Transcript for Mini-Episode: Life in Red Line

Life in Red Line

[Charlie on the MTA plays]

VARIOUS

This is

This is

This is

Greater Boston

[Music fades]

[Unhappy crowd in the subway.]

NARRATOR

Melissa waited self-consciously on the platform at Downtown Crossing, amidst a crowd of agitated commuters all trying to get home. The first train to pass helped no one, every car keeping its doors tightly shut, “Free Isaiah” signs hanging proudly in their windows. Commuters growled their frustration, banged on locked doors.

[Sound of an egg smashing, followed by angry groans from the crowd.]

LEON

Someone in the back threw an egg, which detonated on a window, sending a spray of yolk back onto the already aggrieved commuters closest to the platform. The next train opened exactly one commutity car up to waiting travelers, room enough for three people of the waiting hundred to squeeze into the already packed car.

NARRATOR

Melissa was self-conscious because she was not one of the waiting masses. Her own home would be arriving on the platform in just a few minutes, and the doors would open to admit only her.

LEON

Her housemates had held a vote, and Melissa was the lone holdout against joining the shut-down.

NARRATOR

And she felt bad about that too. She was sympathetic to Powell’s cause, respected her housemates commitment to civil protest. But Melissa worked for the Linzer-Coolidge administration. It put her in a very awkward position to be part of a protest against the administration she served.

[Train pulls in.]

LEON

Her home pulled into the station, and she made her way toward the door…

NARRATOR

…trying not to push, trying to be courteous, though the crowd made it difficult.

MELISSA

Excuse me. Please, I  need to squeeze through. Thanks. Excuse me. Excuse me… This is my house, I need to get to the door.

 

[Doors open]

LEON

As she reached the door, it squeaked open only slightly, just enough to let her slip inside.

NARRATOR

And she sighed in relief, glad to be away from the hostile crowd.

ANGRY COMMUTERS

Oh for Christ’s sake!

FRUSTRATED COMMUTER

I just want to get home!

ASSHOLE COMMUTER

Stupid bitch, hogging the train for yourself! You do you think you are? Princess Diana! Let me tell you something: she died like 40 years ago, and your hair isn’t anywhere nears as feathered enough to be her, she was a saint!

ANGRY COMMUTERS

It’s always when you need to get somewhere that these things happen.

ANGRY COMMUTERS

Uggghhh, I’m gonna be late!

ANGRY COMMUTERS

OPEN UP!

MELISSA

I’m sorry, I can’t.

[Continued banging on the doors and windows]

[Aerosol sound as doors close.]

[Sounds of general distress from the crowd.]

[Train pulls away.]

MELISSA

Ow ow ow ow.

MINDY

Crap! Pepper spray *again*?

MARNIE

I’ll get some milk.

MINDY

How bad did they get you?

MELISSA

Not that bad this time. The door was mostly closed.

MARNIE

Here, I soaked this in milk. Put it on your eyes.

MELISSA

Thank you. That helps.

MINDY

Christ, it’s in the air. It stings to breathe.

MARNIE

I think the commuters got the worst of it.

MELISSA

If they keep doing that, someone’s going to end trampled or down on the tracks. This has to stop.

MARNIE

I’ll call public safety, let them know the situation.

MELISSA

Thank you, Marnie.

MINDY

You doing better?

MELISSA

Yeah, the milk helped.

[Train pulls into South Station.]

[Banging on windows again.]

DEMANDING COMMUTER

Hey, open up!

OBSERVANT COMMUTER

We see you in there! I hope you like being on YouTube because I’ve got all your faces!

DEMANDING COMMUTER

Come on, open the door!

JUDGEMENTAL COMMUTER

You should all be ashamed of yourselves!

OBSERVANT COMMUTER
Pinko fascist commie…fucks!

[Train pulls away]

MELISSA

God, how long is this going to go on?

MINDY

How long is your boss going to keep Isaiah Powell locked up?

MELISSA

She’s not! It’s just…there’s procedure. It’s not her decision.

MINDY

Is she the mayor or not?

MELISSA

Acting mayor. And not for much longer. You heard her announcement.

MINDY

Isn’t it traditional for lame duck administrations to issue pardons on their way out the door? Isn’t that why Chelsea Manning is free?

MELISSA

Presidents, not mayors. Or governors, maybe. But it doesn’t even matter. You have to be convicted of something before you can be pardoned. If he’s innocent—and you know we believe that he is—then a pardon doesn’t even make sense. And another thing—I don’t want to talk about this! I’m just the assistant and I’m not at work!

[Train pulls into Broadway]

PETULANT COMMUTER

Oh, come one, let us on the train!

ACCUSATORY COMMUTER

This is terrorism I’ll have you know!

PETULANT COMMUTER

Yeah! Economic terrorism!

ACCUSATORY COMMUTER

Just like Bespin says! Bespin for mayor!

PETULANT COMMUTER

[Chanting] Terrorist! Terrorist!

ACCUSATORY COMMUTER

Terrorist! Terrorist!

MORE COMMUTERS

Terrorist! Terrorist! Bespin! Bespin!

[Banking on windows!]

MELISSA

Oh my god, civil protest isn’t terrorism you…you…you *dummies*!

[Train pulls out.]

MINDY

Oh wow, you told them.

MELISSA

Shut up, Mindy.

MINDY

Whoa, sorry about that.

MELISSA

No. No, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t…

MINDY

It’s alright. No worries.

MELISSA

I should get rid of this milk cloth before I start smelling like cheese.

MARNIE

Hey, I called it in. They’ve got paramedics on the scene treating anyone hit by the pepper spray.

MELISSA

I’d better call into work. It’s only a matter of hours before Bespin is on the record trying to make deranged assholes hitting commuters with pepper spray somehow Isabelle and Charlotte’s fault.

MINDY

That’s a tough spin, isn’t it?

MELISSA

She’s got people literally claiming that it’s terrorism to lock their own front door. You think she can’t spin this however she likes?

MARNIE

God, what are you going to do about her?

MELISSA

About Bespin? What can we do? We just throw everything behind Powell.

MARNIE

You’re coordinating with her campaign?

MELISSA

Ha! Coordinating, right. We’re not coordinating anything. Powell won’t even take our phone calls. She says she’s got nothing to say to us until she sees her nephew knocking on her front door. But it doesn’t matter. It’s not about coordination. Hell, it’s probably better if it isn’t coordinated, if it’s clear that Charlotte is just honestly backing her, with or without Powell’s acceptance.

[Train pulls into the next station. More banging]

COMMUTERS

[Various angry shouts and calls]

COMMUTER
Come on assholes! We gotta get home! Eat a trillion dicks! Bespin’ll fuckin’ show you! Bespin’s gonna kick you out!

MELISSA

This is getting old real fast.

[Train pulls out.]

MINDY

Well, you wanted to work in politics.

MELISSA

Did I? I honestly can’t even remember making that decision anymore.

NARRATOR

Of course, she did make that decision, and in truth, she still didn’t regret it, despite everything.

LEON

Really?

NARRATOR

She believed in working to make a difference. She believed in taking on the toughest challenges. Sure, there’d be setbacks…

LEON

She got pepper sprayed…

NARRATOR

…But that wouldn’t stop Melissa.

MELISSA

Okay enough moping. I need a new plan.

NARRATOR

She was committed to making things better.

MELISSA

I need to talk to Isabelle.

LEON

Interesting. I’m going to have to keep an eye on you.

[Train fades]

CREDITS

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

Content warnings at end of show notes.

This episode featured:

  • Alexander Danner as the Narrator
  • Braden Lamb as Leon Stamatis
  • Tanja Milojevic as Melissa Weatherby and Mindy.
  • Eli Baraza as Marnie

The miserable commuters were:

  • Alex Brown
  • Zoe von Embler
  • Kyle Garrett
  • Sarah Golding
  • Sean Howard
  • Jack Pevyhouse
  • Jake Song

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

Content warnings:

  • Strong language
  • Mild violence
  • Angry mob

COOKIE

ZOE VON EMBLER

Listen, I’m gonna manspread all I want! I’m gonna manspread my manspreading! I’m gonna put some manspreading on top of my goddamn fucking manspreading! This is *my* train car!

ZOE VON EMBLER

Who do you think you are? Some kinda el presidente member man on the top of the totem pole! No, I hate to tell you, *my* bitch ass is on the top of the totem pole! I am the ruler of this roost! This is my train car, and I will ask you politely to *leave.*

ZOE VON EMBLER

Listen: I’m gonna ask you one simple question? You do you think you are? Addendum: I’m gonna ask you a second question! Who the fuck do you think I am? Cause the answer to the second question is “the bitch who’s gonna whup your ass if you don’t get outta my way!”

ZOE VON EMBLER

I knew it! I knew the Illuminati were in on this! I saw all of the signs! My barista this morning looked at me in the eye, and he said “have a good day.” And I knew when he said “have a good day” I knew what he really meant was “I am watching you with the eyes of a thousand falcons! I knew it! I knew you were following me! You didn’t think you would get one on me! I have the eyes of an eagle! I’m a patriot! The Illuminati cannot control the media because I am the media!

That one got away from me. Sorry about that.

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