by Kaya Styn

"Hi.. you must be here to give blood!" the overly eager and sanitized

volunteer seemed to taunt.

"uh..well yes..um.. first I need to see a set of rules for eligibility...

you know... do's and don'ts or something.. uh.." I replied, which roughly

translates to, "Hi I'm a stuttering intravenous-drug-using

unsafe-anal-sex-practicing prostitute from rural Morocco...can I give you

my tainted blood?" The reasoning behind my weary behavior was the talk I

had with friends minutes ago in the cafeteria. Do marijuana users have

acceptable blood for donating, (Drug users!?..Well.. then what the fuck

were they doing at a college campus?) and was I exempt because of

traveling to a few third world countries (potential malaria problems) in

the last year?

As I walked through the facilities all eyes seem to pierce me with stares

that screamed, "STONER, STONER!" (a paranoid feeling that any marijuana

user can relate to). I answered twenty or so questions about my travelling

through Egypt and Morocco and my sexual practices (Have you had any

homosexual relations since 1977? "Since 1977? Oh no, not since '77. But let

me just say that '76 was a good year."). Finally, the pressure inside me

burst. I grabbed the nurse and like a blubbering child I pleaded with tears

in my eyes, "I...I... I've used marijuana in the past... I'm sorry... I

didn't mean to hurt anyone!"

She slowly pulled away from me -- not realizing

that I just needed to be held-- and told me it only mattered for donating

blood if I had used marijuana in the last 24 hours. In fact, she didn't

even let me answer to whether or not I had smoked in the last 24 hours (I

hadn't) as if to say my use of the word "past" implied her last usage

during the Carter Administration.


Anyway, I passed the tests and danced blissfully --slightly gloating in my

health -- over to the area where they would somehow harmlessly rob me of a

pint of the fluid that I was always taught to keep inside my body. After

the blood stealing process was over they gave me a choice of what color

gauze I wanted them to dress the newly afflicted wound with (apparently its

O.K. to stab someone if you give them a fashionable bandage). Blue gauze,

purple gauze, yellow gauze, green gauze, or red gauze. RED?!... RED?!...

How do you know if something goes wrong?! (for the record, I cautiously

chose blue, hey... why invite trouble?)

Then I entered some sort of parallel dimension which was apparently run by

kindergartners. After giving blood it is the LAW to sit down for at least

fifteen minutes to eat cookies and drink juice with friends. You heard me,

I was legally NOT ALLOWED to leave until I drank at least two glasses of

juice. What if I broke this federal law and tried to leave the "cookie bar"

before the predetermined time? Would they make me take a nap? Take away my

coloring book privileges? Pin a note on my shirt to give to my mom? Anyway,

I adhered to probably the coolest law in existence and skipped outside

proud, confident, and a little bit dizzy.

Prehensile Tales chucks more wood than a woodchuck

Copyright © 1997 Prehensile Tales.

d e s i g n by h a l c y o n