THE MASTER OF MACABRE, ROD SERLING, (1924-1975), IS MOST FAMOUS FOR THIS AWARD WINNING SCIENCE FICTION ANTHOLOGY SERIES. DURING ITS FIVE SEASONS, HE WROTE 92 OF THE 156 EPISODES AND APPEARED AS THE HOST/NARRATOR, IN ALL OF THEM.
This is Gart Williams, age thirty-eight, a man protected by a suit of armor all held together with one bolt. Just a moment ago, someone removed that bolt. Mr. Williams' protection fell away and left him a naked target. He's been cannonaded this afternoon by all the enemies of his life. His insecurity has straddled him with humiliation and deep rooted disquiet about his own worth has zeroed in him and blown him apart. Mr. Gart Williams ad agency exec, who in just a moment will move into the Twilight Zone--in a desperate search for survival.
On Mr. Williams' sleepy, commuter train ride home, he dreams of being back in 1888. His dream then comes alive as the train and its riders are transformed to that period. The old-fashioned conductor then calls out, "Next stop Willoughby." At the depot, Williams sees a quiet, idyllic community. He hesitates and is sorry that he missed his opportunity to get off. The next day Williams dreams again and this time, he gets the courage to check-out the town. However, in his depressed stupor, he is actually jumping to his death from his speeding commuter train.BEFORE HIS FATEFUL ARRIVAL IN WILLOUGHBY, WILLIAMS HAS MANY QUESTIONS FOR THE CONDUCTOR.
Andrew and I interrupt our game to look for a restroom. Suddenly, we're standing in front of one of the men's rooms where I work. I recognize MARKT, a kid of little significance, from my childhood. While making introductions, I tell my son that this adult had moved away in 1967 after sixth grade. I then whisper to Andrew, "I wonder if he remembers this." Then I tell MARKT, the time in 4th grade after lunch when he raised his hand and said, "I smell doody."
Our wicked-witch teacher was deranged and extremely mean. She snarled, "Everyone, check your shoes." My seat was last in the first row and MARKT was last in the sixth row. So across the nearly empty back of the room, I got a clear view of the bottom of his left shoe. Caked into the arch of his Oxford, was a moist wad of presumably dog poo. Then other students noticed that with every step MARKT had taken, he left a trail of dog dirt dollops. Rather than call the custodian, our shrewish teacher disgraced him. She demanded that he get in his hands and knees with paper towels and wipe the floor throughout the classroom, out the door and down the hall. Forty-six years later, my sympathy for him is still acute because she doled-out plenty of other abuse, my way too.