TWD lessons courtesy of The Twilight Zone

Ann Mahoney as Olivia, Merritt Weaver as Dr. Denise Cloyds, The walking Dead -- AMC
Ann Mahoney as Olivia, Merritt Weaver as Dr. Denise Cloyds, The walking Dead -- AMC /

The worst thing that could happen to you in an apocalypse might not be what you’d think of first. Rod Serling teaches us to be very protective of one item in an apocalypse.

Every New Year’s my family turns on The Twilight Zone Marathon and leaves it on from New Year’s Eve until it ends. (Author’s note: I had The Walking Dead on a different television so technically I was going back and forth between the two) There is nothing like ringing in a new year with Rod Serling’s seminal classic television series. No matter how much time passes in between the original airdates in the late 1950s and early 1960s to today, the underlying messages and parables of morality still ring true. Some would even say they are truer now than ever before.

One episode has always struck a chord with viewers, especially those who share a particular affliction. Its post-apocalyptic overtones pair very well with what fans of The Walking Dead see on a regular basis, even though the two shows are separated by over five decades. That would be the classic episode “Time Enough at Last” starring Burgess Meredith.

The basic premise of the episode (Spoilers if you haven’t seen it): A bank teller wants more time to read, but his job and his overbearing wife keep him from enjoying his hobby. One day during lunch he enjoys a book from the solitude of the bank’s vault when a nuclear blast detonates and destroys everything around him. He’s the only man left alive, and after a while he realizes that being the last person alive is awful. But before he can kill himself, he comes upon the library. All of a sudden a glimmer of hope opens up and he’s thrilled to finally be able to read. Just as he gets his reading lists organized for the next few years, his glasses fall off of his face and break, and he’s left there without the ability to see anything.

As a kid who grew up wearing glasses (and now contact lenses), this episode terrified me. After meeting fellow fans of The Twilight Zone on social media I came to realize that I wasn’t the only one who had this fear.

I came upon a family while out running errands today and there was a mother, father, and three girls whose ages probably ranged from 12-16. They all three wore glasses, and all of a sudden something clicked in my brain.

Imagine that you wore glasses or contact lenses and you were living in the world of The Walking Dead. What if you managed to survive as long as Rick and his group have survived, and suddenly your glasses fall and break, leaving you with blurry vision, or perhaps very little vision at all. Imagine the horror of not being able to get another pair of glasses! Imagine only wearing contact lenses and then not being able to remove them because you’re running through the forest and you can’t stop and take them out to rinse them with your multipurpose solution. Imagine trying to stay alive with perpetually fuzzy vision.

Even if you manage to survive that long, breaking your glasses would be a total game changer.

So what do vision-challenged people do in the apocalypse? You keep your glasses safe, and you raid the drug stores for all of the multipurpose solution you can find. You should probably grab a few pairs of the reading glasses just in case, because once your glasses are gone, they’re gone. So you have to be prepared.

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If you wear glasses, take care of them. If you wear glasses and wake up in a zombie apocalypse, keep them even safer. They may make the difference between life and death. This digression comes to you courtesy of The Twilight Zone.