Professor Miles Stanleyson
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.