Be An Organ Donor
You’ll almost certainly be dead anyway.
I can’t speak for everyone but after I die I’m going to use my body less often than at present. Much as I like my heart valves, fond as I am of my corneas, close as I am to my skin, I anticipate being able to do without them post-life. My heart will have stopped beating. My kidneys will have stopped kidneying. My bowel had better be out of service or I’m getting buried with a peg on my nose. It seems wasteful to take these perfectly usable bits and pieces and burn them or bury them in the ground. Happily there’s a solution: We can recycle ourselves. We can be organ donors.
We can give our kidneys, hearts, heart valves, livers, lungs, pancreases, small bowels, skin, corneas and bones to any bugger passing, and any bugger will get to live. If you’re currently alive you can donate bone marrow right now. Our transplanted corneas could restore the sight of someone with a severe eye disease or injury. Our donated bone could help prevent limb amputation in patients with bone cancer. Our donated skin could help patients with severe burns. Our heart valves could help children born with heart defects or adults with diseased or damaged valves.
That’s a big bunch of amazing things we can do. Unfortunately, humans remain largely shit so people were left to die while non-donors were buried with their bodies intact. In the UK this prompted a shift to opt-out rather than opt-in systems, so instead of being bothered to join the organ donor register people in England and Wales now have to be bothered to join the list of refusers. If they don’t, we’re nicking their kidneys! At the time of writing, Scotland is aiming to switch to an opt-out system in March 2021, while Northern Ireland is having a bit of a think about it. In the meantime you can register as a Scottish or Northern Irish donor right now. Americans can also register right now, while the other 192 of you can get Googling on how to go about it.
And before you get uppity about sharing your corneas or bowels remember you could find yourself in need of a top up. The next time we drive into a tree and find our lungs flung through the windscreen we’ll be hoping somebody somewhere has a set going spare so we get to live some more.
Be an organ donor
You'll have carked it anyway
And other people will get to live!
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Like most of you, when I first saw WALL-E I assumed it was a documentary and was relieved to find we had at last discovered a solution to the madness of short-term landfillery. However, on attempting to contact and marry EVA, Pixar security guards informed me not just that I would be charged with breach of the peace but also that the film was a work of speculative fiction.
Devoted as you are to yer man The Zero, and as closely as you monitor my good works, you’ll be aware I do the odd bit of fundraising in spite of hating it almost completely. The past few years I’ve been meddling with Yaknak Projects, a small charity set up by a few friends to run two children’s home in Nepal. They need £16,000 a year to keep the homes running, a delightful spot of constant pressure that cheers them greatly.
As you’d expect from a man in my position, I have literally thousands of children. The groupies that gather at the foot of Zero Towers are as fertile as they are up for it, and the rise of my master race is progressing nicely. Sadly, due to the sheer size of my collective progeny, all of whom are disabled rad-fems, I am unable to support any of them financially or emotionally, thus creating twice as many social problems as I was hoping to solve.
So there I was a few weekends back, minding me own business, spending a reasonably pleasant day in the company of friends, or at least people paid to be friendly towards me on account of how my fame prevents anyone getting too close, when I witnessed what can only be described as a road traffic accident, being as how it was an accident involving traffic that took place on a road. I won’t lie to you: it was full on proper scary.
With the Olympics all done with and the Paralympics prepping itself for interest considerably less feigned than usual, it’s time to reflect on the heroes at whom we marvel, the champions who capture our hearts, the icons who inspire a generation. Jessica Ennis. Usain Bolt. Me.
That whooshing sound round the back of your head was February going past us and past me and past this blog in particular. Being as how I’m spending my days chained to the desk writing essays and my nights chained to the desk drooling on them, the old do-gooding has taken a back seat of late. Unless you count the social work. Which no one does. Tell people you want to be a social worker, they make like you’ve offered them a glass of cancer flavoured piss.
The problem with this social work lark is although I’m getting stuck in to solid gold do-gooding on a daily basis, the confidential nature of it all means it ain’t worth shit for blogging. I go out, I do good, I come home, I write essays, I use every drop of energy and I’ve got on non-blogging activities and meanwhile this place gets neglected and cobwebbed and dusty and forgotten, going all potty and Miss Havisham and playing bridge with Buster Keaton.
You’ll recall how last year I finally worked up enough balls to give up a safe job in the middle of recession and go back to uni. And how I’m now training as a social worker, taking my meddler status from amateur to professional. You’ll recall all of this because you are, in the act of reading this blog, engaging in the last legal form of stalking. You’re watching me from afar, waiting for the right moment to ask for an autograph, tell me you’re my biggest fan, or take me to your underground den of torture and have me as your bride.
They say the word ‘hero’ is overused these days, applied to anyone who kicks a ball into a net or resists the metric system or rescues orphans from a burning paedophile ring. But I’d argue in some cases the word ‘hero’ is not used enough. I’m thinking particularly here in the case of me.