In April 17 IssueRussell County News
By Wade Daffron, Columnist
My job (which I truly love) involves a lot a traveling. Many times I leave the crypt....uh, house, way before dawn.
It's in those early-morning hours that my mind whirs and ticks like a demented machine-watching the lines in the road blur and cross, and hearing the tires roar and sing a highway song.
And then there's those darn vampires...
I've always sorta been a “nocturnal” person. I find the night fascinating.
Even in the most familiar settings, you never know what's “out there,” lurking in the darkness.
And it's always quiet and peaceful.
Or is it?
The other morning I was driving though a remote area of western Kentucky when the second Diet Mountain Dew of the young day started knocking at the door of my bladder. Miles from any rest stop or well-lit convenience store, I made the decision to pull off the road and “contribute to the water table”
It was one of those long stretches of road where you could literally see for miles either way. Totally silent (which was kinda spooky) and still.
I stood there hoping not to see any lights approaching. I could see trees swaying-but felt or heard no wind.
My attention was drawn to the faint snapping of twigs in the nearby woods-followed by the crunching of gravel.
My heart raced as I realized something was standing just down the road.
OR WAS IT WALKING TOWARD ME?
I banged my head rushing back into the car-which I frantically tried to start-but it was running already.
Looking in the rear-view mirror, I saw the faint illumination of a figure-partially obscured by dust thrown up as my wheels spun a hasty retreat.
Was it an animal of some kind?
Seemed kinda big.
Maybe a deer?
Wait...maybe a sasquatch?
Or (gasp) a....VAMPIRE?
Who (or what) would be out at this time?
No, no, it was a deer. Yeah, that had to be it. And I did think maybe I saw some horns/antlers on whatever this thing was.
Oh my...maybe it was a...HORNED VAMPIRE!!!
Hurry, hurry! Drive toward the rising sun!
But it's not just that incident that got me wondering.
Even though I'm not a coffee drinker, I will sometimes get a little sleepy while driving and stop somewhere to purchase a “cuppa joe” (that's how we say it on the road).
In the late night/early morning I will be the only customer in a store.
Imagine my shock and horror when I approach the counter to inquire about fresh coffee and I see a slack-jawed, glassy-eyed “cashier” at the register.
Isn't it strange how this “cashier” doesn't know how to “work the machine” to make coffee?
Is this “cashier,” in reality....a VAMPIRE?
I so wanted to peek behind the counter to see if there were fresh “kills” (perhaps weary travelers seeking caffeine) piled at the “cashier's” feet.
And was that a trickle of blood, or filling from a pasty, I saw at the corner of the “cashier's” mouth.
With no cross, holy water, or a wooden stake at my disposal, I beat a hasty retreat.
Sometimes, as I'm driving in the darkness, a vehicle will appear from out of nowhere, pull up behind me, and stay on my bumper.
What does this person want?
Why won't they pass me?
Is it because they are a VAMPIRE, and they want the glare of their headlights to shine into my rear-view mirror, blinding me, thus putting me into a trance so they can suck my blood?
Clever creatures, vampires.
My new-found awareness had lead to many revelations.
The main one is that I have figured out why there are no more toll booths.
I know when I used to drive to Bowling Green, there were three different toll booths to stop at.But now, there are NO toll booths.
The vampires apparently got all the toll booth attendants.
It would be hard to get people to work a late-night job under the constant threat of being attacked by vampires.
Like local factories.
Does anybody have a “third shift” anymore?
Oh, yeah, they'll try to blame it on the “economy,” but I know better.
Shoot, we're AMERICANS!
Throw on a garlic necklace and get to work, people!
It's all about awareness.
Reading the recent novel (?) “Abraham Lincoln-Vampire Hunter” (or ALVH as my wife calls it, 'cos she's a hipster) has given me insight into the much-maligned, creatures of the night.
I've learned that when I get into a car, I always check the backseat to be sure one of the walking dead is not hiding under a SpongeBob blanket..
I know that it's important to always request extra bread sticks at Fazoli's. (High garlic content-essential for battling vampires.)
When you're driving late at night, a car pulls up beside you , and you don't see anyone driving, just shrug it off as “silly vampires.”
When you see a shadowy, fanged creature leap across the road, just smile and say, “Good mo(u)rning, vampire!”
I believe we can co-exist with vampires if we all learn how to deal with our differences.
Although vampires are aggressive in nature, they should addressed firmly and fairly when situations occur.
Have a disagreement at the doughnut shop?
Be polite, and simply say, “Hey, I got dibs on the last apple fritter, there, Nosferatu.”
Maybe a vampire can be helpful if you have a flat tire while on traveling late at night,
Most vehicles don't have a jack, but a vampire can use it's superhuman strength to lift your vehicle while you change tires-assuming they can resist the urge to rip out your jugular vein.
Just remember; Vampires are people, too.
Or are they?
Hey, ho, people, Once again, I've been dragged kicking and screaming into modern society by having a (ugh!) Facebook page established for the column. You can log on and type “Thoughts from the Lower 40” in the search box, and that should get you there. It's just starting, and we'll try to have some fun, and talk about stuff (like vampires), but probably won't have any kind of “villes,” so don't be expecting me to send you gifts of treasure chests or dust your crops.