Thursday, October 20, 2011

Tales well calculated to keep you in...

Halloween is tiptoeing closer and, here on the prairie, the weather is obliging. It changed last night, fresh cool eighties breezes dropped in an overnight frost. Autumn has arrived. The spooks and ghouls are on their way, faux spiders hang from over sized webs on our neighbor's house, and, two streets over, a yard is dotted with tombstones, each epitaphed with an NFL football team (presumably their favorite team's opponents). To get myself in the mood, I've been listening to Suspense episodes while I work. I've enjoyed old-time radio programs for years (Jack Benny, Our Miss Brooks, Night Beat, Johnny Dollar, The Whistler, X-9, etc.) but the mysteries are my favorite and Suspense in particular. I love the chill, stormy nights they evoke and it's always fun to hear favorite celebrities in new roles (Lucille Ball in Dime a Dance is a delightful surprise).

I've listened to enough now that I can generally guess the plot. This doesn't ruin it for me, it's fun to listen anyway and I enjoy being right. But I really enjoy when I'm mistaken. There are few episodes that manage to catch me off guard and, when they do, I remember them. Unexpectedly devious endings, such as The Trap and The Night Reveals, are memorable. This afternoon, I listened to Summer Storm which was attention nabbing because it ended so nicely. While the point of Suspense is just that, to keep you in suspense - suspense is not necessarily synonymous with grim endings but many episodes of Suspense are. Someone commits murder or makes off with 50,000 in cash and, by some twist of irony or fate, they are caught, or the money is tagged, or they wallow in guilt and commit suicide only for us to find out that they did not in fact kill the person they thought they did - something like that. Summer Storm was different and you should have a listen. Check out the Internet Archives and look for these spine-tingling favorites:

  • Cabin B-13 (#52)
  • Cricket (#124)
  • Diary of Saphronia Winters (#27)
  • Dime a Dance (#61)
  • Sorry Wrong Number (#67)
  • Summer Storm (#52)
  • The Hitchhiker (#5)
  • The House in Cypress Canyon (#59)
  • The Night Reveals (#56)
  • The Trap (#55) <-- My absolute favorite episode, you'll never hear Aloha Oe the same way again.

No comments:

Post a Comment