Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Twilight Zone Moment

Photo credit: Cayuga Prod., CBS Television

A Twilight Zone Moment
Jay Agan

Twilight Zone. Man, who can forget that classic tv show. Rod Serling scared the bejabbers out of millions of kids & warped their little minds forever. Bent mine for sure ... And someone elses'.

"It'll scare you & you'll have nightmares." Mom was rather adamant about stuff like this. We weren't allowed to watch TZ, Outer Limits, or any other cool stuff. According to her, Lassie was the stuff of darkness. I think she was being overly protective.

"Don't play with that beach ball. You'll put your eye out!" You get the idea.

Maybe it was a lapse in judgement. Maybe at Dad's urging, Halloween coming up, or some kind of cosmic disconnect. But one Friday in October of 63, we got to see The Twilight Zone. Gilligans' Island (Good grief!) ended & Zone started up. Cool!

"Nightmare at 20,000 Feet", starring some obscure scene chewer who was to become a lot more familiar a few years later. (We all love ya, Bill!)

"Twas a dark & stormy night, etc." Twin engine Convair plowing through the gloom. Dramatic buildup as the poor slob becomes cognizant of the fuzzy gremlin tampering with the port engine, no one believing him. We kids, glued to the tube, not once taking our eyes off the screen. Watching.....watching.

I think we held up pretty good. That is, until.....

Tension at its peak. Window curtains closed. Shatners' character, fresh out of the loony bin, trying in vain to convince himself that what he's seeing couldn't possibly be real. There's no plushy critter out on the wing messing with the engine. No demon bringing passengers & crew to their doom. An illusion, an hallucination. That's what the docs back at the booby hatch would say.

Finally, he can't take it any longer. Hands slowly reach for the curtains & he whips them open.

And peering ... right back in at him ... it's ... "Mr. Weird"!

A very high pitched keening sound came from behind, then a thump! splat!, vibrations ran through the floor & up my back.

I turned to the left, finding Mom trying to peel youngest brother off the wall. She almost needed a spatula! He wasn't going to let some formidable barrier get in the way of getting away! If this was a 'toon, he would have left a kid shaped hole.

Fast forward. Christmas of 95. We draw names out of a hat to economize on gifts. I drew youngest brothers' & get him a couple of vhs tapes. Zone episodes. One of which was his "favorite".

He looks at them. Then at me with that toothy smile of his:

"Gee ... thanks ... PRICK!"

Article copyright © Jay Agan

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