7/31/12

Blood from a stone.

We had a blood drive at work the other day, and so I like to get out of work for a little while do my good deed for the month and donate.  The last time they came around, I had a bit of a cold so I had to skip it, but this time I was in pretty good shape.  

They're always after me because of my type O blood.  I get phone calls, and follow-ups, and reminder e-mails about how many lives I'm going to save…sometimes it's more of a guilt-trip than those abused animal commercials on TV.  OK, nothing is worse than those, but you get the idea.  I usually feel really guilty when they call, so I sign up to bleed into a bag and adopt a greyhound or something.   

The day I was supposed to donate, I did something incredibly stupid.  Well,  the stupidity happened the night before, and then just continued on to the next day.  I had driven the convertible to work the previous day and when I got home, the garage door had been locked so I parked and went inside, figuring I'd put the car away later.  Not so much.  Instead,  I forgot the car was out there, top down, and it rained all night.  Really hard.  Buckets.  Then the next morning I just left in the Honda and didn't even notice the other car sitting out there in the driveway making pathetic sloshing sounds.  To be fair, it was still pretty dark when I left, but when my wife called me at work and told me the entire thing was a giant puddle of water, I wasn't real happy with myself.   Also, it was supposed to rain all day again.  My wife can't drive a stick, and didn't have the keys, so all she could do before she left for work was throw a tarp over it.  As a result, I decided to head home at lunch time and at least mop up what I could and get the car inside before the coming storms made it worse.  

This is really just a long way of saying that I showed up for the blood thing unannounced at around 10:30 instead of at my scheduled time of 12:45.  I figured if they had that much of a chub for my Type O, they'd take it when I offered it, and they did.  The only drawback was that I was really hungry, since I normally grab something to eat around 5:30 on my way to work and then eat lunch around 11:30 at the latest.  

They were after me to do the "double red-cell" thing too, which I guess means they filter your blood through a machine that extracts the red blood cells and pumps the plasma back in, but I'm not down with that. Something about having my blood outside my body like it's standing on the corner looking for a job, and then having it pumped back in skeeves me out a little.  It's too much like science fiction.  At least if I'm just donating whole blood, I can lie there and pretend like it's 1453 and the barber-surgeon is just taking a little off the top. 

I was antsy, so the whole prep thing was killing me.  First they made me read the booklet (which looked like it had been handled by a classroom of first-graders after their snack break) and then I had to get tested for anemia and answer a questionnaire about how many men I've screwed (none), how many needles I've shared (none) and whether or not I had been out of the country or in juvie for more than 72 hours.  I'm not sure what happens there at hour #70, but I'm glad I never have to find out.  Then they made me answer the same questions again, only this time on a computer screen. The whole thing was maddeningly repetitive and proceeded at a snail's pace, mostly because I showed up unannounced.  They were nice about it, even though I probably screwed up their schedule a little bit.  They say they take walk-ins but I'm not sure they actually like to.

They finally hooked me up, and luckily the 12-year-old girl who put the needle in my arm was pretty good at it, and I dropped a pint in a little over six minutes, which I think was a new record for me. Apparently even my blood was in a hurry to get the hell out of there.  As she was disconnecting me from the apparatus, she hit me in the eye with an errant hose or something and got really embarrassed.  I told her it was fine,  but it would be pretty unlucky of me to lose a perfectly good eye while giving blood.  She left me there for a bit, and then came back and asked me how I was feeling.  "Pretty good, except for the eye," I said.  I'm not sure she appreciated my humor.

Since I hadn't eaten, I was a little light-headed afterwards, so I sat down and drank a bottle of water and ate some ass-raisins.  I'm not sure where they got them from, but they were the worst, most juicy raisins I ever ate.  It's like they weren't quite done being grapes.  I only chose them because of their sugar content, but after eating half the bag I switched to a pretzel, which was non-juicy. Then I packed up my shit and headed for the car.  I got home just in time to pull the car in the garage before it started coming down hard.  

After I got home I emptied my pockets and found the little info sheet they give you with all the "after donating" tips on it.  This paragraph made me laugh:

"Injury may result from dizziness or fainting after donation.  If you developed a cut as a result of a fall, you may want to request evaluation for stitches, especially if the injury is on your face.  Serious head injuries are uncommon after donation but may require immediate medical attention." 

So basically they're saying, "Hey, thanks for your blood.  Oh, by the way, if you fall and cut your face wide open, you probably should get it sewed up."  That's really good information to know.  

Other weird stuff I stumbled on this week:

Why is this a real thing?  Are people that concerned about their child's "unique astrological chart" that this hot crazy lady can actually make a living off of them?  Whenever I see something like this I always think, "I wonder if they really believe that shit, or if they just saw an opportunity to rip off gullible people?" Then I got a little sad because I realized I would probably respect her more if she was knowingly ripping people off.  That's pretty cynical. But then again, I'm a Gemini and therefore I can see both sides of the issue.

The other thing that made me laugh today was this:



Fifth Third Bank.  The curious bank.  What crack-smoking ad agency came up with that tagline?  Not sure about you guys, but I really don't want my bank to be curious about me.


"Can I help you, Mr. Virgil? 
"How do you know my name?  Who told you my name? I NEVER SAID MY NAME!"
"Don't be upset.  We're just curious about you.  So… are you wearing the boxer briefs today or going commando?"
"TOO CURIOUS! TOO CURIOUS!"


I don't want phone calls at home asking me how I'm feeling and if I need anything and how my garden is doing.  In fact, I want them to stay out of my life unless I specifically ask them to provide me with a banking service and I contact them to get it.  The last thing I want is some teller at Fifth Third asking me inane questions about my personal life when all I really want her to do is read the note and start stuffing the money in the sack.

p.s. - does anyone know why the EFF the spacing is all off on this blogger editor?  Looks fine in the editing window, but all sorts of weird spacing when it's published.

35 comments:

  1. Anonymous10:31 PM

    OH MY GOD, THE RELIEF.

    Don't know when you switched, but thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for getting rid of the white text on dark background. So nice to be able to read your posts off your site and not through my crappy reader.

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  2. You NEVER choose raisins. For anything. It's like someone was like "I really want to put little bugs in this cookie but I fear getting in trouble for that. What can I substitute? I know! Raisins!!" Raisins are food bugs.

    And 5/3 has been creeping me out for months now with that whole curious bank shit. I am about to start wearing a tin foil hat every time I try to use the ATM so they can't read my thoughts.

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    1. Where the hell where you when I was reaching for them? My other option was some sort of mint wafer looking thing. That crap must be donated to the red cross because nobody wants it.

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  3. Fifth Third has my auto loan, and I've always thought that slogan was put together by Bill and Ted of "Excellent Adventure" fame. It's really strange.

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  4. Julie7:08 PM

    I have passed out twice giving blood (apparently there's a 3 strikes and you're out clause, so I'm afraid to give again) so I was waiting for the story to end that you passed out. I feel so let down.

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    1. I almost passed out my first time. They had to raise my legs up and keep me there for 20 minutes.

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  5. I have found that if you do the double red cell thing, they don't hound you as much about donating because it takes longer to "recover." The last time I donated, the ladies talked with me about "50 Shades of Grey" for the entire time. Also, you got some new digs. It's weird.

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    1. I know! I finally got tired of straining my eyes to find typos. Some older posts with the yellow texts look like shit, but oh well. Nobody reads blogs anymore anyway.

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  6. Anonymous1:25 PM

    Last time I donated blood it was the double red thing. The blood was chilly when they put it back in and every couple of minutes when they started the backwash cycle (or whatever they call it) I felt the icy blood come up my right arm and spread throughout my body. Seriously creepy.

    BTW, am seriously thinking of changing my name to "Travis Sloat".

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    1. See now that creeps me out. Once it's out of me and cold, it's dead. I don't want it back. Also, re: Travis Sloat -- Too late. I already called it.

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  7. Yes they do noodle you to death when you're O-neg (universal donor, anyone can accept your blood). I do double reds every time. I like not going back for 112 days, and seeing my blood making that circuit is kind of fun, in a creepy sort of way!

    On the spacing - are you using IE? I discovered that IE9 at least boinks up the spacing in the editor, then you have to figure out how to fix it. So I use Firefox.

    Peace <3
    Jay

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    1. No, I am using Safari. I will try firefox but I hate having two browsers on my machine..and I've gotten used to Safari. I think they should make the blood do loops like those old silly straws!

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    2. Ah, yes. I will try Safari on my PC (yeah, I know, that's an oxymoron cause I'm a moron to think it will be the same), but I bet that's the issue. I use 4 or 5 browsers, usually at least 2 at a time to keep my gmail accounts separate. But it's at least worth a try in another browser to see if that fixes it!
      Jay

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  8. When my dad was in the military, they would get a half day off to donate blood. So they'd all go around noon, donate, and then go to the bar because I guess you get drunk easier when you're a pint low. So next time, try the beer instead of of the raisins (goes well with pretzels too).

    Also, you should teach your wife to drive a standard. It's a life skill.

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  9. No kidding. I've tried, trust me...

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    1. Anonymous11:13 AM

      Dude, get a stick shift rental car! As long as you can still drive it back into the lot later with the transmission still in one piece, you're golden.

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  10. Anonymous8:20 PM

    Interesting: I also donate blood, regularly, except when I have to take a year off now & then (..after my GF & I do a trip to Mexico and she INSISTS we visit places which invariably fall within a "malaria zone", buying you a year's deferral from donating).

    And I also refuse the extra-blood-cells bit, for same reason: Nope, once you’ve taken my blood out & it's gone through your equipment, I don't want it back. It's yours - really. And if the day should come that I need someone else's blood due to surgery or something, I'm going to have to take it on faith that your *painfully tedious* screening process is actually effective.

    Speaking of the screening: Kill me now. I've asked people at the blood drives more than once, could they pleeeaaase come up with a "frequent donor", fast track screening process. You know, just whip through the whole list all at once & then ask "any CHANGES in status?", and off we go. This seems simple - but only to me apparently. Suggesting it routinely results in Deer in the Headlights. Um, we don't have a system for that. Me: Yeeesss... OF COURSE you don't, as is *painfully* Fkg obvious. That's WHY I'm asking! (grrr..)

    And re. that bank thing. Wait what is it: If it's the 5th 3rd, does that make it the "One And Two Thirds" Bank?? "Bank 1.67 ?" Or, are there perhaps (4) other "Third" banks out there? All them going, OH COME ON THERE'S ALREADY FOUR OF US STOP COPYING OUR NAME... That just baffles me. Or should I say, has me curious (but not TOO curious..).

    Anyway thanks for the great postings Johnny!
    -Mike from CA

    p.s. @KC good suggestion on the beer! :-)

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  11. Yep...O- here. The blood donation employees are like vampires when they see me coming. I thought I saw one eyeing my jugular last time I donated! Glad you didn't faint and break your face. Is the car dry yet?

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  12. I had to give up donating blood. The company I worked for would have blood drives right at our building, which was cool - except that almost passing out and then vomiting into a red bio-hazard bag as my co-workers watched got old real quick (happened twice). I have no idea why - I'm not afraid of needles, and donated twice successfully. The next 2 times? Puke-o-rama.

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    1. Yeah, I get a little light-headed and that's generally accompanied by the feeling I'm going to lose my lunch, which is no fun.

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  13. Am I the only one who thinks it is funny that they hand you a warning about head injuries after blood donation when they themselves hit you in the face / head after you donated. Priceless.

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  14. Fifth Third Bank? You know what happened to Banks First through Fourth don't you? That's right, mister, they didn't ask enough questions. Weren't curious enough.

    You can't blame them for being so pushy, their very lives are on the line.

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  15. My hometown has a Fifth/Third Bank, and my dad said it's because the original bank was on the corner of 5th and 3rd WHICH DOESN'T EVEN MAKE SENSE.

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  16. You just know that have to give out those ever-so-helpful sheets because some clown fell after donating, hit his head, didn't get stitches, had half his brains leak out and then successfully sued the Red Cross because "they didn't tell him" to get stitches! :-)

    I have a common, boring blood type (A+) so they don't bother me much, although last time the rig was coming to my office, they called me to see if I'd donate. So they must be hard up for the red stuff. I used to give blood with great aplomb (the getting out of work part is good) but then I had a fainting incident. Thoroughly unpleasant, and my own stupid fault because I was dehydrated. I felt like crap for about 48 hours afterwards and I'm too busy to deal with that, so I've been cautious about donating again.

    Furthermore, they don't want me for at least another six months because I had a needle stick. Up until April I helped to care for an elderly diabetic and got myself but good back in February. She's 88 and hasn't croaked from Hepatitis or AIDS yet, so I think I'm good, but can't blame the RC peeps for keeping me away.

    One last note - I hate that online survey thing they make you do. It makes me feel guilty even when I've done nothing wrong...

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  17. P.S. As far as I know, St. Louis is mercifully 5/3 Bank-free. That slogan would make me cuckoo.

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  18. One last thing - I count learning how to drive a stick as one of my greatest accomplishments in life. Because I like you, I will share The Secret. Believe me, my boyfriends'/father's patience and transmissions were sorely tested until I figured this out in a moment of necessity one day. Are you ready?

    Do it barefoot.

    Yes, it's hard and somewhat uncomfortable, but with no shoes you can actually "feel" the engine through the clutch pedal and at least for me, it finally all made sense. Simply watching the RPMs on the dask wasn't enough. Seriously, after two hours of driving barefoot in "town" traffic I was a fully-fledged, perfectly accomplished stick shift driver and I never looked back. Good luck!

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  19. Johnny where ya been? Everything okay? Your fans miss you...

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  20. Upstate Broad3:53 PM

    JV, I know it's been a while since this post, but I wanted to thank you. It reminded me that it had been a while since I'd done donated blood, and motivated me to set up some appointments for me and my Big Guy. He's what's called a Blue Tag donor. Something about special enzymes in his blood, they use it to treat sickle cell anemia. And I'm O+, so they're after me all the time just like you. I've done the double red cell thing once, and that icy cold feeling as the plasma and whatever goes back into your arm is really pretty cool (no pun intended). You should try it some time!

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    1. There's another good way to learn the clutch...in a parking lot, learn to get the car moving in 1st gear without touching the gas, just using the clutch. I've taught a bunch of teens to drive sticks with this method (taught to me by someone who taught army recruits to drive sticks).
      Jay

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  21. This is hilarious! I totally agree with you about the raisins. They are just not ready to be raisins yet. They still have the hope of becoming a great wine or some grape juice. Those raisins are sick.

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  22. This is hilarious! I totally agree with you about the raisins. They are just not ready to be raisins yet. They still have the hope of becoming a great wine or some grape juice. Those raisins are sick.

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  23. Anonymous9:51 PM

    Johnny Virgil--Unless you have a very nice surprise for us going up in the next 2 hours or so, you've gone an entire month without posting. Are you okay?
    samward37

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  24. Aw, man. I know...I've been spending all my spare time making a set of chars for the kitchen and I've been sorely neglecting my blog. I am a bad blogger. I am fine just slacking.

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