I’m under the gun with writing at the moment – no Palin, crosshair, vitriolic references intended – so I’m a bit behind in the blog department. While wondering what I could dash off in a few minutes this morning I was surfing Facebook, as per my usual routine and I noticed one of my friends had posted something about having coffee then giving blood on a particular day. Therefore, in the interest of saving time I thought I’d just re-run this particular leak for everyone. It is part 2 of 2, and can pretty much stand alone. But, as usual, feel free to click the link at the beginning so that you can go back and read part 1.
Is This Thing On?
Continued from: You Want My What?
Let’s see, now where were we?
Oh yeah… When last we left off, I had been drained of the majority of my blood by Hildegard Renfield at the behest of Vampirella, the evil Red Cross shill who had been sent to prowl through a Science Fiction convention looking for an unsuspecting author who had been working so hard that he wouldn’t be able to resist her offer of OJ and cookies. Oh, and I’d also been told to stay out of bright lights, make sure to not get myself wet, and whatever I do, definitely don’t feed myself after midnight, correct? No, wait… those are Mogwai…
Oh, oh, wait, I know… I was told not to drink any booze!
Good, then we are all on the same page.
So, there I was, booted out the back of the Blood Mobile by Vampirella’s evil henchwoman, with only an Amazing Spiderman band-aid, some stale cookie crumbs, and an eyedropper full of OJ for my trouble. And, on top of that, I was a pint low. I still say it was really more than a pint, because I caught Hildegard chanting, “Two for the boss, one for me… One for the boss, one for me… One for the boss, two for me…”
However, if that wasn’t bad enough, Chunkee – remember Chunkee? – was waiting for me at the bottom of the stairs. Unfortunately, it wasn’t because he was armed with wooden stakes as he prepared to storm the rolling exsanguination station in order to rescue me. Nope, it was because Hildegard had spent so much time bleeding me (apparently she didn’t have an adequate vacuuming system <– gratuitous Firefly reference) that we had no time to spare. He already had the ChunkMobile warmed up and sitting nearby so that we could race downtown to Union Station and have a confab with the show hosts before going on air.
So, that’s what we did. The Chunkster drove like a madman, taking out old ladies with the door, honking his horn, and generally driving on the sidewalk when necessary. And, with a bit of time to spare, we arrived. We apologized profusely for the obvious rush and disorientation we were displaying, and explained the situation. It was no problem. Terry and John were all good and understood perfectly. In fact, they even said, “Hey, we have this sponsor who dropped off a bunch of energy drinks for us. Want one?”
I shrugged. “Sure.”
So, one of them ran out and then came back with an armload of these little silver cans with red, blue and yellow logos printed on them.
Now, while this particular “energy drink” had been around in the United States for about 5 years, it hadn’t really been on my radar. To be honest, I’d never even heard of it. But, what the hell. I was game.
I looked at the can and said, “No alcohol, right? This is just an energy drink?”
I mean, after all, Hildegard told me I couldn’t have alcoholic beverages, right? She never said anything about energy drinks.
“Yep, just energy drink,” they told me. “No booze at all.”
“Okay,” I said, then popped open the can and downed it.
A few minutes later they led us into an empty studio they were using as a “green room” so that I could wait until it was my turn to be on the air. Upon depositing us there, they left an armload of the silver cans too, saying, “Here. Have some more.”
So, I did.
Now, I need to point something out to you folks. If you have read my blogs you know I’ve spent plenty of time behind a microphone. Just a couple of blogs back I talked about my days at my High School student run station. I did the college station thing too. In later years I even did guest spots on local stations to answer technical questions for callers. So, I had plenty of experience behind a microphone AND in front of crowds. Hell, this wasn’t even my first rodeo as an author being interviewed. I’d done that plenty of times as well. This was no big deal. It was old hat. I could do it in my sleep…
But, for some odd reason, I simply couldn’t sit still. I was pacing, fidgeting, and doing everything but bouncing off the walls. Actually, that’s not entirely true. There is a good possibility that I did, in fact, bounce off the walls once or twice… At any rate, Chunkee sat watching me in wide-eyed amazement for several minutes before finally asking me what was wrong.
“I dunno,” I told him.
“Are you nervous or something?” he asked.
“I don’t think so,” I replied. “I can’t imagine why I would be. It’s just a radio talk show. I’ve done more of these than I can count.”
“Yeah, I know,” he said. “So what gives?”
“I really don’t know,” I said, giving my head a shake as I paced from wall to wall 14 more times in the span of 5 seconds. “Gimme another one of those drinks.”
And, he did. And, I drank it.
Before long, Terry and John retrieved me and brought me into the studio where the magic was happening. It was reminiscent of some of my old, late-evening talk shows back in high school – the lights were off, everything was laid back and just plain cool. We did our sound checks, came in from a break, they introduced me, and BAZZINGA! It’s off to the races we went.
I was scheduled to be on for 20 minutes that evening, and I came on at the bottom of the first hour of a 3 hour show. When it was time to say farewell, they didn’t. Instead they went to a commercial break, turned to me and said, “Holy crap, you’re the liveliest guest we’ve had in months. Want to stay on for the rest of the show?”
I thought about it for a second, then looked at them and said, “Got any more of those little silver cans?”
“Oh hell yeah,” they said. “The sponsor dropped off a friggin’ truckload. Want some more?”
“Line ‘em up,” I said. “We got some dead air to fill.”
And so, the moral of this story is – Don’t listen to Hildegard Renfield. She doesn’t tell you the whole story when it comes to this exsanguination thing. Oh, and yeah, Red Bull is kinda like crack if you drink it right after giving blood…
More to come…