Hey Bookworms! New York City. Is there anywhere else like it? The concrete jungle where dreams are made of. There’s nothing you can’t do. The city had that rep long before Jay Z and Alicia Keys laid down that track. It’s a world filled with opportunity and danger, heros and villians and everything in between. It’s that very reputation that drew a young hustler by the name of Ludwig the Bloodsucker there in the 1800s.
As you’ve probably guessed, Ludwig is a vampire but he’s one of the rare non sexy vampires. You don’t see dudes like Ludwig on the big screen having a ridiculous love affair with a young woman one sixteenth his age. See, Luddy was only about three feet tall and hairy. Real hairy. People have described him as having a big old head with hair sprouting out of every orifice. His less than movie star looks made it nearly impossible to lure young hotties into his dark embrace back in Germany. So did his size. A petite gentleman such as himself could hardly take an adult down by force and he wasn’t going to eat children for heaven’s sake. Ludwig had morals. What was he to do? Sure there was wildlife roaming about, but they had a gamey sort of a taste that lost its appeal pretty quickly.
One day he stowed away aboard a ship to America. A fella with gumption could make or take a good life there and that was just what Luddy intended to do. He set up shop in the bowery down on the south side of Manhattan and after some sleuthing he found the key to his future success as a diminutive drinker of blood. Toxic masculinity. There was no small supply of bars in the bowery or of men who wanted to get sloshed and then engage in some fisticuffs because they didn’t know how to properly express their emotions or find self esteem without displaying their physical strength.
This resulted in a near constant stream of bar brawls. When the brawlers were subdued, the instigator would be tossed out of the bar for the night to cool their jets. They were drunk and discombobulated from the earlier melee and would often slump down in the alley outside the bar to gather their wits. That’s when Ludwig would strike! He rolled up on the dude fast as lightning and sank his fangs in before the hooligan even had time to process his odd appearance.
Ludwig discovered that he got a second hand buzz off of the blood which was pleasant and cost effective. Why buy your own liquor when your dinner was positively thrumming with it? He was able to have a pint with his pint every night. Because he was smaller than average and no glutton at that, there was no need to drain his prey. Luddy would drink his fill and smile gently when the drunken lout insisted that he would tell the world about this mini monster. People would burn Ludwig at the stake when they found out what he was about. Ludwig had discovered another powerful tool when he was prowling those bowery alleys. Gaslighting. Luddy would smile as he delicately wiped the blood from his chin and assure Drunky McGillicutty that he could tell the whole world but no one would ever believe that a hair covered vampiric gnome had crept out of the shadows and helped himself to a bit of blood. That was pure crazy talk. Drunky just needed to sleep it off and let his head clear, that’s all.
Ludwig sampled his way up and down the bowery and rumors of his existence grew but nobody was sure if they could truly believe them. Certainly, guys didn’t stop getting into drunken bar fights and probably never would. So Ludwig stayed around. If one bar closed then another would open soon and Luddy had a steady supply of tasty hooch infused hemoglobin for the first time in his life. He made his American Dream a reality and no one got seriously hurt in the process. What a city this New York was!
Ludwig is still around today and he’s thriving. He’s made himself part of the neighborhood only now, instead of a lunch of longshoremen, he has hipster hors d’oeuvres. So, if you ever find yourself on the south side and you feel like grabbing a drink make sure you enjoy in moderation. If you get too sloppy, you may just find yourself face to face with Ludwig and while you will surely live, his emotionally abusive tactics will make you feel really gross. You deserve better than that Bookworms. I’ll see you in the funny papers!