Finally! The last leg of the long, long journey to New Civilatham! Give this episode a listen and let us know what you think.
This episode, I think, rests at the current pinnacle of a long series of new favorites for me. Every episode seems to be better than the episode before it, and that makes me happy inside. Happy and warm.
There’s a strangeness to this new planet that just seems to fit with our characters. In an economy where a jaunty tune functions as surrogate currency, our characters are particularly well-suited to engage in transactions.
And the ticket stand? If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Douglas Adams must be very flattened by now.
As to the sound design and editing, this episode attains a standard we haven’t even attempted (let alone achieved) in the past. I did spend a few hours pulling together the bulk of the sound effects, but the real kudos go to my sister for doing all of the editing and making it sound like it all fits together. She’s so great.
Enjoy the episode! Next week is an ‘off-arc’ week, where we’ll just take a break from the story arc. Then, on the twelfth of February, we’ll begin our big, three-part finale. Don’t miss it!
flatt, adj., the state of being burdened by compliments to the point of catastrophic, structural collapse: That poor, flatt celebrity is in rehab again.
Malex: So, it looks like people wait up there on that platform.
Linus: And there are floating doors coming and going from every direction.
Snufflefungus: And then people go in them and the– and the doors fly away!
Malex: I– I think the doors work by going to the destination, pinching a corner of space time, and bringing it to the traveler.
Linus: So when you step through the door, you’re already at the destination.
Mara: I have no idea what you’re talking about.
Malex: Imagine… Imagine you’re standing on one corner of a piece of paper. If I were to grab the other corner of the piece of paper and fold it over, you could take one step, then paper could flatten back out and you’d be on the other side.
Mara: You understand him?
Linus: So I’d guess we need tickets from that ticket stand.
Malex: I’ll give it a try.
Ticket Stand: Welcome to the Greater Civilatham Transit Authority Door Terminal. How may I help you?
Malex: We need to catch the next door to New Civilatham.
Ticket Stand: Great! I can help you with that. Are there just the four of you?
Ticket Stand: The next available door will be arriving in two and a half hours. That will be 35 Dollars.
Snufflefungus: Uh oh…
Linus: We don’t have 35 Dollars.
Ticket Stand: Really? How much do you have?
Malex: Well, see, we arranged for a friend to be taken care of in the village on the other side of the marsh, and that cost a lot of money.
Ticket Stand: Wow, you’re from all the way on the other side of the marsh?
Snufflefungus: Oh yeah! We crash landed in the desert!
Mara: We’ve been walking the whole time since then!
Ticket Stand: Golly Moses! That’s a long, long walk!
Linus: Yeah. So can we have tickets please?
Ticket Stand: (Hesitant.) Well… How much money do you have?
Malex: 32.78 and a splodge, which I think is a couple tenths of a cent. I’m still getting used to these denominations.
Ticket Stand: Well, uh… Do you have a jaunty tune? Perhaps a dance?
Snufflefungus: Of course we do!
Linus: (Chuckles.) You should have said something earlier!
Malex: Okay everybody! 1, 2, 3…
~~ Our heroes sing Travel is Very Important
Ticket Stand: (Choked up.) It’s– It’s beautiful!
Ticket Stand: Nobody’s ever had a conversation with me before, and nobody’s ever sung me a song! You may have your tickets for free!
Linus: Great! So all we need to do is wait for our door, and we can just step through!
Mara: 700 miles in the blink of an eye!
Snufflefungus: New Civilatham, here we come!
~~ Scene change.
Linus: That’s so weird! You cross the threshold and the door is gone! And we’re in a huge city!
Ugly Beige Riding Squirrel: It’s’a me, Ugly Beige Riding Squirrel!
Mara: (Screams.) Is it alive? It’s an abomination!
Ugly Beige Riding Squirrel: My name’s Ugly Beige, not Abomination. Pleased to meet you!
Mara: And it talks! Why?!
Linus: Mara, this is Ugly Beige Riding Squirrel.
Snufflefungus: We were expecting him.
Ugly Beige Riding Squirrel: Hello there, Snufflefungus. It’s been quite a while.
Snufflefungus: Yes, a while.
Ugly Beige Riding Squirrel: I hope we can move past our unfortunate history. I know I’ve moved on.
Snufflefungus: (Thoughtfully.) Yes, I think that’s best. (Decisively.) We shan’t speak of it!
Malex: Great! Now, can we– Yikes!
Linus: What are you– Holy Hannah it’s disturbing!
Mara: Is that a gigantic face peering down on the city?!
Ugly Beige Riding Squirrel: Precisely! That’s one of the things I wanted to show you! Come on, you have to see!
~~ Scene change.
Snufflefungus: What is this place?!
Ugly Beige Riding Squirrel: This is the Grand New Civilatham Museum of Art! See this globe over here?
Mara: So what? It’s a miniature model of the city.
Linus: (Horrified.) Oh no it’s not!
Malex: Are we actually looking down at the real city?!
Ugly Beige Riding Squirrel: That’s right! And everybody inside the city can look up and see us right now!
Ugly Beige Riding Squirrel: I always love coming here. My face is so ugly, when I loom over the city you can see the stock market go down!
Mara: (Disturbed.) That’s horrible.
Ugly Beige Riding Squirrel: It’s like taking candy from a baby!
Linus: Yes, and burning it.
Snufflefungus: Ugly Beige Riding Squirrel, this is all very nice, but…
Ugly Beige Riding Squirrel: This city is amazing! There’s so much for you to see! Come on!
Malex: Ugly Beige Riding Squirrel, wait! Please, all of the Riding Squirrels before you told us to come here. We’ve been traveling for months.
~~ Very pronounced rumbling with cracking and distant screams.
Mara: We really deserve some answers. What’s going on?
Ugly Beige Riding Squirrel: (Deeply troubled.) Can’t we have some fun first?
Linus: No. We can’t.
Ugly Beige Riding Squirrel: (Sighs.) Alright. We Riding Squirrels have all gathered in the top floor suite of the Hotel Vertex tower. But… are you sure we have to go there now?
Malex: Yes, Ugly Beige. We’re sure.
Ugly Beige Riding Squirrel: Come on then, Tall Green Riding Squirrel will explain everything.
Snufflefungus: Yay for explanations!
Oh, we need to travel to New Civilatham.
We need to be there right away.
Yes, the world depends on you,
because if you don’t let us through,
everyone will have a really bad day!
Oh, we need to travel to New Civilatham.
We need to be there soon we beg.
The threat (we’re told) is huge,
even though we’re out of tune,
just know the universe is on its last legs!
Producer and Director: Alex Markley
Writers: Alex Markley and Peter Markley.
Voices: Markley Brothers, with a guest appearance by Leela as Mara.
Post-processing director: Leela
Illustration: Peter Markley
Release manager: Peter Markley
Recording assistance: Oz
Thanks to everyone for their help and support.