Host: I have what seems to be total recall from the moment of my birth. But if it should falter, the toys, the trivia that surround me in my workroom help me remember back 60 years. But what if I lost all these in a fire? Then I'd be forced to rely on sheer memory alone. But what about everyone else? Would they choose to remember, or prefer to forget. Would my memories be an affront to them? To find the answer, I wrote "To the Chicago Abyss."
Old Man: Why, it's like a theater. Like motion picture houses. Yes. And the lights dim, and the people hold hands and listen like in the old days. With the balconies and the dark. And in the midst of the smell of popcorn and Orange Crush, my show begins.
Old Man: All I am, really, is a trash heap of the mediocre. The third-rate, the hand-me-down, useless and chromed over, slush and junk. Of a race track civilization that ran over a precipice and still hasn't struck bottom.
Old Man: Oh, once I would have raved. Only the best is best. Only quality is true. But roses grow from blood manure, and mediocre must be so that most excellent vine can bloom. And I shall be the best mediocre there is. And I'll fight all those who say "slide back," "slip under," "dust wallow," "let brambles scurry over your living grave." No, no, I shall protest.
This episode is based on the story "To the Chicago Abyss" by Ray Bradbury. It was first published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (May, 1963).