Transcript for Episode 31: Election Day, Part 1

INTRO – Jeff Van Dreason

Hey, everyone! Just a few programming notes about Season 3. You’re about to listen to the first half of our Season 3 mid-season finale. That’s right, this episode is so epic we split it in half and are releasing two episodes on the same day. So if you want more Greater Boston after you listen to Episode 31 part 1? Look for Episode 31 part 2 in your feed immediately after.

After this episode, we’ll be taking a few weeks off. We’ll be back in three weeks on December 18th, with the first mini-episode in a three part series that will be released every other week. These mini-series answers a question we know is on a lot of your minds.


What the F*ck’s Up with the Guinea Pigs?

After those mini-episodes are released, we’ll be back with regular-length episodes on Tuesday, January 29th, running the length of the rest of the season.

In the meantime, if you like what we’ve been doing here, support us however you can. We were announced as finalists for the Discover Pods Desert Island Podcast category, in addition to a bunch of AudioVerse awards. And of course there’s always our Patreon, or leaving us a review on Apple Podcasts or your favorite podcast app.

Thanks for listening. And enjoy Election Day – Part 1.

 

COLD OPEN


CHUCK OCTAGON – Jeff Van Dreason
Can you give me an example of a time you really wrestled with a really difficult…choice that you needed to make?

INTERVIEW 1

Umm. Not really. For me, choices have always just uhh…just fit into place more or less?

[Charlie on the MTA begins to play]

INTERVIEW 1
I wouldn’t even necessarily say I know how to decide, I …think that I …either get lucky and leave things to the…to just the right moment, and the answer just kinda fits? Or, uhh…or there’s not much of a choice in the first place. Be it morally, or physically, or whatever it may be.

 

PREVIOUSLY IN

Jeff Van Dreason

Previously in Greater Boston.

EMILY BESPIN  — Sam Musher

Next week is the big week! Election day is almost here!

NICA STAMATIS  — Kelly McCabe
That’s how I can do my penance, by doing the same shit I’ve been doing but for the right reasons.

DIMITRI STAMATIS —  James Johnston
Do you know where my sister is? Do you know how to find her?

ETHAN BESPIN — Jordan Higgs
Hi honey. I’m home.

OLIVER WEST — Mike Linden
What was the name of your private organization again?

SALES — Rick Zieff
We have many names.

 

S3 TITLE SEQUENCE

Multiple Voices

Fields Corner
Hyde Park

Want it in character voice or real voice?
East Boston
Alright
Malden
Red Line
Dorchester
Salem
Somerville
West Roxbury
Hanson
Worcester
Malden
This..

Somerville

Revere
…is
Uhh…I’ve lived in Lemonster my whole life
Brighton
Uhh…I live in Milton, Massachusetts
Roslindale
(That’s where I’m from)

East Boston
I’m from Dorchester
This is…

South Boston
This is…
In Brockton

Medford, Massachusetts

[Laughter]
Red Line

Dorchester

This is…

This is…

This is…

Greater Boston

 

THIS WEEK

JEFF VAN DREASON

This week in Greater Boston, Episode 31: Election Day, Part 1

[CHARLIE on the MTA music fades out]

 

Int. Montage – “Can you give an example of a time when you really wrestled with a very difficult choice you needed to make?

CHUCK OCTAGONJeff Van Dreason

Can you give me an example of a time you had to wrestle with a really difficult choice you needed to make?

INTERVIEW 2
Hmm, answering these questions. (laughs).

CHUCK OCTAGON
Heh. That counts.

INTERVIEW 3
I…have a friend. They’re name is Ellis. And we…we got really close and…we started talking about maybe dating? But I knew that my parents wouldn’t like Ellis because Ellis had transitioned.

INTERVIEW 4

It’s kinda…personal. But…

CHUCK OCTAGON
If you’re uncomfortable…

INTERVIEW 4
It’s okay. No, I can talk about it. Umm. Forgiving…forgiving that umm did something to me, or like, caused a lot of pain.

INTERVIEW 5
In high school? I did not want to go at a certain time? Due to bullying.

INTERVIEW 2
Whether to quit school or not when I was younger. Those were really difficult choices to make.

INTERVIEW 5
Yeah, but then, I would just think of college, I really wanted to go to college and get my degree and things like that. But then I didn’t wanna stay around the people who were…you know, bringing me down.

INTERVIEW 2
Both times I wound up quitting. It probably wasn’t the right decision. But. I certainly wrestled with it.

INTERVIEW 5
Ultimately I ended up going.

INTERVIEW 3

Do I explain to Ellis that if we do start dating …they won’t be able to be comfortable around my parents because my parents will just…I’m not going to go into specifics, but the word insanity was stated when my dad was talking about Ellis.

INTERVIEW 6
I wanted to be a computer technician, but I realized that like…when I started learning about it, it wasn’t really my thing.

INTERVIEW 7
Going into college I wanted to be Pre-Med, because I knew I was into psychology, but I thought my path would be psychiatry, and the more I learned, and the more classes I took, including somes i really liked and some ones that …completely destroyed me, I realized that what i wanted to do was go into like…therapy and things, but —

INTERVIEW 6
Why should I follow that path and be miserable. It’s better to live your life happy and short than long and miserable.

INTERVIEW 3
Because I didn’t want Ellis to go through that because of me. Because of our relationship. I wanted them to have a relationship where they wouldn’t have to deal with a family that didn’t accept them for who they were, even though I did? Because I knew that if we did start dating, there’d be no escaping just that confrontation and that discussion.

INTERVIEW 4
Umm. I….I had to forgive. And it was like, really really difficult, but like, in order for me to like move on? I had to forgive and…grow.

INTERVIEW 3
I eventually ended up telling my mom when I got drunk one night and…uhh. That led to a lot of awkward discussions. And…Ellis and I are just friends now.  

 

Tinker to Wanda

[Sound of footsteps – Tinker walking through a Red Line subway station].

TINKER IN TAUNTON – Richard Penner (coughs)

Let’s see..105…107. And? Here we are. 109. Doesn’t really give the appearance of any kind of a…domicile. Oh well, here goes.

[Knocks on door]

WANDATanja Milojevic (emerging from front door)

Who the hell are you?

TINKER

Uhh — are you Wanda?

WANDA

No, no, no — I saw you creepin’ up and I came out to say who the hell are you so who the hell are you? Understand how questions work?

TINKER

Uhh — my …my name is Thomas and I’m here —

WANDA

Not interested. I can read it all over your face.

TINKER
Uhh.

WANDA
Canvaser doing last minute electioneering.

TINKER
I don’t think you…

WANDA
Well I know how I’m voting. Uh-huh. I’ve known forever.

TINKER

V— voting?

WANDA

Yeah, it’s election day. And you’re here to tell me how to vote.

TINKER

No, I’m here to deliver a letter.

WANDA

Where’s Morty?

TINKER

Err. Who’s Morty?

WANDA

He’s the fucking mailman, the fuck else would he be? I assume you’re taking over but you ain’t got no mailbag so what the fuck is this, huh?

TINKER

I – I apologize, I didn’t mean to imply I was any type of postal carrier.

WANDA
Yeah, you better apologize.

TINKER
Let me back up. My name is Thomas.

WANDA

Uh-huh. Yeah. Got that.

TINKER

And not too long ago in the process of moving my orrery—

WANDA (simultaneously under her breath)

—don’t even wanna know what the fuck that is —

TINKER

—I discovered this rather unusual letter in the back seat of the truck helping me move. And after much deliberation and consultations with the movement of the solar system, I decided to read this letter—

WANDA (simultaneously under her breath)

—I mean did he say Owlrey? Like the wise birds and shit? Who the fuck has the time for that—

TINKER

—And at first it seemed benign, but as I researched who the intended recipient was I made a rather startling discovery.

WANDA

—How many licks does it take to get to the center of this motherfucker’s point. (Laughs) Useta love those old Tootsie Pop ads, man—

TINKER

The letter was composed by…someone who is no longer alive.

WANDA

What? Come on, man. Did Bernie put you up to this? Or Claire? That fucking ginger prankster, I bet it was her.

TINKER

This is not a joke. I have, in my possession, a letter from a dead man writing to his siblings.

WANDA

Yeah? Well then this has fuck-all to do with me because I ain’t got any siblings, thank fucking Christ. Who’s got the time for that shit?

TINKER

The letter is not addressed to you.

WANDA

No shit, bright eyes. So for the tenth time, the fuck you doing here?

TINKER

Uhh. Yes, well, I attempted several times to locate addresses for the siblings mentioned, but came up empty. The letter makes repeated mention of what I believe is your former place of employment. Third Sight Media? And your address was the only one I could find on the internet.

WANDA

You found my address on the internet?

TINKER

Uhh, yeah. Uh-huh.

WANDA

And just how the hell did you manage to get your hands on that Thom-ass? Huh?

TINKER

You— you made a post on an NFL message board challenging anyone who believes the New England Patriots are dirty cheaters to personally come to your address and uhh… fight you about it.

[Pause]

WANDA

Okay, yeah, that’s fair.

TINKER

But that’s not what I’m here about. I know this isn’t your letter, but I was wondering if you could perhaps pass it along to the intended recipient? It’s possible the person who wrote it used to work for Third Sight Media. Leon? I know you had an advice column with someone answering letters with that name.

WANDA

Nuh-uh, that was Michael’s thing. Used to be Gemma’s.

TINKER

Ooh, uhh,  Michael is named in the letter as well.

WANDA

I don’t know, man. (Pause). Tell you what, I’ll track down our old HR person Tyrell. He’s the one who knew who was who and what was what in terms of personnel. Maybe he’s kept tabs on people and where they’re living, maybe he hasn’t.

TINKER

Thank you, thank you, uhh, thank you very much, very much.

WANDA

Yeah, yeah, thanks a million for giving me work to do from the job that up and shuttered its ass on me. I gotta get to my shitty new job.

TINKER
Umm. Have a happy Election Day!

[WANDA walks further into the subway station]

 

ENDORSEMENTS

[Distant sound of Chuck Octagon talking as Wanda approaches].

CHUCK OCTAGON — Jeff Van Dreason

…Latest polls citing a close race, with still 20% undecided, an unusually high number attributed to Mayor Linzer-Coolidge dropping out of the race. I’m Chuck Octagon, here in Red Line asking people about both candidates and their overall chances. Excuse me, ma’am? Are you voting today?

WANDA

I ain’t no ma’am. Don’t go around calling people ma’am, college boy.

CHUCK OCTAGON

Uhh, excuse me, I didn’t —

WANDA

And hasn’t anyone ever told you it’s rude to ask people how they’re voting? Sanctity of the voting booth and all that shit. Fuck off.

[Wanda walks off / PMC walks up]

CHUCK OCTAGON

Of course. This election has the people passionate, which is no surprise at all. How about you sir, what are your thoughts on the election today in — oh — oh…oh my goodness.

 

PAUL MONTGOMERY CHELMSWORTH James Capobianco

My thoughts on the election? Well —

CHUCK OCTAGON

It’s you. It’s the Mayor. The Mayor of the Red Line.

CHELMSWORTH

Demonstrably false. Otherwise you wouldn’t be asking me questions related to the mayoral election.

CHUCK OCTAGON

Where — where have you been, sir? What do you think about —

CHELMSWORTH

I’m explicitly exhausted explaining where I’ve been. The where isn’t terribly important. The why is…I left because I — because — because I’m a leaver, not a leader. I feel I’d have been nothing but a fantastic failure and in leaving I simply flew right to the foregone finish. As for who I support? Well, my preferred candidate would — would still be Charlotte Linzer-Coolidge. She acted boldly and built this boisterous burg with her bare hands. Simply breathtaking. But now that she’s out of the race, there really isn’t any question, is there? If I remained a resident, you could be reassured I’d be voting for Isabelle Powell. That Bespin women is remarkably rabid, a revolting, raving risk to the city, as is anyone thinking of voting for her.

CHUCK OCTAGON

What are your thoughts on the Red Line boycott Ms. Powell was responsible for?

CHELMSWORTH

I’m unaware of any such thing in the slightest, nor does it make any difference. With Charlotte out of the race, I’m team Isabelle. All the way. Clearly the only sensible choice.

CHUCK OCTAGON

And there you have it folks, news from the Mayor of the Red Line himself —

CHELMSWORTH

Don’t call me that. Chelmsworth. Paul Montgomery Chelmsworth.

CHUCK OCTAGON

Word from Professor Chelmsworth himself. Sir, would you be open for a one-on-one interview in the near — well, he’s gone. How about you, sir? What are your thoughts on the election today?

RUSTYJim Johanson

I have to tell you, I’m quite disappointed my first choice up and quit on me.

CHUCK OCTAGON

Mayor Linzer-Coolidge?

RUSTY

She’s the one. Had this place running like clockwork for a while. I’m a train operator and I can’t begin to tell you how tough things were during that damn boycott. Impossible. I’d be working 24 hour shifts sometimes just trying to get people to and fro. Then again, Ms. Bespin has some pretty extreme ideas. Lotsa strong talk that doesn’t sit right with me. Hmm, but she’s also making sense talking about bringing some big corporations down here, creating jobs, all that. And she wants to help out the operators and we’ve endorsed her. So I haven’t quite made my mind up? But I think it’s safe to say I’m leaning Team Bespin.

CHUCK OCTAGON

Thank you for your time, sir!

RUSTY

You bet. Now time to run those trains and mull my choices. Ain’t democracy grand.

[Rusty walks further into the station on his way to work].

 

BUBBLEGUM HOUSES

[Rusty walks further into the station, down some stairs, pausing as Isabelle campaigns].

ISABELLE POWELLJessica Washington

…And I’m here to tell you that your inconveniences, your train delays, your occasionally late commute into work —

MAN 2Jack Pevyhouse

Occasional?

WOMAN 1Lucile Valentine

One whole week I was four hours late, every day in a row.

ISABELLE

—None of that will compare to what’s coming for you should Emily Bespin win this election.

WOMAN 1

They cut my paycheck in half that week. Now who’s fault is that?

ISABELLE

Now I don’t mean to persuade you solely by highlighting the truth concerning Bespin’s character. I’ve got plans for this city that will make us all better off.

MAN 1Graham Rowat

Plans beside being a pain in my ass?

ISABELLE

Did I inconvenience you sir?

MAN 1

Hell yeah!

ISABELLE

Well good gracious. I inconvenienced you for no reason?

MAN 1

Damn right. The hell did I ever do to you?

ISABELLE

Nothing. You never did nothing to me. When members of my family were forced out of their home because rich folks wanted to raise a swanky new condominium, you did nothing.

WOMAN 1
Oh, come on.

ISABELLE
When my best friend back in high school was shot by the police for grabbing a candy bar in his jacket, you did nothing. When my nephew’s school closed down and he had to take an hour commute because Boston was too busy offering tax breaks to corporations rather than fund its schools, you did nothing then too.

MAN 1

Don’t give me that bunk, I grew up in Lynn in a house made out of cardboard boxes stuck together with bazooka bubblegum. I never did nothing out of sorts with you or anyone like you, I just don’t like sitting underground in the dark for long stretches on end. It’s scary! And I gotta go to work and I gotta eat, so you and whatever point you think you’re making ain’t gonna pay the bills.

ISABELLE

Sir, what do you do to pay the bills?

MAN 1

I’m a welder. And I gotta get from JFK to North Cambridge, then take a city bus out to Arlington or Medford or Watertown, or wherever the work is.

ISABELLE

I want to tell you that I hear you. I empathize with you, with your life, with your fears of getting stuck in the dark, with your loss of hours, with your struggle with your bills, with your long commute, with your…bubblegum house. I empathize with all of that. And that’s what a successful society needs. We need empathy for each other.

I propose a city where workers like you aren’t outsourced to other communities. We have jobs for you right here, work that needs to be done on our stations and trains, to improve our crumbling infrastructure, to expand it! For more homes, more local businesses. I want to take your commute and move it to your station. I know I made your life inconvenient for a time, but I want to organize Red Line to make it more convenient. I want you working for this city and I want this city working for you. There’s plenty of work for all of us and if we all chip in, we’ll all be better off.

I was thinking of workers like you when I came up with this plan. I truly was. Now let me ask you something. When the boycott happened, did you ever think of me? Did you ever wonder why I was doing it? Or did you focus on the inconvenience?

MAN 1

I — I mean, yeah, I figured you were trying to make a statement or somethin’…

ISABELLE

What statement was I trying to make?

MAN 1

I — I don’t know, I just — there’s racism I guess, but I kinda —

ISABELLE

You guess there’s racism. Well, go on. It’s important for me to know if my point failed to get across.

MAN 1

You were angry about your nephew, I know that. Because he got arrested.

ISABELLE

Framed, falsely accused, and wrongfully arrested.

MAN 1

But that had nothin’ to do with me.

ISABELLE

Maybe not directly. But you reacted to my boycott, my righteous display of anger with nothing but self-righteous anger of your own. You failed to empathize with me. Didn’t you? And that’s why things don’t change. Because people not affected by this type of stuff stay silent. Or when they’re inconvenienced out of action, when their privileges are challenged, when the mere suggestion of a change in the power dynamic is shifted? They respond with anger. Not a trace of empathy in the slightest. Now I want to make your life better here in Red Line. I want my life to be better too. I want all of our lives better. But the only way that’s gonna work is if we think about each a hell of a lot more than we do now. We gotta think like a selfless society, not selfish individuals. And that includes having a bit more empathy for what the other person goes through, don’t you think?

MAN 1

Well. Well, I suppose that’s a good point.

ISABELLE

So will you consider having some empathy for ol’ Isabelle Powell and maybe giving me your vote?

MAN 1

I’ll consider it.

ISABELLE

Thank you, sir.

[Modest applause]

RUSTY

Hmm.  Eh, that gives me something to chew on. (Starts walking into work)

[RUSTY walks towards and boards MBTA train. Doors close. Picks up intercom].

 

RUSTY’S ELECTION DAY ANNOUNCEMENT

RUSTY

Good morning Red Line citizens and commuters. Just wanted to shout out a special reminder to everyone: it’s election day in these here parts. If you’re just joining us for your commute, you may notice a touch more buzz and hubbub during your stay. Looking for a piece of the action? Well, if you’re interested in becoming a citizen of Red Line, please ask your Rail Hosts for a brochure, they’d be more than happy to discuss the merits of our unique housing system with you. Citizens: there will be a late night polling station available in each station and rail home. We’re keeping a tight schedule today, as always, so make sure to vote but don’t worry about cutting into your work schedule or daily routine. Thanks folks. And whether you’re a Red Line citizen or a citizen of your own non-train community, please do your democratic duty and vote with your heart.

 

MOLE DILEMMA

[The mixed sound of Rusty making his announcement fades and loses its “live” element, moving solely to a static, echoey announcement. We’re now inside a rail home. Train noise picks up].

NICA STAMATISKelly McCabe

I — I only have a couple of stops. We’re campaigning in what Emily calls enemy territory today, Savin Hill. If she sees me coming out of this car with you two she’s gonna put the screws to me.

LOUISA ALVAREZJulia Propp

We’ll make sure to slip you into a different car when we’re done.

GEMMA LINZER-COOLIDGELydia Anderson

This one and the next two are closed for city renovations. Red Line Public School classrooms damaged during the boycott.

NICA

Oh my goodness. Damaged?

LOUISA

They reserved it for commuters after school hours to deal with the boycott overflow. And, well…when the cars got full, people got angry. Same thing all over.

NICA

Probably not the best use of school property.

GEMMA

Yeah, well, the boycott probably wouldn’t have been necessary if certain someones didn’t create a culture of fear and distrust here, manufacturing events that —

NICA

If you want to call me out, you can be clear and specific. You want to place the entire blame of the boycott on me?

GEMMA

There’s a lot of things I blame you for.

NICA

Well join the fucking club. What is she doing here, anyway?

LOUISA

Okay, both of you, take a breath.

NICA

I thought I could trust you.

LOUISA

You can.

NICA

This was supposed to be kept between us.

LOUISA

We’re working together now, she knew certain information. I needed to tell her.

NICA

No. You didn’t! What part of keeping this a secret did you not understand?

GEMMA

Maybe she knows how dangerous secrets can be.

LOUISA

Take it easy, come on —

NICA

You know what, forget it, I’m not doing this with her around.

LOUISA

— Gemma, get off your high fucking horse before you bump your fucking head. Less than a year ago you tricked me into snooping around Bespin’s rail home, so where do you get off presenting yourself as the moral authority?

GEMMA

That was different, I —

LOUISA

It’s always different with you. I get it. I know what you were trying to do. You were doing what you thought you needed to for Charlotte. You were doing something wrong to do what you felt was something right. If the ends justify the means, what’s the harm? Well Nica’s in the same boat. She may have screwed up more than you did, but she’s trying to right it now and the one thing she doesn’t need is a snarky lecture, or to feel even more like fucking dirt. She’s sticking her neck out for us, for all of us. The least you could do is keep your mouth shut for five minutes and hear what she has to say.

GEMMA

Fine. (Pause). Sorry.

NICA

I know why you hate me. You think I wrecked it for her. The molasses wedding. But I tried to stop it. I promise I — I thought I did…

GEMMA

It doesn’t matter. Tell us what you’ve got before we hit Savin Hill.

NICA

The husband is back and campaigning with her hard. The uhh — the real one.

LOUISA

We know that already.

NICA

Right, but there’s more. I think he’s the source for her increased cash flow, but he’s bringing it in under the table. Also he’s — he’s working on something. He has plans for the city.

GEMMA

Plans?

NICA

Robotic…cheesy…plans.

[Hands over documents]

LOUISA

Oh my god.

GEMMA

I don’t get it. What’s the big deal?

NICA

If Emily wins, he wants to fully automate Red Line within the year. He’s already working on security-bots and developing train-bots as well.

GEMMA

Cheddar-fucking-cheese circuits.

LOUISA

We have to get this out. Immediately.

NICA

You can’t.

GEMMA

Excuse me?

NICA

I’m the only one close enough to the two of them to have access to this knowledge. If you release this, they’ll know it was me and —

GEMMA

Big fucking deal? If we release this, that’s the end of Emily and her campaign.

NICA

What if it isn’t?

GEMMA

Listen Mata Hari, I think you might be getting a little too into your part, don’t you? You realize you don’t actually want Emily to win, right?

LOUISA

She has a point, Gemma.

GEMMA

A). She’s not going to win. B). If she does, you can just quit. Why would you keep working with her? And C). The fact that you would want to keep working for her makes me question what you’re really doing this for.

NICA

  1. If she does win, I’ll still be on the inside.

[Pause]

GEMMA

But — but she’s not going to. Right?

NICA

I don’t know. The polls are a mess. People are really mad about the boycott. Plenty aren’t even voting.

Use this information however you want. But ask yourself — will it be enough? Will you be able to communicate it in time for it to resonate? And if you do, will that make a difference? I honestly don’t know.

You’re not completely wrong, though. There’s a part of me that is enjoying this. I always wanted to be something of a performer. The thing about this part is I need to commit, so I might as well try to enjoy it. If it appears as if I wasn’t committed to Emily? I wouldn’t be there. And that means I’m committed to being a lesser version of myself.

When I was a kid, the power went out during a hurricane, and my brothers and I stayed up late and told each other spook stories with nothing but flashlights. When it was my turn, I would speak very slowly and deliberately and — oh god, the looks on their faces when I’d make them flinch with just the right turn of phrase, just the right vocal inflection. And then the power came back on and — and I wanted more. So when nobody was looking, I crept downstairs and stole the fuses. Put them in my sock drawer. And we went back to telling stories. Until they figured out what I’d done.

I was committed to that lie too. We sat around and asked each other what was happening to the power, and I wondered just as much as they did. I’d theorize everything from neighborhood electrical work to alien invasion. And when they discovered what I’d done, found the fuses, I committed. Acted all shocked and surprised. Because what choice did I have? I needed to believe my own lie. I wanted the power out and the fun to keep going. But the power can’t stay out forever. Sooner or later, the lights come back on. Darkness lifts like a curtain. The lights expose everything. And everyone can see clearly again.

(Pause)

This is my stop.

LOUISA

Back this way.

[They walk through the train and we hear a couple of different sets of Red Line doors. Sound of Chelsea Spear busking – Hot Paintings – original song. Footsteps stop and listen to the song, and then walk further along the platform. Campaign Music is muffled and then louder as NICA gets closer . Emily is giving a speech].

 

WEAPONS OF DEVOTION

[Campaign speech and music gets louder as NICA approaches].

EMILY BESPINSam Musher

This is our community. And my criminal competitor will tell you we need to embrace the transit service as a source of income. That’s pure 100% Poppycock!  I already have made connections, sparked conversations and held negotiations with major industries, powerful corporations and innovative companies who are thrilled to bring brand new headquarters to Red Line that will help develop our already vibrant and exciting community while giving our economy a shot in the arm. And that means jobs. Jobs for you, for you, for you, for all of us! Jobs you can work from home, jobs literally connected to your commute, jobs that will fill you with a newfound sense of purpose and the spirit of community my criminal competitor claims you can only find opening your door to every drunken riff and dangerous raff stumbling through your doors.

[APPLAUSE]

REPORTER 1Alexander Danner

How do you answer claims that your attacks against the Powell campaign and her followers are blatant racism?

EMILY

Racism? Hokum! Hooey! Horsefeathers! My beautiful buttery baked bun of brilliance boo-boo bear Ethan is black, after all! Would a racist honestly marry a black person?

REPORTER 2Jeff Van Dreason

Uhh — yeah, maybe?

REPORTER 1

It’s certainly possible AT the very least.

ETHAN BESPINJordan Higgs  (steps up to mic)

*Ahem* Ladies and gentlemen, this is all gotcha journalistic nonsense to distract from the important issues at hand and I won’t stand to hear another word about my lovely wife being racist to me.

[APPLAUSE]

EMILY (fading in the background)
Why are we burdening ourselves with inconvenience every time we wake up in the morning, every time we come home, every time we go to the park or simply travel across the river? Why must we open our doors to strangers with questionable ethics and intentions. Simply to be good neighbors? For the spirit of community?

[Ethan steps away from mic as reporters continue to fire questions at Emily and approaches Nica.]

ETHAN [To NICA, during speech]

Most clocks are right twice a day but you’re always running behind.

NICA

I was working on getting Emily a radio spot.

ETHAN

And how did that go?

NICA

It’s in negotiation.

ETHAN

HAH! Even when talk is cheap, it still can cost more than you’re willing to pay.

NICA (disgusted)

I need to get ready to handle the press pool.

[Walks away, speech fades. Someone desperately runs into her].

Watch it!

DIMITRI STAMATISJames Johnston

Sorry, ‘scuse me. [Pause]. Ni — Nica?

NICA

Dimitri! I —

MALLORYJohanna Bodnyk

How’s it hanging, boss lady?

NICA

Mallory? How — how how how how— what — how are you?

MALLORY

Been better. But the bandages are mostly off.

NICA

Mostly? That’s good.

MALLORY

Yeah. There’s just one more I need to rip off. Gonna be a real fucking painful one, I can tell. (Pause) Look, we got baggage, but the two of you got more fucking luggage than Logan, so I’ll hang back and give you some space. Just remember Dimitri, they’ll be on the next train.

NICA

Who will?

DIMITRI

It’s — it’s this television show. They’re after me. It’s hard to explain.  

NICA

Right. Television is after you. You’re a big star, now! The man who found DB Cooper and all that jazz.

DIMITRI

I — I’ve been looking for you. I was going to be ask if you wanted to be on this show with me. The show, it’s like …it’s like a mystery show. Inexplicable Riddles? Travel the world and investigate mysteries. But then — then I couldn’t find you and I took off and now they’re after me. Investigating me.

NICA (laughs)

How perfect is that.

DIMITRI

You’re — you’re in politics now?

NICA

Something like that. I’m glad you’re okay.

DIMITRI

You don’t sound glad I’m okay.

NICA

You’re right, I don’t sound glad that you’re okay, but that doesn’t mean I’m not glad you’re okay, okay?

DIMITRI

Okay.

NICA

I can’t talk right now. Work.

DIMITRI

Sure. I — can we catch up sometime soon? Nica I — if I had known about Leon, I would have —

[Red Line train pulls in]

NICA

If you had known. If you had known?

[Bitter laugh]

You know what’s funny? I’ve replayed this moment in my mind. And now that you’re back? Now that this moment has finally arrived? I can’t even muster the fucking energy.

[Red Line doors pop open, FAKE NICA pops out]

GREENE Kenny Garcia
Faster, faster, keep up with him!

FAKE NICAKristen DiMercurio

Dimitri! You found her! How does it feel?

DIMITRI

I — I uhh —

NICA

Who the hell is this?

FAKE NICA

Hello, me. Meet the fake me.

[Fire alarm rings out]

MALLORY

FIRE FIRE EVERYONE GET THE FUCK OUT! (Grabbing Dimitri) Beat feet, Scent Wipe. Reunion’s over.

[They run away]

FAKE NICA

And the chase continues. Bye, real me. We’ll have to have a more formal introduction later. But for the record? The chump did try hard to look for you. And when he found out about your brother? He was torn up worse than a losing lotto ticket. Ciao!  

GREENE
No, he’s going up the escalator! Follow him!

NICA

Ah — I —

EMILY

Nica, who were those rumpled looking ruffians you were wasting your time with?

NICA

News crew. They only had a minute so I gave them the rundown while you were wrapping up your speech.

EMILY

Trying to slip into the limelight, are you? If you forget your place again, you might end up without one. Just like so many of my enemies will. Remember that.

ETHAN

End up without a home. I tried that once, but here we are, playing a disgusting little dog and pony show on account of my…race? I’m not even black, I’m mixed race and I —

EMILY

Shh, we can’t have anyone overhear you. Oh, I know it’s a bit of a fib, darling, and I despise calling attention to such a private topic, but it’s important to educate these simpletons concerning their foolish misconceptions. They’re calling me a racist. Me! Can you believe it? If anything, Powell and her greedy agitators are being racist to me.

ETHAN

Colors are like voices; they can whisper or shout but are generally best left unheard.

EMILY

Oh, when did you begin this silly riddle-speak? Was it after you left me?

ETHAN

Speaking of leaving you. I must get back to the lab.

EMILY [Urgent]

Already? When will you be back? You know once we win we we we can give you as much lab space as you need. Here, in Red Line, close by, so you don’t have to constantly slip away an—

ETHAN

Shh. You’re a weapon of devotion. Keep the faithful entertained or they all may leave you far behind.

(Walks away, takes out ringing cell phone and answers)

What could possibly be so urgent?

OLIVER WEST Mike Linden (over phone)

The …business associates I was telling you about? They’re here. They’re requiring a demonstration of your handiwork.

ETHAN

Cracking whips completes nothing but scars.  

OLIVER (over phone, transitions to Oliver being live, Ethan being on the phone)

Yes, yes. I’ve assured them it’s all a work in progress. These people are not common carnival barkers. They’re serious businessmen who want to see results with their own eyes before they even entertain expenditure. Even if you don’t have satisfactory results, get over here and turn these blasted things on. I don’t know where the on-switch is and before you ask — no, I do not want to know where the on-switches are.

ETHAN

I’m on my way. Keep them entertained. Or try to. I know it must be hard for you.

LEGION

[Oliver hangs up his cell phone]

OLIVER

May I offer you gentleman any additional refreshments? I’m sorry there isn’t much besides corn dogs and deep fried Oreos, we weren’t prepared for —

MANAGERRick Zieff

You may offer us a look at what you have planned for Red Line. That’s what you contacted my associate for, is it not?

SALESRick Zieff

To be fair, Mr. Vandermonte did request we meet with him after he asserts control over Red Line.

MANAGER

And what’s the likelihood of that happening? This entire endeavor could be nothing but a gigantic waste of time. No, we had business in town today. He wanted to meet. We’re here. We’re meeting. And he has nothing to show us.

OLIVER

I — I do! I just — I need my business partner to lead the presentation, and he’s on his way, I promise you, but —

LAWYERRick Zieff

I believe that when Associate Sales discussed our arrangement, there was no agreement concerning additional business partners.

SALES

Now, now, Lawyer, I did suggest the former Mr. Oliver West, may he rest in peace, meet with the man who was squatting at his property. I believe that if Mr. Vandermonte secures Red Line for us, Mr. Bespin could help make the city even more profitable. Keep in mind, gentleman, the city of Red Line is unlike any other city we’ve ever…partnered with before. If we choose to expand there with another regional headquarters, we’d need a fresh way of thinking. And part of that is keeping in mind the cost to keep up the city. Every city has moving parts to manage. But this one literally moves.

MANAGER

When it’s our city, we can decide that it doesn’t move and use it for whatever we like.

SALES

Sure, Manager, but that would result in a considerable loss of profit. For the city’s chief source of income is the fact that it can transport people. Right now, it’s transporting non-citizens, but in the future we could charge citizens and non-citizens alike.

OLIVER

You’d charge citizens for commuting on the trains they live on?

LAWYER

Of course!

MANAGER

We’d consider it…a tax.

SALES

A tax. Indeed. The cost of doing business, Mr. Vandermonte.

OLIVER

What — what association did you gentleman say you represented again?

LAWYER

We didn’t say.

SALES

Not yet.

MANAGER

But I will inform you now. Perhaps once you know who and what you’re dealing with, once you have the sense of scope of the resources at our disposal, you’ll push your tardy business partner to move at a faster clip to keep us happy. Because everyone likes us much, much better when we’re happy.

Mr. Vander — ah, idiotic alias, that. Mr. West? We…are Legion.

OLIVER

Le — Legion?

[Frantically dials phone]

GET. HERE. NOW!

LEONBraden Lamb

Oh, Oliver. What exactly have you set in motion, here?

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

Ready for more Greater Boston? Go ahead and listen to Episode 31: Election Day – Part 2. Ready for your ears right now. The thrilling conclusion of our midseason-finale.

In order of appearance, this episode featured:

Jeff Van Dreason as Chuck Octagon
James Capobianco as Paul Montgomery Chelmsworth
James Johanson as Rusty
Jessica Washington as Isabelle Powell
Kelly McCabe as Nica Stamatis
Julia Propp as Louisa Alvarez
Lydia Anderson as Gemma Linzer-Coolidge
Sam Musher as Emily Bespin
Jordan Higgs as Ethan Bespin
James Johnston as Dimitri Stamatis

Johanna Bodnyk as Mallory
Kristen DiMercurio as Fake Nica
Mike Linden as Oliver West
And Braden Lamb as Leon Stamatis

Also featuring,
Richard Penner as TInker / Thomas
Tanja Milojevic as Wanda
Jack Pevyhouse, Lucille Valentine and Graham Rowat as political participants.

And Kenny Garcia as Spencer Greene

Interviews recorded with Greater Boston residents.

Charlie on the MTA is performed by Emily Peterson and Dirk Tiede. Drums by Jim Johanson. Broke Yeti by Ryan Estrada.Special thanks to Chelsea Spear for letting us record her busking version of her beautiful song Hot Paintings for this episode. Check out Chelsea’s youtube channel or find her on Twitter @ – TravelsWithBrindle

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

Episode transcripts will be posted online at GreaterBostonShow.com.

Special thanks to our Patrons Bridge and Rasmus. If you’re interested in supporting Greater Boston, visit us at patreon.com/GreaterBoston

 

 

COOKIE

KENNY GARCIA
Where did he go? Over there, over there. Dahh–ahh!

JEFF VAN DREASON
The escalator, the escalator!

KENNY GARCIA
Dahh! Oh gosh, I’m …I’m caught in the escalator! Dighhstatt…

JEFF VAN DREASON
(laughing)
No I mean he ran to the escalator.

KENNY
Oh!

[Group laughter]

JEFF VAN DREASON
But I like that he gets caught in the escalator! That’s great.

ALEXANDER DANNER
Yeah! That’s it for Greene!

JEFF VAN DREASON
That’s the end of Greene.

[Laughter. James Capobianco does Wilhelm Scream impression]

JEFF VAN DREASON
Sound be like…like a wood chipper just …zzrrrrrrrrrrrr. Someone on channel 9 comes on, “Tragedy today in Red Line.”

KENNY GARCIA
I —

 

 

CONTENT WARNINGS

  • Strong language
  • Political Manipulation and Deception
  • Racism (institutional and otherwise)
  • Threat of violence concerning New England Patriots
  • Possibility of being caught in escalator
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