Call Me a Sissy, I Like My Blood
Mime-Version: 1.0 (NeXT Mail 3.3 v118.2)
From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Thu, 17 Oct 96 00:15:02 -0700
Subject: Call Me a Sissy, I Like My Blood
Forwarded-by: "Keith's Mostly Clean Humor List" <KSullivan@worldnet.att.net>
CALL ME A SISSY, I LIKE MY BLOOD
-- by Randy Shore
People's surgeries are being postponed and alarm bells are ringing at
Vancouver Hospital and it's mainly because you and I don't much care for
Vancouver is short of blood, specifically my kind of blood. I'm O
positive and that's the type they'd just about kill for. It's like the
10W-30 of blood; it'll work for just about anyone and there's a reasonably
good chance you've got some too.
I know my blood type because I gave blood once before and got a Red Cross
donor card. I still can't decide if that was a good trade.
Back in those days giving blood was less an issue of public service or
charity than a way to have a whale of a Friday night on whatever pocket
change one could rustle up from old coats. As a full-time student at UBC
I was perpetually short of cash for beer -- a situation I shared with
several thousand other serious scholarly types at the Pit Pub each and
That is, until our floor in student residence had a mixer. A mixer is
just a college kid word for a hot, sweaty room full of beer and hot,
sweaty 19-year-olds. The afternoon before that party a large group of
older second and third year students organized a mass blood donation. A
sudden case of mob altruism it was not. I've been told that after giving
blood one becomes a cheap date, at least until the dry-cleaning bills come
in. On the advice of my attorney I am not endorsing this activity or
glamorizing substance abuse in any way, but after giving the ultimate
gift, three mugs of beer is about all any one needs to reach a state of
A former fellow student whose name will forever remain Andrew Gibb did
the most convincing impersonation of a cave-dwelling Cro Magnon ever done
after donating a pint and replacing it with something a little stronger
and, as I faintly remember it, raced full speed around a foot-wide ledge
some ten feet from the hardwood floor wearing a faux fur loincloth (pink).
That might have been the best party I have ever been to, but nobody can
say with any certainty what happened after 9 p.m.
Now that I am older and less inclined to irresponsible abuse of
international aid agencies I feel a certain sense of guilt that I have
only given blood for reasons I would not want my kids to hear about. Call
me a sissy if you want, but giving blood was a harrowing experience for
me. After marching in with all the swagger customarily seen in university
undergrads wearing leather pants, I left with the help of a gaggle of
The needle didn't bother me so much because out of habit I always avert
my eyes as the huge pointed tip penetrates the veins that I spend the
other 99.9999 percent of my time protecting from large pointed things.
But after bleeding freely for 20 minutes or so I heroically hopped off my
cot and collapsed into a gelatinous heap (of heroic macho studliness).
It took a good solid hour of orange Tang and cookies with several kindly
nurses taking turns holding my hand before I had the strength to hobble
away to my party ... er, room.
I'm not trying to deter anybody from giving blood. Just don't expect to
gallop away like a wild stallion after surrendering 20 percent of your
body's most precious resource.
In fact, I will go give blood again -- if someone else does. If you feel
like bleeding for a cause after reading this, drop me a note and I'll join
you for a beer afterwards.
Vancouver Echo Home Page
© 1996 Peter Langston