Sunday, January 3, 2016

Things I Learned From "The Twilight Zone"

Every year I spend my New Year's curled up on the couch with a pizza, a bottle of wine, and the Twilight Zone marathon on the SyFy channel. Now I have the Definitive Collection on DVD, but there's something really cool about watching and live tweeting the marathon with fellow zone-heads on social media.  Through the years I've taken a few lessons from the show, and I'd like to break from my usual political musings in the blog to share a few.

Note: I've updated this blog post for 2016-2017, adding a few more points and referencing the relevant episodes. 

  1. If you want to make smoking cool again, just roll up like Rod Serling in a dark suit and start narrating people's lives (of course you should keep in mind that Serling died in his 50s from lung cancer).
  2. It's pronounced "robit", not "robot". ("The Lonely")
  3. Immortality really kinda sucks. ("Escape Clause", "Long Live Walter Jameson")
  4. Don't be afraid of death.  Chances are it'll show up looking like Cliff Robertson, or a young handsome Robert Redford. ("One for the Angels", "Nothing In The Dark")
  5. If you find yourself the last person on Earth after a nuclear holocaust, make sure you have a spare pair of reading glasses. ("Time Enough At Last")
  6. Never pick up hitchhikers...EVER. ("The Hitchhiker")
  7. If you're searching for the person who doesn't belong in your neighborhood, look in the mirror. ("The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street")
  8. If you're trying to find out who's going to betray you, look in the mirror. ("The Mirror")
  9. If you need to have a long talk with your conscience, look in the mirror. ("Nervous Man In A Four Dollar Room", "Last Night of a Jockey")
  11. If you're a mannequin on leave, remember you only get 30 days.  It's really not fair to the other mannequins when you stay out longer. ("The After Hours")
  12. Machines have feelings too, and a conscience, and they love to get payback. ("A Thing About Machines", "You Drive", "From Agnes - With Love")
  13. If you find a crazy man howling in a room...LEAVE THEM THERE! ("The Howling Man")
  14. If the state wants to exile you to an island because you're different, go willingly.  The people there are way better looking and chances are you'll have more fun. ("Eye of the Beholder")
  15. If you're about to get on a flight and the stewardess says, "room for one more, honey", book another flight...quickly. ("Twenty Two")
  16. Likewise if a rather nervous looking William Shatner is on said flight. ("Nightmare at 20,000 Feet")
  17. No one is obsolete.  However, those factory jobs that Trump "promised" to "bring back" pretty much are. (Why do you think all HIS stuff is made in China?) ("The Obsolete Man")
  18. If you walk into a house where everyone is terrified of the bratty little kid, just keep thinking good thoughts.  Anything else is handled at your peril. ("It's A Good Life")
  19. Haters gonna hate...and they always get their comeuppance. (Pretty much EVERY episode)
  20. If you find yourself in a dungeon with a ballerina, a bum, a clown, and a Scotsman, with no memory of who you are or how you got there, chances are you're a toy.  Just go with it. ("Five Characters In Search of an Exit")
  21. There's no such disease as "exo-suspendo animation".  If a relative suddenly rises from the dead in the middle of their funeral, sue their doctor. ("The Last Rites of Jeff Myrtlebank")
  22. If "friendly" aliens invade the Earth offering all sorts of goodies for humanity, look for any books that translate to "To Serve Man". ("To Serve Man")
  23. However, if the alien in question is a handsome looking Hispanic man, accept them and him willingly. He may be carrying the cure for cancer.  ("The Gift")
  24. Avoid dummies and talking dolls at all costs. ("The Dummy", "Living Doll", "Caesar and Me")
  25. Whenever you hear hate speech coming from this guy...
    ...chances are he learned it from THIS guy... ("He's Alive")

  26. Time travel.  Don't...just don't.  It NEVER ends well. ("Execution", "Back There", "Once Upon a Time", "No Time Like The Past", "Of Late I Think of Cliffordville")
  27. Don't wish death on your mean old relatives.  Death just makes them MEANER. ("Uncle Simon", "The Masks")
  28. Best incentive to NOT drink and drive, ALIEN ABDUCTION. ("Stopover In a Quiet Town")
  29. If your kids suddenly disappear at the bottom of your swimming pool, don't worry.  They're over at Aunt T's and they're just fine. ("The Bewitchin' Pool")
  30. If America suddenly finds itself shrouded in darkness on January 20, 2017, we should have a pretty good idea why. ("I Am The Night. Color Me Black")
  31. If you're in Heaven and there's a sign that says "No Dogs Allowed", you're NOT in Heaven. ("The Hunt")
  32. If you're in a casino in Heaven and you find that you win at ALL of the games, you're NOT in a casino in Heaven. ("A Nice Place To Visit")
  33. If there's ever a future where we have to choose a "pattern" for our new bodies, I want the patterns to look like this... ("The Trade-Ins", "Number 12 Looks Like You")

Happy New Year fellow zoners.  See you again on December 31st.