"You. Are. My hero!" he said, pointing at the NR with both fingerless-glove-clad hands. "You're Dr. Acula!"
Yep, that's the vampire-doctor from Scrubs. Sadly, our new best friend was the only one who got it. After we paid the $10 cover and wandered around Davey's, the NR got a lot of quizzical looks and guys asking "Are you a nurse?" and "Did you just get off work?"
Held on a Wednesday night, the first-ever Vampirate Prom attracted a friendly crowd of Johnny Depp types with flowing dark locks and pale, dark-haired women with heaving bosoms spilling out of corset tops. It looked as though Hot Topic had exploded in Davey's, with the preponderance of Manic Panic-dyed hair, fishnet stockings, gloves, and black fingernail polish and eyeliner. Research Assistant Tracey donned a red, shoulder-baring dress and a gorgeous pirate hat embellished with black-lace frills. Her outfit drew compliments as well as disparaging looks from two pirate wenches. "How am I supposed to compete with that?" asked a whippet-thin guy at the bar when he spotted her. He wore black, shiny hot pants, thigh-high boots and a cape-style top, and he had pulled his streaked hair into a high ponytail. He turned around and pulled up his cape. Because the shorts were pulled up high, the move exposed some of his ass. "I'll just use my assets," he quipped.
After getting our favorite Davey's drink at the bar — a $4.25 Stoli Orange and 7-Up — we discovered that the prom was an 18-and-older event, and we couldn't take our drinks into the room with the stage. We finished our drinks and ventured over the DMZ drinking line to the underage side. A band called The_Nascent was onstage. The guy who worked the laptop turned out to be the guy who recognized Dr. Acula. Over to the side, two pirates text-messaged their friends, and in the back, by the nonalcoholic bar, a couple of guys swung around neon lights on the ends of strings, nunchuck-style.
After The_Nascent finished, organizer DJ Dhust — a fetishist whom we'd actually interviewed before at Slammerz — called contestants up to the stage to compete for the prom king and queen crowns. "If you have a penis, stand on this side. If you have a hoo-hoo, stand here," he instructed. Five guys and at least twice that many chickies were judged by audience applause. For king, the crowd voted Pinky, a tall guy who wore a ruffled, black-and-red-brocade dickey. Pinky beat out Captain Cuddles and Death Boy. So many women earned equally loud cheers that Dhust finally just tossed the crown in the air and cried out, "Fight for it, bitches." Shana, who rocked the black corset and had teasingly acted like she was going to expose her boobs, came out victorious.
The king and queen got to sit on the wooden thrones onstage, so after the contest, we clambered up to talk to them. Pinky told us that he got his vampire lord costume for Ren Fest. He chose it because of his distinct hatred of pirates. "Ninjas kick pirate ass," the 19-year-old said. "So fuck pirates."
We asked what their plans were for their reign. "Turn as many pirates to undead as I can," Pinky said.
"Enslave as many cute boys as I can," 20-year-old Shana replied. "Not to sleep with them — just to look at them. I'm celibate. And a Christian."
We went back in the main room and caught up with Jaundice, the guy who recognized the NR costume. The 28-year-old was packing up his stuff, so we went with him into the poolroom, which served as the tame backstage area for the bands. Jaundice said he first wanted to dress as a rat and eat a pie — pie rat, get it? Then he thought about dressing as Dr. Acula because he's a big Mitch Hedberg fan. Because we're unfamiliar with the works of Mitch, Jaundice told us the joke in a Hedbergian voice. "I went to see the doctor, and all he did was suck my blood. That's the last time I see Dr. Acula."
Because we were at a prom — and because we never went to our high school prom — we asked Jaundice if he had any prom stories. He explained that he was the epitome of a record-store reject and had to work that night. Before the dance, a group of guys in tuxes and their dates came in to look for some after-prom music. Jaundice had said, "So you're going to a nice restaurant next? Well, if you [ladies] order lobster, you got to put out." He said that the women were "extremely pissed off," whereas the guys gave him a standing ovation. "I hope I helped out the underage, premarital sex," he said.
Just then, we heard a cry of "ass and titties!" from another guy in the room. It turned out that LexXxis, the guy in the hot pants who used his assets, was trying to egg something on. We weren't sure what it was, but then we saw Robyn (a pretty 21-year-old we had talked to earlier) drop her jeans and bend over to show off her black panties, which read "House of Sin" on the butt. That's her friend's clothing line, she said. She posed for a couple of pictures, and Jaundice implored his bandmate Kyle to get in them. "I'm married," Jaundice said. "I need another guy in this."
The bar was clearing out, and LexXxis dubbed the room's feel "the looking for an afterparty vibe." He bobbed his head in a pecking motion and said, "They're like a bunch of chickens." As we wrote that quote in our notebook, he called to a bystander, "Don't talk to a journalist while being a chicken!"
That's probably good advice. Dr. Acula would add this bit of wisdom: Unlike high school, this prom didn't suck.