If I told you there was a giant top hat in my kitchen sink, a pot of baby oil brewing in my coffee maker, granite spilling out of my fridge, hay stuffed in my microwave, and Garfield the cat roasting in my oven, you’d likely smile politely, nod, then back away. Very. Slowly.
Don’t worry; I’m not seeing things. All of this stuff is just a mental shortcut, a way to remember the past presidents, specifically POTUSes 16 through 20. (You following? Lincoln is the top hat; Johnson, the baby oil; Grant, granite; Hayes, yep, hay; and President Garfield is the cat.) I learned this little trick while interviewing “memory athletes”—intellectual jocks who have competed in the USA Memory Championship or the World Memory Championships (real events!). In these mental games, masters of the mind go head-to-head in hellish-sounding events like memorizing two decks of cards in five minutes or seeing who can put the most names to faces in the least amount of time.