Andy Grove comes to visit

So I’m lying in bed and BreezeAnne comes to the door and says, Steve, there’s some guy here to see you, and he says he knows you — I think it’s Jackie Mason. So of course I know who it is, because he’s been calling and leaving me like 20 messages a day, and I’ve been dreading this, because in case you didn’t know it Andy Grove had prostate cancer a long time ago and now he thinks he’s the world’s leading expert on medicine, like he knows more than the doctors, and he knows more than the researchers, and he’s always going around telling everyone what they’re doing wrong. I was hoping that when he got onto his big energy kick and decided he would declare himself the world’s leading expert on energy that maybe he had dropped the health and medicine thing — but no. You should hear the guy’s voice mails. Annoying doesn’t begin to describe it.

So I go, Tell him I’m not here, but just then the door swings open and it’s Andy and he says, What do you mean you’re not here? You’re right here! How you doing? How you feeling? Of course I’m gonna visit you! What’s a father figure for? Now show me the scar. Come on. Show me what they did to you. Show me!

So I pull up my shirt and he goes, Jesus! They fucking butchered you! Are you fucking kidding me? Who did this to you? I told you you shouldn’t go to Tennessee. Not for livers. For livers you go to Mayo Clinic in Rochester. Guy named Nagel. Everyone knows that. Or better yet you go to Mumbai and you see this guy Gupta. Have you heard of Gupta? Of course not. Because you didn’t do any research at all, did you? Jesus. Gupta has developed a way to do this with laparoscopic surgery. You’re up on your feet in two days.

I’m like, Dude, you can’t transplant a liver with laparascopic surgery. He goes, Well Gupta can. I’ve read about it. It’s been in all the journals. I’m like, What’s he putting in? Mouse livers? He goes, Hey, laugh it up, but it’s in the medical journals. The fucking Indians are racing past us, Steve. The Indians and the Chinese. We’re toast.

Then he says, Okay, so tell me this. How much did you pay? Come on. Tell me. How much they charge you for this monstrosity? So I tell him and he goes, I could have got you a liver for half that. I’ve got a cousin in Budapest, runs a transplant clinic. He could get one for you. Fresh, too. Not some 90-year-old guy. We’re talking donors in their twenties and thirties, non-smokers, non-drinkers. Half what you paid. By the way, where’d yours come from? I heard you got yours from some Mexican guy, and you woke up speaking Spanish. I go, Nah, that was just a story the engineers made up to fuck with people. He says, Well who was it then? Not a Mexican? I’m like, Dude, it was just some regular guy from Tennessee. He goes, Just some cracker, eh? Just some redneck? So did you wake up with a craving for chicken-fried steak and wanting to vote for Sarah Palin? You gonna paint a Confederate flag on the roof of your Mercedes and start calling it the General Lee? Look, I’m just trying to add some levity here. That’s all. Just trying to lighten up the mood in this room. Okay, look, I’m leaving now.

But then he turns and comes back and takes my hand and he says, Hey by the way, what is this business about you buying a chip company and making your own processors? I go, Oh, it’s just for experimentation. He goes, Well, look, why didn’t you come to us? Why aren’t you using Intel chips in the phones? You should give us a chance with that. I’m not saying do us a favor. I’m saying give us a chance to earn that business.

I go, Sure, that’s a great idea, talk to Tim Cook. He says, Well Paul and Craig said they’ve tried to talk to you guys but you won’t talk to them. I go, No, have them call Tim, he’ll be expecting their call, I swear.

Then he puts his hand on my abdomen, just lightly, and he leans close to me and he goes, Because, Steve, we’ve been such good partners, you know, and, well, it kind of hurts us when you start looking at other chips. You know? It hurts us. And I know you depend on us to provide those great chips for your Macs and your MacBooks, and we love being your partner there, and, well, I’d just hate it if something happened and, like, I don’t know, maybe we had to delay some shipments and you couldn’t put out any computers next quarter. I mean that would not be good for you, would it? No, it would not. So don’t make us do that, okay, Steve? Okay? Don’t make me do that to you.

Then he pushes on my abdomen and goes, Does that hurt? I tell him it doesn’t, so he pushes harder and says, Now?

Jesus! I’m seeing fucking stars in my eyes, and I’m thinking I might puke from the pain. I go, Okay, Andy. Stop. Please stop. But he won’t let up. He says, So you’re not going to make your own chips? Is that what you’re telling me? I go, Sure, Andy. Sure. We won’t make chips. He says, And you’ll put us in the phones? I tell him, Sure, sure, we’ll put you anywhere, just stop, please. Then he smiles like some demented elf and says, Well that’s great, bubala. I’m so happy we had this chance to catch up. That’s great. I’m gonna go tell Paul and Craig that we’re all set. Oh, and by the way? You know those two security guards you had out at the front gate? The ones who are supposed to stop people from getting in? You’re gonna need two more.

Then he gives me a little slap on the face and leaves. I swear to God, Andy Grove scares the shit out of me.