You know, the ones who gave you nightmares so horrific you wanted to crawl into your parents’ bed — or under your own.
For me, it was the Disney cartoon villains.
Remember Maleficent from “Sleeping Beauty”? Not only could that crazy bitch change into a fire-breathing dragon, her wardrobe was dark and slinky…
Come to think of it, I might’ve had a little crush on Maleficent.
Then, of course, there was the evil Queen from “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” She terrorized Snow and those tiny dudes pretty good.
And you’ve just gotta loathe Cruella Deville, the would-be puppy murderer from “101 Dalmatians.”
And Peter Pan’s nemesis, Captain Hook.
But for my money, the creepiest of the creeps was Honest John, the crafty fox from “Pinocchio.”
He was the sleazebag con man who lured gullible Pinocchio to the vile puppeteer Stromboli and then later to Pleasure Island, where Pinocchio turned into a donkey. (That donkey scene STILL gives me the heebie-jeebies.)
I don’t think Honest John gets enough credit for his genuine cartoon wickedness.
Not only was he mean to puppet boys, he was a thief, a liar, and he smoked in enclosed public areas.
Now that’s badass!
I think the genius of the Honest John character is that we’ve all met scoundrels like him before, so he’s credible (even though he’s a talking fox).
He’s like the slick salesman at the Apple store, the used-car dealer, the telemarketer, and the Capitol Hill politician all rolled into one.
He’s a persuasive guy — just in a slick, bad way.
But there ARE ethical ways to persuade people to “do your bidding.” And the real masters of those techniques are the folks who end up with better careers, relationships, and lives in general.
Check out those techniques right here…