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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 doing nothing.

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!

(sfx:door opens)

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!

(sfx: bolt)

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 internal systems!

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 ... ever.

(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.

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