Leo Auffmann is a builder of machines. In Dandelion Wine, the town knows him as such. A young boy suggests that maybe he should build a Happiness Machine. Leo, walking away, says, "Maybe I will..." And build it, he does. Leo goes to his garage waiting for something to just jump out and tell him where to start. Starting with orange paint, he works continually for ten nights and days, exhausting himself, and neglecting his family. And then, he presented to his family, The Happiness Machine. Here you can see Paris! The Pyramids! Go to Rome! Sights, sounds, smells... How about dancing? It has that too! Is this Happiness?
Leo Auffmann was searching for the perfect happiness. He wanted to harness what makes a person content. Can it be put in a machine? In a jar to keep forever? Or is there more to happiness than that? Leo finds out that perhaps his true happiness is there, sitting in the front window, over in the kitchen...
What is it that makes you happy? Do you blame others or circumstances for your lack of happiness? Or do you embrace the things that you have and let them make you happy? Leo was so busy looking for that escape, he forgot to look for what was right in front of him all along. I'm glad to say that he found it at last. But many people forget to be happy. The Happiness Machine is a good reminder to slow down for just a moment and relish in the Happiness that is there, if you just look.
And don't forget to check out the audio at twilightzoneradio.com! They really aren't paying me to promote it. That's just how I heard these stories first. It's been really gratifying to find that the original print stories are the same as the radio stories I heard as a kid. Fantastic radio drama.