Momento of…the Twilight Zone!

Posted on July 2, 2012

I know I've written blogs before about things that I've collected- and I just wanted to proudly mention one of my latest acquisitions.I find things in antique stores, "junk" stores, resale shops, catalogs-you name it. Among the things I've found that I treasure- a Jackie Gleason "Joe the Bartender" beer mug-complete with a built in"moustache protector" for imbibers with a 'stash- an "Empire Carpet Man" bobblehead- a bunch of little television sets- ones that show pictures when you look inside through a little hole, ones that are timepieces, even one that's got small salt and pepper shakers in it. My latest item, though, is related to television- and a childhood memory at that! I remember, years ago, when , as a little kid, I'd watch the original "Twilight Zone"- in its first run- even though some of the episodes would scare me quite a bit (I know- watching them now, some of you may be at a loss to understand how they could have possible seriously scared me!) One that seemed kind of unnerving to me was titled "Nick of Time"- written by Richard Matheson, and starring a pre-Captain Kirk, pre- "gremlin on the wing" William Shatner- as well as,in a bit part, the future "Chief O'Hara" from the "Batman" series, Stafford Rep. Shatner plays a guy on his honeymoon with his lovely young bride, having his car repaired in a small town.They go into a diner, where, on their table stands a small fortune telling machine- the "Mystic Seer".You put in a penny, and it dispenses some little cards with "yes" or "no" answers almost as accurate as the Magic 8-Ball toy.Shatner becomes convinced that the machine can indeed predict the future, and becomes obsessed with it,waiting for it to "allow" him and his bride to leave the small town-which it seems it will not. Just in case you've never seen it, I won't reveal any more. Anyway, as a kid, this episode actually seemed very creepy to me- especially the tight close-ups of the small leering devil's head on top of the machine, which Shatner would flick with his finger, making it bounce, just before he got his latest answer card.I actually started to dread when they would cut to that awful grinning demonic image. Why am I telling you all this? Well- becausde I purchased a small bobblehead replica of the "Mystic Seer"! Cast in resin, it's a duplicate of the "Twilight Zone" machine- complete with the bobbling head of the grinning devil, with a rhinestone for one eye! It's also done in gray tones to simulate the way it looked in the old black and white television episode- and - even came with a selection of answer cards, with "answers" like-"The answer to that is obvious" and "You may never know"! It is less than life-sized, since the "penny slot" looks like it might be big enough to let you put a small shirt collar button into it -if it was an actual slot- as I said, it's cast out of solid resin. It has the same words on it as the one in the episode- "Ask me a YES or NO question- Does he/she love me? Will I become rich? Is the future bright?" No, the devil's head doesn't quite freak me out the way it did in my childhood-and, no,I am not obsessed with its answers (the answer cards don't come from inside it-you can just lay them next to it for effect.)But- I love having it, as, I guess, yet another reminder of how cool those original "Twilight Zone" masterpieces are, and how they captured my attention and imagination. Too bad I can't find it in my heart- or my wallet- to purchase the full-sized, full color replica that is also available for a few hundred dollars. And- just for the record- I will NOT be shelling out the big bucks to order the "Talky Tina"full-sized working, talking doll that is also available in the "Twilight Zone" collection. Even at my age, I don't think I'd ever get a wink of sleep if it was in the house...

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