Former president Bill Clinton, recovering from quadruple bypass heart surgery this past weekend in New York, confirmed that he had a near death experience while on the operating table. "I looked up" he said in a telephone call to CNN's Larry King Live, "and my wife passed before my eyes." When King asked if he meant his "life", Clinton asserted, "No, it was Hillary. She was there." Touched, the veteran newsman and interlocutor rasped, "Dubois, Pennsylvania, you're on the air!"
Later, chief cardiologist Anthony McKinley confirmed that, moments before the anesthesia took effect, Mr. Clinton may indeed have seen Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton sitting in a gallery looking down on the operating room. In a post surgery press conference Monday afternoon, McKinley told reporters that his conversation with her afterward was brief. "She asked me, Will he live?'" he related. "I said that we expected a complete recovery and he should be back to his old self in a few weeks. Mrs. Clinton didn't say anything. She just sort of stared straight ahead, took a deep breath and left."
Apparently while under the anesthesia, Clinton rambled at great length, sometimes coherently but often not. Surgical nurse Dee Zodda told The Globe Star Enquirer that "apparently more than his wife flashed before his eyes." "We weren't paying a whole lot of attention because we'd heard most of those names before. In fact, we all kind of snickered when he said, Hey Monica, let's light up another one now!'".
"Some eyebrows went up when he murmured Tipper' but I have to tell you," Zodda paused at the recollection. "Well, when all of a sudden he said Jenna, how bout one for the road?", real loud like, I just about dropped my infrared coagulator. Then he started saying things like, My life, my life... so much still to be done. So many many... ' He repeated it over and over. We didn't know if he was talking about himself or his book."
Marta Stevens, a spokesperson for publisher Alfred A. Knopf confirmed that sales of My Life had been brisk this weekend after a somewhat ho-hum August. She denied, however, that a new "past tense" preface had been drafted just in case the surgery took an unfortunate and unforeseen turn. "We'd like to get a third printing out of him", Stevens commented off-camera.
A steady stream of well-wishers has been arriving at New York Presbyterian Hospital ever since the former president arrived last week. "I thought they'd moved the Miss America pageant up here to the west side" smiled an obviously delighted Rick Swallow, front desk security guard.