Wordplay (The Twilight Zone)
|The Twilight Zone episode|
Robert Klein (at left) as Bill Lowery
|Directed by||Wes Craven|
|Written by||Rockne S. O'Bannon|
|Original air date||October 4, 1985|
Bill Lowery is a salesman whose company has switched to a medical supply product line, which has caused him to stay up late at night attempting to memorize medical terms in order to be familiar with the products in a week's time.
One day, his wife tells him that she's worried about their son who's ill. As Lowery leaves for work, his neighbor refers to his dog as an "encyclopedia" but Lowery shrugs it off, thinking his neighbor was pulling a prank. Lowery puts in a full morning of work trying to cope with new terms, which include jibes from younger salesmen such as "teaching old dogs new 'trumpets'.
As Lowery leaves for lunch at home, a subordinate asks him about a good place to go for "dinosaur." Lowery tries to find out why the co-worker is not using the correct word ("lunch"), but the co-worker walks away annoyed. Lowery arrives home where his wife says their son is feeling worse. When she complains that he didn't eat his "dinosaur," Lowery thinks his wife and co-workers have been pulling a practical joke. He soon realizes, however, that his vocabulary is out-of-sync.
Returning to the office, Lowery becomes frustrated by the increasing level of gibberish. It increases to the point where he can no longer understand anything that is said to him, and he goes back home to find his son suffering from a very high fever. Bill picks up the boy and takes them to the emergency room, where his wife has to handle everything because Lowery cannot make himself understood. A doctor finally comes out to tell them that their son is okay.
That night, following a quiet but content meal with his wife, Bill sits down in his son's bedroom and picks up one of his ABC books and studies the basics of the language that he now needs to re-learn. Under the picture of a dog, the word reads "Wednesday."
|“||A question trembles in the silence: Why did this remarkable thing happen to this perfectly ordinary man? It may not matter why the world shifted so drastically for him. Existence is slippery at the best of times. What does matter is that Bill Lowery isn't ordinary. He's one of us. A man determined to prevail in the world that was, and the world that is, or the world that will be...in the Twilight Zone.||”|