Gene and Tonic: Excerpt of an Interview with Former President Obama in 2036

Interviewer: Congratulations on the Nobel. I mean the second one.

Obama: Thanks. I really feel like I earned this one for Physiology or Medicine. It took getting another doctorate degree, but I made it happen.

Interviewer: What I’d really like to know, Mr. President--looking back now, why did you do the whole become the president thingy?

Obama: Hindsight is 20/20, right? Now that I’ve found my true purpose, which is defeating cancer, I do look back some times and wonder about the circuitous route I’ve taken. Why did I waste so much time fighting Republicans and ISIS when cancer is the real enemy?

Interviewer: Why did you?

Obama: Well, when you look at it, I may never have come to Sand Hill Rd had I not been president of the U.S. first. It was a stepping stone. What I . .

Interviewer: And did . . . oh sorry, go ahead, Mr. President.

Obama: That’s ok. And call me Barry. I’m a scientist and entrepreneur now. Look at me: I wear hoodies.

Interviewer: (silence)

Obama: So, going back, yeah, the presidency was a necessary step. What I feel a tinge of regret over is running that second term.

Interviewer: Had you realized your ambitions to cure cancer in your first term?

Obama: Hmm, you know, maybe not. I haven’t thought that one through. In any case, here we are.

Interviewer: And just where is that?

Obama: We’re extending lives with our three new drugs based on revolutionary technology. What could be better than that?

Interviewer: I know what you mean. Let me ask you this, if you could choose, how long would you like to live?

Obama: That depends on how long Michelle wants to stay around.

Interviewer: That’s beautiful.

Obama: But if she wants to, I’m actually up for one more career.

Interviewer: Really?

Obama: Yes, give me twenty more solid years, and I think I could get in the NBA in five and play the other fifteen.


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