The Sneaky Teat and Other Sucking Trends

It's always interesting to see what strange trends will emerge in American culture. I'm not talking about new dances, looks, or catchphrases. I'm talking about things. Every five years, a different creature becomes ubiquitous. For a while, it was the anthropomorphic raisins from the California Raisins campaign. Then it was dinosaurs, which began cropping up in movies, Chef Boyardee shapes, and latch-hook rugs. Now it's vampires.

I'm sure some brain out there has a theory about why vampires are, pardon the phrase, currently hitting the right vein in the public psyche. These savages combine scary with sexy, and immortality with death. And, for the Wait Until Marriage Crowd, they provide intimacy without sin. You can be bitten but still remain a virgin down there.

"What's the next monster comin' down the pike?" I asked my friend Fred. We both figured that once people tire of vampires, they'll move on to something else. But the something else would have to be sexy.

"Hmmm ... " he mused, stirring his Moscow Mule. "Witches can be sexy." This was true, but they are more interesting when they are old and fugly, if you ask me.

We were sitting in the Monte Carlo in the Bayview. It's a New Orleans–themed bar, and since that city always reminds me of vampires (probably because of Anne Rice) our conversation took a turn toward the subject.

The Monte Carlo's owners are transplanted Southerners from New Orleans. To my knowledge, they have been seen in direct sunlight, but I have only been to their bar at night.

The place doesn't exactly scream Bourbon Street. There are some Mardi Gras masks hanging, and a little bit of purple and gold around, but overall the joint looks like a discotheque. The actual bar is short, but there are many tables and chairs inside and out. Toward the back of the room there's a dancefloor. I was pleased to see that a guy billed as God's Gift to Women was a regular performer.

"But witches could be like vampires," Fred continued. "They need young virgins to keep themselves looking young, so they prey on hotties to remain hotties themselves."

"Plus," I added, "they include women, so they can have big breasts. Dracula didn't have big breasts."

The collection of middle-aged guys at the end of the bar turned and looked me after that last ridiculous statement. I shrugged, waved, and took a big swig from my Diet Coke. Let me say that it was the worst Diet Coke I have ever tasted. It came from the tap gun, which is never good. But this one was especially gross.

"Is this your first time here?" the bartender asked, stating the obvious. We were the only white people in the room, for one thing. I said yeah, and that I really love New Orleans so we wanted to check out the place. (Never mind that it seemed to be named for a casino in Monaco instead of a bar in the French Quarter.) She said we had to try the food, but the Diet Coke was still peeling a layer of skin off my tongue.

A woman had joined the trio of men at the end of the bar. She was pretty attractive. At least, the men seemed to think so. They all sat up a little bit straighter and tried to engage her. They had a familiarity with her, though, so she had to be a regular, too. One of them bought her a beer. Ah, the power of sexuality.

I pointed it out to Fred. "You see?" I said. "That is really why people dig vampires and sexy witches. The creatures' power to control humans through their sexiness never fades; they never get old or infirm."

"Ah," Fred said, giving it some thought.

"So our youth-obsessed culture has naturally gravitated toward totems of eternal youth and beauty, the undead," I continued. "Hence, our current fascination with vampires."

We stared at each other and then burst out laughing.

"Shut the fuck up," he said. I obliged.

The basis for all of our talk wasn't just some monster theorizing. Fred and I also want to make some serious money. Whenever we get together, we end up trying to come up with new inventions, like the Sneaky Teat. It's a bra that you put on your flat-chested friend and fill it up with booze. When you go to a concert and get patted down, the bouncers can't directly touch boobs. Once you're in the show, you can remove a nozzle from the underwire and spike your Sprite.

But the real money seems to be in merchandising a brand like vampires. If we could come up with the next monster trend and write a series of sexy books about it aimed at tweens — well, we were psyched. We fantasized about the stories some more and jotted down notes on napkins.

But here's the problem with the big plans Fred and I concoct: They never go anywhere. We get all psyched up about something and go to bed with visions of sugar plums dancing in our heads, only to wake up to procrastination, lethargy, and cowardice. Our inventions don't get off the ground. It's as if we need to feed on one another's get-rich-quick fantasies to keep our respective motors running. But at the end of the day, it's right back down to the root cellar to sleep an unholy rest in our loser coffins.

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