Perceptions of a Teenage Fampire
By John Delery
Friends call me grimsical — yeah, yeah: half grim, half whimsical — but I don’t want to be one of those typical teenagers who look at life through morose-colored glasses. Adults say I view the world weirdly, but I prefer to think that I see the image people project: frightfully freakish.
I want to join the inexhaustible flock of famepires, those nocturnal creatures of habit who loathe sunlight [because it burns and wrinkles their precious skin] but worship the spotlight. No matter what they do, no matter how shamefully they behave, famepires cannot die of embarrassment; the only thing that can kill them is lack of attention, making famepires immortal in a country with an insatiable celebrity fixation.
Every morning I shape my brows, curl my lashes, pick, squeeze, and pop pimples. [I know, I know: a flagrant violation of the beauty code, punishable by one gazillion zits on prom night. *DQMOT.] I cleanse and tone and moisturize and exfoliate.
*Don’t Quote Me on That
If you’re wondering, I get my mountains of creams, serums, salves, balms, gels, foundations, eye shadow, mascara, lip gloss, lipstick, shampoos, conditioners, blushes, brushes, and other styling products from the charity Cosmetic Changes. Stars donate outdated, unwanted makeup because it makes them look good … especially to the audience that actors want to impress most: their nonstop publicity machines and the Fawning Media Mob™. And no, I am not a paid celebrity spokeswoman — yet.
*JSYK: I prefer silent communication, or what I call nonversation — I can text your ear off.
About the only people talking these days are those monstrous motormouths the Gorgon Triplets, my nemeses at Kimye High, or my prehistoric parents, who were born [Before Cable, Before Cellular, Before Celebrities, I think] in 1970 B.C.!!!!!!! I’d speak more if conversations were like skimming the terms of service online: I could ignore all the words, scroll immediately to the end, and automatically agree.
“C’mon, nobody calls anyone anymore,” I insist to my Evil Stepmister.
“You say that as if it’s an improvement,” he replies at the aforementioned dinner table, the pulpit where he does his loudest godawful preaching. “We are thisclose to the day when the pilot, after reaching cruising altitude, interrupts a flight to announce: ‘Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain tweeting.’ Little connects us anymore except servers, signals from cell towers, and our devotion to Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr, and Twitter, the sanctuary where the snide hide. An umbilical cable permanently tethers members of your generation to a modem, the modern mouthpiece. Like ventriloquists, you and your peers ‘talk’ without moving your lips, content to ‘chat’ online or text in, IDK*, e-mitation English rather than speak in person or even on the phone, the home-away-from-home entertainment center you desperately clutch as though it were a fraying lifeline. You stare at your phone constantly, yet whenever it rings, you and your fellow telephobes cringe, gasp, and scream, ‘Whoooo’s Callllling?’’ the title of the next horror-movie franchise, I’m assuming.
*I Don’t Know
“Somehow I survived childhood, even though my computer was just a slide rule, a cryptic plastic stick with an inscrutable combination of numerals, graduated lines, and mysterious symbols only an artithmagician could decode. Miraculously, I’ve lasted into adulthood, even though my ‘smartphone’ was only a land line with push buttons instead of a rotary dial. I grew up happily watching black-and-white TV and listening to a hi-fi. You’ve grown up gazing blankly at 1080p HDTV and searching for Wi-Fi — and looking lost without it. We come from vastly different times, vastly different planets.”
“I’m an underprivileged child,” I explain eloquently. “I have only basic cable and no data plan on my dumbphone. I need a telethon, people! OMG, it just struck me: I’m so digitally-impaired, I’m almost Amish!”
“America is a nation of ravenous gadgeteers restless for the next device,” my Evil Stepmister yammers, resuming his sermon, which should be delivered by Domino’s® because it’s extra cheesy. “We’ve shrunk life until it fits into a pocket-size gimmick. I’m a
2G straggler hopelessly trailing the whatever-G-we’re-up-to-now lead pack, but I’m not an ogre or a cheapskate because I won’t buy you all the gizmos you crave or that TV declares you need.”
“Yeah, it would also be where I’d recharge my iPod and iPad … if I owned those, too!”
“Lose the brattitude, Justine Bieber,” demands my VOM, who also enjoys contorting words into funny shapes.
“I’d sooner lose my phone!”
So now you see my problem: a fulminating father figurine and a mordant mother who must secretly yearn to be an acupuncturist because she enjoys needling people, especially her only child. [Having fun? Then follow the link to www.sandalrella.com to buy and continue reading this book for only $5.99. Thank you!]