Transcript – Modern Technology Breaks – Episode 102

BRESLAU: (broadcast filter)

Attention, podcast listeners. The feed for LeVar Burton Reads While Wearing A Banana Hair Clip Over His Eyes has gone down, so you have been redirected to something just as educational: Modern Technology Breaks.

(Control-switch click)

(Main theme music)

(Fade to:)


Int. Studio

(Studio background hum.)

GILA:

Is it going?

ROB:

It’s going.

GILA:

Okay Rob, what’s on the agenda for today?

ROB:

Well, we’re still figuring out how to run a podcast network, that’s still going on.

BRESLAU: (control-room intercom)

So far so good, there, chiefs.

GILA:

Thank you, Breslau.

ROB:

Thanks for the encouragement, but please get off-mic and stick to engineering. Gila and I have a host segment to do here.

BRESLAU:

Sure, off-mic, you got it chieves. Now, which one of these were we going to put through first today?

GILA:

Hold on…

ROB:

What?

GILA:

“…Chieves?”

ROB:

Um.

BRESLAU:

Is it “chieves?” I never know. “Chiefs?”

ROB:

Breslau, dude, I just told you to-

GILA: (in thought)

Huh.

ROB:

What?

GILA:

The plural of “chief.” Is it “chiefs” or do you change the F to a V, like in “leaves?”

ROB:

I… have no idea.

GILA:

Does “chiefs” sound right?”

BRESLAU:

Huh. It sounds right, Gila, but so does “chiefs,” don’t you think chief?

GILA:

You know, I’m not sure! Put a podcast through, Rob, and we’ll figure this out. “Chiefs.”

(Rattling of cassettes on a desk)

ROB:

I was going to-

GILA:

Hurry up, this is bugging me now. “Chieves.” “Chiefs.”

BRESLAU:

“Chieves.”

ROB:

Hooboy. Let’s put on a “Black Ferret.”

BRESLAU:

“Chiefs.”

GILA:

“Chieves?”

ROB:

Breslau! Gila! “Black Ferret?”

(Shaking a cassette in the air)

BRESLAU:

Yeah, okay, gotcha. “Chieves.”

GILA:

“Chiefs,” though.

ROB:

Cripes.

(Control-switch click)


(“Black Ferret” theme; action-evoking spy music)

ANNOUNCER DON:

Mattresses which get shoved into cardboard boxes proudly present another exciting tale of the world’s greatest cat burglar, the Black Ferret.

As we begin our story, the world’s greatest cat burglar, the Black Ferret, returns to the luxurious home office of famed industrialist – and secret crime boss – Fenwick Van Wyck.

(“Black Ferret” theme concludes. Fade in on)

Int. Luxurious home office

(Fireplace crackling, and the soft ticking of an expensive-sounding grandfather clock.)

VAN WYCK:

Thank you, Black Ferret, for meeting us here tonight. We have much to talk about in regards to the upcoming heist.

BLACK FERRET:

Mr. Van Wyck, when I expressed interest in using my considerable talents as the best cat burglar there is, to aid you in your criminal ambitions, we were speaking as just the two of us men alone. Now I come to our appointment to find the situation… otherwise. Who, I ask, are these others you have invited to your luxurious home office his evening?

VAN WYCK:

Well, when I set my sights on the ultimate prize that is the target of our heist, I obviously wanted the best of the best the criminal underworld has to offer.

BLACK FERRET:

And, as you know, I can steal anything. What is the particular target of this heist?

VAN WYCK:

The Star of Brenda. The most famous diamond in the country.

BLACK FERRET:

Ah, the Star of Brenda. I know of it of course, is it not currently in the possession of one Mr. Seaford Oysterbay?

VAN WYCK:

My oldest rival in both open industry and underworld crime, yes. Seaford’s been gloating constantly about acquiring the Star of Brenda for years, “my diamond” this and “the Star” that, keeping it in his big impenetrable vault in his fancy state-of-the-art security facility on the other side of town, and it’s high time I taught him an expensive lesson.

BLACK FERRET:

You want me to commit the theft of the century to escalate a petty rivalry. I’m almost insulted, Mr. Van Wyck.

VAN WYCK:

I mean no offense, Black Ferret. I just want to-

BLACK FERRET:

I will do this. The challenge to one of my abilities is, frankly, irresistible, as is the prize.

VAN WYCK:

You’ll be well rewarded, of course, any amount of-

BLACK FERRET:

You can offer me nothing, Mr. Van Wyck. The prize will be the public knowledge that it was I, the Black Ferret, the greatest cat burglar there is, who stole the famous Star of Brenda. Any financial recompense for this act scarcely bears thinking about compared to what they will write about me in the papers.

VAN WYCK:

I appreciate your candor, and I respect your pure devotion to your art, but you’ll understand the importance of finance to the others.

BLACK FERRET:

Yes, what of these… others?

VAN WYCK:

You see, Black Ferret, Seaford’s security systems are extensive and multi-layered, which is why I’ve invited some specialists to join us in this endeavor. A good old-fashioned heist-crew, you might say.

BLACK FERRET:

I work alone, Mr. Van Wyck. I am the best cat burglar there is. I am on no “heist crew.”

VAN WYCK:

Please, Black Ferret, indulge me as I introduce you all.

(Dramatic heist-movie action music begins.)

We’ll begin with our getaway man, Luigi Gambrelli. He’ll get us to the storage facility, and keep that engine warm for when our team needs an epic escape.

(Brief jingle of car keys)

LUIGI:

A pleasure to be working with you, Mr. Van Wyck, and a real honor to meet you, Black Ferret. I’ve heard a lot about you.

VAN WYCK:

Our inside man, Orion Hemdale. He was a lieutenant in Seaford Oysterbay’s organization, and he will be our eyes and ears on the ground.

ORION:

Good to meet you, Black Ferret. We can’t go wrong with a legend like you on our team.

VAN WYCK:

Meet our super-hacker, Deborah Stromberg-Carlson. Better known among the hacker underground as “Leeto-Debito.”

(Enthusiastic hackery typing)

DEBORAH:

Greetz, meatspace ninja. Mad respect to your legendary stealth skillz, they’re almost as good IRL as my console-cowboy jamming is in cyberspace.

VAN WYCK:

This is our demolitions expert, “Hydrocarbon” Hank Halvah. He might seem a little off, but the man is a proper pyrotechnical genius. His talents will get us thorough those walls surrounding the vault, and through the vault door itself.

(Enthusiastic flicking of metal lighter)

HANK:

Hey there, Black Ferret. You want me to ‘splode anything for ya? Just let me know! (maniacal laughter) I like fire.

VAN WYCK:

The young lady in the vinyl catsuit is Eastern-European gymnast Rakovaya Jenschina. The Olympic gold medals she won for her country were a convenient front for her government’s top-secret covert assassin program, and she brings both skillsets to our operation.

(Sultry creak of vinyl)

RAKOVAYA:

Hello, Mr. Black Ferret. Many are the tales I have heard of your physical talents. Maybe we get together sometime soon and compare notes, da?

VAN WYCK:

And this man is our heavy muscle, Brutus Clostridium. Nobody stands a chance against this big fella, do they Brutus?

BRUTUS:

WE’RE GONNA GET US A DIAMOND! JUST POINT ME TOWARD THE BUTT THAT NEEDS KICKING!! I WILL KICK THAT BUTT!! GRRRRR…

VAN WYCK:

And that’s everyone in the crew. I think you’ll find their talents indispensable for this operation, Black Ferret, and together you can all… Black Ferret?

(Heist music drops out.)

Black Ferret? Where’d he go?

(The door opens, Black Ferret enters.)

BLACK FERRET: (approaching from the edge of the room)

Greetings, Mr. Van Wyck, other people.

VAN WYCK:

What… how… you were right here with me, I was introducing you to the rest of the crew. Where did you go?

BLACK FERRET:

I believe this will answer your question.

(Backpack unzipping, reaching in and retrieving something)

Your diamond, Mr. Van Wyck.

(Heavy THUMP of diamond being placed on table)

VAN WYCK:

The… the Star of Brenda!!

BRUTUS: (from back of room)

IT’S MORE BEAUTIFUL THAN I IMAGINED! GRRRRRR….

VAN WYCK:

You.. stole the Star of Brenda?

BLACK FERRET:

Correct. As I said, I can steal anything.

VAN WYCK:

You… by yourself?

BLACK FERRET:

Indeed I have.

VAN WYCK:

While I was introducing you to the heist crew with whom you were going to steal it?

BLACK FERRET:

Your rival Mr. Oysterbay will likely be very angry when he finds my calling card in its place.

BRUTUS:

SO VERY PRETTY!!! GRRR…

BLACK FERRET:

It says “greetings, from the Black Ferret.”

VAN WYCK:

How? How did you do this job without the crew?

BLACK FERRET:

I am the best cat burglar there is and, as I said, Mr. Van Wyck, I work alone.

VAN WYCK:

But…

BLACK FERRET:

Now I believe our business is concluded for the evening. Farewell, Mr. Van Wyck.

(He starts toward the door.)

VAN WYCK:

But…

BLACK FERRET:

Farewell, “heist crew.” (laughing)

(The door opens, Black Ferret leaves through it, and it closes.)

VAN WYCK:

…Mama mia.

(Awkward pause.)

BRUTUS:

PRETTY DIAMOND!

(Awkward pause.)

DEBORAH:

Ummm, so, like…

VAN WYCK:

…Huh?

DEBORAH:

…Do we all still get paid?

(Fade out)

(“Black Ferret” closing theme)

ANNOUNCER DON:

Tune in next time for another exciting chapter from the life of the world’s greatest cat-burglar, The Black Ferret!


(Control-switch click)


(Fade in)

Int. Control room

GILA:

I don’t know, guys. “Chiefs” looks more correct when you write it down, don’t you think? Look..

(Scrawling pen on crinkling paper)

ROB:

I don’t even know.

BRESLAU: (control-room intercom)

I’m writing it too, and I think “chieves” looks better written down. Look, I’ll put my notebook up to the glass here…

GILA:

Huh. What do you think, Rob?

ROB:

I think in Breslau’s handwriting, none of it looks better written down.

BRESLAU:

I write like an engineer, you insensitive clod. You want I should learn D’nealian?

GILA:

Boys, cut it out.

ROB:

Fine.

BRESLAU:

He started it.

GILA:

This is getting us nowhere. “Chieves?” “Chiefs.”

BRESLAU:

“Chiefs.”

ROB:

This is giving me agita. Put something through, please.

GILA:

Okay, fine. We need something calming.

(Sorting through cassettes)

ROB:

Good idea.

GILA:

Let’s try this.

(Fade out)


(Control-switch click)


(“Clever Communication” opening theme)

ALVIN:

Hi, I’m Alvin Altoona and you’re listening to Clever Communication.  This is the podcast in which I, a famous actor from about 95 years ago, explore the science of communication itself with all the scientific qualifications of a Hollywood celebrity.

I’m very happy to have as a guest on today’s podcast celebrated communication scientist Dr. Weaver Shannon.  Dr. Shannon is Associate Professor of Communications and Sociology at Brokenstone University, where he teaches new generations of students all about the importance of communication in our daily lives and also conducts research vital to exploring the frontiers and developments at the forefront of how we communicate today and will continue to communicate as society evolves.  Dr. Shannon, thanks for joining me here today on Clever Communication.

WEAVER:

(begins to take a breath as if to speak, but is cut off)

ALVIN:

Now I’ve asked you to join me today, Dr. Shannon, and we were talking about this a little before we turned the mics on, because your particular work really highlights what I feel is a vital part of the science of communication itself, about which I’m personally very passionate.  I’ve always been fascinated with how we as a species communicate our thoughts, our feelings, our needs and desires to one another and on its most basic levels, how that all continues to evolve and reconfigure alongside the progress of the society in which we live.  I’d like you to tell our listeners a bit about what you do.

WEAVER:

(begins to take a breath as if to speak, but is cut off)

ALVIN:

And when you do that, we’ll all continue not only today here on this podcast, but afterward as we move forward in whatever our individual pursuits may be, to take on what you can share with us as regards our human need for open and clear avenues of communication, and the ability to keep developing those avenues as needed to enable ourselves, and one another, continued and fruitful communication.  This is very important work you’re doing, Dr. Shannon, and we look forward to learning more about it today.

WEAVER:

(begins to take a breath as if to speak, but is cut off)

ALVIN:

Because communication, when you get right down to it, is a very basic human need.  People have evolved since the dawn of history to convey meanings to one another; we develop mutually-understood methods, such as spoken and written language, shared symbols, semiotic rules, and through all that communication we are able to further our own development on the small individual scale as well as the grander collective scale, as a species with a future.  And the future is very important to consider, isn’t it, Dr. Shannon?

WEAVER:

(begins to take a breath as if to speak, but is cut off)

ALVIN:

Because when a population can scale their communication, from one-on-one two-way conversations such as the one we’re now having, to larger groups coalescing around shared ideas and communicating them collectively, to those groups further sharing and developing their ideas through larger cultural exchanges and what might be called the “group mind,” we can get our points across to one another, and I have always been fascinated as to how we might work, both individually and collectively, to better enable that for ourselves and one another.  And your work, which I must thank you again for sharing with us today, is at the forefront of exploring what this means for today’s generations and beyond, and I very much appreciate you sharing your take on the subject with us.

WEAVER:

(begins to take a breath as if to speak, but is cut off)

ALVIN:

And I’m getting the signal from my producer, it looks like we’re out of time for this episode, but I’d once again like to thank you, Dr. Weaver Shannon, for joining us today and sharing with us your input from the frontiers of open and clear communication, a subject of great importance to us all.  Thank you, Dr. Shannon, this has been a great discussion, and I hope we can do this again soon.

WEAVER:

(begins to take a breath as if to speak, but just sighs in frustration)

ALVIN:

This has been Clever Communication, with me, Alvin Altoona, and my guest Dr. Weaver Shannon.  I’ll see you next time, as we continue to explore free and open communication.

(“Clever Communication” end theme)


(Control-switch click)


(Fade in)

Int. Studio

GILA:

Don’t you think Alvin has a soothing voice?

ROB:

(snoring)

GILA:

Rob!

(jerking awake in squeaky chair)

ROB:

D’ah! What?

GILA:

I said Alvin has.. never mind.

ROB:

Did you two figure out that “chief” thing yet?

BRESLAU: (control-room intercom)

Not yet. We’re still working on it.

ROB:

Why don’t you just open a browser, do a search, and-

GILA:

We could Ask Jeeves about chieves!

ROB:

…Jeeves is gone, dear.

GILA:

What? When did Jeeves leave?

ROB:

I don’t know. Some time between dot-com boom and dot-com bam?

GILA:

And does the existence of Jeeves confirm the existence of a single Jeeve?

BRESLAU:

Wouldn’t that be a Jeef?

GILA:

Excellent point, a single Jeeves could be a Jeef.

ROB:

Oh, damn it.

BRESLAU:

It’ll have to wait, kids. We have a live news report coming in from Grundy.

GILA:

Oh, right, we sent him to Albany to cover that thing.

ROB:

Let’s hear it.


(Control-switch click)


Ext. New York State Capitol

(Ambient sidewalk noise; traffic, wind, etc.)

GRUNDY:

This is Grundy Kipling reporting live from the steps of the New York State Capitol, where the outcome of the Assembly’s latest decision seems to be making its way the crowd. Right here is a citizen who I’m sure has some feelings on the matter. Hello there, what’s your name?

LEBANESE INTERVIEWEE:

(Responds confusedly in something which is obviously Lebanese Arabic)

GRUNDY:

(repeating what she just said)? That’s a lovely name. And you’ve doubtless heard the news, how do you feel about this latest decision from the State Assembly?

LEBANESE INTERVIEWEE:

(Replies with more Lebanese Arabic)

GRUNDY:

Er.. Yes, and what repercussions do you think there will be from the Assembly’s decision?

LEBANESE INTERVIEWEE:

(Replies with a longer string of Lebanese Arabic)

GRUNDY:

Uh.. how do you see this affecting the Minority Leader’s agenda going forward?

LEBANESE INTERVIEWEE:

(Replies amiably with yet more Lebanese Arabic)

GRUNDY:

Well.. I think you’ll find many who are in total agreement with you on this issue.

LEBANESE INTERVIEWEE:

(Replies again in Lebanese Arabic as she leaves)

GRUNDY:

Er.. Grundy Kipling, Modern Technology News. Back to you, newsroom.


(Control-switch click)


Int. Studio

ROB:

That was not worth Grundy’s bus ticket upstate.

GILA:

Oh, be nice. He’s trying.

ROB:

I’m trying. What have we got next?

(Sorting through cassettes)

GILA:

Let’s see… Ooh, we have that spinoff from the “Creepy Town” folks, about the truck driver. It’s supposed to be dark and quirky and, um, Brooklyn-y.

ROB:

Oh neat, we could use a little manufactured weirdness to counteract all the mundane weirdness around here.

BRESLAU:(control-room intercom)

Chiefs? Chieves? Wait… chives?

GILA:

Sending it through.

(Fade out)


(Control-switch click)


Int.

Big-rig truck cab

(Open-road truck-driving sounds)

LINDA: (with handheld-microphone talk-button clicks)

I thought you were dead, Florence.  When you disappeared, I thought you might have been killed, or kidnapped, or stolen like a bicycle left unchained in front of a sad run-down motel where the bedsheets smell like coffee and the coffee tastes like bedsheets.  But I know better.  You’re still alive, Florence, and I’m gonna find you.

As I drive my truck across this country of ours, I’m having so many weird and creepy adventures full of clues about you, Florence.  Where you may have gone, why you may have disappeared, and I’m going to keep telling our story the only way I can, by broadcasting it on my CB radio for anyone in range to hear.  Because people need to know, Florence.  They need to know that the world is a terrible place hiding the most creepy and evil things, things that make a loving and devoted wife disappear, when she said she was just going out to the store for hot dogs and wine and she’ll be right back and then she wasn’t right back, ever again.

Florence, I will find you again.  And as I sat at the truckstop yesterday afternoon on the outskirts of Bursitis, Wyoming, eating my pasta salad sandwich and thinking about my latest adventure with the cannibal zombie men at the cursed loading dock, I was approached by a shadowy and mysterious person who –

VERA: (CB radio filter)

Breaker one-nine, breaker one-nine.  Hey, um, lady?

LINDA:

Eep!

(dropped CB mic clattering)

VERA:

Lady?  You hear me?

(Mic is fumblingly retrieved)

LINDA:

Um, yes! I hear you, who is this?

VERA:

This is Vance-County Vera, one of your fellow highway truckers, and I’d really appreciate if you would put a cork in it.  You’re always on this channel, going on and on about your struggles and adventures and stuff, but that’s really not what the CB is for, capisce?

LINDA:

But.. but I have to get my story out!  My story of the strange and mysterious minutiae of roadside America just below the surface of-

VERA:

Not on here, you don’t.  The CB radio isn’t your private soapbox for your Twilight Zone crap.  You need to let the rest of us use the CB too, for our normal trucker things.  Traffic and breakdowns and speed traps and stuff.

MEL: (CB radio filter)

Breaker One-Nine, she’s right, honey.  This here’s Mellie Mel talkin.  There are lots of us here out on the open road, and only one person can broadcast on this Citizens Band channel at a time.  You can’t just keep on yammering, sweetie.

LINDA:

But.. my story!  My wife, Florence!  She disappeared, but she might be listening.

VERA:

We know.  You’ve been going on and on about your wife.

MEL:

Girl, did you ever consider the possibility that you’ve just been dumped?

VERA:

I wasn’t going to be so direct, but that’s a really good point.

LINDA:

No!  Florence and I were so happy!  And then she left without coming back, and, and there were monsters!  Cannibal zombie guys!

VERA:

Again with the cannibal zombie guys.  Look, we know you’d rather it were some big old elaborate conspiracy…

LINDA:

It was!  And there was a mysterious glow in the sky, and a magic restaurant that served live venomous spiders-

MEL:

Honey, nobody cares.  Drive your truck, do your job, and let us other truckers do ours without having to endure your blabbering about your dead wife all over the dang airwaves.

LINDA:

Florence is alive!

MEL:

If she is, she dumped. Your.  Ass.  Nothing paranormal about that, happens all the time.  Move on honey, you don’t need to get mixed up in shady government zombie dragons or whatever.  Meet someone else.  Have you tried dating apps?

LINDA:

No!  This is my story, and I have to tell it.

VERA:

Then tell it to Snapchat or something, sweetie.  We all need to use the nice radio too, okay?

LINDA:

But..

VERA:

Okay?

LINDA:

…Okay, fine.  Over and out.  Don’t blame me if you all get chomped by zombie cannibal guys… (bitter muttering)

(clattering CB mouthpiece hanging up)

MEL:

…Is she gone?

VERA:

I think so.

Were we a bit too rough on her?

MEL:

Nah, we did what we had to do.

VERA:

I suppose.  Anyway, Mel, what’s new with you, hon’?

MEL:

I’m just west of Exit 47 with a flat tire, have been for the past twelve hours or so.  I could use some help, Vera.

VERA:

Twelve hours?  Shoot, why didn’t you just radio for a… oh.

MEL:

Yeah.

VERA:

I’ll be right down, sweetie.

MEL:

Thanks, doll.

(Fade out)


(Control-switch click)


(Fade in)

Int. Studio

BRESLAU:

Hey chiefs, or chieves, your conference-call is ready and your guest is on.

GILA:

Who’s our guest?

ROB:

Oh, it’s Ellen Feensty, president of the local chamber of commerce. We met last week when you bought that falafel sandwich from her pushcart out on the boulevard, remember?

GILA:

Oh yeah, she’s sweet. Nice discount for local business owners, too.

ROB:

Right. So I thought since we’re new business owners in the neighborhood, just starting out here, we could have her on to talk about what she does and why it’s important. I’m pretty excited about this, it’ll be a good interview with a local pillar of the community.

GILA:

Seems legit, I’m ready to talk with her. Breslau, put her through please.

BRESLAU:

Right, chiefers.

ROB:

“Chiefers,” now?

GILA:

Why “chiefers?”

BRESLAU:

I thought it’d calm things down. The whole thing’s still bugging me, though. Here’s your guest.

ELLEN: (phone filter)

Hello?

GILA:

Hi, Ellen?

ELLEN:

Yes, this is Ellen Feensty.

ROB:

Ellen! This is Rob and Gila from the Modern Technology Podcast Network. Thanks for taking the time from your busy schedule to speak with us.

ELLEN:

Hi Rob, Hi Gila. Happy to be here.

GILA:

Great to have you.

ROB:

We hoped you could speak with us a bit about your work at the Chamber of Commerce.

ELLEN:

Of course, I’d be happy to. Well, as you know, I’m the Chamber of Commerce president and what that means is I facilitate all the-

BRESLAU:

Hey Ellen, this is Breslau the engineer cutting in for a sec.

GILA:

What?

ROB:

Wait..

ELLEN:

Breslau? …You’re the apple turnover and coffee black three sugars every Thursday morning?

BRESLAU:

That’s me.

ELLEN:

Hello, there.

GILA:

Breslau, we’re talking to-

BRESLAU:

-Yeah, yeah, yeah, and we’ll get right back to that, but I just need another opinion on this thing. Ellen, you know the word “chief?”

ROB:

Oh, no.

ELLEN:

Um, yes? I know the word “chief.” Does this have something to do with the Chamber of-

BRESLAU:

When you pluralize it, when there’s more than one chief..

GILA:

Sorry about this, Ellen.

BRESLAU:

..is it “chieves” or “chiefs?”

ELLEN:

…It’s “chiefs.”

BRESLAU:

But then what about with “leaf” and “leaves?”

ELLEN:

It’s “leaves” for “leaf,” but “chiefs” for “chief.”

BRESLAU:

But how do you know that for sure?

ROB:

Breslau, come on. Ellen, we’d like to ask you about the Chamber and your work and everything.

ELLEN:

Look, have you tried writing it down both ways? Sometimes you do that and it looks better one way or the other.

BRESLAU:

We did! The results were inconclusive. “Chief.” “Chieves.”

ELLEN:

Well I’m sorry, Breslau, I just don’t know what else to tell you.

BRESLAU:

It’s just one of those things, you know? It came up earlier and it’s been really bugging me ever since. “Chieves.” “Chiefs.”

ELLEN:

It’s “chiefs.”

BRESLAU:

But it might be “chieves.”

ELLEN:

No. It’s “chiefs.” Anyway, Gila and Rob, thanks for having me on but I’m afraid I have to go, there’s some important Chamber business and the afternoon coffee rush is about to start and, oh, my mom’s calling me. Good luck with the podcasting thing you’re doing, everyone. Breslau, I’ll see you on Thursday.

(Clatter of phone hanging up)

BRESLAU:

Hey chieftains, your guest is off the line.

GILA:

Oh! Thank you so much. We’ve been talking with Chamber of Commerce president Ellen Feensty, here on the Modern Technology Podcast Network.

ROB:

(sighs) I think I might cry soon.

GILA:

Don’t do that. Here, listen to this instead.

(Fade out)


(Control-switch click)


Int.

Plain room

EVELYN:

Honey, are you watching that DVD again?

SMYTHE:

Yeah, but this time I’m gonna watch with the commentary track on!

(DVD being fed into player.)

ROWENA: (TV speaker)

Mr. Flint has commissioned me to fix up that contract.

LOTT: (TV speaker)

But there isn’t to be one. I have decided-

ROWENA:

Sit down, Mr. Lott.

LOTT:

Thank you.

ROWENA:

I’ll have this contract filled in in a jiffy.

LOTT:

You are mistaken, Miss… I have returned to inform Mr. Flint that I have made up my mind to place the order with the Eastern people.

(Rowena and Lott fade down into the background, but their discussion continues and remains vaguely audible through the rest of the sketch.)

FRED:

Hello, this is Fred Sinlanderman, I am the director of Two Weeks In West Islip.

CARRIE:

Hi, I’m Carrie Grimlock. I was lucky enough to play Rowena, the lead character in Two Weeks In West Islip.

FRED:

Now, um, this opening scene is very interesting. It’s mostly adapted straight from the source material and, which was a novel, and I think we wanted to, like, it was a well-written novel and we just wanted to dive straight in, in the same way as the author crafted it, and Carrie, did you read the novel before we filmed this, or-?

CARRIE:

No, no I did not, Fred, I really didn’t want anything to interfere with my process, and my figuring out who this character was-

FRED:

I’m just gonna interrupt you for a moment there, because this scene, you can see that water, where you can see the water outside the room there, and I just wanted to point out that’s not real water, that was added in post-production. So, if you remember, there was actually a green screen on-set, right outside that window.

CARRIE:

Oh my goodness, Fred, no, no I hadn’t realized that, because I knew that Rowena was seeing water, so in my head all I saw was water, water, everywhere…

(Fred and Carrie fade down into the background with Rowena and Lott, their discussions remaining audible but mostly unintelligible through the rest of the sketch.)

LINDY:

Hi. Welcome to this commentary track. I’m producer of the commentary track you just heard on the film Two Weeks In West Islip.

QUAD:

And I’m Quad Woodward, I’m the sound engineer where we are producing this commentary track for Two Weeks In West Islip.

LINDY:

Now Quad is someone I’ve worked with before, and I trust him implicitly, although I have to say I was not sure we were gonna get good material out of Fred and Carrie.

QUAD:

Yeah, I was a little worried about Fred and Carrie because, like, I have worked with Carrie in the past, and I’ve tried to mic her properly for things and she can sometimes accidentally talk off-mic, like, by turning away from it, or she’ll be sipping the bottles of water that we give them, and.. but on this track I think she delivered a little above and beyond the previous tracks we’ve done with Carrie.

LINDY:

Well, that’s great. Thanks, Quad. What were your impressions of working with Fred?

QUAD:

I think Fred Sinlanderman is a director who…

(Lindy and Quad fade down into the background with Fred, Carrie, Rowena, and Lott, their discussions remaining audible but mostly unintelligible through the rest of the sketch.)

SKIP:

Hello, I’m Skip Hamantaschen, and I’m the designer of the audio console used in the production of this commentary track.

The console is the Hamantaschen X-19-77-B, which was an improvement in many senses over the X-19-77-A – it is a version up – and when it was purchased for the studio by producer Lindy Kopeck for the use of engineer Quad Woodward, I think she made what was probably the best choice of audio equipment within her budget. The Hamantaschen X-19-77-B…

(Skip fades down into the background with Lindy, Quad, Fred, Carrie, Rowena, and Lott, their discussions remaining audible but even more unintelligible through the rest of the sketch.)

GERRY:

Hello, this is Gerry Hamantaschen, and I am the father of Skip Hamantaschen, the designer of the audio console used in this commentary track.

SYLVIA:

And I’m Sylvia Hamantaschen. I’m Skip’s mother.

GERRY:

And we are very proud of our boy, and we don’t really understand what he does for a living, or why he does it, but we are very proud of him nonetheless.

SYLVIA:

We are so proud of him, even when we weren’t sure he was going to amount to much of anything. You know, he was in diapers ’til he was three.

GERRY:

He was. He was always kind of a slow… bloomer? Is that how they call it?

SYLVIA:

Late…?

GERRY:

A slow late…

SYLVIA:

A late developer? A late… something.

GERRY:

But when it comes to whatever the… he tells us he designed the console, and I’m sure that’s a very important thing.

SYLVIA:

Yeah, yeah, Gerry, you know from a console…

(Gerry and Sylvia fade down into the background with Skip, Lindy, Quad, Fred, Carrie, Rowena, and Lott, their discussions remaining audible but even more unintelligible through the rest of the sketch.)

ROB:

Hi, I’m Rob Vincent, and I am the co-writer and co-star of the Commentary Sketch.

GILA:

Hi, I’m Gila Drazen, I am the co-writer and co-star of the Commentary Sketch.

ROB:

Now this was an interesting sketch to do, because we kind of sat down and just ran through all of these in a single take. Was that difficult for you at all?

GILA:

You know, it was difficult for me. I know you’re a little bit better with character voices than I am…

ROB:

Well, I try.

GILA:

And you do really, really well, and I, I… that was a bit of a reach, for me. I tried as hard as I could.

ROB:

You know, you contribute to this production, and you are, I think, a very…

(Rob and Gila fade down into the background with Gerry, Sylvia, Skip, Lindy, Quad, Fred, Carrie, Rowena, and Lott, their discussions remaining audible but incredibly unintelligible through the rest of the sketch.)

BRESLAU:

This is Breslau, chief engineer for the Modern Technology Podcast Network, and I am the engineer who thinks this whole thing has gone on too long, there’s just too many layers to it, you can barely understand what’s going on now, and this whole thing’s just getting too ridiculous, and I’m putting a stop to it now.


(Control-switch click)


Int.

Studio

ROB:

Hey, wife?

GILA:

Yes, husband?

ROB:

It’s just about time to conclude our podcast day.

GILA:

Shall we do a listener mailbag?

ROB:

We could, if there were any listeners sending in mail. I guess we’re just not there yet.

GILA:

Well, you out there listening can get us there. Just write whatever you like in an email to breaks at modern dot technology. That’s “breaks” as in fractures, not “brakes” as in vehicles.

ROB:

Or, call us up and leave a voicemail for us to play here on the network. Pick up a telephone type thing and dial United States phone number 1-929-399-8414 and tell us what’s on your mind.

GILA:

Or, if you’re trapped in a web browser, just go to modern.technology/contact on the web to send us a message from the website.

ROB:

We really want to hear from you, whether it’s about something in this episode..

GILA:

Something in the previous episode..

ROB:

Something in the next episode, somehow..

GILA:

Or whatever random questions or comments are on your mind. We’d love to hear them.

BRESLAU:

Hey, you two… I think it might be “chiefs.”

ROB:

I think it might be time to shut down.

GILA:

Reprise the theme song and roll the credits.


(Fade in on closing theme)

GILA:

You’ve been listening to Modern Technology Breaks, episode 102, performed by Rob Vincent and Gila Drazen, joined by very special guests Angela Assal and Nicola Rose.

Created, written, directed, produced, and edited by Rob, with additional writing by Gila – that’s me! – and very special contributions by Angela.

Go to modern.technology on the web for more info on this program, show-notes and scripts, our other podcasts, and our social media links at Twitter, YouTube, etc. but not Facebook. Facebook is cancelled.

All music is from the anthology The Final Selection by Torley Wong, released Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 3.0. Individual track titles and download links are at modern.technology/music. Find more from Torley at torley.com. Thank you Torley!

This podcast is released under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0, and is a production of Joyful Firefly, LLC.

Send us email at “breaks” at modern dot technology.

If you liked this, ratings, reviews, yadda yadda, but we’d really love you to tell at least three other people about it, via direct person-to-person communication.

(Ending theme concludes)

BRUTUS:

IT’S MORE BEAUTIFUL THAN I IMAGINED! GRRRRRR….