Giving Blood



I gave blood yesterday. Actually, I kind of gave twice… the first time and the last time. My church does an annual blood drive where weeks before the event, a spokes person gets up and tells the congregation how great it is to donate. Of course, this man has given so much blood that he himself has the complexion of Elmer’s glue. He was so pasty people kept coming up to him afterwards pretending to shake his hand but really they just wanted to check the guy for a pulse.
On the big day a vehicle that actually has the word “Bloodmobile” printed on it pulls up to my church and waits–not only for the people who signed up to give blood–but also those sleepy eyed non-morning people who accidentally wonder into the Bloodmobile thinking it’s a new
entrance to the church. I was of the latter. My wife, who gives blood more frequently than Way FM plays the Newsboy’s “WooHoo,” was very excited. I, on the other hand, was just trying to figure out what the preacher had done with all the pews.
Upon walking in a lady in a white coat quickly grabbed me and whisked me off alone in a room slightly smaller than the tube you use at a bank teller drive through. This was the testing room where they first test your blood. We were so squished together in there that it appeared she
was actually sitting on my lap. She was not. There was a little chair somewhere behind her. This made my comment, “Okay, so tell Santa what you want for Christmas,” a little awkward.
She placed some paper in front of me to sign and then stuck a needle into my ear and took what
looked like a straw full of my blood, and not a little straw either. This was more like one of those big fat McDonald’s straws. As I was staring at her through crust filled eyes wondering why she just pierced my ear, she said, “Wow, you have a great iron count.” Now, I’m a sucker
for a compliment and quickly said, “Thanks, I work out.”
She looked puzzled and said, “Take this bag and go lay on that chair with the shackles.” I was beginning to wake up at this point and the word shackles did worry me a bit, but I was still happy about passing the iron test. My family has always tested well. So, I crawled up on the chair and handed the nurse what they laughingly called a bag. Anything that big should at least have a cool name like BIG-OL’ -BAGARAMA!

I didn’t know if I was supposed to try and fill it full of blood or if I was supposed to lay inside the bag while I gave blood. The nurse, in turn, pulled out a needle the size and weight of my leg and attached it to the bag. She then said, “Quick stick and a burn.” I said, “Can I just have the burn?”
She just frowned at me and said, “No.” So, this girl’s a laugh a minute, right? She then harpooned me like a fleeing whale about to dive to deeper water and completely missed my vein.
Amy Harrison is a friend of mine who gives all the time. She has very patriotic veins that pop out in attention and are ready to serve mankind. My veins are undersized, professional hide-and-seek champions with no notion or concept of working with someone. The lady then tried to find my vein twice more using the Braille feel around style.
Now, normally I am a very passive guy. However, when I am in pain my mouth has a mind of its own. I popped off to the nurse saying, “Why don’t you bring in your seeing-eye dog. Maybe he could find the vein.” This was the wrong comment because she turned and called in another
nurse. I didn’t catch her name so for this article’s purpose let’s just call her Satan. This nurse would’ve been kicked out of the Marines for being too rude and crude. She grabbed my arm and began saying something about me being a big baby. Although, I couldn’t hear exactly what she was saying over my screaming.
She stuck me immediately and my bag began to inflate with my own blood. The blood that had once faithfully served me so well evidently was just waiting for the right moment to flee my body. Blood was shooting out of me like I was a Halloween water ride. Now, here is where the problem began. I had just done a show the night before at King’s Island in Cincinnati, driven five hours back to Nashville that night, returned my rental car after four hours of sleep and went straight to church. I was a walking zombie when I stumbled into the Bloodmobile. Actually, a zombie is probably a bad example seeing as zombies probably have more blood in them than I did at the time. I had not eaten since before the show the day before and the bag was about to
take a whole pint of my blood. I have since found I only have about two pints of blood in me at any given time.
I’m trying to explain why I kept passing out. The nurse kept shaking me saying, “You need to keep your eyes open.” I was ignoring her, though, because at the moment I was trying to head toward the light. I had visions of hanging out with Carol Ann in the TV set. My mind was flying.
When I finally awoke, I noticed my sarcastic friends surrounding me. My wife had taken the time to run into church and bring them out to watch. Isn’t she great! They were all laughing at me. I said, “Come on it’s not that funny. I just passed out. Lots of people pass out.” Randy said,
“Yes, but not everybody has friends who put a dress on you and take pictures while you’re passed out.” I looked down and sure enough I was in a cute little sun dress and everyone had cameras.
I write this article to say a couple of things. Giving blood is a great way to help people. And, if you eat before you go I’m told it’s no problem at all. So, give if you can. The other reason I write this article is out of fear that these photos will surface later without explanation. So, spread the word. Also, I am looking for new friends. So if you can help, email me.
For more on Bob Smiley check out bobsmiley.


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