Page Five Ghoul - October, 14th 2017

Love Like Blood

Byline: Gary Llewellyn
Dateline: October 14th, 2017

Folks, people like to stop me on the street and ask, ‘Gary? How can a column like the Page Five Ghouls go so long without even taking a look at vampires?’ First of all, stop doing that. I got shit to do and I don’t have time to answer the same question fifty times a day. Second, 95% of pop culture has you covered there, from Nosferatu all the way to glitter boys. No need for me to waste my time rehashing the lame antics of Monsterdom’s most punchable emo kids.

However, due to recent events I’ve been forced to rethink my position on nature’s original Bauhaus fans. You see, recently, Malawi has become host to a fairly ornery clot of vampires who seem to have given away their last fuck, forming hunting retinues in broad daylight. Things have gotten so hairy the UN bugged out. And  I know how hairy it must be for the UN not to want to have its nose firmly wedged into the situation. As typically happens, the locals have begun turning on each other, often with lethal outcomes. Statistics show that 93% percent of deaths during vampire wildings are actually caused by bumpkins going ham on each other. What invariably happens is that they start making a laundry list of bullshit signs they pull out of their asses to tell if someone is a vampire. Pretty soon after, wearing plaid on a Tuesday becomes a slayable offense. This is the sorry state of monster awareness in the 21st century. Nobody teaches anybody about this, so they learn a bunch of folksy bullshit from their grandmothers. Vampires often never kill their victims. Why finish it when you can send it back for a refill? Most vampires don’t even go after humans. Too much hassle. Many would rather stand around in a dark room with a strobe light, doing a dumb goth dance where they only move their arms, listening to Siouxsie and the Banshees. Plus, these things reek of patchouli and cloves. If you can’t smell these fucks coming from a block away, you may be one of the weak ones on the edge of the herd. Some have reported faintly hearing a chorus-drenched Simon Gallup bass-line drifting somewhere in distance, preceding a vampire incident. Others claim it was Peter Hook, but that’s losing sight of the key point here. Chorus-drenched and played with a pick is what you want to be listening for. Straight eighths, always on the root. You get the idea.

Vampires are really one of the easier infestations to deal with. Sure you can find their nest and stake them all the their sleep. You do what they do in the Scandinavian countries and hang UV lights everywhere. Garlic fumigation. Leave a trail of Stephanie Meyer and Charlaine Harris novels out of town or into some vampire traps, so they can be relocated to gentrified, inner city neighborhood. These vain shits love to read inspirational fiction about themselves. I took the more direct approach. I traded them my live Cure bootlegs from ‘79-’82; in other words the good era. In exchange they would fuck off. And so they did. Off to search for crushed velvet waistcoats in a thrift store in New Hope, Pennsylvania.

Fear of the Dark

Byline: Stephanie Morgan
Dateline: October 14th, 2017

Not what I imagined, SEG-ers. Vampires are actually kind of annoying. They mostly just moped around while Gary went through a bunch of shoeboxes full of cassette tapes. Whenever he would hand them a tape to look at, they would grab them with their thumb and forefinger. I don’t know why, but that drove me crazy. They’re like this kid I knew in school. We were in creative writing together. He only wrote poems about the apple he had rotting in his locker and how that related to the darkness in his soul. I’ll admit, I had a crush on him. I thought he was so deep. But whatever darkness he thought he was harbouring, he wouldn’t last five minutes on this column. An apple rotting is the darkest thing you can think of? Well, that’s vampires.

I mean, what do they do? They spend all their time in a cave and only come out to eat things, like bears or raccoons. If you break it down, you shouldn’t be anymore terrified of vampires than you are of bears. Which is not to say you shouldn’t be terrified of bears, exactly. Just that vampires don’t warrant an extra level of terror. Sure they do that mist thing, but on the other hand, a ravenous bear isn’t going to wait for an invitation to crack open your front door like a walnut to get at the sweet, sweet human meat within. There’s a million more things you should be terrified of way more than vampires. For instance, a kobold will flay you alive while you’re hooked up to IV drip of adrenaline so you don’t pass out from the pain. Then they’ll make a pair of boots from your skin and kick you where your dick used to be. A tarrasque could clear out the island of Manhattan in an hour. If you had a life outside of the house in the 80’s you might never have heard of a tarrasque. That’s like never having heard of the hydrogen bomb. Do zombies scare you? Sure one can skeletonize a cow faster than a piranha fish. But they’re slow, predictable, and easily controlled, and they don’t last very long. If there’s an outbreak in the summer, they’ll be eaten alive by maggots. In the winter they’ll freeze solid. Why is it that the manageable monsters are the ones we are most concerned about? Yet, the prospect of being kicked in a bloody Ken doll crotch doesn’t even occur to most people. Monster education, people. This isn’t taught in schools. I wasn’t taught. Grammy Morgan used to give me tidbits here and there. I knew my grandfather was a necromancer, but otherwise had no idea what that was. I had to learn in the deep end. Your kids don’t have to.