Thursday, October 25, 2007

Interview With an Ex-Vampire

Erik Deckers
Laughing Stalk Syndicate
Copyright 2007

With Halloween fast approaching, there has been an increased popularity for all things vampire. Numerous news stories and magazine articles have been written, and even National Public Radio's Diane Rehm devoted an entire show to the legend of Vlad the Impaler, the man known as Count Dracula.

So I decided to catch up with the fanged fiend to see what he thought about his renewed popularity. Here's a transcript of my interview.

Erik Deckers: So, Count Dracula--

Count Dracula: Please, call me Vlad. Whenever someone says "Count Dracula," I look for my father.

ED: All right, Vlad. You've been enjoying a media comeback of sorts. What's this doing for your career?

CD: Not as much as you think. Unfortunately, a lot of these stories have a "where are they now" flavor, like I'm just some washed-up has been still trying to hang on to the glory days. I keep expecting VH-1 to show up to do a "Behind the Blood" documentary.

ED: I have to admit, I hadn't heard much from you for several years. What have you been doing?

CD: I've been retired for a while, and loving the freedom. So I'm just taking it easy, hanging around the house.

ED: But surely you get bored at times. How do you keep your mind occupied?

CD: I'm studying for the LSAT. I want to go to law school and become a lawyer. (laughs) Hey, I've been a bloodsucker all these centuries, I might as well get paid for it.

ED: That sounds about right. Which law school?

CD: Well, I thought about Holy Cross, but decided against it, because. . . well, you know.

ED: Yeah, the whole cross thing.

CD: No, no. It turns out they don't have a law school. Speaking of crosses though, I can't help but notice yours. That's quite a big one.

ED: Thanks, my kids made it out of garlic for me.

CD: Looks good. But you know that doesn't work though, right?

ED: What doesn't.

CD: Garlic and crosses.

ED: Really? But what about the legends?

CD: That was just a myth created by the church and the Garlic Industrial Complex to increase garlic consumption and church attendance.

ED: But I thought. . .

CD: What, that you needed garlic and crosses to keep me at bay? I just don't like garlic because it makes my breath stink, and I smell it on my fingers for days. So, if you want to take it off and set it on the table over there, feel free.

ED: No, that's okay.

CD: I just thought it looked a little heavy and uncomfortable.

ED: I barely notice the weight anymore. So what should someone like me use for protection from vampires?

CD: Well, you're safe because you're a journalist. Your blood is already tainted. Blech! I wouldn't touch you with 10 foot fangs.

ED: Then who do you go for?

CD: Actually that's what I've retired from. With AIDS and STDs, not to mention the high cholesterol you mortals have, I gave it all up. I'm on the Ornish diet now, and high fat foods are strictly verboten.

ED: Wow, that must suck.

CD: It's not too bad. I've really learned to enjoy fresh, raw fruits and vegetables. I'm especially fond of blood oranges.

ED: Figures. So, Vlad, I noticed your home isn't as. . . well, castle-like as it used to be. What happened?

CD: I was driven out of my last castle.

ED: You mean by the angry mob, pitchforks, and all that?

CD: No, my neighborhood association was run by a bunch of power hungry tyrants. I couldn't stand their stupid rules. I mean, come on. I'm Vlad the freakin' Impaler, and they're telling me what color my mailbox has to be?! Then, when property taxes skyrocketed here in Indiana, it got to be too expensive. So I sold the place to a nice young couple from Munster, and went condo. No lawns to mow, no home repairs. The condo association does it all. And they've got a great workout room and hot tub.

ED: So you're out of the vampire business altogether?

CD: Well, you can never really stop being a vampire. I'll sometimes dabble during the occasional full moon, but I got tired of the whole flapping around, chasing young virgins business. And have you ever had a stake through the heart? Man, that hurts. So I gave it all up and moved on.

ED: Good for you, and good luck. I hope you enjoy your retirement.

CD: You're welcome. Are you sure you don't want to take off your cross?

ED: Dead sure.

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