Date #1: Hi, there. Yeah, my name’s Vlad. …No, “Vlad”. It’s a – well, it’s a family name. One of my ancestors was named Vlad, and it’s been passed down. Right, just like “Vlad the Impaler”! That was my ancestor! … Oh, well, nice meeting you, too…

Date #2: Hi. I’m Vl- um, call me… “Dale”. Yeah, Dale. Sorry…a little nervous. What would you like to know? …My occupation? Sure, um, I work third shift as a phlebotomist. No, “PH”-lebotomist. Not a lobotomist. Well, a phlebotomist draws blood for a living. Not the most glamorous of jobs, but it puts food on the table. Ha! No, um, sorry, that wasn’t really all that funny, but if you knew what…um, nevermind. Yeah, um, good luck to you, too.

Date #3: Hi, um…Sorry for saying so, but you’ve got some pretty deadly breath going on there. What’d you have for dinner? Whoa, whoa, you can stop at the “garlic encrusted” part. Yeah, um, I’m kinda…I guess “allergic” to garlic. Sorry, I’ve gotta … whew, is it getting woozy in here, or is it just me? …Just me? Yeah, I guess. Yeah, ‘bye.

Date #4: Hey, there. I’m Dale. Hang on a sec… *sniff, sniff* Okay, you smell much better than that last girl. You’re downright incredible, really. Like polish sausage. …Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to creep you out… Wait, I’m… Okay, mental note: Telling a girl she smells like meat is not the way to win her over…

Date #5: …Interests? Well, I don’t have much of a social life, since I work nights and sleep during the day. Moonlit strolls are cool, yeah. I like flying, too. Feeling the wind in your hair and all… Oh, um… Yeah, *obviously* I didn’t mean in an airplane. I meant, uh, hang-gliding…? Yeah, I’m part of a …hang-gliding club …that only meets at night. That’s cool, right? …Fear of heights, huh? Yeah, that would be a bit of a deal-breaker.

Date #6: Oh, yeah, I love going to the movies. It’s so dark and cold in the theater, usually. Feels pretty comfy, if you ask me. Seen any good ones recently? …Seriously?! That piece of crap? How can that be your “favorite movie”? …Okay, first off, Edward’s nothing but a stupid, abusive stalker guy; number two, that whole “sparkle in the sunlight” shtick? Total crap. We do NOT sparkle. Third… What? No, I didn’t say “we”, I said…um, “they”. Yeah, if vampires were even real. No, of course I don’t think we…they… Great.

Date #7: “Do I have the time?” Seriously? I have all the time in the world. Do you? Really, that was a pretty lame opening line, if you ask me. Why not just ask me about the weather? Or how the Steelers are doing this season? I mean, time? Time is meaningless to me; it doesn’t matter one… What? …Oh, um, sorry. I thought you were part of this speed-dating deal that’s, um… Yeah, sorry, it’s about 9:30.

Date #8: Yeah, hi, I’m Edward. No, I’m not. I’m Vla-dale. No, just Vale- um. Yeah. Sorry, a bit nervous. Call me Dale. Yes, that’s my real name! Had it for 70 years, so I should know! …No, I’m not 70 years old! That’d be pretty incredible, huh? Ha. Yeah, I’m in my … 20s? More-or-less? Yep, I’m 24, and you can call me Ed- Dale. Yeah, nevermind. I’d walk away, too. …I hate Edward.

Date #9: Wow, you have fantastic skin! No, I’m serious; I’m a pretty good judge of skin tone and yours…just wow. Particularly on your neck, there. Not too many people take good care of their necks, but it’s obvious that you pay attention to that area… Wait, um, is that a necklace? Oh, a silver cross? Heh, yeah, I’m sure it’s …um, very nice. Wow, hey, look at the time, it’s … um. 9:35? I think it’s time to move on to the next… yeah.

Date #10: What?! No, I don’t want a stake! What kind of sick…? Oh, you meant “S-T-E-A-K”. Yeah, I guess the hors d’oeuvres are okay; they’re a bit overcooked, if you ask me. No, I thought you said “S-T-A-K-E”. Freaked me out a little bit. Why?…um, ‘cause I used to be a … lumberjack? Yeah, yeah, a former lumberjack. I’m always kind of afraid that the trees are gonna come back and chop *me* down. No, that was a …lame joke. I’m not really afraid of… trees…

Date #11: Right, let’s get this stuff out of the way. My name’s Dale. I hate monster movies—especially the more recent teen-oriented ones. I have a bit of a sensitive nose, so strong odors are a definite turn-off. And, I have both the work schedule and apparently the social charisma of a fruit bat. Oh, you’re okay with all that? How do you feel about moonlit strolls? …What’s wrong with full moons? …Oh, crap-on-a-stick! Don’t tell me you’re a werew-?! Okay, okay, sorry. I’ll keep it down. No, I’m a … one of the guys with a blood deficiency, okay? Yeah. Um. Well, given that your people and my people aren’t exactly on the best of terms, and that if either of us tries anything here we’re both in a heap of trouble, let’s just pretend this never happened, okay? Okay, good. …So, have you seen any good prospects…? Ow. I’ll take that as a no, I suppose.

Date #12: So, hi, my name’s… What? Oh, the fork in my arm? That’s from the last girl. Didn’t like my pick-up line, I think. Yeah, I should probably pull it out. Hang on a sec… Ungh! There. All better. …Erm, yes. Sure. Ow. Oh, does that hurt, those holes in my arm. Ow-ow-ow. The pain is intense. No, no, I guess it’s not that bad. …Yes, I suppose it should be bleeding; I’m probably just down a quart or two… No, I wasn’t about to make any jokes about my “dipstick.”

Date #13: Okay, lemme level with you. I’m a vampire. Yes, I’m serious. Yeah, yeah, I bite people on the neck from time to time, but it’s rarely ever fatal. No, that’s a big misconception perpetrated by the not-undead media. Typical; they never check their facts out. As long as you don’t get greedy, and make sure there’s some OJ or cookies around for the victim afterwards, it’s really not that big of a deal. Anyway, that’s the scoop. As for why I’m here, I’m not looking for anything too serious. Maybe just a little “necking.” Ha, get it? Sorry. Vampire humor. So, whaddaya say? …No, who’s “Ashton Kutcher?”

Image by Melanie Hill

Date #14: Hi, I’m Dale. Nice to meet you. Oh, um, you’ve got a speck in your teeth there; spinach, or something. No, the other one. No, the other… Look, can I just help you out, or would that be rude? Okay, sorry. Um…no…I don’t think there are any mirrors around here… Oh, yes, of course, “except for the wall made of mirrors behind the bar there in front of us.” Kinda forgot about that one. …Yep, I’m still here. Too smoky in here to see clearly, right? Um, but even with the ban on smoking in bars, it could very well be hazy from all those years of smoke, yeah? …Would you believe I became a master of camouflage during a stint with the CIA? …Okay, not so much, then.

Date #15: Wow, you’re scrawny. Oh, a supermodel? Sorry, your figure is just screaming “anemic” to me. Some iron supplements would probably do wonders for you. Yeah, sure. Figured.

Date #16: No, I have no idea who you think I look like. …Really. Well, you know what? That’s funny, ‘cause that’s my name. Yep, sure, my name’s Edward. …Oh, your name’s Bella? Ha. Yeah, that’s…um, great. Sooo hilarious. …Have you tried the steak? It’s pretty good if you get a piece that’s kinda raw.