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March 18, 2007

Why don't you get out of here, Finchley?

I had fragments of the above phrase running through my head this morning, with a vague notion that it came out of my vast store of useless pop culture junk phrases. Somehow I knew that Jean would be able to home in on the source, and asked "Jean, where does 'why don't you get out' come from?" She immediately replied with the title phrase, and said Twilight Zone! Yep, the story of a conveniently unlikeable fussbudget hounded by machines.

That started me off on the topic, as there is an upcoming movie based on a story I read when I was a kid, Mimsy Were the Borogoves, by 'Lewis Padgett'. I use quotes as Lewis Padgett was a pseudonym for the husband and wife writing team of Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore. Anyway, in the story, a couple of kids come across a box of 'toys' which are actually educational gadgets that have somehow fallen through a rift in time from the future. In the story, as I recall, the kids were gradually transformed by the toys, basically becoming transhuman. I'm sure the Hollywood version will involve explosions somehow.

After describing that one to Jean, I mentioned that there was another story about a device from the future, that messes up an ordinary guy's life. I read it about the same time as 'Mimsy'. It was called The Twonky, and lo and behold, it was also by Lewis Padgett! This story was made into a rather corny movie that I remember seeing, starring Hans Conried.

To bring things full circle, while I was digging for links to this article, I discovered that Kuttner and Moore wrote another story, this time adapted for the Twilight Zone, called What You Need. Neat.

Posted by dpwakefield at March 18, 2007 08:28 AM