SUPERPICKS: Columnist lets long-time secret slip

Hollan Holm

I have this burden that has been weighing on me for some time. You see I have a secret that only a select few know.

I hide behind a veil of super masculinity. In the columns I write about basketball games and arm-wrestling, it’s all just a show. I’ve known the truth since I was old enough to know what masculinity is.

The truth is: I’m squeamish about blood … very squeamish.

It probably began when I was old enough to understand what vampires are and that I didn’t want to have blood sucked from my neck. To prevent this I slept with my covers wrapped over my head with just enough space left for my mouth to breathe. On especially scary nights, I would lay my Ghostbusters’ Proton Pack at my feet, ready for action.

This fear of blood being drawn from my body didn’t die with middle school, high school or even college. Over the break while dining with my parents, we discussed hemorrhages and other internal bleeding. I felt warmth in my face and I almost passed out right at the table.

With all this in mind, I decided to share my wealth of blood in last week’s blood drive. After all I’d get a free t-shirt out of it.

But unfortunately for me it’s not as simple as being afraid of blood. I’m also afraid of passing out. The last time I gave blood nothing happened to me, but that was high school.

I would have been less worried if I could have just given blood and left. Instead I waited three hours.

The three-hour wait surprised me. (After all, who would have thought undergraduates would be so eager to share bodily fluids?) But I needed to conquer my fears of blood and passing out, and it was laundry week so I needed all the free, clean clothing I could get.

While waiting three hours in line at Garrett Ballroom for my blood-letting, I had ample time to consider and see examples of what would happen to me if I did faint. The complicated process usually culminated in a loss of consciousness, followed by elevated legs and cold packs on the head and neck.

I didn’t want to make a spectacle of myself like the frat guys and sorority girls fainting ahead of me in line. Staying on my feet was a must.

Since I hadn’t had lunch and I figured low blood sugar could only raise my odds of passing out, I went down to the Garrett Food Court and bought one banana, one extra-large brownie and two half-pint cartons of milk. (Apparently, the food services powers-that-be think I can’t do math, because the one-pint bottle costs nine cents more than buying two half-pint cartons. Shady, BEGITALreal shadyENDITAL, Aramark.)

I was kicking around on a pretty good sugar buzz by the time they called my number, 143, to come up and take my squirt at the blood bag.

I tried to play it tough when the technician pricked my finger to test my blood. But she surely could tell from the Oral Roberts University t-shirt I wore that I wasn’t. There’s just something about wearing the apparel of televangelists who lie about God’s will that doesn’t instill much confidence in those around you.

Luckily I made it to my lawn chair without passing out from the bone marrow transplant story the technician told me.

When it came down to the blood extraction it wasn’t that bad at all. My nurse, BJ, entertained all the pale-faced donators as she tried to pronounce the phrase “heart on,” without letting her “t” and “d” blurring Southern Kentucky accent make it sound kinky.

In the end I didn’t pass out at all. In fact just the opposite happened; I got trippy.

I talked for an entire half of a Western basketball game. I got so hyper trying to plan events for every weekend for the rest of the semester that my girlfriend insisted she check up on me so I didn’t hurt others, or myself, in the dorm. Someone in my building even filed a noise complaint against me.

I think I even used the phrase, “I’ve got to plan, plan, PLAN!”

Don’t ask me about it though. I’ll deny it and disown anyone who corroborates it.

Picks O’ the Week

•Head to Baker Boys Thursday night for its $5 All You Care to Drink Special. It’s kind of like giving blood except it costs money to get loopy and you won’t get a free t-shirt out of it. At least you’ll still have a shot at passing out.

•Bring $3 and your Western ID with you to the fourth floor of Downing University Center, known by a select few as REDZ. Friday night at 8 p.m. will be a Black History Celebration, hosted by DJ Slikk.

Every minute Hollan Holm stays in this room he gets weaker. And every minute [email protected] squats in the bush he gets stronger.