CURSED WITH A THIRST (Part 4)
by Brick Walters, 10/29/99
A special DCR investigation:
DC: This is a DCR medical special ... "Cursed with a Thirst - My Baby is
a Vampire!" with correspondent Brick Walters.
We've agonized with the parents of little Riceann, and as Bob and Carmen sacrifice
their reputations and what little is left of their finances to solve the problems
caused by their baby being born a vampire ... they also wonder if the treatment
will work and what sort of life she'll have if it doesn't.
Brick Walters is here in the studio. Brick spent literally ... an hour to as much
as 90 minutes with the family ...
Brick: Right. And our producer spent even more time than that talking to the Callowells
and I work with that producer every day. We talked about the family behind their
backs so I feel like I know them very well.
Dc: And how do you think they held up through this ordeal? What drove them onward
to take the risk of this experimental new treatment with the gene scientist from
the supermarket ... Dr. Kyle ... against the advice of all the traditional medical
experts? What reserve could they draw on ... what source of strength?
Brick: Terror. They were deathly afraid that this child would grow up into a full
fledged vampire and sink it's fangs into them while they slept.
If the treatment was a little risky ... it still wasn't as great as the risk of
Dc: Let's re-join the story now as the Callowells take Riceann back for her third
injection and a check up at the Genway produce lab.
(sfx: door knock)
Dr. Kyle: Come in!
Carmen: Look, Riceann! It's Dr. Kyle!
Riceann: (immediate, intense crying)
Carmen: Don't take it personally, Doctor.
Dr. Kyle: That's all right. It's good! Good. Very good. She's acting younger,
yes? More her age?
Carmen: Yes, and look at this! One of her fangs fell out! And I think the tooth
coming in underneath is flat!
Bob: AND ... she's eating normally! With a spoon!
Carmen: It's so thrilling, now that she doesn't insist on sucking her meal out
of the neck of a doll or an action figure.
Dr. Kyle: Then our treatment is working!
Carmen: There is one eating problem, though. You tell him, hon.
Bob: She refuses everything except the Genway brand baby food.
Carmen: Nothing else will do.
Dr. Kyle: Yes ... the Genway baby food is genetically designed to compliment her
Carmen: But isn't it odd that ... now that you've modified her genes, she won't
touch any food that hasn't come from Genway?
Dr. Kyle: Not at all.
Riceann: (loud crying)
Dr. Kyle: It's something I learned from Microsoft.
Carmen: Beg your pardon?
Dr. Kyle: I said she likes it because it's SOFT. Heh heh.
And as she grows, her programming ... her preference, I mean, for Genway foods
will extend to the other nutritious offerings from our produce and meat departments.
A person who shops at Genway need not experiment with any other food source ...
(sfx: crying continues)
Brick: So it seems little Riceann Callowell ...doomed to live out a troubled life
as a Vampire Baby ... now has a more positive and cheerful future ahead of her
as a satisfied consumer of Genway products.
But not everyone is enthused about the outcome.
Melissa Lispy of MegaMed says the Callowell case is cause for concern.
Melissa: First, you've got a mad scientist masquerading as a doctor.
Second, the gene therapy has not been clinically tested.
Third, the treatment seems to "program" the child to consume a particular
brand of food product. And Fourth, a supermarket competing with an HMO ... it
creates a playing field that is NOT LEVEL. And as we know, all playing fields
should be level.
Brick: But the baby appears to be cured.
Melissa: Let's not fixate on the baby, OK? What about our balance sheet? Are we
going to be able to go into the grocery business? This is unfair competition and
it should either be restricted, or everything should be opened up and all companies
should be allowed to enter into each other's business. I'm not saying that's what
SHOULD happen, but this is where it's headed.
Brick: What about the baby! She was a vampire and now she's not.
Isn't that worth something?
Melissa: A few little vampires are nothing compared to the havoc that will be
unleashed by total deregulation. Huge companies ... their fingers in everything.
No one's jugular will be safe, believe me.
(sfx: baby still crying)
Brick: A baby vampire ... could there be a more striking combination of innocence
and evil? For Riceann Callowell and her parents, the nightmare appears to be over.
Or is it?
Carmen: We're hoping to bring her back for extra treatments Dr. Kyle has offered
... to deepen her complexion with some eggplant genes, and stiffen her backbone
with a bit of celery DNA. We're really hoping we can fine tune her as the years
go by. And some day, when she's just right ... she'll thank us.
Brick: Out in the field ... I'm Brick Walters.
Dale Connelly Reporting Home