I have just read 25 books and am here to perform your open-heart surgery

By Alexandra Petri

“What I would encourage people to do is try to divorce yourself from all of the history that’s happened over the years and read this plan.”

“I’ve been getting criticized for the last couple of years by all the people who have tried and failed for not doing this the same way they have, okay?”

“If somebody was successful I wouldn’t be dealing with this, and I wouldn’t have this additional responsibility to the other things I have. I think that people should try to be optimistic.”

“I’ve read 25 books on it.”

— Jared Kushner, on the conflict in the Middle East

Hello! I’m a relative of your doctor, and I am here to perform your open-heart surgery.

To be very clear: Medicine is not my profession. I would describe it as more of a “recent hobby.” In fact, I have a lot more important responsibilities, and I’m a little resentful, frankly, that this has also been put on my plate! But someone has to do it. Yes, doctors are available. This hospital has an entire staff, including people who have dedicated their whole lives to learning as best they can about how hearts work. But I am here now. I almost never mention this, but I went to an Ivy League school. So.

Please lie back and stop attempting to struggle. In case you might worry that I am not qualified to perform this surgery: I read 25 books. So you are in good hands. No, I have not done this before, but in a way, that makes me actually more competent. When I look at you, I don’t see all the problems people saw before: an aorta, and ventricles, and the little tube thing that pokes out. I just see solutions. I am going to put your heart together in a way that has never been tried, but I can guarantee (I read 25 books) that it will make everything 100 percent better, using synergies.

What books? You know, it’s weird and a little rude, actually, that you would ask that. They were definitely books, definitely pertaining to hearts, and I feel that reading them prepared me for this surgery. Think about this: People who do this for a living have sometimes failed. I’ve never failed. Maybe my attitude is what is needed. There are so many assumptions we make. Anesthesia is necessary. Blood is good to have inside the body rather than outside. People without hearts can’t live for longer than — some period of time! So much received “wisdom” we never stop to question. Maybe it’s time we threw everything we think we know out the window, as I plan to do with your heart when the surgery is complete.

So many blood types! Type A, Type O, Type AB — maybe those are just letters! Letters like the many letters in the numerous books I have read on the subject. Exactly 25.

Okay, one of them was Ben Carson’s memoir! I’m not saying that one was definitely by Malcolm Gladwell, but I sure am at a “tipping point”! Nudge, nudge! I won’t say one was “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter” by Carson McCullers — but why shouldn’t it have been?! This narrow-minded insistence that “maybe you should read even one medical text before attempting operations of this nature” is the kind of thinking that has for years kept people imprisoned, like your heart, which I cannot wait to free from your body. This should, according to the book I read about the body’s humours, be just what you need!

I also read “American Dirt,” which I loved.

Have you considered that maybe your body is bad? Maybe that was the thing previous surgeons were missing: contempt for the entire act of surgery. Well, I have that in spades (the tools I plan on using to open your body and remove your heart). I have nothing but contempt for people who have wasted their whole lives doing this, as though it took time to learn about it all, when I could do it on the weekend — and also master the harpsichord! I think! I can’t wait to play it and find out if I am right!

Keep an open mind. I will be operating on that next!

Source: The Washington Post

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