I might just post a picture of Randall Flagg every time a friend tells me that they are either reading or rereading Stephen King’s “The Stand.” (This one’s for you, Tim Gatto.)
He really is the greatest villain of all time, beating out even Heath Ledger’s Joker, Hannibal Lecter, Two Face, Nina Meyers, Felix Cortez, and the Hunter Rose incarnation of Grendel. (I’m talking about Flagg, here — not Tim.)
We know that Tim is REreading the tome (he got the extended version, good on him), because he actually read the book before I did. As far back as 1989 or so, Tim and I scribbled quotes from the novel on our textbooks at Longwood High School.
Tim even quizzed me once in the cafeteria to test my reading retention. I passed with flying colors:
“What’s the dog’s name?”
“Kojak. Formerly Big Steve.”
(Do you remember that conversation in the lunchroom, Buddy?) 😀 Whatever. It was more fun than the SAT equivalent.
Anyway, I myself have been stricken with the urge over the past year or so to revisit King’s “IT.” I don’t know why. I’m not afraid of clowns — at all. Clowns are probably the only popular horror archetype whose asses I think I could actually kick (clowns and sparkly vampires, that is). Clowns aren’t scary … they’re really more … punchable. Or … y’know — NOT bulletproof. Also mimes. All human beings, save the full sociopaths, have an active moral center in their brains, and I know that we all privately harbor the truth there that mimes DESERVE to die. (You call yourselves ENTERTAINERS?! F***ing SAY something!! Hello!! Goodbye!! Shakespeare’s sonnets!! The Gettysburg Address!! For God’s sake, just STOP!!)
But I can’t get to “IT” just yet, because my pile of loaned or gift books is high. There are Toby Barlow’s “Sharp Teeth” and King’s “Cycle of the Werewolf,” lent to me by Super Smart Art Girl. Then there are a few books that Crunchy Girl gave me, about … spellcasting? Or something? (Is she technically a Wiccan? We don’t know, because she equivocates on a lot of things.)
Anyway, Tim, safe journey. And because we know the kind of guy you are, we know you’re headed to Nebraska and not Las Vegas (or CIBOLA).