heart of darkness

While NPR was extolling the virtues of 4-and-a-half-star badass David Petraeus this morning, the real jewel comes to light. As a lieutenant colonel in 1991, he was accidentally shot in the chest by an M-16 during a live-fire exercise in Kentucky. They medivac’d him to Vanderbilt and scared up the best heart surgeon in Nashville to operate. Little did anyone suspect at the time that this medical marvel would later go on to become Bill Frist, the honorable senator from Tennessee and Republican majority leader.

Frist is still certified to perform general and heart surgery. Imagine, if you will, this disaster: Dick Cheney collapses at his podium during some diabolical Democrat filibuster/all-night slumber party. His aides are frantic. “Is there a doctor in the house?” Frist leaps to his feet, and in the confusion, slips into the nearest phone-booth or men’s restroom. Here he rips open his double-breasted Armani pinstripes and starched, white button-down Oxford, to reveal blue scrubs. Sliding a mask over his face to protect his secret identity as a mild-mannered Congressional powerhouse, he rushes back to the prone figure of the Halliburton CEO.

“Scalpel! and the heart of a wild boar, stat!” he roars. Conservatives thank their christian god and cheer him on, sissy liberals across the aisle faint at the sight of blood or swoon at his manly charisma. Hours of feverish work later, as C-SPAN cameras roll, Cheney squeals to consciousness. Frist collapses in exhaustion, he is fawned over by sexy nurses, someone hands him a stiff drink. The country is saved.

Oh right, Petraeus really is a badass. And overcompetitive, too, whouda thunk? I didn’t mean to divert the spotlight. But really, a heart surgeon. I mean, seriously.

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~ by Paul Pham on 7 September 2007.

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