Friday, 6 June 2014

Richard Dawkins talks vampires with Carole Jahme

Strangers on a Train

I was delighted to share the bill with Richard Dawkins at the 2012 British Humanist Conference. It was even more exciting to find myself sat next to him on the train home afterwards. Click here to watch a video of Richard Dawkins' speech at the conference. Click here for a video of my presentation, "The Better Apes of Our Nature" and below is a verbatim account of my confused, "extreme-male brain-type meets extreme-female brain-type", conversation with dear, dear, dear Dawkins on the train home :)

C       Oh Richard, nice seeing you again, it was a great conference, can I sit down? (squashes into seat opposite him, shoves his bags aside, doesn’t wait to be asked)
RD     er… Yes 
C       [I’d thrust copy of my novel Worth Their Weight in Blood into his reluctant hands the previous night] Do you think you’ll get a chance to look at my book?
RD     I hope so
C       I know you must be extremely busy, it’s just I’ve done something really innovative and I quote the Selfish Gene. I use Darwinian science to explain….. 
(RD stares out of train window looking somewhat bored) 
… vampires might have evolved, I compare them to humans and chimps. I use the way vampires don’t reflect in mirrors as a metaphor for self-reflection. 
RD     (alert) Don’t vampires reflect in mirrors? 
C       No they never see themselves, we never see them in mirrors 
RD     (looks quizzical) Really? I didn’t know that. 
C       Didn’t you ever see an old Hammer Horror? 
RD     (looking more confused) No, I never have. 
C       Yes it’s gothic law, vampires don’t reflect in mirrors. 
RD     Are we discussing bats? 
C       No vampires, like Bram Stoker’s Dracula 
RD     I thought vampires were bats. 
C       Well they are, but they are also fantasy creatures 
RD     (looks extremely nauseous) I don’t really do fiction 
C       I know it’s not your thing, but I’ve synthesised your research with gothic law & I think you’ll like it. 
RD     Oh. (looks confused) is it available on Kindle? 
C       Yes, shall I send you a digital version? 
RD     er..Yes 
C       Great, (jumps up out of seat) lovely seeing you. 
RD     (happy now I’m going) Yes, yes, lovely, 
C       I’ll be in touch 
RD     Right-o 
C       Bye 
RD     Goodbye

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