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 50¢ 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.”

This is Not the Mat I’m Looking For

As I mentioned very briefly on Twitter a bit earlier, “…someone’s gonna get their ass BEAT. Like, stereotypical-ghetto-with-a-shoe.” Everyone remembers my post from last week about my Anti-Vampire Door Mat, correct? Well, this morning (I say morning, but it was really only about an hour ago; I’m lazy on Saturdays) I go out to pick up my new glasses to find this:

Please note that this is not the mat that went missing last week. This is the mat that went missing, and I am not amused by the poor imitation left on my stoop as a taunting reminder of what I have lost to such petty thievery. Now I must determine if the original theft was carried out by members of the MNC, or if only the false replacement was their version of a joke, or both, or neither. I still suspect certain co-workers in the incident, although to my knowledge the “leave” tag taped to the new mat does not match any of their handwriting. Perhaps I should actually issue such a challenge to all visitors from this time forward, to attempt to discover the culprit?

At least in the meantime I should be protected from vampires again. Small victories, even in the midst of all this loss. ^_~

A Follow Up: By Invitation Only

You may or may not have read my post from last summer regarding my horribly-witty door mat and vampire repulsion device. If you haven’t read it yet, or need to refresh your memory, please do so before continuing. Once you are familiar with my ingenious plot to ward vampires from my home, you may continue.

Now then, fast forward to this week. Saturday we had our usual game of Galactica, complete with Cylon domination of the human race, and it was good times. The players were as follows:

  • Myself – Cylon, playing Ellen
  • Dave – Human, playing Chief
  • Danny – Human, playing Cain
  • Derek – Cylon Leader, playing Cavil
  • Ben – Human, playing Zarek, then Lee, then Adama (yes, we executed him twice!)
  • Diana – Cylon, playing Dee
  • Russell – Human, playing Starbuck

Diana and Russell were both playing their first games with us and of BSG in general, and Diana especially did well–Cylon in her first game, and though she was found out before the sleeper phase she played well and contributed nicely to the Cylon victory. Unfortunately, that’s not the point, although perhaps the human/Cylon division among players contributed to the current crisis:
My anti-vampire door mat is missing.

Saturday when the pizza was delivered the mat was outside my door as usual, and this morning it was missing. We didn’t leave the house all day yesterday, so I don’t know if it was gone then as well, or not. I was compelled this morning to send out the following email:

I noticed this morning when leaving for work that my anti-vampire doormat has gone missing. While doormats themselves are relatively inexpensive, I took a great deal of comfort knowing that my doormat left no ambiguity regarding the welcome–or lack thereof–of the living dead in my home. If anyone has seen the missing doormat, its return would be most appreciated. If anyone has it, know that you will be airlocked at first sight once discovered. In the meantime, all visitors must submit to mandatory garlic & holy water screenings, and may only come over prior to nightfall.

That is all.

Ben moved immediately to accuse Danny of the theft, who has retaliated by claiming entrapment. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to determine what measures I should take to protect my home now that my mat is gone. To my knowledge, the mat itself is discontinued, so a replacement may or may not be an option.

The question is: What is your favorite vampire repulsion devices or methods? Any suggestions I can get to safe guard my newly-vulnerable home?

By Invitation Only

Okay, so I’ve got this door mat that quite plainly says LEAVE. I got it because I thought it was oh-so-witty when I found it at Bed Bath and Beyond and have joked since that it’s part of my vampire protection plan, because if my mat said WELCOME it could potentially be misconstrued as an invitation. The mat itself can be seen at this post on someone else’s blog found via a Google search.

Well, a friend that doesn’t normally hang out had come over last weekend, and I was trying to explain the mat to this person, who seemed completely confused–possibly even thinking I was crazy for considering the vampire threat in Savannah to be so serious. So it got me thinking: if I’m wrong, I’m obviously erring on the side of caution, which there really isn’t anything wrong with. But how specific does an invitation have to be to for a vampire to be allowed entry? Google searches on this topic mostly bring up answers and examples from the Buffyverse, but not entirely. Here’s some of what I found:

From http://www.fluther.com/disc/39640/vampires-can-only-enter-if-you-invite-them-in-does-a/

Weird thoughts I have while driving, but I was thinking that if someone has a
mat at their front door that says welcome that just might possibly count as an
invitation to enter, right? 😉

So obviously, I’m not the first to think of this potential problem. Moving forward, from http://vampires.monstrous.com/invitation.htm

Vampires also have a mystical aversion to entering any human dwelling place
which they have not been verbally invited. Once invited, they may enter the
place anytime thereafter.
“He may not enter anywhere at first, unless there
be some member of the household to bid him to come; though afterwards he can
come as he pleases.” – Professor Van Helsing in Mina Harker’s Journal, Chapter
XVIII of Dracula by Bram Stoker

So according to this, the mat would not qualify as a threat to the humans living within a home, should a thirsty vampire happen to be lurking outside. The part about if a member of the house “bid[s] him to come” bothers me, though, because in this case a written invitation can still be a threat, but at least it would need to be addressed to the individual vampire to begin with. All that one must be worried about here is not knowing that the person invited by letter/etc is a vampire, because as we finally come to the Buffyverse evidence, it has been established that the inviter does not need to know that the invitee is a member of the walking dead. Considering there are 12 years’ combined precedent in the Buffyverse (7 for BtVS and 5 for Angel) the lore here is a bit too expansive for this post, but a good summary can be found here. (That last link has a lot of other Buffyverse vamp lore, but I skipped down to the invitation-specific information for brevity.)

Regardless of whether my mat is helping to protect me or not, depending on which mythos you follow, I feel its better safe than sorry in the long run. When my neighbors come down with a slight case of dead and I’m still nice and alive, we’ll know who the smart one was as far as door mats are concerned.