Saturday, January 03, 2009

Creatures of the Night Bus

We Knights of the Stained Beermat (K. Musgrove 2008), were idly discussing our plans for Saturnalia down The Tethered Goat the other day when I noticed some Balkan lady colleagues drifting around a bottle of Chateau Lupescu, livid lips drawn back from tarry teeth.

"Brides of Dracula," noted the ever-gallant K Man.

"Divorcees of Dracula, if the old boy had any luck," I suggested.

There followed a debate as to whether vampires had divorce laws, given that they are not praised for their patience and Death doth them not part. We concluded that Transylvanian civil courts were out of the question, given Catholic Habsburg rule, so Dracula probably used some earthier legal code like the Pukhtunwali of the Pathan tribesmen.

(Lady readers ought to know that 90 per cent of male pub conversations run along these lines. We blunder like moths around such dim candles as "Who'd win in a fight, The Terminator or The Rock?" and "Can Manxmen feel pain?". I shall elaborate on this theme in my forthcoming book "Everything You Learned from 'Sex and The City' is Wrong".)

The vampire is something of an endangered species these days, driven from most of Central Europe by the anæmia of Communist-era victims, improved street-lighting and sheer shame at being mistaken for a Goth.

Even the BBC World Service has closed its Romanian Section, hitherto a chill nesting-place what with its dark corridors, evening schedules and proximity to Charing Cross Hospital.

The vampire loiters on in the American suburbs, baffled by soft rock, body piercings and hostile blonde teenagers, but still hankering for the woodcutter's demure and dark-eyed daughters high on the Borgo Pass.

Most disappointing of all are his new band of mourners. Once he brought Slovak and Gypsy together in bondage before his pallid will, adding the occasional deranged English lawyer for intellectual stimulation and insect control. Now the vampire must make do with pudgy creatures of the keyboard.

One such acolyte wrote to a colleague some time ago, complaining about a minor error in an article on Romania. My colleague corrected the mistake - about Vlad Ţepeş and his residence at Bran Castle - but resented the hectoring tone and advice to consult the Lonely Planet Guide to Romania for further information.

I can't help but think that Brad - our Californian pleintif - was not a genuine scholar of Mediæval Eastern Europe. His views on the Bulgaro-Byzantine wars at the time of the Frankish occupation of Constantinople, the rise of Protestantism in Hungary or the retreat of Turkish influence on the Adriatic littoral would most likely provide little illumination.

Why not? First of all, his counsel to base all further research on travel guides written by hippies and bought by braid-haired trustafarians intent on screwing the last rupee out of their gap-year victim-country of choice did not inspire confidence.

Moreover, I had a suspicion that Brad is probably not interested in Vlad Ţepeş the Wallachian dynast but Vlad Ţepeş the alleged vampire. And then I don't mean the folkloric revenant of Balkan myth but rather the B-movie sexual predator and his bevvy of wan, sluttish brides.

Brad most likely thinks he's a bit of an expert on vampirism. After one Miller Lite too many he may try to impress girls down the college bar with his esoteric knowledge and alluring air of mystery. But when he gets back to the table with some drinks they've gone.

Their laughter echoes as he lopes back to his room to hope that his reflection in the mirror is fading, or that his canine teeth are a little longer and sharper than when he returned from computer science class that afternoon.

So he opens another tab of soda, puts on a favourite video - George Romero's "Martin", or perhaps a toothsome Jean Rollin lesbian flick - slips his tear-moistened palm down the front of his Levis, and waits for the bedroom window to blow open and for long, pale arms to embrace and claim him as their own.

The Frankensteins never had this problem. All they did was turn up in the ancestral hamlet and an authenic hunchback would be there ready and waiting to rebuild the castle, thaw out the monster and point the way to the nearest windmill.

All the vampire has these days are German provincial cannibals, yoghurt-fed Home Counties drabs and fat lads with more bandwidth than friends. "Maudite, maudite sois-tu!"


Ms Scarlet said...

I shall elaborate on this theme in my forthcoming book "Everything You Learned from 'Sex and The City' is Wrong"

Can I put my name down for a copy Mr Boyo? Are you going to deconstruct the best bits of my education?

Gorilla Bananas said...

To be fair to Dracula he allowed his wives a lot of freedom, giving them free rein of his castle and the Harker boy as a plaything and blood bank. I bet they're quite a few girls in Swansea who'd be tempted by that sort of polygamy.

Mrs Boyo said...

From a legal point of view the young ladies in question were merely brides, and not wives. Therefore the Count would not need to divorce but rather simply jilt them.

Gorilla Bananas said...

Couldn't they sue him for breach of promise, Mrs Boyo? I believe such suits did occur in the 19th century.

Gyppo Byard said...

I see your mad missive on pre-Renaissance Transylvanian folderol and raise you a claim on Sri Lankan history, from the same green-ink correspondence file. More on my blog, anon...

Mrs Pouncer said...

My dear old father was duty doctor on Brides of Dracula and I have a glorious photograph of him and Yvonne Monlaur - she is playfully pulling at his stethoscope. It made page 2 of the Maidenhead Advertiser.

Kevin Musgrove said...

I've noticed that we don't get many ranty missives from college fanboys when we write about Henry Kendall and Ronald Frankau.

xerxes said...

For the love of god, Boyo, reassure us that you haven't actually been watching that unspeakable dreck. It's not that I'd think any the less of you for doing so, but rather that I'd fear your your self-esteem and general mental health.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Oh, Boyo, you've set my juices flowing with this: I may know nothing about b-movies or Sex and The City but I do know Transylvania and the Home Counties. Chateau Lupescu... and now you've me horny as well.

No Good Boyo said...

Good to hear from you all!

I'll be excerpting the tome on this web blog, Scarlet.

I agree with you both, Madame Boyo and Gorilla Bananas, that Dracula was a nobleman and therefore probably quite relaxed about the behaviour of his gals, and his towards them. At least if my encounters with Marcher lords are anything to judge by.

Sri Lanka eh, Gyppo? Never trust a country that thinks it deserves two words in its name. At least it doesn't insist on a "The", I suppose.

Ah, Mrs Pouncer, Brides of Dracula was the Cinderella of the Hammer series. A fine film that Madame Boyo said she enjoyed sleeping through more than most.

Wait 'til your readers find out Wolfit was in Blood of the Vampire and the green ink will soon seep towards your vaudeville section, Kevin.

I confess to enjoying Martin, Inky, but Rollin is rubbish. Daughters of Darkness is more like it:

Happy to be of service, Gadjo.

Julian Meteor said...

NGB your pub conversations are VERY different from mine!!!!!! lmao

Do you ever go down to Plymouth? I CHALLENGE you to a round of my NEW fave game.

THEN we can talk about vamps.

...and THEN we can go on the pull?

Please confirm; either way

No Good Boyo said...

Your game sounds delightful, Julian. I shall send the K Man down first to ensure its suitability. I've been to Portsmouth, will that do?

Gyppo Byard said...

"I shall send the K Man down first to ensure its suitability."

What has poor Julian done to deserve that?

Julian Meteor said...

K Man COULD be ok.
Pls send his wingman stats BY RETURN.

Portsmouth is NOT a good place.
I caught THRUSH last time I went there (but I was on anti-biotics, so doc said it MAY not have come from HER)

xerxes said...

Damn, just saw my typo. I wouldn't fear your self-esteem, but fear for it. Intransitive rather than transitive; makes all the difference in the world.

And anyway, I was drivelling on about Sex and the City. That other stuff is recommended by all good psychiatrists.

No Good Boyo said...

Sex and The City, like many US shows, had a good first series and then lost its edge. Like most heterosexual men I watched it because the TV remote control was hijacked by female forces. It could have been worse, though. Grey's Anatomy, for example.

Hayley Thomas said...

Reading that blog was like therapy. After recently having argued with a gothic acquintance of mine about the long-term future of basing your life on Buffy the Vampire slayer, your digs at the yoghurt-fed gang were just bloody fantastic.

No Good Boyo said...

Welcome, Hayely. You're right, these nosferattans need a good bambooing.

Excellent to have you on board, and I look forward to exploring your web blog.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
xerxes said...

Mme Inkspot claims that S and the C reminds her of what her life was like. My mind isn't boggled, it just refuses to process this datum.

Thud said...

A fine if somewhat demented post.

No Good Boyo said...

You're right on both counts, young Thud, and have a mighty blog over there. Welcome to Welshworld.

Julian Meteor said...

NGB - you should post MORE often.
A good blog, to an UNemployed man is like GOLD dust.


Let me know; either way.
Or, help get me a job?

M C Ward said...

Brother Boyo, I need the help of the Cymru Rouge's Immigration and Ingratiation Directorate... a large Brazilian friend of mine's going to England in March and he wants to visit the Principality. He's asked me for advice about where to go, but I feel ill-equipped to enlighten him, as I only know Swansea, Cardiff, Machen and Betws-y-Coed, not necessarily in that order.

Where would a welcome be kept in the hillside for a big Brazilian, if anywhere? Valeu!

Mrs Pouncer said...

I am ready to welcome big Brazilians, MC. The Thames Valley braces itself.

Gyppo Byard said...

Argh. I was normal again today and then Mrs Pouncer used the word 'Brazilian'.

No Good Boyo said...

Dear Ward,

Your large Brazilian friend may decide he wants to stay in the Thames Valley, but if Wales still tempts him I'd suggest Cardiff is worth a day of anyone's time.

If he has access to a car, the Black Mountains are an easily-accessible piece of genuine wilderness.

In general he ought to abandon whatever pointless sporting plans he might have and devote his visit to exploring Wales.

Highlights other than the above:

Gower Peninsula near Swansea - pretty,

Bettws-Y-Coed and the approaches to Snowdon - singular,

The Castles at Dolwyddelan, Conway and Caernarfon - stony,

Angelesey, home of Wales's biggest nutters,

Newport, the drunkenest town in Wales, and

Dolgellau, homeland of The Boyo.

If he goes to Dolgellau, I'll be delighted to put him in contact with my brothe Morthwyl, the most violent but jovial man in Gwynedd. He has a house, a dog and some soup.


M C Ward said...

Thanks for that. It doesn't look like I've missed much - I was going to say Cardiff and/or Snowdonia. Oh and I've been to Portmerion too, but that doesn't really count, does it?

No Good Boyo said...

Port(h)meirion is special. I spent a pleasant couple of days staying at the castle some years ago. Bring your own giant beachball.

Unknown said...

Vampire enthusiasts could visit the cheeky Transylvanian-loving Lembit Öpik's constituency of Montgomeryshire and Michael Howard's House of Horror in Llanelli.

No Good Boyo said...

I'd not thought of that, Andrew. We're not well-supplied with vampires in Wales, being more of a werewolf kind of country, so three cheers to Michael and Lembit for sharing their East European heritage with us. Truly is Wales a melting cauldron of all the worst atavisms of our island continent.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Former cheeky Transylvanian-loving Lembit Öpik, sadly. Has Michael Howard opened his ancestral cabbage shop in Llanelli as a House of Horrors?? Good for him!

Further proof of the Translyvania-Wales connection (and of the persistent if bizarre use of Wales as a measuring stick), Transylvania is frequently discribed as "3 times the size of wales".

Unknown said...

Lembit can be replaced by Ray "Dracula" Reardon, born in the Vogon heartland of Tredgar.

xerxes said...

"Former cheeky...". There is indeed sadness there. I had such hopes for that relationship, starting, as it did, with a date in the Science Museum. Not many British women would be impressed by that, I suspect, but Transylvanians seem different.

No Good Boyo said...

Where does Lembit go next is the question. And Reardon would need both Cheeks. One wouldn't be enough for a man like that.

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