Modern (for 1970s) apartment overlooking Chicago lakefront. Front door opens stage right. A balding, 40ish man wearing gray plaid sportcoat, white shirt, red tie and dark trousers enters. He has clearly had better days.
Honey! I'm home!
Hi, Bob. How was your day?
Terrible! Jerry and Carol were fighting all day, Mr. Carlin insulted everyone in the group, and on the el, I got stuck for an hour next to a couple of Hari Krishnas!
EMILY HARTLEY enters stage left. She is 30s, dark hair, pretty, wearing a dress that is stylish, but still appropriate for a third-grade schoolteacher.
You poor dear! Let me fix you a drink.
And on top of everything, I forgot to pick up those Cubs tickets I promised Howard.
Well, do you have time to pick them up tomorrow?
That's just it, Emily. Doing it tomorrow will really be difficult. I have a full schedule at the office.
Won't you have time after work?
Night baseball? At Wrigley Field?
Emily looks confused for a moment, as if trying to remember something. Finally:
Oh. Of course. How silly. Well, I'm sure you'll think of something.
Emily crosses to couch with drink, sits down and hands drink to Bob.
Front door opens and HOWARD BORDEN, tall, late 30s, dark hair, and perpetually confused, bursts into the apartment.
Howard, do you ever knock?
Uh, yeah. Hey, listen, Bob, about those Cubs tickets?
Well, I, uh, forgot I have to fly to London tomorrow, so I can't use them.
Oh. Well, gee, Howard, that's too bad.
Yeah. I'm sorry if you went to any trouble.
Don't worry about it.
No, I mean it. I'm really sorry.
That's okay, Howard.
Well, I just want you to know I'm really sorry about this.
Howard, don't mention it.
You're sure it's okay?
You're not mad?
I'm not mad, Howard.
Okay. Oh, there is one thing
Would you mind watering my plants while I'm gone?
Howard, we water your plants when you're here.
Oh. Right. Well, g'bye!
Howard exits through front door.
I'll never understand how a man that scatterbrained was cleared to navigate a multi-million dollar aircraft, with hundreds of lives depending on him.
Really, Emily. Would you trust your life to a plane if you knew Howard was the one keeping it out of the way of other planes?
Something else bothers me.
What's that, dear?
Well - I've been seeing Mr. Carlin for eight years. Mr. Peterson, too, and Mrs. Bakerman.
They don't seem to make any progress. Emily, it's been eight years and Mr. Carlin is the same neurotic, narcissistic jerk he was the first time I met him!
Now, Bob, some people
And Mr. Peterson! He still can't move without asking Doris for permission.
Well, Bob, maybe their problems are very deep-rooted. You're very good at what you do.
Still, Emily, after all this time
Don't second-guess yourself, honey! You are a wonderful psychiatrist!
I mean psychologist.
Thanks, honey. And then Jerry and Carol
Oh, Bob. Those two are always teasing each other.
I know, honey. But it's the same thing every day!
Drink your drink, Bob. Dinner's in ten minutes.
Bob's cheek, and then rises from couch and returns to kitchen, stage left.
Bob is pensive as he sips his martini.
Hmph. Doris Peterson
Camera pulls back from Bob, then zooms toward patio door on far wall that overlooks downtown Chicago.
His name is Doctor Robert Hartley.
His mood - troubled. The routine he once found comfortable now seems stifling.
Camera pans downtown Chicago - lights are burning as night falls on the
city. The camera
tracks north out of downtown
His wish for change is about to
to he Addison Street stop, where the camera swings east, toward
D) Wrigley Field.
Doctor Hartley's next stop: The
E) And we
see the bright stadium lights of a night baseball game suddenly wink out.
Typical psychiatrist's office - wood paneled walls filled with shelves, plaques, and diplomas. BOB sits at a chair facing a long couch with three members of his therapy group. Left to right sits EMIL PETERSON, 40ish, mousey-looking bald man with glasses; MRS. LILLIAN BAKERMAN, an archtypical grandma; and ELLIOT CARLIN, a handsome man in his 30s with dark hair.
So how is everyone today?
How should I be? I'm stuck here for the next hour with Grandma Moses and Attila the Bun.
Mr. Carlin, let's try to keep things civil this time.
Hey, that's your job. You're the doctor. I'm paying you for the time.
Now, Mr. Carlin, you need to show some courtesy and common decency!
Apologize to Mr. Peterson!
That's better. Now, does anyone have anything they'd like to share today?
I do. If that's all right with everyone.
Absolutely, Mr. Peterson.
Go ahead, Mr. Peterson.
Well, I had this dream. About Doris. You know Doris, my wife?
Well, I dreamed that I got up in
the middle of the night, went down to the kitchen, took the biggest knife
from our collection of stainless steel chef's knives, went back upstairs
and plunged it into Doris seventeen times.
And all the time, I was shouting, "Die, die, everybody die!" What do you think it means?
I-I think that's all for today, group.
BOB is standing at the desk of CAROL KESTER, the receptionist he shares with pediatric orthodontist, DR. JERRY ROBINSON. They are listening to his tale of the group's session that day.
" everybody die!"
Wow, Bob. Peterson finally showed some backbone.
Jerry. I don't exactly call dreams of brutally hacking his wife to death "showing some backbone".
Oh, I don't know. Depends on how he used that knife.
Jerry! That's disgusting.
Call it what you will, Carol. I see progress.
All I know is I don't want to see Mr. Hengist alone.
Carol look at Bob, confused.
I mean Peterson.
You need a drink, Bob.
It's a little early, Jerry.
How about some coffee?
Here you go, Bob. Just the way you like it.
I, uh Thanks.
Bob is sitting on the couch, looking dazed. Emily is O.S.
I just don't know what's happening.
What do you mean, dear?
I've been noticing things lately.
Emily enters living room from kitchen, stage left, and sits next to Bob.
Have you noticed that we never go anywhere but our apartment and my office?
Bob. What are you talking about?
I get up. I go to work. I come home. And I can't remember anything else in between!
Honey. You need a vacation.
If we can get away.
Emily, I tried to get tickets for the Cubs game this afternoon. They were sold out.
Emily, the Cubs stink! They're
in fifth place, twenty-seven and a half games out of first place. They're
playing the sixth place team, the Pittsburgh Pirates. It's a meaningless
September game on a Tuesday afternoon.
What are you saying, Bob?
There is a better chance of Howard
offering to take us to dinner than the Cubs selling out a day game in
Oh. I think you need a drink.
up and heads for the dry bar, stage left.
Emily, I tried to get
tickets for the White Sox this weekend. Sold out.
Then I tried to get tickets to
the Northwestern game Saturday. Against Indiana. The two worst football
teams in the Big Ten. Sold out.
What are you saying, Bob?
Emily, I can't remember how I get
Bob, you're joking with me.
No, I'm not. I catch the el right
outside our building. I get off right outside my office. But I can't remember
the ride in between!
with Bob's drink.
You've been working too hard, honey.
Here. Drink this. Relax and you'll feel better. Excuse me.
stage right. Bob waits until Emily is out of the room, then he rises from
the couch, drink in hand, and empties the glass into a potted ficus.
I can't get out. I can't get out.
Do you want to do the family-making
You know. Exchange long protein
Bob stares silently in the direction
of the bedroom, clearly confused.
A moment's pause.
How about I slip into something
a little more comfortable?
Bob wanders over to the patio door
and stares out at the city, trying to make sense of it all.
Two huge alien creatures
are staring back at Bob from what is obviously the interior of an extraterrestial
interstellar spacecraft. They are green, about ten feet tall, and vaguely
octopus-shaped. On each of the creatures, a single baleful eye sits above
rubbery lips, from which ooze a thick, phlegmlike spittle.
How long must we keep him in the
Until we reach Rigel IV.
This one is intelligent. It won't
We must not fail. The council wants
a fresh one. Freezing make them useless for our research.
Doctor Robert Hartley. One of thousands,
perhaps millions who wake up one morning to find the fast track has become
One of the few willing to look
past his comfortable home, pretty wife, and successful career.
To discover that the el has somehow
dropped him at a station not marked on the transit authority maps - a
The Twilight Zone.