I do not own the Mythbusters. I simply garner amusement at their expense.
VAMPIRE MYTHS: CONFIRMED OR BUSTED?
Jamie and Adam met in Jamie's office.
"I've been going over our email," said Adam. "And I'm seeing a lot of requests to expand on our earlier episode where we explored some vampire myths. I'm intrigued by some of the requests."
"Like what?" asked Jamie.
"The one I find most interesting has to do with a vampire being unable to enter your home unless you invite it inside. To expand upon this, some myths also say that if you invite a vampire into your home, you become powerless against the vampire."
"I'm not familiar with that last one."
"Remember on the previous show, where we confirmed that vampires are repelled by garlic and cannot approach a blessed cross?"
"Off course, we also busted the myths that a vampire cannot approach a mirror, and that plain water shot from a super-soaker is deadly to vampires. We lost two mythterns in the process."
"I prefer to think of it as creating job openings," said Adam. "Anyway, according to some myths, if you invite a vampire into your home, you won't be able to repel it with garlic and you will be more susceptible to its ability to mesmerize you."
"I don't like testing myths in our homes," said Jamie. "We don't have the shop's resources there, and I consider it an invasion of my employee's privacy."
"True enough," said Adam. "But I've been checking with the folklorists. According to them, any sort of shelter can become a home. You simply have to live in it for over a week. We have a half dozen mobile homes left over from the 'Are Tornadoes Attracted to Trailers' myth."
"Yes, nobody seems to want to buy one of the things after we confirmed that myth. I still get weekly death-threats from people who used to have jobs building them. But what are you suggesting?"
"Just this," replied Adam. "We can line the trailers up inside the shop. The post office is willing to assign each one a separate address. We can tie into the shop's utilities and have one mythtern move into each unit. According to all of the folklorists, after a week of living in the trailer, receiving mail and phone calls there, the trailer becomes a home. We can test the myth with all of our resources close by."
"I like it," said Jamie. "We then have to determine what constitutes an invitation. For instance, if you throw an open party, have you just 'invited' everybody or everything into your home?"
"That's why I want the multiple homes," countered Adam. "First of all, we don't even know if a vampire is unable to enter a home without an invitation. We can have one of these homes as the control, with no invitation of any sort. We can then provide varying degrees of invitation for the other homes and see if a vampire can enter. Once the vampire is inside we can see if the occupant is able to drive it out using various methods."
"Better and better," Jamie approved. "We have already confirmed that garlic and blessed crosses will repel a vampire under normal conditions. We were unable to find a reason why they did so. We have never found a way to quantify religion with science. However, we can use science to measure how a spiritual stimulus, such as a blessing, will react to other non-scientific variables, such as being in your home."
"We can also rig up the trailers and the shop with cameras to keep an eye on our subjects. We determined that a vampire's ability to mesmerize you doesn't work through a camera. One of us can observe all interactions, and be ready to take action in case of an emergency. "
"Perfect, but now for the real hard part."
"I know," Adam muttered. "We're going to have to find a vampire. We could only locate the one for the earlier show and we lost him when we determined the proper combination of ultraviolet, infrared, and visible light needed to harm vampires."
"It took us weeks to get the smell out of the shop, but it proved that the sprinkler system works."
"Well," Adam mused. "I'll get started with the folklorists. With any luck, I'll be able to track down another vampire."
"It might not be that hard."
"You know about one?"
"Two actually," Jamie leaned back with a satisfied smirk. "The mythterns we lost when we busted the myths about moving water and mirrors. We lost them as mythterns, but I hired them to watch the place at night. Convincing them to work on the show might be the problem. They both said that the job was a real pain in the neck."
"Very funny, so how about we try to use them as test subjects without them being aware of it?"
"Sounds promising, but we will probably wind up forgoing mythterns in the trailers. Since the two vampires are still mad at you, me, Grant, Kari, and Tory for allowing them to be killed, if we give them an opportunity, they will probably try to get even."
"If they're that mad, why did you hire them?"
"They needed the work. Apparently it isn't cheap to find a completely sunlight-proof apartment, they couldn't find anybody willing to hire a vampire, and the insurance company is fighting their claims in court."
"They tried to collect their life insurance, but the insurance company is claiming that they aren't really dead since they can walk and talk. The vampires brought in medical experts who claim that they are dead since they have no pulse or body heat. The insurance company then countered with a medical expert that measured them for brain wave activity. Then the vampires threatened to sue the insurance company's expert."
"When the vampires showed up at the lab for the EEG, they laid down very quietly on the table and didn't breathe. Vampires don't need to breathe if they aren't speaking."
"I don't understand what that has to do with the lawsuit."
"The medical expert was unable to detect either breathing or a pulse in his subjects. If he believed that they were alive, he would have been required to perform CPR, but he didn't. As a result, he is forced between two courses of action. He can either testify that he believes them to be alive, which will leave him vulnerable to a malpractice suit, or testify that they are dead and loose the case for the insurance company. This was actually a very clever move by our toothy friends. But the whole case is still backed up in the court system and they had no way to support themselves. I felt sorry for them so I hired them as night watchmen."
"Where do they get the blood they need?"
"I prefer not to think about it, but I have noticed that the crowd of fans who used to be clustered outside the shop every morning just isn't there anymore."
"My fault for asking, remind me to never meet with fans after dark ever again. But shall we check out the home-based vampire myths?"
"Excellent, lets get to work!"
The next day, Jamie called his crew into his office and discussed the myths to be tested, the methods they would use, and the division of labor to prepare for the testing. "The most important thing is secrecy," Jamie stressed. "If the vampires find out that we are testing them, they will probably either leave, or go out of their way to mess up the results."
"So how do we explain us being here, in trailers?" Kari asked. "I remember these two when they were mythterns, and they weren't stupid. They'll figure out something is up unless we can provide a reason why we have suddenly moved in to the shop."
"How about we claim that we are testing how long it takes our sleep patterns to settle down after we modify our living arrangements?" pointed out Grant. "This will give us a reason to move into the shop temporarily. It will also give me a cover story to install a combination of infrared, visible, and ultraviolet spotlights. I'll disguise them as additional cameras. That way, if the vampires get too aggressive, we can activate a burst of deadly light to protect ourselves."
"Good idea," Jamie approved. "That will be your job. Kari and Tory, you'll install the trailers in the shop and tie them into the utilities. We are putting ourselves in danger, but we might as well be comfortable. Does anybody else have any suggestions?"
"I do," said Tory. "I know a couple of guys who spend their time roaming the country, fighting monsters. They've dealt with vampires before. I'd like to bring them in and get their insight. They may be able to help us keep ourselves safe and maybe even give us some more ideas to test."
"They chase monsters?" Jamie smirked. "Do you believe in monsters?"
"At this time last year I didn't," Tory countered. "But now that you have a vampire-shaped scorch mark on your shop floor, I'd think you would be a little more open-minded about what is and isn't possible."
"That was a rather convincing incident," admitted Jamie. "Wasn't it?"
"I never want to hear a shriek like that again." Tory shuddered. "I swear I went through puberty in reverse, Grant's eyes still haven't returned to their normal size and it took us an hour to get Kari's fingernails out of the workbench."
"On the plus side," interjected Adam. "I set my personal best for the standing high jump. The landing needed work though."
"Yes, I remember it well," admitted Jamie. "I wound up throwing my clothes away rather than trying to wash them. Anyway, point taken, I would appreciate it if you could arrange a meeting."
"On it, boss."
Over the next several days there was a flurry of activity at M5 Industries. Under Tory and Kari's direction, movers placed five mobile homes along the shop's outside wall. The two then went to work connecting the trailers to the shop's electrical system, water and sewer lines. Grant spent most of his time at ceiling level, installing and sighting spotlights and cameras. Adam nearly electrocuted himself trying to help. It was while Tory was replacing several breakers that a black, '67 Impala pulled into the parking lot.
Tory introduced the Winchester brothers to Jamie. The four of them spent a few minutes in Jamie's office before Jamie called the remaining team members inside. "Everyone," he began. "I would like you to meet Dean and Sam Winchester. Tory was right, they have some good insights, and I think it is important that everyone hear what they have to say."
"Okay people," Dean started. "You are going to be dealing with vampires. We want to help you since you might uncover some information that will help us. The fact that you managed to synthesize sunlight has already saved out butts on one occasion."
"We'll start with the basics," Sam continued. "You want to determine if a vampire cannot enter your home unless you invite it in. This is true. Your boss, on the other hand, is talking about degrees of invitation. I think that this is worth checking."
"Grant, you are going to be the control for this," Jamie said. "Once you move into your trailer, do not in any way invite them in. You will also have one of the kill switches for the light system with you at all times, and you will have monitors and switch gear for all of the cameras in your trailer."
"These guys have come up with something else for us to test," said Jamie. "Please explain."
Dean glanced at Sam, and then took the floor. "Silver seems to work fairly well against most evil creatures," he told them. "But bullets don't always work as well as they should. One of the hunters we know makes use of a silver axe. It is more effective than the bullets. Since bullets hit harder than the axe, I want to know why the axe is more deadly. Our lives might depend on it."
"I'll take this one," Tory spoke up.
"Be careful," Sam cautioned. "We have never killed a vampire with silver weapons. They just slow it down so you can kill it the proper way."
"Which is?" asked Tory.
Kari promptly started to gag.
"Good enough people, we've got two vampire related myths to bust. Let's get to work."
Two weeks later, Jamie and Tory met with Jamie's insurance agent to discuss the damage to the shop and several injury claims.
"The way I understand this situation," began the agent. "You were testing some myths…"
"Theories!" Jamie insisted.
"Okay, theories, about vampires. Since I cannot understand how these tests could have possibly resulted in the damages and injuries claimed, please start from the beginning."
"Fine," said Tory. "I'll start. We had it on good authority that vampires have moderate negative reactions to contact with silver. Yet silver bullets didn't seem to kill them. My theory was that it was the contact with silver, rather than the tissue trauma, that harmed the vampires."
"And have you ever seen a vampire?"
"Three, well four, and I've seen three destroyed. If you would like to see the results, we can visit the shop."
"Perhaps later, so what modifications did you make to the weapons."
"Well we started with silver rifle and pistol rounds and tested them on pig carcasses."
"Of course," said the agent, while thinking, "He does this for a living! I don't know whether to be concerned or envious."
"And like I suspected, the silver was so hard that it just punched through the bodies."
"Amazing that nobody considered this before. I'm sure thousands of brilliant arms manufacturers have spent days on end pondering the issue."
"Sarcasm noted, but you did ask. Anyway, we tried making silver hollowpoints and dum-dum rounds, but we couldn't come up with a reliable method of making the bullets penetrate but still stay in the bodies. Another thing is that silver is too hard to engage the rifling in the barrels. This makes these rounds inaccurate at long range."
"How did western civilization make it this far with such handicaps?" said the agent, while wondering if anybody in his office could hear him scream for help, if it came to that.
"Anyway, we couldn't come up with accurate long range silver bullets, either."
"Have you applied for a patent for your no-doubt brilliant solution, which I am sure you will be telling me in a bit."
"No brilliant solution, we found out that silver-tipped crossbow bolts work best at long range, while shotgun shells, with silver shot, work best at shorter ranges."
"I'll be ordering one of each as soon as we're done here. Thanks to you, I can sleep again. Anyway, this still doesn't explain how the shop sustained the damage."
"We're getting to that, it had to do with the other myth we were testing. Jamie was working more than me on that one."
The agent turned to Jamie with an expression that said, "please be the sane one."
"We knew that a vampire couldn't enter your home unless you invited it in," said Jamie. "We were trying to find out if vampires could be affected by conditional invitations. You know, feel free to come in and watch the game."
The agent's expression showed great disappointment. "I'm going to regret asking this, but what did you find out?"
"Vampires are affected by conditional invitations, but you have to be very exact with the wording. For instance if you say 'feel free to come in to watch the Giants' game,' the vampire will only be able to come in and watch a Giants' game. If you make the mistake of saying 'feel free to come in and watch the Giants' game,' then it will be able to come in and do anything. You see, you just invited it to both come in and you invited it to watch a Giants' game."
The agent studied Jamie's enthusiastic expression with growing horror. "Why didn't I get that concealed weapons permit or at least buy a stun gun?" he thought to himself, "I should have learned my lesson the last time he made a claim."
"So inviting vampires for male bonding is subject to Boolean mathematics. This is good information, have you told the Pope or the logic department at Cal Tech yet?"
"Don't ask the questions if you aren't sure you want to hear the answers. We didn't call the Pope, he had a dedicated web-cam installed in my shop over a year ago, so we didn't need to. Anyway, we had made some progress in our research, but we had been forced to fend off of a couple of attacks. No harm was done since we were ready with crosses and garlic."
"Of course, safety first, but what went wrong?"
"Well, things were going great and we had become comfortable with our ability to invite the vampires into our trailers, while retaining control. It was then that I took the experiment to the next level."
"I know I don't want to know, but I need to, what did you do?"
"I knew that vampires couldn't enter your home without an invitation, but I wanted to find out if it could break into the home. I rescinded my earlier invitations and went to my office and gave myself a slight cut on the neck. Then I walked to my trailer, right past one of the vampires. It couldn't resist. It took off after me and I dove into my trailer. The vampire rammed into the flimsy, aluminum door and just bounced right back. Then it gave out a howl that loosened the bowels of every man and beast for a half mile and started tearing chunks out of the wall."
"The two monster hunters that were staying with us heard the howl and knew what it meant. They pulled out the weaponry Tory had made and went after the vampire. They shot crossbow bolts and the vampire ducked them. Then they chased him all over the shop…"
"Didn't you say you had some sort of light-based safety system? Why didn't you use it?"
"Only one of the vampires was being aggressive. We didn't want to kill the other one."
"Of course, go on."
"Well, the hunters finally cornered the vampire and cut loose with their shotguns. They filled the vampire full of silver shot. It was like heating an unopened can. The vampire's tissues started to vaporize but they were trapped inside its body. The thing let out a loud squeal that was higher than a chipmunk on helium, and it got higher and higher. We were all rolling on the ground with our hands on our ears when it blew up. Simple physics."
"Of course, I'm surprised they don't warn you about this in middle school. But, oh yes; you had just pioneered silver projectile weaponry."
"It's in a handbook now, the hunters are going to spread the word. Unfortunately the hunters had cornered the vampire by the main breaker box. The explosion was an endothermic reaction. The heat of the explosion set off the sprinkler heads over the main breaker. This shorted the breaker box and killed our light based safety system. We had never thought to provide battery back up."
"I don't know if I should be happy or scared," thought the agent. "This just explained the bills from the sprinkler servicing company and the electrician." Then he said, "I'm sure that battery backup will also go into the handbook. But what was the problem, hadn't you just eliminated the aggressive vampire?"
"While I was baiting that one, Kari was in her trailer debating with other one. Kari is a strict vegetarian and she considered it the ultimate challenge to convert a vampire. Like I said, we had gotten perhaps a little too comfortable around them. Her invitation left a loophole that allowed the vampire to attack her. It was clever and didn't attack until the commotion gave it a distraction."
"Wait, I thought that you had perfected the conditional invitation."
"We had, but this vampire had mesmerized her, very subtly, when she invited it into her trailer. It somehow countered her offer to 'enter her home in order to debate the morals of feeding' to 'enter her home in order to engage in oral competition.' This gave it the loophole it needed. Very clever."
"So what happened next?"
"Well, our camera system was battery backed so Grant saw what was happening. He tried his safety system but it was dead. So he grabbed a cross and a bottle of garlic juice and ran for Kari's trailer, yelling to us the whole way. Unfortunately, the first vampire's explosion had sprayed a film of vampire by-product on the floor outside of his trailer. This stuff is incredibly slippery, it just might be the world's best lubricant. We've saved some of it for testing."
"Back to the incident please."
"Right, anyway Grant hit this stuff and his feet shot right out from under him. When he fell on the stuff he kept right on sliding across the floor. Unfortunately, his bottle of garlic juice broke and the juice reacted with the vampire essence and ignited. Like I said, the slime was incredibly slippery so he slid along the floor like it was a Slip-and-Slide from hell."
"God help me but that explains his burns on the emergency room report. What about the puncture wounds to his legs?"
"Remember the crossbow bolts that the hunters had shot and missed? He encountered them."
"Ah yes, Murphy's Law. What happened with the other vampire?"
"Grant is a tough guy and he managed to tell us what was happening even while he was sliding by, on fire. The rest of us ran for Kari's trailer and caught the vampire as it was trying to escape. Since we couldn't shoot it, for fear of hitting Kari, we unleashed the garlic juice. Vampires react to garlic like we do to mace. It was blinded and disoriented. Adam tackled the thing and grappled with it. Once it was on the ground one of the hunters put his shotgun barrel right on its chest fired. When this one exploded, it sent Adam flying across the shop."
"That explains his cuts, bruises, and sprains. But he was released from the hospital yet that night. Why isn't he with us right now?"
"Adam's no coward, but he had just had his innards rattled by a vampire feeding howl, then had his ears attacked by a vampire's death squeal, and then watched a burning electrical engineer slide along the floor shouting instructions. It was already surreal and getting launched by a vampire-based explosion didn't' help any. It just became too much for him. He has run off and joined a monastery."
"So at least he is done making trouble?"
"Probably not for long. He did this once before when we explored some Voodoo myths and learned a few things that we didn't want to. After a few months, he realized that the monks didn't have any power tools for him to injure himself with, and he left. He'll do the same this time."
"What about Kari?"
"Yes, she is now a vampire and we have her in therapy."
"Yes, like I said she's a vegetarian. The very thought of drinking blood makes her retch. If you ever want to be sick, watch a vampire barf while trying to feed."
"I'll be sure to tell Weight Watchers, but you were talking about therapy."
"We are working with her. She just can't force herself to drink blood, and the idea of piercing skin with her fangs makes her ill. Currently, we are making ballistics gel heads and necks, and providing them with fake veins full of tomato juice for her to practice on. By slowly introducing beef blood to the tomato juice we are trying to desensitize her to feeding. With any luck, we will be able to eventually get her to the point where she can feed on cattle without getting sick."
"She's still an employee. She takes care of the shop at night and she keeps an eye on overnight experiments..."
"Isn't that what the first two vampires did?"
"Yep, but like I said, she's a vegetarian, and a friend. I'm sure we won't have the same problems with her. But if we do, I'm sure you will be able to review the claims."
The agent dropped his head into his hands and wondered if the monastery might have another opening.
On the way back to the shop, Tory and Jamie discussed their experiences.
"Do you think that guy's going to be okay?" Tory asked.
"Yeah, I've been through this before. My underwriter uses me as a kind of initiation for new agents. If they can handle a couple of my claims, the company knows they are capable. I've never seen him cry or twitch. He'll be fine."
"What about Grant?"
"I called him before we came here. Since the sprinkler system kicked on quickly, none of his burns are very bad. He's expected to make a full recovery and he should be out of the hospital in few days. He's already designing a vampire fighting robot."
"How about Sam and Dean?"
"They've slipped off. I didn't want them to have to answer questions. Their work is too important and they have to bend the law now and then. I did give them twenty pounds of raw silver before they left. I'm sure they can use it."
"Well boss, I have to admit that this has been an interesting two weeks. It sure beats a desk job. Any ideas for the next myth?"
"I've received a few letters asking me if it is possible to capture a bogeyman."
"Sounds good to me."
My dear wife, Ciya had posted this story for me before I had an account. I am posting it here so that everyone knows whom to blame.