So, I had this doctor's appointment a while back, and the doctor mentioned that they never got the results back from some blood work they had done in January. She said that she was going to have some people look into it and find out where it is. Well, on the 7th I found out that my dentist wants to see it as well, before they take out the rest of my wisdom teeth (not like the blood tests will change how that works, but oh well). Anyways, my lawyer wants it too (even though it doesn't pertain to my workman's comp case at all). I called my doctor and the nurses said that they didn't know where the paperwork was and that they hadn't seen it.
Suddenly, it became my duty to hunt for blood.....my own blood. So, I called the company that did the blood work. I was talking to them for a very long time. For over an hour, some gal was yammering to me about how sorry they were, how they didn't know what happened, and how they weren't sure where the blood or the paperwork went (they almost talked as if the word "blood" and "paperwork" were interchangeable, making it quite confusing as to which it was that they really lost). It was a bit disconcerting to say the least.
I had to make a few phone calls back and forth between doctor and laboratory in order to find out what was going on, exchange ideas, and so on....
Eventually I would be stuck talking to the gal at the lab again. She had to go, and the phone gets passed off to this very young sounding girl. This girl did close to the same thing that the other one had been doing, apologizing and such.
I wasn't mean or anything, but I was thinking to myself: Its just blood, how do you lose blood? What do you do with it? I can just imagine some stranger getting MY blood results or something...
I offered to give them more blood, but they said no, they would find it, that's "entirely unnecessary" ... They wanted the originals. By this time, I had been on the phone for well over an hour and I told them that if I just went and gave them more blood, it would probably be faster. They didn't want to. It seems that would require an explanation, and explanations might mean that somebody's in hot water for losing a couple little vials of blood.
They confused my name with someone else's at some point, figured that out, but still didn't know where my stuff was.
But this is where it gets fun. The gal I'm talking to sounds kind of young, probably fresh out of school, kind of bubbly. And she's apologizing profusely.
I mean, this isn?t like a watch that gets stuck in the couch, or a pencil you forgot that you put behind your ear. They were talking about my blood as if it were levitating somewhere between here and the land of the lost shoe (ask a three-year-old where their shoes are in an unfamiliar place where they have been removed, you?ll find out all about the land of the lost shoe).
So, by now I am getting images of the movie Rat Race, where the characters are in a race to get two million dollars and one of the characters is supposed to be transporting a human heart for delivery, and one character takes the heart out of its container and plays with it, then the heart gets dropped and eventually an animal picks it up and they try to get it back?yeah, that is what I am imagining happening to my vials of blood. I?m imagining a couple of guys driving around in a car, taking out vials of my blood, playing with them. My blood is getting sun exposure; shaken, chewed on by dogs, cats?maybe a kangaroo?someone fills a needle with Tabasco sauce and injects it into the vial, just for fun?
Meanwhile, the gal on the phone keeps apologizing as if the apologies are going to make the blood or paperwork just reappear out of nowhere. She keeps telling me that they have a computer that tells them that I came in for the tests, what kind of tests they were, and so on?but they don?t know where anything else is. For a while, they thought they had put it under my daughter?s name, but the file they found for her was from Jan. 2005, not 2006, so it couldn?t be me.
I kept hearing over the phone, ?I?m so sorry, we don?t know what happened?just give us a few minutes, thanks for waiting?we?re still looking, sorry.?
Long before this time, though, I had been finding the whole situation somewhat amusing ? just because, well, some people amuse me. So, I decide to let the person on the phone in on my perspective of the situation. I told her that God hid the vials of blood just to play a joke on her. The laboratory is supported by the local Catholic hospital, and with the religious composition of the city in which I live, it is likely whoever I am talking to is religious, and might even be Catholic. The girl just laughed a little.
They ended up thinking my blood or records, I still wasn?t sure which because of their wording, was in another city that it wasn?t supposed to have gone to. A city about a hundred plus miles away?I had a difficult time trying not to laugh. I had just asked for some test results, and had managed to turn the establishment upside-down for well over an hour.
So, it just made sense to give my perspective on the situation again. I said something like, ?Okay, I get it, you used the blood for some heathen Catholic ritual, didn?t you?? I did wonder if I would make her upset, but I figured the tone of my voice should tell her that I was kidding, ?its okay, you can tell me. I believe in the freedom to practice your religion, but why did you use MY blood? I?m not a virgin you know?? The girl just laughed and told me she?s not Catholic, she was Lutheran. Then she told me she wouldn?t tell anyone I had said that.
I told her I imagined King Henry?s friend Falstaff and Barney Fife alongside a highway somewhere playing with it. Then Hamlet arrives, picks it up?makes some comment about the power of blood and barks?
The girl I was talking to laughed, but I wasn?t sure if it was from amusement or pity. Then she told me that they thought that they had found something in this other city, but they had to verify it. So I asked her if they found my vials of blood, would they just ship it to me? ?You see, I have a new vampire fetish, and I think of it as my own erotic right?its kinda like people who want to try their own breast milk.? I know, I was intentionally being disturbing?but given the circumstances, I had a difficult time resisting. The girl on the phone just laughed at me. I suppose I?m lucky she didn?t just hang up. Instead, she said I was funny and kept apologizing about losing my blood or paperwork (still, they were using the terms pretty interchangeably).
So, for the sake of boredom, and possibly sleep deprivation, I asked her if it was a vampire fetish that led her to doing her job ? working with blood. ?Is it an admiration of the different interpretations of Macbeth and the three witches that led to this fetish?? She didn?t know who Macbeth was. I had to explain.
She gave me an update ? they were still waiting to find out if they had found my blood. Until that day, I never knew how complicated the blood industry was, I told her this and then asked how many cases a month they send to Dracula. Either she didn?t think that was funny, or she was distracted?or maybe she was disturbed. She probably thought if she ignored me, I?d go away. So I told her it would be cheaper to supply such a business if she used cats instead of people. Even though I figured she probably thought I was a Satanist by then and that I might be scaring her, she laughed ? I couldn?t tell if it was faked. I asked her if she sucked on her bleeding injuries as a child and if it had a Freudian connection to her current job. Then I had to tell her about Freud?s sexual development stages.
After that she told me that talking to me keeps her from having to do less pleasant jobs. Apparently the workers there had to share clean-up duties and keeping me an occupied customer, at least, meant that she didn?t have to. I felt used. I offered to charge her for my time, ?two pints, please?I?m sure there is some old guy around that didn?t need it.? She was laughing and said she was trying to be professional, but was having a tough time with my comments. I told her I would otherwise be bored, and needed to defuse the situation anyway. I asked her if the Pope?s hat was really related to an ancient phallic symbol ? not because I actually wondered, but because of the entertainment value. She told me she couldn?t answer because she was worried other people would hear her talking about religion on the phone, but then she told me she met a LeVayan Satanist once ? which?kind of confirmed for me that she might think I am a Satanist or something.
I asked her if she ever met an atheist, and told her I was one. She said that she had met some, and that she didn?t realize that I was one. She probably was thinking I was certainly a Satanist, and she told me that most atheists she knows are grouchy. I told her most people think that?we?re all heathens and must be unhappy, but that ?we have been reading more freethinking books like Sesame street, and found that makes for more pleasant atheist discourse.?
She didn?t believe I am an atheist. I told her about my writing, told her where to find it online ? she still didn?t believe me. I think she was waiting for a punch line. So I told her I quit eating babies and haven?t been on a march against Christmas in years, but that we?re running out of soldiers for the war against Christmas and I offered to help her join our legions. I don?t think she was sure of how to take that.
I asked her if she liked Danish cartoons ? she didn?t know what I was talking about. I told her to read the bible, its close enough. She said, ?what?? I told her about the Danish cartoons. After that she thought my comments were funny.
Still, nobody knew where my blood was?I told her I was glad it wasn?t in Denmark, I?d probably get burned at the stake. At this point, the whole fiasco was getting rather impressive. It was past time for the laboratory to close ? I had two establishments in two cities working overtime just to find my blood.
The girl on the phone told me about some fundamentalist uncle she had that read the bible over dinner every day. I asked her if he believed every word, she said, ?yeah.? I told her to look up Ezekiel 23:20 when she gets home, because that is my favorite scripture. I also suggested checking out Judah and Tamar. She knew the story of Judah and Tamar, and said Tamar was a slut. I asked her if slut?s babies always get blessed. She seemed confused. By this time, I was getting a bit bored, and didn?t really want the poor girl to get into trouble, so I tried to steer the conversation away. I had considered asking her if she thought Hagar was raped, but refrained for the time being and thought biblical women?s rights lessons would have to wait.
However, the girl I was talking to said she had never thought of the bible in the way I was talking about it. I assumed it was open for discussion, so I launched into a parody of Hagar, Sarai, and Abram. Abram?s character was depicted as being something like Al Bundy, Sarai being like Zsa Zsa Gabor, and Hagar being something like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz.
The girl kept saying, ?that?s interesting,? and laughing on occasion.
There was still no word on what happened to my blood.
It didn?t seem to be the case that this girl had really read the bible all the way through, I asked her if she thought that all the stories in the bible had some special meaning. She said, ?no, not these, that?s silly.? I agreed. She kept saying, ?I never thought about it.? I said, ?neither has Bush.? I know, a low blow, but she didn?t get it anyway. This girl decided she was going to look up everything I said when she got home?but I had a difficult time trying not to laugh, because she needed me to repeat things, but didn?t want her co-workers to know what she was talking about. So, she kept pretending that she was talking about something else as she was asking me about things I had already said, ?so, when your uncle slept with his daughter in law??
She took notes, and we talked a little, but there was still no word on my blood, so I asked her if she knew anything about Druid blood writing ? which was pretty much something I just made up to throw her off, then I offered to let her join my cult?by that time she knew I was kidding and just laughed. She had to go home, she told me the conversation was ?interesting?, and I was instructed to call the next day, because they still hadn?t found my blood work.
By that time, I had been talking to people on the phone for the purpose of finding my blood (or paperwork) for two and a half hours, and two places had workers going overtime for forty minutes just trying to find it. When I hung up, I was still picturing Shakespearian and early cable TV characters performing weird acts with it on the side of the road?