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Tuesday, March 30, 2004

The problem with vampires

    "That's the problem with vampires," said Doru Morinescu, a 30-year-old shepherd who, like many in the village, has a family connection to the current case. "They'd be all right if you could set them after your enemies. But they only kill loved ones. I can understand why, but they have to be stopped."

According to Knight Ridder (the news service, not the show about the talking car), some Romanian villagers are upset that the police are investigating their re-killing of vampires. The police say vampires aren't real, and are out to put a stop to what they call grave-robbing. The locals disagree and are mad that they might be in trouble for merely defending themselves:

    Before Toma Petre's relatives pulled his body from the grave, ripped out his heart, burned it to ashes, mixed it with water and drank it, he hadn't been in the news much.

    Villagers here aren't up in arms about the undead - they're pretty common - but they are outraged that the police are involved in a simple vampire slaying. After all, vampire slaying is an accepted, though hidden, bit of national heritage, even if illegal.

    "What did we do?" pleaded Flora Marinescu, Petre's sister and the wife of the man accused of re-killing him. "If they're right, he was already dead. If we're right, we killed a vampire and saved three lives. ... Is that so wrong?"

"Vampires? How ridiculous!" you might say. Well, that's because you don't know about real vampires; you only know the pretty vampires that look like Tom Cruise (who's actually a Scientologist, and not a vampire - a common source of confusion):

    Theirs is not a Hollywood tale, and they laugh at Hollywood conventions: that vampires can be warded off by crosses or cloves of garlic, or that they can't be seen in mirrors. Utter nonsense. Vampires were once Catholics, were they not? And if a vampire can be seen, the mirror can see him. And why would you wear garlic around your neck? Are you adding taste?"

Via Volokh

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