Bananas are hardly that slippery, but watch your step anyway. Welcome to Night Vale.
Ladies… gentlemen… you. Today is Street Cleaning Day. Please, remain calm. Street cleaners will be upon us quite soon. We have little time to prepare. Please, remain calm.
The City Council has issued a statement in twenty-point all caps type saying “RUN. RUN. FORGET YOUR CHILDREN AND LEAVE BEHIND THE WEAK. RUN.” We have contacted those experts who have not already gone underground or changed their identity, and have been told that street cleaners focus on heat and movement, and so the best strategy is to be dead already. Then, the experts all swallowed pills and fell, mouths frothing, at my feet. If you have doors, lock them. If you have windows, board them up. If you still have ears, cover them, and crouch wherever you are. It is Street Cleaning Day. Please, remain calm.
John Peters, you know, the farmer? He reports finding an old oak door standing unsupported by any other structure out in the scrub lands. He says he’s sure it wasn’t there yesterday, or pretty sure, anyway. As sure as he can be since the accident. Apparently there is knocking from the door, as if there were someone from some other side that does not exist in our narrow, fragile reality trying to get in.
He has added several deadbolts and chains to the door on both sides, unsure as to which direction the door opens, which is, by the way, a huge design flaw. One should always know which way a door opens merely by looking at it, if the designer has done their job, and this holds true whether it’s a bank of glass doors at the mall, or an unspeakably old wooden door leading to other worlds than these.
John, meanwhile, says he will keep a sleepless vigil upon the door, as any sleep merely leads to dreams of blurry shapes in the dim distance, advancing, hissing, upon this vulnerable planet. He also says the imaginary corn is coming in real good, and we should have a nice crop to choose from soon, especially now that it will be available for sale at the Green Market.
The staff at Dark Owl Records announced today that they are only listening to, selling, and talking about Buddy Holly. If you want to buy music at all, you had better like Buddy Holly. If you dress like Buddy Holly, that’s cool too.
They also announced that Buddy Holly will be performing live there this Saturday night at eleven to promote his newest album, which is called I’m Trapped In Between Worlds, Existing Only In The Form That You Knew Me, This Is Not Who I Am, Leave Me Alone And Just Let Me Die, Please.
Organized crime is on the rise, Night Vale. The Sheriff’s Secret Police and the Night Vale Council for Commerce are cracking down on illegal wheat and wheat by-product speakeasies.
Two months ago, the City Council abolished forever all wheat and wheat by-products, but a black market appears to have formed for those depraved addicts who can’t get enough wheat, nor its by-products. Big Rico’s Pizza was cited this week for hosting an illegal wheat and wheat by-products joint in a hidden basement space. Big Rico’s, in light of the new laws, has had to alter its menu to mostly just bowls of stewed tomatoes, melted cheese wads, and gluten-free pizza slices. His storefront seemed to be the model of a wheat-free and wheat by-product-free society. But even the most honest businesses can turn to crime when their livelihood is on the line.
Fortunately for Big Rico, he is a very nice person, and apologized to the City Council in a way that did not include blackmail, or secret campaign contributions, or special favors. Big Rico is just truly sorry for what he has done. The Sheriff’s Secret Police say that they are upping their efforts to stop these illicit wheat and wheat by-product manufacturers. They are mostly just sniffing in the air until they smell bread. “It’s pretty easy, actually,” the sheriff said from his hover-office in the clouds.
More information now on Street Cleaning Day, which has come upon us just as we always feared it would. The information is that Street Cleaning Day is terrifying, and we should all perhaps fall to our knees, letting out moans and rubbing our forearms absently.
The City Council has issued a statement indicating that they forgot they had vacation plans this week, and so are currently on a plane to Miami, as they had been planning and looking forward to for some time. They said that their vacation, since it was definitely planned, has a pre-established end date, but that they cannot tell anyone what that end date is until the street cleaners are completely gone. In the meantime, they are leaving Paul Birmingham in charge. Paul, the vagrant who lives in a lean-to behind the library, could not be reached for comment, as he has faked his own death, in an elaborate scheme to escape Street Cleaning Day unscathed.
More, if there ever is more for any of us.
And now a word from our sponsors. Today’s broadcast is sponsored by Target.
Target is a great place to shop, and they would like you to consider the variety of silence in this world. The deathly silence when an argument has reached a height from which neither party can see a safe way down, and the soft wet silence of post-coital breath-catching. Silence in a courtroom moments before a man’s life is changed completely by something so insignificant as his past. And the silence of a hospital room as a man, in front of everyone he loves, lets the heat from his clenched hands dissipate into the background hum of the universe. The quiet of outdoor distances, of wilderness, of the luxury of space, and the quiet of dead air on the radio. The sound of a mistake, of emphasis, of your own thoughts when you expected someone else’s.
SHOP. AT. TARGET.
From time to time, listeners, I like to bring a little education to our show. Throw out some interesting facts or mind fuel. Today I’d like to share some fascinating facts about clouds. Clouds are made up of [BEEP]. Rain clouds are formed when [BEEP] air. When the density of the humid air, a.k.a. the cloud, becomes [BEEP], that’s when it rains. Lightning is [BEEP]. And it’s important to [BEEP] can kill you, or at least cause you a great deal of body-altering pain and regret. But take some time to stop and look at the clouds. They are beautiful, wondrous creations!
Wait. I’ve just been handed a piece of red paper by one of the Sheriff’s Secret Police officers.
[whispering] I can tell that’s what he was because of his short cape, blow dart chest belt, and tight leather balaclava.
Dear listeners, I’ve been told to inform you that you are to stop looking at the clouds immediately. Stop knowing about the clouds. Intern Stacy tells me in my headset here that they’ve also been censoring my broadcast. Well, I back our public protectors, and if they say to stop knowing about whatever it was was talking about, then I’ll stop knowing about it. Let’s go now to the sounds of predatory birds.
[cawing, screeching, hooting]
Sirens have been going off in Central Night Vale as a warning about sirens going off in Old Town Night Vale. These sirens indicate that sirens might occur in the general Night Vale area over the next few hours, which would be a declaration of a current siren watch. Please check that your siren preparedness kit is fully stocked and easily reachable. Lieutenant Regis of Unit 7 of the local National Guard Station and KFC combo store said that, “It always seemed that the only way to live without regrets was just to never regret anything you did. And that seems to be the only hope for the future, anyway. Regrets just bear us down. Regrets just bear us down.”
This wasn’t related to today’s siren watch. He said that a few years back, and it always just stuck with me.
And now… traffic.
Southbound HOV lanes of Route 800 near Exit 15 have large, glowing arrows. Drive over the arrows and get a boost in speed. Save time and gas and get your high-occupancy vehicle to work on time.
There’s a stalled car at the downtown off-ramp of Eastern Expressway. Tow trucks are on the scene to euthanize the vehicle and chase away scavenging vermin.
There are several accidents to report. In fact, infinite accidents. Everything is an accident. Or at least, let us hope so.
This has been traffic.