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Mike Redmond Column

Please refer to the Mike Redmond Column main page for columns published in other issues.
Mike can be contacted via e-mail at mike@mikeredmondonline.com.

 

 

 

 Central Indiana a Real Hotbed for Vampires

What’s with all the vampires lately?

I’m not kidding. Seems like they’re everywhere these days - in the movies, in books, on TV, on the Weird Wide Web. The New York Times, a newspaper not given to reporting on the supernatural - at least, not in the way the Weekly World News might approach the subject - even had a feature the other day: "A Trend With Teeth - From film to fashion, it’s a season for those whose pulses quicken at the sight of fangs."

The world has gone batsh ... I mean, guano for vampires.

Even my sister - as close to a normal person as you are likely to find in my family is all swept up in the vampire craze. I guess she was bitten, so to speak, when she read her daughter’s copies of the Twilight books, those heartwarming stories of teenage vampires in love.

(I should have seen this coming. The same thing happened when she read Deniece’s copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Next thing I knew, all of her dogs were wearing Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry sweaters. (Gryffindor House, naturally.)

OK, well, back to the children of the night: I guess you can tell mine is not among the pulses quickening at the sight of fangs. In fact, I think this whole vampire craze is pretty stupid. I remember saying this to someone during the LAST vampire craze, when Anne Rice was writing a book every other month about that Lestat dude.

"But they’re so romantic!" she said.

Huh? Guy spends all day sleeping in a casket in a musty old house and then goes out at night to bite people in the neck and drink their blood. Oh, yeah, that’s romance writ large, right there. For another vampire, maybe.

Besides, I said, there’s no such thing as vampires. Boy, did she start flapping at that one.

"What do you mean, no such thing?" she demanded. "There are vampires everywhere. Right here! More than you might think."

Right. Consider yourself warned, OK? Central Indiana: Vampire Hotbed.

For most people of my age and background, you say the word "vampire" and the image that comes to mind is not that of today’s vampire, some underfed teenager who needs to get out in the sun once in a while, and maybe visit the orthodontist. It is of Bela Lugosi, the Dracula we knew from Sammy Terry’s monster movie show on Channel 4.

Maybe that’s why I can’t take the vampire thing seriously. Of all the monsters to grace the screen of our black and white Zenith, Count Dracula was the least scary by far.

The Mummy? Scary. The Wolf Man? Very scary. Frankenstein? MAJORLY scary.

Dracula? Looked like the custodian at school, wearing his Knights of Columbus uniform. Sounded like him, too, come to think of it.

Frankenstein was the guy we imagined crashing down the bedroom door in those sleepless hours after Sammy’s show was over. Dracula? We went to sleep DURING Dracula.

So, as concerns the Count and his ilk - count me out. Not that it’ll make much difference. The people who like that vampire stuff will continue to like it and the trendy will like it until the next trend comes along and drives a stake through the heart of this one.

Personally, I’m kind of hoping it will be werewolves.

 

 

 

© 2009 Mike Redmond. All Rights Reserved.