Well, today I did one of my duties as a citizen: I gave blood. Yep, the smog-belching Carter Blood Care-Mobile rolled up in front of my office building bright and early, just as all of the posters in the lobby predicted.
Now, a little known fact around the office is that they give you free juice and cookies when you give blood. Also, if you mention that you feel “faint,” they’ll let you take a nap. Juice, cookies, a nap…sounds like my kind of racket. So, being the caring man that I am – by which I mean that I care about free stuff like food – I wandered out to the Blood-Mobile, which was hidden in a dense cloud of diesel smoke ($3.99/gallon), and I opened the door.
The creak of the door gave way to hissing sound, which must have meant that I startled the pale, vampire-like phlebotomists. Lucky me: I was the first victim of the day. I sat down, tightly clutching my bottle of Dasani Holy Water® (now with more ‘tap’), as I answered the phlegmbotomist’s pointed questions concerning my travels, my sex life and any diseases that I might be harboring. Some of the questions that I remember had to do with whether I thought that I might have something called “Chaga’s Disease” (No – but now that you mention it, my arm is starting to feel kind of itchy) or whether I had ever seen a Leonardo DiCaprio movie (a “yes” answer, they told me, is an immediate disqualification from donating).
After answering all of the questions, I felt dirty. So, it was a good thing that one of the phrontalebotomists at least swabbed my arm down with rubbing alcohol. To be sure, donors are routinely swabbed in order to prevent infection and to remove any diesel smog that may have accumulated on their arms when they approached the Blood-Mobile. With that out of the way, a stingingly painful needle was inserted in my arm with the tender care of Jack the Ripper and, to the joy of my phreakbotomist vampire, the blood began to flow into a clear plastic bag. I was handed a sweaty foam ball that had smog-hued fingerprints on it and I was told to squeeze every three to five seconds.
Eventually, my little bag of blood was filled up and a brightly colored tourniquet was quickly and definitively wrapped around my arm at the site of the needle hole. I stood up in the humming, shaking bus, and walked to the front to get my free snacks; after all, that’s all I really wanted in the first place. I reached down clumsily with my non-bendable, tourniquet-wrapped arm and grabbed a package of cookies and a juice bottle. I was just about to the door when a sprightly young phunbotomist told me to be sure and take my donor shirt.
Now, donor shirts only come in one size. As you may know, one size fits all, if your size happens to correspond to that of Andre the Giant. The tag in the collar proudly proclaims all of the shirts to be size XXL; however, I’ve never seen a size XXL person inside a blood mobile (would they even fit through the door?). I think my whole body might fit through the neck hole on one of those shirts. So, I’ve just been saving my donor shirts to use one day as sails on a boat.
Anyway, with prizes in hand, I left the blood mobile and made my way through the cloud of diesel smog back to my office building. While I was eating my free snacks, I untied the tourniquet and allowed the blood to flow back to my arm. Ahh…what a man will do for free food.