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Mr. Bevis

The opening narration to this episode is as follows:

In the parlance of the twentieth century, this is an oddball. His name is James B. W. Bevis, and his tastes lean toward stuffed animals, zither music, professional football, Charles Dickens, moose heads, carnivals, dogs, children, and young ladies. Mr. Bevis is accident prone, a little vague, a little discombuberated, with a life that possesses all the security of a floating crap game. But this can be said of our Mr. Bevis: without him, without his warmth, without his kindness, the world would be a considerably poorer place, albeit perhaps a little saner...Should it not be obvious by now, James B. W. Bevis is a fixture in his own private, optimistic, hopeful little world, a world which has long ceased being surprised by him. James B. W. Bevis, on whom Dame Fortune will shortly turn her back, but not before she gives him a paste in the mouth. Mr. James B. W. Bevis, just one block away from The Twilight Zone.

On a rather normal day for Mr. Bevis, which includes losing his job, getting parking tickets, hooking bumpers with another car before it flips over, and being evicted from his apartment, he is granted the opportunity to live the day all over again. In meeting his guardian angel, J. Hardy Hempstead, he gives Mr. Bevis everything a man could want; a successful job, rent paid in full, and a fancy sports car. After living his day over completely different than the first time around, Mr. Bevis and his guardian angel have a conversation. Mr. Bevis can continue to live this wonderful and “successful” life from this point forward with only one catch (there is always a catch), he must give up everything that made him him; the stuffed animals, the zither music, moose heads, making children laugh, etc. Without much thought, Mr. Bevis turns down the offer from his guardian angel and goes back to the life he once lived.

This episode is not a fan favorite but I love it. Mr. Bevis lived life by his own rules. He defined success on his own terms. Though seen by some as an accident prone, lost, and hapless man, he was a man of courage, confidence, and wonder. It takes courage to live life on your terms. It takes guts to set your path and walk it day in and day out with your held head high enduring failures, missteps, and ridicule. To some, Mr. Bevis may seem like a lost soul, to me, Mr. Bevis knows who is and loves every particle of his being. We all could learn a thing or two from Mr. Bevis; stop looking outside of validation, stop measuring ourselves to others and their definition of success, love who we are, see the wonder in the world around us, connect with people, and enjoy the ride of life. May you have enough courage to own the life you live and enjoy every minute of it.

Rod Sterling said it best:

Mr. James B.W. Bevis, who believed in magic all his own. The magic of a child’s smile, the magic of liking and being liked, the strange and wondrous mysticism that is the simple act of living. Mr. James B.W. Bevis, species of twentieth century male, who has his own private and special Twilight Zone.

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