We've all seen enough films and TV to be wrongly confident of what a typical lifelong serial contract killer looks like.
They are ultra normal looking .
Even good looking.
Oh so symmetrical in features and body shape, modest in speech, polite, neat , always tipping the waitress well, always picking up a fluffy animal 'for the daughter' on these infrequent way-from-home business trips.
But their quick, clean, cold hits include a lady doctor who advises on abortions, an investigative journalist and a small time drug dealer who ran short on his returns to his supplier, Mr Big.
They are , in a word, a moral monster : with our fascination for them entirely wrapped around how such seemingly normal people can be so evil.
Now physical monsters are not merely scaled up ten feet tall versions of Ms Right, the serial killer, a monster who can now kill with her bare hands instead of with a high powered sniper rifle.
Instead these monsters are always disgusting and repulsive , as well as being cold blooded determined to kill on sight.
Tall and powerful these monsters might be but the very opposite of handsome --- an asymmetrical body shape is always a given with them.
And the edges of that misshaped body are not neat and tidy and sweet smelling - oh no, never.
Instead a ten foot tall blob of evil jelly-like snot - albeit a big piece of snot with huge arms with razors for fingers.
Or a rancid ten foot tall used condom ...with huge arms topped by razors.
Maybe a ten foot tall blob of foul smelling vomit ..with long arms ending in razors.
A ten foot tall mouth ,who kills by projecting a lethal, foul-smelling and tasting spit from that huge misshaped mouths onto our faces.
A really disgusting ten foot tall feces, again with huge arms lanced with murderous razors.
Or - to neatly segue into the theme of this blog - a ten foot tall slippery , slimy smelly basement fungal mold ( penicillin-producing penicillium anyone ?) ...with long arms topped with murderous razor blade hands.
One can't help but note that physical (or old fashioned) book, movie and TV monsters all seem connected in some way to the body functions that entail slippery excretions .
Urine is noticeably absent from this list - it is a clearly liquid body excretion - but these others are in the littoral zone between dry solid solids and wet fluid liquids - not being one or the either but dynamically being a sticky slimy bit of both.
Our body excretions cross boundaries we very much like to keep distinct - not just across the boundary between our bowels and the toilet bowl , but the that all important mental and emotional barrier between the solid/fixed and the wet/fluid.
In other words, we'd still fear these physical slime monsters ---- even if they did not try to kill us....