Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Voices In My Head

Sometimes you never know where or when an idea will pop into your head, or what stimuli might spawn it. As an example of this, I have resurrected this piece originally posted in March of 2005 from my archives.

Imagine sitting in your vehicle about to go to work one morning, when suddenly you hear the voice of Vic Perrin in your head. You can only wonder if it is a dream, indeed you hope so, otherwise you need to get your money back from that shrink. If it is not a dream, you begin to fear what may lie ahead for you.

Just who in the heck is Vic Perrin anyway, you ask?

Well, it happened to me this past Monday! My mind drifted back in time, searching memories that had become fragmented, scattered within the recesses of my mind. Then there it was, a recollection of the voice. Though the name was not one I would ordinarily remember, his distinctive voice reciting the all too familiar narrative gave me cause to feel dread.

"There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling the transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. We can roll the image, make it flutter. We can change the focus to a soft blur or sharpen it to crystal clarity. For the next hour sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. We repeat: there is nothing wrong with your television set. You are about to participate in a great adventure. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to...The Outer Limits."
I began to wonder just what was in store for me that day. Was I the only one hearing the Control Voice? Were there others who would be acting out same scenario with me? Incapsulated images of that TV program were flashing from behind my eyes, yet I could see them clearly. Then it dawned upon me that I was seeing pieces of episodes that aired four decades ago. How was it that I was recalling the details of each individual episode?

A long gaping yawn that came over me, reminding me of the sleep I had lost the night before. Why had I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning knowing I had to get to work the next morning? What was it I was watching on TV last night? Like a bolt out of the blue, it hit me. There had been a televised marathon of The Outer Limits over the weekend.

I was relieved that it all made sense. I wasn't about to live a day of suspense or terror. No alien beings or spirits were going to besiege me. No vortexes disrupting the space-time continuum were going to whisk me off into the midst of the Battle of Little Big Horn. My brain was just simply draining some of the overload absorbed from the twelve hours of television.

The tension abated, I engaged the transmission and left my driveway to face my obligated day of work. The Outer Limits a fading memory, I was about to turn onto the main drag when a strange series of musical notes began to play somewhere nearby. A few quick glances in the rear and side mirrors gave me nothing to dread. An ice cream truck warming up in a driveway, was playing its melody.

I made my left hand turn, but had traversed only about a hundred feet when I slammed on my brakes. In spite being out of earshot of the ice cream truck, I heard the notes louder than before. Then there was a voice, a different voice this time, but also a familiar one.

"You are entering a dimension not of sight or sound, but of the mind...."
When originally posted, this was appropriately enough titled "The Outer Limits."



Mike Golch said...

so that was who sad those famous lines.I just learned something new today.

Sandee said...

I've had several days in a row like this. Creepy indeed. What were you drinking the night before. Just wondering.

I absolutely loved The Outer Limits.

Have a terrific day. :)

Hale McKay said...


I'll have to admit that I had to research the name of the narrator of that great anthology series.

Hale McKay said...


Hmmm ... what was I drinking? Is there a drink named 'the outer limits.' Perhaps we can concoct one.