“Dad, you should hear the news on TV!” shouted my son Brandon.
“What is it, Bran?
“Vampires are attacking Philadelphia. They’re sinking their teeth into more than just cheese steaks!”
With that, the large window in the den shattered and a dark caped figure catapulted into the room. Then it crashed into the flat-screen TV and finally came to rest splayed out on the floor.
“Hey,” I said, “you’re going to pay for all this, dude!”
“I am not a dude,” hissed our uninvited visitor rising to tower over both me and Brandon. “And I am not a man.”
"Who are you?” asked Brandon.
“I am the Legendary Jewish Vampire, Vlad the Retailer!”
“Oh, I see,” said I. “So Count Drekula, what is it you cannot tolerate?”
“What do you mean?” snarled Vlad the Retailer.
“A regular vampire recoils at The Sign of the Cross. What makes you recoil? The Star of David? A mezuzah? Curb Your Enthusiasm?”
“Foolish human,” scowled Vlad. “Don't you realize that I am over 800 years old?”
“Then why aren’t you living in a 550 Plus Community in Transylvania?”
“I do not cast a reflection in a mirror! Does that not terrify you?”
“No, but if you saw yours at 800 years old, it would probably terrify you.”
“Want some Manischewitz?” Brandon offered.
“I never drink … wine!" Vlad and I said in unison.
“You are one derivative bastard,” I laughed.
Over the next several days, the Armies of the Undead continued their horrific invasion of Philadelphia, and I went to bed earlier and earlier. I suppose it was all for the best because it was never crowded at the bowling alley, and I had the opportunity to begin an exciting new hobby --- whittling.
About a week later I was in the kitchen with Brandon when the window above the sink shattered, and a dark figure leaped into the room and directly onto all four lit burners on the stove.
“YEEOOHHH, that’s HOT!!!” screamed the Legendary Jewish Vampire, Vlad the Retailer.
"So we meet again, Noseferatu!"
“I give up!” said Vlad. “I’m used to inciting the kind of fear in humans that Bernie Madoff feels whenever he hears the words ‘your new cellmate really likes you.’ Why do you not fear me?”
“Fear you? I’m sick to death of you!”
“What do you mean?”
Because we hear almost as much about vampires anymore as about Betty White herself!
“That’s right,” Bran agreed, “there was ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer,’ ‘True Blood,’ ‘Twilight,’ ‘Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter’ …”
“Tell me, dude - I mean, Legendary Jewish Vampire: how did a klutz like you ever become a vampire?”
“One night back in 1247,” related Vlad, “I met a lustrous blonde shiksa who expressed interest in sampling kosher food. In this instance, me. Little did I know she was a vampire! I stole a kiss. She stole my jugular!"
“Do you ever snack on fellow Jews?” Brandon asked
“I prefer Asians.”
“So you like Chinese!” I said. ”Then you’re just like all the rest of us Jews.”
“Sorry I tried to put the bite on you guys,” said Vlad. “Gotta go now; I told my Aunt Tessie in Boca I might stop and see her before I return to Transylvania.”
And then, bat wings fluttering in the night, he was gone.
How can I be friendly with Vlad the Retailer?
Sure, Vlad is one of the Walking Undead, and I wouldn’t want to be too close to him after sundown on Yom Kippur.
But for a blood-sucking creature of the night, turns out he's a mensch.