All Andrew wants to do is sit, smoke his pipe, and read poetry. His wife, Lila, wants a more exciting life, though, and she conspires with big, handsome Howie to murder Andrew, casting it as a suicide. After the deed is done, Howie and Lila are walking through town and Lila spies a monkey in a pet store. On a lark, they buy it and bring it home. As time wears on, Howie starts discovering proof that Lila is cheating on him. It all comes to a head when an enraged Howie murders Lila and is carted off to jail. The story ends with the monkey sitting in a chair, smoking a pipe, and reading poetry.
Milton only married Lorna so he could weasel his way into her father's company and take it over, all so he could be a "big man". Then, he abuses Lorna and blackmails her father, demanding control of the company. The father acquiesces, then commits suicide. Later, after a taking a nap, Milton awakes to see Lorna standing over him. He's tied to the four bedposts, and a vengeful Lorna says she's going to help make him a "big man". How? She's turned the bed into a stretch rack. So, Milton ends up a very big man. But, he's not really enjoying it.
Rich, spoiled Amboy loves to drive his carriage at high speeds through the local village. He doesn't even mind when he runs someone over. But, his father has had enough, and he tells Amboy he'll have to take care of himself from now on. All he'll get is his own castle and his weight in gold for an allowance (poor guy, roughing it like that). To increase his allowance, Amboy starts swallowing balls of lead shot. But, while driving his carriage on another high-speed jaunt, he has to stop short. Well, Amboy stops short; the balls of lead in his stomach keep going. Ker-splat!
Ray Bradbury (original story); Al Feldstein (adaptation)
Al Feldstein (original editor)
Two boys discover that the new kid at the orphanage is actually an adult man who is able to de-age himself by riding the Ferris wheel at a mysterious carnival near town. He's planning to rob the kindly old woman who runs the orphanage but, when the boys try to warn her, she doesn't believe any of it. One night, the boys spot the crook (as a boy) making his way from the orphanage, clutching a bagful of money. He jumps on the Ferris wheel to return to his correct age so he can make his getaway, but the boys force him to remain on the wheel too long. He ends up as a dessicated old skeleton.
The planet's top scientist has put forth a compelling argument that criminal behavior is inherited. To remove this blight from the empire, they resolve to banish all criminals to a remote planet rather than simply imprison them. Their memories will be wiped, and the empire will ensure that the criminals' descendants never manage to master atomic power or space travel. Other than that, the exiles will be free to build their own culture. Eventually, they will even give their planet its own name: Earth.
Bill Gaines and Al Feldstein make up a humorous ad when one of their advertisers cancels on them. It's about a Martian vacation resort, round trip for $200. Later on, a happy reader drops in to thank them for helping him meet his new wife. She's a Martian! Aaaaahhhhh!!!
Annette is thoroughly career-driven. She shuns men's attentions and buries herself in her work at an atomic testing lab. While Annette is cataloging supplies inside a bomb shelter, an experimental bomb explodes, seemingly killing everybody else on the planet. When Annette emerges from the shelter, she realizes how lonely her life will be without anybody else. Then, a phone rings. She frantically answers it, relieved that's she's not alone. The caller asks what her name is. When she tells him, he apologizes for dialing the wrong number and hangs up.
Three scientists have developed a rocket fuel that will enable space travel and, when mysterious signals are received from Venus, they decide that will be their destination. But, the voyage ends with a crash-landing and two of the scientists are killed. The remaining one is found by human-like Venusians and he tries to explain where he came from. They seem to understand, but they end up locking him up in a room with several Venusians. After learning their language, the scientist understands the problem. The cell is an insane asylum, and all the other inmates claim to be from Earth, too!