2. The Snowman – R. L. Stine
The other day I was doing some editing while watching Halloween H20 on television, which seems metaphorical… I’m not sure who or what symbolically takes the place of Michael Myers, though, the stuff I was editing because of how hurtful it was to my brain or me with my hack and slash capabilities. Anyway, I got up to get some water and the famous theme song began playing. I happened to look into Danger Crumples’ piggy dwelling to find him perched on his little wooden archway, staring at me. It was super creepy and we had a moment. I asked him if he was a serial killer and he didn’t break his stare.
If you have never experienced a guinea pig staring at you in a murderous way, well, good for you. It’s a very odd feeling to know that the one eye they’re focusing (their eyes are on either side of their head, they can’t look up…) is directed at you, and some of them are really good at glaring, like Murderface. She intimidated people who had virtually no experience with guinea pigs with her glare. And their emotional states (hee hee, some people think animals don’t have emotional states) are occasionally hard to interpret. Danger Crumples has had strong reactions to approximately three pieces of music now – “Goodbye Horses” aka the song from that scene from Silence of the Lambs (he popped his head up very happily for that one), “Listen Like Thieves” by INXS (he whistled at me and jumped up on his perch for the length of the song, I like Michael Hutchence’s voice too but I have yet to climb on top of anything over it), and now the theme from Halloween-induced creepy staring. He also happens to be the only guinea pig I have that doesn’t run under a blanket and chutter whenever I listen to music without my headphones. So, he could be a changeling, or evil. He does have a heart condition, perhaps that’s because he hasn’t eaten or murdered anyone. The hooting means he needs to murder. Maybe not. I will be suspicious until he eats me and leaves the soundtrack to Candyman on the record player. It was always you, Helen.
Speaking of words that end with “man” and creepy situations I never read The Snowman in the 90s. It was a tale of stalking and extortion instead of sweatshirt cuffs with blood on them and hungry kisses. Actually, it may have had hungry kisses in it. Either way, it was not what I expected. I believe it is pre-Fear Street and it doesn’t show up in those lists of “other books you will enjoy” in the beginning of my early Fear Street volumes. Yes, I am a connoisseur of 1990s YA. Actually 70s, 80s, 90s, and today YA. I am a collector. Another aspect that can be attributed to its “pre-Fear Street” quality (besides looking at the CIP) is the character development. The characters were people! Mostly developed people! And it was a little bit ridiculous, but also a little bit actually-intimidating. Quit waiting outside her work with your sob stories and your moocher ways! I’ve never liked controlling boyfriends or stalkers, I don’t know who does, but I don’t even enjoy reading about them at this point.