May 28, 2021

Dracula’s Castle’s Giving COVID Shots: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Getting inoculated at the home of everyone’s favorite zombie

By Ed Goldman

If you’d like to combine getting away with getting inoculated, good news: according to CBS News, Dracula’s castle—or at least the Romanian mansion thought to have figured in Bram Stoker’s original gothic novel—is now offering free COVID-19 vaccinations for another three days.

Well, fangs very much. 

Edgy Cartoon

At the Vampire Estate Building

But hold on a second. Since “Dracula” is one of my favorite books, even though the title character literally sucks, I think it may be worthwhile for you to consider a few things before booking an overseas flight, to wit:

1. If the nurse insists on drawing blood before injecting you, something could be very much amiss. You don’t give at these events. You get.

2. If there’s an on-site snack bar run by a guy named Renfield, don’t opt for the bucket of extra-crispy flies.

3. As incarnated by both Bela Lugosi and various actors in films, when asked if he’s going to join his guest for a drink, Dracula famously replies, with a meaningful pause, ”I don’t drink…wine.” If offered any, neither should you. Just say you’re allergic to red wine.

4. Be sure to wear an ascot or dickie for your vaccination. This could keep the personnel from taking an undue interest in the general area of your neck—unless you’re rocking a really ornate dickie, of course. (For younger readers, no, we didn’t just slip a PG-13 term past you. A “dickie” is a false shirt front. Shame on you for thinking otherwise. I may have to phone your collective mom.)

5. Etiquette tip: The following is not a good joke to spring on the nurse giving you your serum in a facility that may have belonged to someone who slept by day in a velvet-lined tomb.

“What’d one casket say to the other casket?”


“’Is that you coffin?’”

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6. Dracula was a shape shifter—which didn’t mean then, and doesn’t mean now, that he can help you move cellulite deposits from your legs to the back of your head, under, say, your mullet or shag. It meant then, and it means now, that he could turn into another creature (a bat, a wolf) or even person (a basement radon inspector, a whole-life insurance salesperson). What if he could also turn into the nurse, paramedic, firefighter or Walmart greeter about to confer immortality on you (or so he claims) by administering that second Pfizer shot? Remember, all of Dracula’s victims become immortal—until they’re not.

7. Wearing a garland of garlic cloves around your neck and toting a 10-pound cross to your inoculation aren’t exactly surefire preventive measures—unless you’re trying, with all your might, to prevent your ever being asked out on a date.

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This is too bad. Romania is said to have some great eateries—and some even deliver, as well: La Bibliotecă Herăstrău, Cucinetta and Cismigiu Bistro la Etaj spring immediately to mind. They’ll spring to yours, too, if, while waiting the 15 minutes after you receive your shot—to make sure you’re okay and won’t sue the clinic when you collapse outside it 20 minutes after receiving that shot— you scroll through on your phone.

While the wait to leave may seem to last forever, according to medical and religious authorities it’s still a better way to achieve immortality than by having a vampire bite you.

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Ed Goldman's column appears almost every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. A former daily columnist for the Sacramento Business Journal, as well as monthly columnist for Sacramento Magazine and Comstock’s Business Magazine, he’s the author of five books, two plays and one musical (so far).