Mini-Episode: Cow-Dacon vs. BBQ Jackfruit

[Charlie on the MTA demo music plays]

VOICES:
This is…
This is…
This is…

Greater Boston.

[Charlie on the MTA music fades out].

[Loud buzzing noise, metallic cell door opening and closing, jailhouse ambience]

DIPSHIT — James Capobianco

Are you here to inform me Isaiah Powell has been released?

GEMMA — Lydia Anderson

Unfortunately not.

DIPSHIT

Then I have nothing further to say to you. You’ve taken my statement. And I will not offer any further information, no matter how relentlessly you torture me in this off-site, non-regulated pain chamber.

GEMMA

It’s a corner of a converted subway station we forced into a makeshift jail. It’s heavily regulated, just like the rest of this crazy-ass train-town. And it’s not off-site. It’s literally on all the maps. City maps, transit maps, you name it.

DIPSHIT

Nevertheless, I’m sure you’ve come to seize this opportunity to boost your fragile self-esteem by slamming me against walls and knocking me against chairs. Your mere presence tortures me more than any type of institutionalized violence you attempt to try to thrill yourself with. And it’s no point. I don’t think you could manage to force me to feel any worse than I already — I already…what’s that smell?

GEMMA (sets down wrapped sandwich).

It’s my lunch.

DIPSHIT

What — what is that? The wrapper is sweating grease! The very plate and table you set that on appear to be weeping under the weight of that monstrosity. You can’t possibly be thinking of eating that. (Pause). Oh. I see. You’re going to force feed it to me. For your own amusement, for information—?

GEMMA

Please. Don’t be a…your name. It’s simply my lunch. Hell of a lot worse than tuna tubes, I’ll grant you that. And I’ll be honest. It’s not the usual thing I go for. In fact, it may be the most disgusting thing I have ever and will ever consume for the sake of quote-unquote nourishment in my entire life. And I’ve been to Golden Corral.

[Unwraps wrapper slowly]

This…is the Cow-dacon burger-bomb with a side of duck fat fries. It’s hamburger meat ground up and deep fried inside a slab of duck, wrapped in grilled bacon, refried and topped with eel relish. (chef-kiss)

DIPSHIT

You…you carnivorous…demon.

GEMMA

I mean, I am repulsed. I have to admit. But I’m also…curious. Aren’t you ever curious?

DIPSHIT

I’m curious if one bite of that vile mockery of nutrition will kill you outright.

GEMMA

It might. But I’m guessing that as horrible as eating this thing will undoubtedly be, it’s going to hurt you a hell of a lot more than it’s going to hurt me.

DIPSHIT

You know Gemma. You’re right. It would disgust me. Revolt me. Possibly worse. One morsel sized consumption could be enough to inflame and shrivel my entire digestive system. But there are two Dipshit’s in this cell. A pronoun and a noun. Well, technically there are two nouns. Dipshit is my name. But it’s also an accurate description of both myself and —

GEMMA

It’s two syllables. It’s seven letters. If you want to call me a dipshit, call me a dipshit, but just get to the fucking point.

DIPSHIT
Do you know why you’re a Dipshit? You assume I don’t know I’m one too. I do know. I know more than you know. It’s even possible that I have a worse opinion of myself than you do at this point. To which I say, unwrap your sickeningly greasy livestock holocaust and let me dig right in.

GEMMA
Really?

DIPSHIT

Really. I won’t tell you anything further because there’s nothing further to tell. And however this makes me feel? It’ll be deserved.

GEMMA
Then get to it, then.

DIPSHIT
No! I LIED! I’m not STRONG enough! It will kill me! I can’t abide it! Even…even the smell is going to make me violently regurgitate!

[GEMMA sets down another wrapped sandwich]

Maybe this is more your speed? Pulled barbecued jackfruit, topped with grilled red onions, house-made pickle, horseradish-tahini mayo and served on lentil-loaf homemade bun.

DIPSHIT

Ahh…I…where…that sounds…how did you…

GEMMA

Does that sound better? I mean, you gotta be hungry. I’m guessing the food in here hasn’t been all that…appetizing. Even if there are vegan options.

DIPSHIT

Please. Your jack-booted brutes passing for law enforcement wouldn’t know how to prepare a proper vegan meal if they were guided by the hands of Donald Watson himself.

GEMMA

Who?

DIPSHIT

He —oh, it doesn’t matter. What’s your play here, anyway? Will you continue to pull sandwiches out of your jacket, each one further down the opposite end of the edible scale until you destroy my fragile brain? I am spiritually empty, Gemma! What good is food in your stomach when your soul has no nourishment! And on top of that, I have nothing to tell you! Not until Isaiah Powell is released. You know this.

GEMMA

That’s not why I’m here. You get a very simple choice. Don’t tell me what I want to know? I eat the meat. Cooperate and be a good lil’ dipshit? You win the jackfruit jackpot.

DIPSHIT

Are you hearing impaired? What information do you even —

GEMMA

The ball. The crystal ball. Tell me everything you know about it.

DIPSHIT

The what?

GEMMA

The crystal ball? The one I received for my twenty-year anniversary? I need as much information about it as you can possibly provide. Come on, you always know a thousand irrelevant facts about every stupid goddamn thing at Third Sight. The fucking toilet paper had to be blessed by a shaman. We had to have a fucking Charmin shaman thanks to you. And I didn’t even know that until you randomly blurted it out one day. You’re practically a human wikipedia page for annoying new wave minutia. You’re bound to know things I do not, so tell me about my ball.

DIPSHIT

Gemma. Please take into consideration that for dinner, lunch and breakfast yesterday, I ate a mixture of food so revolting, I’m downright delirious remembering it all. I once flew to Europe using Lufthansa. The Germans aren’t exactly known for their vegan sensitivity, but on the flight I ordered the vegan meals all the same. To this day, I’m still not sure what exactly I consumed mid-air over the Atlantic, and it was still a thousand times more edible than the lumpy brown slop I’ve been served in your sad excuse for a rehabilitation center. I tell you this to congratulate you on your technique. Had I any information on your precious ball, I would cough it up faster than I coughed up the putrid insult to dog feces I’ve been served in this cell for a chance to taste that glorious jackfruit wonder. But I have no useful information to give you, save this: It’s a trinket. It’s junk. It’s trash. It’s nothing.

(Pause)

I’m…sorry.

GEMMA

I don’t — I don’t believe that.

DIPSHIT

You don’t believe in anything, and that’s precisely the problem. If you actually possessed any skills resembling that of an enchantress or necromancer, the ball might be of great use to you, might be incredibly powerful even. There are family lineages where magic runs strong through entire histories of people dating back to the dawn of man. Crystal balls can be used for all sorts of divination, spirit casting and necromancy. But your family tree has no magic branches, does it? Otherwise, you wouldn’t be a bored little pencil pusher at a publication specializing in the very thing you find so utterly contemptible. For over twenty years. Would you?

(Pause)
You know why you dislike me so much? You see me for what I am. A sham. A self-righteous, spiritually empty sham. When you look through our crystal balls, you see right through them. There’s nothing inside. Certainly no magic.

GEMMA

No. I saw something in that ball. I saw my family. I saw us…older. Happy. I saw us together. I saw us…safe. Safe and okay.

DIPSHIT

Well. Perhaps I am mistaken. Perhaps there is magic in you. Or…perhaps it was your own inner desire you were projecting onto the ball. Which, to you, seems more likely?

GEMMA

Uhhhh…I learned a form of divination. Gastromancy?

DIPSHIT

Ah, well, have a bite into your horrid grease bomb and prepare to compose a belch so thoroughly complex, it’ll rank amongst the great works of gassy literature.

GEMMA

You know, sometimes you say things? And I can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic or serious.

DIPSHIT

In that case, it was a mixture of the two.

(Pause)

What happened to it?

GEMMA

The ball? It was stolen. And I just…I really feel like I need it back.

DIPSHIT (sighs)

Magic Staples.

GEMMA

What?

DIPSHIT

Tyrell ordered the ball from Magic Staples.

GEMMA

Seriously? Magic…Staples?

DIPSHIT

An idiotic name, I agree, but the branding speaks for itself. That’s all I know. I’m sorry it’s not more helpful. They have a catalog, you could look up the description. I recall it was supposedly hand-blown by Tibetan Dugpa.

GEMMA

Thanks. [Reluctantly passes him the sandwich]. I want you to know. I was going to give this to you no matter what.

DIPSHIT

And why would you do something like that?

GEMMA

I still think you’re a complete idiot, especially with the Mary What’s-her-butt bullshit —

DIPSHIT

Wall-stone-craft.

GEMMA

But…I respect what you’re doing. For Isaiah. Enjoy your lunch.

DIPSHIT

Gemma. I hope you find your ball. And…thank you.

[Muffled train noise. Metal doors open and close. Dipshit digs in].

[Charlie on the MTA plays, then fades slightly]

Credits – Alexander Danner:

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

This episode featured:
Lydia Anderson as Gemma Linzer-Coolidge

And James Capobianco as Dipshit Poletti.

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

Want to meet us in person? We’ll be exhibiting at M.I.C.E, the Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo, October 21st and 22nd. And that will be your first opportunity to buy the official Greater Boston mini-comic, with a story set between seasons 1 and 2 and featuring the art by our own Braden Lamb, who will also be at the show.

COOKIE:

James Capobianco
[Eating noises] OH it’s so GOOD.

Lydia Anderson
Law and Order: RED LINE

[All: Laughter]

Alexander Danner
That was great!

James Capobianco
It’s so tense.

Lydia Anderson
[Law and Order theme scat]

Alexander Danner
Yeah, I uhh —

James Capobianco
It’s like the opposite of the time when we’re uhh —  when we’re doing that scene together at — was it at the truck? No, where was it?

Lydia Anderson (overlapping)
(laughing) Yeah, I know.

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