Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Pity the child

Last week, I had intended on working.

I had been booked with an agency on a two part assignment but for some unknown reason the second part got canceled. If I were paranoid or insecure, I might leap to the conclusion that they simply were unhappy with my writing. That happens.

Sometimes people don't want to wear the sweater I am knitting.

But, I'm not sure that's the case, because this same agency is also producing a spot I wrote not that long ago.

In any case, I had some free time.

I'm not good with free time. I know my freelancing brethren love it. They see it as as opportunity to unwind at the beach. Go to a museum. Explore the wonderful underworld of Thai Lady Boys.

I see it as opening to take more potshots at Precedent Shitgibbon. Or scour the interwebs for other opportunities. And in my ceaseless scouring I came across a piece about a blood shortage at Children's Hospital.

This cuts to the quick. And I'll tell you why.

Years ago, my father was stricken with prostate cancer. That fucking cancer drained him of his enormous strength. The man was literally an ox. Two weeks before he passed he told me he had become a regular donor to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital. And added that while it was natural for a parent to go before a child, the converse was a complete violation of the universe.

He made me promise to do all I could to right that wrong.

And so last Thursday I found myself at Century City for a local Red Cross blood drive.

It had been a while and the process is quite different than the last time I let them suck the precious bodily fluids from my body. There was a two part oral exam. A written test. And a personal interview with the head nurse, who, and I'm not lying, held my driver's license in her hand and began...


"Rich Siegel" (just like it says on the card)


"XXXX Le Bourget Ave. Culver City, CA." (also just like it says on the card)


"Brown" (Is this a joke?)


"None." (Am I being punked?)

Apparently the law requires the supervising nurse to follow this arcane procedure. And so it continued with one last question.


"Excuse me?"

"Gender, you identify with?" 

Wow, I thought.

If you can sit there with a straight face and look at my Sam Elliot-worthy mustache, my fireplug-like body and my Sequioa-thick legs and mistake me for a female, who knows what you're going to do with my pint of blood?

For all I know they could have shipped it to a veterinary hospital in Pacoima.

Right now there could be a tiny Dachshund, recovering from hip surgery, with the unexpected and unpleasant characteristics of an angry pitbull, as well as an insatiable appetite for bacon and coffee.

1 comment:

Jessan Dunn Otis said...

Giving blood is being a life saver.

I've been a donor for many years. The process has changed, altered, been refined and updated. The purpose will always be the same - I'm a universal donor blood type, it's a way of volunteering in my community, it's somewhat of a mini-health check, the juice and cookies after donating are the bomb (pineapple juice and shortbread, butter cookies required), it takes a very short amount of time; and, most important ~ give so someone else can live.

For me, it's one of the easiest and essential ways of paying it forward I can imagine. In addition, especially for men (because you don't bleed on a monthly basis), it stimulates your blood, replacing the little that you've just donated to help an anonymous stranger. All good.

Finally, thanks to your Dad for motivating you to give blood. Nevertheless, indeed, pity the dachshund.

Thanks, as always, Rich.


~ Jessan