Wednesday, August 5, 2009

New Uses for Test Strip Bottles

Greetings, blog readers, from the 2009 National Poetry Slam in West Palm Beach, Florida! I didn't make a team this year, but Matt did, so here we are for the first time since 2007. Go Team Philadelphia! Woo!

All bragadoccio aside (sorry, my team is awesome!!), here's a little anecdote I couldn't resist sharing with you all.

We were outside the hotel on Monday night chatting with the other poets and friends gathered out front. I saw a young man pull something small and round out of his messenger bag. My attention was immediately drawn directly to it--a vial of One Touch test strips. I kept an eye on the guy with his test strip bottle, eager to see if he was going to pull a meter out so maybe I could start a conversation. As far as I know, I've only ever met one other person at a poetry slam with Type 1. He rummaged around in his bag, and I wondered if he had an Ultra 2, or a One Touch Ping, or an Ultra-Mini...

He pulled out not a meter case, but a rolling paper. I'm not advocating anything here, it just generally happens that where poets are gathered, shall we say that, um, smoking herbal substances is a commonplace occurance. As he rolled his jazz cigarette, I finally caught the young man's attention.

Me: "Wow, that's actually really clever!"

"What's that?"

Me: "Using an empty test strip vial as a container for...well..."

"Oh, yeah, actually it's pretty common. If you pack one of these, they're not going to open it up in the airport to find out what's inside it, you know?"

Me: "Huh, guess that makes sense, I suppose." I paused, and started chuckling. "Well, I'm actually a diabetic myself, and it's good to know that somebody has a way to recycle those stupid bottles. I always feel like it's kind of a waste when I have to toss an empty one."

The guy started laughing. "Hey, you can just give 'em to me! Oh, hey, do you guys smoke?"

Me: "No thanks, dude. I was just curious about your, uh, test strips."

I guess we never know what diabetes supplies might be good for...