Arnold’s in trouble again. Only two smokes left in the pack.
And he’s been coughing blood.
“Give it to me straight, doc. What’s happening?” he rasps.
Dr. Benway is perusing x-rays by holding them up to the window behind his desk. He swivels his chair around, sets the x-rays on the desk and clamps the pig with his gaze. “I’ve got good news and bad news. Which do you want first?”
“Gimmie the good news.”
“The good news is this won’t cost you a dime.” He stops and smiles, leaning back in his chair. “That is, if you agree to a few conditions…”
“Conditions! Say, like what?”
Dr. Benway chuckles. “First the bad news. You have lung cancer. Bad. See this?” He’s pointing to what is clearly a dark mass in the pig’s lungs in an x-ray. “Bad.” The pig is squinting at it. “What you need my friend, is a lung transplant.”
Arnold coughs out his cig with a bolt of surprise and fear, then scrambles and lights a fresh one from the pack. “Wa-what?”
“How much do you like breathing? And being alive?”
“Let’s say I’ve gotten used to it, and I have unfinished business to attend to.” With a rude noise he horks up a bloody mass of gunk, right on the floor. Arnold realizes he’s shaking. “Do I get to pick the donor? Don’t fucking need one of those feed-lot jobs. Fucking factory pork.”
“Ah, you see that’s the condition…”
“I just said no factory pork!”
“You didn’t let me finish. No factory pork. No pork products at all, actually.”
“What? Monkey lungs? Dog?”
“Not at all my friend. Human.”