They paid the dastardly price, that troupe of cock-and-bull story rebels. They turned themselves over to fate in the end, but not without a 12 pace showdown of the highest honor. They were awarded that honor in the mind of each and every moonfaced bystander that watched them die in the fastest paced ballet in the history of theatre.
A blood-red curtain closed around them and the smattering of applause signaled the waiter to collect the crystalware.
They weren't real crystal, but the way the heavy scuffed and chipped clear plastic refracted the light gave it the air of something exclusive and rare. Mom always promptly collected our empty aluminum trays as the credits rolled down the screen, while we were frozen to contemplate the implications of that finale scene that eternally altered the arc of the whole story. I had that to look forward to next week. Thursday nights were always Swanson pork chops and gun violence.
Though we were sitting on a nubby peach cotton couch, with the screen inches away and the flavor of fine reheated pork chops and processed applesauce lingering, it was the finest form of entertainment.
Photos via Life Magazine