Pandora’s Guidebook to Vampires: Part XI

 

Hello darklings, Kidna Styx here.

Welcome to part eleven of Pandora’s Guidebook to Vampires. My vampire friend Pandora Grey Blackheart just had to debunk a few supernatural misconceptions.

Food

It’s a big myth that vampires can’t eat. We can, but our system is no longer designed to process it. We can taste and enjoy it, but we derive no nutrition. It leaves us completely hungry.

Our bodies dissolve impurities, so food and drink have no chance of sticking around long. We are the ultimate waste disposal unit. For those of you sick puppies that really want to know the science of it, the impurities are liquefied and passed through the system like any normal liquid– which means a visit to the little vampire’s room.

Other dissolvable impurities include bullets, which is awesome. I couldn’t imagine having to dig out one of those suckers.

Advice

If you can convince a vampire to eat incriminating evidence, you won’t ever have to worry about seeing it again. Though it might just be easier and less detrimental to get a shredder.

Crosses

Vampires that were alive during the Spanish inquisition are not fond of crosses. I can understand why they don’t like to have them in their presence. However, I have never heard of crosses burning or repelling an actual vampire.

Maybe if you run into some Christian vampire full of so much self-loathing that they think God has cursed them with eternal existence—you might stand a chance. However, those vamps don’t generally last long as they usually find a way to off themselves.

Who would want to live like that?

I was never religious, but I have seen vampires that are and even they don’t have problems with crosses. So unless some witch sparkled up a cross with a curse, or you get a really big one with super sharp points, it won’t help whatsoever in a vampire attack.

Advice

Those old Van-Helsing-like vampire kits are all pretty with their ornately carved wooden case and designer tools, but unless you’re looking for an expensive tchotchke, it’s a waste of money. A revolver will have more stopping power and that ain’t much.

 

Pandora’s Guidebook to Vampires: Part X

 

Hello darklings, Kidna Styx here.

Welcome to part ten of Pandoras Guidebook to Vampires. My vampire friend Pandora Grey Blackheart just had to debunk a few supernatural misconceptions.

 

Appearance

OK, so the vamp virus tends to smooth out imperfections. Acne is no longer a problem, greasy hair balances out, years of spinal compression and hunching clear up. You stand taller, you are more comfortable in your own skin. Confidence is king and it can often do way more for a person than appearance alone.

However, miracles only go so far. Not all vampires are created equal. Maybe they’re born with it, maybe it’s permanent. If you were born with a big nose, cutting it off will not make it grow back smaller. This is how your genetic makeup decided you would look. Vamp blood only changes the blood. So save yourself some pain, and go see the psychologist because you’re stuck with it as long as you’re breathing. For instance, I know a vamp born with a strange birthmark on her arm and it’s there to stay. Can’t fight basic factory genetics. Not everyone is a beauty queen but on the bright side, makeup still works.

 

Advice

If for some reason you’re next in line to become a vampire, you might want to think twice. If you’re not too fond of yourself or the way you look, adding a few millennia won’t make it any better. You won’t have to worry about dieting but you’ll be stuck with yourself forever, for better or worse.

 

Mating

Oh love. We love it and we are quite good at it. A vampire’s natural tool is seduction. It makes getting close to one’s prey much easier. Not to mention, enhanced senses make everything way more fun.

Vampires usually stick to vampire partners, but vamps and humans have relations just fine. If you happen to be one of those humans in a relationship with a vamp, be careful—your vampiric partner is much more stronger and far more agile than you. You don’t want to hear some of the horror stories I’ve heard about things getting torn off in the heat of the moment.

Blood-drinking during mating, like with any physical proclivity, depends on the person. Some like to bite, some like to be bit. Some like to take blood by force while others like it freely given. Taking blood from a partner is pretty common though. I mean think about it, food and love, best combo ever.

What would you do if your lover were filled with hot fudge?

Vampires, believe it or not, can mate for life. It’s a long life, but when vampires couple, they often become addicted to one another. The constant blood-swapping is bound to have some long-term effect.

Most vamp couples mate for a period of forty to sixty years then take a few years off to ‘freshen the blood.’ Can’t blame them. You’d grow tired of anyone after spending nearly a century together. Some only stay away a year depending on how long they’d been together and how bonded they are. Even mating for five years can create an unbreakable bond. It‘s not as strong as the Maker Tyro bond, but it’s still powerful. Once created, you just can’t stay away from one another for too long. It’s in the blood.

Many vampires enjoy healthy periods of mating and separation, but when a bond goes wrong, it goes very wrong. If one vamp decides to sever the tie against the other one’s will, they could both go mad. The blood longs for the blood of the mate. A separation can have many negative effects such as insanity, gorging, and loss of appetite.

Actually, now that I think about it, that sounds like the effects of a normal breakup.

This is why vamps are careful with whom they mate. Only time or a new mating can heal the breakup.

 

Advice

If you somehow manage to find a pair of vampires roaming about, they are likely bonded and you do not want any part of that. Unless of course you’re into that sort of thing then go ahead, it will be a hell of an experience–if you make it out alive.

 

Pandora’s Guidebook to Vampires: Part IX

 

Hello darklings, Kidna Styx here.

Welcome to part nine of Pandoras Guidebook to Vampires. My vampire friend Pandora Grey Blackheart just had to debunk a few supernatural misconceptions.

Blood

Yes, we drink blood. What kind of vampire would I be if I didn’t? And don’t talk to me about emotional vampires. You can find those in any high school around the world.

Blood keeps the vampire healthy and lively. Human blood to us is like food to anyone else. If you just stop eating, you waste away. It has all the nutrition we need. However, unlike humans, we can go a few days without eating, and the older we get the less we need. My Maker feeds like once a week and he is older than dirt—well the topsoil anyway.

We do however have to watch who we take blood from, especially these days. I once took blood from a guy on acid and had an Elvis sighting—It was kind of fun though, in a peanut butter and banana sandwich sort of way.

Our stomach absorbs blood like a human stomach absorbs nutrition from food. Contrary to popular belief, we do have our own blood, which has been changed from human to vampire via the vamp virus. It still pumps, but much slower, which seems to put us somewhere between life and death. I’m not a scientist, but I do know that we are somewhat susceptible to necromancers. So we must be partly dead. It’s difficult for necromancers though, only the extremely skilled can pull it off.

For you nerds out there, vamp blood is like the Borg, the human blood is assimilated by the vamp blood, which adds to the collective AKA me.

Our blood is kind of a super serum. In small doses it can heal the worst of human ailments (don’t tell the insurance companies, they’d firebomb us all.) However, in large doses, it can be lethal. The blood eradicates impurities, but it’s still a virus. Giving any more than a pint to a normal human will cause blood poisoning.

Vampires can feed off one another, and often do, but it’s a completely different experience and taste. Some prefer one to the other. However, if vampires feed from each other exclusively, one of the pair needs to be taking in fresh blood regularly. Otherwise they don’t get enough new blood cells and start going insane from the purity of the virus. They begin to think they’re more powerful, when in actuality they are starting to deteriorate.

It’s like vampire mad cow disease.

Animal blood is an option, though not so much for city vampires who only have strays and pigeons to feed off. Taste varies from animal to animal of course, but let’s just say that human is much preferred. It’s the difference between drinking plain soy milk, and drinking a double chocolate malt milkshake. It does the trick, but just doesn’t hit the spot.

Vampires can feed on other supernatural creatures, but that can be dangerous and riddled with bizarre repercussions. Strange side effects often occur, generally speaking, traits from the prey transfer onto the predator. I heard of one vamp who drank from a shifter and turned into a weird half-cat thing for about a week.

To dispel yet another lame myth, when vampires feed, our eyes don’t go all crazy like they do in the movies. We don’t start hissing and tear the throat out of our victim. Actually, the bitten seem to generally enjoy the experience, it’s like getting a hickey—with a bit of a pinch. Usually, people don’t even know it’s happening, and we don’t leave marks—as long as the fed-upon survive the experience that is.

Our fangs are needle-thin at the tips and slide through flesh without a whole lot of pain. Thank goodness, I couldn’t imagine if I bit someone and they were all like, ‘Noooo! Stop, you’re killing me!!! Ahhhhh!!!’

I’d freak out.

Advice

If you know someone who is critically ill and you have a vampire friend or access to the ‘super black market’—as I like to call the market that sells illegal supernatural wares—you can get just a little bit of vampire blood and those who imbibe it will heal up rather quickly. Keep some around and you won’t need for cold medicine, bandaids, or pain meds ever again.

However, finding this stuff ain’t easy, so if you do get some, don’t waste it and don’t go blabbing where you got it. There are some pretty hefty punishments for those who get caught. Especially for those poor vamps who have so little money they have no choice but to sell their life’s blood.

P.S. The older the vampire, the stronger the blood. Sometimes it’s worth it to spend a little more. And if you’re an avid user, switch the blood source every now and again, otherwise you might accidentally blood bond yourself to the donor who will be more than happy to replenish his stock with yours.

Pandora’s Guidebook to Vampires: Part VIII

 

Hello darklings, Kidna Styx here.

Welcome to part eight of Pandora’s Guidebook to Vampires. My vampire friend Pandora Grey Blackheart just had to debunk a few supernatural misconceptions.

Garlic

I love garlic. Despite the terrible smell one acquires when eating Italian food, garlic is good for the hair, heart, and skin.

It also cleanses impurities in the blood. Therein lies the vampire’s problem. What is vampire blood but a massive impurity? True, I can’t eat it as much as I did when I was human. It burns a bit, but to be repelled by it? Someone would have to force feed me garlic by the handful. Honestly, that would repel anyone.

The actual effect garlic has on vampires is not in the smell, but in the consumption, and it’s certainly not lethal. Garlic is our equivalent of jalapeños, or that crazy hot sauce your uncle loves to eat that’ll eventually give him ulcers.

Quick aside, why do guys like hot stuff so much? I think it has something to do with it making them cry. As men, they feel like they aren’t allowed to cry unless they eat something hot or have something heavy fall on them. Maybe it’s their way of cleansing the unused tear ducts… Who knows?

Anywho, my point is that yes, garlic burns away vamp blood cells, but the effect is no worse than hot sauce.

Personally, I kinda like a little garlic burn.

 

Advice

Hanging out in Italian joints to avoid vampires will be about as helpful as hanging out in goth clubs. While vampires do not prefer these places, it does not mean you won’t find one there.

However, if you are an avid garlic lover, eating about a clove of garlic a day will get into your blood enough to deter an interested vampire. The garlic, having been broken down into your blood, will effectively get into our system upon feeding. As opposed to imbibing it ourselves in raw form which usually passes through us without much harm. So this will work if you want to hurt a vampire—of course, that means you have to let one bite you. But usually, they and likely everyone around you, will have smelled it on you first. Regardless, you will have one unhappy vampire who’ll be avoiding your garlic-eating butt like the plague.

Another bonus, garlic is really good for you, so I’m sure your doctor will thank you, if not your girlfriend or neighbors.

Pandora’s Guidebook to Vampires: Part VII

 

Hello darklings, Kidna Styx here.

Welcome to part seven of Pandora’s Guidebook to Vampires. My vampire friend Pandora Grey Blackheart just had to debunk a few supernatural misconceptions about vampires.

Sleep

In nearly every vamp story, they tell you that vampires have to sleep in coffins. If they dare step foot into the sunlight, they immediately turn into crispy critters.

Not true.

We do not have to sleep in coffins, but they are nice since they are plush and let no light in, however unnecessary they may be. Believe it or not, we aren’t actually dead. We’re infected, permanently, like zombies, but less gross. We need just as much sleep as your average teamster— about four to six hours a day. It just makes sense to sleep during the day since the sun drains our energy.

Vampires are creatures of the night, but unlike many would have you think, we do not retreat at first light. We aren’t even necessarily tired at that point. It does however suck for us to be out. Think of a hangover, add a sunburn, plus some wicked cramps, and you might have an idea of what it feels like to be a vamp in direct sunlight.

I can go out during the day if I have to, but thankfully daylight errands—e.g., going to the bank, job interviews, and other such necessities—don’t happen too often. However, trying to deal with accountants when you just want to crawl into a hole and die, takes a level of self-control reserved for drunks during a sobriety test.

A good pair of sunglasses and an umbrella goes a long way, but thankfully my brother is a sweetheart and runs most of the daylight errands. Actually, he seems compelled to do them for me…

Advice

I do not condone vampire hunting, but if you were inclined to rid yourself of a particularly annoying bloodsucker, your best plan of attack would be to find where they sleep.

This will not be easy though. Vampires are very defensive and hate feeling weak. They hardly let other vampires know where they live, let alone rest for the day. They’re a somewhat paranoid lot.

So, luck to you if you feel so bold. To say that you would be walking into the preverbal lions den would be a gross understatement. If you wake them, they won’t thank you for it, though some do enjoy a midday snack.

 

Pandora’s Guidebook to Vampires: Part VI

 

Hello darklings, Kidna Styx here.

Welcome to part six of Pandora’s Guidebook to Vampires. My vampire friend Pandora Grey Blackheart just had to debunk a few supernatural misconceptions about vampires...

Mirrors

After reading all the vampire propaganda out there, how could anyone believe that vampires don’t have a reflection? I suppose all the movie vamps, especially the Anne Rice variety, just wake up looking that good after sleeping in a coffin all day? No coffin bedhead? I doubt they would rely on a henchman to tell them if they had a cow lick or misplaced makeup.

I don’t see how vampires could possibly have a problem with mirrors. I know I’d be super annoyed if someone told me I had a pimple and I couldn’t look at it in the mirror—Well, happily, we don’t have to deal with acne, but you get the idea.

How did the myth get started? I’ve heard that some vampires started it back in the Renaissance to cover themselves if people got suspicious and a Van Helsing wannabe popped up to cause trouble.

Vamps don’t have many weaknesses to speak of, however, an angry mob in the middle of the day can put a severe kink in one’s chain. So, to avoid being found out, they made sure to spread around as much misinformation as possible—Like, ‘oh I’m not a vampire, vampires can’t be seen in a mirror and can’t stand crosses. I clearly have a reflection and just came back from communion.’

The wannabe hunter would employ stupid tests like that to catch us. Unfortunately, if they ever caught a ‘vampire,’ it was because they employed Salem Witch Trial type methods—e.g., if you were unfortunate enough to have a large birthmark, they would say it was the Devil’s Mark and call you a witch, which means they were guessing.

However, all the vamp hunters ever caught were a bunch of unlucky humans. Should they have caught the real thing—well, let’s just say it would not have turned out too well for their accuser.

The only beings that can contend with vampires are other Supernaturals and Hunters who use far superior methods of dealing with unruly vamps than simple silver mirrors.

Advice

Well the good thing about a mirror is that when shattered it makes a pretty good stabbing tool. Take that for what you will. You can definitely cut a vampire, perhaps enough to get yourself out of its grip. However, unless you have a piece the size of an executioner’s axe, I wouldn’t count on it stopping your fanged aggressor for long.

Pandora’s Guidebook to Vampires: Part V

Hello darklings, Kidna Styx here.

Welcome to part five of Pandoras Guidebook to Vampires. My vampire friend Pandora Grey Blackheart felt she just had to debunk a few supernatural misconceptions about the mother of all vampire mythsthe vampires fiery relationship with the sun.

The Sun

This is the mother of all vampire myths. Its true that the sun affects us. We are like bats in this respect. We are definitely sun-sensitive creatures, but no more than your average nocturnal mammal. Therefore, we tend to sleep during the day. However we will not turn to ash, melt, fizzle, blow up, or catch fire when the sun comes up. As far as I can figure, the sun dries up the super solution that keeps our senses so sharp.

However its not just the light. Its the heat as well. You wont find many vampires in the valley. We dont mind the cold too much, but heat causes problems. Our blood is thicker and circulates slower than humans, which makes us colder. We get uncomfortably hot around eighty degrees Fahrenheit and our standard body temperature is much lower than a human’s. We can stand being up with the sun, but it doesnt take long for it to become unbearable.

In the sun we arent as strong, our senses arent as sharp, and our eyes looka bit on the monstrous side. My eyes are naturally brown but in direct sunlight theyre nearly gold. My Maker’s blue eyes are practically white in the light. But a vampire with green eyes is probably the most disturbing. In direct sunlight, their eyes look yellowWeird. So its always best to have a pair of shades, whether for hiding or protecting the eyes. Not to mention, the sun makes our bodies ache terribly. Been-working-out-in-the-gym-too-long kinda pain. We can still function, but even through walls of steel and concrete we can feel its drain. Not pleasant.

The sun affects each vampire differently depending on time of day, exposure, and age. Some are so sensitive that they never wake during the daylight hours. While others will make an occasional visit to the beach. Some people just love the sun that much I guess. I dont get those guys. They always wonder why theyre not as strong as the other vamps. Prolonged exposure makes you weak, and well, most vampires dont like feeling weak.

It seems to me that vampires are more allergic to the sun than anything. It isnt deadly, as long as there is no one around that wishes you harm. Undoubtedly, the easiest time to kill a vampire is during the day.

I once tried to use my handy super speed to get my day errands done, I couldnt have moved any slower if I were wearing cement shoes. Thankfully in my daily dregs Im about as powerful as your average human. It would be horrible to be completely immobile.

Ive been told that the lack of circulation in vampire skin makes it extremely vulnerable to vitamin D, UV rays, UVA, UVB, and whatever else that comes from the sun. Possibly a combination of all of the above because I know tanning beds dont do shit. We get sunburnt. We’re just worse off than your average albino kid or vitiligo suffer. Our melanin is nearly nil.

Thankfully, the older a vampire is, the less theyre affected by the sun. The first hundred years are apparently the worst. cant wait until I hit my Centennial, but that’s some ways off. Ive been told that after that, its just a nuisance. Ive heard of ancient vampires who roam day and night, but the sun still drains.

Advice

If youre faced with an angry vamp, the sun will give you time to get away, but it will not ultimately keep you safe from a determined vampire. The closer it is to sunset, the less likely they are to attack. However, most vampires know that, so I wouldn’t count on a near-dusk attack you can escape from.

Pandora’s Guidebook to Vampires: Part IV

Hello darklings, Kidna Styx here.

Have you ever found yourself dancing across a club toward a complete strangera person you weren’t even remotely attracted to just moments earlier? Ever seen someone at the gym lift a stack of weights without breaking a sweat?

Well, my dear vampire friend Pandora would like to tell you that it’s not always the alcohol or endorphins! Fortunately for us, Pandora isn’t afraid to “bite and tell” about what’s really going on, as she gives use the inside scoop on a few of the vampire’s best tricks.

Hypnotism

The ability to attract prey is one of the vampire’s best tools. Aside from snakes, what other species on the planet can make their prey come to them? Its almost like shooting fish in a barrel. Good thing vampires are so hard to make or humanity would have been picked off years ago.

Whatever it is, the vampires key to attracting their prey lies in pheromones, not in hypnotism. Once you see a human you want to feed on, the pheromones just start coming. Im sure there are vampires that hypnotize, but I dont see a point in that when your prey is already coming to you like lemmings off a cliff.

That said, no two vampires are alike. Just like humans, we vary in looks, strength, size, and ability. Some prefer to stalk, some seduce, while others simply wait for their prey like a spider in a web. Vampires, above all the supernatural creatures are unique in that people/prey find them fascinating. Maybe its the pheromones, their savage beauty, their alluring mystique, or maybe they just think Brad Pitt was a hot vampire in Interview with the Vampire.

Advice

If you suddenly notice yourself getting into a super mood, you might want to think about what your doing. I wasn’t able to, obviously since I was turned into a vampire—which means having been attracted by one—so take my advice for what it is. Hindsight is 20/20.

The desire will be seriously difficult to ignore. Humans and most animals have the base sense to feed and breed. So I don’t know how much knowing this will help, but try to keep all of this in mind when your sashaying across the dance floor toward someone you did not find remotely attractive a moment before. It’s not always just the alcohol.

Strength

Another happy side effect of being a member of the blood sucking legion is supernatural strength. Just call me the Terminator. No need to hire friends to help me move. I can lift my couch with one hand.

However it does take some getting used to. For instance, I believe in a firm handshake, but I learned to take it easy after sending my friend’s cousin to the emergency room with busted digits. Telling the doc “I just dont know my own strength” didnt go over well. We finally had to tell the doc that he crushed it in a car door.

They ate that up.

Advice

Don’t go around challenging vampires to arm wrestling contests.

Pandora’s Guide to Vampires: Part III

Hello darklings, Kidna Styx here.

Here’s a little tidbit straight from the pen of my vampire friend Pandora Grey Blackheart, the third part of Pandora’s Guidebook to Vampires:

Welcome to part three of my supernatural guide. Everyone’s heard stories that warn of things that go bump in the night—things with fangs and things with claws. but when it comes down to it, would anyone, any human, be ready to bump back? They may disregard things they don’t understand, but pieces of it would cling to the subconscious. So if a person happens to run into one of these beings, they would have that much more chance of surviving the encounter.

This little guide is specifically about vampires. Figured I would write what I know. Now you too will be able to spot a bloodsucker should you come in contact with one. I mean the odds of that are like 1 in 1000, there’s a lot of you humans. But you small few will be grateful for this heads up. Forewarned is forearmed and all that.

Healing

It’s true that we heal rapidly, and I’m happy for it because healing sucks. It takes forever when you’re human. Once, in my late teens, I sprained my knee and couldn’t walk for a month. If I sprain something now, the pain is gone before you can say “What pothole?” and I’m up and around.

When a vampire breaks a bone, it’s almost as though his or her body knows what configuration it should be in. So instead of the normal human healing process of swelling, vampire muscles contract and force the bones back into their original position. Strangely enough it only seems to take a few minutes for this to happen—depending on whether the bone was cleanly broken or crushed.

Regardless, it’s a pretty unpleasant sensation. Even as a vampire, pain is something I try to avoid. When things are severed, there is a grace period of about a week where you can have the limb reattached, and then it takes about an hour to fully reconnect all the tendons, bones, and muscles.

Pretty spiff considering the alternative.

If the body part is not reconnected, it goes into stasis and a new arm or hand begins to regrow. The head is tricky though. This is usually the first thing you do to kill a vamp because it puts them out of commission for a long time. If severed, you have to put it back in place and bind it. It won’t heal for upwards of 10 years though. Best to bury it so no one disturbs the process.

As for cuts, our blood is thick and strong, like super glue strong, and once it dries lacerations practically heal before your eyes.

If you injure a vampire badly enough, you may have time to get away. But not long. So if you attack, make it a good one.

Pandora’s Guidebook to Vampires: Part II

 

Welcome to part two of Pandora’s supernatural guide. Last time I gave you a little intro into my vampire world, now lets get down to the nitty-gritty.  Today’s misconception is that Vampire = Goth.

Everyone’s heard stories that warn you of things that go bump in the night—things with fangs and things with claws—but when it comes down to it, would anyone, any human, be ready to bump back? They may disregard things they don’t understand, but pieces would still cling to the subconscious. So, if a person happens to run into one of these beings, they would have that much more chance of surviving the encounter.

 

Vampire = Goth

 

I’ve thought about how much easier it would be to explain the pale skin and fangs if I were Gothic. You know what I mean, dye my hair, wear black vinyl and go around scowling at normal people.

I just can’t.

I like Goth stuff actually. Even as a human, Halloween was my favorite holiday. I love to dress up now and again, don the black duds and go to the Goth clubs, but it isn’t an everyday lifestyle for me. It’s too much damned work!

Call me lazy, but I tried it for a couple days. The hair and makeup alone is ridiculous. Not to mention the clothes. Whoever designs Goth wear is not designing it for daily use. It just isn’t practical. They got spikes that catch and rip everything in sight, zippers with no pockets. I mean seriously, how hard is it to make a pocket? If I’m paying a hundred dollars for a pair of pants, I expect a pocket.

Most Vampires don’t dress Goth. True, many of them have their own unique style, usually depending on the time and region of their origin, but most of us are looking to fit in, not stick out. And your average Goths sticks out like Kristie Alley in Daisy Dukes.

What I’m saying is, as much as Goth Kids would like it, Vampire does not equal Goth.

 

Advice

OK, yeah, so goth kids can be a bit strange. I’m not saying make best friends with them because they’re probably not vampires, but we’re less likely to be in that scene since we don’t want to stick out. 

However, there is the occasional vampire that likes the scene, generally vamps who grew up in the 1600’s or 1980’s.

Better advice? I suggest keeping an eye out for the unexpected. Vampires tend to stalk, its rare when one will just attack you out of nowhere. Odds are they saw you somewhere before, possibly earlier that evening. But some will hunt for days before striking to make sure they aren’t seen—and that your blood isn’t polluted. A little blood alcohol buzz is nice every now and again though.

So, if you see a strangely pale person giving you the eye, casually stay away. This also works with strange humans. You probably don’t want to make friends with anyone who is staring at you like you’re a T-bone steak.

Maybe spray some extra perfume on yourself. Vampires cant stand when they cant tell your blood type in one whiff.