It was a worrisome call. My voice-mail message at work disclosed that it was Patti at the Cincinnati airport and it was about the blood donation I made there in early May. Could I call her please?
What would you think? Returning home from the Flying Pig Marathon, I had a couple of hours to kill at the airport so I followed some signs to a local blood donation center. They raised their eyebrows at my blood pressure ("Is it always this high?") but took my blood anyway. I left a pint lighter, my 75th lifetime donation (I'm a runner. I write this stuff down). I really do it for the cookies and soda you get afterwards.
If you actually read all the stuff they tell you to beforehand, it would scare you. It's bad to have gone to Africa, England, Europe, or the Channel Islands, to have been in the American military since 1980, to have decorated your body, to have had sex, to have treated baldness, to have taken drugs, or to have cavorted with certain people. (Oh no, I don't think any of them ever did any of that. Shall I call them up and ask them?)
And if you have AIDS or something, they'll not only tell you but they'll report you too. You'll never get insurance in this country again! No good deed goes unpunished!
As I listened to Patti's message, I was hoping that it was the West Nile Virus they were going to tell me I had, and not something awful like Hep C or HIV. Not that I do ever do anything fun beyond running 26 miles to be at risk for those diseases. That's plenty of fun, right?
I finally got ahold of Patti after her days off. She knew exactly who I was the instant I said my name. "Oh, yessir, I have your file right here! Do you remember giving blood earlier this month at the airport in Cincinnati?"
I swallowed hard. "Yes," I whispered.
"You won a t-shirt. Where shall we send it?"