Love at First Bite

What is a vampire?

The common dictionary definition of a vampire serves as a starting point for inquiry:  A vampire is a reanimated corpse that rises from the grave to suck the blood of living people and thus retain a semblance of life.  That description certainly fits Dracula, the most famous vampire, but it is only a starting point.  By no means do all vampires conform to that definition.  This is especially true for a very special vampire character that I’m in love with and had the joy of reading about at Fang Fiction.  Are you ready for him?  Are you sure?

It’s Bunnicula!!!!!

This bunny has some very unusual eating habits and vampire-like qualities. Bunnicula came to the Monroe household on a dark, stormy night. He was  found  in the theater, which was at the time showing Dracula, and was brought home, where Mrs. Monroe thought up the clever name Bunnicula. A note was placed with Bunnicula when he was found, written in Russian, reading “Please take care of my baby.”

He is subjected to many murder attempts by Chester, the family cat , who thinks that the rabbit would eventually become carnivorous and start attacking the family.   However, his “indestructible” stature proves to Chester that he cannot be killed.

 He exhibits the unusual ability to get in and out of his cage without using the door, and opens the refrigerator by himself.  Instead of a rabbit’s buck teeth, Bunnicula has fangs, which enables him to bite vegetables and suck the juice out of them, similar to the method by which Dracula dines. 

This is such an amazing children’s book, which today has grown into a large series.  It truly doesn’t matter what age you are though, this book will always be a great read. 

Because of the amount of choices I had for this topic, obviously, due to time, some were cut out.  One piece that I had originally chosen was a great, little column in the Chicago Tribune, Nov. 24, 2008.

 

A short refresher course on vampire lore           Every generation re-invents the vampire, bending the rules and regulations that govern these sexy bloodsuckers. Below, a primer on vamp mythology and how it has changed, from 1897 to last weekend.  

1. Vintage Dracula “Dracula,” by Bram Stoker (book and movies)        Origin: The heartsick count in Stoker’s 1897 novel, perhaps inspired by the 15th Century Vlad Dracula of Wallachia, also known as “Vlad the Impaler.”  (For more info on this, refer to the book The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova)  The vampire creature is inspired by tradition but previously written about in 1819’s “The Vampyre,” a short novel by John Polidori.           Powers: Super strength, speed and sexy, sexy, sexy; the ability to change form (bats, bugs and a wolf)          Weaknesses: Sunlight, garlic, crucifixes, holy water, wooden stake to the heart, women  

2. Count Chocula – Cereal spokesvampire        Origin: Introduced in 1971 by General Mills as a “Chocolatey Cereal with Spooky-Fun Marshmallows”        Powers: Providing 35 percent of your recommended daily riboflavin intake       Weaknesses: Boo Berry; lactose intolerance

3. Count von Count (a.k.a. The Count) “Sesame Street”          Origin: Created in 1972 for “Sesame Street”; hosts “Number of the Day” segment.          Powers: Spontaneously creating thunderclaps with a single “Ah ha ha ha ha!” Weaknesses: (Greek letter pi)  

4. Blacula “Blacula,” starring William Marshall (movie, 1972)           Origin: African vampire prince Mamuwalde is imprisoned by Count Dracula, only to be released in Los Angeles in 1972.           Powers: Awesome tagline: “His bite was outta sight.”           Weaknesses: Pam Grier, who in the 1973 sequel “Scream Blacula Scream,” stabs a voodoo doll, killing Blacula  

5. Lestat, Louis and Akasha “The Vampire Chronicles,” by Anne Rice (book and movie)           Origin: In Rice’s mythology (beginning with “Interview With the Vampire” in 1976), vampires originate from an Egyptian queen who is cursed with a bloodthirsty spirit.           Powers: Super strength, speed, telekinesis and flight. Older vamps can set things ablaze at will, can read thoughts and “cloud” human minds.           Weaknesses: Sunlight, fire, inability to have children; immortal malaise.  

6. Angel “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” by Joss Whedon (movie, TV show, comics)           Origin: Once a soulless vampire, Angel (introduced in 1997) was cursed by a gypsy to regain his soul — and thus carry the guilt of his deeds.           Powers: Super strength, speed, able to spin off own show           Weaknesses: Sunlight, wooden stakes, crucifixes, holy water and Sarah Michelle Gellar  

7. Dracula “Dracula 2000,” produced by Wes Craven (movie)           Origin: The first vampire is actually the biblical Judas. His punishment for betraying Jesus: immortality and insatiable hunger.           Powers: Super strength, speed, ability to disappear from box office           Weaknesses: Sunlight, silver, Christian iconography, fire  

8. Edward Cullen “Twilight,” by Stephenie Meyer (2005 book and 2008 movie)           Origin: Cullen was born in Chicago in 1901, and turned by a senior vampire when Cullen nearly died in the 1918 influenza pandemic.           Powers: Super strength, speed, telepathy; marble-like, cold, hard skin; fwoopy hair.           Weaknesses: Dismemberment, fire; the piercing screams of 7th-grade girls; direct sunlight makes skin “glittery”.

During this event, I read a short script with Michelle L’amour  from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”.  I never watched the show, so I don’t really feel I can give an educated opinion on things.  And I’m sure the comic was probably better than the show or movie (never saw that either).  However, from the short script that I read, I found her to be quite a whiney little brat and someone who I would probably get rather annoyed with.   And to that I say…

Vote for “Greta the Vampire Slayer” instead!

~Greta Layne

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~ by Greta Layne on June 30, 2010.

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