Jon de Vos: You’ll be safe in your toilet
November 5, 2010
Authors and readers alike are always searching for a new hero or heroine. They’re looking for an unexpected twist, a fresh genre or a novel story line. That I understand. But someone needs to explain to me why women readers and viewers would latch onto Vampire Romance? The concept is preposterous. Why would a modern, voting, cigar-smoking woman hang out with a bloodsucker who’s going to leave her drained and pallid?
I mean, just divorce the jerk; you don’t need to drive a stake through his heart, too.
Abraham Stoker’s classic Vampire horror tale, Dracula, was an instant hit in 1897. Folks couldn’t wait to sink their teeth into it. Hmm, 1897 was also the same year that Rudyard Kipling penned a most powerful poem, The Vampire. Wait. It gets better. 1897 also saw Sir Philip Burne-Jones’ most famous painting titled…you guessed it, The Vampire, a lurid portrait of a scantily-clad woman straddling an unconscious man. Could these all be coincidence?
Nope. The inspiration for all these dark creations was a sensational Italian actress named Beatrice Stella Campbell who left a lot of smoldering male wreckage in her career. According to many, she was a vamp, the original vampire. The two words, vampire, and vamp are derived from the same Eastern European term but they are subtly different in meaning. The one leaves you without hope and blood. The other leaves you without hope and money.
Count Dracula isn’t that much different from your average Investment Banker. Having sucked the life out of everyone in Transylvania, he moved to London for a change in cuisine. He always ordered the Businessman’s lunch. Well, actually he always ordered just the Businessman for lunch.
Unless you have silver bullets, it’s a total waste of time to shoot a Vampire. Thousands upon thousands of deep-cleavaged B-movie actresses have gone to early graves because they forgot that fact. Fortunately, most Vampires are about as flammable as a bucket of sparklers in a petroleum refinery. One touch of the torch has sent many of these suckers to wherever it is that fiends go in the afterlife.
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Because they have no reflection in the mirror, a good way to spot female vampires would be to arrest any woman with great big canine teeth and smeared makeup. Nose to chin lipstick would be a dead giveaway. How would they know what they look like? Ma’am, I noticed you put eyeliner all over your cheeks. Would you please hold this stake over your heart while I locate my mallet?
Vampires are powerless if you bury them upside down. The trouble is, some idiot always shows up with a shovel and a hunchback to dig them up. Never mind that the people who buried the monster head-first just maybe had a doggone good reason!
Why do scantily clad maidens, bathed in moonlight, insist on taking the screens off the castle windows? Didn’t their mothers teach them anything? A bat flies in the open window and the next thing, they’re slamming Bloody Marys and sleeping around in strange coffins.
Okay, say the worst has happened.
You thoughtlessly tossed your last scrap of garlic into the spaghetti. Next thing you know, you’re frantically racing up an endless spiral of stone stairs to the tallest turret. A Vampire is in hot pursuit and you’re all out of silver bullets. The crucifix fell out of your pocket when you climbed the castle wall. You may still save yourself if you remember the fact that Vampires cannot cross running water.
Stand in your toilet. Flush repeatedly.
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