Since I was a baby, I have been afraid of mannequins. I am not literally afraid of them now, but I do find them creepy. I suppose it dates back to my having seen mannequins in a museum (Eisenhower Museum probably – the boyhood Kansas home of good old Ike) my parents took me to when I was three or younger. I had nightmares afterwards about the mannequins crashing out from behind the glass – maybe it was not even nightmares and was just me imagining that they would crash out and try to get me?
My office is full of mannequins (not to be confused with the film, Mannequin, about which I have improbably written before), which are unnerving enough just standing there in unnatural poses modeling clothes. But in my office they are wearing surgical gowns, caps and face masks. The face masks especially add an extra creep factor – only the hauntingly vacant eyes of the mannequin are visible.
When I went into the small printer room off the main office area today, I was surprised to find one of the mannequins hidden in a dark closet. Its awkward arm/hand gesture looks a bit like a twisted “Heil Hitler” salute. What is she pointing at? An exit?