Transcript for Episode 21: Liars & Legerdemain

COLD OPEN

Female Interview 1

Um, I think opening up, really. Actually it doesn’t matter if it’s like friends, or if it’s, umn you know, boyfriend, girlfriend, whatever. I think opening up is, like, a big risk.

[Charlie on the MTA plays]

And then also…I think sharing my food is one. Because then, if you like it, then that means like next time I have it, you’re going to ask for another piece, and then I have to be like, “no, I don’t want to share with you, because I shared with you once.”

PREVIOUSLY IN

JULIA PROPP

Previously in Greater Boston.

DIPSHIT POLETTI—James Capobianco

Because my employer has sent me to make sure you agree to have it broadcast live from Red Line.

CHUCK OCTAGON—Jeff Van Dreason

Linzer-Coolidge sent you, is that it?

NARRATOR—Alexander Danner

Tyrell would secure those balls if it was the last thing he did.

GEMMA LINZER-COOLIDGE—Lydia Anderson

I said the spray paint wasn’t me, and it wasn’t.

LOUISA ALVAREZ—Julia Propp

So you broke in then? You could have done that without dragging me into this.

MICHAEL TATE—James Oliva

I am really happy about Phil.

LOUISA

It’s nothing at this point.

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
Metheuen
This Is
This Is
This Is
Greater Boston

THIS WEEK

NARRATOR—Alexander Danner

This week in Greater Boston, Episode 21: Liars and Legerdemain

[Music ends]

THIRDSIGHT MEDIA AD

[He Who Destroys Everything plays]

ANNOUNCER—Richard Wentworth

Would you like to know the future?

VOICE 1—Mike McQuilkin

Will I ever have the money I need to live comfortably?

VOICE 2—Mike Linden

Will I ever find true love?

VOICE 3—Marck Harmon

Is death stalking me day and night?

VOICE 4—Mike McQuilkin

Should I post this lawn sign?

ANNOUNCER

Find out! In ThirdSight Media’s fine family of divinatory digests!

VOICE 1

I’ve been offered a promotion at my current job, but I worry about my company’s long-term sustainability in the volatile market of cat meme production.

ANNOUNCER

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VOICE 2

I just want someone to love me as much as I love them. And my truck.

ANNOUNCER

Not gonna happen! Sorry!

VOICE 3

I suffer a constant creeping dread of my mortality. Every morning when I wake up, I feel as though my life is even shorter than it was the day before.

ANNOUNCER

That’s accurate! Are you bound for an idyllic kingdom in the sky? A perpetual torment of fire? Or possibly a surreal dreamscape in the astral realms? Find out what the afterlife holds for you in Metaphysical Monthly!

VOICE 4

I really want my candidate to win the mayoral race in Red Line. Will this lawn sign help?

ANNOUNCER

Nope! The winner of the election has already been determined by the cosmic threads of fate! But we’ll reveal all the twists and turns of this surprisingly chaotic election weeks before they happen in the pages of Political Prognostication!

Read it today! Find out who wins! Then Vote!

ThirdSight Media: Bringing you Tomorrow, a day before you expected.

[Music ends]

THE WEDDING PLANNERS

[Red Line environmental noise]

LOUISA—Julia Propp

So, at this point, I’ve been down every tunnel, by rail and foot. I’ve walked the length of every train, toured every station. There are a lot of back halls and hidden rooms and secret pathways. I had no idea. We’re going to need cartographers at some point. I mean, I think there are still parts of Red Line most people don’t even know exist. Parts you haven’t even seen on maps.

I even toured the old abandoned route under the Common, the original Park Street Tunnels. Creepy place. If anybody’s been in there in the past six months, I couldn’t see any evidence of it. I had to use a crow bar to get in myself. Everything was locked, and that definitely was one of the locks that the city never bothered to give us a key for. So we’ll need to get a locksmith down there to rekey the whole thing.

CHARLOTTE—Charlotte Linzer-Coolidge

I’ll ask Melissa to take care of that.

LOUISA

I had an idea for that space, though. Something Red Line doesn’t have yet—an arts center. Or a museum, even. You know, some cultural enrichment.

CHARLOTTE

Man, I wish I could think about doing that right now.

LOUISA

Well, you know. Something for the future.

CHARLOTTE

Would you believe we’ve got people demanding a baseball team? There’s an actual petition. Like that’s the one thing Red Line is really missing.

LOUISA

Where would we even put a baseball team? Don’t you need a stadium for that?

CHARLOTTE

Well, yeah. But…well, I’ve actually got a place. Down in Braintree, there’s a big Park & Ride lot. The top floor could maybe house a ballpark.

LOUISA

Really?

CHARLOTTE

I don’t know, Louisa. People love to want things. Doesn’t mean we’ve got money to do it.

[Intercom page]

MELISSA (INTERCOM)–Tanja Milojevich

Charlotte, Chuck Octagon is here to see you.

LOUISA

I guess that’s my cue.

CHARLOTTE

Your cue? This was all your idea. You should stay and suffer through it with me.

LOUISA

Sorry, I’m just the idea man. Execution is your department.

CHARLOTTE

Go ahead and send him in, Melissa. And come in with him please, I’ll need you to do some scheduling.

MELISSA (INTERCOM)

We’ll be right in. Chuck wandered off. I think he just randomly interviewed someone.

LOUISA

Anyway, I really do need to go. I’ve got a date back in JP.

CHARLOTTE

A date? Really?

LOUISA

Y…yeah? Why is that so surprising?

CHARLOTTE

I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it like that. It’s just…sometimes it’s hard to comprehend that other people still have outside lives. I just can’t imagine how I could find the time to date if I wasn’t already married. I’ve barely left the house, except to give speeches or interviews.

LOUISA

Geez. Don’t you ever get cabin fever?

CHARLOTTE

I…guess I don’t. It’s funny. Cabin fever was exactly what got me into this whole mess in the first place. But now I’m just to busy for it. I used to stay home because I had nothing to do. Now I stay home because I have entirely too much to do.

LOUISA

Well, the more things change.

CHARLOTTE

God I hate that saying.

LOUISA

Yeah. Me too.

[Door opens]

CHUCK—Jeff Van Dreason

Well, I suppose you must be very pleased with yourself.

LOUISA

And that’s me leaving. Smell you later.

[Doors]

MELISSA

Have a seat here, Mr. Octagon.

CHUCK

Thank you.

CHARLOTTE

What am I supposed to be pleased about?

CHUCK

You wanted my wedding, and you got my wedding. Here we are.

CHARLOTTE

Yeah. You kinda sprung that on me on live air.

CHUCK

Oh, sure, it was all such a big surprise.

CHARLOTTE

Yes. Yes it was.

CHUCK

Whatever. Let’s just get through this.

CHARLOTTE

Melissa, update us.

MELISSA

Okay. Well, the officiant is booked, since the acting mayor will be doing the honors.

CHARLOTTE

You’re welcome.

MELISSA

We’ve booked the DJ, and received a list of preferred musical styles and song requests from the other groom, so music is set. We’re leaving wardrobe to the couple, not our purview. We’ve scheduled a tasting with three different caterers; the Mex-Indian fusion place in South Station, the Greco-Ramen place from Porter, or the Bolshevik Sushi from Central. The cake is coming from Finale at Harvard Sq. Station. It’ll be a three layer cake, first layer Amaretto Tiramisu, second layer rum-infused carrot cake, third layer just a bowl of rye whiskey garnished with a gingersnap. We’ve booked a florist from Quincy Center station. Oh, and were going to need your wedding colors for the florist and the table linens.

CHUCK

Brown and purple.

CHARLOTTE

Brown and purple?

CHUCK

Yes.

CHARLOTTE

Seriously?

CHUCK

Why wouldn’t I be serious?

CHARLOTTE

Uh…no reason I guess.

CHUCK

Those are the colors of the Octagon family crest. It’s a noble color combination with a rich history. The Dutch Octagons were maritime explorers. We wouldn’t even have maps of the coast if not for the Dutch Octagons.

CHARLOTTE

Wonderful. Brown and purple it is.

MELISSA

We’re still working on the custom party car you requested.

CHARLOTTE

That part…might not prove practical.

CHUCK

Practicality isn’t my concern. The custom party car is essential.

MELISSA

It’s just that no one has ever designed a convertible subway car before.

CHUCK

With the funds my network is offering, you’ll get it done.

MELISSA

Well, yes…

CHUCK

Look, when Andy and I are introduced as Mr. and Mr. Wood-Octagon for the first time, as we’re passing over the Longfellow Bridge, we are going to release doves. Now, we can do that in a sealed train car, where the doves are going to dive bomb all the party guests, then shit all over the seats, before they lethally smash themselves against the windows in a desperate attempt to escape. Or you can make the convertible car happen, and they’ll all gracefully exit through the ceiling into open sky, in a beautiful metaphor for the peace and love of a happy marriage. Your call.

CHARLOTTE

We’ll get it done.

CHUCK

And the canopy should be purple.

CHARLOTTE

We were kind of planning on red. To match the train.

CHUCK

Red isn’t one of my wedding colors.

CHARLOTTE

This is going to be a permanent part of the train.

CHUCK

You should have thought about that before you blackmailed me into having my wedding on your train.

CHARLOTTE

What?

CHUCK

Are we done for now?

MELISSA

I…guess so?

CHUCK

Good.

[Doors]

CHARLOTTE

What the fuck is he talking about?

MELISSA

I don’t know. But, I’ll…talk to Gemma.

CHARLOTTE

Oh, God.

MELISSA

I’m sure it wasn’t her.

CHARLOTTE

If she’s gone my back to do something that insane…

MELISSA

But I’ll find out what I can.

CHARLOTTE

I just don’t even know what I’ll do with her.

MELISSA

It’ll be fine. I promise. I’ll find a way to make it fine.

[Red Line environment fades]

DEAD WOOD

[Bowling environment]

LOUISA—Julia Propp

At this point, I think I’ve been everywhere. I’ve walked every mile of the city. I’ve chased every lead, investigated every rumor. And I haven’t found anything to corroborate any of it. There are plenty of people squatting in every nook and cranny of the city. But I just don’t think Chelmsworth is one of them. All these Mayor sightings people keep reporting…they’re all just bullshit. He’s not here.

I think…I think that’s how urban legends get formed. That’s what it is. We’re seeing the start of a new urban legend. The vanished Mayor who haunts the city he left behind. Like a ghost, or…I don’t know. Bigfoot? I literally got called to look at footprints one time. Like I would even know what his footprints look like. Like he had such distinctive feet.

PHIL—Michael Melia

Shoe size?

LOUISA

Um…eleven. I can’t believe I even know that. I’ve been through all the clothes he left behind.

PHIL

No, I mean you. Your shoe size.

LOUISA

Oh. Uh…seven. God these are ugly.

PHIL

It’s no fun if they aren’t.

So, why are you even still looking for Chelmsworth?

LOUISA

It’s what I was hired to do. I mean…nobody cares anymore. Charlotte’s given up on him. Gemma actively hopes I don’t find. But…I was hired to solve a mystery, you know? Find the mayor. Find Gemma’s crystal ball. And so far, I’ve turned up bupkis.

PHIL

Well, speaking of balls, here we are. Lane six is ours.

LOUISA

I don’t get it.

PHIL

It’s just bowling.

LOUISA

With tiny balls.

PHIL

Hey, don’t judge.

LOUISA

No, I…oh, never mind, I’m not taking that bait.

PHIL

I can’t believe you’ve lived in Boston for a decade, and you’ve never been candlepin bowling!

LOUISA

Okay, so Phil, so just explain it.

PHIL

It’s not that different, save that you’re less likely to blow out your elbow. You get three throws instead of two, and the dead wood stays on the lane instead of getting swept out.

LOUISA

Small balls and dead wood? Really?

PHIL

Hey, I’m just the messenger, don’t blame me.

LOUISA

Sure, sure. You better not be planning to do that thing where you try to “teach” me by standing behind me guiding my hand, so you can have an excuse to spoon me in a bowling alley.

PHIL

I swear on my Irish heart, I have no intention of spooning you in a bowling alley! Now go on, give it a shot.

[Bowling happens]

PHIL

Not bad, not bad.

LOUISA

I think I’m supposed to hit more than three.

PHIL

That was just your first ball! You’ve got two more.

LOUISA

Didn’t this place used to have just virtual bowling?

PHIL

Yeah, but that was stupid.

[More bowling]

PHIL

Better!

LOUISA

I totally missed! I only hit one I’d already knocked down. It’s only by accident that it knocked down any of the others.

PHIL

That’s what it’s there for. You use the dead ones to take out the rest.

LOUISA

Whatever! Winning by accident is totally cheap.

PHIL

Louisa, if you really hate this, we can go do something else. I’m not like wedded to the idea of candlepin bowling tonight. There’s a movie theater right around the corner, we could just go watch whatever’s showing if you’d rather.

LOUISA

No no no, this is fine.

PHIL

I mean, if anything, you seem like you really just need to vent about work. We could just go get coffee. I don’t mind just listening for a while.

LOUISA

Now that’s the sweetest offer anyones made me in ages. But naw, you want to teach me some funky-ass bowling, let’s do some funky-ass bowling.”

PHIL

I don’t want to ask you to do something you don’t want to do.

LOUISA

Trust me, in the hierarchy of things you could ask me to do that I don’t want to do, “candlepin bowling” falls well within the range of reasonable compromises.

PHIL

You’re sure?

LOUISA

I mean, it’s not like you’re asking me to break into your rival’s home.

[Long pause]

PHIL

Uhh…has someone asked you to burgle a…person…you don’t like?

LOUISA

Oh, no. Of course not. It’s nothing.

PHIL

Wow. That was totally and obviously a lie.

LOUISA

Phil…

PHIL

I get that we’re still at the beginning of this. Between us. I don’t expect you to tell me your every embarrassing secret or private thought. I don’t want to pry. But if I care about you, and then you say something that suggests reason for me to be worried that you’re in some kind of trouble, well…if I care, then I’m kind of obligated to pry, at least a little. And Louisa…I do care about you. And what you just said suggests that there’s good reason for me to worry.

LOUISA

It’s…just a thing with work.

PHIL

Gemma. She made you burgle someone?

LOUISA

She didn’t make me. She just sort of…tricked me into going with her.

PHIL

That’s kind of worse.

LOUISA

She’s my friend.

PHIL

Is she?

LOUISA

That’s a line, Phil.

PHIL

I’m…you’re right. I’m sorry.

LOUISA

You’re right too. It’s…I don’t know. It’s not like we hurt anyone or stole anything. Her intentions were good. Or goodish anyway.

PHIL

Hmm.

LOUISA

And we got to see a creepy cheese robot.

PHIL

What?

LOUISA

Anyway, enough about Gemma.

PHIL

No no no no wait, you can’t just leave me hanging on “creepy cheese robot.”

LOUISA

Ahh, we’ve got all night for that. Come on, let’s bowl!

[More bowling.]

[Environment fades.]

INTERVIEW MONTAGE

CHUCK OCTAGON—Jeff Van Dreason

What’s an example of a big risk that you’ve taken in order to help or support another person? And what’s an example of a big risk that you’ve taken for yourself?

FEMALE INTERVIEW 1

Giving my husband a chance. When he had like no money and no prospects. And I was just, “okay. Let’s take a ride together.”

MALE INTERVIEW 1

Seeing a boy about my age corner a girl because she didn’t want to kiss him or be with him. And I jumped into that not knowing if he had a gun or a knife on him.

MALE INTERVIEW 2

I worked for a great company that…not only loved me, but wanted to pay for my education. I wanted to get my degree on my own terms. When you work for a company…the wanted me to work 40 hours a week and still get a degree. It probably would have took me like six years to get my degree. The risk that I was taking was that I was leaving this company, and probably not gonna be able to get a job back.

FEMALE INTERVIEW 2

I think coming to college was one. ‘Cause I had my mind set in my senior year of high school that I was done with school, and I didn’t know…I didn’t want to waste my money, because I was like, I didn’t know what I wanted to be.

FEMALE INTERVIEW 3

Probably not doing my homework on time. In college. Not in high school. In college. That was the biggest risk. Because no other college is going to want me with doo doo grades, you know?

FEMALE INTERVIEW 1

I guess I speak out, actually, on behalf of other people all the time. And I speak out probably lots of times when I shouldn’t. To administration or to board members.

MALE INTERVIEW 4

I guess speaking out about how bad BPS was when I was in BPS. And becoming part of groups that were speaking out against how BPS was treating the students, and how education was poor.

MALE INTERVIEW 5

I was working at the security job, and I woke up, I think it was already seven, or past seven. And then I was in a rush. As I was starting to leave the house, I stopped and thought for a second…I’m in a rush for what?

[Childgrove fades in.]

So I just sent a text to my supervisor and said, “I’m not coming to work, I quit, I’m done.”

POLYGRAPHY

[Ringing phone]

MICHAEL TATE—James Oliva (On phone)

Michael Tate speaking.

GEMMA LINZER-COOLIDGE—Lydia Anderson

Michael? This is Gemma Linzer-Coolidge.

MICHAEL

Oh. Hey, Gemma. What’s up?

GEMMA

Are you still at ThirdSight?

MICHAEL

Are you kidding? I hardly leave. They’ve got me so loaded up with extra work, I can barely find time to change my clothes. Ever since I went down to the Olive Garden. I think we’re onto something with that.

GEMMA

Yeah, about that…

MICHAEL

Of course, I can hardly go home now anyway, since someone filled my whole place with squeezey stress balls.

GEMMA

What?

MICHAEL

Yeah, we had a theft here at the office. After they announced that stress balls were getting cut from the budget, someone stole all the ones we had left. I was pretty upset at first. But the I went home that night, and there they were. All of them. Practically overflowing out my front door. I mean, they would have overflowed, except whoever put them there struck up a mosquito net to keep them in. I basically live in a giant ball pit now.

GEMMA

Were they trying to frame you?

MICHAEL

I don’t think so. I think it was an earnest gesture. I’m pretty sure I know who did it, honestly. And I appreciate it. But it’s kind of hard to get anything done at home now. So I mostly just stay…here.

GEMMA

Can’t you just move them to the garage or something?

MICHAEL

Garage? I live in one of the hammock apartments at Porter. There’s nowhere to move anything.

GEMMA

Seriously? But those apartments are horrible!

MICHAEL

Yeah. I’ve noticed. Thanks for the heads up though.

GEMMA

Sorry. Sorry. Anyway. I was just calling to ask again if you’ve had a chance to look around the offices there. I’ve seen some pretty solid evidence that ThirdSight is behind Emily Bespin’s campaign. But I don’t know why. I don’t know what they’re planning. How does a snooty blue blood train mayor benefit a bunch of bullshit new age rags?

[Music ends.]

MICHAEL

Look, I’ll be here way late tonight. And most other nights. I’ll take a more thorough look. There’s lots of places I can’t get into, though. If there’s anything to find, it’s probably nowhere I have access to. Half the doors around here have secret codes and passkeys that I could never hope to guess. But I’ll try.

GEMMA

Thanks. Call right away if you find anything.

MICHAEL

I will.

[End call.]

[Doors open.]

GEMMA

Melissa, hi.

MELISSA WEATHERBY—Tanja Milojevich

What did you do?

GEMMA

Uh…that’s a very open-ended question.

MELISSA

You know very well what I’m talking about.

GEMMA

I feel like we’ve just walked into one of those sitcom scenes where you come in here accusing me of something trivial, and I think I know what you’re talking bout, but I’m wrong, and end up confessing to something much worse because I think you already know.

[Tam Lin set begins]

MELISSA

Well…okay, yes, that’s what this is. It totally is. And you’ve already blundered it, because you pretty much just admitted that whatever it is I’m mad about, you think you’ve got something worse you ought to be confessing.

GEMMA

No, I said that’s what this *felt* like. I never suggested that I actually have anything to confess.

MELISSA

Do you have something to confess?

GEMMA

No.

[Long pause]

I don’t!

[Long pause]

Fffffig Newtons, would you stop looking at me like that!

MELISSA

Do you know one of the reasons why I’m good at my job, Gemma? It’s because I know when I’m being lied to. I’m practically a human lie detector.

GEMMA

Oh please, even actual lie detectors are completely full of shtuff. They just detect stress, not honesty. Good job, picking up on the highly subtle signals that I’m currently fluffing stressed.

MELISSA

Gemma, what’s even the point of this? Whatever it is, you’re going to have to deal with it eventually. At least let me help you.

[Long pause]

I’ll figure it out eventually anyway. You know I will.

[Long pause]

Alright, I guess I’m just going to call Charlotte and tell her that you’ve got something you’re keeping secret from me, and you don’t want to tell me what it is.

GEMMA

Acccchhh…ffffluffernutter! Promise you won’t tell her. If I tell you, promise you won’t tell Charlotte. You help me figure out to do with this, but you don’t tell her.

MELISSA

Fine.

GEMMA

You promise?

MELISSA

I promise.

GEMMA

Fine. Tell me your thing, and then I’ll tell you mine.

MELISSA

You blackmailed Chuck Octagon.

GEMMA

Goddammit. I didn’t even do the thing you thought I did.

MELISSA

You didn’t?

GEMMA

I don’t even know what the fluff you’re talking about.

MELISSA

Someone blackmailed Chuck Octagon to make him hold the wedding in Red Line. That’s why he agreed to it. And he thinks it was Charlotte.

GEMMA

And Charlotte thinks it was me.

MELISSA

Yeah.

GEMMA

She think’s I committed blackmail.

MELISSA

So you didn’t commit blackmail?

GEMMA

Of course not!

MELISSA

So what did you commit?

GEMMA

You really promise not to tell?

MELISSA

Gemma, for heaven’s sake…

GEMMA

Burglary.

MELISSA

Gemma, oh my god!

GEMMA

But I found the proof I was looking for! Proof that ThirdSight Media is backing Emily Bespin! They’ve bankrolled her whole fluffing campaign. It was their idea for her to run in the first place.

MELISSA

Who cares?

GEMMA

I…but…

MELISSA

What difference does that even make? What, you think you’re going to take down a politician by proving a corporation donated to her campaign? What world are you living in? Christ, it’s not like Charlotte didn’t have corporate donors herself. How do you think she’s even getting the Red Line renovations funded? Why do you think there are 17 Dunkin’ Donuts storefronts scattered across nine stations? She’s taken donations from Anna’s Taqueria, Henry Bear’s Park, Sav-Mor Liquors…and It doesn’t matter. What you’re proving doesn’t matter.

GEMMA

I’m just trying…

MELISSA

You’re not helping Charlotte. You’re just getting revenge.

GEMMA

You can’t tell her I did this.

MELISSA

Of course I’m going to tell her you did this.

GEMMA

But you promised!

MELISSA

I lied.

GEMMA

But…what about loyalty?

MELISSA

You want me to be loyal to you? Or to Charlotte?

GEMMA

It’ll just upset her.

MELISSA

It sure as hell will. But what’s the alternative? Wait for Bespin to figure it out first? Or the press? And let Charlotte get blindsided by this in full view of the whole world?

I’m supposed to protect her, Gemma. That’s my job. You told me that.

GEMMA

But…but…but…not from me.

MELISSA

Yeah. Well. Here we are though.

GEMMA

I’ll tell her.

MELISSA

I know.

GEMMA

Right. I just…

MELISSA

Don’t wait. Just do it.

GEMMA

Yeah. Yeah, you’re right.

DEAR OLIVE

[Melancholy drums]

LEON STAMATIS—Braden Lamb

Dear Olive,

I apologize for —

hm.

Dear Olive,

I am sincerely sorry it took me so long to respond to your previous —

MICHAEL TATE—James Oliva

Dear Olive,

I want to let you know that I wasn’t ignoring you. It took me a while to respond because this is an advice column and I was trying to figure out how to give you the best advice. I realize now that all this time, you’ve been the one giving me advice. Or maybe you’ve been trying to advise both of us all along.

In any event, I want to reiterate that I’m not ignoring you. In fact, I can hear what you’re saying perfectly clearly now. And I’m going to try and listen to your excellent advice.

Maybe you’re ready to listen too.

Best,

Michael

THE HIERARCHY OF RIGHT AND WRONG

[Oliver’s theme plays.]

NARRATOR—Alexander Danner

Oliver West was waiting for a visitor. A family member, his nephew, the youngest son of his elder brother. A reliable young man, actually, loyal to the family. He often ran useful errands for Oliver, errands he wouldn’t trust to his more volatile or less resolute minions.

LEON STAMATIS—Braden Lamb

She’s not his “minion.”

[Tube]

OLIVER WEST—Mike Linden

Let’s see… (reading): “Uncle Ollie, I’m downstairs.” (Sighs heavily.) Oliver. My name is Oliver. Why do family always think they have the right to brutalize your name?

NARRATOR

Oliver stepped into his secret elevator, the one only he and his nephew knew existed.

LEON

He’s the only person you open your door to, isn’t he?

NARRATOR

The one he only used long after hours, after all his publishing employees had gone home.

LEON

Yes, yes. It’s secret. We get it.

NARRATOR

The one that shuttled him down to the secret landing between the wet bar and the kombucha vending machine in the break room.

LEON

Yes, kombucha, break room, we get the picture. Enough with that. The elevator arrives, the doors open.

[Doors open.]

LEON

Revealing this mysterious unnamed nephew, who is obviously going to be someone we’ve met before.

PHIL WEST—Michael Melia

Hey, Uncle Ollie!

LEON

Phil.

OLIVER

Hello, Philip. I trust you have some new information.

PHIL

Sure do. She ‘fessed right up. “Yeah, the mayor’s wife and I broke into her rival’s apartment together, let me tell you all about it.” So dumb.

LEON

Oh, I really don’t like you.

OLIVER

Now, Philip, there’s no need to be insulting.

PHIL

Seriously? You’ve got me gas-lighting her daily, but insult is over the line?

LEON

This all needs to stop, Oliver.

OLIVER

Well yes. We’re villains. We do that sort of thing. But we don’t have to be hurtful about it.

PHIL

I think your hierarchy of right and wrong might be a little fucked up, Uncle Ollie.

OLIVER

Yes, your father felt the same way, but let’s not dwell on that.

LEON

You don’t like to think of your brother do you?

PHIL

Anyway, I didn’t mean to insult her. I like her, actually. I just think maybe she’s not really cut out for the kind of stuff she’s gotten herself involved with.

OLIVER

But she admitted to the crime you say?

LEON

Of how you lead his little boy into crime and corruption.

PHIL

She didn’t say it was the Bespin place specifically. But she admitted to breaking into a Railhome with Gemma. More specifically, as Gemma’s accomplice.

LEON

Family is so important to you, Oliver.

OLIVER

Did she give any details that would identify the place as being Bespin’s? Any unique details?

LEON

But how badly do you use your own?

PHIL

Well, there was the cheese robot.

LEON

Wait, what?

OLIVER

A…cheese…robot?

PHIL

It seems like the guy who lived there is gone. All his shit’s packed and vanished. But he left behind this one robot, looks just like him, but all it talks about is making cheese.

OLIVER

Well, yes. That’s certainly distinctive. It sounds like perhaps I should check on Emily herself.

PHIL

Here’s the recording. I don’t know how good it’ll be. We were bowling.

OLIVER

Bowling.

PHIL

Yeah, so, you know, there’s a lot of background noise.

OLIVER

I asked you for a clandestine audio recording, and you chose to conduct this activity in a bowling alley?

PHIL

Well, it’s not like a dance club or a movie theater would have been any quieter. Dates are loud, Uncle Ollie.

OLIVER

As I recall, when I was courting your Aunt Autumn, museums were still perfectly viable date venues. I proposed in the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum, as a matter of fact.

PHIL

Yeah, you’ve shown me the paintings. But I don’t think Louisa would have been as forthcoming in a silent museum, where every word we said would be overheard. The noise creates an illusion of privacy. I did it the way that would get me the information you needed. And it worked.

OLIVER

Yes. Yes it did. You’re right, Phillip. I apologize for faulting your methods.

[Oliver’s theme stops.]

MICHAEL TATE—James Oliva(distant)

Hello?

OLIVER

Who’s that?

LEON

Michael.

PHIL

How should I know?

LEON

You didn’t actually check that the office was empty before you came down. Sloppy.

MICHAEL

Oh, hey. Who are you guys?

LEON

Yes.

OLIVER

None of your concern.

PHIL

We’re the cleaning crew.

[Shove that Pig’s Foot plays.]

MICHAEL

In suits?

PHIL

We’re a…fancy cleaning crew?

MICHAEL

Oh, man, is that a secret elevator! I knew it! I knew this place had to have a secret elevator. Aw, I wish I had my trench coat.

LEON

Oh, Oliver, this is the moment. This is when it all starts to fall apart for you.

PHIL

No, that’s not an elevator.

OLIVER

Philip.

PHIL

It’s a…Tardis?

OLIVER

Oh, Philip. Please stop.

MICHAEL

You’re him.

LEON

You’ve got it, Michael.

MICHAEL

You’re the publisher.

OLIVER

Yes, Michael. I’m the publisher. Oliver West. Good to finally meet you in person.

MICHAEL

Wow. I’ve wondered about you. Such a mystery. I mean, we’ve all wondered. Who’s keeping all this running? Where do our orders come from? Who’s eating the tuna sandwiches? And all those tubes, reaching out of the walls out of the ground, like huge sucker tentacles, like octopuses…

PHIL

Octopi.

MICHAEL

What?

PHIL

Octopi. It ends in “U-S.”

OLIVER

I’m sorry Philip, but that’s not correct.

PHIL

Sure it is, like “cactus.”

OLIVER

Cactus is from Latin. Octopus is from Greek. They’re different.

MICHAEL

Right. It’s “octopods.”

PHIL

Octo-podes?

LEON

Oc-TO-po-dees, actually.

OLIVER

Oc-TO-po-dees, if you prefer not to butcher it.

PHIL

Octo…po…des?

MICHAEL

Yeah, Leon taught me that. But I could never pull it off without sounding phony, so I just stick with “octopuses.”

OLIVER

Wonderful, now that we’ve sorted that pressing issue…

MICHAEL

But what about hippopotamus?

PHIL

Hippopotami? Right?

MICHAEL

I think that’s Greek too, actually.

OLIVER

It’s just hippopotamuses.

[Dialogue begins overlapping until everyone is talking simultaneously.]

PHIL

Hippo…

OLIVER

Phil!

MICHAEL

Hippo…hippo…

LEON

Please, listen to Oliver, just this once. It’s really just hippopotamuses.

OLIVER

Michael…

PHIL

Oh, hippo-pot-o-mo-bo-des.

MICHAEL

Hippopoto-mop…

PHIL

Hippo-pot-o-bodes.

MICHAEL

Hippo-pot-o-mo-

PHIL

Hippo-pot-o-ma-dosas?

LEON

No.

MICHAEL

…podes? Hippo-pot-o-mo-podes?

OLIVER

No, you’re both putting extra syllables in!

MICHAEL

Hippo-pot-o-mo-podes.

OLIVER

Why are you adding more “Ps”?

MICHAEL

Hippo-pot-o…Hippo-poto-mo…

PHIL

Hippo-poto

OLIVER
Musses. MUSSES.

PHIL
…mus.

MICHAEL

Hip…Hip…

PHIL

Hippo-pot-o-mo-ses.

OLIVER

No. No.

LEON

I don’t understand what’s happening right now.

OLIVER

Hippo…poto…musses.

PHIL

Hippo-poto-modes.

OLIVER

You’re overcomplicating this!

PHIL

Hippo-pot-o-me…

OLIVER
No.

PHIL

Hippo-pot-o-ma…

MICHAEL

Hippo-pot-o-

OLIVER

No.

MICHAEL

mo-des.

OLIVER

Hippopotamusses.

PHIL

Hippo-pot-o-b

OLIVER
Phillip, what have I told you about talking over me Phillip?

PHIL

Hippo-pot-o-cala-fraga

OLIVER

Hippo-pot-o…

PHIL

Hippo-pot-o-mo-podes

OLIVER
…musses.

PHIL

Hippo-pot-o-mo-dai. Hippo-pot-o-mo-da

OLIVER

Muss…musses.

MICHAEL

Yeah yeah yeah, I got it.

PHIL

Hip…hip…

MICHAEL

Hippopoto-mo-des.

OLIVER
No!

PHIL

Oh, that’s it! Hippopoto-mo-des!

MICHAEL

Oh, man, this is fantastic. I can’t way to tell Dipshit I met you, he’s going to be so jealous.

OLIVER

Michael! How would you like to see the secret office?

LEON

No.

PHIL

You sure about that, Uncle Ollie?

MICHAEL

Upstairs?

OLIVER

Yes.

LEON

Don’t, Michael.

MICHAEL

Via the secret elevator?

OLIVER

Yes indeed. A special tour. Just for you.

MICHAEL

[Deep breath.] I’d love to.

LEON

NO.

OLIVER

Well, then, please step this way. Philip, would you join us?

PHIL

Sure, Uncle Ollie.

OLIVER

The green button there, Michael. Why don’t you do the honors?

LEON

Michael, what are you doing?

MICHAEL

Eight eleven five four nine one seven six ten three twelve two. Here we go.

[Button click]

[Ominous elevator doors shut and elevator rises.]

[Child Grove plays.]

CREDITS

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

If you’re enjoying Greater Boston, please consider donation to our Patreon campaign, where you can receive early access to new episodes, exclusive annotated transcripts, and Patron-only bonus audio!

In order of appearance, this episode featured:

Rich Wentworth as the ThirdSight Media Spokesman

Julia Propp as Louisa Alvarez

Summer Unsinn as Charlotte Linzer-Coolidge

Tanja Milojevic as Melissa Weatherby

Jeff Van Dreason as Chuck Octagon

Michael Melia as Phil

James Oliva as Michael Tate

Braden Lamb as Leon Stamatis

and Mike Linden as Oliver West

Also featuring Mike McQuilkin, Mike Linden, Marck Harmon, and Ben Flaumenhaft as ThirdSight Commercial voices.

Interviews with real Greater Boston Residents.

Charlie on the MTA recorded by Emily Peterson and Dirk Tiede

Tam Lin Set with Tam Lin (comp. Davey Arthur) / Catharsis (Amy Cann) / The Fatal Rum Punch (Liz Donaldson) performed by Dirk Tiede

Childgrove by Adrienne Howard and Dirk Tiede

Shove that Pig’s Foot a Little Farther in the Fire by Adrienne Howard, Emily Peterson, and Dirk Tiede

He Who Destroys Everything by ArtOfEscapism

Drums by Jim Johanson

Additional music and sounds used from public domain and creative commons sources.

Be sure to check out the hilarious inter dimensional comedy, Hadron Gospel Hour by our guests Rich Wentworth and Mike McQuilkin!

Episode transcripts are posted online at GreaterBostonShow.com

COOKIE

ALEXANDER DANNER

His feeling is, is that because no one can hear them because it’s so loud.

MICHAEL MELIA

Hm.

JULIA PROPP

Ohh-oo.

MICHAEL

Interesting.

JULIA

Huu-uuu.

MICHAEL
Well, now I know, if I want to manipulate people.

JEFF VAN DREASON

Take ’em bowling!

JULIA

I’m never going bowling with you, Alexander!

[Laughter.]

MICHAEL

hippo-p-p-p-pot-o-m-m-modes

MIKE LINDEN

Phil!

[Jeff loses it and laughs.]

JEFF

Sorry! That one got me!

Hippo-hippo-pot-o-mods.

MICHAEL

Oh, that’s it! Hipp-p-p-pot-o-m-m-des [laughs.]

[all laugh]

JEFF
Wow, that is fucking hard!

MICHAEL
Yeah, geez, woof!

JEFF

Fuck You, Alexander,” that’s the new name of this scene!

MICHAEL
Yeah.

ALEXANDER
Okay.

CONTENT WARNINGS

  • Strong Language
  • Manipulative behavior
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