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This is the final edition of "A Strictly Local Matter". It was written in 2017 and wisely banned from publication and entombed deep within the Allied Press building. Until now.
Vampires are an important part of Dunedin, but as a societal group have been shamefully ignored when it comes to community news. David Loughrey sets out to right that wrong.
A Dunedin vampire has questioned a decision by a local club not to provide its services to his community group during recent bad weather.
Bruce Nosferatu, of Mornington, said the 4WD Owners Club had refused to include local vampires on a list of community groups it helped transport in snowy weather.
"It’s particularly difficult for older members of our community, and those who live in the hill suburbs.
"All we ask is for more compassion, and less discrimination."
Mr Nosferatu said vampires needed to get home by dawn from a night’s work, as the outcome of not doing so was serious.
Sunlight rendered vampires blind, and could be painful.
"Vampiric skin is highly sensitive to ultra-violet rays, becoming badly burned and blistered within minutes."
4WD Owners Club president Adam Gearbox said the club did not discriminate. Instead, it was fully booked taking nurses to rest-homes around Dunedin, and helping with Meals on Wheels deliveries.
"We had about 40 drivers and vehicles involved this week," Mr Gearbox said.
"We do respect the vampire community’s right to its belief systems.
"We just don’t have the resources."
Mr Nosferatu responded the club was "squeamish" about vampires’ tendency to creep up on virgins, and judgemental about their inclination to dress regally and look darkly imperious in flowing black capes with red lining, gliding across the frozen soil, vicious, evil spectres who embedded their cruel, jagged fangs in the soft white necks of their victims and sucked the life-blood from their veins before tossing them heartlessly aside and screaming with a manic, brutal laughter as blood dripped down their chins, red and cruel.
"If that’s not discrimination, I don’t know what is," Mr Nosferatu said.
An intersection at the corner of Hargest Cres and Alma St in South Dunedin is so dangerous someone could be killed there, a Dunedin vampire says.
Helen Nosferatu, who lives in Alma St, said she had almost crashed there, and was worried others might do the same.
Mrs Nosferatu said she was driving west on Hargest Cres, approaching Alma St, on the way home from playing housie in Hillside Rd.
"By mistake I transformed into a bat.
"I didn’t mean to, but I lost concentration and poof! I turned into a bat.
"It happens sometimes to vampires. It’s just one of those things."
Mrs Nosferatu said she was unable to steer the car with bat wings, nor was she able to press on the brake pedal with her tiny webbed forelimbs.
It was only quick thinking on her part to quickly retake human form and apply the brakes that stopped her crashing into a nearby house.
"There were children home — they could have been killed."
Mrs Nosferatu said she had contacted the Dunedin City Council about her concerns, but was disappointed with the response.
Council transport group manager Barry Infrastructure said the council tried to promote safety among vampires on the road, but there was only so much it could do.
"Perhaps Mrs Nosferatu could write a submission to the annual plan."
Mrs Nosferatu said her main concern was the children in the home she almost crashed into.
"One of them is a delicious, svelte pre-teen boy, and I did have my eye on him.
"I particularly like to feed on virgins, and I had hoped to don my long leather boots and sweeping black cape with blood-red lining and hover menacingly in the corner of his room, just a few centimetres off the ground, before looming like a sickening horror from the underworld over his prone body and baring my vicious, jagged fangs, crouching on his bed and sinking them deep in his jugular, sucking the very life out of his smooth, slender frame before laughing like an insane hyena, taking the form of a bat and flying into the night, his rich red blood dripping from my cruel yellow fangs.
"They need to fix that intersection."
Engaging with young people
A PORT Chalmers community group is looking for more members as it seeks to engage with young people in the community.
The Port Chalmers Friendship Club says there are plenty of young people in the port suburb that could do with some companionship.
Port Chalmers vampire Donald Nosferatu said the club planned to use the Pioneer Hall or the Port Chalmers Town Hall for its meetings.
Dr Nosferatu said Statistics New Zealand data showed about 25% of the suburb’s population was 17 or younger.
"Many of these young people need a friend, and we provide a safe setting for them to play games or just chat about their problems."
He said the group planned to apply to the West Harbour Community Board for funding to hire a hall on Thursday evenings.
The group needed only a hall big enough for its activities with facilities for making tea and washing up plates if people brought cupcakes or snacks.
It would also need a lockable room where the young people could be held.
"We’re just a group of people who want to provide some assistance in society, people who have benefited from the community and now want to give back," Dr Nosferatu said.
"Having said that, 93% of the people over 24 years old in Port Chalmers are vampires, and there is nothing we like more than to creep up on virgins, clamp our jaws around their trembling necks and feed on them."
The club would allow community members to do so in a safe environment.
"My thought for the club nights is to corral the young people into a corner, after which members would sweep their long, black velvetine capes with rich, blood-red lining dramatically around their shoulders, pull their bloodless lips back to expose their malevolent fangs, and carefully sneak up behind the young people.
"Preferably the young people would be looking in the mirror at the time and not see us coming, as we don’t have a reflection, what with being dead and that.
"After that we would leap forward with the speed of a cat — we are terrifically strong, really strong — wrap our thin, dead but supernaturally powerful arms around their slender, fragile shoulders and listen to them gasp as our ruthless fangs break the supple skin of their neck and bite deep into their jugular."
The club planned to also apply to the Dunedin City Council for a community grant, or possibly for ongoing funding in next year’s long-term plan.
Readers can consider this a farewell as my cancer is having its final say.
Thanks to all the readers who engaged with my column, whether you understood it or not.
I loved bringing it to you.