Written by Whammy Douglas for the Cahoots Quarterly, the official Newspaper of Hollywood Beach and beyond.

One fall evening as my great uncle, Tom McGuinn, was stumbling his way home from happy hour at the local tavern, he was set upon and viciously nibbled on the neck by a seagull with insomnia. In the darkness and in his inebriated state, it was easy for Tom to mistake the bird for a bat and in a short time he was convinced that he had been ravaged by a vampire and transformed into such a creature himself. The fact that Tom was a devout vegetarian compounded the problem.


As days went by, Tom fought valiantly against urges of one who truly believes himself to be a child of the night. He was soon shunning daylight, garlic and crosses in any form.

To his horror, he was more and more tempted to sink his teeth into a plump human being’s neck, preferably the one attached to Miss Becky Thompson, the town librarian. Seeking a means to pacify this unthinkable longing, Uncle Tom discovered that pickled beets would fill the bill. He began stashing cans of the spicy red vegetable so that when he could fight the urge no longer and was forced to prowl the lonely night, he could slip into the outhouse or tool shed and sink his seemingly enlarged fangs into the firm flesh of a juicy beet.

Unfortunately, that was the year of the infamous beet picklers strike and Tom’s stash was soon depleted. The torment became unbearable and Tom found himself skulking towards the residence of one Becky Thompson.

Now it happened that my great aunt, Annie, Tom’s sour and suspicious spouse, had become suspicious of his nocturnal wonderings and the red stains on his collar. She suspected he was indeed putzing around with some tootsie.
Aunt Annie trailed the driven Tom to Miss Becky’s house and observed him try to climb into a bedroom window. Rage overcame her. She snatched a FOR SALE sign from a neighboring lawn and drove the stake through Tom’s heart.

The autopsy proved that Tom wasn’t really a vampire but everyone was amazed how well the wooden stake worked anyway.

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