Garrett Harris 12:36 a.m., June 19
The Blood Blog -- The Chargers Blood Drive
I told myself I’d never go to the Chargers Blood Drive again. The few times I had done it previously, the crowd was too much to deal with.
But I had a few friends going, so I thought I’d give it another go.
I parked in Fashion Valley and had a bit of a walk over.
One woman I heard near the front door said it best.
“These lines aren’t that bad. Compared to the Antiques Roadshow. I was there twice, and it took forever.”
The people working in the lines were all friendly. Well, aside from the woman that asked for my ID and made no conversation whatsoever.
I had to wait an hour and half, just for that whole procedure to start. My friend was smart. He made an appointment.
During the wait, I decided to go in and grab some free grub. Rubio’s had fish tacos, which I don’t care for. So, I went with the chips and salsa. A girl asked me to spin the wheel for a prize. I didn’t want to. There’s only so many T-shirts a man can have. But I did, and as the wheel spun around, I finally knew the thrill those folks on game shows get to experience. I glanced at the prize list: free meals and things like that. Mine landed on “mystery prize.” Hey, this could be fun.
The gal handed me a small notepad with the Rubio’s logo.
At the KGB booth, they asked me a series of questions to see if I was a real listener. When I named all their DJs, I had the option between a few DVDs. I instead opted for a Star Trek keychain that had the Enterprise on it. I figured I could give it to my “little brother” next time I see him.
I walked by a man that had his cap filled with signatures. He was showing his friend, and when that friend asked who certain players were, the response was, “Uh…I don’t know. I can’t read them.”
The problem autograph collectors have. Although, I find it’s easy to avoid that by not asking a 2nd string player you’ve never heard of, to sign a hat. Especially when it looks like you had to wait an hour for those signatures.
I figured if any of the really big name Chargers show up, the lines would get even crazier. If cornerback Antonio Cromartie showed up, I was thinking I’d go buy a champagne bottle and ask him to autograph that.
If you hadn't heard, there’s a police report that he threw a bottle and hit someone in the head at a bar in PB. Some coach or smart GM should really tell their players that if they are in bars during the season, they’re fined $100,000. If they get into a fight, it’s $250,000 (whether it’s their fault or not). These guys just can’t seem to control themselves.
I saw some Blood Bank employees enjoying the free food. They’re probably just glad they can get off their ‘donut diet’ for a day.
I went to Pat & Oscar’s booth. I passed on the chicken, but grabbed a few bread sticks (which never taste as good as they do in the restaurant).
As usual, Rolf Bernischke was walking around and being as friendly (and educational) as ever. A man with a Dan Fouts jersey asked for his autograph and he said “I love your jersey.”
I then wondered if anyone ever wore a Bernischke jersey. Maybe they can’t fit all those letters on the back. For some reason, the kickers don’t seem to get any love from the fans. I’m guessing their jerseys are the worst selling.
When I finally got in to donate blood, another big set of lines. It took about two hours to even get to the point where the needle was in me.
Luckily, I was next to a Vietnam Vet that had some interesting stories.
The one guy running our line wasn’t paying attention, which made things take longer. We had to keep telling the person at the front of the line, that a cot was ready for them.
The woman that was drawing my blood, looked like Jill Scott. She was super sweet, but seemed to act like it was her first day. She put the needle in. Then she took it out, and put it in again. This time she said “I don’t know what’s happening.” I was in pain but joked “Am I not bleeding?” She then called another nurse over to help out. And they messed around with the needle a bit more. I finally said “What is going on?” They finally fixed the problem, but my arm was a bit sore at that point. And, you can’t get too mad. These women probably aren’t making much money. But still, it was annoying.
After more than four hours of waiting, I went back into the entertainment room to check things out and look for my friends.
I stopped and listened to a sports DJ I like on 1360. It was funny watching these two women, both with bells attached to their outfits (one a clown, not sure about the other). I don’t think they realized that broadcast live, means you should keep the surrounding noise down a bit.
I helped an older guy get his stand-up bass out the door. He thanked me. And I thanked him for coming out and entertaining everyone. I added, “But this is what you get for playing such a big instrument. You have to roll it around everywhere.” He smiled and said, “I bought this thing used in 1942, and I’m still using it.”