Being Eric:

A Vampire's Story

(Focus on a burning building labeled "Imp's Coffee: Villains and Villains Served, est. 1973." Werewolves, ghouls, pumpkinheads, skeletons, vampires, witches, and a drunken Pegasus—all of them bohemian—flee the building while a manic voice snickers indiscreetly from within the flaming wreckage.)

Narrator – ERIC THE VAMPIRE: It's a shame you never got to drink that coffeehouse's espresso, girls. The critics called it "death in a mug" and "liquid Auschwitz," but we scarlet-collar workers knew it by another name. Harriet, your parents might object to this word—be a big girl and keep this all to yourself. The word was…uh…well, that's not why I'm showing you this videotape.

Anyhey, girls, Imp's was burned down by Kid Mencken, a chestnut-haired youth. As for his real name—it might be Bill and it might be George—but everyone called him Kid Mencken. "Kid" as he was the kid of the county preacher. "Mencken" because he, like his ancient namesake, H.L. Mencken, hated all his teachers, especially the fundamentalists. The only reason he burned down Imp's Coffee was because they wouldn't let him read poetry at open mic. It wasn't because his poetry read like a Neanderthal's first manuscript. Which it did. It was because the proprietor, Imp McGee, only allowed villains to do anything at his coffeehouse. Mortals couldn't even drink the water. It's okay, girls! If everything works out, Imp's getting reborn this March! Just remember, after you leave my crypt, please remember not to see a man like the Kid.

(A whisper.)

What was that, Jenda? What are men like Kid Mencken like? Sadly, girls, I have his whole life's story on me. Harriet, eject the coffeehouse tape and put in the one labeled "Property of the San Francisco Police Department."

(Cut to an obviously poverty-stricken mother sitting on a cot with her obviously illegitimate six-year old son, who is bawling his eyes out.)

BOY: It was the same as last night! All of the characters on The Simpsons were the only survivors of Earth after the big comet hit! And worse, all of the women were taken! Marge was faithful to Homer as ever, Patty wouldn't put out, and I was last on Selma's long, long list! All I had was Ms. Krabappel!

MOTHER: You're not a Simpsons character.

BOY: That's what you think! Jerry Guyland from history class called me "Ned Flanders" the other day! And I Wikipedia'd the loon, and his real name is Nedward too! It's unreal, Mama! Please tell Mr. Groening to put more females on the show! I don't want to spend the rest of my days in Mrs. Krabappel's bed!

(The videotape skips through a few scenes. It then focuses on the same boy, now nineteen, walking through an alley with a significantly younger boy in a torn black polo shirt. Another whisper.)

ERIC THE VAMPIRE: Who's the boy, Harriet? Well, as you probably figured out by now, that's Kid Mencken on the right…on his left though…don't you know, girls?

That's right, it's me, your pal, Eric the Vampire! You know it all already: the magic man, sucks sweat instead of blood, flies through the eleventh dimension as well as the sixth, engages in daily extramarital affairs with underage fat mummy girls such as yourselves…

Well…uh…moving on, girls, I was acquainted with Kid Mencken for six months! Like most of the people he considered his "friend," I fancied him an occasionally amusing annoyance. Sure, he invited me to his mama's shack a couple of times, but I only accepted so that I could get a good look at the funny cartoons that were spray painted on that shack's side wall. Must have been the work of one of Mama Mencken's one-nighters. Maybe if he had stayed a week instead, he'd turn Kid Mencken into the next Robert Crumb. Yes, that would be nice, for you girls to be drinking espresso at Imp's with me instead of watching my entire home movie collection here in my crypt… I'll let you watch this for yourselves…

KID MENCKEN: So, where are we going, Eric? You're not dragging me to the Abercrombie, are you? I don't think I could stomach seeing another blonde Sarah Palin purchasing Wonderjeans by the dozens! You know, the ones which triple the size of a girl's gluteus maximus! I read that Sir Mix-A-Lot only overdosed because he was sick of all the big butts he went for turning out to be products of Abercrombie and Fitch!

YOUNG ERIC: I don't appreciate your prejudices, Kid Mencken. My dad might be a San Francisco realtor, but the last time I went in an Abercrombie was with my big sister. I don't plan on returning.

No, the place I have in mind is much scarier than Abercrombie, even more than it was in 1892. You and me are going to…the Hashbury!

KID MENCKEN: (laughing) The Hashbury? Damn, you're amateur. That's the problem with the children of realtors, they wind up living in the Reefer Madness generation, decades after Woodstock!

YOUNG ERIC: My dad won't let me watch Reefer Madness.

KID MENCKEN: Oh, please! What do you do for fun, Eric?

YOUNG ERIC: I teach my dog to sing Steve Miller Band songs.

KID MENCKEN: That's called animal torture, man! I bet every time your dog barks, he's cussing you out in dogspeak! I mean, which Steve Miller Band songs does he know?

YOUNG ERIC: "Rock N' Me" and "Jungle Love."

KID MENCKEN: Thank God you didn't teach him "Abracadabra!" That would put our friendship in double, no, final jeopardy!

YOUNG ERIC: Friendship, Kid Mencken?

KID MENCKEN: Well, we're not enemies, are we?

YOUNG ERIC: (thinks for a moment) I guess not, but you're kind of mean.

KID MENCKEN: Did your dad call me mean? Quit regurgitating that millionaire slave's every last word! I've done nothing but nice things for you and you know it, Eric! You should be happy that I'm taking you to Imp's Coffee!

YOUNG ERIC: Imp's Coffee? You know I'm not twenty-one.

KID MENCKEN: (groans) Neither am I.

(Once again, a whisper. The videotape is paused.)

ERIC THE VAMPIRE: That was a good question, Harriet. Girls, while alcoholic drinks are prohibited at Imp's Coffee, free love is permitted. And as any intelligent creature knows, in today's San Francisco, one has to be eighteen to legally make love while married, and twenty-one to legally make love freely. That's why I, being a perfectly law-abiding vampire, repressed every temptation to invite troupes of fat mummy girls to my crypt until months after my wedding.

(The fifth whisper of the night)

ERIC THE VAMPIRE: Oh yes, almost forgot. I'll let you girls watch the rest of the movie.

(Nonetheless, the videotape skips ahead again. Young Eric has followed Kid Mencken to Imp's Coffee. All they have to get past is a vampire bouncer.)

BOUNCER: Hey! You kids aren't things that go bump in the night! Scram, kids! It's only five o'clock PM, and if we get those rowdy centaurs in here tonight, I don't want to have wasted my energy on two minor mortals, yadadamean?

YOUNG ERIC: I know what you mean.

KID MENCKEN: (angry) No you don't, Eric! (looks at the vampire bouncer) Bouncer, my friend and I are purebred vampires! I was born in Transylvania! That's why I've got this slight lisp, it's actually part of my accent.

BOUNCER: If you were serious right now, you would know that only 5% of Transylvanians are vampires, and that only 2% of Transylvanians lisp when they speak. More of them stutter.

But if by some slim chance I'm mistaken, I'll give you an oral exam right here. If you pass, you're a vampire. If you fail, you're a mortal. Got it?

YOUNG ERIC & KID MENCKEN: (simultaneously) Got it.

BOUNCER: Good. Let me begin:

What is your father's surname?

KID MENCKEN: It was either Horowitz, Hernandez, Lurg, Cohen, Thomas, Albertson, Young, Cronmaker, Zimmerman, Jimson, Sacramentowitz, Farkleberg, Fowderton, Dickles, or Udlikrop. Oh yeah, or Jiparolch.

YOUNG ERIC: My dad's surname, like mine, is Cullen.

BOUNCER: Vlad the Impaler above! You might…

KID MENCKEN: Oh! I forgot two of 'em! Dongifcop and Smith. I've got the list somewhere if you're interested.

BOUNCER: I'm not interested, kid. You're clearly not a vampire. No vampire, or villain for that matter has ever been conceived by that many men. Mr. Cullen, on the other hand…is a vampire.

KID MENCKEN: (leaps up and down in rage) Dammit, dammit, dammit! When will I ever get what I want? It's not fair, life's not fair!

BOUNCER: Jeez, kid, I was going to let you read one poem at open mic night next weekend, but you're clearly no Poe.

(The tape ends abruptly, causing whisper #6.)

ERIC THE VAMPIRE: Hold on, girls, that's not the end of the video, and that's not the last I ever saw of Kid Mencken. Let me fast forward a tad…

(Nothing but feedback appears.)

That's never happened before. Maybe it's the wrong tape…wait, I must have taped over that part…

(An old episode of Beavis and Butthead appears on the screen)

BEAVIS: Hey, check it out, Butthead! This chick has three boobs!

BUTTHEAD: How many butts does she have?

(Eric laughs heartily, but the multitude of whispers near him causes him to stop the videotape entirely.)

ERIC THE VAMPIRE: It's getting late. I'll save the rest of that cartoon for tomorrow night's batch of fat mummy girls. Let me lead you all to my bedroom.

(end scene)