Un Pueblo De Nada Old Fulltext


maya: I'm not late, am I?

: This must be our guest. (guest)
: Maybe she's delivering a video. (video-delivery)
: Who is this person? (who-is-this)


emily: Oh, hi! You must be, um ...


emily: Naw, we don't start for a few more minutes. You can leave your tape with Slow Moe Crow.

maya: Tape?


emily: Late for ...


maya: Oh, sorry — I'm Maya.

emily: Right! The traveling artist. Welcome.

emily: I'm Emily. I, um ... work here.

maya: Great. Rita says you're the producer?

emily: Oh, did she? Ha ha. I guess so. I do a little bit of everything.

maya: Yeah, I know the feeling. You weren't around earlier, at the lunch thing?

emily: No, I don't live in town. I just come in to work on the station.

maya: Really? That's quite a hike, isn't it?

emily: I know some shortcuts.

maya: Oh. OK.

: I should make sure she's comfortable. (maya-comfort)
: We'd better get started. (in-a-rush)
: I wonder what her deal is. (ask-maya)


emily: So, what's your deal?

I could have phrased that differently.

maya: Oh. Ha ha.

maya: Well, I'm an artist. I work with earth — I'm kind of an "earth sculptor." I make stuff that looks a lot like the mounds you have here in town.

goto mounds


emily: So ... do you —

maya: No, no, I'm fine, thanks. I'll just find somewhere to perch until you folks are ready.

maya: I've got a lot to digest. Mentally, I mean. Well, and it was a big lunch ... um, but I spent most of the afternoon examining the mounds.

goto mounds


emily: Oh, the burial mounds?

maya: Yeah, that's why I came down here — to see them up close and make some sketches.

maya: Um, they're amazing, right?

emily: They make me uncomfortable, to be honest. It seems kind of weird to build a town in a graveyard.

maya: Sure. Every town has a graveyard, but usually the town comes first ...


maya: You look busy.

emily: No, it's OK. I think we're about ready to start the broadcast.

maya: Oh. Should I go sit down?

emily: Not just yet — Rita does a little intro.

maya: Got it, OK.

maya: Quite a crowd in here.

emily: Really? There's, like ... seven or eight of us, I think?

maya: Yeah. Well, for this town ... I've barely seen anyone all day.

emily: Oh yeah. Ghost town.

maya: Yeah, kind of. Ha ha.


emily: OK, I'll check if Rita's ready. You can just hang out back here somewhere. We'll let you know when it's time to come on set.

maya: Great. Thanks for having me!

emily: You too! I mean, um ... you know what I mean.

Ugh. Why am I so awkward with visitors here?

Just used to seeing the same twelve people day in and day out, I guess.

goto end


emily: OK. Ready when you are!

rita: How does it look outside?

emily: Gross.

rita: Yeah. Well, I'm not surprised — Saturn is in retrograde.

What does that even mean?

emily: Yep.

rita: Think it'll let up?

emily: I guess we'll see what Elmo says.

rita: My poor tomatoes!


emily: OK, in three ... two ...

rita: Hi, it's Rita. This is your evening broadcast, eight-one-nine-two.

rita: Wow, it's really raining out there! Damn. I can hear it from here. We have a few leaks ... put some pots and bowls underneath them. Thanks, Ron, for lending us your extra pots and bowls.

rita: I hope you had a good day, despite the weather. Although, it was really nice earlier, right?

rita: I had a good day today.

rita: I met a new friend. She's gonna join us in about a minute or so.

rita: Maybe you saw her earlier, around lunch? Or, if you didn't meet her, then you'll meet her in a minute.

rita: Or, if you met her already, but you still want to hang out, I'm sure there's plenty that we can talk about.

rita: Wow, so this is eight-one-nine-two — is that right, Emily?

: Hm, sounds reasonable ... (number-answer)
: What is she talking about? (lot-of-broadcasts)


emily: Yep.


rita: (To Camera.) That's a lot of broadcasts. I came in around the fives? So I've only been around for half of them.

rita: And back then, in the fives, let's see, we had ... I did "Night Noise," and we had the "Swap Show," and the bird show, and people were just coming in and dropping off tapes all the time, and ...

rita: And now, well, now it's just the evening broadcast.

rita: But it's not, like — I'm not saying we're in decline or anything like that. I love the evening broadcast! I think it was the first show we had on here?

: It was the first show not produced by the power company. (community-show)
: Yes ... Wait, no! Well, technically ... (morning-broadcast)


emily: It was the first community show, yeah.

: Those hypnotic, fuzzy old tapes about safe wiring. (community-training-videos)
: Those empty, humming shots of trees and glowing-eyed animals. (community-security-footage)
: That nasty, paranoid propaganda. (community-aunt-connie)


emily: There were a few power company training videos that ran before, but those don't count.

goto only-show


emily: Before that it was just security footage from the woods.

goto only-show


emily: Technically, the first broadcasts were Aunt Connie. Not worth remembering ...

goto only-show


emily: It used to be the morning broadcast ...

: Before Joel was born ... (morning-sherry)
: Oh, and then that drama with the jumping jacks lady ... (morning-exercise)
: But the cameras were over there ... (morning-cameras)


emily: ... until Sherry got pregnant and had really bad morning sickness.

goto only-show


emily: ... until the town council decided to block out the mornings for the exercise show.

goto only-show


emily: ... until we moved the cameras over to this side of the building, where the glare hits you right in the eyes at sunrise.

goto only-show


rita: Yeah. So, it's the "spine" of the station!

rita: Or maybe it's the heart?

rita: Or is it the skin?

rita: What part of the WEVP body do you think this is?

rita: Why don't you come on by and tell us about it? We're gonna be here for another thirty minutes or so.

rita: Or, if you don't want to brave the storm, you can always give us a call. Same number as always: (270) 216-5556.

rita: OK, so we're going to start with a tape. This is an old one. It's one of mine. But maybe you haven't seen it.

rita: Or, if you've seen it, it's been a while, so maybe you've forgotten.

ron: (Whispering). Shit!

emily: (Whispering). What?

ron: She asked me to cue up her tape ... "Un Pueblo de Nada."

emily: Where is it?

ron: I don't know!

emily: It's probably still shelved. I'll find it.

(RON silently mouths a "thank you.")

goto end


(EMILY scans the shelf of videotapes.)

: I had these alphabetical. (organized)
: Maybe it's still in a stack. (stack)
: Oh what's this? (discovery)


emily: (To herself, absently.) Can't keep anything here organized for long ...


(EMILY rotates a few tapes piled on top of the shelf, inspecting labels.)

emily: (To herself, absently.) No, that would be too easy.


(EMILY pulls out an unlabeled tape.)

emily: (To herself, absently.) Impossible to say ... not much tape in there, though. Old bumpers?

emily: (Louder, for others' benefit.) Someone should come in here and label all these ...


We should put this all in chronological order. Although I guess it's hard to remember, sometimes, the order of things ... and some of these tapes were made at the same time — or we started one video and then started another in the middle, and then came back later, and ...

Time is out of joint.

It's like sweeping a beach.

Oh, wait a minute ...

: Ron said he'd start filing the old stuff by language, so ... (language-tape)
: Something fell behind the shelf here ... (fallen-tape)
: Ralph borrowed it for his screening, so it's probably with the others he returned. (screening-tape)


Here. "Aunt Connie Reframed," "Bear Waste Studies," "Death of an Airfield" ...


"Favorite Tires," that's English, "Disagreeable Birds," also English, "The Zone," that's in Japanese, "Fiesta Salvaje" ... getting warmer ...


(EMILY pulls a grimy tape case from behind the shelf.)

Gross, it's damp ...

(She opens the case. It's empty.)

: Ralph borrowed it for his screening, so it's probably with the others. (screening-tape)
: Ron said he'd start filing the old stuff by language, so ... (language-tape)


"Un Pueblo de Nada." Aha!

What would you all do without me.

goto end


rita: ... some people that lived here a long time ago, before the company town, before the airstrip, like, over a hundred years ago.

rita: OK. So, I hope you enjoy it.

rita: (To Emily.) Ready, Emily?

goto end


emily: Here you go, Moe. Hold off on playing this until Rita's done setting it up.

goto load


emily: Thanks, babe.

goto end


maya: This is cool. Have you seen it before?

: Is she being genuine right now? Just making small talk? (sleepy)
: I should say something nice. (unsure)


emily: Honestly, it makes me kind of sleepy.

maya: I know what you mean. I used to date a filmmaker; he worked in a similar, um, style. "Slideshow Gothic." Ha ha.

maya: He did stuff for the history channel, like really dry shows about war. The banality of the trenches.

goto history


emily: Yeah, it's ... something else.

maya: You don't sound convinced. Ha ha.

goto history


maya: It's not a bad way to learn about history, though.

: I helped Rita edit this. (editing)
: She did a lot of research for this tape. (research)
: I can't remember where the music for this video came from ... (music)


It took us all of a week, coming in here after the day's broadcasts were done, with the "night loop" running in the background. We'd play her narration on cassette and write down times, then scrub frame-by-frame through the video and try to cut it just so.



"The People of Nothing" — we still have a few of those worn-out notebooks they left. I guess that guy from the university took the rest. What did he say he was working on?

Oh, right — "The Archive of Utopian Thought." Some big preservation project, I guess. So now the "People of Nothing" are on a shelf somewhere. And here, on this tape.


Rita ... no, Sherry brought it in. She found a crate of old tape reels in the hangar. Must have been from the power company — maybe some music to pipe over the loudspeakers in town and keep spirits high ...


maya: It is history, right? Or is it just a story?

: It's a good tape. (good-tape)
: It seems kind of sad now. (sad-tape)


It's good to have a portrait of the people who used to live here, and it does a good job of communicating who they are, what they did ... what they were like. I think?

People should know. A community shouldn't just disappear, even when it ... disappears.


I guess it's kind of a memorial; those are always sad. A memorial to the people who used to live here.


maya: Or is there even a difference ...

Although ... now the tape is just here, on a shelf. Every once in a while we dust it off and it shuffles around the airwaves again, like an old dog.

maya: Sorry ... did I say something wrong?

emily: Oh, no. Ha ha. I'm sorry, I just have some weird shit going on in my head tonight. You know what I mean?

maya: Sure, it's OK.

emily: Sorry I spaced out.

maya: Don't worry about it.

emily: You should —

maya: Oh, should I go sit?

emily: Yeah, um. It's almost over.

goto end


rita: (To MAYA.) So where are you staying tonight?

maya: Here in town.

rita: Oh good!

maya: Yeah!

maya: Even before the storm came in, I thought it'd be nice to get some rest before the long hike back to the highway. Ron offered his ... loft?

rita: What?

maya: He said I could sleep in his loft.

rita: Oh, honey. He's talking about his barn.

rita: Ron! Nobody wants to sleep in your barn.

(RON shrugs.)

ron: It's not haunted.

: But it is haunted. (barn-is-haunted)
: How did that rumor start? (barn-rumor)
: Hauntings aside, it's not a very comfortable barn. (barn-comfort)


Bob got some pretty clear voices there on his tape recorder. He wanted to have a séance, but couldn't round up enough brave souls to go all the way around the table.


Oh, was it when Bob stayed there? He heard scratching and crying ... it really spooked him and it was all he'd talk about for a week. Probably just a cat.


I mean, I can sleep anywhere, but ... I think the last time Bob slept in there, he needed a tetanus shot after? But that's Bob — he's a hypochondriac. I'm not sure he even really needed it.


maya: Um.

rita: You'll stay at my place.

maya: Oh, thanks.

: Oh Ron ... (need-anything)
: With that storm coming, I should probably find somewhere to stay out here tonight. (somewhere-to-stay)


: Maybe I'll just sleep here in the studio. (need-anything)
: Well, I guess the "loft" is free ... if I dare. (need-anything)
: Eh, maybe the storm won't be so bad. (need-anything)


rita: Do you need anything?

maya: Actually ... Do you have an extra toothbrush?

It'd be nice to sleep under the stars.

rita: Um ... I think I do, actually. Yeah!

maya: Oh my god. I've been in the woods, you know —

rita: Right!

maya: — I actually used a twig this morning! I kind of chewed up one end.

No stars tonight, though.

rita: I've done that!

maya: Really? I'm disappointed; I thought I invented it.

rita: Even better, you can chew on some pine needles. It really freshens your breath. I mean, it's not perfect ...

maya: Wow. That's roughing it. Just close your eyes and pretend, I guess!

goto rolling


rita: Right, exactly — and even then it's just not the same as real toothpaste —

: What the hell are they talking about? (wave)
: Do they know we're rolling? (wave)


(EMILY waves to RITA.)

rita: (To camera.) Oh, OK!

rita: Hi. Um. So, I hope you enjoyed that video. Like I said, that was from, like ... it's several years old, I can't remember exactly.

maya: I enjoyed it very much.

rita: Oh, thank you, Maya.

emily: (Whispering to RON.) What's next?

ron: I brought in a tape.

emily: Oh, OK. You good?

ron: All cued up.

emily: I'm gonna check on the boys.

goto end


(BEN and BOB are seated on the couch, poking at the electronic innards of a radio.)

ben: ... so then it won't mute while it scans between stations.

bob: OK. Cause that's where they live, right?

ben: Um. No, you just want that constant static noise.

bob: Right. The noise, that's where they live.

ben: They don't "live" anywhere, dude. They're ghosts.

bob: OK. Why does it matter where you tune the radio?

ben: It's like soil in your garden. You need rich soil, right? Mashed up, rotted leaves and stuff. Like compost.

bob: (To EMILY.) Oh, hey, Em. How's the show?

: Just a normal night. (the-show)
: What the hell are they doing? (what-are-they-doing)
: Ben ... has something stuck in his beard. (ben-beard)


emily: Good. Always fun to have a guest.

ben: Something for the shut-ins.

: A few old folks who never leave their homes. (old-folks)
: Holdovers from the company town. (company-town)


Like the frog lady. I've never seen inside her home, but Ron said she's up to several hundred frogs, at least. They used to just live in her bath tub. Then someone saw her collecting old sinks and basins from abandoned houses.


Like that guy who used to do the titles for the 'Aunt Connie' broadcasts. Why is he still here? An act of penance?


That's our little town — stragglers, weirdos, and ghost hunters.


emily: What are you doing to that poor radio?

bob: Working on a new Ghost Box.

ben: This guy Frank wrote about it in his newsletter.

bob: The Paranormal Periodical.

ben: No, that's Sylvia's. Frank's is the Ghost Gazette.


emily: Oh, uh ... you know ...

It's ... a piece of food?

: Sandwich meat? (beard-meat)
: Actually, maybe it's a leaf? (beard-leaf)


ben: ... pretty good progress on the Ghost Box ...

That's not OK, to have meat in your beard ...


ben: ... pretty good progress on the Ghost Box ...

Maybe he did it on purpose, like a beard leaf garland ... but it's only one little accent leaf.


ben: ... scans constantly ...

: I should tell him. (ben-beard-3)
: I hope nobody tells him. (ben-beard-3)


ben: ... and play it back later.

bob: (To BEN.) Hey you've got something in your beard.

ben: Naw.


(The radio crackles as it scans rapidly across the spectrum. Snippets of voices mix with colored noise and unfamiliar interference patterns.)

ben: Did you hear that?

bob: That was definitely a voice from beyond the grave. Sounded like, um ...

ben: I clearly heard "Dogwood" in there.

bob: Yeah, kinda ... sounded more like "frog wood" to me.

ben: What the hell is "frog wood?"

bob: Man, I don't tell the ghosts what to say.

ben: Did you hear that, Emily?

: It did sound like "frog wood" (heard-frog-wood)
: Must have been "Dogwood." (heard-dogwood)
: I didn't hear anything. (heard-nothing)


: Best to be honest. (heard-nothing-honest)
: I should play along, though — they've been working on this for a while. (heard-nothing-play-along)


emily: I didn't hear a voice at all.

goto recording


emily: Could have been either one, yeah.

goto recording


emily: "Frog wood." Clear as a bell.

goto recording


emily: "Dogwood." Of course.

goto recording


ben: I guess it doesn't matter — the ghost voices don't really come out until you play back the recording later.

bob: They only exist in recordings, like a copy without an original. A mirror reflecting something that isn't in the room.

: Weird. (weird)
: Eerie. (eerie)


emily: Like a vampire.

emily: Wait, no, that's backwards — a vampire has no reflection.

ben: Yeah, vampires are pretty mundane, by comparison. They're just a mash-up of some creepy things we already knew about — cannibalism, hypnotism, mist, bats ...

bob: Yeah, I see bats every night.

ben: Bats aren't weird at all. Ghosts, though ... we need a whole new framework to think about ghosts.


emily: Like the mounds.

bob: The burial mounds here in town? You think they're haunted?

emily: No ... or, sure, probably. But I meant they're like the reflection. The people who made them lived hundreds of years ago. That whole society is long gone, and now we just have these lingering echoes, without any trace of context.

ben: Yeah, that is kind of eerie.


bob: So the ghosts speak and we can't hear it, but the tape recorder can hear it? Is that right?

ben: I don't know.

ben: Sometimes I think it's more like the recording itself is a ghost.

ben: Like, that's what ghosts are. Recordings of events that didn't happen. When something keeps leaving new marks even after its gone. False memories.

goto end


PLACEHOLDER: Looking at stuff in the studio

goto end


rita: So, OK, Ron, anything that you want to tell us about that tape?

ron: Everything on that tape was wild.

rita: Really? Everything?

maya: Wild stuff indeed.

rita: Even the horses?

ron: Everything on that tape was wild.

goto emily-1


: I bought some forged folk tapes at a yard sale once. (forged-recordings)
: Planes used to leave these thick, black marks on the runway at our little airstrip. (marks-in-absence)
: I used to tell everyone about this donut shop in Sonora. (false-memories)


The lady said they were live tapes of Jean Ritchie playing dulcimer at some local bar. They were pretty good, too; a little noisy, with the rattling bottles and chatty drunks, but it gave the recordings a certain aura of authenticity.

Then I noticed some of the background sounds repeating. Someone telling the same hushed story at the bar during every song. A door opening and closing in exactly the same way. The lady who sold me the tapes, she'd added the bar sounds artificially. I think she recorded the music herself, in her bedroom, and put Ritchie's name on it.

The tapes live permanently in my truck. Over the years, they've become my favorite Ritchie recordings ...

goto emily-2


I guess it was from coming in so fast on such a short runway. Or maybe cheap tires. I don't really know.

The tracks would bleach out in the sun, but then, the next time it rained, they'd appear again as oily afterimages on the runway. Now it's been decades since anyone has landed here, but those marks still come out when it rains.

goto emily-2


Donut Party. I told everyone they had amazing crullers, trying to convince them to stop there with me anytime we were in the area — but the reason it stuck in my head was the name. I just thought it was funny.

One morning, on our way back after a late gig, just as the sun was coming up, Ben and Bob and I found ourselves on sixty-five by the Sonora exit at prime donut-eating hours, so we stopped by.

It wasn't called Donut Party, it was just called Donuts. I said I thought they'd changed the name ... but why? And then I noticed there was a party supply store across the street. The donuts weren't even very good.

But the weird part is — I still fantasize about stopping by the "real" Donut Party some morning, and having one of those amazing crullers. In fact, the desire has only grown more intense.

goto emily-2


That's a kind of haunting — a kind of ghost, like Ben was saying.

But everything is a ghost around here, these days. It's a ghost town, with people still living in it, against all reason!

: Most of the houses are empty. (town-in-decline)
: Despite all the pain in this town's history. (echoing-trauma)
: This evening broadcast is a travesty, really. (evening-broadcast)


There's always been people here. After the Pueblo de Nada, the community airstrip. Then the company town. Then WEVP.

Somehow, just as the last group dies out, some new utopian project always finds a way to take hold. What is it about this place ... it must be the well.

goto emily-3


The Pueblo de Nada vanished, the airstrip went bankrupt, the company town buckled under guilt and exploitation ... even the first people here — all we have left of them is their graves.

I just hope our ending isn't so dramatic. Maybe we can just decline peacefully into irrelevance, and then one day stop, completely unnoticed. That sounds nice.

goto emily-3


I'd never say that out loud ... everyone works so hard on it.

But it's a little perverse that this little community news program goes on strong while the community itself is barely hanging on. A leftover reflection.

goto emily-3


rita: I'm not sure I agree, but now it's time for the weather!

rita: Thanks again, Ron.

We're hanging on long past our expiration date.

rita: Well, the weather should be pretty "wild"! I can hear it for myself right now.

maya: Yeah, getting pretty intense out there. Do you get storms like this a lot?

rita: More and more.

maya: Right, of course.

And then, of course, there's the actual ghost ...

rita: Alright, here's Elmo with the weather report, and — lucky us — we also have Cyrano Cole, who stopped by to add some drama! Musically. I hear he's gonna be at the Rum Colony later tonight if you need a cocktail after the show.

rita: So let's go live to Elmo for the weather report.


Oh, is Elmo ready? I should make sure the camera's pointed in the right direction.

goto end


maya: Were the horses wild? I thought those were the horses here.

rita: Oh, the neighbors? We call the horses here "The Neighbors." No, I didn't recognize that one.


rita: I don't think there are any wild horses, anymore.

maya: Really? How could that be?

rita: Oh, well, they've all been domesticated.

maya: Are the neighbors "domesticated"?

rita: We we don't "own" them, no, they're, um ... feral?


maya: Oh,right — in your documentary, you'd said that the people who used to live here had freed their horses.

rita: Exactly. But ... you can free your pet cat, but it won't ... turn back into a panther?

maya: Right.


maya: What about the dogs?

rita: Uh, yeah, Ron. Was the dog wild?

ron: Everything on that tape was wild.


rita: It didn't look wild to me.

maya: I guess it's a matter of perspective.


rita: Well, I don't think I agree ... but, um ... hey, it's time for the weather!


rita: Well, I can tell you it's going to be pretty "wild"! I can hear it from here.

maya: Yeah, it's getting pretty intense out there. Do you get storms like this often?

rita: More and more.

maya: Oh, right.


rita: Alright, we're gonna go over to the weather report with Elmo and, lucky us, we have Cyrano Cole to add a little bit of drama — musically.

rita: Oh, and I hear he's gonna be over at The Rum Colony if you want to get a drink after the show.

rita: Alright, let's go live to Elmo with the weather report.


emily: (Whispering.) Hey.

elmo: (Whispering.) Hey.

: This is so trippy. (trippy)
: I could do this. (learn-projection)


I could write up my lyrics on slides and kind of performatively project them.

Not the psychedelic liquid light stuff, necessarily ...


How did he work out these ratios of oil, water, and dyes? It seems so precise the way he drips them in one little half-drop at a time ...

Must have been a lot of trial and error. Just staring at a circle of light on the wall, drip-drip-drip.


emily: Where do you get your supplies, Elmo?

elmo: Ben has a guy in —

elmo: Oh, wait, you mean the projection stuff? I mail-ordered these candle dyes. This other stuff is just mineral oil, like you can get at the drug store.

elmo: The projector ... somebody just left it here, man! Incredible.

elmo: Actually it was that girl who does the pirate video stuff? You know, jamming our signal?

emily: Weaver.

elmo: Yeah, yeah. Our resident ghost.

emily: Ghost, huh? You really think she's dead?

elmo: Does it matter?

: Of course it matters. (dead-matters)
: Maybe not. (dead-doesnt-matter)
: What does he mean by that? (dead-clarify)


emily: You can't leave a ghost behind until you die, right?

elmo: Well, that's one way to do it. But have you ever missed someone so bad you felt like they were haunting you? Or been in a relationship with someone where it feels like their ex-lover is always in the room?

emily: I see what you mean.

goto about-due


emily: I guess you're right. A ghost is just an absent person, whether they're dead or not.

elmo: That's what I think.

goto about-due


emily: You don't think it matters?

elmo: Naw. Alive or dead, a ghost is just what happens when a person is gone but still taking up space.

goto about-due


elmo: Hey, you think she'll get us tonight? It's about time right?

He's right, we're about due.

elmo: Plus, Saturn's in retrograde.

emily: So I hear.

Not that she keeps a strict schedule. But it's never longer than a month or two between ... oh, what does Mimi call them?

elmo: I know they're bad for the general vibe around here, but — can I be honest?

(EMILY nods in mock gravity.)

elmo: I kinda like it when she busts in and takes over our signal. It's like a log falling on the road — reminds you that this all used to be trees.

"Interventions." That's what Mimi calls it.

: It's been going on for a couple of years now. (first-appearance)
: How does she do it? (how-does-she-do-it)


That first time she jammed our signal and showed up in our broadcast, I didn't know who she was. She'd already disappeared when I came in and took over her old job.

Everyone was so excited and confused — and scared, a little. On the defensive. They still are.

It's strange, I never think of what she's doing as hostile, really. Sounds like Elmo has the same impression.


For a while we thought she had a tower somewhere, but she's even jamming the local cable transmissions.

Ralph and Sherry went and checked every cable in town for — oh, what would they call it ...

Taps? Splices? Injection sites? Places where Weaver would be overriding our signal. They didn't find anything.

It's a mystery; that's why it bothers people so much. But to me, that just makes it more ... dignified? Somehow?


emily: What happened to the rest of her stuff?

elmo: I bet her slides are still here in the studio. Maybe with the posters? Sherry has all Weaver's old notebooks, I know that. She keeps them in her "archive" — you know, the big blue filing cabinet.

emily: With the daisies painted on.

elmo: Yeah. Anyway, the really hard part to find is these two pieces of glass. They have to be paired very precisely. I had to get these from the clock store over in Glasgow — that's where they come from: clock faces.

emily: Thanks for the tips, dude.

elmo: Any time, dude.

goto end


elmo: Her performances were cool though.

emily: I never saw her, um, perform. But I heard about it.

elmo: Oh yeah, I saw her do it a few times. I was into it.


emily: She did lectures. Right?

elmo: Yeah you could say that. I thought of them as ... storytelling sessions? She talked for hours and shuffled through slide after slide of shapes, numbers, weird constellations. Who knows what any of it meant.


emily: And this was her projector.

elmo: Right. I don't know where she got it, though. It still works really well — I got a spare bulb at a resale shop, but I haven't had to use it yet.


rita: Thanks, Elmo and Cyrano.

rita: So, next we have a selection from the Video Databank. You're gonna like this one, Maya — this one's about caves.

maya: Ooh.

rita: Yeah, local caves. We play this one a lot, it's pretty cool.

goto ring


(Telephone rings.)

rita: Oh, but we have a phone call. Should we get it now or should we wait? We'll get it now, OK.

(RITA presses a button on the telephone next to her.)

rita: Hello, WEVP.

goto geoff


geoff: (On telephone loudspeaker.) Hey, Rita, it's me. Geoff. Remember, it's Geoff with a G. The first time I got on the air you called me Gee-off by accident. Ha ha. I don't know if you still remember that ... but it's Geoff with a G.

geoff: Can you say — I was going to tell you to say "hi" to Maya and Ron, but Maya and Ron, you can probably hear me? Hey Maya, Hey Ron.

geoff: I didn't know if anybody got my last message I left on the voicemail ... I was talking about the raccoons that keep eating my garbage? I named one — I've been watching them eat my garbage, just saying, "should I go out there?" I tapped on the window and they would just look at me ...

Hope you all packed a lunch; sounds like this is going to be a long one ...

geoff: And I said, maybe ... you remember there was a movie with the "circle of life?" I said "maybe this is the circle of life for my garbage?"

geoff: And I was watching so much, I started naming them — I named one of them first "Bumbles," because he was a bit of a bumbler with the garbage ...

They should be OK if I wander around a bit.

goto end


emily: Hey, babe.

slow moe crow: ([template: crowSpeech].)

emily: Did you know Weaver? (weaver)
emily: Are you staying around town tonight? (town)


slow moe crow: ([template: crowSpeech].)

emily: Oh really?

emily: Was she nice to you? (weaver-nice)
emily: Did you ever see her "lectures?" (weaver-lectures)


slow moe crow: ([template: crowSpeech].)

emily: Well, that's good to hear.


slow moe crow: ([template: crowSpeech].)

emily: Sounds amazing. I would have liked to see that.


emily: You make her sound so normal. Talk to anyone else and it's like she had a second head.


slow moe crow: ([template: crowSpeech].)

emily: No, I don't think anyone will mind. Maybe I'll stay here with you — I don't feel like trekking back in this weather.

emily: Plus it's so quiet here at night. (quiet-town)
emily: Anyway I sleep better here. I think it's the "guest." (town-hum)


slow moe crow: ([template: crowSpeech].)

emily: Exactly. But even if there were roads nearby, there's something else going on. There's this moment right before morning where you can't hear any animals, or wind, or even the rain. Not even a bat.

emily: I think it's the trees? I don't know ...


emily: You know what I mean? The hum.

slow moe crow: ([template: crowSpeech].)

emily: Lots of people. James calls it that.

slow moe crow: ([template: crowSpeech].)

emily: I don't remember. He was showing me on the oscilloscope how that weird hum creeps into every other electrical signal in town. It's beautiful — it just looks like gentle rolling hills.


emily: One of our little mysteries. Like the Out-of-Towner.

slow moe crow: ([template: crowSpeech].)

emily: Oh, really? Did you know him well?

slow moe crow: ([template: crowSpeech].)

emily: Wow. I had no idea.

slow moe crow: ([template: crowSpeech].)

emily: It was terrible, what happened to him. (out-of-towner-terrible)
emily: So ... who do you think did it? (out-of-towner-mystery)


slow moe crow: ([template: crowSpeech].)

emily: Right. Justice, someday.

goto sad


slow moe crow: ([template: crowSpeech].)

emily: Of course. I hadn't considered that possibility.

goto sad


emily: What a waste. Sad.

emily: Well, have fun. I'm gonna see if Geoff is done.

slow moe crow: ([template: crowSpeech].)

emily: Ha ha.

goto end


geoff: ... but it's a very strange piece of glass, and I can't tell if it's part of an industrial thing, or it fell from a spaceship ... maybe.

geoff: Or, if it's worth anything — again, I'd love to come by the studio, if you'll have me. I could bring this by. And we could talk about it. Or I could wash it in your sink, at least, because I do have to figure out the water thing.

geoff: But I don't know where to go because — where do you go if it's a PO box? Where do you go? They don't have a ... their number, again is like those ... I keep pressing zero and it doesn't work, and I don't —

goto lost-call


Oh, shit, the line's dead. The phone lines are such a mess up here.

rita: Um. Hello?

rita: Was that the storm? Or was it the damn phone lines. Man, they're really flaky. Ugh. Business as usual.

maya: He has a really soothing voice.

rita: That's Geoff. He's a regular caller.

maya: He's asleep.

rita: Hm?

(MAYA indicates RON who has fallen asleep in his chair.)

rita: Oh. Well ... let him sleep.

rita: OK. Well, let's play the tape. This is "Cave Art." It's a classic around here.

maya: I'm excited.

Looks like Moe's got this one all cued up. Way to go, Moe.

: I should make small talk. (small-talk)
: I should let Maya enjoy the tape. (enjoy-tape)


emily: So what did you think of, um ... the burial mounds?

maya: Beautiful. I've seen some very similar ones up in Ohio, actually.

emily: Yeah. (small-talk-2)
emily: Great. (small-talk-2)
emily: Oh really? (small-talk-2)


maya: ... or worn away by weather, but it's remarkable how ...

emily: Yep. (small-talk-3)
emily: Uh huh. (small-talk-3)
emily: Neat. (small-talk-3)


maya: ... could be even older!

emily: That's amazing. (small-talk-4)
emily: I can't believe that. (small-talk-4)
emily: Wow. (small-talk-4)


maya: ... but I think it's important to keep them in the ground, you know?

emily: Oh definitely. (outside-crash)
emily: For sure. (outside-crash)
emily: So true. (outside-crash)



(A loud crashing noise from outside wakes RON up.)

ron: What the hell?

maya: What was that?

ron: I'll check it out.

maya: Yikes. Should we go help?

rita: Oh, no, he's ... oh the tape is over. What did you think?

maya: That was great.

rita: Yeah, I like that one. I kind of —


maya: That sounded pretty close.

rita: Oh no — is the power out? Or just the lights?

emily: I don't know, it's ... I'll take a look. Maybe a fuse blew on a relay or something.

rita: Some scared rat chewed a wire.

rita: Abandon ship!

rita: Just kidding.

Guess I'll take a look around and see if anything's smoking ...

goto end


So, if Weaver is a ghost, by some agreed-upon definition and mechanics, that means WEVP-TV is haunted.

Should we be doing something about that?


Aren't you supposed to, like, have an exorcism or something?

I mean you can't just leave a place haunted ...

That would be negligence.


I'd miss her, though.


I guess there are good ghosts and bad ghosts. Like spiders — good in the garden, bad in the shower.


nikki: Are you having trouble with —

nikki: Oh, I spoke too soon! I thought your power was out.

emily: Yeah, it ... just came back on. Weird. Good though.

emily: You made it! In this storm ...

nikki: Oh, I'd never miss the evening broadcast. To be honest, it's the only time I get to share my work.

: Nikki's still carrying a torch for the Out-of-Towner. (great)
: I wonder how many people even tune in at this point. Is she just reading her poetry to us here in the studio? (great)


emily: Sure, of course. That's great.

: Wow, it's pouring out there. (rain)
: What happened with the power? (power)


emily: You ... I think they have some paper towels over by the set.

nikki: Oh, thank you.


emily: That was weird, right?

nikki: The power? Oh, it seems like a normal kind of thing to happen in a storm.

emily: Yeah, you're right. I just have an eerie feeling tonight.

nikki: Well, you know. Saturn's in retrograde, right?

emily: It sure is.


emily: Well. Ready to go?

nikki: Ready!

goto end


rita: Did you fix it?

emily: Just came back on its own. It'll just take a second for the equipment to warm back up and we'll be on the air again.

rita: (To NIKKI) Spooky!

nikki: It's a disaster out there. The neighbors' barn is basically under water.

rita: — wow, so just completely ...

nikki: Yeah, just completely flooded. I passed Ron on the way in, he's going to take a look and see if there's anything he can do.

maya: Will they be OK?

nikki: Ron knows what he's doing. He used to be a firefighter.

rita: It's a little bit different, though, right?

nikki: I guess.

(NIKKI hands some wet paper towels to RITA.)

nikki: Oh, thanks.

(NIKKI pulls a journal out of her jacket pocket.)

nikki: I brought my work.

rita: Oh, good.

rita: (To MAYA) Nikki reads her poetry. It's a weekly feature of our broadcast.

maya: Oh, great. I look forward to hearing it.

rita: Yeah, I just hope that we can keep going. We lost power a little while before, right?

nikki: Better get started then.

nikki: (To the camera, reading.) To the Out-of-Towner.

goto poem


nikki: What eagle flew you to your final bed? It was not men who brought you there to sleep. The men who left you bloodied then and fled had chosen mud and muddy watered creek.

nikki: Did wild turkeys gobble, dote and care, and wipe the moss beneath your eyelids clear? Did cardinals pull the twigs out from your hair, and wash your hands and feet, and trim your beard?


nikki: When wood ducks dressed you in your resting gown, and pigeons fashioned shoes from leaves and bark, who then sewed flow'rs into a burial crown? The one who made your head-dress was a hawk.

nikki: The men who broke your body — where were they? The vultures stayed home on your funeral day.

ben: (Yelling.) Emily! Look at the monitor!

emily: Dude, be quiet, we're live right now!

ben: No, we're not. Look.

goto end


Damn, there she is. Elmo was right.

rita: What's wrong?

emily: It's her — Weaver.

rita: Aw, really? Tonight? Sorry about this, Maya.

maya: What's going on?

rita: Local prankster. She jams our signal every once in a while — whenever the stars align!

Prankster? Not the word I would use ...

maya: Damn. So ... what do you do about it?

rita: Just wait until she's done! We've never been able to stop her from jamming us. We don't even know how she does it.

rita: We should be back on in a minute, though. Don't worry.

goto end