Dick Cheney’s heart agreed to our request for interview last Monday at the swanky Cœur de Pierre restaurant in Manhattan's Upper West Side. As I arrived, it was impossible not to see that the heart preferred not to be recognized.
Here is a transcript of my interview.
|I suppose you are having to get used to being famous. What’s it like?
Ever had a four-week deluxe coach tour of Siberia? It’s a lot like that. Except on this bus, you are locked in the on board bathroom the entire time.
I see. So, now that you ’ve had some time to adjust, what do you think of your new home?
Well, to be honest, as much as I’ve always wanted to be a productive, contributing organ, I have to tell you, I am a little disappointed.
You know, expectations.
So what were you expecting?
It was all so confusing, you know. A last minute deal. One minute I was beating away in the chest of a very sweet young girl in Iowa, who had just fallen in love with a guy that had just fallen in love with her.
By the way, you people out there, please stop texting and driving.And then? And then, the next minute, bam boom, I am thrown in a container of dry ice and shipped cross-country. Traveled first class too. But then, I learned the whole story.
Well, it’s Dick Cheney.
Do go on.
I don’t mean to be rude or anything but, it’s Dick Cheney. I had no idea. Nobody asked me what I wanted. I would have even settled for George Bush if it came right down to it.
At least he has a sense of humor.
Anyway, I am trying my best to be compatible.
Remember when America invaded Iraq because Cheney swore up and down there was no question of chemical and biological weapons there. And once we got in there, he arranged no-bid contracts for all his crony friends. And they in turn overcharged the government. By a billion dollars?
That’s the same guy I am hooked up with. I am not one to judge but.. would you be proud?
I see. So what is it like being Cheney’s new heart?
Straight from the … me? It’s no big thrill, let me tell you. First of all, the last occupant of this position must have been very small and insensitive. I feel cramped and cold all the time. It’s really a very sinister place. I feel dirty here. Sometimes in the night, I cry out and all I hear is an echo. And it smells like rancid lard.
A lot of people have been discussing the fact that Mr. Cheney is 71 years old. There’s been talk of some kind of age limits for transplants. What’s your take on that?
If Dick was at the top of the receiving list, I can’t help wondering who was next in line. It breaks.. me.. to think that I had a chance to save the life of a child. A kid who could have grown up and saved the world from people like, well, you know who I mean.
Let me lay this statistic on you: More than 3,100 Americans are waiting now- this very minute- for somebody like me, and sad to say this, but about 330 die each year before a suitable match becomes available.
(ed. From Reuters: Cheney had been on a waiting list for a heart transplant for 20 months, which was a bit longer than the average wait time of six months to a year, according to a study published last year in the journal Circulation)
So what are your future plans?
I know for a fact, I have at least a billion more beats left in me but I’ll be checking out of here in a couple of years. I have to be realistic. He has maybe ten more years left. Is that fair to me, I ask you?
Frankly, it's too soon to talk about the future. I am still traumatized. A transplant's no walk in the park, I assure you. Strangers' fingers all over you, people poking you. Degrading. I didn't even know those people. It's like a TSA body search, but with blood.I’d have been a lot happier to have settled into a home where I am appreciated. Like in a ethical compassionate atheist type who eats a lot of vegetables and exercises regularly. Somebody who likes nature and respects humanity. Is that so much to ask for?
One last question, if you had a chance to speak directly to Mr. Cheney, what would you tell him?
Hmm.. I doubt very much he has ever listened to his heart. I suppose I would tell him what a lovely world it was before he stuck his nose in it.
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