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Free burritos get my blood pumping

Let me tell you how my A+ blood and my F-minus diet help humanity.

I was eating at an area Taco Bell recently when I noticed a poster for a promotion with the American Red Cross. Here’s the deal: When you donate a pint of blood to the Red Cross, they stamp you a coupon for free burritos. And not just any burritos: We’re talking your choice of two of their three Big Bell Value Menu burritos. Does a half-pound Beef Combo Burrito sound tempting? How about a half-pound Beef and Potato Burrito? Maybe a half-pound Cheesy Bean and Rice Burrito?

The math swayed me: I would get to shove a pound of burritos into my mouth once I gave up a pint of blood through a needle jabbed into my arm.

All it took was about a half hour of my time at the Red Cross donation center at 2751 Bull Street. The actual needle-draining time was six minutes.

The free burritos is in addition to all the other swag you can walk away with from the Red Cross center. When I signed in, the receptionist tried to give me a free cap. But I’ve already got enough Red Cross T-shirts and hats from other donation visits, so I politely declined their gesture so that someone special like you can have a shot at one.

Once you’re done donating, you can get your sugar buzz back from free cans of Coke and snacks like popcorn and cheese crackers. I have a weakness for these chocolate-covered wafers they leave lying around.

The only real drawback to the donation period is that while you’re hooked up might be subjected to shows on their TV bank like “Regis and Kelly” and “The Price is Right.”

Fortunately, I was the only one there donating blood, so the collection aids had no problem when I asked them to change the channel to “SportsCenter” (if you want to be helpful when they grab the remote, let them know that ESPN is channel 206.).

Wait a minute — what am I saying “fortunately” no one else was giving blood? It’s up to Guesspert Nation to fill those other gurneys and get that blood pumping, people.

OK, so technically you’re only saving about $3 off your Taco Bell bill if you redeem the coupon. And, by eating a half-pound Beef Combo Burrito (the Taco Bell nutrition guide tells me it’s 470 calories, 19 grams of fat) and a half-pound Beef and Potato Burrito (530 calories, 24 grams of fat), I’m subjecting myself to 1,000 calories and 43 grams of fat in one sitting.

Making sure someone else gets healthy with your donated blood is worth the sacrifice. And cheesy goo tastes so good. Pick up a coupon at a participating Taco Bell, and once you get your stamp it can be redeemed through Sept. 28. Call the Red Cross at (803) 540-1215 or (800) GIVE LIFE to set up an appointment.

I’ll send one of my famous secret Guesspert grab bag prizes to whoever tells me the best (true) blood donation or burrito-eating story.

P.S. You’re not allowed to donate blood if you’ve gotten a tattoo in the past 12 months. But maybe if it’s a tattoo of a burrito, the Red Cross people will let you slide this time.

Tales from the Guessblog. Big weekend planned for the Guesspert Web log (or “blog.”) By Sunday, I’ll have participated in three NFL fantasy drafts, so I’ll post my rosters and projected chances for success (for starters, I’m OK with my Thursday night draft results. Though for someone picking out of the No. 2 spot, it doesn’t look like a roster that was picked from the No. 2 spot). I’d type out the URL address for the blog, but it’s long and cumbersome, so just do a Google search for “Guesspert blog,” and you should be golden. Feel free to post smack talk about my lack of fantasy analytical powers.

And no, I’m not going to call any of my teams “The Burrito Blood Brothers.” That would be over the line.

Guesspert likes. Cal over Tennessee by 13, FSU over Clemson by 3, Labor Day over working by 8 hours.