A man with an annoying wife and son gets a posthumous gift from his nephew which may be able to provide him with the life he really wants.
|The Word Processor of the Gods|
|The Word Processor|
|Season 1, Episode 8|
|Air date||November 25, 1984|
|Written by||Michael McDowell, based on a story by Stephen King|
|Directed by||Michael Gornick|
|Slippage||A Case of the Stubborns|
Richard Hagstrom: Bruce Davison
Lina Hagstrom: Karen Shallo
Seth Robert Hagstrom: Patrick Piccininni
Tom Nordhoff: Bill Cain
Jonathan: Jon Matthews
Belinda: Miranda Beeson
An extremely messy house is show. Dishes and food are all piled up on the counters in a horrendous mess. Lina is sitting at the table in the messy kitchen listening to the radio. She is eating pastries as there is a knock at the door. She ignores it as the knocking starts back up. Richard opens the door on his own, carrying a big box in with him. He is followed by Tom who is helping him carry things. He thanks Tom for his help. Tom tells him there are two small boxes left out there.
Lina remarks that the boxes have junk in them. Richard decides to ask his son Seth to help bring in boxes. When he calls for Seth, Lina tells him to not bother Seth because he is practicing his guitar. Richard goes in Seth's room and asks Seth for help. Seth says "Later" as he keeps playing his guitar. Seth's habits seem similiar to his mother's. They are both overweight and living in filth.
Richard goes back into the kitchen and tells Tom that he will take care of the boxes himself. He offers Tom something to drink. Tom requests a glass of water. Richard gets him the water and then goes to get the other boxes. Lina gives him a very dirty look as he walks out. She then turns to Tom and asks him what is in the boxes. Tom tells her it is a computer, but then corrects himelf. It is a word processor that Jonathan Bazter made. Lina scoffs that the whole Bsxter family died and her family are the only relatives left and did not get one penny in the will. She feels that Richard's brother was a layabout and the only thing she feels is that it was unfair that her family had to borrow money to pay for the triple burial of the Baxters.
Tom is very put off by Lina's comments. She mentons that Richard's brother was a drunk and she is lucky that they do not have any other relatives. Tom is offended and tells her that Jonathan was a good boy. possibly the best boy he ever knew. Lina scoffs again and says it did not do Jonathan any good because his drunken father drove their van off a cliff.
Tom talks about how Jonathan not only built the word processor, but also went way out of his way to make sure that Tom knew about it. Tom thinks it is as if Jonathan knew that something was going to happen to him.
Lina doesn't seem to care about Tom's words. She acts like she is interested in the word processor, but really just mocks Richard's writing. She tells both Tom and Richard, as Richard walks back in the door, that she is the only one who is going to make the family rich because she does something constructive. She plays bingo and wins. She leaves the room.
Tom tells Richard that he really is sorry about the loss because the Baxters were good neighbors. Richard scoffs at the idea of his brother being a good neighbor. Tom clarifies that it was his brother's wife and son that were good neighbors. Richard makes it clear that he knows how his brother was, because he tried all of the terrible things he did out on Richard first. That is, except getting drunk and driving Richard off a cliff.
In the basement, Richard brings Tom a beer. Tom asks Richard if he is an author and Richard does not seem to think so. Even though he has had one book published, it did not sell well and it got bad reviews. He mentions that he did always want a word processor but has always been unable to afford one. Looking at the word processor, Richard is sure it couldn't work but Tom lets him know that Jonathan was an electrical genius. Richard says that he knew as a freshman that Jonathan did win science fairs against seniors. Tom tells Richard about kids who are scientific geniuses as Richard runs his fingers across the big red delete button on the computer.
Tom mentions how Jonathan was a fine boy and Richard smiles, realizing that Tom loved Jonathan a lot. Tom admits this and repeats that he would not be surprised if the word processor works. Richard reaches into the box and picks up a red envelope that reads: Uncle Richard.
ACT II Edit
Richard asks Seth where his mother is, to which Seth yells that she is out playing Bingo.
Richard turns on the word processor. It tells him to put the diskette into the drive and hit execute. Richard does this. A yellow screen reading: Happy birthday, Uncle Richard from Jonathan.
Richard has a memory where Jonathan offers to build Richard a word processor because Richard always wanted one. Richard mentions how a writer can increase his output by 50% with one. As they talk, Richard makes a joke about Jonathan getting busy on his word processor. Jonathan agrees, saying he does not have much time and backs away from Richard. Richard starts to wonder if Jonathan knew he was going to die.
Richard hits the clear button and the birthday wish disappears. Richard then types in:
MY BROTHER WAS A WORTHLESS DRUNK.
Over that, Richard then types: MY BROTHER MARRIED BELINDA, THE WOMAN I LOVED.
Seemingly only typing to test out the word processor, Richard turns and sees a picture of his wife. Richard then types:
MY WIFE'S PICTURE IS ON THE BOOKCASE IN MY STUDY.
Richard then hits delete. The word processor tells him that it is working and then claims that it is done. With a shock, Richard notices the picture has vanished.
Richard then types:
MY WIFE'S PICTURE IS ON THE BOOKCASE WHERE IT WAS BEFORE.
Richard hits execute and the picture returns.
Bewildered by this, Richard types:
MY FLOOR IS BAREEXCEPT FOR 12 SPANISH DOUBLOONS IN A SMALL SACK.
Richard hits execute. The word processor tells him that it is working and when it tells him it is done, Richard looks on the floor and sees nothing. When he turns the other way, however, he sees a small sack on the floor. He reaches for it and falls off his chair.
Richard takes the doubloons upstairs and weighs them at 64 ounces. He then takes out a newspaer to check gold prices. The price of gold is $395. This makes the doubloons worth $25,280.
The phone rings and Richard yells at Seth to answer it. Seth tells him he will get it later. Annoyed, Richard grabs the phone.
Tom is on the phone and he called to ask Richard if the word processor worked. Richard tells Tom that it works in ways that Tom would not believe. Tom assures Richard that he would believe it because Jonathan was a very bright boy. He also tells him that Jonathan was a very loving boy, but that sometimes love can be misdirected. He asks Richard if he knows what he means. Richard asks Tom to come over, but Tom refuses. He feels that whatever Richard knows about the word processor should remain between Richard and Jonathan. He does, however, tell Richard to be careful.
Richard looks at the doubloon as Seth's music begins to play.
ACT III Edit
Richard turns on the word processor and sees the birthday wish again. He tells Jonathan that he should bet his sweet life that it is a good birthday, but instantly regrests his use of words.
Getting back to the main screen, Richard types in:
I HAVE IDEAS FOR 10 BEST-SELLING NOVELS.
After thinking for a moment, Richard changes the 10 to a 20. Before he can execute the order, however, the power shuts out due to seth's guitar playing. Richard, finally getting angry at Seth, yells at his son for his actions.
Richard gets up and throws the circuit breakers and the word processor comes back on and Seth's guitar playing starts back up.
Richard starts to think and hits the clear button. He then types:
MY SON IS SETH ROBERT HAGSTROM.
Slowly, Richard hits the delete button. The word processor tells him it is working and then is done. Immediately, the guitar playing stops and Seth disappears from the family picture.
Richard goes upstairs and notices that Seth is gone and so is all his stuff. He then has a fantasy about Lina coming home and blames him for killing Seth. She then tells him how Richard neverloved her and Seth because he was bitter that he never asked Jonathan's mother out. She blames him for treating Seth like crap because Richard really only loved Jonathan. Richard denies this, telling her that Jonathan was a good boy and Seth was a creep. He yells at her telling her that this is the reason he loved Jonathan. He lets her know he did not murder Seth, she deleted him.
Back in reality, Lina is at the door with a huge turkey that she won at Bingo. Richard asks Lina if she is sorry they never had children. Lina seems shocked at the question and remarks that she wouldn't have anything to do with a rugrat. When she asks Richard if the word processor works, he denies it. When Richard mentions to Lina that he is surprised that the word processor arrived that day because it is his birthday, she tells him to wish for some damn money for his birthday present and walks away.
Richard starts giggling as he realizes that he can change the world and no one will remember but him,
Going back downstairs and downing a beer, Richard sees smoke coming out of the word processor. He types in:
MY WIFE IS ADELINA MABEL WARREN HAGSTROM.
Richard hits delete. The word processor tells him it is working and then is done.
Richard's wife's picture is gone.
More smoke is coming out of the word processor. Richard types:
I AM A MAN WHO LIVES ALONE EXCEPT
The word OVERLOAD starts to repeat on the screen. The word processor is smaking more. Working against time, Richard types:
I AM A MAN WHO LIVES ALONE EXCEPT FOR MY BELOVED WIFE BELINDA AND MY WONDERFUL SON JONATHAN.
Richard hits execute several times as the word processor keeps overloading. Fearing his last wish won't work, Richard types it over and over. Finally the word processor catches on fire.
Jonathan is standing on the stairs hoping his father is okay. He mentions that he is unsure why he used some crummy parts, remarking that he just felt like he had to. After he makes plans as to what to do with the word processor parts, Richard turns around and sees Belinda standing in a white light, holding a cup of coffee.