Can’t get blood from a turnip, but they got a whole bag full from me | HumorOutcasts

Can’t get blood from a turnip, but they got a whole bag full from me

May 9, 2018

My oldest daughter approached me with a simple request: Her twins were being asked to bring someone to their school to donate blood. You want to do something for your grandkids. After all, they’re your … wait for it …

Blood relatives.

Blood relatives! Hey, the dog thought it was funny.

There was a short period of time, a few nanoseconds, in which my mind wound up to deliver a powerful, definitive, final, “hell no”. Scream it. I’ve always had an issue with needles, which abated some over the years as I got used to allergy shots and annual blood draws. But the needle they use for an allergy shot is like, say, a BB Gun. My brother shot me with a BB gun once; it left a welt on my cheek (no, not that cheek), close enough that it could have put an eye out, but otherwise harmless.

The needle they use for blood donations is closer to Dirty Harry size.

“Go ahead: Open a vein.”

But in the short amount of time I spent winding up to scream “No!” the way teenagers used to scream at the Beatles, I heard a voice. It said, “Sure, okay.” It was squeaky and shaky, but it was me.

It’s not the first time I ever spoke before I thought. There was the time I agreed to a BB gun fight with my brother, for instance.

Worse, it’s notoriously hard to get a needle stick into my tiny veins. I suppose they shrivel in fear when they see the needle approach, just as I do. But I made a blood promise, literally, so I showed up to talk to the Red Cross people.

“Hey, you can’t draw blood from people who are taking allergy and acid reflux medicine, can you?”

“Sure we can, no problem.”

“Oh, right good. But what if professional nurses have actually taken early retirement because they couldn’t find my veins?”

“Not to worry, we deal with that all the time.”

“Yeah, but, if somebody faints …”

“You’ll be laying down, it’s okay.”

“Oh, cool. What if I ran for my life?”

“No problem, I was a defensive tackle in college.”

Long story short, I sucked it up while getting my blood sucked out. The whole process only took about half an hour, of which twenty minutes was paperwork and ten actual sucking. The biggest shock to me is that they found my vein on the first stick; this is so remarkable I’m thinking of hiring them to do all my future blood draws, even the ones with the BB gun needles.

Smiling through my pain.

And no cost. Well, none to me: I had the good fortune of feeling a little lightheaded when it was all over, so I got three cans of juice and a bag of cookies out of the deal. I also got Red Cross blankets for the grand-kids, which is great, but I think it’s their turn to give blood next time. I mean, they’re almost ten.

Now that I’ve done it, I have to say, I understand people who make multiple blood donations. There’s a certain satisfaction in giving when it’s done, the idea that you’ve contributed in some small way.

Just the same, it would be nice if they could come up with some other extraction technique. Maybe something similar to squeezing it out, like from a sponge. Or collecting it from a BB gun wound.

Maybe I’ll try that on my brother.

Mark R Hunter

Mark R Hunter is the author of three romantic comedies: Radio Red, Storm Chaser, and its sequel, The Notorious Ian Grant, as well as a related story collection, Storm Chaser Shorts. He also wrote a young adult adventure, The No-Campfire Girls, and a humor collection, Slightly Off the Mark. In addition, he collaborated with his wife, Emily, on the history books Images of America: Albion and Noble County, Smoky Days and Sleepless Nights: A Century or So With The Albion Fire Department, and Hoosier Hysterical. Mark’s work also appeared in the anthologies My Funny Valentine and Strange Portals: Ink Slingers’ Fantasy/Horror Anthology. For two decades Mark R Hunter has been an emergency dispatcher for the Noble County Sheriff Department. He’s served over 32 years as a volunteer for the Albion Fire Department, holding such positions as safety officer, training officer, secretary, and public information officer. He also has done public relations writing for the Noble County Relay For Life, among other organizations, and served two terms on the Albion Town Council. When asked if he has any free time, he laughs hysterically. Mark lives in Albion, Indiana, with his wife and editor Emily, a cowardly ball python named Lucius, and a loving, scary dog named Beowulf. He has two daughters and twin grandsons, and so naturally is considering writing a children’s book.

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