“I had to talk to Louis B Mayer while he was on the toilet.” Postcards from the Edge

“3 most important things in life: respect for all living things, a daily bowel movement, and a navy blazer.” The Fisher King

“Dying’s a dull, dreary, affair. My advice: have nothing whatsoever to do with it.” Somerset Maugham

With so much ‘in the crapper’ these days, it seemed appropriate (and inevitable) to ask this question now.  Do vampyrs poop (pee, sneeze, breastfeed, have periods, or drool)? Most folks say the question’s mote—vamps don’t exist. A few scholars, fringe psychologists, paranormal researchers, and (alleged) vamp bite survivors disagree. Others posit that if they’ve lived in our imagination for 1000s of years, and been summoned or cursed in rites still performed (and deemed superstitious nonsense or the exercising of an abundance of caution), perhaps they do exist. “The strength of vampires is people don’t believe they exist.” G. Fort

The vamp mystique is about immortality, power & super powers, transcendence, and blood lust. At least, that’s what my research indicated. Like a vamp, I’m somewhat allergic to bright sunlight, prefer to burn midnight oils, and eat meat rare. And a pet bat hangs out in the eaves under my deck. After making a list of types of vamps, binging a few dozen vamp flicks, and reading 50 or so vamp stories and source books I had no clue, nor I surmised, did anyone else. “Vampires are more alive than they should be.” N. Auerbach

I was reminded that while vamps are more sophisticated than other beings, werewolf stories are more ancient; many songs have been written about them. To whit: Werewolves of London, Bad Moon Rising, Moon Over Bourbon Street, She Wolf, Hey Little Red Riding Hood, Hungry Like a Wolf, Running with the Pack… Do they defecate…the songs, the lore doesn’t say. You can find a few vamp songs by heavy metal or grunge groups. Neil Young sang Vampire Blues (to reflect oil company greed) and vamps get a mention in the Adams Family theme song.  Then there’s “I’m a vamp, a tramp, and a bit of scamp…” (Cher) and a song vamps hate to hear: Another One Bites the Dust (Queen).

There’s no agreement regarding what constitutes a vamp. A Spanish Bruja could be a living vamp. An Aussie Talamaur vamp might be a living force of good or evil. Some vamps feed only on cattle or a child’s blood; some eat rice or are ‘day walkers.’ Some were/are worshipped as gods or mighty hunters. The only common denominator is vamps fed off human fear and (usually) blood. Where did the first vamp live—Sumer, Scythia, Alaska? Were vamps created by elder gods or are they aliens—from another dimension or planet? Are vamps created by infection, injection, projection, or suggestion? No consensus there either.

Anne Rice was said to have written Interview With a Vampire based on a question she posed and imaginatively answered: what would it be like to interview an existing vamp? Since vampyre stories and lore encyclopedias yielded no answers, I turned to a vamp’s presumed kin—the vampire bat, of which there are three types. Clinically, it has a thin epidermis surrounding its stomach. When blood’s ingested, it passes through the stomach lining into blood vessels surrounding the stomach. The waste (blood plasma) is sent into its intestines (it has a mucous membrane that prevents iron from being absorbed) and kidneys, and leaks out via the anus. Vampire bats poop a liquidy, yellowy substance. The process begins about two minutes into feeding. If this is how ‘undead’ vamps did/do it, they’d have to wear absorbent Depends or eat while sitting on the commode. 

Other hematophargic (bloodsucking) animals dine on human red/white corpuscles and platelets. Female mosquitos drink our blood so they can reproduce. Fleas, ticks, and bedbugs also extract a tiny amount and can pass on diseases. Bloodsucking leeches, a type of worm, actually perform a beneficial service. There are several varieties of vamp’ish birds, like the red billed oxpecker and the Galapagos vampire finch. “I am,” he thought dimly, “watching a vampire take a piss.” Steven King

Spray some poopourri but stay with me… human blood’s rich in proteins and lipids; digesting it isn’t easy. Bloodsuckers have to overcome hemostasis (blood coagulation), vasoconstriction, inflammation, and pain. To do this, they evolved chemical solutions, via pre-injected saliva or produce a temporary anesthesia and capillary dilation. One minute straw-like suck can transmit plague, dengue fever, typhus, malaria, lyme disease to us—their host. If a non-vamp human consumes human blood, he/she could develop haemochromatosis, a build up of iron in bloodstream, or an antigen reaction, or hepatitis, HIV, syphilis… Blood pudding anyone? When I asked why do vamps drink blood—to ingest plasma, platlets, & red/white cells—went into column 1. Then came a head smack. You can’t apply human attributes to unhuman beings. You can’t anthropomorphize the undead, children of the night, dhampirs, strigoi, lamia, verdulaks…

Science also says no—it’s not possible. But science can’t explain the platypus, or why people yawn, or what dark matter is. Could the answer involve something called ichor, a bluish/gold substance found in the veins of the old gods and several ancient automatons? Did procreation between a god and mortal produce blue bloods, or just bad blood? Or is there secret vamp slang for the act of evacuating waste we’re unaware of? Paratroopers used to say ‘I’ve got a jumper at the door.’ Soldiers in the trenches talked of ‘blowing mud.’ And the doggie butt truffles I scoop daily to keep the yard pristine has so many other names… Do vamps clandestinely poop? Would Vlad be mad if we knew?

Or perhaps writers of vamp stories and movie producers have a problem with the very idea and consider it indelicate to discuss or show the act of … ? Unless it’s done comedically, like in Ghoulies II, Naked Gun, or Lethal Weapon 2? We are prohibited from mentioning stars that died on the porcelain throne: Elvis, Lenny Bruce, Judy Garland, Tywin Lannister…Comic George Carlin knew it was one of the seven most taboo words. Poop, doo doo, droppings gets the Good Outhousing seal of approval. When you say the word poop aloud, your lips cutely pop and pucker. I dare you–say the word… Poop rhymes with toot, a word kids use to describe a related noise that causes giggles. It’s okay to say ‘I’m pooped’ or ‘I’m visiting the poop deck.’

Holy Merde, we produce about a pound of poo daily, not counting dog, cat, cattle, sheep shit…and rabbit and rat scat. NY City produces 8M pounds of ‘it’ per day; Beijing: 21.3M. According to a recent article in Aeon, “the planet’s choking with poo.”  To poop or not to poop… Shakespeare discussed it (Love’s Labours Lost, Henry V, Troilus and Cressida…). Is it a good thing to conclude vamps don’t poop but might drink Bloody Mary’s? And realize Count Chocula doesn’t caca chocolate tootsie rolls? Casper the ghost doesn’t excrete when he eats donut holes. Could Batman enlighten us?

Anecdotal evidence also suggests vamps neither S%#T nor giggle. Pooping does seem to be a human act, performed while enthroned on equipment popularized by plumber Thomas Crapper. Sir John Harington invented a flushable toilet around 1596, however, it was underappreciated for the next 200 years. Robots don’t poop; birds expel urine and feces at the same time through a cloaca. Silk moths poop before they spin their cocoon; after they emerge, they die in 5-8 weeks because they don’t eat (or poop). Jellyfish don’t poop; they throop. If we impose human qualities on vamps, we defeat their mystique. Is it any of our business if vamps keep their food in a blood bank? 

Some, like Colin Wilson and Dion Fortune, wrote about psychic vamps—creatures that drain your energy or dump toxic output into you. Is the by-product invisible, environmentally friendly ectoplasm? So I read more vamp stories by writers that described vamps as chameleon’esque, easily adapting to any environment, climate, social setting. They are xpert at mirroring and mimicking the personality of others, and excellent at detecting weakness, physical or mental illnesses, and other vulnerabilities. Vamps are elusive and embrace their natural inclination to detach, to live only in the moment. The reward is the experience, anticipation of the neck’s target

Admittedly, I have an inquiring potty mind. it kept circling back to the smiley face grand truth: #2 happensmore so lately. I was also angry after reading Supreme Alito’s weaponized, misogynistic Abortion draft decision. It sounded, amongst other things, vampiric. Abortion of a developing, non-viable fetus was being called murder. However, nowhere in any law book does it say ‘the victim of a murder is a person who couldn’t survive unless she/he were fed the blood of the (alleged) murderer.’ The unborn alleged vic isn’t counted on a census or in tax returns. Is that coming next—a re-designation of women as enslaved livestock and the unborn as a person? I dissent. “I doubt, I fear, I think strange things…” Bram Stoker

Hunted through the ages by fearless vamp hunters, Father Callahan and Carl Kolchak, generations of Van Helsings, Buffy’s, and Blade, it would be an advantage to not ever have to visit the can, john, necessary room, loo… or pay exorbitant prices for 2 ply TP. In a future vampire tale, I must resolve the question do vampyres poop or reproduce? Do they grow sage as they age? Will the proverbial #2 hit the fan when readers learn what I’ve unearthed regarding the metamorphous from human to vampire and its intricacies and implications, the removal of certain genes, conversion of organs, part a protein called REST plays? What will I call this vamp story: The Bloody Awful Adventures of Dalv Sepet (Vlad Tepes spelled backwards); Byte Me—about techno vamps: or Immortal Bloody Portals-tales through time? Have a better title—let me know!

My early 1900s red leather bound copy of Dracula tops a pile of vampish books I’m about to return to a shelf. Since that 1960s endless night of swirling snow, when I sat bundled before a frosted, moonkissed window and read Dracula in one sitting, I’ve been enchanted by Vlad and legends of ancient vamps. Stoker told a great story, but got so much wrong. Vlad was a prince not a count, and lived in Wallachia, not Transylvania. So far, Ann Rice’s come closest to writing about vamp intimacies. Though vampyres (real or imagined) shamelessly hunt us, drain our life blood and discard our husk, many remain enamored (or glamoured)? Humans want to be them, feed them, free them, or slay, wooden stake, or burn them. A few make a killing off their persona. I just wanted to know Do Vampyres Poop? That knowledge remains as elusive as Lestat, Nosferatu, Pandora, Barnabas, Armand, Bella, the Mikaelson’s, Henry Fitzroy, Abe, & Mick St John’s whereabouts. For now, I can only conclude sometimes a blog is like a poop; it just has to come out… ###

What vamp books/movies are on your shelves? Here’s a partial list of mine:

Movies: entire series of Underworld; Moonlight, Forever Knight, Fearless Vamp Hunters; Van Helsing; Dracula Untold, Rise;  Dresden Files; Kolchak; The Hunger; 30 Days of Night; I am Legend; The Originals; The Daybreakers; Bordello of Blood; Vampire Academy; Abe Lincoln Vamp Hunter; The Breed; The Embraced; Priest; Salem’s Lot, True Blood; Blood Ties; The Strain; Dracula’s Daughter; Lifeforce; Daughters of Darkness; Stakeland; Penny Dreadful, A Discovery of Witches …

Fiction: The Hunger, The Passage, all Ann Rice Vamp books; Fever Dreams, G. Martin; The Palace, C. Q. Yarboo; Carpe Jugulum, T Prachett; The Chicagoland Vamps; Lost Souls, The Historian

Non-Fiction: Vamp Mythology, Theresa Bane; Vamp Encyc, Mathew Bunson; Monsters, Michael Greer; Dracula, Price of Many Faces, F McNally; Bran Stoker’s Dracula, E Miller; The New Annotated Dracula; Vampire Forencisc, M C Jenkins: A Dream of Dracula, L. Wolf; Our Vamps, Ourselves, Nina Auerbach; The Vamp A Casebook, A Dundes; The Dead Travel Fast, E Nuzum; The Vampire Book Encyc, J G Melton; Different Blook Vamp as Alien, M. L. Carter; Vamps Are Us, Margot Adler