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"O is for an Octopus changing lightbulbs in the chandelier," says the text for this picture in a children's book called "Alphabeasts" by Wallace Edwards.
This is a clear example of someone doing children's book who doesn't have a child. Two other graphics in "the nightmare before bedtime" are a bat flying around with a large hammer (who the hell knows what THAT'S supposed to mean) licking an ice cream cone, and a big, hairy tarantula crawling out of an upended vase - both rendered as realistically (hammer notwithstanding) as the octopus, here.
If this guy did have children, the violent nightly screams of his children emerging from nightmares would shock some sense into him. He'd draw a Bunny, an Ox, and a freakin Triceratops respectively for those parts of the alphabet. And thereafter his wife would remind him, no doubt weekly, of that time he frightened the children with his creepy drawings from that book.
Instead, he thanks his mom profusely in the dedication, which of course renders the scene of a very patient, elderly mom who would like her grown son to get the hell out of the house, and maybe even date for mercy's sake, holding his latest opus in her wrinkled hands, with a puzzled but carefully pleasant look on her face, saying, "Yes, dear, it's very nice. Yes, it looks very much like an octopus!" while he gases up at her with that sweet little hopeful look he had when he was offering her doodie from his diaper as a toddler. All the while she's assuming the thing would never get published (with a heavy inner sigh), and thus sensitive little minds wouldn't have to face the horror she's grasping, so why be honest? In order for the thing to get past a publisher, mom must have done what Forrest Gump's mom did to get him into school.
The fact that the big, greasy thing is hanging from above, its suckers making little popping and sucking sounds as it feels up the light fixture, unscrewing highly pressurized bulbs that explode like glass grenades, is enough of an image to give anyone the fantods. Crimeny.
It should be noted: I believe James Lileks coined the term "nightmare fuel" on his wonderful site. I'd not read it before I saw it there, and have seen it many times since. Due to the fact that every single blogger on the web reads Lileks, I'm pretty sure he's the guy.