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The Journal of Literary Satire | Hastily Written & Slopilly Edited
Monday, June 11, 2007

How to Bluff Your Way Through a Heart Bypass

by Jesse McLean

Heart Surgery Fig. 1 Coronary artery bypass surgery during mobilization of the right coronary artery from its surrounding adipose tissue. The tube visible at the bottom is the aortic cannula. The tube above it is the venous cannula. The patient’s heart is stopped and the aorta is cross-clamped.
  1. Whatever you do, stay calm. If you need to gird yourself with an affirmation, try screaming “STAY CALM” at top volume. If you choose this tactic, inform all in attendance that you were simply checking the acoustics of the operating theatre. Add that it’s something all the best operating guys do.
  2. Remove any inappropriate clothing, e.g. novelty hats or shirts with funny slogans like “I FUCK LIKE CHINESE PEOPLE DRIVE.” It tends to undercut people’s faith in you, especially if they see the punch line on the back.
  3. Try to determine the smartest person in the room. Take him out with a roundhouse kick to the temple. Then, pick him up and say you’re sorry. Repeat. That’s some crazy alpha male shit.
  4. Slip the anesthetist a ten spot and say you’d like a table next to the stage. Laugh at your own joke. People respect that.
  5. Do not refer to the patient as “the corpse.” (At least until the anesthesia kicks in.)
  6. Stand over the patient and sweat profusely. Thirty minutes or so should do.
  7. Ask the assisting nurse to “get things started” right after she’s done mopping the floor.
  8. Do not call the scalpel a “spatula.”
  9. Determine whether the bypass should proceed by using the saphenous vein or the internal mammary artery. Next, decide if a thoracotomy or median sternotomy is the best bet. Then, order in lunch. Maybe pizza for the team. That would be nice.
  10. Wind things up by playing “Guantanamera” on the patient’s rib cage. Strike a body-builder pose and holler, “The Plaque Remover strikes again!
  11. Proceed to the waiting room and pronounce the operation a success. Totally hit on the patient’s wife.

This helpful list was written by Jesse McLean. He'd like to thank God for all His blessings, but has a sneaking suspicion He is screening His phone calls.