My 16-year-old son Matthew walked up to me the other day and announced, "Mom, I need blood."
I had been cleaning up the kitchen, but with that comment I whirled so fast I almost wacked him with a dish towel. I looked him over quickly, but saw no gushing wounds, no injuries.
"Excuse me?" I said, then waited for whatever strange explanation was coming. After a while, you get a bit of a feel for these things.
"It has to be edible," he said, like that was enough information.
So I waited.
After a few seconds, he grinned and told me that his school, MCC, was working on spirit week because their homecoming is this coming weekend. Tuesday, apparently, was Holiday Day, and his class had been assigned Halloween. Which to Matthew means blood and gore. He wanted to go to school as a zombie, which meant blood was going to be involved. Edible blood.
He had researched it on the Internet and found a recipe that used corn syrup, cornstarch, food dye and chocolate syrup.
We worked on it a few days later, messing with combinations of dye and syrup to come up with a color that didn’t look like grape jelly. It was fun.
Right around the same time, a few officers from Avoca’s Fire and Rescue department were discussing an upcoming drill, complete with wrecked cars and "victims." We discussed the fact that we wanted things to look real.
"We can use Matthew’s blood," I announced.
I guess I should have clarified that statement. They looked at me like I was nuts.
It made perfect sense to me. But they don’t live in my house.