Blood drive today, and I'm a big fan of anything good I can do that doesn't cost me money.
A lot of people who are eligible to give blood don't for spurious reasons: They don't think they're eligible and haven't bothered to find out; they don't think it's important ("those science geeks prolly invented some plastic blood or somethin' by now"); they are afraid it will hurt; they think it will take a lot of time; they're scared of needles and the other accouterments connected to collecting bodily life fluids.
|Not scary at all! Maybe a little.|
Anyway, while it's true that there are a lot of things that will render you ineligible, things like tattoos and piercings will not if it's been more than a year. Yes, some of these things have a statute of limitations. Here's a list from the American Red Cross.*
There is no plastic blood, pig blood, clone blood, e-blood, or anything else than can replace human blood donations. And you never know how much good will come of a good act. One Australian gentleman, James Harrison, because of his dedication to donating his blood and his rare antibody to Rhesus disease, has personally saved more than two million babies. What, you don't want to save two million babies? Selfish, I say!
As for the pain, yeah, it hurts. It's not just a pinch like they say; it's a big frigging needle. Man the hell up, pansy. And it takes less than an hour, unless there's a backup (usually because they're giving away shirts or something) or unless you volunteer for double red blood cell donation or apheresis donations.
And then you get free cookies and juice. And smiles.
* Which reminds me of an idiotic moment when I was running a blood drive at an office for which I worked. I was instructed to ask people to donate, but if they said they could not for medical reasons, I was to let it drop and never ask why. I asked a buddy of mine and she said no, she wasn't eligible, and I said, "Oh, what's wrong?" or something like that. Moron! Turned out she had just found out she was pregnant. Still, I'll be dead five years before I stop kicking myself for that.