The Twilight Zone Survival Guide This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

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Is Rod Serling standing near by?

This is a telltale sign you are in the twilight zone. No matter how you answer to the following questions, if you see Rod Serling, you are hopeless.

Is everything around you irritatingly monotonous?

If so, this is probably the calm before the storm. If you live in a friendly, idyllic neighborhood, you are even more likely to be in the twilight zone.

Is there any kind of narration, particularly one with no evident source?

This is probably the introduction. Bad and scary (and often enough, impossible) things are about to happen to you, someone of significance (personal or otherwise), or someone nearby.)

Are you on a plane?

This is not good. If you are a pilot, the plane is going to crash. If you are a male traveling with a female, there is a gremlin on the wing. If you are a insignificant passenger, you are safe. Just watch out for the sweaty guy who keeps calling for the stewardess.

Have you been inexplicably lucky recently?

Do not go near any casinos. If you are in Atlantic city or, worse, Vegas, hop on the next Greyhound and get far, far away. Don’t use that eerie old antique camera. Do not make any bets or dares. Above all, don’t do anything particularly risky. (If I’m advising you not to gamble with your money, why would you go ahead and gamble with your life instead?)

Are you in a car?

If you’re a woman alone at night, book it to the nearest hotel and continue in the morning. Do not EVER pick up a hitchhiker, day or night. Do not drive for a long amount of time at once. Trust me, the lower the mileage, the better. Don’t drive in any run down, poor, dilapidated, isolated, unpopulated, or inhospitable areas. Especially if the area is prone to criminal or gang activity. Oh, and, needless to say, don’t drive at all costs. Especially at night.

Are there aliens?

Aliens are a staple of the twilight zone. Just know that however friendly these aliens seem, they are evil. Nothing good can come of aliens.

Where and when do you live?

If you live in the woods, book it to a city. If you are anywhere rural, get away, fast. Any idyllic towns are reason enough to pack you bags and leave. If you live in the city, keep away from tall buildings such as apartment complexes and office buildings. Avoid elevators like the plague. If you live in the 20th century, you’re screwed. Not sure? Look at the cars. Are they ridiculously outdated? How do people dress? How do people talk? Turn on the radio. Do you remember the songs from your childhood? Is the TV black and white, and does it have an antenna? Look at the buildings. Are they about as modern as a boom box? But, the easiest test is to simply look at the license and the bills in your wallet? If you’re not in the past, then you’re either not in the twilight or a ridiculous perception of the 21st century that includes hover boards and robots that take care of your every need and want. Oh, and one last thing. Avoid Maple St. And do not, under any circumstances, go to the town where you grew up.

Is everything in black and white?

This is probably the easiest way to tell if you’re in the twilight zone.

Are you a nice person?

While no one is completely safe, if you are a nice person you are as close to safe as you can get in the twilight zone. If not, you ought to change your ways. Be irritatingly nice to everyone. EVERYONE. Don’t steal. Don’t kill. Heck, don’t even throw in an insult every here and there. Men, be nice to your wives and children. And it really pays to be nice to that little boy who can make things happen just by thinking about it. Don’t cheat (on your spouse, in business, or in gambling.).

Strive for perfection. And normality.

Perfect people, nice people, and normal, nondescript, and monotonous people are safe people. So, try to do well at everything you do. In the twilight zone, if it’s worth doing, it’s worth overdoing. Be nice, too. And don’t stick out. Be normal. Dress normal, look normal, talk normal, act normal, hold a normal job, and just plain function normal.

Don’t assume anything.

Just because you’re dead doesn’t mean you’re in heaven. Just because you hit the jackpot on a slot machine doesn’t mean you’re lucky. Just because the guy says you need shoes doesn’t mean YOU do. Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Just because you think you survived doesn’t mean you’re alive. Just because you can’t find anyone doesn’t mean you’re alone. Get my point? That also means it would be wise if you didn’t make snap judgments about people.





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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

StrangeJade This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 15, 2011 at 8:24 pm
Clever! :) I liked it a lot.
 
Paradise_Lost replied...
Nov. 22, 2011 at 7:01 pm
The perfect guide! :)
 
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