Recap / Welcome to Night Vale - Ep 16 - The Phone Call

"Your existence is not impossible. But it's also not very likely. Welcome to Night Vale."

The Night Vale Daily Journal develops a new business model: kill news bloggers with hatchets.

The Sheriff's Secret Police sends an urgent message: memorize a list. This is vitally important to citizens' safety at some point.

Carlos calls Cecil about an important message: he thinks time is slowing down in Night Vale. Cecil is completely oblivious to the ramifications of such a finding, and instead gushes about how Carlos has finally called him.

The Sheriff believes there is undeniable proof that the underground city exists and it is planning an invasion. He urges Night Vale to prepare for war.

Advice is given on how to assist the Secret Police. Don't wear tinfoil hats, they don't work and are simply embarrassing.

After several months of protest, City Council announces several improvements for the city library: A front entrance, drinking fountains, dunking chambers, a fainting pool, and librarian repellent dispensers. The children's section gets beanbag chairs.

Traffic: All roads lead somewhere and come from somewhere. In-between, they are a twisted, snarled curve. Where are we going, metaphorically? Where are we coming from, literally? Is it possible to stop or turn around? What does this mean about the latest polls and economic reports? Route 800 is looking clear in both directions. The small dirt road to the desert shack is backed up.

Carlos calls again. Cecil could not answer while reporting the previous stories, but he listens to the voice mail.

A panicked Carlos claims clocks in Night Vale are not real. He's been disassembling them, but they are all hollow; some contain a gelatinous grey lump. He then hears that someone is at his door. He tries peeking out the window to find out who this visitor is, and sees a man in a tan jacket holding a leather suitcase. Carlos suddenly realizes that the man at the door has noticed that he is looking at him and the message abruptly ends. In the next message, Carlos has forgotten what he was doing, but he needs to contact the mayor and the police.

Cecil has scheduled a date with Carlos tomorrow afternoon. Carlos wants to know anyone has ever seen the Night Vale clock tower. He hasn't, because it's invisible and always teleporting, obviously.

Intern Stacey says the Secret Police would like to make a correction: memorizing the list will not keep you safe. No one is safe. The list will only save you from an external pain separate from the pain of continual existence.

Tropes appearing in The Phone Call:

  • Adorkable: Cecil around Carlos, as usual. When told about a localized temporal discrepancy, all he can come up with is "Neat!"
    Cecil: Ugh! How embarrassing! I mean, Carlos is so smart, and he says so many smart things! And Iím not dumb! I like science and municipally-approved books just as much as the next guy, so I canít believe thatís all I could say to him.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Carlos want to meet up with Cecil so he can get contacts for the mayor and the police and talk to him about the clocks not being real. Cecil, of course, interprets it as a coffee date.
    • Also, when Carlos tells him that more time has passed in the "real world" than in Night Vale, Cecil thinks it might be a romantic metaphor.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: The Daily Journal has experienced declining sales due to competition from blogs, so Lianne Hart announced a new business model where they go to bloggers' houses and kill them with hatchets.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Actually subverted. Despite Cecil's constant gushing about Carlos on the radio, he notes that he gave the scientist his number a while back and when he never called (up until now) Cecil didn't get upset, because "sometimes people just donít call, and thatís okay".

"Today's proverb: If I said you had a beautiful body, would it even matter because we are so insignificant in this vast incomprehensible universe?"