Give Blood

Saw a funny little episode Monday while at the blood bank donating. I was laying on the comfy chaise with a needle in my arm reading, so I didn’t have my glasses on. But I thought I recognized one of the people over in the waiting area as a Minor Local Television Celebrity who shall remain nameless. This being a small pond, Minor Celebrity and I are vaguely acquainted, but I wasn’t sure it was her in my blurry glassless vision, so I let it slide without a nod of recognition.

As I was finishing up, the blood bank person called Minor Celebrity’s name and gave her a polite “How are you this morning?” Her response. “I’m pissed. I’ve been waiting 20 minutes.”

This, gentle readers, is an opportunity missed. Giving blood is a complete pain in the ass. It can be moreso at our local blood bank, which has something of a reputation for being a bit, uh. slow. But hey, you’re doing something good for a fellow human, giving them some of your blood. That is nothing if not an opportunity to feel good about your relationship with the common weal. Don’t waste the opportunity by getting pissed off because you had to wait. Bring a book! Enjoy the commons!

I’ve mentioned this before, so I won’t go into detail about this whole blood/commons thing, except to say to the free/open software developers in the audience who are motivated by the moral aspects of making a contributions to the commons – go give blood! This is one of those systems that works best if a whole bunch of individuals each make a tiny contribution. Sound familiar?

But remember to take a book.


  1. Heh. I’d give more blood if I was allowed to. But since I slept with an ‘African’ I’m basically permanently disallowed from giving. Gave me a much better POV on how my gay friends feel about the Red Cross.

  2. Hear hear, Luis. I’m part of the permanently disbarred too, for having spent too much time in England. It’s very discouraging to be sent away and told never to come back. Guess that’s one more reason to write code.

  3. Yeah, we ran a story in the paper recently raising questions about whether, in their zeal to protect the blood supply, they were not needlessly turning away too many people and creating artificial shortage.

    But yeah, Jonathan, write more code! And Luis, do more of – well – do more of whatever it is you do! I’ll try to donate extra on y’all’s behalf.

  4. However, it is quite amusing that jrb cannot donate blood due to spending too much time in England. Due to our backwards medical policies, over here that doesn’t stop you from donating and we’re all virulently spreading our Englishness throughout the population.

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