The monsters are here on Maple Street

Image from “The Twilight Zone” via

I’m feeling very nervous these days, which makes me think of the “Twilight Zone” episode “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street.”

The first-season episode, which was written by creator Rod Serling, obviously referenced the Red Scare, but it has resonance in this anxiety-ridden year.

In short, it’s set in a little piece of Small Town, U.S.A. One evening there’s a shimmering flash and, soon, the power goes out. Happenstance? No, there’s gotta be something to blame, and a crowd forms to discuss the possibilities. One boy named Tommy knows: It’s aliens — aliens who look just like us.

The adults laugh it off at first, but then strange things start happening. When an apparent stranger comes out of the darkness, he’s shot — only to be revealed as one of the neighbors. And then all hell breaks loose.

From a distance, a couple actual aliens look down upon the town. These humans. Just create a little panic, and they’ll annihilate themselves.

Twilight Zone – The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street from Kevin on Vimeo.

(Thanks to Marc Scott Zicree’s “The Twilight Zone Companion” for the plot refresher.)

OK, maybe I’m a little too anxious. But there are certainly a lot of folks stirring the pot as we head into the final few days. Donald Trump and his cohorts, of course. Apparently Vladimir Putin. (He’s played this game before.) The part of the news media more attracted to heat than light, which is to say, the part on television.

It’s an endless rain of shit.

And why not? America is about as divided as it’s ever been. Doesn’t take much to light the fuse. Hell, some people want to blow it up.

I tell myself it’s been bad before. I don’t recall Watergate clearly, but that was bad. The Depression was bad. The Civil War was really bad. (It doesn’t help that some people are still fighting the damned thing.)

Four more days. But that’s just until the election. There will be more afterwards, regardless of who wins. I hope they’re days of repair and reflection.

But I can hear the aliens laugh.


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