Friday Report: The vampire lifestyle is a rock star existence
May 22, 2014
If I were choosing which horrific supernatural being I was going to become, tops on the list would be a vampire. First of all, vampires are increasingly popular today, what with congress having degenerated into what it is. There's very little downside to being a vampire. Imagine yourself as one. You're young again, a mere 182 years old, still able to flit like a bat through drafty castles that are chock-a-block full of tender nubile maidens. You're confident, stronger than any weightlifter, able to suck blood from Bernie Madoff. What's not to like about being a vampire? Carly Simon could've been singing about you:
"You walked into the party like you were walking onto a yacht
Your hat strategically dipped below one eye
Your scarf it was apricot
You had one eye on the mirror . . ."
But of course, there's nothing there, nothing is in the mirror's reflection except your latest dish du jour, hanging on your arm. Her beauty brings a glow to the drab castle walls. She runs her fingers through your black, pomaded hair, and tells you that you look just like a young Tom Cruise, only tall.
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Your charm and hypnotic glare whip open the velvet ropes holding back the hoi polloi from the hottest Manhattan dance clubs where smoky blondes burst into flame as you walk by. Oh yeah, this is the manner to be born, living almost forever, eternally young, right up to those last horrible moments when you get all wrinkly and blow away into glowing dust. Okay, that last part is definitely a downside but vampire-life is nothing but a rock-star existence until then.
Making the whole vampire scene sound reasonable, science is beginning to tell us that these oddly-toothed bloodsuckers are onto something. Three independent studies recently published in Nature, Medicine and Science make convincing argument that young blood contains a signaling protein that directs cellular activity to repair and renew itself. We may be very close to the Fountain of Youth. By adding young blood to old subjects, they saw astounding improvements in the aged subjects. They became stronger; their senses became more acute, their endurance and memories showed dramatic improvements. The studies suggest that infusions of young blood could not only regenerate aging tissue but may also reverse age-related conditions like heart trouble and Alzheimer's.
One slight problem might be the fact that so far they've only done it with mice. I cannot imagine how they picked the rodents with Alzheimer's, but much of science is inexplicable without a white lab coat. But thanks to them, soon it will be possible to Disco until dawn, sleep all day and then wake up fresh as a daisy, raring to go all night long, over and over for about 500 years. Arkansas legislators are trying to lower the full-time working age to 12; this could be the opportunity they've been looking for: put these junior-high kids to work at the bank. The blood bank, of course. That may seem callous but look, they're just about to drain you with college fees, so why not . . .?
500 years. Hmm, that sounds just about right to get Donna Summer and the Village People out of my head.