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A few days ago, as I made my long trek into work, I drove up next to a van with the words “Urgent Blood Transport” written in white across the back windshield.  Now I normally wouldn’t think anything of this phrase had it been posted on the side of, oh I don’t know, an ambulance-looking vehicle of some sort.  But no.  This was a 96′ Dodge Caravan that looked like it had been beat-up from the inside out by an entire team of  ten-year-olds on their way to soccer practice.  Not only that, but the lettering on the back couldn’t have looked less official (unless maybe written on a post-it or scrap grocery receipt found at the bottom of my purse).  The white letters looked to have been purchased at the Home Depot and had been dealt the same blows from the pack of ten-year-olds as the minivan itself.  Lets just say, I would definitely not want any of my blood transported in this vehicle, let alone urgently. 

So, with my interest at an all time high for 7:15 in the morning, I decided to drive past the van to see who was driving this apparent vehicle of deceit.  This did nothing to calm my fears about the safety and sterility of the substances inside the van, as the driver was SO obviously a vampire.  My mind did not immediately jump to this conclusion, however, as society has now taught us that the vampires of today are supposed to be brooding, beautiful and sparkly.  This guy, on the other hand, looked like he had spent a raucous night in his buddy’s basement with a 12 pack of Budweiser, at least two joints (maybe three), and a breathtaking game of quarters.  He looked to be about 42, was wearing a dirty white undershirt, had long, stringy hair and had very, very pale skin (not exactly the vampire of teenage dreams).  Once again, maybe I could have excused the appearance of the van if the driver had been wearing, oh I don’t know, some sort of uniform – something more official looking than the uniform normally worn by drunken car mechanics. 

This got me thinking about an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (or maybe it was Angel), when it was discovered that some of the local vampires were high-jacking blood as it was transported between hospitals.  Then it clicked!  The white skin.  The stringy hair.  The thinly veiled attempt to impersonate a hospital official.  This guy was totally a vampire!  But not one of the vampires that sell movie tickets and make the cover of Us Weekly – this was a real vampire who was totally jacking the blood of MY local hospital.  I didn’t know what to do.  Should I call 911?  Should I attempt to run him off the road?  So I did what any sane person would do in such a predicament – I took out my cell phone and tried to snap a picture of his van so I could show my husband later.  As I searched for my phone, the fake blood transporter started exiting the freeway and was gone.  I did not call 911.  I did not run him off the road.  I did not take his picture (not that he would have showed up in the print because, hello, vampire).  Instead, I let a very cunning (well, not that cunning being as I saw right through his ploy to appear human, but still – he’s trying) vampire out into the world to steal his next batch of blood.  If someone in my town ends up being brutally murdered by a vampire (or even dies because they do not receive their blood transfusion), it is totally on my head!

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So here’s the deal: lately I have found myself steeped in a lot of vampire lore.  Actually, that makes it sound way more academic than it is so let’s be honest: I’m reading Twilight while watching Buffy Season Two (mind you, this is all while I’m supposed to be doing homework so I can one day escape the mind-numbing boredom of an 8-5 desk job where I waste away under fluorescent lights until there’s no longer any difference between my skin tone and that of the pasty, ash-colored walls I labor beside, but I digress).

The problem with my spending so much time watching/reading vampire-related pulp is that I start to imagine myself as a character in said dramas.  Which wouldn’t be so bad if I imagined myself as, say, Buffy, which would be rad because then I would be a superhero and have an excellent wit (seriously, have you noticed how many puns and quips are inserted into that show?  Like one every 78 seconds.  Example:  Buffy: “Giles lived for school. He’s actually still bitter that there are only twelve grades. He probably sat in math class thinking, ‘There should be more math. This could be mathier.'”). But no.  Inevitably when I’m coming home after dark, walking up to my shadowy front door, I think to myself “If I were on Buffy right now, I’d totally be getting attacked by some rogue vampire/demon/bounty hunter/Spike-if-I’m-super-lucky” and then get all panicky and shove the key into the lock with undo force trying to get inside because once I’m inside then the house-protection or whatever it is kicks in and the vamps can’t come in unless I invite them (unless we’re talking aboutTwilight vampires because apparently Edward spent every night creepily stalking/watching Bella sleep in her room so that magic doesn’t apply to those vampires).

Totally normal, right?