The Twilight Zone (1959) s03e21 Episode Script

Kick the Can

You're traveling through another dimension- a dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind, a journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination.
Your next stop, the twilight zone.
My son is coming to get me.
Good-bye.
Good luck.
I didn't say i'd come and get you, dad.
I said i'd come and we'd talk about it.
Five ten Here i come, ready or not! Hey, mister.
That's our can.
We're playing.
Hey, mister.
Sunnyvale rest, a home for the aged- a dying place- and a common children's game called kick-the-can that will shortly become a refuge for a man who knows he will die in this world if he doesn't escape into the twilight zone.
75, 80, Here i come, ready or not.
Give that can! Listen to them.
How can a man think? They aren't supposed to play on the grounds.
The children? Are they hurting anyone? Old people need their rest.
Let them play someplace else.
They got playgrounds.
They got homes.
Well, it's the grass, ben.
Kids can't resist going where the grass is.
What's wrong? Nothing.
Your own son turns against you.
Well the boy has got a lot of problems.
It's a small house, and the second baby is on the way.
It was a foolish idea thinking i could move in on them.
They don't want an old duffer like me underfoot.
No this place is good enough for me.
Listen to 'em.
It's enough to wake the dead! Oh, ben, they're playing kick-the-can.
Don't you remember? Oh, we used to play it all the time.
Oh, we were running and shouting and all that noise.
Well, you can't stop kids from playing kick-the-can.
It's like statues and and hide-and-seek.
It's in their their blood.
It's a a special summer ritual.
Five, ten, 15, did you ever stop to think of it? All kids play those games.
And the minute they stop, they begin to grow old.
It's almost as though playing kick-the-can keeps them young.
You ever notice that? Say, you don't believe in magic, do you? There there was a time that you did.
You know, we've known each other ever since oh, i can't remember.
Ever since we were a couple of towheaded kids.
And you believed in magic then.
Me? Magic? Yes, you did.
When we walked on different sides of a street lamp you'd say, "bread and butter.
" When your baby teeth came out you put them under the pillow for the tooth fairy.
Yeah, you believed in magic.
What happened, ben? What changed you? Was it time that did it? Or was it something else? We grew up, that's all.
Everybody gets older.
Maybe there are people who stay young.
Maybe they know a secret they keep from the rest of us.
Charles.
Maybe the fountain of youth isn't a fountain at all.
Maybe it's a way of looking at things a way of thinking.
Charles, stop it.
You're an old man, you understand? Your youth has been gone for 60 years.
What i mean is, uh you've lived a full life, charles.
Don't go sloppy now.
Don't spoil it by acting like a nut.
But it's all so clear.
It makes sense.
Can't-can't you see it, ben? Oh, no, you were quite right to come to me.
When he acts like that, l-i feel i don't know him at all.
Well, mr.
Conroy, when people grow old, truly old, they begin to act a little peculiar.
Now mr.
Agee, for instance.
Some way he got ahold of a few firecrackers, and i found them trying to set one of them off.
Now he could've gotten hurt.
Every time one of our people goes senile, i get a little cold inside.
When i first took this assignment, i was 32.
Now i'm 43.
Everyone grows older, mr.
Conroy, even me.
Nyeah! Oh, what's wrong with you people?! Can't you show a little life?! Are you the ones who skipped rope? And hunt for polliwogs? Huh? And run through sprinklers? Huh? Run through sprinklers.
Hey! What are you going to do? Why, that's the silliest thing i've ever seen.
Oh! Oh! Let him drown himself if he wants to.
Come on in! The water's fine! Mr.
Whitley! Come on, get out of there.
Mr.
Whitley, what's the matter with you? Here, now you get him inside.
Fresh clothing, and get him to bed! I was afraid something like this would happen.
In the morning, i'll have to put him in a special ward for observation.
We're going to isolate him for a while.
That'll kill him.
Senile? Me? Put me in a special ward? Alone? Show them you're all right.
Cut the crazy talk.
Act like everyone else.
Oh, what a choice.
To keep an attendant from pawing at my pulse all day i have to sit like a vegetable on that porch.
I'm trying to help you.
Now, keep on like this and they'll put you away.
Use your head.
Maybe you're right.
Come.
Come.
What is it, fire? Shh! Hmm? Huh? Wake the girls.
Call mrs.
Summers and mrs.
Worcester.
It's important.
Huh? Psst! Psst! What are we doing here? I'll catch my death.
We ought to be in bed.
What would mr.
Cox say? Well, he'd say being awake is dangerous and silly.
He'd probably say we're crazy.
Well, maybe you got to be a little crazy to make the magic work.
Remember how we used to do it? We'd sneak out at night when the weather was like this? And we'd play kick-the-can.
Oh, everybody played that game, or hide-and-seek.
Yeah, seems like a million years ago.
Say, you know something? I was the fastest runner on our block.
When we would play kick-the-can, i was never "it.
" Look how i've changed.
I remember.
We all get old.
It's the running i miss most.
Me, too.
I think if i could only run again then growing old wouldn't be so bad.
People getting on need their rest.
Well, we can't run fast or far but well, we can move and there are trees and bushes.
Maybe if the hunted are handicapped so is the hunter.
Us? Children's games? Yes, that's the secret.
Don't you see? The secret of youth.
Say, you know i was the fastest runner on our block? You can't beserious.
He isn't serious.
You bet i am.
Look! Think! Feel! Here, hold it.
Doesn't that wake some sleeping part of you? Listen.
Can't you hear it? Summer grass run jump youth! Wake up! Oh, this is your last chance.
I can't play kick-the-can alone.
Charles.
What are you doing? Aw, ben.
Come with us, out on the lawn.
Me? Yes, you, ben.
We've always done everything together.
Let's not stop now.
Come.
Come with us, ben.
Come play kick-the-can.
Charles.
Come to your senses.
Ben, you're afraid.
You're afraid of a new idea.
You're afraid to look silly.
You're afraid to make a mistake.
You decided that you were an old man and that has made you old.
Iamold, and so are you, charles, that's a fact.
Fact.
Your bones are old, and they'll break if you try to run with them.
Your heart is old and your lungs are old.
You're used up.
Worn out by a lifetime.
Sit down, charles.
You're tired.
Sit down.
I can't.
Charles.
I've got to find out, ben.
Help me.
There is magic in the world.
I know there is.
When i fell in love with mary, kissed her for the first time, that was magic.
When my boy was born, that was magic.
Friendship is a magic thing.
Maybe i'm right, ben.
Maybe kick-the-can is the greatest magic of all.
All right, ben, i'll do it without you.
Mr.
Cox! Mr.
Cox! Mr.
Cox?! Mr.
Cox! Mr.
Cox! Mr.
Cox! Mr.
Cox! What is it? Hurry, stop them.
What are you talking about? They've all gone outside.
Well, why? To play kick-the-can.
Now, calm down.
What'll he do when nothing happens? He really believes he'll be young.
Charlie's it.
Hurry.
Now, where? On the front lawn.
20, 25, where are the old people? What are these kids doing here? I told them not to play here.
Go on, kids! You'll wake everybody up! Ready or not, here i come! Maybe whitley took them around to the back.
One, two, three, you're out.
Charles.
Charlie, is that you? Is that you, charlie? Charlie, it's me, benny.
Charlie take me with you.
Take me with you.
Charlie, wait for me.
Wait.
Last one into the forest is a rotten apple! No, charlie, no.
Wait for me.
Olly, olly oxen free.
Charlie it's me.
Olly, olly oxen free.
Charlie it's me.
Listen, i'll bet whitley's taken them all down to the orchard.
Come on.
Look all you want, mr.
Cox, you won't find them.
Olly, olly oxen free.
Olly, olly oxen free.
Sunnyvale rest, a dying place for ancient people who have forgotten the fragile magic of youth.
A dying place for those who have forgotten that childhood, maturity and old age are curiously intertwined and not separate.
A dying place for those who have grown too stiff in their thinking to visit the twilight zone.
Rod serling, creator ofthe twilight zone, will tell you about next week's story after this message.
And now, mr.
Serling.
Next week onthe twilight zone, we roll in a musical instrument purchased in this store.
Now there are pianos and pianos, but this one was manufactured in our own very strange, unpredictable factory.
It comes to you via the typewriter of mr.
Earl hamner and it boasts a collection of oddities and oddball doings.
Next week, you can roll up the rug as we bring you "a piano in the house.
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