Despite the chilling weather that winter brings, the holiday season is the time of year that makes enduring cold temperatures worthwhile. Aside from Christmas carols, gift shopping and spending memorable moments with relatives and friends, I look forward to television marathons with great anticipation. This past Thanksgiving holiday, I had the great fortune of watching three back-to-back days of “Star Trek, the Original Series” including episodes from the “Next Generation” – a sci-fi aficionado's dream weekend. Soon, the New Year will be fast upon us, but not before it is ushered in by yet another marathon featuring “The Twilight Zone.” With cigarette in hand, Rod Serling will appear out of nowhere or from a “wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination” as he begins to narrate various thematic episodes dealing with a plethora of societal issues, ills and idiosyncrasies. One such episode that comes to mind is the all too familiar “To Serve Man.”

In that story, Earth is visited by extraterrestrial beings called Kanamits (a reverse twist on the biblical giants named Anakims) who came with a message to provide aid to humanity. Serling described these telepathic aliens with a height over nine feet tall and weight at about 350 pounds. One day a Kanamit representative addressed the United Nations and left a book written in his language and in a text that was unknown to humans. Eventually, a female scientist deciphered the book's title that read “To Serve Man.” She alone out of all the brilliant minds had the ability and the wherewithal to decode it. However, the contents of the book still remained uninterpretable and a mystery.

Shortly thereafter, the Kanamits began to make good on their promise to aid humanity through the implementation of worldwide advances in technology, agriculture, energy and nuclear disarmament. Earth was thriving and with the planet now trusting the Kanamits, a volunteer exchange program was established. People were now being transported to the Kanamit home world. Soon thereafter, the scientist who decoded the title of the Kanamit book, “To Serve Man,” discovered that it was actually filled with recipes on how to serve humans as meals. As her colleague friend boarded the next flight to the alien planet, she urged him not to get on the spaceship and shouted, “To Serve Man – it's a cookbook!” But it was too late; the Kanamit closed the hatch and he was on his way to another world.

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