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The Fisher of Stories


Well, I’m Unbreakable. I’m Superman.

This was a big hit at school. For both of us.

I know we’ve all been over this before, and I know I’ve written countless stories about what it would be like to be a super-hero, but this time I’m actually convinced.

Here’s my evidence:

A. I recently got hired on at the newspaper I’ve been freelancing at.
B. My blood has become impervious to needles.

My proof for exhibit A can be shown with a picture:

Staff Writer, witches!

My proof for exhibit B will take a story…
Those of you who are avid readers of this blog will probably remember that I’ve never had a “normal” experience giving blood. For example, this tragedy happened earlier last year.
Those photos are the result of a young woman pulling a little too hard on the tube that feeds the blood into the bag, thus liberating the liquid Travis to a quite untenable home on the floor, and more unfortunately, my (at the time) brand new shoes.
Fortunately, someone in the BloodMobile had their head on straight, and doused them down with hydrogen peroxide, which later allowed the blood to wash right off, and left me with nothing but the memories.
The next time I gave blood, I talked with the nurses about “50 Shades of Grey,” and left quite a large puddle of butt sweat on the donation table. (Go ahead. Click those highlighted words if you haven’t read it before)
Which brings us to my most current decision to rent out “essence of Travis.”
I saw some signs around NSU (the university I attend) the other day for a blood drive. A couple of days previous to that, I had gotten a phone call from the Oklahoma Blood Institute about coming in and donating again because they had a drive in my area. I told them sure, I’d get around to it, and then never did. So I felt the guilt when I saw the sign.
I went in and got registered and, of course, bombarded social media with it, because I know those of you on Twitter and Facebook obvs care about every second of my life and want desperately to know what’s going on at all times.

Until it’s a man, then it gets real weird.


No one ever answered me, is he seriously still alive?

Then, a gentleman started the blood giving foreplay, which entailed feeling up my arm like it was a reluctant but well-meaning prom date, then tapping it with the blunt end of an iodine swab, then rubbing it voraciously with said swab until my skin shone like the oily skin of the aforementioned prom date.
Finally, he stood, poised at the brink, with the needle tip aimed at the crook of my elbow.
Now, I don’t know if he just “guessed” where my vein would be, or if he employed some sort of methodology learned in school. I also realize that my veins are coated in a thick layer of sub-cutaneous fat, and they don’t like to give up the good stuff easily. Maybe if he’d have spent a little more time on the foreplay, they’d have been more receptive.
He missed the vein.
Not to be discouraged with the attempt, he happily poked around the inside of my arm for a solid minute, at last uttering something that sounded an awful lot like a “Hail Mary.”
Oh how I longed for Expert Vein Sticker, mentioned in that story I told you to read a minute ago.
Finally, he called a friend over.
She, to be perfectly blunt, took a stab at it.
She failed.
Finally, someone walked over that looked very familiar.
Our reunion was as follows.
Me: “You look really familiar.” EVS: “You do too…”Me: “Were you at FBC Okay that one time?” EVS: “You’re 50 Shades of Grey guy!”
With the salutations out of the way, she attempted to get the flow of blood going. She succeeded, prompting this exultant tweet.

When I stand before the Throne, and Jesus asks me why he should let me in, I will say, “I AM A BLOOD DONOR!”

Then, to my surprise, something happened.
Actually, lots of things happened at once.
For one, the machine I was hooked up to started beeping like the heart rate monitor of a man who has just found the Victoria’s Secret catalogue mixed in with the hospital reading materials.
Then, everyone rushed to my side, providing me with a Kleenex box to elevate my arm, and a new way of squeezing the little thing they give you to squeeze.
EVS came over, and she tried like all get out to get the flow of blood started again, but all was lost…
I had clotted.

In all seriousness, I expected that tweet to go viral. Nothing. Not even a favorite.

Apparently, my blood contains such awesomeness, that when I am pricked, I immediately clot. They gave me a t-shirt and sent me on my merry way, leaving me with nothing but the bruises to show for it, and I’m pretty sure they’re going to have to replace that poor blood sucking machine. I do hope they use what little they collected for some sort of analysis though, particularly after a conversation with my mother.

Me: *regales with story you just read*
Mom: “Travis, that sounds bad.”
Me: “Well, bad for them.”
Mom: “If your blood is doing that coming out of your body, what do you think it’s doing inside your body?

imageimageimageimageSo there’s my evidence. That’s why I believe I’m Unbreakable. That’s why I believe I’m Superman.
Now someone get me some paint cans and bench press, I need to try something.
Memoir Monday is where I take a look back through the old memory banks and extract a story, then feel it’s important enough to have its own special place on the blog. I used to have a fancy button, and a place where everyone could link up, but all of that is gone now. If you have your own story you wish to link up with mine, let me know! 

There was a time when The Missus and I were young and dumb. A time when we circled our wagons of love around the idea of eternal matrimony, but were too young to do anything about it, and too angry with each other the rest of the time. Little did we know, it was our “heyday.”
During this time, we owned a couple of spectacular cars.
Hers, a dark blue, 140 horsepower, V-6 Chevrolet Corsica, circa 1992.

There’s a story that involves the backseat of this car and a wooden bridge in Kentucky, but I digress.

In my corner — and mentioned in such blogs as the one where I let my baby brother drive my car, and also the second time I got slapped, along with stories such as anytime it snowed I did something dumb — a 1997 Ford Escort with a 2.0 liter, 4 cylinder powerplant that cranked out 110 horses, as well as a paint job I liked to call “Silver Surfer.”

There are no backseat stories in this car. A couple of front seat ones though…

Obviously, we both had dads that cared about our safety, as well as not wanting their insurance premiums to go up because of teenage stupidity.
Obviously, we were going to be stupid anyway.
The first day I got my car I tried to see how fast it would go. I got to 100, got scared and braked, but eventually capped it out at 110.
Enough about the cars though. Lets get back to the night The Missus and I had our first race, and the night I performed a movie-esque getaway.
We were both driving home from something, I can’t remember what, when we both started accelerating pretty fast. It was plain to see what was going to happen next: we were going to push those poor little cars to the absolute limits of their paltry performance.
The Missus gunned it.
To be fair, although she “won,” I think it had more to do with her cars engine being bigger than mine, and nothing at all to do with her driving ability, which pales like a Democrat faced with an assault rifle in comparison with my own driving ability.
I put my foot on the pedal of that poor little Escort, and gave it all she had.
What happened next was just an unfortunate turn of events for all involved.
The speed limit on the road we were on was 45 MPH. The speed we had reached when we got to the surprise was about 85 MPH and climbing. All of the sudden, around the corner ahead, we see it.
The Jacket. The Fuzz. Five-Oh. The Blue Steel. The Coppahs. The Donut Squad. The Heat. The Brass. Johnny Law.
A solitary police car on a routine patrol, definitely not expecting two cars rounding on him at twice the legal speed limit.
I’ve taken the liberty of drawing out the scenario.

The blue = The Missus. Silver = Me. Red = The doomed policeman.

The large green circle is obviously where The Missus decided to challenge me to what would ultimately be my finest driving moment ever. The yellow sun looking thing is exactly what you think it might be: a convenience store named Sun-Up, or as I took to calling it, “The Promised Land.”
I still maintain the only thing that saved our bacon (heh, cops) was the fact that we had cars behind us which prevented the cop from making his turnaround in an efficient manner.
We both saw him though, and we both had different reactions.
The Missus floored it. She laid into that car like it owed her lunch money. I’m almost positive I heard the RPMs turn 9000 as she roared off to the spot on the map marked “Freedom.”
I, on the other hand, turned crafty.
I waited till I got the rest of the way around the curve, braked, and coasted up into the previous mentioned convenience store, where I immediately unbuckled, jumped out, popped my gas cap off and shoved the nozzle of the fuel pump into my car not unlike the first time…well, never mind.
Then I watched as the unsuspecting policeman roared down the road, lights blazing, siren wailing, driving like mad to catch the two crazy teenagers driving like banshees on his watch.
For a moment, my chivalrous upbringing yelled at me in the voice of my now-passed father.
Thus began my careful and methodical destruction of my chivalrous upbringing, which, now that I think about it, might have actually started when I took her to Arby’s on our first date…and asked her to pay.
All tension was allayed though when the cop made the turn shown on the map, figuring it was the only place two cars who suddenly disappeared into the dark could have gone.

I’ve asked The Missus to contribute this morning in the form of a text message.

Seriously, y’all don’t tell her about this.

And thus was the day we became unbreakable partners in both love…and crime.
Until that next prom.