten grossing films of the 1950s—not the 30s or 40s. And, for bonus points, tell me your favorite.

Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788, or send your answer with a picture of Walt Disney Animation Studios in Burbank, California.

Well, it’s been another week pulling out the winter coats. Until we meet again, it always feels warmer when the sun is shining.

“I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less.”

—Anna Quindlen, writer


Thursday (29): Hot Turkey Sandwich (Music by Tom Graff)

Friday (30): Chicken Strips

Monday (3): Pork Medallions with Mashed Potatoes

Tuesday (4): Beef Stew

Wednesday (5): Taco Casserole (Homemade Soup and Salad Bar)


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