Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Karma Goodness & Vampire Bunnies
Here is my April 28th entry for STORYTELLERS UNPLUGGED
Karma Goodness & Vampire Bunnies
Wayne Allen Sallee
I received an email from Amazon, just a few days after I had placed a few orders with them, it was a refund with the reason stated as “karma goodness.” This was the very first time I had purchased something from Amazon, I didn’t even know you had to register with them first, doh. I had made some money from my current writing job, and two back to back royalty checks allowed me to have more money than I have honestly ever had at one time. And so I used some of the dough to stock up on a few of my books that I’m down to my one reading copy, as I had sold several books when I was unemployed in 05 and 06. One of the books was my first collection, With Wounds Still Wet, and I grabbed a few copies of Getting Lost, which has a glossary I wrote for the television series, and Love In Vein, because people always want that book as it has my story involves strychnine enemas. I had to write an erotic vampire story and, yes, to me vampire eroticism=strychnine you know whats, because really, a story about a masochist who then can’t feel pain because he is turned into a vampire would make him do drastic things. And, yes, it is a love story.
So I get this refund, and her’s the dilly-o. This fellow Dave McIntosh was actually selling from his own collection, and thought it pretty strange that I was buying my own collection, so he gave me a chin nod on it. (I’ve got his address, and I’m still trying to figure out what to send him, besides the extra Shamwow I have). Well, the next day, I get an email from this other fellow about my purchase. Turns out he’s an editor and he invited me to be in an anthology centering around all the 2012 hoo-hah. So there I am thinking, ok, Amazon is, like, magic. Well, maybe more like Paul Lynde as Uncle Arthur on Bewitched. A week passed, I had more copies of The Holy Terror, and I get another email, not from Amazon, but from an independent film maker in Los Angeles by way of Louisville. A name was thrown around but I’m not saying because 1/ the whole jinx thing and 2/ I’m not even certain I know the guy. All I’ll say is, it’s not Kurt Russell. And that is a bit of a disappointment to me. I’ve always wanted to get in good with that guy.
But what about the paying it forward part, you are asking. Two weeks back, I was downtown having lunch with Greg Loudon, then walked around Millennium Park taking photos. There is this magnificent sculpture, Cloud Gate, which most everyone calls the Bean. Because they are idiots. So there I was, taking a few photos, one with a decent reflection of the new Trump Tower curving like a robot finger behind me. Next to me is a black fellow and two young girls. As I am taking the photo, the man is reflected also, and through the lens of my disposable camera , I see him fall to the ground. Just crumple. One girl says he is their cousin and has seizures, but not epilepsy. It was our first hot day here, maybe 75 degrees. The guy’s lips were chapped and his legs just started bouncing off the concrete. Another fellow, a Greek tourist I later learned, came by and we held him down. Neither with cell phones, so I was doing the old fashioned “Is there a doctor here? Call 911!” Which, of course meant that I was ignored. I held his head up, the two girls were scared totally shitless, and turned his head to the left. Blood or cherry drink spilled from his lips. And then a cop on a bicycle showed up and called an ambulance. Sadly, that’s the end of the story. I have no clue what happened to the fellow, but I think I’ll always remember the look on the two girls’ faces as they clung to each other.
I mentioned royalty checks a few paragraphs up. The two big checks I get twice a year are for, well, vampire stories. One is more a novella. But I hate vampires, though they have finally been overshadowed by zombies. Yea, there’s Twilight and Anita Blake, but Permuted Press has a half dozen zombie novels on display at Borders. I got to thinking about those Somalia pirates–actually, I’ll bet we see piracy up and down the Mississippi soon, which is fine, as long as only the bad guys get hurt–and then recalled that there is a young adult series called Vampirates, which was a name I came up with in the 90s but filed it under goofy. One of my nieces told me of a book to buy her, Bunnicula. I thought about it, then said, no, can’t be. But there it was, a hardcover collecting the first three books about, yes, a vampire bunny. Who does good, not evil. So let the vampires stay on the bookshelves, I’m getting too old to question why there aren’t a bunch of werewolf novels out there. Yea, yea, Wayne, go ahead, write one yourself. Hello, Mr. Agent, I’ll have that werewolf novel for you, an updated version of Dog Day Afternoon, sometime around 2012. What’s that you say? Oh, right. That’s the year all the doomsday books will be out. Thank you, Mayan civilization. You ask me, I think the Mayans were vampires.