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Living Letters to Dead People—Vlad the Impaler
by Bob Iozzia

Dear Dead Impaler,

I think history has given you a raw deal. Sure, you impaled 20,000 men, women and children on unsanitary stakes, creating a gruesome forest of human skewers in order to discourage enemy armies from slaughtering you. On the bright side, other despots have done worse. More importantly, this and your other acts of murder have employed a lot of people through the centuries. Speaking on behalf of those beneficiaries, thanks very much. Well done.  

In addition to the poor schlubs who had to clean up the aforementioned forest prime evil (get it?) mess, the Dracula franchise—named in your honor—has provided years of gainful employment to wooden heart stake artisans, garlic farmers, writers, actors and other creative types. And if you’ve inspired other serial killers, international law enforcement agencies have also benefited in terms of personnel hires.

Perhaps in an indirect way, you’ve also touched the American auto industry. I’ve heard that a product engineer at Chevrolet was assigned the task of creating a hefty car that a middle class family could afford without sacrificing comfort and style. And so he did, but couldn’t come up with a catchy model name until he read a pornographic vampire comic book based on sinsationalized details of your life.

At a department meeting with his boss and the other engineers, he was nervous to reveal the name and was sweating like a big fat Louisiana alligator hunter until he finally blurted, “The Impaler. It’s called The Chevy Impaler.”

After the other engineers laughed their corporate asses off for what seemed like the exact length of time it was, his fatherly boss advised, “Listen, you fucking idiot, I don’t think it’s a good idea to call a two-ton speeding potential weapon filled with gasoline The Chevy Impaler. How about we call it The Chevy Hindenburg?”

And so was born the very popular, benignly named Chevy Bel Air and it made a shitload of money for General Motors, which I heard is named for a War of 1812 blackmailing soldier who was promoted from corporal to general as a bribe for his silence after he caught Andrew “Old Hair Up His Ass” Jackson being kind to a Native American.