I was recently contacted by a famous vampire (the subject of a book and later a movie) who told me he wanted to update his story. Somewhat hesitantly, I agreed to meet with him last night at a local pub. Here’s our interview:
Fat Head: I appreciate you agreeing to meet in a crowded public place.
Vampire: I thought you’d feel more at ease if we weren’t alone.
Fat Head: I do. I’d feel even more at ease if they served True Blood here.
Vampire: Unfortunately, that’s pure fiction. There is no True Blood or any other synthetic blood we can drink, although I like the TV show very much. It’s nice to be portrayed as the good guys for a change.
Fat Head: Good guys, yes, but also good guys who happen to be muscular and attractive, which I’m sure doesn’t hurt the ratings any. In fact, in pretty much all the TV shows and movies I’ve seen about vampires, you’re portrayed as these sleek, strong, sexy creatures. Which … uh … well, never mind.
Vampire: Go ahead, ask me the question.
Fat Head: I’m not sure how to put this …
Vampire: Don’t be afrrraid.
Fat Head: Cool accent! Very Bela Lugosi.
Vampire: I’ve had a lot of time to practice. Now ask me the question.
Fat Head: Well … you’re not exactly what I envisioned. I mean, I expected the pale complexion. But frankly, the pot belly, the bad posture, the sunken eyes, the missing teeth, the limp hair … you don’t exactly fit the Hollywood image.
Vampire: Not anymore, no. The truth is, I’m sick. A lot of us are sick. That’s really why I wanted to meet with you: to ask you to convince the humans to stop making us sick.
Fat Head: But you’re a vampire! You can’t get sick. I could jam a poison-tipped knife in your belly, and all you’d have to do is go drink some human’s blood, and … oh, I see.
Vampire: Exactly. Most human blood these days is just awful. You people have completely screwed up our food supply. And like I said, there’s no such thing as True Blood.
Fat Head: So with all the diabetics and pre-diabetics walking around these days, it’s hard to find —
Vampire: Hey, we used to love finding diabetics with all that sweet, sugary blood. But they were rare, so we saved them for desserts and special occasions. Now they’re everywhere, so the sugar content in our diets has gone through the roof. And it’s not like we chose to do this ourselves, you know.
Fat Head: I had no idea high blood sugar could harm a vampire.
Vampire: Neither did we, until we had to start living on the stuff.
Fat Head: So I guess you could say feeding on modern humans really sucks, huh?
Vampire: What are you, a comedian?
Fat Head: Well, actually —
Vampire: It isn’t funny being sick when you’re immortal. At least you humans can die and be out of your misery. If I lose my toes, I’ll be limping around for eternity.
Fat Head: I’m sorry, I didn’t know. What kind of ailments are we talking about here?
Vampire: You can pretty much guess, since you write about the effects of high blood sugar all the time. Organ failure, obesity, tooth decay.
Fat Head: Tooth decay? I can see where that would present quite a problem.
Vampire: Yeah, not to mention it’s embarrassing. I have a friend who jumped some woman outside a singles bar a few weeks ago, and when he tried to sink his last two remaining teeth into her neck, they popped out.
Fat Head: So he wasn’t able to feed on her?
Vampire: Naw, the poor schmuck ended up gumming her on the neck. All he got out of it was her phone number.
Fat Head: Pity.
Vampire: There’s even a booming market for vampire dentures now. How pathetic is that?
Fat Head: And you’re telling me a vampire’s organs can fail too?
Vampire: Are you kidding me? Lousy blood is lousy blood, period. We’ve even got vampires going blind.
Fat Head: So you could say they’re —
Vampire: And if you make any “blind as a bat” jokes, I’ll tear your heart out. And I don’t mean in a bad love-song sort of way.
Fat Head: Uh … right. But here’s what I don’t understand: why don’t you and your kind just limit yourselves to feeding on the more nutrient-dense humans?
Vampire: You think that never occurred to us? Most of us left the country for awhile and lived near people who ate more traditional diets. Unfortunately, the idiots in your government got together with the idiots in your sugar and grain industries and figured out how to export your food all over the world. There’s no escaping it.
Fat Head: If I’m understanding you correctly, then, you’d like me to help convince humans to eat better food so you can eat better humans?
Vampire: We don’t eat humans! What kind of animals do you think we are?
Fat Head: Okay, drink from better humans. The point is —
Vampire: Look, we’re going to feed on you either way. There’s no reason we shouldn’t all be healthier. And think about this: you’re only one bite away from being one of us. If you don’t want to end up as a sick vampire, then don’t be a sick human.
Fat Head: Can’t you spot the sick humans and just avoid eating — er, drinking from them?
Vampire: We tried that. Sure, you can stay away from the obviously obese people. We’ve always done that anyway, except during the holiday season. The trouble is, even skinny people are walking around with high blood sugar these days. And half of them are taking some damned statin drug. Let me tell you, that’ll turn good blood into bad blood faster than anything.
Fat Head: I hadn’t thought of that. Do statins cause you the same kind of muscle pain and weakness they cause in humans?
Vampire: You know how strong vampires are supposed to be, right?
Fat Head: Sure. Like super-humans.
Vampire: Well, one of my progeny sucked up so many doses of Lipitor over the years, he went hunting one night and got his ass kicked by a teenage girl. Then she went to Hollywood and wrote a TV show about a teenage vampire slayer. Man, that really pissed us off. It wasn’t a fair fight.
Fat Head: No, of course not.
Vampire: Then you’ve got the cognitive side effects. I personally know two vampires who suffered from episodes of transient amnesia. One even forgot he was a vampire and decided to take a little stroll in the afternoon sun. Two minutes later he was rolling around on the sidewalk, sizzling like a steak and screaming, “Al Gore was right! Al Gore was right!”
Fat Head: That must’ve been terrible. In so many ways.
Vampire: Indeed. So please, I’m just asking for one small favor here. You and the other health bloggers do whatever you can to help us return to our natural diet. Keep spreading the word. I mean, you felt better when you got off the grains and went back to meat and eggs, didn’t you?
Fat Head: Much better. I feel stronger and healthier now than I did 20 years ago.
Vampire: And you actually practice what you preach? No sugar, no grains, no rancid vegetable oils?
Fat Head: Yes, that’s right. I’m pretty strict these days.
Vampire: Hmm. Your blood must be exquisite.
Fat Head: Well, I don’t want to brag, but the last time I had a checkup, the doctor said … Uh, excuse me, are you licking your lips?
Vampire: Me? No.
Fat Head: Good, because … you just did it again.
Vampire: Nervous habit. Think nothing of it.
Fat Head: Because I’m not really a bling-bling sort of guy, but I did take the precaution of wearing a silver necklace. See, under the t-shirt here?
Vampire: Chill. I have no interest in attacking you. I want you to go home and tell everyone what I said. A lot of living-dead people’s lives depend on it.
Fat Head: I will. Thank you for your time.