This is exactly how James Comey felt when Donald Trump tried to hug him in front of all the other law enforcement officials in the Blue Room.
You know, that moment when Comey tried to hide in the drapes? And Donald pulled him close with all his might so they could be photographed in an embrace?
The Humbug is a liar, a name dropper, and a tacky dresser. “A very dislikable fellow,” as the Spelling Bee puts it.
Like most people I know, the first time I ever heard of the internet meme Slender Man was a few weeks ago when the news story broke about the two 12-year-old girls in Wisconsin who stabbed their friend to please the fictional character. The demonic Slender Man is said to be tall, thin, faceless and dressed in a black suit. Artists have rendered him in many different ways.
But today when I was looking through The Phantom Tollbooth, I was jolted by this. Remember him?
The Terrible Trivium!
“He was beautifully dressed in a dark suit with a well-pressed shirt and tie. His shoes were polished, his nails were clean, his hat was well brushed, and a white handkerchief adorned his breast pocket. But his expression was somewhat blank. In fact, it was completely blank, for he had neither eyes, nose, nor mouth.”
Athough Tollbooth is not a scary book by any stretch of the imagination, this guy haunted me for years. And I wonder if Jules Feiffer’s drawing was the image my mind subconsciously triggered when I first heard about Slender Man. Is it just me?
[If this post is leaving a grim taste in your mouth, I apologize. Here’s a more pleasant Phantom Tollbooth-related realization to linger on.]
I was thinking about The Phantom Tollbooth today after seeing the trailer for the upcoming documentary about the book (which by the way looks awesome). I was looking at the Jules Feiffer illustrations and when I came to the portrait of the waifish, lank-haired princess duo Rhyme and Reason in their drapey slipdresses …
they reminded me of these two!
Linda Evangelista and Kristen McMenamy photographed by Steven Meisel for Vogue (October 1992)