Though bloodsucking monsters had existed in central European folklore for centuries, we owe it to Dr. John Polidori’s 1819 short story “The Vampyre” for giving us the image of a vampire as aristocratic fiend. In it, a Lord Ruthven travels across Europe, seducing women and then draining them of blood before vanishing. Bram Stoker followed up on this trope with his famous 1897 novel,
Twilight Dracula, in which a Transylvanian count seduces two women, killing one and hypnotizing the other before fleeing back to his castle.
As vampire fiction leaped from page to screen, the tradition of loving ’em and leaving ’em continued. Buffy Summers’ on-again / off-again lover, Angel, can’t commit to her in a serious relationship. And Edward spends hundreds of pages keeping Bella at arm’s length before dating her, then hundreds (upon hundreds) more pages before sleeping with her. Across the span of three centuries, vampires have fought tooth and nail to keep from being tied down to one woman.
Why is that?
Sure, there’s the constant temptation to start drinking your lover’s blood. But if you can pass as human for a few hours every day, walking around with regular people, then you’re already pretty good at restraining your bloodlust. There’s the tragedy that you’ll outlive her, being immortal. But that doesn’t have to be a dealbreaker. Millions of people get in romantic relationships every year that they expect to walk away from. They’re called “spring break hook-ups.”
It’s clear that vampires avoid commitment for one reason alone: commitment will kill them.
Sure, everything starts out fine. You move into her place – which is undoubtedly nicer than the sunless sty you’ve been living in. You go to the movies together, throw the occasional wine and cheese night (a glass of Type O negative for you) and maybe refinish some antique furniture. Then, one day, tragedy. She introduces you to her cousin the Catholic priest. Or she forgets to close the blinds before leaving for work. Or she picks up the wrong bag from the grocery store and unwraps a fresh loaf of garlic bread before realizing what’s gone wrong.
Any of these mistakes would be forgivable blunders in a mortal/mortal relationship. But vampires are like diabetics with severe gluten allergies. For all of their bestial strength and mystic powers, they practically have to live in a bubble. They can never afford to get comfortable.
So commitment is every vampire’s greatest fear. Does this explain why most fictional vampires are guys?
1) that Kim Jong Il pic may have set a new standard for OTI photoshop excellence
2) when I ended my entry with “I just proved it. Statistically,” I didn’t realize that everyone else was going to make a “here’s an official sounding statistic that I just made up” joke too. (I for one blame John Hodgman.)
That’s no Photoshop. It’s an actual piece of North Korean propaganda.
stakes because all you really need is a bunch of pencils.
For style points alone you have to go with the codpiece gun worn by Sex Machine (Tom Savini) in From Dusk Til Dawn.
*Dons nerd pedantry cape*
Stakes will multiply the force applied to the blunt end by the ratio of the area of the blunt end over the area of the point. So the pointier the stake the better. One might wonder why vampire hunters seem to go with crudely carved stakes rather than breaking out a whittling knife. Didn’t Blade use steel ones or something?
Diggery wasn’t killed by the Goblet of Fire, Fenzel, it was the Killing Curse, Avada Kedavra. GOSH, get it RIGHT. ;p
I say make them gorge themselves, causing massive amounts of obesity and heart disease. Then they’ll die off. How? Throw enough people with this in their path, and they won’t be able to resist themselves because of the flow:
You tell me you’ve never pitched a tent thinking about the love of a good woman?
A Danish Christmas tree. I know what you are thinking, why a Danish tree, what is so special about a that? Well, we Danes love to decorate everything with our flag, especially Christmas trees. And what do our flag look like? That’s right, it’s red with a white cross, as in a Christian cross. So a Danish Christmas tree will ad a light family friendly tone to the whole slaying business and if everything else fails, it makes wood handily available for producing some stakes.
Surely the best way to kill a vampire is to have them watch Twilight on DVD at night? That way they will piss themselves laughing so hard, they forget it’s morning and then ‘random burning noise’ Dust on the floor….
Sorted thanks to wee Eddie :)
The key point to remember is that vampires are immortal, thus we need something that is similarly everlasting and monolithic if we truly want to counter the threat. Dropping one at a time with stakes or Korean despots won’t cut it when the other vampires can put dozens at risk in one night of feeding. It is well known that the only certain things are death and taxes. Death won’t work obviously, so clearly we need to get the government involved and legislate them into oblivion.
Ergo I conclude that tort reform is the best means of killing vampires. And since it’s the government, we can co-opt some of the advantages of using other vampires while we’re at it.
Gab would you believe there’s actually an amazing book called Fat White Vampire Blues that basically takes that idea to amusing heights?
Marmaduke: Wow. Read a blurb about it, and wow. Heh.