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.”

Comments

jfkali Nov. 24, 2009 @ 5 p.m.

Hey....Can I have the free t-shirt???? :)

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David Dodd Nov. 24, 2009 @ 5:12 p.m.

Who'd you talk to from 1360, Chris Ello?

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KarenBP Nov. 24, 2009 @ 7:14 p.m.

Sounds like a very fun day :)

Good for you to give blood. You're a real mensch.

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kjginsandiego Nov. 24, 2009 @ 8:01 p.m.

I donate blood regularly. I have an Uncle who has donated regularly all of his life. He resently had his 60th birthday. If I asked, he would probably be able to share the number of pints he's donated in his life time. I wish I kept records like that. I am sure he usually makes an appointment. I would never be able to wait an hour and a half to donate blood at a Chargers blood drive. I've had wonderful luck donating at a San Diego Blood Bank bus. The bus comes close to my home every three months or so. I've never had to wait long. I encourage anyone who has never donated to give it a try. I prefer donating blood than a number of things inluding going to the dentist.

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Josh Board Nov. 24, 2009 @ 9:30 p.m.

It's always cool to hit the blood mobile when it's in a Pat & Oscars parking lot. Then you get a good lunch with bread sticks.

No, refried. I didn't talk to anyone. Just watched them do their show. I saw Jeff D. (can't spell that crazy last name). He's an amazing talent. Always great on the air (if you can take those pipes of his).

K..the only reason I know the amount in gallons, is they send you these certificate things, and also tickets for various things, like a party at Sea World, etc.

BLOOD BANK UPDATE:

My friend calls me. Now, I had been there from 10:30 a.m. until about 3:30. I roll in, grab my dog, and we head to the park to play. Almost an hour later my friend calls and says "Why is your name on this board at the KyXy booth?" I had no clue at first, until I remember they let you fill out a card to go into that money booth. That's the glass thingy where money is swirling around and you try to grab as much as you can in 20 seconds or whatever.

The guy had told me that if I wasn't there, they'd call me on the phone. Well, they never did.

I head back over there, and they are done with it. They tell me they put it all away and I was supposed to be there by 4. I kind of argue my point, saying that I was told I would be called, because they said they understand that when you go in to donate blood, it takes a few hours.

He then tells me the previous winners only got around $18 and after we go back and forth, with him saying "How do I even know your name was on the list? I'm going to have one of my people go check the van." I said "Uh, okay. That's fine." He even called his boss asking what to do. I overhear the conversation go down like this: "But I don't even know if he won! No, he was told to be here by four, and he wasn't. No, we already took the money out of it."

The guy hangs up angirly and says "I can put money back in here and set this all up. Or...I can give you four tickets to Sea World, which is worth a lot more than you'll be able to grab. I said that was fine and I thanked him for doing that.

Oh, during that time, one of his co-workers shows up. The guy said "Did you tell this person that we'd call them?" And he denied it. I felt bad, because he was a young kid. I said, "It was just a miscommunication."

I told my friend on the phone "If I was in that phone booth thing, with dollar bills swirling around my head...all my spidey/Jew senses would kick in. I wouldn't just be stuffing money into pockets. I'd start shoving it in every oriface of my body. I would look like that dude on the cop car the other day that swallowed the hold-up note he just used in a crime."

But in hindsight, I'm glad it didn't happen. You look weird going after all that money with people laughing at you.

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Josh Board Nov. 24, 2009 @ 9:56 p.m.

Oh yeah...and they didn't have donuts. I asked what the deal was (I'm so Homer Simpson). They said "With the swine flu, we didn't want people touching other peoples donuts and stuff."

So I hate a couple Rice Krispie Treats.

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Ponzi Nov. 25, 2009 @ 5:29 a.m.

What would Rice Krispie Treats be anything different than doughnuts in avoiding the flu? They are both foods you pick up with your fingers and eat.

The Chargers blood drive can be fun once but I have not gone back. It seems geared for kids or families that drag their kids there.

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redsoxfan Nov. 25, 2009 @ 6:48 a.m.

Wow, you're a trooper for staying that long. But in a sense, it's nice to see people come out and give blood. I give blood 3 times a year, but it's nice working for a big company, even here in Belgium. The Red Cross comes out and sets up shop in our atrium. There are 6,500 people who work in 3 28 floor towers. I think they stay for a week, to try an accommodate everyone. However, I do miss the t-shirts... :-)

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Josh Board Nov. 25, 2009 @ 8:52 a.m.

I've given a few gallons to the Red Cross, but have read a few things about the organization I didn't care for, so...I stick with the Blood Bank now.

I had a typo. It was supposed to be "had" not "hate" for the Rice Krispie Treats. And, they were the ones they sell packaged, so they're all sealed up.

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Josh Board Nov. 25, 2009 @ 4:48 p.m.

KGB FM did a blood drive like that. I think it may have been around Halloween one year, can't remember exactly.

Nobody likes needles. But, it's painful for a few seconds, and you're donating for a good cause.

They send you certificates all the time, after you pass the gallon mark. I think they think, that people like framing them to brag and show off.

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RobertScorpio Nov. 25, 2009 @ 9:08 a.m.

My wife is the blood giver. I can't do it because, well, I'm a chicken s***. Indiana Jones hates snakes? I hate neddles.

Wifey has given so much blood she has some certificates for her amount, which I can't remember off the top of my head. So kudos to those who do.

I just had an idea? The best time to have done a BLOOD DRIVE would have been the opening day of TWILITE. Vampires..blood drive?? I should get PAID for these kinds of ideas.

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KarenBP Nov. 25, 2009 @ 7:43 p.m.

You shoulda gotten the money... the chance to grab some ca$h...

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Josh Board Nov. 25, 2009 @ 7:52 p.m.

Well...once I glanced in one of those things, and saw a few 20s and 10s, with LOTS of one dollar bills. But...it's not worth flailing around, to end up with a handful of dollar bills.

And who doesn't love Sea World tickets? Especially when they're such a great gift to "re-gift".

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KarenBP Nov. 26, 2009 @ 12:04 a.m.

SeaWorld... they held my HS prom there. Meh.

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Josh Board Nov. 26, 2009 @ 2:11 a.m.

Prom at Sea World sounds kinda fun.

Ours was at the Marriot in La Jolla, in a big ballroom. Which always made me wonder...why in teen movies are they always held in the school gymnasium?

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rickeysays Nov. 26, 2009 @ 2:42 a.m.

That experience with the needle sounds like torture. My arm aches just thinking about it. And who's Jill Scott?

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KarenBP Nov. 29, 2009 @ 12:58 a.m.

Yeah, why do moves show proms in the HS gym? Good question. When my next screenplay gets finished, i'm so not gonna have the prom set in the gym!

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