70 years ago tonight, Orson Welles and the Mercury Theater broadcast a radio drama of H.G. Wells’ “War of The Worlds”. Shortly after the on-air “announcer” reported that alien tripods were swarming across the countryside killing people with their death ray, utter panic ensued.
Afterward, Welles stated that he hoped everyone would be relieved to hear that “we didn’t mean it”, and that everything was indeed fine and dandy. Certain folks at the FCC were otherwise inclined, and a few new rules were adopted to keep a repeat performance from sending the masses into hysterics.
We find the whole episode intensely interesting from an historical and sociological perspective, and because the resulting alarm and confusion must have been a real hoot for the kids. “Awwright! We’re being invaded!”
In celebration, SB Studios has re-released our 2003 version of the War of The Worlds for your listening enjoyment. Kill the lights, turn the TV off, and turn your imagination on.
Spooky Blue’s adaptation of … “The War of The Worlds” by HG Wells
“That grinning, glowing globular invader of your living room is an inhabitant of the punkin patch, and if your doorbell rings and nobody’s there, that was no Martian. It’s Halloween.” ~ Orson Welles
In my mind, it’s the sound of a witch’s cloak flapping in the breeze. She’s slowly circling at about 40 feet up, curious. What is this human up to?
I’m balancing on top of a step ladder with 20 pounds of angry Grumble trying earnestly to flip me over backwards. Lashing him to the tree wasn’t too difficult, but blood was drawn.
I attach his right arm without much fuss – the pumpkin equivalent of attempting to put a shirt on a writhing, tight-fisted two-year-old. I only drop it twice. He chuckles. I move the ladder to the other side and climb up. It’s unstable here. Roots, I guess.
From this angle, I have to lean back. Too far, really, but it’s the only spot for the ladder. Slide his arm into the sleeve. Carefully wrap the rope around. Balance. Careful. Slowly. Pull the knot tight. Yaaaaaaarggh! Flip! Crash!
Sometimes one must lie flat on one’s back in the cool grass and spend a few moments earnestly taking stock of his situation to truly appreciate the gifts that he has been given. Arms and legs are still attached. Fingers work. Nothing has ventured into new exotic locations or angles.
Earth and sky appear to have righted themselves with me somewhere in the middle. A deep sigh of relief resolves into a pleasant glow. Odd. This is the first time I’ve felt relaxed in days. Bruised, maybe, and my left shin is pulsing in cadence with my heartbeat, but I’m okay. Calm. Safe. The night begins to unfold around me.
An owl hoots from deep in the woods behind the house. Leaves scratch and rush along the driveway. I follow the sound of them. Down the road and around the lane, off on some adventure.
I’m at the edge of a small pool of orange Grumble light. He glares menacingly into the night, focused intently on the horizon. I wonder if I would feel differently right now if he were staring as intently at me.
Movement above catches my attention. High up in the branches. Dizzyingly high. As high as trees go, where their tops sway and bend. A realm whose visitors have either wings or brooms. Way up there a chorus sings. Autumn music in the silver light of a million million stars. For a moment I’m swept up in the beauty.
Halloween blows in and ten thousand leaves cascade down from the sky.
Back on the ground, flat on my back, I smile. The Grumble smiles. A witch’s cloak pops in the wind.
Almost makes you feel sorry for that crow.
Well, he should have suspected something. I mean really! Look at those teeth, that wicked smile. If I had feathers, you wouldn’t catch me within a furlong of that menace. Or a hectare if I was Canadian, eh.
This Grumblesque beastie is named Stewie, and he’s the creation of hauntress Shelley Spranza. Stewie is, obviously, based on our old friend and general menace, The Grumble. This guy is even larger than his papa. And possibly meaner. Shelley had to sink his stand into a big bucket of concrete to keep him from rampaging through the neighborhood scooping up flaming Whos.
He is definitely cool. Shelley has done an awesome job, and I can’t wait to see him lit up.