One of Selman-Troytt's greatest inspirations, Prof. Stanleyson of Geneva, the world-renowned authority on lotions, was the man to whom he sent almost three kilograms of his own shedded skin over a hectic twenty-five year correspondence. Unfortunately, owing to other commitments, Stanleyson was unable ever to reply.
By his own admission Stanleyson, who hailed originally from a strict New England protestant family, was a 'fanatic' who pursued his own researches remorselessly from an early age, such that '[he] became impossible to live with and was sent by [his] folks to live with total strangers in a foreign land.'
At the age of only nine he became intrigued by the possibility of re-shaping the growing body. Having only his own to work with he constructed a funnel-shaped sleeping harness and for the next six years spent every night with his head and shoulders encased in it. "I am interested to see if I will become shaped like a pencil," said the curious boy. Although he later abandoned the experiment, dismissing it as 'childish lunacy on an unprecedented scale ... a total waste of time which has harmed my chances in the javelin', its effects upon his upper torso are still apparent in this photograph taken almost fifty years later.
Stanleyson was an obsessive-compulsive who typically washed his hands over five hundred times a day 'to cleanse the very filth which contaminates me and oozes pestilentially from all my pores'. In yet another daring adolescent experiment he attempted to test the limits of his own sanity by jeopardizing his sense of self-worth.
He instructed accomplices to smear honey upon his undergarments and then absented himself from water for slightly over eleven minutes whilst he endured the stickiness. Although he was pinioned Stanleyson then collapsed screaming: "I am loathsome, worthless excrement." According to close friends, subsequently he underwent a total personality change following which he refused to be their close friend. "After that we lost him to lotions," they said.