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The Devil Made Me Do It

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Good evening, Night Vale.

(No, Cecil, I am not reading one of your flowery openings. If you wanted to do your show tonight, you should have avoided the sunscreen like I warned you.)

We begin with the news. As I’m certain you are all aware, the town has been stricken mute due to a chemical mutation in the sunscreen that was handed out by the Night Vale General Hospital last week, in an effort to increase skin care awareness. I can assure you that my team and I are doing all we can to fix this. The only reason I am not currently working on a solution is because watching a centrifuge spin can get really boring. And as Cecil has also been rendered mute, he dragged me to the station to do his show for him.

Oh, apparently I wasn’t supposed to tell you that. He wanted me to appear very heroic, taking it upon myself to announce to the entire city that your fate rests in my hands, and I want to assure you all that I feel the weight of this responsibility.

(Cecil, that’s really ridiculous, when don’t I feel responsible? And I’m not one for heroics, you know that.)

On the bright side, we in the Night Vale scientific community have taken advantage of this opportunity to study the effects of noise pollution on local flora and fauna. Amazingly enough, the local flora actually are growing at a much higher rate without people talking nearby. This is usually the opposite; not that talking to your plants assists in the growing process; it’s actually due to the carbon dioxide you release from your lungs. But I guess most of you would know that, it is basic biology. This opens up a whole new world of questions about what kinds of plants grow here in Night Vale, and I might have to send for a botanist specializing in desert plants if we feel we are unable to answer them well.

Listeners, I can’t make out what Cecil is interpretive dancing about, but maybe I should move on.

An update on the old oak door in the middle of the scrublands: John Peters is reporting that all of the locks on the door have vanished. He says he would normally suspect local teenagers, but there are no markings on the door to signify that the locks were ever in place. Very strange, I’ll have to send one of my team out there to test the site, perhaps it made a quantum leap of sorts, and the door Mr. Peters is seeing is actually the door from the past…

(Cecil, I am not saying ‘you know, the farmer?’ every time after Mr. Peters name. It’s redundant and stopped being funny a while ago)

Oh, here’s some good news. Joel Eisenberg is reported to have made a full recovery from his bout of throat spiders! Wonderful news, I can’t wait to hear about his theories on last year’s pteranadon attack. And I must say a hearty congratulations and thank you to the Night Vale medical community for their tireless efforts in restoring Dr. Eisenberg’s larynx to working order.

Today’s traffic report is nothing out of the ordinary. (I can’t believe I’m saying that about a giant flaming hoop and a driving ramp being set up on Old Musk Road) With the holiday weekend coming up, be advised that the Sherriff’s Secret Police will be out en force to catch those who might be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Not only while driving, just in general. Also, those who commute primarily by bicycle are advised to check their birdhouses for information about the new bicycle tax. (When did birdhouses become the delivery spot for tax information? Cecil, don’t give me that look, you never mentioned it! No wonder I keep getting dirty looks from the grocery clerks, I’m probably way behind on my banana taxes…)

Um, the community calendar looks kind of full. Except tomorrow night. Karaoke night over at Play Ball is canceled until further notice. Sorry, we’re really trying to work on a cure for that. Um, Friday is Sushi Night at the White Sand Ice Cream Shop. Everyone is advised to bring a healthy sense of adventure, and their own chopsticks. Saturday and Sunday are to be entirely devoted to fortifying against Monday’s holiday. Oh, and Sunday is recycling pickup day. Paper in blue bags, plastic in clear, and dark magic artifacts go in the red bags delivered last week.

Cecil has just handed me tonight’s station editorial. Let’s see…

(Cecil, I am not reading this out loud!)

(Do not give me that look, I am not reading this on the air! It’s unprofessional, and extremely personal!)

Ladies and gentlemen and those who fall in neither category, tonight’s station editorial has been canceled. Instead, let’s go to a word from our sponsors.

“Congratulations! You’ve won a new car! Or at least that’s what we would say, if contests were allowed on days that end in ‘y’. Anyway, now that we’ve got your attention, come on down to The Car Lot for your new ride! Only this one, you have to pay for.”

In other news, Cheryl’s Little Princesses Dance Studio is having their annual recital next Thursday evening. The little tykes will be performing Gisselle, and I wish them all the best. Parents are reminded that flash photography is prohibited by law, and video recording is permitted only on Sony NXCAMs, thanks to the recent contract that allowed the corporation to monopolize the camera market in Night Vale.

(Cecil, I am not reading that editorial)

Honestly, folks, I’d give you the sports report if I had any clue about sports. Football where I come from is much different than what you play. Also I got shoved in my locker a lot during school by jocks, so I purposely ignored what they did. And if anyone is wondering why I don’t just read off the page, the sports report isn’t so much a report as those X’s and O’s moving around on the paper, replaying the game for me to interpret and report on. Oh look, a bunch of the O’s piled on top of an X. If anyone knows what that means, there you go. Sports!

And now, the weather.

Well, everyone, I’m sorry that this show was so short. One of the interns—Dale? Steve? Bruce? Why do none of you wear nametags??—handed me a note that says I’m running twelve minutes short, but with no editorials, I can’t exactly fill it in. (No, Cecil, there is no editorial!) And according to this second note, Cecil usually fills a good five minutes with waxing poetic about an aspect of the news he finds particularly interesting, or about me. Erm. Ah, well, that’s… I’m er… Hrm. (stop looking at me like that)

(I’m not blushing! You’re blushing, shut up!)

Ahem. Listeners, you may or may not be surprised to learn that I don’t always listen to this show; sometimes I’m in the middle of a project and forget to turn on the radio, or sometimes I just need some quiet after a long day of hectic screaming. And sometimes things just haven’t gone well, and I just can’t…

Oh no. Don’t look like that; this is nothing against you, Cecil! It’s just that sometimes I just can’t stand the idea of someone else talking at me anymore in one day. Not that you’re talking at me… sometimes it’s more like it becomes part of me. Then sometimes the things you say don’t sink in, because I’m not listening to you so much as I’m letting your voice become part of me.

And sometimes, when I’ve had a bad day, I don’t want you to be a part of that. Your show is always on when I’m still working, and the bad day doesn’t end until I leave. And then if or when I see you after, it stops being a bad day, you see? So it’s not that I don’t want to always hear your show, it’s that I just… er… want to keep the domestics and the work separate. You understand?

‘Carlos! That is the sweetest thing you have ever said to me! I didn’t need to write this editorial poem after all! Oh, no—’

CECIL! You were never mute to begin with?!

‘Well, er… no. I do listen when you say things, you know.’

Cecil, juro por Dios… Listeners, you’ll have to excuse us. Some of us like to have our arguments in a somewhat private environment. Good night.