Thursday, October 06, 2005

Twilight Zone: I Know Why the Caged Bird Squawks

Narrator: You unlock this door with a key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension. A dimension of sound. A dimension of sight. A dimension of mind. You’re moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You’ve just crossed over into . . . the Twilight Zone.


Narrator: Polly Esterburg lived alone in a small cottage in a small neighborhood in a small town. The only thing she cared about was her parakeet Ronald. But Polly and Ronald would soon be involved in a deadly game . . . a game that would change their lives forever . . . a game that would ultimately lead them into . . . the Twilight Zone.

Polly: Ronald, you haven’t talked to me in hours. What’s wrong?

Ronald: (From inside his cage) Squawk! I’m sick of those peanuts you’re always putting in my food dish. Squawk! For once in my life, I’d like peanuts with the shells.

Polly: I’m sorry, Ronald. I didn’t know you cared. I’ll get you some right away!

Ronald: Squawk! And make it snappy! I don’t have all day!

Polly: Oh, no! We’re all out of peanuts with shells.

Ronald: Figures. Squawk!

Polly: I have an idea. Let’s play a game to get your mind off the peanuts. How about Parcheesi?

Ronald: Squawk! Can I be blue?

Polly: Of course! You can be any color you like. And you can go first.

Narrator: Since Ronald is unable to throw the dice, Polly rolls for him and moves his pieces. Hours pass as Polly and Ronald play Parcheesi late into the evening. Ronald is winning but Polly doesn’t seem to mind. In fact, the way she’s playing, it looks like she’s letting Ronald win. Finally, Ronald’s last piece is in place.

Ronald: Squawk! I win! I win! Suck it up, loser!

Polly: Oh, Ronald … you’re such a wonderful Parcheesi player. I didn’t have a chance. Squawk!

Ronald: What did you say?

Polly: Nothing, Ronald. I didn’t say anything. Squawk!

Ronald: There! You said “Squawk!” I heard it with my own ears!

Polly: I don’t know what’s happening . . . Squawk!

Ronald: Good Lord! You’re turning into a . . . a . . . parakeet!

Polly: No! That can’t be! Squawk! It’s impossible!

Ronald: And I’m becoming a human! Oh no! My beautiful wings! My colorful feathers . . . all gone! Quick, let me out of this cage!

Polly: Squawk! Here, I’ll lift the latch with my . . . beak. (Opens latch) There! Squawk! You’re free!

Ronald: Yes! Yes, I am. Free at last. And you should get into the cage . . . for your own safety, of course. The neighbor’s cat often sneaks in through the window, and you know what that means.

Polly: (Flying into the cage) Squawk!

Ronald: (Sneering) Ah . . . perfect! Now I finally have you where I want you, my precious.

Polly: Squawk! What do you mean, Ronald?

Ronald: I’ve hated you for years . . . your relentless coddling and catering to my every whim. Disgusting!

Polly: Squawk! But I gave you everything you wanted. I treated you like a king!

Ronald: But don’t you see? I didn’t want to be treated like a king! I wanted to be independent! Make my own decisions! Be in control of my own destiny!

Polly: But Ronald! Squawk!

Ronald: You forced me to get my wings clipped! You obsessively shined my mirror four times day! You insisted I eat gourmet bird seed with pieces of corn and sunflower seeds, when what I really wanted was a millet-covered banana!

Polly: Forgive me, Ronald! Squawk! I only wanted the best for you! Squawk!

Ronald: Enough! It’s all over now, my pet. Don’t worry. I won’t kill you, if that’s what you’re thinking. No, I have better ways of exacting my revenge.

Polly: Squawk! You mean . . . No! Not that! Anything but that! Squawk!

Ronald: (Serpentine voice) Polly . . .

Polly: Stop! I beg you! Squawk!

Ronald: Want . . .

Polly: Squawk! Somebody help me!

Ronald: A . . .

Polly: Squawk! No! Don’t say it!

Ronald: CRACKER!


Narrator: A friendly game of Parcheesi releases supernatural forces resulting in a bizarre transformation. Evil is unleashed while Good is entrapped. Polly Esterburg, so devoted to her pet parakeet, now becomes his slave. Another strange paradox. . .in the Twilight Zone.