Think about this very carefully: what if this were the last face you ever saw?
You shivered, didn’t you? You felt the cold hand of your own mortality but you also felt true fear, a fear tinged with existential dread. For those under a certain age this thing is nothing more than a passing horror. But to those old enough to have grown up with Mr. Rogers you’ll recognize it as, get this, Lady Elaine Fairchilde. Yep. Lady Elaine.
It was never explained. Every kid alive who saw it shivered and felt the deep sensation that something was wrong. Something was very, very wrong. But because it was contained within the rather benign wrappings of a very mild mannered and friendly children’s show each child assumed that perhaps only she felt the icy wind of death blow throw her living room. I mean, it must be me, right? Nice Mr. Rogers wouldn’t do this to children, would he?
The eyes, brimming with dead menace. The chopped haircut of a madman. The gin blossoms of the meanest drunk who ever killed a man at a train station for a can of beans. Clown white trowled heavily into the brows. The nose like W.C. Field’s fungus infested toe.
And the smile. A smile of bottomless malevolence. A smile that says, “Oh, I will kill you. Yes, my friend, that is a given. But I won’t just kill you. What I have in store for you is whole galaxies of suffering as yet undreamt of by the cruelest sadist ever spat out of hell.
You can pray for death, but it will not come. Look into my eyes — ah, good, I see the despair now. You know your prayers cannot find their way to God because I have killed Him. I have killed all hope. All redemption. Only suffering lives now. You and it have become one thing. I shall make eternity even longer through the sheer force of my own cruelty.”
Anyway, I remember watching it before afternoon Kindergarten.