This will be a short Shorts entry, as the only short thing I’ve been consuming lately is this weird-pants podcast called Welcome to Night Vale that is so strange and baffling that I do not understand why my Internet people didn’t tell me about it sooner, and so therefore I must share it with you in case you are missing it, too!
I’ve listened to about five episodes so far, so I feel confident in saying that what you get on this podcast is a mock radio show out of a small desert city called Night Vale, where things are, let’s say, not normal. The first thing you learn about Night Vale is that there is a dog park, but no dogs are allowed in it, nor humans, and also you should not approach the dog park or the hooded figures hanging around inside it. Righty-o, then.
Our intrepid host reports on all sorts of similar “news” stories, from the arrival of an incredibly handsome scientist to an airplane appearing in and then disappearing from a school gymnasium to the radio station management killing or possibly absorbing another employee. There are standalone news pieces and stories that are expanded upon in several segments, and of course there are callbacks in later episodes to previous stories. Also, the weather report is just an excuse to play a song, so I get to have a couple of toe-tapping minutes on my commute! It’s all quite delightful. And very very strange.
I think what I love about this podcast is that it is the equivalent of taking all the self-aware, satirical, wink-wink-nudge-nudge parts of books by people like Jasper Fforde or Terry Pratchett and stringing them all together into twenty minutes or half an hour of sheer what-the-heck-ery. It is a beautiful thing, but I wouldn’t suggest mainlining the episodes or even listening to more than one a day for fear of your brain becoming absorbed by the crazy world in which Night Vale exists. I mean, it could probably happen.
an RIP listen