Two days ago, Finn sent out an email in an attempt to commission us to give blood for his scholarship drive. He cited his apparent vampirism as the reason that we should come out and allow ourselves to be stabbed in the arm with a thick needle. (“I’ve got a hankerin that only your blood will satisfy.”)
A few hours later, I was sitting across from his youth pastor, having a casual conversation about the fact that Finn’s roommate has all but been confirmed to be a panda serial killer. (What does that mean? Would it be a panda that killed people, a person that killed pandas, or a panda that killed pandas? I guess Finn’ll find out.)
It was after drinking a small can of apple juice and eating a fudge bar that Finn insisted I needed (wink-wink–well, it was free), already having overcome the slight dizziness that came with having a pint of blood removed, that antics began.
It started with being told a story that I could have gone my whole life without hearing, and steadily progressed until Eric was showing us pictures of pandas and other cute animals making rude gestures. Finn also managed to make the same rude gesture in a picture that Kitty ended up sending to a friend of hers. The whole time, I found myself shouting, half laughing, half crying, “We’re in a church, you guys! Respect pls pls pls…”
Our friend, Kitty, who is the original vegan of our group, showed up and attempted to give blood, but got turned down, not because of an iron deficiency, but because she recently took a cruise to Mexico. Finn gave her an “I Make a Difference” sticker; he had written with a Sharpie over the blank spot for a name, “Mexico wouldn’t let me.”
We decided that we needed to call Sherly in an attempt to get her up at the church. Although she (understandably, and wisely) was told she couldn’t come, we talked with her over the speaker of my cell phone for an unnecessarily long time.
During the call, Finn and I discovered how completely enthralling the concept of apple juice in a can was. Mesmerized, we took a picture of ourselves with the can and sent it to her. (We put the phone in the picture too, because phone-ception!)
Somewhere along the way, after Kitty left and Sherly patiently told us she had to get off of the phone, Finn counted up the number of people who had successfully given blood and decided we needed to take action. (Note: For Finn to be eligible for the scholarship, he had to have 25 people donate–at this point he had had 19.) With permission from the pastor (sort of), we raided the church’s costume closet.
Finn put me in the donkey costume. Our friend Marty, who gave red blood cells instead of whole blood (which involved being hooked up to a cool machine and sitting for an hour), was a Roman warrior. Eric, as recompense for distasteful (and somewhat hilarious) jokes made earlier and an unwillingness to dress up, was forced to be a mustard bottle. A sort of dented mustard bottle. Waving American flags.
We gathered signs, put the finishing touches on our costumes, and insisted that we would not exploit Jesus to get people to give blood (although Finn thought someone wearing a Jesus costume would be effective). Finn marched us down the hall and unveiled us to the world.
We were shown to our posts (me to a solitary spot on one side of the road, facing the quickly-moving traffic, and Marty and Eric to the other side, facing the slow-moving traffic–did I mention it was five o’clock?), told to bring ’em in, and then left to fend for ourselves.
The heat was a bit… uncomfortable. Especially in a thick donkey suit. One man driving by rolled down his window and asked, “Have you no shame?”
We quickly, and honestly, replied, “No, not really.”
Finn showed up again with two young girls, Pinky Hooper (Finn and Eric’s younger sister) and her friend. One was in a ketchup bottle costume that complemented Eric’s, and the other was a fairy.
The two girls were stationed facing the slow traffic, meaning that Marty (and eventually Eric) came to join me. A girl who was coming for the fellowship dinner pulled her car up into the grass and blasted music for us to dance to.
Eric jokingly shouted contradictions just to be… well, contrary. Marty danced the only way he knew how–seductively. I awkwardly shuffled about and waved.
It wasn’t until Gangnam Style came on, when Finn had returned with a, “Gee, I sure feel like saving lives today,” sign of his own creation, that I started to feel dizzy.
The younger girls and I went inside, and I was promptly ushered into a chair and given water by a woman working the blood drive. The rest of the advertising committee soon followed.
Activity lulled as the last stragglers trickled in. The girl who had let us borrow her car told us about her college/carrer plans, and we fist-bumped in agreement when we discovered that we both write our passwords in foreign languages. Finn gave blood, since he had been put off until the end of the day. Churchgoers got free ice cream, I tried to call my parents, who were at our church and, thus, not answering, and mini bundt cakes were distributed.
Around evening, after I had confirmed that my family was sending someone to come get me, I wandered outside and watched as Finn borrowed carts that were sitting in front of the Red Cross truck and surfed them across the parking lot. A few almost-collisions with a dumpster aside, nobody was harmed.
Not a bad day, all in all.
Antics summary number 1, otherwise to be interpreted as the moral of the story: If you see teenagers dancing on the side of the road in costume in order to advertise a blood drive, stop, because there will undoubtedly be amusing misadventures to take part in (or at least observe).
After all, as impulsive, slightly insane teenagers,
We (apparently) do what we want.