Transcript for Episode 15: An Incomplete Tour of New England Spite Homes

COLD OPEN

Female Interview 1

I never liked sleeping by myself when I was a kid, I always insisted of like, staying with my brother or my mom. And my brother hates sleeping with me because he told me I kick too much. And like I take up the whole bed? And like, every time, I swear, in the kitchen? At night time, every time like the waters running? And like someone was washing dishes?

[Charlie on the MTA begins]

And then I used to tell everyone like I think this house is like something wrong with it. And everyone thought I was so crazy and they like, “no, you’re just, you’re imagining it,” because I used to like watching scary movies at night time. But I swear the house was haunted. And nobody’s lived there since us. So.

CHUCK OCTAGONJeff Van Dreason
Nobody’s lived there since?

Female Interview 1
Nope.

Chuck Octagon
Did you ever see a ghost?

Female Interview 1
Umm. No. But I always heard stuff, so I was like, umm. That’s not normal.

Chuck Octagon
What’s making that noise.

Female Interview 1
Yeah. Exactly.

 

PREVIOUSLY IN GREATER BOSTON

Lydia Anderson

Previously…in Greater Boston.

OLIVER WEST — Mike Linden
Now, Mr. Stamatis. You will be my spy. Your first assignment will bring you back to Wonderland. A woman there interests me.

ISABELLE POWELL — Jessica Washington
I knew you’d oppose. I came here today as a courtesy. I’m running against you for Mayor of Red Line!

CHUCK OCTAGON — Jeff Van Dreason
Where is the Mayor of the Red Line?

CHARLOTTE LINZER-COOLIDGE — SUMMER UNSINN
I’m sorry I have a city to run.

GEMMA LINZER-COOLIDGE Lydia Anderson
Who’s city?

TITLE SEQUENCE

Multiple Voices

Red Line
Arlington
Cambridge
I’m from Dorchester.
Jamaica Plain
Revere
Uhh…I’ve lived in Leominster my whole life.
Hanson
Wellesley
(hate that town)
Lowell
Lexington
Red Line
Worcester
Uhh…I’m from Somerville
Peabody
Tewksbury
Hyde Park
Roslindale
Andover
Dorchester
Newton
Framingham
Medford, Massachusetts
This Is
Lowell
Fenway Park
Red Line!
This Is
Revere
Methuen
This Is
This Is
This Is
Greater Boston

 

EPISODE CONTENTS

Alexander Danner
This week in Greater Boston, Episode 15, An Incomplete Tour of New England Spite Homes

[CHARLIE fades out]

[WONDERLAND ROCK fades in]

 

One – One – One – WONDERLAND

[Explosion]

VOICE OF WONDERLAND — Mike Linden
There’s only one — one — oneONE — WONDERLAND!

Wonderland is back and better than ever, with rides and attractions that will push your nerves right out of your body.

[Explosion!]

That’s right, we have the Cyclone, the Water-Wedgie, the Insurance Policy, Vertigo, Frenzy and TOPAZ!

[Crazy automation / rides / hurling sound / screams, “hi, there!”].

But now, Wonderland packs even more wonder into your land.

We’ve got robots —

(Robot noises, BOOMING VOICE)

ROBOTS!

Our very own Wonderbot parade twice daily at noon and midnight. Grab a milkshake and burger from our incredible waiter-bot service at our 50’s retro diner WonderMeat, where every waiter and waitress doubles as your own private jukebox.

[Electro-jukebox music]

Oh, you want more wonder? Of course you do.

We’ve got cheese!

(BOOMING VOICE)

CHEESE!

Watch fresh bars of cheese, naturally processed from cattle to robotic hands to your hungry mouths in our new Wonderbar Cheese Factory.

[Cow, robot sounds]

Still dying for more? We’ve got tragic history.

(BOOMING VOICE)

TRAGIC HISTORY!

Have you ever wondered what it was like to live through the San Francisco fire?

Female Voice
Whaaat?

(Horrible burning and robot screaming noises)

Of course you have. And now you can literally walk through the horrendous inferno at your own pace, risk free. Watch lifelike robot-human substitutes burn alive in a startling recreation based on the original Wonderland display — but updated with 100% more lifelike flames.

(Intense burning noise).

And 100% more robots!

(BOOMING VOICE, robot noises)

ROBOTS!

You may have been to Wonderland, but you’ve never seen it like this. Remember, there’s only one — one  — ONE — WONDERLAND!

[Explosion]

(Speed read)

Wonderland stop on the Blue Line, Cloud City entertainment is not responsible for any first, second, third or fourth degree burns).

 

The Best Fake San Francisco Fire in Massachusetts

[skipping drum track].

Narrator — Alexander Danner
As she sat down to talk with her lawyer, Emily Bespin calculated her financial losses. She’d prepared the perfect cost/­benefit analysis before her and Ethan’s investment, knowing full well they would initially lose money after buying and dramatically revamping Wonderland. The profit margin was projected to increase steadily over time, so long as people came, enjoyed, spread good word-of-mouth. So long as people returned for more.

[Drums stop]

Emily — Emily Bespin
Four million, three hundred thousand six hundred and seventy­-two.

Leonard the Lawyer — Jeff Van Dreason.
Are we talking total losses?

Leon — Braden Lamb
Four million, six hundred thousand seven hundred and ninety-­three, actually.

Emily
I’m going to kill Ethan.

Leonard
DAH DAH DAH DAH  I heard nothing! Homicidal premeditation is a legal grey area, with regards to client/lawyer confidentiality. Come back after, though, and I’ll mount you an A+ defense!

Leon
Once Ethan sensed Emily’s displeasure with their bloating Wonderland budget, he kept some of their financial decisions private. Hence the discrepancy.

[Drumbeat returns]

Narrator
She didn’t know what to say to Ethan anymore. He spent most of his days hustling through Wonderland, endlessly tweaking his faulty robotics program, as if there was some way to make it all work, some code to program a shred of hope out of their financial losses or Wonderland’s horrible reputation.

[Drumbeat cuts]

Emily
I haven’t talked to him in over a week. It was a week ago.

Leonard
Okay, if you’re thinking divorce, that I can help you with. Get you the house, the money, the theme park, the robots, even his diploma if you want it.

[Drums]

Narrator
They’d been eating breakfast in the fake San Francisco apartment they’d been forced to move into after realizing they were too broke to afford their Back Bay condo. They’d literally moved into a burning facsimile of conflagration, a revised attraction from the original Wonderland that Ethan had tirelessly researched and updated to tell the *real* story of the Great San Francisco fire, using pyrotechnics and robotics to allow audiences to witness the disaster at their leisure.

Emily had spun her wedding band around her finger with her thumb, scanning the dated, turn­-of­-the­-century faux-­fixtures and appliances, surrounded by imposing, plastic unlit flames, dully waiting for ignition.

[Drums stop]

Emily
It was an expensive mistake.

[Drums and Broke Yeti noise]

Narrator
Ethan had made the slightest tilt of his head, but his eyes stayed fixed on his Macbook, pecking at the keyboard like a chicken. Emily wished the fire was real in that instant. Real and spreading and scorching every inch of Wonderland until there was nothing left but ashes. She’d turn every attraction on and let it all go, forcing the robots into the coasters, watching everything burn into indistinguishable ruin.

[Audio fade transition]

Emily
I’d turn every attraction on and let it all go, forcing the robots into the coasters, watching everything burn into indistinguishable ruin, the coaster cars crashing to the earth like meteors hurled from vengeful gods hellbent on cursing Wonderland with a plague full of fireballs.

[Music cuts]

Leonard
Okay, now arson defense is a whole other thing. Arson’s hard to prove, but you don’t want to screw around with insurance companies.

[Drums]

Narrator
After their red line wedding, things had gone well. The bill had been simply extraordinary; pages long, an appendix, a glossary, looking more like a Senate Investigation report. Emily considered having it published. She’d bragged about it at lunches for a week in the guise of exasperation. Of course her father had promised to pick up the tab, and he’d dutifully done so, albeit with minor grumbling. A week later, their wedding was paid in full, but her father issued an ultimatum: no more financial support would be forthcoming. Emily and Ethan were on their own.

[Drums cut]

Emily
But I told him, I’m too old for this “grow up and get a job” talk, Dad.

Narrator
Her father persisted.

Leon
It wasn’t that Emily’s father didn’t want to support her anymore. It was that he couldn’t. The wedding had drained most of his resources.

Narrator
And that was that.

Leonard
So, I should probably mention — I don’t work pro­-bono.

[Drumbeat picks -up and then shifts suddenly]

Narrator
Emily was unconcerned. She had a dozen interviews lined ­up and Ethan had a lucrative offer from Vecna that he was bound to accept. Until, suddenly, he wasn’t bound to anything save his own impulses. The idea of working at Vecna filled him with terrifying boredom, the prospect of designing machines that swept carpets or provided life support in hospitals. Where was the pizzaz? He was confident that with Emily’s business background and his gift with robotics, they could take the bones of Wonderland and fill it with profit­-lining splendor.

She’d graduated from the business school top of her class. She was trained to recognize a bad deal, an arrangement fraught with danger and financial instability, an investment sinkhole. Yet she’d gone along with Ethan because—

Because why? Why had she done it?

[Drums stop]

[Broke yeti picks up slowly]

Emily
I mean, people came at first. They were curious. I know how to build some buzz. But then the robots started breaking. During the middle of the parades their feet would freeze and they would stand there ominously, as if primed to attack. The audiences held their breath, expecting something remarkable.

[Robot marching sound]

And they waited and waited and waited until they realized that nothing was coming, just empty robot stares, a broken bot parade. Then they started throwing food, booing. Impulsive, disgusting simpletons. When some of the robots were nailed with hot sausages and fried sugar cakes, they snapped back to life — briefly — but then crashed into each other, rerouting and marching with precision to the point where it looked like they were…inflicting…well, it looked like they were fighting. And they kept colliding until they… accidentally tore off their synthetic skins.

[Flesh-tearing sounds and ticking drum track]

Leonard
Are you here for a class-­action lawsuit defense? It’s fine if you are, but there’s no money in it, so be prepared for a hefty retainer.

[Drums, marching, broke yeti]

Narrator
Word-­of-­mouth turned noxious and the reviews were worse. The only thing close to a bright spot was the Globe admitting Wonderland had “The Best Fake San Francisco Fire in all of Massachusetts.”

Emily implored Ethan to give up before it was too late but he wouldn’t listen to her.

Emily
He questioned my loyalty. He accused me of not believing in his dream!

Narrator
She’d raise complaints and he would zone into his work, sometimes offering inefficient rebuttals.

Emily (mocking Ethan)
How was I supposed to know the android muscle­matrix would wear down so quickly? How was I supposed to know the pneumatic­core would degrade so easily? How was I supposed to know people would find burning, synthetic robot ­flesh so creepy? How was I supposed to know people didn’t find the art of cheese processing as enthralling as I do?

Narrator
He was stubborn to the point of fanaticism

[Music cuts off]

Emily
Sometimes I pinch his skin in the middle of the night. When he’s sleeping. Just…just to see…

Leon
Just to see if there’s more to his love of robots than his unhealthy admiration.

Leonard
Are uhh…we back around to divorce? Because I’m getting a real divorcy vibe here.

[Music picks up, drums, broke yeti. Drums repeatedly skip, stop and start, as if broken].

Narrator
So she decided to beg her father for a loan, beg for help selling Wonderland. It would be embarrassing and humiliating —

Leon
And futile —

Narrator
— but what else could she do? Her father lived in Belmont. She opened Uber on her phone, but the surge pricing made her want to vomit. She’d have to take the T, blue line to the green line to the red line to the — heavens help her, the bus.

She hadn’t been on the trains since her wedding and when she boarded the Red Line she was annoyed with how clean and orderly it all seemed, how people were now using it for purposes other than transit. That had been her idea. Who did these people think they were?

[Music cuts]

Emily
And then I saw myself. With Ethan.

[Music]

Narrator
Another facsimile.

[Cuts]

Emily
Smiling so clearly I thought I was seeing my reflection at first.

[Music]

Narrator
…in a Red Line window, darkened by the underground.

[Cuts]

Emily
But — but no, the angle was all wrong.

[Music]

Narrator
And she certainly wasn’t smiling—it—

[Cuts]

Emily
It … it was an…advertisement.

Narrator
An advertisement for Red Line weddings. Featuring her and Ethan. Emily’s fist curled into the vinyl handrail.

[Music, filtered, begins again]

Emily
How dare they? How dare they use my likeness? My face. For this crass, commercial…venture.

[Music cuts]

Leon
But that wasn’t really what made her furious. It was her face. How happy it looked. How full of optimism and confidence.

[Skipping drumbeat]

Narrator
She wanted to spit into it, reach through it, reach through time and — and —

Emily
It was an expensive mistake. Using our likeness like that. That’s when I decided to come and pay you a call. I never gave those mole­rats permission to use my likeness, my photographs, my wedding to sell more of the same on Red Line! So it’s time for a lawsuit.

[Music cuts]

Leonard
Oh. Well. That’s one direction you could go, I guess.

[Drums and broke yeti pick up and then fade out]

Narrator
Emily Katherine Villmont Bespin would make Red Line rue the day it used her happy, smiling, stupid face to advertise merry matrimony.

 

Interview Montage: “Weird Home?”

Chuck OctagonJeff Van Dreason
What’s the weirdest home or apartment you’ve lived in in the Greater Boston area and what was weird about it?

Male Interview 1
I mean, uhh, I live in Dorchester. I guess it wasn’t weird but it was kinda like. I was kinda like, scared? ‘Cause I got robbed? So that was like, kinda like, scary. And I came home from school and then like, the apartment was like a mess, basically.

Female Interview 2
Well, the one, yeah, there was one we lived in in Jamaica Plain. And our landlord was this old, old Greek guy. And he used to live there himself, it was the three-family house. So years before we lived there, he used to live there and apparently there was all these Greeks that lived in a couple of the houses around him and his house and they used to play cards. They’d have big card games there.

Female Interview 3
It was in Quincy. I lived with my father at the time and umm, he had a apartment, but it was like for one person? But I was little so I slept in the big bed. And he used to play Scream and Chucky and all that when I was like four years old.

Female Interview 4
It has a lot of empty spaces. You hear noises ‘cause it’s kinda like those ancient…well, not ancient but I consider it’s ancient, but like kinda really old. It echoes. And they have the weird, random doors that leads to nowhere.

Female Interview 2
So anyway, he moved out to the suburbs, kept the house and we rented an apartment from him in that. And he just treated like was, like it was his own house. So he would still just show up whenever. You’d come home and he’d be in there like fiddling with the sink, or doing something in the yard, or doing some landscaping or just literally in your apartment when you’d get there.

Female Interview 3
So, when he would be playing the TV, I’d be in the room and the shadow from the TV would be showing on the wall. And I’d freak out. As a four year old because I’m like, ‘someone’s gonna come kill me. That’s it.’ Like. So I would hide under the table and fall asleep there at night.

Male Interview 1
Yeah, they took, uhh, it was like, during almost Christmas time? So they took uhh, most of the presents.

Chuck Octagon
Ohhh.

Male Interview 1
They unwrapped it and everything.  

Chuck Octagon
That’s horrible.

Male Interview 1
Yeah.

Like you have a closet within a closet, that makes no sense. But, it’s kinda —

Chuck Octagon
Yeah, that’s very Boston. A closet within a closet.

Female Interview 4
But it’s kinda creepy at night because so — so one time, I’m like digging in my room. And then there’s, I didn’t even know there’s a door there, and I open it, it’s like another closet, I’m like, “wow.”

[Crowd noise picks up underneath]

Male Interview 2
I’ve only lived in two apartments in Boston? And, nothing was weird about either of them. Umm. One thing I don’t like now is how all these new apartments are rising up and they’re …the rent is something that middle class people in Boston cannot afford for no reason whatsoever. And they know exactly what they’re doing by putting up these apartments that nobody can afford.

 

I.P. Address

[Isabelle clears her throat].

Isabelle–Jessica Washington
Good morning Red Line citizens. Thank you for hearing me out today. Now I imagine you may be looking at me, asking yourself some questions.

“Who is this woman? Why’d she pick Shawmut Station, our new prison, the location to make her big announcement? Why’s she inside some kinda wooden box,

[knocks on the box]

looks like an upright coffin? I mean, my goodness, is this woman a vampire? Does a vampire want to be our mayor?

[Crowd murmurs, laughs].  Red Line is mostly underground. Maybe this woman being a vampire makes a little bit of sense!”

[Crowd responds, laughter].

Let me start with this box. You all heard of Henry “Box” Brown? His first home was slavery. He was born a slave in the state of Virginia, 1816.

[Crowd responds in agreement].

But his most famous home was a box, no bigger than the one I’m standing in. See, Henry “Box” Brown got his nickname for shipping himself to freedom courtesy of the Adams Express Company. Took 27 hours from Richmond to Philadelphia, by wagon, rail, and steamship. After released, Brown sang a bible psalm, serenading his new home: freedom.

[Crowd responds affirmatively]

Now, that’s a nice story. But while Henry Brown stopped being a slave, he struggled to find real freedom here. The evil of slavery in this country extends beyond geography. The underground railroad ran right up to Canada. Slavery in the United States? It’s it’s well, it’s a disease, a gruesome disease our nation contracted at birth. Oh, we’ve given it a few strong shots in the arm, some damn strong powerful vaccines. But this disease keeps right on mutating, coming on back in all sorts of odious ways, stubborn as a mean old goat.

[Crowd responds]

When my family moved from Georgia to Boston in 1968, I was barely alive, hair older than an infant. My folks sold most of our things and crammed what was left into our car. Made it fifteen miles before it broke down, [laughs] busted suspension from all the added weight. We became a family of boxcar bandits for a while. Guess you could say that was the first time I lived on a train. My mother made it real homey too, cradled me in a dresser drawer stuffed with blankets along the inside.

We opened our doors to all sorts of strangers, too. Eh, suppose it isn’t right to say we opened our doors, weren’t our doors to begin with, belonged to the locomotive company. But imagine some train hoppin’ old coot jumping smack dab into this cute little slice of domestic southern hospitality. Poor sons­of­guns had cups of iced tea in their hands before they could ask what the hell was going on.

[Laughter, response from the crowd]

My folks loved strangers, loved talking to people, helping them out. And when I bought my rail home on Red Line, I was proud to keep that tradition alive.

We eventually settled with my uncle in Roxbury. My father drove a bus for the MBTA, used to run the 43, took him through all of Boston. He memorized every nook and cranny driving that route. And that’s when he noticed the house he’d been saving to buy his whole life, tucked into a cute little corner of where Back Bay meets the South End. Small but real homey and affordable.

When my father went to apply for a loan, he was denied. Oh, he had the down payment, all the qualifications, good credit. Filled out the forms, paid a lawyer to look ‘em over.

[Crowd responds]

Those loan officers laughed in his face. “Why don’t you try a nice little place in Dorchester,” they told him. “Lots of your folk are settling down in Mattapan.” Tried selling him homes in those areas with interest rates so high, high enough you could fall off them, break your neck.

[Crowd responds]

But my father refused to be intimidated. Rather than real estate, he looked for land. Not much of it available, even back then Boston was beyond developed. And not much land anyone was willing to sell to my father. But he found a small spot in Southie, snatched it up, set out to build our home with his own two hands.

That’s the home I grew up in. That’s the home I recently sold. I’m in the real estate business, by the way. I know that business better than anyone. That home I grew up in is four hundred square feet. Ten feet long and just over 40 feet wide. Barely any bigger than Henry Brown’s box.

They call it a…a spite house. Can you believe that? Wasn’t a scrap of spite in our home. Only spite came from the neighbors who didn’t want us there, or the people who refused my father the property he had every right to buy.

[Crowd responds]

When my mother cooked we all sweated like hogs. When my father snored we could barely sleep. And stories about the bathroom are just left unsaid.

[Laughter]

Let me tell you about when I had my first sleepover. Me and my best friend Vivian, we were about seven years old. It gets late, we were settling down in her room, size of my entire house. Young girls that we were, we gab through the night until we’re good and winded, you know. Time goes by, she falls asleep I’m tossing and turning and rolling all over.

Know what it was, keeping me up? I didn’t have any feet in my face. (Laughs)

[Laughter]

I know how that sounds, but think about how you all sleep. We all got our particular ways of putting ourselves down, whether it be on your side, back, extra pillows, blankets, no blankets. And my particular style of sleeping was to have feet in my face. My brother’s feet in particular. We shared a tight corner of our home and as you can imagine, wasn’t space enough to stretch out all comfy like, so when I fell asleep more often than not, I had his toes under my nose. So there’s my friend Vivian laying there. I curl up nice and tight with those tootsies of hers and slept the sleep of the just. Had to explain myself the next morning, but thankfully Vivian was a understanding friend.

Despite the red-lining we faced, our home brought us closer together. Eh… literally, of course, but I mean beyond that. Just like you all. They pushed you into those neighborhoods expecting to ruin you and instead you’ve grown stronger and closer together. Now we can decide to have Red Line live up to its name or we can decide to have Red Line live up to what it is—an underground railroad, one that’ll finally cure us of this damned, dreaded disease.

[Crowd responds]

Mayor Linzer­Coolidge doesn’t agree. No, when I told her my ideas, she called me impractical. Meanwhile, Red Line stations north of JFK have private schools and public parks while here in Shawmut? We got a jail.

Henry “Box” Brown first got his nickname in Boston from no other than Frederick Douglas. It was at an abolitionist convention in 1849. In 1850, the fugitive slave law passed. That meant anyone once enslaved were now fugitives and should legally be sent back to their so called property owners.

Henry “Box” Brown moved to England. To Henry, our little American experiment was impractical. Laws change. Boxes used for emancipation can just as easily mutate into Shawmut prison cells.

Our city offers hope of a kind we haven’t seen in decades, but you need the right leader to bring its full potential to absolute fruition. Who better than a woman who lived on a train since she was in diapers, who’s comfortable living in tight, confined spaces, who sees this dreaded disease for what it is?

[Crowd responds throughout remainder of the speech, getting worked up]

Now I’m gonna be real with you, this is gonna be a fight. You know that damn disease has infected people so badly they don’t even know they got it.

But if you follow me, I will fight that fight until my last breath leaves my lungs. Follow me and we will make Red Line fair, we will make Red Line thrive, we will make Red Line a good home for everyone. My name is Isabelle Powell and I want to be your Mayor of Red Line.

[Crowd erupts with applause and whistles]



The Lottery

[Knocking on Red Line door]

RUSTY THE MBTA DRIVER (through door) — Jim Johanson
Coming!

(Red line doors open, Monty coos, jazz music plays).

Rusty
You’re wearin’ a baby.

GEMMA — Lydia Anderson
Yes, this is Monty. Is your name…Rusty?

Rusty
What kinda name is Monty?

Gemma
It’s short for Montgomery. What kinda name is Rusty?

Rusty
Names Russell but I hate it. Nickname’s been Rusty since high school. People tell me they think it fits my general disposition.

Gemma
Can’t imagine why. Can I ask you a couple of questions?

Rusty
Don’t like solicitors. I don’t want my name on any lists.

Gemma
It’s not like that. I work with the RLPD, overseeing some specific cases. I’ve talked to a few people and I heard you may have seen someone who’s gone missing. Here’s his picture. Any information you have would be greatly appreciated.

Rusty
Looking for this fella?

[Monty coos]

Gemma
Yeah. [Pause] Could I come in for a sec? I need to give this bundle his bottle.

Rusty
Yeah, okay. C’mon in.

[Red Line doors close, train pulls away.]

Gemma
This…this is all yours?

Rusty
Pretty sweet digs, huh? Wasn’t sure what to think of the referendum, to be honest with you. But I ended up voting yes. Can’t say I regret it. The Mayor of the Red Line certainly takes care of us.

Gemma
Are you flipping’ serious? He abandoned you.

Rusty
Huh? No. I mean the lady mayor. She makes a helluva lotta sense. Pretty demanding. This place ticks like a clock, but she also butters the bread, know what I mean? Got ol’ Big Red here all to myself. At night we park it over the Charles. View is amazing. [Pause]. Who says flippin’?

Gemma
What?

Rusty
You asked if I was flippin’ serious. Who says that?

Gemma
I’m trying not to swear for obvious reasons.

Rusty
So why not just skip the word and ask, “Are you serious?”

Gemma
I don’t know, there’s…there’s a part of me that insists I do things a certain way and speak with a certain number of gosh darn syllables in the most profane way possible and when I don’t say them I don’t feel like my flippin’ self, so I make up these nancy-garbage filler words to compensate but I can’t f’n stand it because I sound like a frigging fifth grader testing my mom’s patience during Sunday mass.  

Rusty
Why not just swear?

Gemma
Duh. Hello? Baby.

Rusty
You don’t want the baby to swear. But you swear.

Gemma
When he’s not around.

Rusty
And it’s just a part of who you are. Don’t you think he’s gonna swear too?

Gemma
Maybe one day but really —

Rusty
If he doesn’t, is he gonna walk around sayin’ flippin’ and gosh darn all the time?

Gemma
I certainly hope not.

Rusty
So why not cut to the chase?

Gemma
Look Dr. Spock, I really don’t need your parenting advice at the moment, okay?

Rusty
What’s Star Trek got to do with it?

Gemma
Are you capable of speaking without asking a question?

Rusty
Huh?

Gemma
Guess that’s a no. I appreciate that you’re urging me to raise a foul mouthed Baby Huey and all, but this decision isn’t mine alone. If he was just my kid? I’d be teaching him how to flip people off before how to suck his thumb. But my wife is part of this too and I have to consider what  …well, what she wants…and…she certainly doesn’t want him to say go fuck yourself with every single goo goo gah gah — SHIT!

Rusty (laughs)

Gemma
God damn it, and now that the dam’s broken there’s no way to stop the fucking flood.

[Monty cooing]

Rusty
Feels good though, don’t it?

Gemma (sighing)
Yeah.

Rusty
Like the smell of cigarettes long after you quit. You never really quit, you know. Gave up smoking in my twenties. Every once in a while I still go out and sneak a pack, smoke them off nice and slow. Know the part I like best? When it’s late in bed and I’m falling asleep and I realize I got that nicotine smell on my fingers. There’s just something about it. Might be repulsive to some, but it brings me back to who I was when I was younger. Reminds me who I really am, where I came from. Brings me home.

Gemma
You’re an extremely open and philosophical MBTA operator, has anyone ever told you that?

Rusty
Gotta lotta time to think, driving these trains. Could do it in my sleep. Not that I’d try. Don’t be telling your wife on me, now.

Gemma
You —?

Rusty
Yeah. Knew the whole time. Is that why you’re looking for who you’re looking for?

Gemma
Heard you spotted him downtown the day of the referendum.

Rusty
Yep. Near Government Center. He was walking towards the waterfront if that helps you.

[Jazz music fades out, train picks up again]

Gemma
I thought if I found him I could — I could get him to come back. Thought it might make things better, but it won’t. I keep thinking about when Charlotte and I met. We used to go out drinking with friends and then play drunk whiffle-ball at two in the morning. Sleep on the outfield. We were just so young and stupid and happy and even though I hated my job — [pause]. It’s never going to be like that again, is it? No matter what, those days are over.

Rusty
Every day you change it’s like you die a little bit. And you mourn that person you were, mourn the you who’s gone. But you don’t die. You move on, move into someone new, keeping parts of who you were. You still smoke, you still swear, but you try not to. And you keep trying ‘till you become someone different. And you’ll be mourning that person one day soon too. So make the flippin’ most of it.  

Gemma
Thanks. I realize I’ve been a tremendous ass—butthole.

Rusty
You already said ass, why go and —

[MBTA Callsign]

VOICE OF THE LOTTERY [Over Intercom] — ???
Attention citizens of Red Line. Congratulations. You’ve all just won the lottery.

Gemma
What the hell is that?

Voice of the Lottery [Over Intercom]
Remember in these trying times, it’s really important to stick together as a community.  

[Voice hangs up intercom. Loud, metallic noises build].

Rusty
Look. Outside, down the tracks.

Gemma
What is that?

Rusty [Rushing away]
I gotta radio ChiChi and warn her, she’s driving today.

[Large collision noise]

Gemma
Goddamn Hang on, Monty!

[Thick flooding noises, screeching T noises, mechanical grinding, Monty cries, Gemma eventually calms him down. Sparking noise]

Rusty [rushing back in]
You two okay?

Gemma
What the hell was it? And what’s with that smell?

Rusty
Huge container of molasses. Didn’t have time to stop before collision. Whole trains stuck like a pogo stick in quicksand.

Gemma
We need to get to Charlotte. We need to go home!

Rusty
Ain’t going nowhere for quite some time. They’ll send a rescue car but from what I’m hearing, this is gonna back up service something fierce.

Gemma
We’ve got to get people out of here. There could be something else coming. I don’t like the idea of sticking around. Can I make an announcement?

Rusty
Be my guest.

[MBTA callsign]

Gemma (over intercom)
Attention Red Line residents and commuters. This is Gemma Linzer-Coolidge. I can’t tell you exactly what happened but whatever it is, I’m not going to stand for it. If you want off this train, if you want to get to the surface as soon as possible, meet me in the head car. We’ll traverse the terrain together and I’ll lead you to the next stop on foot. If you’d rather stay here, well, I think you’re nuts but suit yourself.

[Drive the Cold Away begins to play]

Coming?

Rusty
Someone’s gotta meet the rescue car.

Gemma
Thanks.

Rusty
Good luck out there.

(Transition, sound of mucky shoes walking in unison)

Gemma
This seemed like a much better idea before my toes were stuck together, Monty.

[Monty coos]

 

CREDITS

Alexander Danner
Greater Boston is written and produced by Alexander Danner and Jeff Van Dreason with recording and technical assistance from Marc Harmon.

You can help new listeners discover Greater Boston by rating us and reviewing us on iTunes.

In order of appearance, this episode featured:

Alexander Danner as the narrator

Sam Musher as Emily Bespin
Braden Lamb as Leon Stamatis
Jessica Washington as Isabelle Powell
Lydia Anderson as Gemma Linzer-Coolidge
And Jim Johanson as Rusty the MBTA Driver.

Also featuring:

Mike Linden as the Wonderland Ad
Jeff Van Dreason as Lenny the Lawyer
And…Someone as The Voice of the Lottery

Interviews recorded with Greater Boston residents.

Charlie on the MTA is performed by Emily Peterson and Dirk Tiede.

Wonderland Rocks by Dave Fernandez

Drums  by Jim Johanson.

Robot Beat by Broke Yeti.

Drive the Cold Away performed by Adrienne Howard, Emily Peterson and Dirk Tiede.

Some sound effects and music used from public domain and creative commons sources.

Episode transcripts will be posted online at GreaterBostonShow.com.

 

COOKIE

Jim Johanson
Hrrrm. Uhh.

Lydia Anderson
Ahh!

Lydia
Owe!

Jim
Ohhgu ow!

Lydia
Ow!

Jim
Buh-huhh hah!

Lydia
Damn! Fuck! What?

Jim
Wurrrrh!

Lydia
Gah!

Jim
WURRRH!

[All Laughter]

Jeff Van Dreason

The most orchestrated earthquake ever.

[All Laughter]

Jeff Van Dreason
It’s affecting both of you in turn.

[Laughter]

One more time?

Lydia
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Jim
Sure.

Transcript for Episode 14: The Watcher Over ThirdSight

COLD OPEN

CHUCK OCTAGON – Jeff Van Dreason
What’s the best thing about Boston?

INTERVIEW 1
The diversity.

INTERVIEW 2
Yeah.

INTERVIEW 3
The education.

MULTIPLE
Yeah.

INTERVIEW 1
Yes, the education.

INTERVIEW 4
I’m trying to think of something.

INTERVIEW 5
I guess the city life.

INTERVIEW X
Housing.

INTERVIEW X
I would say the food.

INTERVIEW X
Housing.

CHUCK
Food’s not a bad answer.

[Laughter]

CHUCK
Nothing else?

INTERVIEW X
Education.

CHUCK
Education?

[Charlie on the MTA begins.]

INTERVIEW X
I feel like…

INTERVIEW X
We got mad Dunkin’ Donuts!

Continue reading “Transcript for Episode 14: The Watcher Over ThirdSight”

Transcript for Episode 13: Mayor Linzer-Coolidge and the Lottery

COLD OPEN

Interviewer — Jeff Van Dreason
Is Boston a racist city?

Several Interview Voices
Yes.

Female Interview 1
Depends.

Other Interview Voices (background)
Yes. / Yeah.

Interviewer
Depends on what?

Female Interview 1
Like…it depends on. Like…basically who…who are your neighbors?

Female Interview 2
I say some areas. Because like, if you’re like. See I’m in South Boston. There’s a lot of like white Irish people. And I’d say from the Irish people I know? They’re racist.

Female Interview 3
If you’re white you know you’re kinda, born into being privileged. And when you’re privileged, that comes with more money. And it’s vice…it’s the opposite for black people.

[Charlie on the MTA begins]

Female Interview 4
Because umm, when you’re born into some type of privilege you tend to think that you’re superior to people who are not. So I don’t …I think Boston is racist, but they were born into that, like, method of superiority and all that stuff.

Continue reading “Transcript for Episode 13: Mayor Linzer-Coolidge and the Lottery”