1.14 – Pilot

Traffic time, listeners. Now, police are issuing warnings about ghost cars out on the highways, those cars only visible in the distance reaching unimaginable speeds, leaving destinations unknown for destinations more unknown.

They would like to remind you that you should not set your speed by these apparitions, and doing so will not be considered ‘following the flow of traffic.’

However, they do say that it’s probably safe to match speed with the mysterious lights in the sky, as whatever entities or organizations responsible appear to be cautious and reasonable drivers.

And now, the weather.

[“These and More Than These,” by Joseph Fink.]

3.10 – Station Management

Now, while I gather myself, let’s have a look at traffic.

Oh! Wow! Well, that looks pretty good. Yup. Yes… okay, not too bad there either, I see. Oh, that gentleman needs to slow it down! It is not a race, my friend! Not a literal one, anyway.

That has been traffic.

And now, for an editorial.

I don’t ask favors much, dear listeners. That you know. But I am asking all of you now to conduct a letter-writing campaign to Station Management, which was not pleased with my discussion of their physical attributes and behavior, and is now threatening to shut down my show, or possibly my life, for good. Their wording was kind of ambiguous. Obviously, we will not be able to deliver the letters directly to the Management per se, as no one has ever opened their door, but we can shout the contents of the letters outside their office, and we presume, given an anatomy that includes ears, they will be able to hear what you have to say.

So, if you like this show, and you want to hear more of it, then we need to hear from you. Make your voice heard to whatever it is that lies in wait behind that darkened office door—

[Ominous rumbling.]

Oh! I’m sorry, dear listeners. We’ll be back after this word from our sponsors.

6.9 – The Drawbridge

And now, a word from our sponsors.

[Cecil wordlessly groans for several seconds.]

And now, traffic.

There’s a stalled car on the northbound on-ramp to the Eastern Expressway just south of Route 800. Commuters should have little delays, as highway patrol is fiercely denying this report. In fact, police representatives have just issued a statement claiming that there are no cars anywhere, and, “What are you doing, talking about them, talking silly lies? You silly people. There are no cars! What is this fiction? Oh, please, did you seriously believe for a second–? Wait, wait, you thought that cars were real?” The highway patrol continued, “Oh, that is rich.”

All other roads seem clear. Expect delays, of course, at the drawbridge construction site, because it is years away from being competently finished.

7.6 – History Week

And now, traffic.

Crews from the Department of Public Safety will be repainting highway lane markers this week. The common white dashes and double yellow lane dividers will be replaced with colorful ceramic mosaics depicting disgruntled South American workers rising en masse against an abusive capitalist hegemony. The protective steel barriers along curves in the road will be taken down to make room for some really lovely and provocative butcher-paper silhouettes of slavery-era self-mutilation, reflective of centuries of slow genocide and dehumanization by Western imperialists, designed by contemporary art darling Kara Walker.

Also, Exits 15 to 17 along Route 800 will be closed for the next two Saturdays because of the biennial Lee Marvin film retrospective. So, please watch for working crews this weekend, lower your speed, and don’t forget to tip the DPS shift leaders. 20% of your current mileage is standard. Lack of tipping is the leading cause of sinkholes in the U.S.

8.5 – The Lights In Radon Canyon

And now, traffic.

This morning, I saw a running man. He passed by my home, panting, limping, running desperate. I tried to stop him, but he would not meet my eye.

This noon time, I saw a running man. He was coming down from the mountain holding a bag. His knees were bloody, and face covered in tears.

This evening, I saw a running man. He was leaving town, legs pumping like a terrified heart. I think he was missing a hand.

Is it that he wouldn’t meet my eye, or that he had no eyes? Now I wish I could remember. There are many things I wish I could remember.

This has been traffic.

14.11 – The Man In The Tan Jacket

Let’s go now to traffic.

There is a car. It’s not in Night Vale, or even in the desert that cradles our little town. It’s out somewhere beyond that. There are many cars there, but I’m speaking only about one. Blue, squarish, with tires and windows and an engine that works, most of the time. A woman is driving it, and she is also glancing whenever she can at the child in the passenger’s seat. He is a child, but he is 15. You understand. She is glancing at him, but she is not saying anything. And he is not saying anything either.

She wants to cry, or she wants to push him out of the car, or she wants to go back in time and insist on using a condom– only she would never do that. She couldn’t change any of this really, not for all the money, piles of money, some of it defunct money from defunct and absent governments. She wouldn’t give any of this back. So she drives her car, blue, squarish, with tires and windows and an engine that works most of the time, and she glances at the fifteen-year-old child, and neither of them speaks.

This has been traffic.

And now… the weather.

[“Movement 1: Invocation of the Duke” by daKAH Hip Hop Orchestra. More from daKAH Hip Hop Orchestra at myspace.com/daKAH.]

15.10 – Street Cleaning Day

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.

16.8 – The Phone Call

And now, traffic. All roads lead to somewhere, and all roads come from somewhere. And in between they are a snarl and curve, a twist and a bend. Where are we going? I mean, metaphorically? Where are we coming from? I mean, literally. Is it possible to stop, or turn around, and if not, what does that mean for the latest polls and economic reports? Ladies and gentlemen, ladies and gentlemen, Route 800 is looking clear in both directions. The old dirt road to the small wooden shack is backed up at least thirty minutes. There. Now you know. Has that filled an emptiness for you? Are you any happier now? I hope so. This has been, and will always be, traffic.

17.7 – Valentine

And now, traffic. A representative from the Sheriff’s Secret Police, waving vaguely at a map in our studio, said that there are street closures, quote, ‘All over. Just alllll over the general area,’ the representative said, tapping the edge of the map with two knuckles. ‘A bunch of ‘em, in different places.’

We asked if he could be more specific, and he nodded, but did not say anything more. We tried naming a couple of streets to see if any of them were included on the list of closures, but the representative only replied with, ‘Oh, yeah! Probably,’ and an ambiguous head waggle to each one. He added that anyone caught on a closed road would be dealt with in the usual manner, and then he winked and gave me a thumbs-up It is possible he was merely a vagrant who wandered into the studio. We didn’t bother to check his credentials.

Just to be safe, though, look out for road closures all over in the general area, listeners. They’re in a bunch of different places, probably. This has been traffic.

19A.4 – The Sandstorm

And now, traffic. Highway officials are warning all Night Vale residents to stay off the roads. The sandstorm is making travel nearly impossible. We are told that several cars have stalled near the southbound offramp at Exit 6 on Route 800. Traffic officers reported that each car screeched to a halt, and through the rushing sands, they could see dozens of drivers and passengers running into the road, pairing off, and then fighting. They noted that each fighting pair seemed to be of the same build, gender, age, and were wearing the exact same thing.

Also, unrelated to the sandstorm, all stop signs and traffic lights have been taken down for their bi-monthly polishing. They’ll be back from the cleaners on Tuesday, officials said.