In the absence of any other proof, the thumb alone would convince me of God’s existence.
Larry is the author of some very fun urban and high fantasy (e. g., the Monster Hunter books) and the man who originated the Sad Puppy insurgency. Because of the latter, the whole science fiction SJW troop hates him with a burning passion. So every now and then they erupt in a spasm of spite. So they’ve been messing with his Facebook page by reporting imaginary violations. Larry, being the imaginative type came up with a game to mock this harassment and, of course, was banned again for the imaginary stuff too. It’s kind of complicated but if you’ve following the Sad Puppy saga for as long as I have you might get a chuckle.
“Long live Krasnovia!
Bunny Blake is a Hollywood movie star who is about to fly to Rome to star in a new picture. She receives a box in the mail and finds that her fan club in her home town of Howardville have sent her a ring with some kind of large stone. But when she looks into it, she sees her sister Hildy begging her to come home.
In the next scene we are in Hildy Powell’s home where we also meet her son Bud. Suddenly Bunny shows up in her fur coat and movie star persona. Hildy is thrilled by the surprise visit but when Bunny sees another Howardville inhabitant in her ring begging for help and she passes out Hildy is panicked and calls the family doctor.
Dr. Floyd examines Bunny and although she seems better, he tells her to rest. Bunny asks the doctor who is the chairman of the Founder’s Day Picnic to postpone it to another day so she can visit her friends in peace. He tells her that she has let Hollywood go to her head and refuses.
Bunny decides to go downtown with Bud to get her own prescription and while there she stops in at the High School to ask if townspeople can come to the auditorium to see a cabaret show she wants to put on that day. Then she goes to the radio station and invites the town to see her show instead of the picnic. All this seeming selfish behavior angers Hildy but she relents and decides to see Bunny perform.
Now a heavy thunderstorm begins and Bunny sees visions in her ring of herself on an airliner during a storm. Next she walks out the door into the rainstorm and disappears. Hildy receives a phone call from the police and is told that an airliner has crashed on the picnic grounds. Luckily most people were at the high school auditorium waiting for the show. Then the officer tells Hildy that Bunny was a passenger on the jet liner and is dead. Hildy is confused because many people have seen Bunny throughout the day. When she looks around, she sees Bunny’s ring on the floor but the ring is scorched and broken.
This is a ghost story but the twist is that the ghost appears before the woman is dead. It’s an interesting switch. Even though I’m not particularly sympathetic to the actress character (she seems a typical Hollywood narcissist) I’ll give this episode a solid B.
Ed Wynn is Sam Forstmann, an old man living with his granddaughter and her husband, Marnie and Doug Kirk. Sam has a grandfather’s clock that he tends to compulsively. He was given the clock by his father on the day he was born and Sam believes if the clock ever stops his heart will stop too and he’ll die.
Doug is upset that Sam is worrying Marnie with all his fretting about the clock. Marnie is expecting a child and Doug wants Sam to see a psychiatrist to determine if Sam is lucid. When Sam goes to the psychiatrist, he tells the old man that the delusion about the clock is unhealthy and he should get rid of the clock.
Sam gives the clock to their next-door neighbor Carol, and is happy for the first couple of weeks as he gets to go over every other day to wind it. But one day he finds that the neighbors have gone out of town for the week and Sam panics. In the middle of the night he tries to break into the house to wind the clock but the police see him breaking a window and escort him home.
Now reconciled to his own death as the clock winds down he takes to his bed. Suddenly his spirit, looking like a ghost of himself arrives and tells him his time to die has arrived. But inexplicably Sam tells his spirit that he doesn’t believe that clock can determine his life and death and the spirit becomes dispirited and fades away.
Now Marnie shows up at his bedside expecting the worst but Sam rebounds and tells her he’s fine and the important thing is her child. He takes her downstairs to have some hot chocolate and sounds like a new man determined to embrace life.
Ed Wynn was a comedian of the earlier part of the twentieth century. He did an earlier episode of the Twilight Zone (actually the second episode shown) called “One for the Angels” that was a gentle but entertaining teleplay. This episode is equally gentle but I would say it’s a little thin. Not to say bad but not too substantial. It’s based completely on that old song that ends, “the clock stopped never to go again when the old man died.” Let’s call it a B-.