Worser Worcester – Greater Boston Halloween Special 2019 Transcript

Worser Worcester 

[Haunting Tune by Dirk Tiede plays]

VOICES
This is…
This is…
This is…

CHUCK OCTAGONJeff Van Dreason
Worcester? 

[News music plays by Dirk Tiede]


DEEP VOICE
THE UNDERGROUND

(traffic sounds)

CHUCK

Good evening, I’m Chuck Octagon, and this is a special Halloween news update from The Underground. I’m currently standing mere feet away from an abandoned Market Basket in Boston’s West End, which up until last week was scheduled to be demolished in preparation for new condominium construction. That is until something sinister transpired. Reportedly, the survey crew checking on structural integrity of the building has mysteriously disappeared, and plans to begin construction have been put on hold until a further investigation can take place. Nobody has seen or heard from the crew in over two weeks. Some local residents claim the building is haunted and is best left undisturbed. I’m here tonight to get to the bottom of these allegations and discuss it with the neighborhood people themselves. 

Excuse me? Hi, sorry. Did you ever shop at this Market Basket?

 

BOBBYJosh Rubino

No. 

 

CHUCK

Because it was haunted?

 

BOBBY

Haunted? It’s a grocery store. And it’s closed. How am I supposed to shop at a closed grocery store?

 

CHUCK

I meant…when it was open. 

 

BOBBY

Huh?

 

CHUCK

Did you shop there when it was open?

 

BOBBY

Oh, I get it. You think I’m one of those type of fellas. 

 

CHUCK

I…beg your pardon?

 

BOBBY

Not interested. Not for me. Not my thing. Next question. 

 

CHUCK

Uhh — that’s — that’s really the only question I have?

 

BOBBY

What the hell kinda interview is this?

 

CHUCK

Well. It’s about that building, but if you don’t have an opinion about it then — 

 

BOBBY

Oh, I got opinions about it. It’s an eyesore. Tear it down and make condos out of it is what they should do.

 

CHUCK

That’s what they are doing. 

 

BOBBY

Well if you know so much about it, what the hell are you asking me for?

 

CHUCK

Uhh — I — I mean — thank you, sir.

 

BOBBY

Sure, weirdo. Good luck gettin’ to the bottom of somethin’ you already know.

 

CHUCK

Excuse me, hi-hi. Would you be willing to tell me your thoughts on the building behind me?

 

23 SKIDOOJulia Schifini

The Market Basket? It’s sad to see it closed. While they need to improve big time on their environmental practices, they reportedly treat their employees very well in terms of compensation and even provided stock options. 

 

CHUCK

Did you shop there often?

 

23 SKIDOO

Oh, no, I’m a garden girl myself. Besides, I don’t really live around here, just visiting a friend. When did it close?

 

CHUCK

Uhh, about a year ago. They’re going to demolish it for condos.

 

23 SKIDOO

Affordable housing?

 

CHUCK

Uhh…only for some. The smallest units were slated to cost three thousand dollars a month. 

 

23 SKIDOO

Well, that just smells like rotten eggs to me. I don’t eat eggs personally and I try to stay away from them, but I’ve heard when they go rotten they smell especially foul. 

 

CHUCK

Take it from me, this is true.

 

23 SKIDOO

You know, I’m really not a violent person, but when I hear about situations like this, it really makes me wish I was some sort of powerful being who could harness my energy for good at the expense of the greedy exploiters who take advantage of the working class for capital they don’t need and do not earn. 

 

CHUCK

Thank you for your thoughts. 

 

23 SKIDOO

Anytime! Time to live up to my name— 

 

CHUCK

Which is?

 

23 SKIDOO

23 Skidoo! It’s old-fashioned slang for peace-ing out, toot suite. Bye!

 

CHUCK

You, there. Excuse me. Can I ask you your thoughts on — 

 

OCJeff Van Dreason
(sounds very similar to Chuck, but not quite)

Yes. I can tell you all about that Market Basket.

 

CHUCK

You …you look incredibly familiar. And if I may say so, incredibly handsome. 

 

OC

You may say so.

 

CHUCK

You look incredibly familiar. And handsome. 

 

OC

Thank you. 

 

CHUCK

What’s your name, sir?

 

OC

Oh, you can call me Oc. 

 

CHUCK

Oc. Okay, Oc, tell me about the Market Basket?

 

OC

I’d rather show you. Follow me. Inside. 

 

CHUCK

You — how — how can you get inside?

 

OC

Easy. It’s where I’m from.  

 

CHUCK

You — you live inside?

 

OC

I didn’t say live. I said from. But I have my ways in and out. Mostly out these days. Coming?

 

CHUCK

Listeners, we’re going around the side of the building and — and this mysterious figure is leading us through a door in the back that’s meant for deliveries. Apparently he has a key. 

 

[Traffic noise fades, footsteps, sounds of chain being removed, metal door cranking open, hum of grocery store noise]

 

CHUCK

Tell me, Oc, what do you do for a living?

 

OC

Oh, I sell little trinkets here and there. Items of luck and good fortune. And I read fortunes occasionally, too. 

 

CHUCK

You’re a fortune teller?

 

OC

Like I said before. I prefer to show, not tell. And it’s not always fortune I show, but it frequently is the future. The two don’t always intertwine, sadly. 

 

CHUCK

What’s in my future then?

 

OC

A journey, perhaps. You won’t go far. But also? You will. 

 

[Footsteps as Chuck follows Oc inside]

 

OC

Now. The dry goods aisle. Near the canned beans. 

 

CHUCK

Are you coming with me?

 

OC (chuckle)

As I said. I’m mostly out these days. But I think you’ll find…something resembling an answer to your investigation there. 

 

[Eerie but calm “glowing” sound effect that intensifies as Chuck moves closer]

 

CHUCK (walking)

Listeners, the lights are off, but there’s a soft blue glow illuminating my way. It must be some kind of emergency lighting, or could it be equipment left from the missing team? I plan to investigate no matter what and get to the bottom of — (shift in tone). Of…oh. Oh, my. Listeners, there’s a slight…what looks like a blue…tear…right through the middle of the dry goods isle. Between the cans of baked beans and the cans of brown bread. Huh. There’s still food on this isle, which is quite strange. It’s the only one fully stocked. 

 

This light. It’s…it’s..so peaceful. Inviting. Calming. I’m going to…

 

[“Glowing” sound intensifies as Chuck moves closer — then a new noise takes over, as if the glowing noise is suddenly overwhelming]

 

CHUCK

Wait, it’s. It’s moving towards me! I — WAIT!

 

[Zap noise. Then, Chuck is on a red line train, having moved through some kind of wormhole or portal. Shocked surprise from the surrounding people]

EMILY Sam Musher
Gasp!

 

YELENA Tanja Milojevic

It’s SPY! Grab him!

 

EMILY

Oh, dear. Oh, dear, where did he even come from? He just — he just appeared! 

 

GERALDJames Capobianco

At ease, Em. It’s just another trick from the Queen.  

 

CHUCK

You — you’re…Dipshit!

 

GERALD

I beg your pardon, sir. Just because we caught you red handed, an obvious agent of the wretched Rail Queen doesn’t give you the allowance to hurl immature schoolboy nicknames at me. 

 

CHUCK

And you’re — Emily? Emily Bespin? How did I get here? How — do you two know each other?

 

EMILY

Bespin? My name is Emily Poletti.

 

GERALD

That’s my wife you’re speaking to, you scoundrel spy, and I’ll have you not forget it or your face will taste pillow feathers. 

 

YELENA

We are three minutes to Downtown Crossing.

 

CHUCK

Please. There’s been some mistake. I — I don’t recognize. Is this Red Line? 

 

YELENA

Of course it is. What’s the matter with you? You sneak on this train like filthy rat spy and expect us to believe you are some phantom? Hahahaha. No, no, no, no, no, no. 

 

GERALD

Tell us your plans, stranger, or we’ll feed you to the pillows. 

 

CHUCK

Pi—pillows? Why — why do you all have beards?

 

GERALD

You ask way too many questions you should have the answer to. The pillows might be good for you. I think it might be a good idea to toss you off from the rear car, make you eat sparking tracks. 

 

EMILY

Oh, goodness, the thought of it! I can’t bear it!

 

CHUCK

Please. I’m sorry, I have no idea what you’re saying. I’m a news reporter, or I was. For 7 News Boston. And then I quit and joined this other organization called The Underground. Clunky name, I know, it wasn’t me, it was the guy with the money, Michael Tate, he was all like — 

 

EMILY

GASP!

 

GERALD

What did you say?

 

CHUCK

Uhhh…Tate? Michael Tate?

 

GERALD

And you work with this Tate?

 

CHUCK

Umm. No?

 

YELENA

A liar AND traitor, written all over weasel face. A servant of Rail Queen!

 

GERALD

Easy, Yelena. Tell me, stranger. If you’re a reporter from Boston, how did you end up here?

 

CHUCK

Here? Where — where am I?

 

GERALD

You honestly expect me to believe you don’t know.

 

CHUCK

I mean, it’s clearly the Red Line, but it’s all — different. The — the seats are gone, there’s boxes of supplies and — and pillows everywhere? This isn’t the Red Line I know, but the Red Line I knew was in Boston.

 

GERALD

Boston is gone, my friend. Long gone. Been gone for over a decade, the victim of the first Rail War. You, sir, are in Worcester. 

 

CHUCK

No. NO! NO! NOOOOOOO! That’s impossible, Worcester doesn’t have a transit system!

 

YELENA

Of course it does, you buffoon, Boston was city without train! Especially now that it is just smoking ruin covered in pillow feathers. 

 

CHUCK

What’s with all this…pillow talk?

 

[Squeaky intercom]

 

EMILY

GASP! OH no. It’s her! I can’t stand to listen!

 

23 SKIDOO [Through intercom]

Attention transit heathens and traitors of the rails. This is your queen, speaking. 

 

[evil tones play]

 

CHUCK

Is…that…23 Skid—

 

EMILY

DON’T say her name!

 

23 SKIDOO

I applaud your separatist attempts, feeble as they might be. You’ve actually given me something exciting to look forward to, namely, extinguishing your pitiful ‘quote-resistance-end quote’ in one clean swoop. You’re approaching Park Street, and also your pillowy doom. I know what you were up to. There’s a traitor in your midst, a filthy subway rat who whispered in my ears. You’ll never know who, but it won’t matter soon because you’re about to face a mouthful of feathers. I have the foolish spies who dared  to walk within my midst as hostages. If you want to get them, you’ll have to fight both my Green Line and Orange Line armies at Park Street. And given how many of you I know there are, you won’t stand a chance in hottest hell. So say your prayers and prepare to beg for mercy. But know this. Your Queen is NOT merciful. Your life is my name. Time for you ALL to 23 Skidoo! 

 

MICHAEL TATE James Oliva
(growling)

This has been a message from your Rail Queen. Separatists? Prepare to meet your doom. 

 

23 SKIDOO

Hang up, you blabbering fool. Who allowed you to use the microphone?

 

MICHAEL 

But — (coughs) but it’s still cool though right? Uh, uh, oka—[abruptly cuts off]

 

YELENA

Clearly we know traitor. 

 

CHUCK

But – but but but — I haven’t been here long enough to — 

 

EMILY

Oh, it doesn’t matter now, we’re all doomed. 

 

GERALD

He’s not the traitor. I’m the one who told her where we were going. 

 

EMILY

What?

 

YELENA

Boss? How COULD you!

 

GERALD

We’re not going to Park Street, but I told the Rail Queen we were. We’re stopping in Downtown Crossing and we’re going to sneak past Park Street in the process, right to where she’s keeping the hostages. 

 

CHUCK

Wait. So — this has the same stops as the Red Line in Boston. Are you sure we’re not in Boston? Are we like…by the Atlantic Ocean? 

 

EMILY

Of course we are.

 

CHUCK

I — I see. And Boston was — slightly west of here?

 

GERALD

Why do you insist on asking idiotic, obvious questions?

 

CHUCK

The portal. I must have — Tell me something. These hostages she’s referring to. Who are they?

 

YELENA

Strangers. Like yourself. They showed up out of nowhere wearing construction gear, hard hats and the like. We thought they were spies, but got caught up in a battle with the Rail Queen’s armies, led by that monster Pillow Smasher Tate. 

 

GERALD

They took them hostage before we could ask them questions. 

 

CHUCK

Construction gear, huh? I think I know what’s happening. I’m in a mirror universe! (heh, cool). But no matter, it’s going to sound absolutely bonkers and we don’t have time. Why do you fight with  pillows?

 

EMILY

What — what else would you fight with?

 

CHUCK

Uhh. Well, where I’m from, we fight with…well, anything from fists, to knives, to guns, to — 

 

EMILY
Gasp!

 

GERALD

Where you come from sounds like a purely barbaric place, friend. 

 

CHUCK

Yeah. I suppose that’s true. Listen to me. I want to help you. I’m not afraid of getting hit with pillows. Quite the opposite, in fact. It sounds — well, kind of nice, to be honest. 

 

YELENA

He’s insane person!

 

CHUCK

So put me in the front and let me take the brunt of the attacks. And we’ll plow through and rescue those hostages. But then you need to help me go home. I think we need to bring the train back in the other direction. Towards — where did we come from?

 

GERALD

Braintree. 

 

CHUCK

Back towards Braintree. With me and whichever hostages we can bring back. Do we have a deal? 

 

GERALD

I don’t completely trust you, stranger, and I don’t think you completely understand what you’re signing up for with this pillow assault. But if you’re willing to take the brunt of this impending brutal barrage, you have more courage than I’ve seen from anyone in a long time. Suit up. We’re approaching…Downtown Crossing. 

 

[All put on football gear, padding, grab pillows, etc]

YELENA
Ugh, uhhh. Okay. Let’s do this!

 

CHUCK

Okay. I — guess I’m ready.

 

GERALD

You’re wearing light armor. 

 

CHUCK

Trust me. I know how to handle myself in a pillow fight. 

 

GERALD

Very well. Stick to the shadows when we exit the train. Move quickly but quietly. It’s straight down, to the left, up the stairs, and around the long corridor. Eventually we will be seen, but the longer we go undetected, the better our chance of returning in one piece.

 

EMILY

Are you sure you’re okay being out in front?

 

[Spy music plays]

 

CHUCK

Mrs. Poletti, I was born for this. 

 

[Subway slowly pulls into station, red line doors open]

 

GERALD (whispering)

Yelena, Emily, on me! Go ahead stranger. What’s your name, anyway?

 

CHUCK (too loud, too proud)

I’m Chuck Octagon. 

 

GERALD

SHHH!

 

RAIL QUEEN GUARD

What was that?

 

RAIL QUEEN GUARD 2
GET THE PILLOWS! 

Over there!

RAIL QUEEN GUARD 3
GET EM! 

 

RAIL QUEEN GUARD

SOUND THE ALARM!

 

YELENA

You fool!

 

GERALD

There goes the element of surprise. Everyone, behind Chuck. Prepare yourselves for feathery hell! 

 

[Feet clamor towards the pair of resistance fighters. Soon, pillows are swung, hard, mostly landing on Chuck, who giggles and laughs. The sounds intensify, become louder, more frequent, more insistent]

 

CHUCK

HAHA okay yeah I HEEEEEHEEEE kinda get why this is — OKAY yeah this is OVERWHELMING! HEEEEEHEEEE THIS IS ABSOLUTELY OVERWHELMING!

 

GERALD

Quick, through this passage!

 

[A door opens and they run down a long hallway, the queen’s army in hot pursuit]

 

CHUCK

Where are we going?

 

GERALD

Trust me, I know these tunnels like the back of my— 

 

[A door opens and slams into Gerald, knowing him back]

 

EMILY

Gerald!

 

YELENA

Boss!

 

CHUCK (gasp)

Andy?

 

ANDY Marck Harmon

You slimy rail rebel. Eat feathers!

 

CHUCK

Andy — you…you also have a beard. It’s …kinda hot?

 

ANDY

Who the hell do you think you’re talking to, you dirty, filthy transit traitor?

 

CHUCK

My husband. The man I love. 

 

ANDY

Oh yeah? Well I — I uhh — I don’t love anyone.

 

CHUCK

Yes you do. Somewhere. Some time. You love me. And I *really* love you too. 

 

YELENA

We have hostages! Back to train!

 

EMILY

Help me drag Gerald back to the train!

YELENA

Go! GO!

 

CHUCK

Bye, Andy. I hope to see you soon. 

 

ANDY

I — you — why — this is confusing!

 

[Chuck blows Andy a kiss and runs to join the others]

 

[Spy music plays out, On Questions of Discipline and the Naiveté of Flowers by Lloyd Rogers plays]

 

CHUCK

So we fought back, with all of them behind me. I took the brunt of the pillow barrage, just like I said I would. I mean, I was fine. They were just — pillows? I actually did get a few bruises. But mostly, it was kinda…fun. And then we fought our way back to the train, kicked it in reverse towards Braintree. And the portal opened back up, and me and the survey crew went back through, into the Market Basket. I said goodbye to the…bearded, straight…pillow people. And, then I was back in the store. 

 

ANDY

Huh. So did they ever end up building those condos? 

 

CHUCK

Andy!

 

ANDY

What?

 

CHUCK

That’s not the point! 

 

ANDY

I know. It’s just unfortunate if you did this heroic thing saving people only so that crazy ass-expensive condos could get built as a result. But no matter what, sounds like some dream.

 

CHUCK

It — it wasn’t a dream! 

 

ANDY (laughs)

What?

 

CHUCK

It wasn’t. I swear it wasn’t. 

 

ANDY

I think you might be hanging out with those Underground folks a bit too much. (Pause) What? Are you seriously mad at me?

 

CHUCK

I need you to believe me. 

 

[Pause]

 

ANDY

Okay! Okay, I believe you. 

 

CHUCK

Really?

 

ANDY

Yes. And I’m proud of you. For being so brave. For doing something good. For fighting for something. Besides. Nobody dreams about Worcester. Not even in their worst nightmares. 

 

[Haunting Tune by Dirk Tiede plays]

 

CREDITS / NARRATORAlexander Danner

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

Did you like this mirror universe spin-off? If so, let us know. We’re toying with the idea of making more in a Patreon-exclusive series. Feel free to join our Patreon at patreon.com/GreaterBoston.

We’re still on hiatus, but we’re working on bringing you more Greater Boston goodies, hopefully by next year.

This episode featured:

Jeff Van Dreason as Chuck Octagon and OC

Josh Rubino as Bobby

Julia Schifini as 23 Skidoo

Sam Musher as Emily Poletti 

Tanja Milojevic as Yelena

James Capobianco as Gerald Poletti

James Oliva as Michael Tate

and Marck Harmon as Andy Wood

 

Haunting Tune and Music Box by Dirk Tiede. 

On Questions of Discipline and the Naiveté of Flowers by Lloyd Rogers

 

Transcripts available at GreaterBostonShow.com

 

COOKIE

ALEXANDER DANNER
You won’t go far. But also? You will. Now…

JEFF VAN DREASON
(laughs)
Are you doing like a George Takei voice?

ALEXANDER DANNER (laughing)
That’s what I was thinking, yeah! I can’t believe that actually came across.

JEFF VAN DREASON (laughing)
Oh it’s…it’s reading!

ALEXANDER DANNER
Okay!

JEFF VAN DREASON
Don’t expect me to do that when I read these lines.

ALEXANDER DANNER
No!