Transcript for Mini Episode: Seriously, What’s the F***ing Deal with the Guinea Pigs? Part 1

JEFF VAN DREASON

Hey everyone! Happy one-month till PodCon 2! I mean, assuming that you’re listening to this on the day it comes out. If not, then it could be three weeks or two days or, you know, it could’ve already happened. Whatever. I guess the larger point is, don’t use your podcast like a calendar! In any event, I wanted to let you know that Alexander and I will be appearing at PodCon 2 in Seattle from January 18th to the 20th, and we’ll have a creator table there as well, so come on by and say hello! And we’ll have t-shirts, posters, and other merch for sale, including some exclusive items we’ll only be selling at PodCon. Hope to see you there!

[Slow drums and guinea pigs squealing.]

JEFF VAN DREASON

This week in Greater Boston: Seriously, What’s the F***ing Deal with the Guinea Pigs? Part 1

LEON

The Lottery had ended in disaster. Autumn had filed for divorce. In a moment of desperation, Oliver had kidnapped a man, and very nearly killed him! The rain of incomprehensible pneumatic messages on the night of the election proved that  hadn’t gone exactly as planned. Tate was still alive, though seemingly not in his right mind.

He supposed he should be angry with Phil about that—for defying, or at least, willfully misinterpreting Oliver’s instructions. Tate was a problem. A witness. Another failure in a string of failures.

But still…he felt some relief at not adding “murder” to his criminalis vitae. Or Phil’s.

Oh, now you feel bad about it, do you? I hope you don’t think failing absolves you of having tried.

Ahem. ThirdSight, his one solid bit of empire, was completely lost. He had been chased out of Wonderland, now finding himself holed up at Wonderland with a robot-building lunatic. His whole plan for Bespin had been co-opted by these strange people, this “Legion,” but for their own reasons. What reasons? And now… now…

OLIVER

You must believe events are favoring you, don’t you Mr. Stamatis?

LEON

… Me?

OLIVER

Despite the valuable asset I still possess–my victorious mayor, who owes everything to me. You believe you’ve seen me at my nadir–and perhaps that is true. But you must understand that this moment is the prelude to glory. To conquest. I own the mayor, Mr. Stamaits. And through her, I own the city.

LEON

I doubt she sees it that way.

OLIVER

I may not be able to hear you, Mr. Stamatis, but I have sense enough to know when you are near. And I know you well enough to anticipate your thoughts.

LEON

You don’t know me.

[Phone rings.]

OLIVER

Excuse me a moment, if you will. [Into phone.] Philip.

PHIL

Hey, Uncle Ollie. Just thought I’d check in and see how you’re doing.

OLIVER

Ah, I thought you might be calling to congratulate me.

PHIL

On what?

OLIVER

On what?! On the election, Philip. You are aware that Emily was victorious?

PHIL

Aw, you know me, Uncle Ollie. I don’t really follow politics.

OLIVER

Yes. Well. In any case, you’ve no need for concern as to my well-being. Circumstances are correcting course swimmingly. With Emily now in place, our path back into the halls of power will be illuminated shortly. It is just a matter of patience.

PHIL

Well, I’m glad you’re not alone at least.

OLIVER

I rather wish I were, to be perfectly candid. This Ethan fellow is a bit eccentric.

PHIL

Eccentric. Sure.

OLIVER

And how are you faring in your own tactical hermitage?

PHIL

I mean, you know. It’s hard. I’m mostly just rewatching all of Star Trek from the beginning. Just finished Voyager and started in on Hidden Frontier. But I miss…you know. People.

OLIVER

People are contentious things. You’re as well off without them as with.

PHIL

Suuuure.

OLIVER

Speaking of people we’d be as well off without–I couldn’t help noticing that Michael Tate appears to be in good health and enjoying his access to the pneumatic tubes.

PHIL

Right. I’ve been…um. Taking care of him. Like you said.

OLIVER

Yes. I suppose I did say that, didn’t I? Well. I just want to be clear that…I appreciate the initiative you took in interpreting my orders. Your decision was sound.

PHIL

I’m glad to hear that, Uncle Ollie. I really am. So, while you’re deciding not to be mad at me for my decisions, I should tell you that  I spoke to Aunt Autumn.

OLIVER

That’s rather unwise at this time, Philip.

PHIL

And she said you haven’t been in touch at all. Not even a letter in the tubes. And I get why you don’t want to talk to Aunt Autumn right now, but Ada still wants to hear from you. I know what that means to him, Uncle Ollie. You can’t let that go.

OLIVER

I appreciate the assistance you have given me in my many endeavors, Philip. I’m uncertain that I’ve sufficiently expressed my gratitude for your efforts and your companionship.

PHIL

You’re family, Uncle Ollie.

OLIVER

I understand that the prudent reclusivity that our current circumstances necessitate don’t suit your usual proclivities. But this will pass, I assure you. With our newfound influence over the municipal seat of power, we will be able to redirect investigations into the lottery to our benefit. Just as soon as the mayoral transition is complete.

I will ensure your wellbeing, Philip. I hope that is clear. I will not allow you to come to harm.

PHIL

I know, Uncle Ollie.

OLIVER

And toward that end, I really ought to return to my nefarious scheming. But please…remain cautious and concealed.

PHIL

I will. Talk to you later, Uncle Ollie.

[End call.]

LEON

He sounds happy.

OLIVER

The faith my nephew has in me is quite moving. Wouldn’t you agree?

LEON

No.

OLIVER

He understands that there is a process. That I have my ways of turning dire circumstances to my advantage. It’s time I allowed you to know me a little better. So that you will understand the magnitude of my perseverance. My capacity to overcome adversity. Shall I tell you my story?

LEON

I don’t see how I could stop you.

OLIVER

I wasn’t always the portrait of success you saw when we first met. I grew up in a modest house, sharing a bedroom with my brother, Norbert.

LEON

You don’t need to tell me. As soon as you think about it, I know it. I could tell it myself. That’s basically my job.

OLIVER

You wouldn’t know Norbert. He departed this mortal coil quite some years ago. But we’ll come to that.

LEON

Okay, fine.

OLIVER

I didn’t resent the humility of our home at the time, but worried that even that small domicile might be only temporary. I did not achieve my wealth through inheritance. I could have. My grandparents did quite well for themselves.

My father’s relationship with success, however, could best be described as “mutually exclusive.”

He spent one year as a door-to-door salesmen for a knife company that required salesmen to purchase any stock they couldn’t sell. Confident that he could easily sell 100 knife sets in a year, he filled our back closet with his stock. He sold 14.

The company had a unique bonus system—the top salesman each week had a chance to take home a hundred dollar bill. The bill was taped to the ceiling. All you had to do was leap high enough to pull it down. My father spoke so enviously of the men he watched fruitlessly jumping up and down while their employer laughed and cheered them on. He was eager for his chance to try.

Norbert and I spent our teen years watching our father burn his way through the last of our grandparents’ money. We squirreled away what we could, stealing cash from Father’s pockets while he slept, to supplement our own meager retail incomes.

We swore we would never leave our own children in such desperation. So degraded as to pickpocket their own fathers just to buy a can of beans, a loaf of bread. And they have not. Neither Ada nor Philip have ever known a day of hunger, a day of worry for the provenance of their meal. But Norbert…Norbert is gone. My brother and companion. And so it falls to me to assure the wellbeing of both our sons. That is what I have done.

That is what I am doing.

[Background continues for a bit, then guinea pigs fade out]

 

CREDITS

JEFF VAN DREASON

We hope you’re enjoying Greater Boston as much as we enjoy making it. With the new Year coming, we hope you will consider helping us to keep making Greater Boston, by contributing to our Patreon, if you’re able. These funds help us to pay our amazing actors and musicians, to upgrade our equipment, and to keep the show sustainable. Even as little as $1 a month is a tremendous help. And in exchange, you can get great rewards, like early access to every episode, Discord voice chats with the creators, and even a monthly tour of one of the stops in Red Line. And if you can’t donate, you can still help us out, but telling a friend about Greater Boston!

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

This episode featured:

  • Mike Linden as Oliver West (he/him)
  • Braden Lamb as Leon Stamatis (he/him)
  • and Michael Melia as Philip West (he/him)

Drums by Jim Johanson

[Drums fade out]

 

COOKIE

MICHAEL MELIA

Okay, so you need to always refer to him as “Uncle Ollie.”

[laughs]

JEFF

Alexander does this thing, and I’ve pointed it out to him before, where he has everybody use their names a lot, and I’ve been like “you know people don’t always do that?”

MICHAEL
Yeah, it’s…

JEFF

It’s a little…

MICHAEL
It’s an odd choice.

MIKE LINDEN [In a funny squeaky voice]

Go ahead, now you have to read the rest with a straight face!

 

CONTENT NOTES

  • Strong language
  • Exploitative working conditions
  • Child neglect and parental absence