WASHINGTON - Surgery on Vice President Dick Cheney's heart pacemaker was abruptly cancelled Saturday when doctors failed to find the organ in question.
"It's ze damnest thing," said Dr. Mengele von Odduch, Cheney's personal physician and spin doctor. "Ze last time vee looked, his heart was dark, shriveled und cold, but at least it vas there. Now...poof!"
The replacement of the Vice President's pacemaker was an elective operation, since the battery-powered device was working smoothly. But Cheney reportedly wanted to switch it for a new Halliburton-designed gas engine run on North Slope oil and baby seal blubber.
"Ze Vice President vanted to set an example," Odduch explained.
The experimental device generally vents smoke from the patient's ears, which some find disconcerting. But this was reportedly not a problem for Cheney.
In any case, doctors were in for a surprise when they pried open his chest.
"All his precious bodily fluids vere there," Odduch said after the operation. "Just no heart."
Scientists call this condition 'Heart-Eroding Asshole Reactionary Termino-Legalistic Entropic Shithead Syndrome,' or HEARTLESS. It generally afflicts angry white males, particularly those making over $500,000 a year who pay more than one-tenth of one-percent of their income in taxes. It begins in the heart's right wing and eventually eats away at the rest of the organ.
The condition used to be rare, but since 9/11 it has inexplicably spread throughout the Bush Administration, causing Secretary Chertoff to speculate on some environmental threat to the homeland.
"Just my gut instinct," Chertoff said in an interview. "But look around."
However, when asked how Cheney could survive without a heart, Dr. Odduch grew testy and called the condition "no big vhoop."
"For shooting ze small woodland animals from ze front seat of a Hummer, ze heart is perhaps not necessary, ya?"
Cheney was reportedly resting angrily in his bunker.