The Road To PAX, Part 1: Funding

Saturday, August 15, 2009
Unlike the media giants Kotaku, Joystiq and the like, the coffers of Somnambulant Gamer run almost perpetually on empty. We have to fund any venture, game etc out of pocket. Sometimes we've resorted to begging, sometimes to more drastic means (not prostitution yet). This year, we've found all new and degrading ways to come up with the scratch for PAX.

First off, Line has gotten in deep with a local plasma donation center. If you've ever given plasma, you know what I'm talking about when I draw upon the old "wretched hive of scum and villainy" chestnut for help describing this place. If you haven't, hunker down and prepare for creepification.

The building itself is sandwiched between a vacant all you can eat Chinese buffet and a 24 hour erotic boutique staffed by a six foot five, bleached blonde transvestite. No, the transvestite is neither scum nor villain, but serves as further detail in the already hilarious tale.

Upon entering the building, the first thing I noticed was that most of the donors appeared to donate plasma more often than they showered. One man with strange, sunken eyes and a recently staunched nosebleed sat at the edge of his chair, darting looks between me, Line, our baby and the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen being piped through the various TVs throughout the building.

Line got signed in and was shuffled off for a full physical. Apparently, you are required to pass said physical before you are allowed to donate (at least they have some kind of requirements in place). I sat down in the lobby thinking I could simply wait out the donation. Not ten minutes later an older, gutter Santa looking fellow sat down beside me. At first I thought he was chewing on something but when his smacking revealed that nothing occupied his rotted mouth I began to wonder with more open horror at this man's activities. When he spat a piece of tooth on the floor, I decided it was time to go.

The process of plasma donation post physical is very near to a vampiric dairy farm. The donors are sat down in one of nearly 50 beds in six cubicle areas. An arm is struck with a needle and a large machine begins the process of drawing out and filtering your vital fluids. As your blood leaves your body, it is fed through a series of tubes that filter out the plasma and store it in what looks like a sport drink bottle. The plasma that collects there is a pale, almost bile yellow with a nice frothy head to it.

Even now I can imagine the bottles being sucked down by beleaguered legions of undead decked in various sports gear.

Line escaped with her life and fifteen dollars, although during the process her returning blood began to pool beneath her skin instead of re-entering her vein, creating a golf ball sized hematoma on her arm. Upon her return, they would turn her away due to "extensive bruising."

It gets worse that this, but you'll have to wait until Monday for the next installment of this saga.