Monday, November 11, 2019

Review of The Twilight Zone, Episode Four, "Kick the Can, Rough Draft"

Rod Serling sat in his leather chair in the den, fingers poised above the keys on his IBM 286 or whatever was available in the late fifties. Probably an IBM 86! What am I, a historian? He sucked on his cigarette and then sucked on another cigarette that was in his other hand and then sighed, "Man, I love smoking! Maybe I should write a story about smoking?" He looked up at the corner of the room in thought and did not think about corners of rooms the way H.P. Lovecraft thought about corners of rooms. Serling didn't even think about the corner of the room at all. He just looked through it the way a person in the late eighties tried looking through stereoscopic pictures to see the 3D image hidden within. "Let's see. I've written about loneliness and the fear of death and the fear of death in the Old West. What should I write about now?" He took another hit from his cigarette and then another hit from his other cigarette and then shouted, "A-ha! I'll write about the longing for lost youth which is totally different than the fear of death!" He then preceded to click and clack at his IBM typewriter invented by Sir Reginald IBM while each cigarette bobbed and weaved, still gripped between the middle and index finger of each hand. But backwards or something so he didn't burn the pages he was writing.

The Sixteen-Millimeter Shrine
By Rod "The Rodster" Serling


Old Broad: "Oh, how I love the movies I made twenty-five years ago! I was so young and beautiful! And my costar was so beautiful and exactly the age that I am now! Why oh why do women ripen so quickly and then over-ripen even quicklier?! Twenty years later, I am still vibrant and beautiful but I have a few crows feet around my eyes and thus my career is over even though I'm now the age of my favorite leading man whom I will meet with later, revealing that he's now like seventy or eighty years old which is the age men finally become unattractive! Also he'll have terrible glasses that make him look like a nerd or Batman's butler."

Older Broad (if you can believe it!): "Miss Trenton? Miss Trenton! I've brought you some tea! Where are you? Oh! OH! Are you in the movie screen?! OH MY GOD! Oh, no. Not yet. You were just behind the movie screen. My, you gave me a fright! Oh, I'd better get the door now!"

Colonel Cathcart: "Hey, baby! Where's Barbie? Hey Barbie, baby! Have I got an audition for you! You're not old news at all! Don't live in the past! Don't worship at the teat of nostalgia! Don't mix your petit fours, baby! It's the part you were born to play!"

Old Broad: "Is it a mother? I won't play a mother!"

Colonel Cathcart: "Oh. Well then forget it, baby! That head of the studio probably wouldn't like your feminist attitude anyway!"

Old Broad: "Well, he's twenty years older than I am now. But just wait until another twenty years and people stop taking him seriously because he's become an old dried up fig too!"

Colonel Cathcart: "Youth is cool! But you should get some sun because you can't get youth! Especially not by sitting in the dark watching your old movies 24/7! Um, baby!"

Old Broad: "Oh yeah? I'm gonna wish and wish and wish and I'll become young again! And I won't even have to run around the stupid yard kicking stupid cans in a story that used this theme way better! Probably because The Rodster got so much better at writing stories after all of the cigarettes he lovingly smoked. Smoke Chesterfields!"

Older Broad: "Now that Archie Bunker's friend has left, I'd better get Miss Trenton more tea! Miss Trenton, Miss Trenton! Where are you? Not in the chair. Not on the couch. OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! I MUST SCREAM AS IF A BEAR WERE ATTACKING ME NOW!"


Colonel Cathcart: "She's young and in the movie with all her young friends now? By golly, baby! Wishes! Way to go wishes! They work, I guess? You know what I'm wishing for now, older broad?"


Colonel Cathcart: "Let's go fuck with my huge penis now, older broad! Oh wait! What's this?! Look! Look here! The underwear she kissed and threw at me in the picture! It is on the floor here! In reality! What is going on?!"



Those asterisks mean I'm exiting the story about Rod "The Rodster" Serling and now I'm speaking in my own voice! I just wanted to say something about this episode that sounds super smart and potentially sexy. I guess the moral of this story (since we have to examine morals in all episodes of The Twilight Zone, don't we?) is that wishes probably don't often come true but maybe if you waste your entire life wishing for more life, maye your wish will come true! You never know unless you try! So forget about living the thirty years after your 25th birthday which are all just garbage because you're getting older and fatter and grosser. Instead, sit in the dark and wish to be 25 again! But don't wish to be 25 so that you'll start aging again! That would be dumb because then you'll just have to waste your new life wishing to be young again! No, you have to become either super young by playing Kick the Can so you can live it all over again (and don't be the dumb jerk who doesn't believe in wishes or you'll die lonely and bitter and soon!) or you have to become 25 forever by wishing yourself onto a movie screen. I don't know if your life only then plays when somebody runs the movie or what happens to your consciousness when the movie stops. But according to the dirty underwear left behind, I guess you're living in some alternate timeless dimension in the same place or something? With all of your imaginative young friends? Anyway, the moral is to believe in wishes and not to believe in actually doing shit before you die. Keep wishing for things to be better while everything falls apart around you! Hey, it might work! Baby!

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