Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Speaking of Werewolves...

Seeing as how it's the full moon early tomorrow morning, so that the moon has been persistently shining into our bedroom window as we go to bed, a perennial question has re-occurred to me. (Although I really have to get going. Just this one more post! Quickly now!)

An obvious question, really. What about werewolves and pregnancy?

Say I'm a werewolf, and I conceive while in human form. Then when I wolf out each month, does the fetus turn into a wolf-pup fetus? Or perhaps the analogy of the monthly change to menstruation applies, and there would be no monthly wolfing out until one gives birth. After that, presumably, the newborn baby would turn into a wolf pup each month as the mum does, and that would work out okay. (There would just be a larger number of potential breastfeeding positions that night.)

Okay, but what if I'm a werewolf, and I conceive while in wolf form? Would there be 6 or 7 fetuses, then--a litter? That would mean that I darn well better give birth in wolf form, not human form: an extraordinary feat of timing.

Then after the birth there's the difficulty with who gets to nurse at the inadequate human mammary lineup of two. (I picture Apu with the harness full of baby bottles.) Only once a month could all the pups--er, babies--nurse happily together. This is completely excluding all the other difficulties of raising septuplets, of course.

"I don't know... All I know," sighs TheLimey in sleepy response, "is that somewhere in this I get to play with puppies."

Wikipedia image


Andrew said...

I think you can rule out conceiving in wolf form, unless dad is a werewolf, too. I mean, some guys are desperate, but not so much as to risk getting one's head ripped off while trying to get it on with a wolf woman!

I kinda always thought the transformation was triggered by exposure to the moon's rays. If so, then the baby would stay human until it plopped out. Then it'd be a changeling like mom.

But perhaps the change doesn't happen 'til puberty -- werewolf kids just grow more hair during adolescence! And it might serve a historical context for Romulus and Remus, who were supposedly nursed by a wolf as infants and grew up to found Rome. Hmmmmm...

And one final Simpson's gag inspired by your post: A treehouse of horror episode with Bart's evil twin, Hugo, who chomps anything in sight with razor-sharp fangs right after birth. Says Marge: "I think I'll bottle-feed that one."

argotnaut said...

Wow -- you are a total dork.

liz said...

Well, conceiving in wolf form would be however that might occur. Might I not have a werewolf partner? (Or pack?) Is that *really* so far-fetched?

If transformation is only triggered by the rays, then what it all that screeching and thumping behind closed cellar doors in some movies? (I know that some show the actual moonlight transformation.) And what turns it off--lack of moonlight? Then forget running through the moon-dappled forest.

No, I would think it's more a phenomenon like the tide. You don't have to actually be touched by the rays to for it to work. The change would probably fade in as the moon waxed full, and then fade away again as it waned.

All this quick-changing business is like when they show labor in the movies. Water breaks, screaming occurs, and baby comes out. In real life, it usually takes a lot longer and is more gradual.

Now who's the dork?! (Or maybe you meant me in the first place.)

argotnaut said...

Um, yes, I did. :)

And apparently, when you're pregnant, _everything_ is a childbirth analogy.

liz said...

"you" meaning me or "you" meaning "one"?

Oh, that's true of every life event. It's just that pregnancy is one you can actually discuss in public.

These days, anyway.

liz said...

I become a dork at the full moon. What's Andrew's excuse?

liz said...

Apparently I'm still not done.

To be fair--to myself of course--I'm over 7 months pregnant now and have I used the birth analogy at *all* other than this one time?

Andrew said...

I wasn't aware one needed an excuse to be a dork. But if I need one, I blame Gene Roddenberry.

Those movies where the werewolf transforms behind a closed door? That is pure taking of liberties. I think a lycanthrope MUST be exposed to the full moon's rays to change, which is why the transformation only happens at the full moon and not at other times. Affected folks COULD choose not to expose themselves, but they don't; the allure of becoming a powerful yet mindless beast is too strong. Kinda like quitting smoking.

Andrew said...

I wasn't aware one needed an excuse to be a dork. If so, however, I blame Gene Roddenberry.

I still think lycanthropes need to be exposed to the rays of the full moon to change. This is why they don't change at other times of the lunar cycle. Movies that feature transformations behind closed cellar doors are taking creative liberties. I believe that lycanthropes COULD choose to remain secluded during the full moon if they wanted to, and thus avoid the problem. But the lure of becoming a powerful, mindless beast is just too great a temptation. Kind of like quitting smoking.

Andrew said...

Goddamn you, Blogger! I tried to post my first post about three hours ago and it wouldn't go! So I tried later to reconstruct what I'd written and this time it went through ALONG WITH THE FIRST POST!

So choose whichever version you like best. Stupid blogger!

Tim said...

Hmmm...An American Werewolf in Ypsilanti...no, An English Werewolf in Ypsilanti...nope, Ypsilanti Howling...damn, I know there's a screenplay idea here somewhere!

liz said...

I think those posts are just different enough to warrant keeping them both. (BTW, Blogger is clearly already damned, judging by its behavior.)

I guess one *could* argue that the moon is always full from one vantage point in space or another. (Except during certain eclipses.)

However, there are phenomena on this planet that only happen when it looks full from here. So I'm sticking with my original closed-door theory. (I especially like how when one argues about completely imaginary constructs everyone gets to be right. Even me!)

Okay, I confess--In reality I am a dork at all times of the lunar calendar!


liz said...

PS: Tim, your hosting server appears to be down.

Andrew said...

OK, one last comment on this. Notice I say "the moon's rays." Only during the full moon do the number of reflected rays reach a maximum on the Earth. Thus, the fact that the moon is always orbiting the Earth at approximately the same distance makes no difference. It's the moonlight that triggers the transformation.

However, since moonlight is reflected sunlight, I wonder if a lycanthrope could put on sunblock and be okay. Hmmmmmmmm....(again).

Holy crap, I'm a dork.

I definitely think there's screenplay potential for "Baby Werewolf." Cute and cuddly until the full moon, when it turns into the demon baby from "It's Alive!" I'm sure many parents could relate.

Gwen said...