Capes and back rubs, reunited at last. "What's that?" he said. "I'm sorry, I wasn't paying attention." "Never mind. Hey maybe you can help," I asked, slipping back into reporter mode. "I'm fromâ¦ Time Magazineâ¦ and I'm trying to find out more about the whole appeal of this Twilight thing. Can you help me? Why are you here tonight?" "You're from Time?" "Oh the costume?" I laughed. "The publishing industry has fallen on hard times, so a lot of us Time reporters have to take on second jobs, " I explained. "I sometimes do mascot work at conventions for dry goods manufacturers." "Oh. I guess that makes sense." He was wrong; that didn't make any sense at all. But I felt no need to correct him. "So why are you here then?" "Uh, I dunno." "Seriously? You don't know what you like about Twilight?" He shrugged. "I guess the vampires?" I gave him my blankest look. "The vampires," I repeated. "Can you be a little more specific?" "You know," he said. "The vampire guy. He loves Bella because ofâ¦ a reasonâ¦ and they fight werewolves and love werewolves and look at each other. It's just all so awesome." I frowned at him. Was this guy for real? I decided to call him out. "Scooter--and I don't know if you're actually called Scooter, but I'll be damned if you don't act like one--I'll be honest with you. My dry-goods-mascot bullshit detector is going off all over the place here. It sounds like you know next to nothing about Twilight. What are you doing here, dude? Trying to meet girls?" He didn't say anything, but did sort of shrink back into his cape a bit. "Wow that's justâ¦ atrocious," I said, not lying. We sat there in incredibly awkward silence for a few seconds. My entire body itched just being next to him. "Hey girls?" I said, turning back to the flotilla of bitches behind me. "Wanna trade spots? You'll get in a little sooner that way. Maybe get better seats." "Wow! Thanks!" We shuffled around. until I was a half dozen places further back in line, and a little closer to Hell. I was now standing beside a couple of ordinary looking girls in their mid-20s. I stood there looking nonchalant, idly playing with my cape in a manner I hoped made me look professional. After 10 minutes or so of listening in on their conversation, I concluded they were the least weird people here, and decided to try again. "Wow! You look ordinary!" I said, by way of introduction. A long pause. "OK. Thanks," one of them replied slowly while the other one stared. "Hey, seeing as we're all ordinary dudes and lady-dudes here, maybe you'd like to answer some questions for me?" I said, addressing the one who spoke. "What's the big appeal with this Twilight business? Why are you here tonight?" Her gaze narrowed. "I'm not so sure you're ordinary." "Because of the costume?" she nodded. "Look, it's like I was telling Johnny Clammyhands up there, I'm a reporter trying to get a scoop on Twilight culture, and I'm wearing thi- HHHHHYURK." My explanation, complete with a purposeful thrust forward and dramatic sweep of my cape, was cut short when I tripped over my enormous feet, stumbled, then caught my cape on something sharp. I slumped to the ground, elegantly strangling myself. Everything went black. ______ The gentle prodding of a police man's foot roused me from my slumber. My eyes opened. I was still on the ground, my cape having been cut loose at some point during my unplanned coma. The line had dissipated. "What time is it?" I tried to ask, although, "blrughr Fim gh het?" Is what I believe actually came out of my mouth. "About 12:30." I gaped. Those Twidstsicles left me unconscious on the sidewalk for five hours. I rubbed my throat, batting aside the scrap of cape that hung limply around my neck. Shaking the dizzies out of my head, I then got to my feet after a couple of practice tries. "Thank you officers, but I won't need any further assistance. However, if circumstances arise such that you have to shoot several people in that theater, I will totally have your back if you get called up on some 'excessive force' bullshit. Respect." My offered fist bump hung in the air for 12 seconds, while we all stood there staring at it. Eventually they wandered away. ___ My conclusion: Twilight fans are cold-blooded harlots, possible pedophiles or 12-year-old girls. How we as a society deal with these parasites is a complicated issue, but pelting them with rocks would be far from the worst option. __
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