Remember the good old days when America's rivers ran red with blood? When summer thunderstorms rained down blood in big fat drops, staining all our tennis whites crimson? When "Blood. It's What's For Dinner," was for dinner?
"The current blood supply is at extremely low levels. The weeks ahead are most concerning." - Red Cross spokeswoman Stephanie Millian to AFP
People are slicing open their veins and finding nothing there but dust and I.O.U.'s. Gettysburg, PA—a veritable Garden of Eden of Blood just a century and a half ago—is now bone dry, with nothing but green grass and replica cannons where blood grass and blood cannons should be.
The Red Cross just announced it received 50,000 fewer blood donations for the month of June than expected. Because each donation can be manufactured into as many as three different "blood products" (red cells, plasma, and platelets), this deficit translates into about 150,000 unavailable blood products.
If you weren't alarmed enough by those figures, the Red Cross website's stylistic decision to capitalize the headers in its explanatory news bulletin will cause all the blood to drain from your face, just as it already has from America.
"SUMMER BLOOD DROUGHT"
"WHO NEEDS BLOOD"
So how exactly did the SUMMER BLOOD DROUGHT happen? Who is responsible for the nationwide bloodletting?
The answer, according to Dr. Richard Benjamin, the Red Cross' chief medical officer: Selfish blood-hoarding Americans who just want to go on vacation all the time and not share their blood with anyone.
"Many people are just not available to give blood at this time of the year. Schools aren't in session, businesses are on holiday schedules and people are on vacation."
Donations always take a dip when the school year ends because a large percentage of them come from high school and college campuses, where promises of free cookies and juice have greater pull than in the adult world.
This year, Red Cross officials are speculating that the unseasonably warm spring compounded the issue, as it caused everyone to turn into a party girl who doesn't even care about giving blood because she just wants to partyyyyy. (The official word is that the weather may have prompted people to begin vacationing earlier.)
But how will the SUMMER BLOOD DROUGHT affect you personally? This depends on how much blood you are consuming on a daily basis and whether or not that blood is sourced from the Red Cross or from shady back alley characters.
According to Stephanie Millian, the shortage will primarily affect those people scheduled to undergo elective surgery, though the ramifications could become more grave if the situation does not improve.
"There is always a chance that a physician could have to postpone an elective surgery, or worst-case scenario, a physician might have to forego a more serious procedure because of shortage of blood."
If you are looking to shed a little blood this swimsuit season, the Red Cross is in particular need of blood types O negative, O positive, B negative, and A negative.