The New York Times, which never lies, has an article today about a movement to train everyone on how to use defibrillators. Apparently about 90% of the people who have cardiac arrest– which is not the same as a heart attack or a heart with no companion– die in the first 10 minutes. But if you have a defibrillator handy (in your purse or your camera bag or something, I assume), about 53% of the victims survive. That is amazing. Now the heart can have a companion.
They were even able to demonstrate that the average grade six student, who doesn’t know the state capital of Alaska where the oil is, can nevertheless be trained to operate a defibrillator in just a few hours. They tell them it’s just like a Sony Playstation.
Still, I find it somewhat alarming. New York State has passed a law that released from liability anyone who uses a defibrillator to try to save someone. You see, if you use a defibrillator on someone who is not having a heart attack, you can actually kill them. So I think the first thing we need to do, after making defibrillators available to everyone in order to save lots of lives, is to restrict their availability in order to save lots of lives.
Another thing I find alarming about defibrillators is that you have supposed to shave the person’s chest before applying the two little paddles and shouting “all clear”, so everyone knows you watch ER. I mean, some guy is dying (most likely in a Casino where there is a disproportionate number of cardiac arrests as well as tacky double-knit pantsuits), and you rush over to help and everyone’s standing around watching and you have to say, “anyone got a razor– while he’s down, I might as well shave his chest.” What if it was Burt Reynolds or someone? “Oh my god, this is going to take hours. Anyone got a Philishave?” What if it was Dolly Parton? “Bigger paddles, quick! We need— yes, those satellite dishes will do quite nicely….”
Another thing is — which is why Cohen’s explicit poetry is actually good for our society– what if it is a woman undergoing cardiac arrest and you’re kind of a shy young man and all these people are watching…. Can New York State also make an exception for sexual harassment lawsuits? But then, if they did, you’d have all these guys walking around the beach with defibrillators on their shoulders instead of boom boxes, and they’d be targeting good looking girls who fall asleep while tanning. “All clear. Leon! I said ALL CLEAR! Now. I mean it. All right, see if I care. ZZZZZZAAAAAPPPPP. Oh my God! Leon’s down! Someone get a razor, quick!”
I’m only bringing this up because if Leonard attends Hydra 2002… well, he is getting on in years, and I hope they have a defibrillator handy just in case. You know how women react around him. If Fiona or Judith or Ania actually met Leonard, you’d have to be ready to use those paddles, I think, though I would be very nervous about it myself. And, instead of shouting out “all clear”, I think, apropos of the occasion, I would shout “did you ever go clear?” ZZAAAAPPPP. “Bill, Bill, stop! She’s only taking a nap!” “Not any more. We better do it again. It’s like the reset button on a computer, isn’t it?”
And before I go to bed, I want to note that they have an actual video of a 77 year old man having cardiac arrest in a Las Vegas Casino. He falls over. The security guards rush to his aid. They look like they are in grade 6. They rip off his shirt and shave his chest. They apply the goo, the little sensor pads, and then — “Go Clear!”– the paddles. ZAAAAPPPP. He’s up. An old man who had fainted was revived. And everyone agreed twould be a miracle indeed…. except that the video also shows all the other people in the Casino basically ignoring him. I’m not kidding. They took one look at the guy and went back to their slots and blackjacks.
I think hell is… you’re in a Casino. Wayne Newton is singing “Dunkeshein”. Fat ladies in pastel-plaid double-knit pantsuits are working the slot machines. The décor resembles Andy Warhol repackaged by Walmart. You have a heart attack. Your soul starts to rise from your body and you look down and notice that not a single person gives a damn. What depresses you even more is that these are not the kind of people you wish would give a damn about you, but Ania and Fiona and Judith and Corisa and Tim and both Mikes and Mark and Jarkko and Nancy and Barbara …. are all in Hydra jamming to an aud and eating roast sheep. They don’t give a damn, and the guards stand helpless by: no one remembered a shaver. They try the paddles on your butt instead. With every zap you return to your body and the whole experience starts over again.
Did you ever go clear? No. ZZZZZAAAAAPPPPP Ow! Now I am.