The Universe of Discourse

Tue, 18 Jan 2022

Mike Wazowski's prevenge

I started to write an addendum to last week's article about how Mike Wazowski is not scary:

I have to admit that if Mike Wazowski popped out of my closet one night, I would scream like a little boy.

And then I remembered something I haven't thought of for a long, long time.

My parents owned a copy of this poster, originally by an artist named Karl Smith:

This is a print of an old Scottish
prayer done up as an illuminated manuscript.  The text is in
old-fashioned black letters with a red capital letter at the start of
each word.  Around the text is scrollwork in sea-green, and a number
of monsters and fanciful beasts in red, blue, black, and yellow.  The
poem reads “From Ghoulies And Ghosties Long Leggitie Beasties And
Things That Go Bump In The Night Good Lord Deliver Us”.

When I was a small child, maybe three or four, I was terrified of the creature standing by the word “Night”:

Closeup of one of the assorted
monsters.  This creature has a round blue body with two eyes, a lage
flat nose, and a mouth that goes up at one corner and down at the
other.  It has yellow legs and a fishlike tail, and appears to be
wearing red high-heeled shoes.  Red hands (or hands wearing red
gloves) are attached to the sides of its head/body where the ears
might be.  There are two yellow horns or anntennae on top of its

One night after bedtime I was dangling my leg over the edge of the bed and something very much like this creature popped right up through the floor and growled at me to get back in bed. I didn't scream, but it scared the crap out of me.

I no longer remember why I was so frightened by this one creature in particular, rather than say the snail-bodied flamingo or the dimetrodon with the head of Shaggy Rogers. And while are obviously a lot of differences between this person and Mike Wazowski (most obviously, the wrong number of eyes) there are also some important similarities. If Mike himself had popped out of the floor I would probably have been similarly terrified.

So, Mike, if you're reading this, please know that I accept your non-scariness not as a truly held belief, but only as a conceit of the movie.

[ If any of my Gentle Readers knows anything more about Karl Smith or this poster in particular, I would be very interested to hear it. ]

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