OK, Halloween checklist: No eye color-changing lenses, because they can infect your cornea. Check. No black licorice for days at a time, as it lowers potassium and can cause heart arrythmias. Check. Don't go overboard on the chocolate, which contains caffeine; do brush your teeth after eating gummy candy; and plan an extra half-hour on the elliptical for the rest of this week. Check, check and check.
Oh, and no unprotected sex with vampires: they might tell you you can't get pregnant, but just ask Bella: You can. He might tell you he doesn't have any sexually transmitted diseases, but can you imagine how many partners a 700-year old guy might have racked up (especially if he looks like Robert Pattinson or Stephen Moyer)?
We at Booster Shots get a lot of press releases that draw upon the excitement of holidays and the popularity of books and movies to put across their message. Halloween often brings such press releases to a fever pitch, what with the confluence of safety (little trick-or-treaters wandering the streets in the dark), candy ("why not give out little bottles of pumpkin-scented hand sanitizer instead!" Really???) and spooky (as in, "why does that 6-year-old witch look like a hooker?").
But honestly, we were a little taken aback by one particular press release we received on All Hallow's Eve pitching the importance of safe sex. Coming from Planned Parenthood, the warning draws upon examples that only an ardent fan of the "Twilight" series, or of "True Blood" (or, in my case, her mother ... ) would recognize. Vampires are known to "glamour" their victims before having their way with them (so discuss safe sex before things get too hot and heavy). Vampires may be immortal, but you're not (so get tested for STDs). Vampires may appear courtly and Old World, but some of them have been around since syphilis drove people crazy-mad (and not in a good way).
To be sure, both "Twilight" and "True Blood" are magnets for one of Planned Parenthood's most important audiences: older female teens and young adults. But, um, even the most ardent among them don't actually believe that stuff.
I mean, would you take sex advice from a grown woman named Sooki?
Me, I believe all the classic fright films that have filled the airwaves this past week has a message for teenage girls that's admirable in its clarity and that could certainly stem the spread of STDs or unplanned pregnancies: If you have casual sex, the psycho-killer wandering the neighborhood will break down your door and kill you first. The careful, conscientious young woman with the baby-sitting job and the clever-yet-not-too-sexy costume: She'll live to make the sequel.