jeudi 22 janvier 2009

Sanguis non Grato

Now that Maki has commented on the national chauvinism of health care providers as well as my (supposedly) unfortunate genetics, I’ll add a little story of my own. About the genetics, I’ll say that the downside of being a mutt is that there’s a greater chance of being related to races with ghastly genetic disorders, but the upside is that you can always find some distant kin to vouch for the quality of your stock (or at least the small part of it they share with you).

Anyway, back in 2007, before we made our big move, I was approached by some bloodmobile touts outside the Coral Gables DMV. Feeling especially civic minded that day, I decided to heed their pleas for a blood donation. I walked into the bloodmobile expecting to blush at awkward questions about my sexual habits, but that part was pretty straightforward. Instead, the interrogators began to focus on my travel history: had I recently visited any tropical third-world places, had I ever been to Africa and, most importantly, had I lived in Europe for a total of more than five years? See, if you’ve been in the Olde Worlde for more than 5 years they’re afraid you’ll have CJD (aka Mad Cow Disease). Not a problem if you’ve only got 4 ½ years of Euro-ness, apparently. Alas, the Florida blood bank is too good to take deposits of my tainted blood.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago, when I received a letter from my local blood bank here in London asking for donations. They’re not very proactive here. Instead of sending the bloodmobile close to where I am, they set up times at their local offices in my neighborhood: all during working hours, of course. Never mind. I’m not so civic minded that I’m going to take a day off work to donate blood. More amusing, however, was a small disclaimer at the bottom of the letter saying that they cannot accept blood donations from people who have visited North America within the last three months due to, get this, the high risk of West Nile virus. There’s a way to get your own back. “So you don’t want our CJD? Well, we don’t want YOUR West Nile virus, so THERE!! Nyah, nyah!”

Meanwhile, my poor, nomadic, bastardized blood is like the ugly girl at the dance. Nobody wants it. Not that I’m bitter or anything.

I’ve decided I’m going to have fun with it. Next time anyone in the US solicits my blood, I’m going to give them my crazy look and start mooing. If anybody does it in Europe, I'll start...I dunno...walking like an Egyptian (a West Egyptian, of course). By the way, is da West Nile not just a river in west Egypt? Just wondering. Do people in the East Nile have a virus? Enquiring minds want to know...

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