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by Bill Tope

One Day, Bob Smith climbed into his television set, just to see how it felt. He didn't take the back cover off and and climb in, bur rather went through the screen and into the TV program that was playing at the time. That show was a rerun of the venerable Gilligan's Island, one of Bob's personal favorites.  Arriving magically in the cove, Bob blinked in surprise: there was no color anywhere on the island, just white and shades of gray. Then he remembered: this must be one of the earlier episodes, which were filmed in black and white.

Bob had always admired the Skipper, felt it quite unfair the way that Gilligan, a simpleton at best, abused their friendship and carried on like a numbskull.  And Bob was going to see that it happened no more.  Smith approached the first of four grass huts. He found the Skipper lounging in the bottom of two hammocks, with his little buddy, Gilligan, occupying the one on top. Bob surveyed the situation critically. Gilligan, he saw, was noshing on a banana and would soon inevitably discard the peel onto the Skipper's face, tormenting him unmercifully. This would, like as not, result in a fit of pique or worse, maybe even a heart attack.  Smith shook his head. Gilligan just didn't look the same in a gray shirt instead of the bright red one he wore in the colored episodes. But Skipper, Bob was pleased to see, really did wear his hat when asleep.

Springing into action, Bob grabbed Gilligan by the collar and yanked him from his hammock, slung him forcefully into the wall.  He weighed no more than a whisper. The entire hut shook.  "Skip-perrr!" shouted Gilligan, terrified.  The Skipper, in response, did a series of double takes and triple takes and clambered out of his swinging bed. "What is it, Little Buddy?" asked the larger man. Gilligan only pointed at Bob. A look of astonishment overtook Skipper's face. "Who are you?" he asked Bob with astonishment.  "This week's guest star?"

"I never saw him before, Skipper," yammered Gilligan.  "He's no guest star. He's a...he's a...producer!" Skipper reacted with horror, scrambled with Gillian from the hut and to presumptive safety.  Bob just stood there, flummoxed.  This wasn't supposed to happen. The Skipper, carrying all that extra weight, was apt to have a stroke and it would be all Bob's fault.  Reluctantly, he climbed back through the television screen and into his living room. 

Bob felt disappointed; his fantasies about his happy island family had always seemed so real to him.  He hadn't even had a chance to make a pass at Ginger.  Alhough, he reflected, he alway was always more attracted to Mary Ann. Reality had failed him.  Who was it said that you can never go home again?  He furrowed his brow; maybe it was Bullwinkle, or some other deep thinker. He shook away the thoughts and, reaching for the remote, put the TV on mute--he never, ever turned it off--and lay back on the sofa and was soon fast asleep.