Thursday, March 18, 2010

I, Contact

This week is filled with activity, but not much excitement. On Tuesday we held the first of our two semi-annual blood drives at the Church, for the which I have some guiding responsibility. I was hoping for some sort of episode on which I could train my verbal cannon and fill up another posting by regaling my readers with another series of events bordering on the macabre. No joy! It was as sedate and as sober an event as anyone could possibly want. The workers from the Red Cross were efficient and effective. Nobody fainted (as far as I could tell). There were no blood arcing contests by any of the participants. I had plenty of helpers, so much so that I had very little to do. I sat in the same chair from 1:00 until 8:30 reading and writing, making small talk from time to time; all in all, I was bored out of my mind.

I tried to make things happen, in order to have a little excitement. When I saw that the snacks were lacking, complaining bitterly that there were no Lorna Doones or bottles of root beer, the captains of industry immediately ran out to the store and supplied the unnecessary…. for me…. and no one else. What I had intended to be a joke was taken seriously, attended to by a gravity of spirit so overwhelming that I felt embarrassed that I had even mentioned the things. I did drink all of the root beer and munched the Lorna Doones…. I wasn’t all that broken up about it.

No one was interested in my Hemochromatosis Tales. I suppose that I have become a marked man. As soon as I mentioned anything about Iron Over-loading, my correspondents found other things with which to entertain themselves. For the rest of the night I received furtive glances from various parts of the room. “No-Eye-Contact-With-That-Guy” seemed to be the policy. I have been trying to figure out if the response was the result of their embarrassment in the fact that they are unable to take my blood, even though there is nothing wrong with it, or whether it is simply the fact that I have become a fatuous old man that everyone wants to avoid. Hard to tell….

I filled out my little report of the event and shipped it off to the interested parties yesterday. I am done with this for another six months. I had hoped to have three months worth of stuff to write about, but I am going to have to sink a sarcasm-well elsewhere.

Friday there is to be a related activity. The Scout Committee (of which I am the Chair) decided that the boys needed to have a fund-raiser. The last one was in July when we spent hours slaving over Coleman stoves making breakfast in the park for about 150 people. We cleared 37 cents…… Actually it was more than that, but I hurt so badly afterwards that it would have required a profit of more than $357,000.00 for me to have felt some satisfaction. Friday night we are holding a tri-tip dinner to which the same parsimonious crowd is coming. Everyone likes my tri-tip steaks, so I am certain that we will fill the cultural hall of the Church.

Now this is really an untimely event. I am on the cusp of an iron-reducing moment in my life. I had a phlebotomy in January and in February, and I am planning another one next Monday, so that by my sister’s birthday on the 2nd of April I can announce that my ferritin count is below 100 points. Between me and that goal is eighty pounds of tri-tip steak that I will be grilling on Friday. I usually do not sit down to eat at these kinds of events, in part because I want to make certain that everyone else is content before I partake. The other reason for not sitting down with everyone else is that I generally find myself sampling the cooking along the way in order to make sure that it is coming out right, and I end up being really not all that hungry. I wonder if there is iron in the smoke of grilling meat. If there is, I am in serious trouble.

As an aside… I went to Costco last week to check on the availability of the steaks. I spoke with one of the butchers. He indicated that that they should have several cases available on any given day so there wouldn’t be any problem. He said that it would get more difficult to supply tri-tips as the grilling season progressed because it was such a popular cut of meat. Then he volunteered a very interesting piece of information.

“You know, Zaphod, before 2002 we could not give tri-tip roasts and steaks away. Nobody knew anything about them. I wonder what happened?”

I smiled and replied, “I moved here from Albuquerque”.


“I moved here from Albuquerque in 2000. It took a couple of years, but my culinary counsel has caught on here in Utah Valley. Tri-tip steak is the best grilling meat on the planet and I single-handedly brought it into fashion”.



“No!” he said again, and then walked away looking over his shoulder furtively and would not make eye-contact with me thereafter.

I think I have become annoying on several topics.

Well, all of this preoccupation about my iron levels is undoubtedly going to raise my blood pressure, the blood drive and the dinner are going to wear me out, so that on Monday when I appear at the Infusion Center, I will probably end up hosing down the entire facility with my B+ personality. Once they try to tap into the mother-load, I’ll probably not be able to make eye-contact with them either.