Before beginning today’s post, I have to do something which, hopefully, won’t happen too often. I need to give a kudos to the Old Monster. While I would normally avoid any advice from this source like holy water, I have to admit that the monster has hit the coffin-nail on the head with the August 17th column. Nothing is more frightening to a writer than scam publishers - as a rule, anyone asking YOU for money is a scam publisher or a scam editor or a vanity press.
My colleagues often believe that these bloodsuckers are useless, but my colleagues are mortals, with a limited outlook. I have had quite a few scam editors as guests of honor at my bloodbaths parties, and I can tell you that hot pokers and sharp objects are quite satisfying when used judiciously. Always remember that plastic sheeting is a good way to spare the Louis XIV upholstery.
Writing, we all know, is a poor and frustrating way to keep body and soul apart (mortals might see it as a way of keeping them together, but I lost my soul nearly a thousand years ago, and would be seriously put out if if came areound to bother me again). But what are the alternatives for the nicely aged undead?
The thing might be to to do what Jarvis did. Jarvis is my butler, and has held the position for the past couple of centuries. He is ideally suited for the position, as he is that rarest of creatures, a fat vampire, and makes for a perfect butler of the Wodehousian persuasion. So, if you are a bloodless creature with a tendency towards obesity, I highly recommend it. Well preserved Zombies are probably also a good bet here (by the way, and just as a pedantic aside, doesn’t it irritate you that all the move zombies are thin? Why, if much of the world has a weight problem, are there no fat zombies in the movies?). Jarvis’s duties include dusting the coffin and mopping up the blood, which are both light enough, although feeding the rabbit from hell, who doesn’t like him for various reasons too lengthy to go into here, is heavier going.
But what if you’re one of those creatures who just doesn’t clean up that well, or looks ridiculous in a tux (werewolves, regardless of what you may have seen in the movies, this means you!)? Then I see two paths, the easiest of which is becoming a programmer. Trust me, even the tattiest zombie will look like the MC at the French Embassy gala compared to the fashion don’ts perpetrated by this crowd. I know a programmer who regularly wears a blue shirt with the Superman logo to work with a straight face.
If you have no computer skills (excusable, I guess if you were created undead during the plague years), I would go for telemarketing - or better yet, consumer service callcenters. Even raspy undead voices will be hired, and, as far as I’ve been able to ascertain, you are allowed to say ANYTHING to the customers, as long as you leave them indefinitely on hold after they ask for your supervisor. Even zombies who can only manage a tortured moan should do well here. Good place for banshees, too.
If you have no pride, of course, you can do what the Monster does, and live off of whatever you find in your victim’s pockets, but that leads to a different kind of lifestyle altogether, and respectability does not lie down that particular path, even for those of us with all of eternity to save money in.
I, of course, do none of these things, because I invested wisely after the French Revolution. But that’s another story.