These are good times to be a vampire. New Moon, the second instalment in the Twilight Saga is breaking all sorts of box office records in America and the stock of the bloodsucking undead has never been higher.
The Twilight Saga is a forbidden-love story about a vampire called Edward and a human girl called Bella. Since X-Factor, we appear to be no longer capable of pronouncing two names separately, so let’s call them Bledward. Intrigued by all the hoopla, and without having seen the first episode – it was about vampires as well apparently – I went to see New Moon. Excitable, hormonal teenage girls are the main target market for the Twilight Saga so I took care to conceal myself at the back of the cinema, lest my presence tip them over the edge.
Not to give away the plot, but New Moon is essentially one hundred and thirty minutes of Bledward standing around being glum about the fact that they can’t be together because their ‘kinds’ should not mix. Anyone from Cork who has ever married outside the county will have gone through a similar soul-search, but the message from New Moon is that love does conquer all.
The other message is that vampires could play a key role in Ireland’s recovery. That may sound surprising, particularly as they are a demographic that has a distinctly iffy reputation. Blood-sucking, and turning their victims into members of the undead seems to be the chief gripe among anyone I queried on the subject. However given our current travails, we’d forgive that if we thought they were good to pay. Indeed for anyone who’s currently handing over the income levy every month or has ever watched Winning Streak, having the life-blood drained out of you is not a new experience.
On the flip side, vampires have many positive attributes that could be used to kick-start our moribund economy. They live forever. This makes them ideal property investors. If you’ve been alive since the Middle Ages, experience will have told you that, by and large, over, a 600 year period, house prices generally trend upwards. So you’re more likely to take a punt. Also, because of humans’ fear of them, vampires tend to want to live where there are no humans bothering them. They would be the perfect candidates for any number of half-empty skyscrapers around Cork. If they were too salubrious and they preferred something more dreary and Transylvanian, there are many empty housing estates around towns like Athlone. Vampire property developers mean it will be a new experience for many to have a landlord who has a taste for human blood. Or maybe not.
Because vampires don’t age, they don’t draw a pension, which makes them ideal for the public service. This would solve the looming pension crisis in one fell swoop. The added bonus is that they are unlikely to strike. Why? Their aversion to sharpened wooden sticks means they won’t join a picket. Productivity in the public and private sector offices would massively increase if we employed more undead. Since vampires don’t photograph, they won’t be very active on Facebook. They won’t spend half their working day snooping on their friend’s pages ogling snaps of people they barely know, just to see who has put on weight or who is still wearing THAT dress to the umpteenth wedding in a row. However, all work and no play makes Drac a dull boy. While there are clearly many benefits to their presence in Ireland, it would be selfish of us to expect vampires to just work hard and get on with it. They will expect a role in civil society.
Despite their essentially evil nature, bloodlusting ghouls will have a remarkably positive influence on social cohesion in the multicultural melting-pot that Ireland has become. These guys genuinely don’t care about the colour of a man’s skin. It’s what lies beneath that skin that counts. Being in league with Satan, it’s inevitable that they will get involved in the media in some capacity. It will start on a small scale perhaps as contestants on The Apprentice, though the format may not suit them.
“Margaret, your project manager this week was Nosferatu, how did you find him?”
“He stayed in his coffin all day Bill. Refused to think outside the box”
“Vlad, you were in the client meeting, tell us what happened.”
“Well Bill, the client didn’t like the product so I ripped his head from his shoulders and drank blood from his skull”
“Vlad, Vlad, Vlad, what did I say to ye this morning, the most important thing about a client meeting? Don’t Kill the Client. And what did you do?”
“I killed the client, sorry Bill”
Vampires will want some sort of political representation. Initially at least they will depend on votes from humans. This presents a number of challenges. Firstly they will need to convince us that they are not a threat to us, that their murky past is behind them. They can get tips from Sinn Féin in this regard. It will help if potential political vampires choose an appropriate name for their party. It needs to be a name that’s familiar yet different. I’m thinking: Fianna Fuil. (Strictly speaking that should be Fianna Fola but you can explain the Tuiseal Ginideach to man with pointy teeth if you want) Finally a slogan which shows their inclusiveness and also their sense of humour. I can see it now: Fianna Fuil – A Future For All Stakeholders.