Thursday, September 1, 2022

TP 2068

[As read by Rod Serling.]


Eugene Thomas Peterschmidt exits a Hobby Lobby with a snarl of pure disgust. At one time, a tall and lean specimen of six feet, he’s now about 5’8”, which pisses him off. He putters along in his golf trousers pulled up to his nipples. His pants are smelly—obviously because Courtney forgot to add detergent again. He’s also pissed off because, for one thing, he had to go inside a Hobby Lobby. Secondly, now he has to go to Walgreen’s, the thought of which also pisses him off.


He scratches his bald head and brushes loose the Band-Aid he’d used to cover one of his many red and purplish sores.


“Goddamnit!” he says. What’s more, it’s a brown-colored person Band-Aid instead of a regular white person colored Band-Aid… because it is 2068.


“Idiots,” he thinks. But he is not thinking of any race nor class of persons. They’re all mutants, after all—everyone but him.


All he knows is: this entire situation, his Band-Aid falling off whilst running errands for Courtney, his musty trousers, this filthy parking lot, being bald, being old, probably having a racing stripe in his tighty-whities… All of this is unacceptable, and someone is to blame.


He does not look bolth* ways before crossing into the parking lot.


A freckled teenager wearing a backward UNC baseball cap straddles his bike on the curb, chuckling to himself in audacious spite of the old man.


“Heh heh heh... Why would you go into public with that scabby melon?” the kid wonders. He glowers at the geezer doddering across the street.


Eugene Thomas Peterschmidt, once known as TP, pays the kid no attention. But he knows him all too well from a different time—a different dimension, just inside… The Twilight Zone.


*Yes, bolth.