A Pig’s Breakfast.

“Mr Hewitt, can you hear me?” (Slap, slap.) “Mr Hewitt, can you hear me, this is the nurse, you’re just coming round.”

“Mmmm, oh, er, yes, I think I, yes………….. who are you?”

“It’s the nurse Mr Hewitt, you’re just waking up, you’re in the hospital. Can you see me Mr Hewitt? Just take your time, you’ve just had a really big procedure. Do you remember?”

“Er, yes, I mean, I think so. Where am I again. Sorry, I’m just feeling a bit…….”

“There’s nothing to worry about Mr Hewitt, you take your time. Just let me…….prop you up a little with this pillow and then you can see me better. You can hear me alright, can you?”

“Yes, yes, oh, yes that’s a bit better. My ear feels funny. Oh, I feel very hot, is that usual?”

“Of course Mr Hewitt, you’ve just come round from a major procedure and it looks like things have worked really well. How do you feel? Here, take a bit of water.”

“Oh, thank you, er, major procedure, sorry, I think I must have forgotten. I feel quite queasy. Just remind me. I’m sorry.”

“Well, it was touch and go due to the experimental nature, but the transplant team were amazing. The doctor will be through to see you personally any moment now”

“The transplant what!? What transplant? I’ve had a transplant?”

“Well, yes sir, do you not remember? It must be the anaesthetic wearing off. Remember you signed up for a revolutionary, experimental organ transplant? We have the papers. I mean, we should be grateful to you really, we’re so pleased that all our research and time in the lab, what with the sacrifices the baboons have made along the way, not to mention Cecil and all his friends, has finally paid off. You’re going to be a very famous man!”

“Baboons? What are you talking about? And who’s Cecil? What’s going on here? Where’s the surgeon?”

“He’s just on his way Mr Hewitt, please try to relax, there really isn’t anything to panic about. We’re going to be monitoring you round the clock. We’re very confident your body will settle soon but you really mustn’t let your heart rate get too high. Or should I say Cecil’s heart rate!” (a ripple of subdued chuckles).

“Who the fuck is Cecil? What the fuck are you talking about?”

“Mr Hewitt, please try to calm down. Surely you remember? Cecil, the pig.”

“The pig. What? Wait, no, hold on, you…….”

“That’s right Mr Hewitt. I should say congratulations first! I’m Dr Nonmoribus, your surgeon, du jour. I’m so glad you’re up and awake. How does your new heart feel? And don’t tell us any porky pies!” (the whole team erupts into laughter).

“Are you telling me I have a pig’s heart for a heart now?”

“That’s correct Mr Hewitt, but not just any pig’s heart. This heart was taken from a clean, happy, healthy pig, not one that rolls around in shit and gets made into sausages….”

“Much better….”

“…..and, even better, it had been relentlessly genetically modified to ensure that the human body, your human body to be specific, won’t reject it. Happy days, I think you’ll find. Of course, this process hasn’t been all plain sailing: you’ll spare a moment I hope, for Cecil the pig and for the countless members of the baboon community that we had to ‘tinker with’ beforehand to make all this possible.”

“Oh, my Christ, I’ve got a fucking pig’s heart in my chest.”

“I can see you’re not quite as impressed as we’d hoped Mr Hewitt, but perhaps it will cheer you up to know that we have been able to use this opportunity to really push forward the science of genetically modified organs. We owe you a great debt.”

“Organs? Plural?”

“Why yes, you see, when you signed the paperwork you gave us a once in a lifetime, well, once in your lifetime, chance to see just how many organs we could transplant with the best bet of success, in one go. We wanted to make sure that the thousands of baboon corpses that have been clogging up our incinerators for years didn’t end up there in vain. You might remember that photo showing an ear growing on the back of a mouse, I think that’s what you can feel wriggling on the side of your head, well that was us, but we’ve moved forward so far since then. Nurse, pass Mr Hewitt a bucket please. You see, we feel that there just aren’t enough people on the planet at the moment, and so if we can find a way of saving as many humans as possible by stuffing them with organs that don’t really belong in them, the better the human race will be remembered for fucking around with the parameters of natural selection. We even have some top academics working around the clock to find a shred of moral justification for it all. And that is precisely why you are now functioning, thanks to a pig’s heart. And a few other bits.”

“Other bits! What bits?”

“Well…… er, nurse, go and fetch him another bucket, this one is almost full. Well, obviously there’s the pig’s heart, and we can already see just how well that’s worked out. Then you have a polar bear’s liver, the lungs from a Proboscis monkey, a pair of Okapi kidneys…..”

“Okapi?!”

“Yes, you know, like a cross between……”

“I know what a fucking Okapi is……”

“Funny story, well, story. The Okapi was quite interesting as it turned out they are closer to humans genetically than they are to glow worms, so we thought we could fiddle with the DNA a bit and, er, ta da! And of course, the fact you can’t remember all this is because we thought you might like us to pump your brains full of genetically modified chimpanzee serum, but unfortunately that seems to have wiped crucial parts of your memory. Though it is quite encouraging that you haven’t forgotten what an Okapi is. Silver linings and all that!”

“Show me this paperwork, this is ridiculous!”

“You also have a complimentary baboon’s arse, since we had so many spare lying around. Nurse, the papers Mr Hewitt signed please. And another bucket.”

“I think I’d rather be dead than have a pig’s heart.”

“Oh, we couldn’t have that sir, we have no problem treating animals like shit, but heaven forbid we let a human die when they could be kept alive by all kinds of weird fucking science. Don’t you see? It’s the future! Why don’t you try and get a bit more sleep? Before you know it all humans will be made up of animal parts, and then we can truly see a triumph for science, nature and, most importantly, stupidity. Hurrah!”

“Oink.”

G B Hewitt. 12.01.2021

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