(a Halloween story by Anne Risotto)
It would be no exaggeration to say that I had been preparing my entire life for this job interview. And now, that long awaited day had arrived. At midnight, I had been summoned telepathically to the town’s ancient castle. I was now being interviewed by the most famous man in the business, Count Dracula himself.
Flashback: It all started innocently enough. I remember clearly when at age 6, I first saw a “Bill Nye The Science Guy” TV program. Right there and then, I had decided that I wanted to be one of them. My high school math teacher had been truly inspirational, and had encouraged me to follow this ambition of mine. Of course, back then, I was young and innocent—I thought my vampire idols were noble people altruistically and valiantly trying to do good in the world. How proud my family was when I was admitted to MIT! There I obtained a BS and a PhD in vampirism. Shortly thereafter, I was hired as a postdoc at a prestigious vampire firm. And now I was being addressed in an erie, mesmerizing voice, speaking in perfect English, but with a subtle Rumanian accent, by Count Dracula himself.
“Good, my son. I see that you have the right transylvanian pedigree for this job. Your thesis advisor, the man who trained you in the dark arts of vampirism, is feared, hated and reviled by all those who know him. It is said that he is amoral and has no conscience. Furthermore, he has a very high opinion of himself and of his caste, and he thinks he will live forever. All good traits for a successful vampire to have.
Hmm, But are your squeamish about sucking blood, my son? I suspect not.
You are hired. Starting next term, you will be an assistant professor in quantum computing at this illustrious vampire university. Our job as university administrators is to suck dry of blood the parents of your students. As for you, your job is to suck dry all Government Agencies that fund research.”