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Last night, a man talking on walkie talkie, rushing across Broadway: “I’m going to the dollar store. . . Yeah, we’re the only underground radio station on Broadway. We’ll be back up in an hour.”

The picture that immediately developed in my head was this buy in the middle of a broadcast, reading some secret manifesto while hunkered over his pirate radio equipment. Suddenly the signal goes dead. He digs around in the hodge podge of loose wires, dismantled stereos, and car batteries, to find what is wrong. Confused listeners start calling, via every means possible. He finds the problem. Luckily the replacement part is available at the dollar store, racked between the phony Star Wars figures and the light switch covers. He grabs his little two-way and runs out to the store.

Categorized as Before


  1. Underground number 1,–overheard conversation bit– and you were there: in the streets of Seattle, 2 people were having a conversation, with one person lamenting “Seattle really doesn’t have much of a REAL underground.” Not sure what the fake underground of Seattle is, or what real underground he wanted. Overheard conversations are like that, I suppose.

    Underground number 2: I’m talking with someone in my dorm-hall, and comics comes up. “Oh. You collect comics.” “Sure.” He then goes off about Archie and Spiderman, somewhat. “Actually, the comics I read are kinda underground, I guess.” “Oh, like Dark Horse?” “Um… they publish American Splendor, so sure.” “American Splendor. That’s REALLY underground.” I guess the sorta-underground is Concrete or something.

  2. An underground is a community that exists despite seemingly contradictory elements of its environment. I’d say that the overheard-person is probably looking for an underground that looks familiar to him and, regardless of whether or not one is present, he will miss it.

    Then again he may have been talking about an underground in the more literal sense. In the 1890’s, for a variety of reasons, the streets and sidewalks in Pioneer Square were raised one floor above the ground. The Underground Tour actually takes place on ground level, therefore “Seattle really doesn’t have much of a real underground.”

  3. And here’s another overheard conversation. It’s an oldie but goodie. It struck me because though they got every possible fact wrong, I could kind of see how they arrived at there conclusions:

    “We’re going to rent a movie.”

    “What are you going to get?”

    “I don’t know. Austin Powers is out. I love Dana Carvey!”

    “We could get The Big Hit.”

    “What’s that?”

    “It’s a John Woo film.”

    “We just saw Twelve Monkeys, that was good.”

    “Yeah, Terry Gilliam is amazing. I just love British wit.”

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