A new man came into town today. Who is he? What does he want from us? Why his perfect and beautiful haircut? Why his perfect and beautiful coat?
He says he is a scientist. Well, we have all scientists at one point or another in our lives. But why now? Why here? And just what does he plan to do with all those breakers and humming electrical instruments in that lab he’s renting? The one next to Big Rico’s Pizza.
That new scientist– who we now know is named Carlos– called a town meeting. He has a square jaw and teeth like a military cemetary. His hair is perfect, and we all hate and despair and love that perfect hair in equal measure.
Old Woman Josie brought corn muffins, which were decent, but lacked salt. She said the angels had taken her salt for a godly mission, and she hadn’t yet gotten around to buying more.
Carlos told us that we are by far the most scientifically interesting community in the U.S., and he has come to study just what is going on around here. He grinned, and everything about him was perfect, and I fell in love instantly.
Government agents from A Vague Yet Menacing Agency were in the back, watching. I fear for Carlos. I fear for Night Vale. I fear for anyone caught between what they know, and what they don’t yet know that they don’t know.
Carlos and his team of scientists warned that one of the houses in the new development of Desert Creek out back of the elementary school doesn’t actually exist.
It seems like it exists, explained Carlos and his perfect hair. Like it’s just right there when you look at it. And it’s between two other identical houses, so it would make more sense for it to be there than not. But, he says, they have done experiments, and the house is definitely not there.
At news time, the scientists are standing in a group on the sidewalk in front of the non-existent house, daring each other to go knock on the door.
Carlos and his scientists at the monitoring station near Route 800 say their seismic monitors have been indicating wild seismic shifts. Meaning to say that the ground should be going up and down all over the place. I don’t know about you folks, but the ground has been as still as the crust of a tiny globe rocket through an endless void could be.
Carlos says that they’ve double-checked the monitors and they are in perfect working order. To put it plainly, there appears to be catastrophic earthquakes happening right here in Night Vale that absolutely no one can feel.
Well, submit an insurance claim, anyway… see what you can get, right?
The sun didn’t set at the correct time today, Carlos and his team of scientists report. They’re quite certain about it. They checked multiple clocks and the sun definitely set ten minutes later than it was supposed to.
I asked them if they had any explanations but they did not offer anything concrete. Mostly they sat in a circle around a desk clock, staring at it, murmuring and cooing.
Still, we must be grateful to have the sun at all. It’s easy to forget in this hot, hot, hot desert climate, but things would actually be slightly harder for us without the sun.
The next time the sun rises, whatever time that turns out to be, take a moment to feel grateful for all the warmth and light and even, yes, the extreme heat that our desert community is gifted with.
Listeners, we are currently fielding numerous reports that books have stopped working. It seems that all over Night Vale, books have simply ceased functioning. The scientists are studying one of the broken books to see if they can understand just what is going on here.
The exact problem is currently unclear. But some of the words being used include “sparks,” “meat smell,” “biting,” and “lethal gas.” For your own safety, please do not attempt to open a book until we have more information on the nature and cause of these problems. The City Council has released only a brief statement indicating that their stance on books has not changed and that, as always, they believe that books are dangerous and inadvisable, and should not be kept in private homes.
Two hawk-eyed listeners sent in reports that Carlos, our curious scientific visitor, was seen getting his beautiful, beautiful hair cut. He was having his gorgeous hair shorn. Cut! Cut short! So very short, from his perfectly shaped, brilliant head!
Listeners, I am not one to gossip, even if it is a local celebrity, but please… explain to me why Carlos would strip away, decimate, any part of his thick black hair, not to ignore the dignified, if premature, touch of gray at the temples? What treacherous barber should agree to such depravity? Who takes mere money or even soulless joy in depriving our small community of such a simple but important act as luridly admiring Carlos’s stunning coif?
Reports from two intrepid sources are that it was Telly the barber. Telly, who likes sports and has posters of combs. Telly the barber seems to be the one who betrayed our community. Telly the barber. It is Telly the barber at the corner of Southwest 5th Street and Old Mosque Road, with the red and white spinning pole and the sign that says, “Telly’s.” Telly is about 5’9”, with a small moustache and a thick potbelly. He talks with an accent, and sneers.
Telly the barber cut Carlos’s beautiful hair, according to reports. Telly.
Speaking of the City Council, it voted this week to remove the large, lead-plated door from the northeasternmost crook of Radon Canyon. You know, the area pulsing with green light and sotto voce basso humming. Proponents of the measure called the large, yellow emblem and red lettering that spelled out, “DANGER – PLUTONIUM – DO NOT OPEN DOOR – RISK OF DEATH” were at worst an offensive eyesore and at best a hacky sci-fi cliche.
Many Night Vale citizens attended the meeting, including, it was said, several angels— although no angel is admitted to have been present for the City Council meeting, or any other event ever, for that matter. Old Woman Josie agreed with the measure, adding that lead is a health hazard, and that the old door was nothing but a ticking time-bomb. According to the meeting minutes, Josie said, “That old door… ooh, that door. Someone’s going to get some kind of lead poisoning.”
Carlos— beautiful Carlos, tragically shorn of his locks— reportedly was the only dissenting voice, but it is not clear he actually opposed the measure, as the minutes only report him stating, “There is no time! No more time!” into a black rectangle in his hand, and then running, winded, from the community hall. According to Old Woman Josie, he was still absolutely perfect, and smelled of lavender chewing gum.
Carlos, this station’s favorite scientist— no offense to Dr. Dubinsky in the Night Vale Community College chemistry department— dropped by our broadcast location earlier this morning for a little chat. Sadly, dinner or weekend plans were not among the topics.
However, Carlos did request that we ask listeners for anyone who saw a series of bright, colorful flickers coming from Radon Canyon this past weekend. These flickers would’ve also been accompanied by unintelligible noises, possibly some form of coded communication or signal-jamming technique. Carlos suggested that there could be some very sinister forces at work here. He declined to be interviewed live, claiming only that he was scared for us, scared for all of us in our strange town. Then he drove away quickly in his economical but attractively sporty hybrid coupe.
If anyone out there knows anything about these otherworldly lights and sounds, please contact us immediately.
Telly… you remember, the deceitful barber with a shriveled soul who, just a few weeks ago, cut perfect scientist Carlos’s perfect, beautiful hair very short, so very, very short, thus depriving our community of our only remaining pleasure… well, Telly was seen recently wandering the sand wastes, howling at the sky, and holding up Carlos’s shorn locks as though begging God to reverse the crime he has done. Reports indicate that his skin was blistering, that his eyes were bleary, and that he was recently seen trying to give a cactus a haircut, whispering and cooing into what he seemed to think was its ear.
Listeners, I am not one to stand aside harshly and say that a man deserves the punishment that comes to him, but I also am not sorry to see Telly in this state, given his crime. In any case, if your cactus is in need of a haircut, try Telly, out wandering the sand wastes.