An Explanation of Jukie
(Or ... Everything you never wanted to know about a Pole,
marine mammals and Central European blood thirst)
OK, first the an explanation of the part about "Central European blood thirst". The historical inspiration for Bram Stoker's Dracula was Vlad Tsepes Dracula, a 15th century ruler of Transylvania. He was also known as Vlad "the Impaler". It is recorded (somewhere) that he drank the blood of his victims. OK, that accounts for the "blood thirst" part.
For the more geographically impaired, Transylvania was a region in North Central Romania (and it still is today). Romania is in Central Europe.
Put the two together and you have the Central European blood thirst. Now you may wonder how all of this got to Poland. Well, once in history, Poland extended all the way south to the Black Sea and included part of what is today Romania (actually, I think Transylvania was part of Hungary in those days).
So now some of you may be wondering why I inflicted such a title on poor Julika Wocial, our dear friend.
You may not know it, but this seemingly innocent woman has been known to volunteer to hack apart other mammals, to cleave the flesh from their bodies, to drain the blood from them, stow it all in her car drive back to her cave on Long Island where weird rites are performed.
Actually, I have visual evidence that Jukie wasn't always so blood thirsty. As a younger girl (circa 1989) Julika lived down the street from us in Poland. We even let our children play with her and she was frequently observed lavishing attention on her family's pet dogs (typically a large number lived with Jukie, her mother, Eva, and her sister Matylda, along with a tortoise or two).
L to R: Dog #1, Matylda, Julika, Dog #2, Sasha, Dog #3
But now that I look back on those days in Warsaw, I can see that even then, Jukie was stalking future victims. You can see for yourselves how young she liked them. Jukie used to babysit for David and Sasha. (Now you can see how naive and trusting we were in those days.) Julika went on to get her graduate degree in oceanography and marine biology at the University of Gdansk. Since Poles really like steak tartar (raw hamburger meat), I guess that's where she developed her love of cutting and slashing dead corpses (I hope it wasn't on the dogs!).
Anyway, Julika and Matylda have grown up. Matty has exhibited none of the Jukie's later fascination with autopsies or her fantasy throwing herself into a monster tornado (last I heard she was in to languages and skiing). Jukie, however, is the only person I know with rubber boots, a rubber apron and some very large flaying knives in her trunk at all times.
Actually, Jukie doesn't seem to be the only one with the odd affection for marine mammals:
Everybody remembers this photo from Crazy Coconut Tour #2, right? That was off Rum Point in Belize. Or was it at a photo kiosk in the Smithsonian Museum - I'm getting old and my memory fools me sometimes.
Click here for more Jukie
If you're bored with Julika, you can click here to learn more about marine mammals and Aunt Toody's passion:
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