As a fan of the BBC series Being Human, I might be forgiven the odd flight of fancy about the ubiquity of vampires and other interesting species. But in fact I have never thought twice about any such thing - until today. For today I had a phone call from the surgery, where last week I had a specimen of blood taken for analysis to find out why I had such a painful Christmas day.
The receptionist was apologetic. Could I, she wondered, come back to the surgery on Friday - and give them some more blood? Slight panic. Had my last lot thrown up some weird symptoms which required further analysis? No. Instead they had had a letter from the lab "on the other side" (not another allusion to vampires, but the local parlance for Inverclyde Royal) to say no specimen had been received.
Now, I reason that if the lab is writing about my blood, then they must have expected to have found some. Otherwise how did they know I even exist? And I certainly saw - and felt - the syringe full being withdrawn and carefully bottled and labelled. I should have suspected something when the practice nurse said cheerily "See you soon" - and been properly pessimistic when she added "There's been a lot of this stuff for the lab going missing recently."
The receptionist who rang today tells me that the labs have been supplying new bottles for samples in transit, and they seem to be the problem. But I think that's a truly lame explanation. No, I'm pretty sure there must be vampires in Inverclyde, vampires of a squeamish disposition who prefer their blood in bottles. Or maybe bottle-fed vampire infants.
Meanwhile I have to part with more blood. I'll have an empty arm at this rate. But I'd be fascinated to find out if anyone else has come across this most recent nonsense. Or even a better explanation.