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VLAD ......The Impaler's home should have been some kind of museum, but instead it was a restaurant that didn't get good reviews. However, the ice cream outside was really good!

Inside Romania, Vlad was the national hero who held the Turks back from invading the country. But, outside of Romania, Vlad was better known as Dracula. His father was Vlad Dracul (which meant the Devil). Young Vlad and his brother were sent as hostages by their father to live with a sultan in Turkey. Good things didn't happen to young boys who lived with the sultan. Rape and death did happen. Apparently, Vlad was an observant learner. He saw the ways that the Turks used terror and torture. When he eventually came home, he used what he learned. If you broke the law or crossed Vlad in any way, you never did it a second time. You were impaled.

To be honest, I never knew what 'impaled' meant. Once you know, you don't forget. Victims were bound spread eagle and someone hammered a stake up their rectum. That would be bad enough, but it wasn't for Vlad. He had them raised aloft, leaving them dying in agony. In 1642, to ward off attacking Turks, Vlad created a "forest" of 20,000 Turks and Bulgarians, all impaled. It worked.

Vlad was a lot of things, but he was never thought to be a vampire in his lifetime. That tale was woven in the imagination of Bram Stoker. In 1890 he took Romanian folklore, Transylvanian history and geography, sprinkled it with the influences of Jack the Ripper, and created Count Dracula. Horror stories were never going to be the same.

Eventually, Vlad got it in the end. Well, actually, he didn't get it in "the end". That would have been divine retribution. They simply cut his head off and sent it to a sultan. I think he deserved a lot worse than that. He should have suffered for the 48 hours like his impaled victims did.

MARTIN

Did Dr. Apathy care about Vlad?
Copyright 2009 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.