"You haven't heard?" Carlos Peligro asked me in disbelief. "It's all over the TV."
"I don't watch TV," I told him.
"I've got Pandora."
"There's still newspapers?"
I immediately got on the hot line with President Obama--the man who once saved my life in 'Nam--and broke the bad news.
"Bush is sick?" the President asked. "What, did he choke on a peanut again?"
"It's his heart," I told him.
"Well, no matter how bad off he is, he's still doing better than the economy."
I let a few seconds pass, and then I asked, "What are you going to do?"
"Forget Bush. He's a fool even Mr. T won't pity," he said presidentially, and got back to the busy job of being snubbed by Putin.
As it turned out, the 67 year-old ex-president showed up at the Cooper Free Clinic in Dallas, Texas on Monday (8-5-13) for his annual tax-payer subsidized physical examination, and was in the process of receiving a penicillin shot for undisclosed reasons, when the blockage was discovered.
It was the next day at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital and Gambling Casino where doctors put a stent in the one-time president to relieve the blockage.
"You're relieved," the doctor told the blockage. "Smoke 'em if you got 'em."
Did the procedure go well?
"I would say yes," the surgeon replied, "because if I said anything to the contrary I would open myself up to a lawsuit."
"President Bush is in better shape than the economy," a statement from the 41st president's son's office read. "He's grateful to the skilled medical professionals the average American tax-payer can't afford to see, and who were paid for by those very tax-payer's tax dollars."
The statement continued, "He thanks his family (even his dad), friends (even those he owes money to), and fellow citizens (except for the unemployed and those on welfare) for their prayers and well wishes."
And just when it seemed that the statement would never end, it concluded with, "And he encourages us all to get our regular check-ups and penicillin shots. Go Cowboys!"
Upon Bush's release, Freddy Ford, spokesman and part-time Tupperware salesman, said that the 43rd president is "doing grrreat!"
Well, I couldn't just take the word of a Tupperware salesman, so I went to go see my old friend myself. We had been brothers in the Delta Chau Ti fraternity in Faber College back during our college days.
I went to his house in Dallas, where he lives, and found him lying in his bed enthusiastically chowing down on ribs.
"Ribs?" I asked him, cocking an eyebrow. "With a heart condition?"
"Oh, sure," he answered happily. "My dad sent them over, 'cause he knew I'd be hungry after my medical ordeal. See? I told you my dad loves me."
I cocked the other eye.
"And all this time," he said, shaking his head thoughtfully, "I thought our relationship was worse than the economy."
I didn't answer. Instead, I took a look around his room. There were flowers everywhere.
"Wow, you sure are a popular fellow, aren't you?" I walked over to an especially large and somber-looking arrangement.
"From Putin?" I asked.
"From my dad," he answered. "See? I told you he loved me."
"I thought you were allergic to lilies?"
"I am, but I still appreciate the sentiment."
"Well, Mr. President, I'm glad to see that you're doing okay. I'd better go and let you get your rest."
Before I could leave, his wife walked in. She was carrying a large gift tray full of cheeses from around the world.
"Don't tell her about the penicillin shot," he whispered to me from one corner of his mouth.
I gave him a wink.
"Jim," her eyes brightened when she saw me. "Don't tell me you're leaving already?"
"I'm sorry, Laura, but I've got to go."
"Well, just be sure to see me on your way out. I want to show you my Georgia O'Keefe paintings."
I assured her I would, and she gave me a wink as she passed me on her way to her husband.
She placed the tray down on the nightstand next to his bed. I could see that there was enough cheese on that gift tray to choke a horse.
"They're from your father," she told him.
Bush looked over at me, and gave me his cockiest grin. He was happier'n a pig in... well... you know.
"See? I told you my dad loves me."