Transcript for Mini-Episode: With Truck/Without Truck

[Charlie on the MTA demo version]

This is
This is
This is
Greater Boston

[Music fades out]

[Phone ringing. Automated voice: “Please leave your message.”. Beep].

OLIVERMike Linden

Given that this number is at least activated, you have clearly received the cellular device I asked my courier deliver to your secret location. Good! As I wrote in my accompanying letter, it is 100% secure and totally untraceable. I appreciate that you finally reached out to me. I understand why you went into hiding after the Baked…after the debacle, and I think you are wise to remain out of sight for as long as possible. My own current whereabouts will remain obscured for as long as it takes to fashion myself with a new identity and properly distance myself from…our work.

That being said, I do have a task which needs to be completed. And this task can only be completed by you.

Phillip. I need you to take care of Michael. He is still in the apartments above the offices. I am no longer there. In fact, I was never there. As you know. But Michael is. Michael…remains.

I understand this places you in considerable risk. You want to limit your exposure as much as possible. If need be, reach out to some of our familiar contacts for assistance. Once the job is satisfactorily completed, I will award you and anyone else involved quite handsomely. Text the following code phrase to this number: Portrait. Cafe. Pantone. Social. Bravo. I will then call to verify secure bank account transfers.

No matter what, this job must be completed. And you must not be caught. And if you’re caught?

Well…if you’re caught…

Philip. Don’t get caught.

[Beep]

[Pause. Fadeup on the sound of a man driving]

MARLOMike Linden

Whoa, this is really something. And by something I mean nothing. Who lives out here anyway? No wonder this guy needs a truck, he probably needs a ride! Good gravy. There’s no houses, mailboxes, not even any shrubbery. But this right here is the address. Guess I’ll just pull over here and — and wait. That’s what I’ll do. Hope he doesn’t take long. Hope this isn’t some kinda prank, like when those kids sent me that pizza last year. I just didn’t feel like pizza that night and I didn’t have any cash ready. Still, I guess it worked out because it was good pizza. And now I go there all the time! It’s my favorite place for piz —

[Knock on glass]

MARLO

Ahhhh! What — what kinda sonofagun goes around knocking on trucks like that? [Rolls down Window] What — what kinda…sonofagun….What are you thinking, knocking like that?

GUY WITHOUT TRUCKMike Linden

Are you him? Is this it?

MARLO

Marlo. I’m Malro, the fella who responded to your ad.

GUY WITHOUT TRUCK

Lotsa people responded to my ad. I only corresponded with one.

MARLO

Yeah, okay, and that’s me. Marlo. You talked to a Marlo and that’s me, I’m Marlo.

GUY WITHOUT TRUCK

And this is your truck.

MARLO

Well, it ain’t my broomstick. Yeah, it’s my truck, the one I wrote you about. It’s a Ford Super Duty.

GUY WITHOUT TRUCK

No jokes.

MARLO

Well. Well, I mean — you don’t halfta — I mean, that wasn’t part of the ad. No jokes. You don’t want jokes, you shoulda written it into the ad.

[Pause}

You know?

[Pause]

Because, because…your ad was really specific. Lotsa…information. Lotsa data there. Which I appreciate! Don’t get me wrong. But there was never nothin’ about no jokes.

GUY WITHOUT TRUCK

Fine. Get out.

MARLO

What — what for?

GUY WITHOUT TRUCK

The ad says no questions.

MARLO

Yeah, but — you — you could just take it. I mean I wanna help you out if the price is right, but if you think I’m gonna just blindly hand over my Ford Super Duty, you gotta ‘nother think comin’. And yeah, that’s right, I said think. As in thoughts. You got another thought comin’. Lotsa dumb-dumbs out there think it’s “thing,” like another “thing” comin’, but that makes about as much sense as screen doors on a submarine! What sorta “thing” would be coming? What’s a “thing” got to do with it, anyway? Thing don’t mean nothing. It could be anything! How’s that supposed to be menacing? It’s too vague. You need specifics. Like in your ad. You’re a man that gets that. Gets the importance of specifics. And I’ll tell you what the other thing coming would be. A thought! As in, “I am going to change your mind. You’re thinking this, but this is wrong and it’s actually that. THAT’S the other think coming. And now it’s here. Here it is. You gotta…you gotta rethink it.” See? See…see what I mean?

GUY WITHOUT TRUCK

Take the keys. I need to inspect to make sure the truck is as described.

MARLO

Well hell, why didn’t you say so?

[Doors open, Marlo gets out. Guy opens doors and inspects truck]

MARLO

Just like I described. I’ve got two vehicles, both Ford’s. Other one is a Ford Taurus bu—

GUY WITHOUT TRUCK

No cars. Truck.

MARLO

Yeah, of course, I’m just making small talk is all, you know. I like Ford’s. Good American company. That’s clearly important to you. You’ve got a good head on your shoulders, I can tell. Specific. Like Ford. Like trucks. Like Ford trucks. The Super Duty is a real beaut’. Lives up her name. I call her Bertha, by the way. I had a lunch lady named that when I was in middle school? Always stuck —

GUY WITHOUT TRUCK

No names.

MARLO

What?

GUY WITHOUT TRUCK

Truck must not have names.

MARLO

Well — but …but it’s my truck. I can name her Bertha if I wanna name her Bertha. And and and that’s another thing you didn’t say in your ad. No sir. You can’t cry foul if you didn’t specify, remember that. It’s gotta be in the ad.

[Pause.]

MARLO

You know?

[Pause]

MARLO

So what do you think. Will it work?

[Eventually GUY slams the truck doors.]

GUY WITHOUT TRUCK

It will do. You will drive me to two stops. After the first stop, you will park in the most convenient parking space and I will go inside an establishment to make some purchases. After these purchases, I will load the parcels in the back of the truck. You will then drive me to another location. I will then get out and deliver these parcels to where they need to go. Then you will bring me back here and I will pay you the price discussed in the ad. Our business will be completed. You will not ask further questions. You will not attempt to engage in any small talk. You will refrain from assigning your car, a motorized object, a gender. You will not give it a name. And you will not tell anymore jokes. Do you agree to these terms?

MARLO

Well. Uhh. Yeah. Sure.

GUY WITHOUT TRUCK

Here is the first address. Drive.

[They get in and drive away].

[Driving transition. Parking. GUY gets out and shuts the door].

MARLO

A Stop and Shop. He really did need me to help him get groceries. What a peculiar fella this turned out to be. No small talk? Who wants to just sit in complete silence? What’s wrong with a little company? Doesn’t even want me to turn on the radio. What kinda nutter is this feller anyway? Why all the secrecy just for a trip to the market? Hasn’t this guy ever heard of PeaPod? Maybe I should tell him about PeaPod. Would that be considered a question? Would that be considered small talk? Who knows with this nutter. Best just shut my mouth and do the driving, I suppose. I can’t believe he doesn—

[Tailgate opens. Grocery bags placed inside. Tailgate closes. Passenger door opens / closes].

GUY WITHOUT TRUCK

The next location.

MARLO

Yeah, okay. [Drives off]  Hey, uhh. There’s this service called PeaPod. They deliver groceries.

[Pause]

MARLO

I’m not asking if you heard of it.

[Pause]

MARLO

And it ain’t small talk. It’s big talk. It’s …well, it seems like it could be useful informa—

GUY WITHOUT TRUCK

Drive.

MARLO

Yeah, okay.

[Driving montage. The car pulls up into a parking lot. Passenger door opens, tailgate opens, bags removed. Sounds of groceries going up a pneumatic tube]

MARLO

The hell is this nonsense? What is this, a bank? This guy sending food up a tube? What the hell is this …this is…this is crazy talk. [Notices something]. What’s that? Huh. There’s a tube on the ground over there.

[Driver side door opens. After a moment, closes].

MARLO

I wonder if…I wonder if I should… [Opens tube]

[Passenger door opens and shuts, GUY gets in, MARLO throws tube into back].

GUY WITHOUT TRUCK

What was that?

MARLO

No questions. Remember?

GUY WITHOUT TRUCK

No questions for you.

MARLO

Well, well I just don’t think that’s fair. Not fair in the slightest.

GUY WITHOUT TRUCK

The ad was placed for you. No questions for you.

MARLO

Well, well, if I can’t ask questions I don’t think you should be able to either. It’s just a fair system that way, is what it is.

[Pause]

You know?

[Pause]

GUY WITHOUT TRUCK

Drive.

MARLO

Yeah, okay.

[Driving away. Driving montage. Truck pulls up to somewhere and parks. Passenger door opens.]

MARLO

Well. Well, I —

GUY WITHOUT TRUCK

That was an adequate experience. (rubs the dashboard). If the need should arrive and the timing works out, there’s a distant possibility I may ask to utilize this truck again. (pats dash, hands Marlo an envelope). Your payment. (gets out of car, pats and rubs dashboard some more). This is a good truck.

[Shuts door and walks away]

MARLO

Well. That’s a…I mean. I mean of course she’s a good truck. She’s…she’s. Of course she is. Aren’t you, baby? (rubs and pats dash too). That’s…that’s the nicest thing anyone has ever said to you, isn’t it baby? Let’s…let’s go home. I got a feeling we’ll be seeing that funny gentleman again.

[Charlie on the MTA demo version plays.]

ALEXANDER DANNER
Greater Boston is written and produced by Alexander Danner and Jeff Van Dreason with recording and technical support from Marck Harmon.

In order of appearance, this episode featured: Mike Linden as Oliver West. Mike Linden as Marlo. And Mike Linden as Guy.

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

And we’re excited to announce a brand new audio drama written by our own James Oliva and produced by me, Alexander Danner. What’s the Frequency is an experimental, psychedelic noir premiering September 20th and featuring Greater Boston performers, including Tanja Milojevich and Jessica Washington. Find out more at wtfrequency.com.

MIKE LINDEN (voice of Marlo)
You’re thinking this — what is that noise? That’s a truck!

ALEXANDER DANNER
Truck. (laughs) That’s a truck!

MIKE LINDEN (voice of Marlo)
Oh! See that’s irony. That’s a whole other subject. I could go on at length about irony but I’m not gonna ‘cuz you know, it’s only a mini-webisode and if I keep talkin’ it’s gonna be like a full length episode. And…that would be awesome. An episode about me? I would watch that.

ALEXANDER DANNER
(laughs)

MIKE LINDEN (as Guy)
I would not watch that.

MIKE LINDEN (as Marlo)
Well, you should, ‘cuz it would be awesome.

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