Friday, July 30, 2010

John Collier, Twilight Zoner

If ever you wondered where “The Twilight Zone” got some of its hokey material, wonder no longer. They probably got some of it from John Collier.

Collier’s “Another American Tragedy” has that typical Twilighty Zone zinger at the end, in which a nephew who murders his rich, irascible uncle to get his hands on his fortune discovers he’s not the only one with murder on his mind. I can just hear Rod Serling saying that.

Collier’s “Mary” is no better – it’s a sad tale of an English lass who competes with a pig for the affection of her new husband. The pig, of course, ends up as sausage, which the wife and husband eat with relish, the husband unaware of whom he is consuming.

Yeah, it’s that bad.

Almost William Shatner bad. Witness:

“This is another thing we couldn’t’ have while she was here,” said Fred, as he finished his plateful. “Never no pork sausages, on account of her feelings. I never thought to see the day I’d be glad she was pinched. I only hope she’s gone to someone who appreciates her.”

“I’m sure she has,” said Rosie. “Have some more.”

“I will,” said he. “I don’t know if it’s the novelty, or the way you cooked ‘em, or what. I never ate a better sausage in my life. If we’d gone up to London with her, best hotels and all, I doubt if ever we’d have had as sweet a sausage as these here.”

Wikipedia says Collier’s writing has been praised by the likes of Neil Gaiman, Ray Bradbury and Paul Theroux. Well, there’s never an accounting for taste, is there?

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