The Ray Bradbury Theater

Colonel Stonesteel and the "Desperate Empties"

Season 6, Ep 4, Aired 1/24/92
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  • Episode Description
  • A boy and a neighbor invent a fake mummy to stir up the townspeople and relieve the boredom of the last days of summer.

  • Cast & Crew
  • Peter Sussman

  • Shawn Ashmore

    Charlie Flagstaff

  • Wayne Robson

    Sheriff

  • Larry Wilcox

  • Walter Kaasa

    Mayor

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  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (5)

    • Colonel Stonesteel: How old are you, Charlie? Charlie: Thirteen, almost. Colonel Stonesteel: Thirteen. Well, things do tend to run down come 13. Come to a dead halt when you're 14. Might as well die at 15.

    • Colonel Stonesteel: Meanwhile, Charlie, what do we do to survive none of this very day? Charlie: Only you know, Colonel. Colonel Stonesteel: Oh, son, you know, I can move politicians big as prize hogs. I can make locomotives run backward uphill. But small boys and long autumn weekends with a bad case of the desperate empties...

    • Colonel Stonesteel: You hear that, Charles? What's it say? Charlie: Well... Colonel Stonesteel: Time, mostly, it says. Oldness, memory, dust. Listen! You let the autumn wind shake the skeleton of this house, you'll get true-time talk. Bombay snuffs, tombyard flowers gone to ghost. Charlie: Boy, Colonel, you ought to write for Topnotch Magazine. Colonel Stonesteel: I did once. Got rejected.

    • Colonel Stonesteel: Oh, child, life is a magic show. At least it could be, if people didn't go to sleep on each other. Always got to leave a bit of mystery for folks, son.

    • Charlie: Colonel... what's he truly made of? What's he mean? Colonel Stonesteel: Boy, you were there. You helped. You saw. Charlie: No. Tell me, Colonel. Colonel Stonesteel: You want to know who he truly was, once upon a time? Well, he was everyone. He was no one. He was someone. He was you. He was me. Well, his body.. his body's made of crushed flowers.. New wedding and old funerals. Ticker tapes, unraveled, gone off forever Egyptian pharaoh midnight trains. Circus posters, torn off seed barns in Northstorm, Ohio, shuttered south to Fulfillment, Texas. All the things that were once need, hope, first nickel in a pocket. framed dollar on the cafe wall. Printed there by odd old men and time-orphaned widows, saying, "It'll happen tomorrow." "Tomorrow it'll happen!"

    Notes (2)

    • Acknowledgments go to the Chinook Theatre and the Old Stratchcona Foundation

    • This episode is based on the short story "Colonel Stonesteel's Genuine Home-Made Truly Egyptian Mummy" by Ray Bradbury. This story was first published in Omni (May, 1981).

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