Friday, October 12, 2007

The Infamous Syphilis Debacle

Oh you greedy blog readers...a cross country road trip, a wedding, a NEW CAR, and a bridesmaid-gone-roller-derby was not enough for you in one week...Well, all is Friday and you need something to help you through your day...

When I was a poor college student (as opposed to a poor Pastor's wife) during my very first month of school, I heard about a great little money-making venture . All you had to do was find a dingy building in Scranton, be ushered into a moderately creepy room of what looked like dentist chairs, sign a waiver that you wouldn't sue in the event of a problem, and get hooked up to a machine that sucked out your blood, spun it madly to remove the red blood cells which were then squirted back into you, leaving behind a bag of pinkish liquid which you were then paid 20 dollars for. Selling your plasma is money in the bank, Gang!

So me, being the motivated little seller that I am, made a couple of trips with various groups of people I barely knew to earn the money I needed to make the Dominoes Delivery Man arrive at my dorm with the regularity I craved.

On my last trip to the Plasma Market, however, I signed in and waited for my moderately creepy dentist chair. And then my name was called. A nurse (or someone similarly disguised as one) asked me to step into "this little room." Confused, I stepped inside with the nurse.

She then proceeded to explain that in their routine battery of tests, my plasma had tripped the test for syphilis.

I barely knew what syphilis was, but I was dead-on about how you got it. Getting a disease you barely knew about ranked pretty high on my list of reasons I had never done THAT. In that awkward moment, I felt 10 percent amused, 35 percent misunderstood, and 55 percent down-right-bummed that I wasn't going to get paid.

In the next moment, the nurse was kind enough to explain that I would need to see a doctor and get a note before I could give plasma again. Since that was long before I learned the principle that you have to spend money (ie....see a doctor) to make money, I just walked away in disgust. And also, I had the distinct impression it was incurable anyway. Why else would all those Romantic Poets have died from it? Anyway, I knew I didn't have IT and wasn't too worried about what was wrong with me since I felt fine.

The next week, two things happened: my wisdom tooth erupted into a full-blown, nasty infection and, my Grandma sent me a card with 20 dollars and the note, "Please don't sell your plasma anymore."

OK, Gram, I won't.


klasieprof said...

somehow this was a lot funnier when I heard it at group having consumed a quantity of adult beverage, thinking of the "YUNG VIRGIN NESS" being accused of HAVING the CLAPP..(or is the clapp something ELSE?"...
this just SOOO Makes me want to tell my story about the Felony Offender I supervised who "got me a case of THE VINES"...but I digress from SYPHILISSSSSSS

tammi said...

I tried to sell my plasma in college twice...the first time it took so long to sign up i got bored and left.
the second time i had the patience to sit through all the paperwork and the blood tests, but then I too was called into a room with the nurse who told me my test showed an abnormally high content for opiates.
Turns out that poppy-seed bagel i had for breakfast robbed me of my $45 plasma. dang it.

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