Iron Man 3, that’s me: At the Red Cross, giving blood

Here I am trying to look casual while I do something that used to terrify me. See the snacks on the table in the background? They're free, to donors.

There’s always a bit of suspense for me when I go to give blood. My otherwise stunningly magnificent body has a problem storing iron, and you have to have a certain iron level to give double red cells (higher than the requirement for whole blood), and once or twice my levels haven’t been up to snuff. So I toss back iron pills daily, especially when I’ve got a date to donate coming up.

But today, I blew the socks off that iron-measuring device. Or would have, had it been wearing socks. I had to have a score of 13.3, and my blood hit 15.5. Yeah, baby! That’s what I’m talking ’bout! Just call me Iron Man 3. Somebody call Jon Favreau; I’m ready for my close-up.

As always, this experience fills me with cocky self-righteousness, seeing as how I used to be so terrified to give (I once described it as my “Room 101” in a column). So I tend to show off. Just before this picture was taken, I Tweeted this with my left hand:

I’m @ Red Cross, typing w/ left hand while I give blood. Double red cells. Feeling self-righteous: You should be here, too, you know. #adco

Then, I asked the tech to take my picture. I’m just insufferable when filled with the idea that I’m bravely doing the right thing.

More people should feel this way. Especially in the Midlands, where we have a constant challenge meeting the demand for blood, and have to import it.

You, too, can be an insufferably smug, self-promoting prig. Give blood.

5 thoughts on “Iron Man 3, that’s me: At the Red Cross, giving blood

  1. Kathryn Fenner (D- SC)

    Yeah, but can your stunningly magnificent body actually eat those snacks without going into anaphylaxis?

    What you need, young man, is beef! It’s what’s for dinner!

    Thanks on behalf of all of us who (wrongly) are forbidden to donate!

  2. Brad

    Methinks that is a leading question… yes, I had beef in England. And mutton (does lamb count as mutton?). And bacon, and bangers, and maybe a bit of gammon. And quite a few pints of bitter, ale and maybe a lager or two. And stout, at least once.

    But since 1996, it’s been OK to eat beef in England. The rule is, if you lived a total of 3 months or more in the U.K. between 1980 and 1996, you can’t give blood.

  3. Brad

    Best two meals in England — at a semi-posh Indian place near our hotel at Swiss Cottage, and then at an Italian place in Oxford.

    At the Indian place I had the HANDI GOSHT DUM BIRIYIANI, which must be a unique specialty of the house, because if you google that, you only get that restaurant. (I think that’s because they spell it differently.)

    At the Italian place in Oxford, things were very slow, and they practically chased us down the street when it looked like we were going to pass by without stopping. Gave us a discount and everything. I ordered a salmon dish, and then they had to apologize that — things being so slow (students were still on holiday), the fish man hadn’t delivered salmon that day. So they offered to substitute sea bass.

    At this point — and I hope you’ll be proud of me, I successfully resisted the urge to say, “Sea bass? Right…” to which I would have hoped they would say, “They are MUTATED sea bass,” to which I would have said, “Are they ill-tempered?” and so on…

    Anyway, the sea bass had been filleted, then thin slices of a whole lemon had been laid between the two filleted halves before it was put back together and baked that way. There were also green beans, but the best part of the dish was a serving of lentils cooked with spinach and little bits of ham. Or gammon. No, actually, it was pancetta. The fish, I just remembered, was wrapped in Parma ham. It was delicious. Here’s the menu. It was the Salmone con Lenticchie. Only with sea bass.

    It was great.

  4. Nick Nielsen

    Actually, Brad, the rule is, if you lived a total of 3 months or more in Europe between 1980 and 1996, you can’t give blood. I spent 8 years there during that time period.

    They won’t even talk to me…


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