Finale: Mixed Messages? (Long Post)

If you follow me on Twitter you probably saw my recent posts about the migraines, allergies, and insomnia I’ve been suffering this week. What I’m about to post made me laugh even through the pain of the migraines and exhaustion of working through a corporate visit at work after only an hour of sleep.

I’ve made quite a few posts lately about door mats. Quite a while back, I introduced my mat here as I pondered how specifically a vampire must be invited to enter a home. Then at the beginning of this month, my prized door mat vanished which left me quite unprotected, and a week later this crude replacement was left in its place. Now, it ends; or at least, the drama of the door mat likely has ended so that new, more insidious pranks can be managed by those responsible.

As I came home yesterday everything was fairly normal: I parked the car, walked to my building, and trudged up to my floor. However, upon reaching the top of the stairs I was greeted by the following sight:

(Click to enlarge.)

On most days, this would be a moment for me to laugh normally, but considering my condition I laughed so hard I cried when I saw it. The photo is actually from the other angle from where I first got to glimpse the scene, but I also have individual shots of each of the door mats (and occasionally kitchen and bath mats) left outside my door yesterday–fifteen in total. (The picture itself has seventeen mats, including my original mat and the imposter mat that I still haven’t gotten rid of.) Just for fun, I’m going to rate each mat’s Vampire Prevention Value (VPV) on a scale of 1-5 while I’m at it, where 1 = “Please bite me”, 3 is neither positive or negative to the vampire, and 5 = “Fuck off”.

From the left to right & back to front:
1) *Grr* I’m a tiger!
I’d have to rate this one a 4 on my VPV scale. There is no mention of “welcomes” or “invitations” and while there is no overt threat from this mat either, the tiger itself is a fearsome beast. If properly trained, one could probably be an amazing guard cat–much more effective than the three cats I currently have.
2) I’m a slightly fancy, but still generic door mat.
Unless there is some hidden message woven into the design of this mat, it’s a solid 3 on the VPV scale. No welcoming, but no threats. In addition, it’s not particularly tacky so while it will get ugly pretty quickly because of its light color, at the moment it is a respectable door mat.
3) Boring, now in beige!
I certainly hope this didn’t cost anyone more than 50ยข to buy this. While it also gets a 3 VPV, it’s just so boring, and an ugly color to boot.
4) Boring, now in green!
Same as above, but at least the color is a tiny bit better. VPV of 3.
5) Normals need not apply.
In spite of the wildlife theme of this mat giving an initial impression of redneck, I like this mat. It’s relatively accurate considering the fact that I live there, but it does worry me. While the mat definitely wins a five on the Annoy Stodgy Neighbors scale, I can only give it a VPV of 2. There’s definitely no overt invitation, which is a good start, but the line, “Home for the Unusual” worries me. Vampires are not particularly common, plus drinking blood and sleeping in coffins are definitely somewhat strange behaviors in typical society. I don’t have any choice here but to classify that line as an indirect invitation for any one or thing that is considered “unusual” to not only enter, but to even move in!
6) Ishihara Test for Color Blindness
Technically a kitchen mat, not a door mat, but a VPV of 2.5. I really should probably give it only a three, but perhaps if the vampire is colorblind he will recognize the mat as an Ishihara test and become offended that he is being taunted by his inability to see reds and greens. At this point, one of two things could happen: he could (a) get all emo as vampires lately have become prone to doing, and go home to cry bitter tears beneath his perfect hair; or more likely he will (b) seek revenge for the insult and embarassment. He cannot enter the home to take such vengence, but that doesn’t mean he can’t ambush the ones within as they leave the house.
(The next mat in the photo is just the gross imposter mat without it’s label, so I’m not posting it again.)
7) Peace, Love, and puncture wounds.
I don’t mind mats that look like pebbles themselves, but when the pebbles have words on them it just looks dumb. The only time this mat is appropriate is if a miserable bastard gets it for his home so that he can wipe the dirt from his boots across such noble concepts as “harmony” and “tranquility”. Even worse is the fatal mistake that earns this mat the first VPV of 1 on this page, the inclusion of the greeting “Welcome” in one of the pebbles near the center. Without specifically defining which individuals are welcome and which aren’t, a vampire with keen enough eyes to notice this fact will be able to feast upon anyone within, in the privacy of their own home.
8) So long, and thanks for all the fish!
I adore this mat, and am sad that it’s a stiff, scratchy door mat and not a kitchen mat like mat number six. If it were a kitchen or bath mat, I’d totally use this inside my house. As for the VPV, it’s probably another 3. While it does have “Hello” printed on the one odd fish out, saying hello to someone doesn’t overtly or implicitly invite them to your home.
9) This is the mat I’m looking for.
Just wanted to make sure before anyone with a guilty conscience starts arguing with me that I make it very clear that my original mat WAS returned with the delivery of the new mats. My mat, by the way, gets a 4.5 as it’s VPV. It makes no threat to the vampire, but he knows that under no circumstances is he welcome.
10) Mostly harmless, unless you’re allergic to cherries.
I don’t understand why this design is on a door mat, personally. It doesn’t seem to be causing any harm, though, so its VPV is 3.
11) Epic Win
A bit redneck for my tastes, much like the loon mat, but so much more successful in vampire repelling. This one is actually the only mat to get a VPV of 5 of the entire set, including my original mat. Trespassers are not only clearly unwelcome, but the mat offers threats of violence for any offenders. Although in Interview with a Vampire the alligators in the swamp weren’t effective at killing Louis, they still fucked him up pretty badly.
12, 13, 14, and 16) Here we have a cross hatch design, some coffee mugs, some military pride, and the kid from The Incredibles. All get a VPV of 3.
15) A moose? Seriously?
The final mat, though it’s a bit out of order from the photo. This is exactly what I was afraid of when I first started to wonder about door mats as invitations. At least in the pebble mat the word is slightly obscured, and the vampire might not realize he is permitted inside. But to feature the word so prominently on the mat is suicide. While you’re at it, make sure to leave your door unlocked, too. Definitely a VPV of 1.


“Idiots.”