I Got Excellent Customer Service

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It’s not often that I get to tell of an experience with a company’s customer service that has a happy ending or even a happy middle. However, yesterday the rules changed and when I hung up the phone I was very satisfied with the phone call eventhough my problem was nowhere near resolved. Are y’all wondering how that can even be so? Let me explain. Back in June of this year y’all might recall that we bought my wife a 2014 Ford Mustang which has performed beautifully since the day we bought it. But, a few days ago my wife, who drives the car daily, informed me that the car stereo was not notifying when a text message comes in on her phone. Something she has become very accustomed to, probably to the point of being spoiled, she has really gotten used to the hands free voice activated controls. Needless to say, her world seemed to crash a bit when it stopped functioning. Boo hoo right?

Being the good husband I am, I took a look at it since I was the one who figured it out in the first place. Having zero success I resorted to doing some research on the internet, tried some different things, but was still very unsuccessful in my efforts. After two evenings of playing with it I finally broke down and called Sync customer service. I was preparing for the worst since calling customer service for anything usually results in me trying to reach through the phone so I can choke a motherfucker. With this phone call, in this instance of contacting customer service, I stand corrected. He was polite, courteous, apologetic, and sounded genuinely concerned about the issue. As much as I would like to tell y’all that the problem was resolved I can’t, because as hard as he tried, it’s still not working.

However, he did teach this old dog many new tricks concerning the stereo and other electronic components in the car. I knew it had features but shit not all the things he went through. A car stereo isn’t just a car stereo any longer boys and girls. Little did I know, the last new car I bought was in 2005 and I was impressed with the single disc CD player. Anyway, seems we were only using about 3% of the features to our advantage, but now that has changed. Yes, I mentioned he could not resolve our particular dilemma over the phone but he located our area Ford dealership, verified the services they provide, and set us up with an appointment this Saturday morning. He reminded us that everything is under warranty and after they perform a system update that our problems should become a memory. In the event it is a hardware issue and not a software issue, the Ford dealership will replace the stereo. I will let y’all know how it works out Saturday.

I would first like to thank Scott for providing us with top notch customer service support. I appreciate being treated like a human being instead of a customer with a problem. His attitude made a huge impact on my attitude and I actually enjoyed our entire conversation from start to finish. Whatever they are doing really works and it shows people like myself who have been tainted over the years that calling customer service doesn’t have to be a labored and fucked up experience. So, my hat is off to Scott, thanks for not making me feel I needed to choke the fucking life out of you. But seriously, thanks Scott, you couldn’t fix it but you tried and you took steps to get it fixed, which will make my wife happy, which in turn will increase my happiness.

What Is This Bullshit On The Radio?

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I mean, really, what the fuck happened? I don’t listen to regular fucking radio, ever, I have avoided commercial radio for many years because it simply sucks shit. Living in Houston one would figure the options would be a grand as the city. But noooooooooo, if one doesn’t listen to hip hop, rap, autotune, top 40, country, Latin, Hispanic, talk radio, or christian music, one is severely fucked. There is ONE, just ONE, classic rock station available which hugs a dick because of a very small library or a very short attention span, you pick. Normally I’m plugged into my personal 10,000+ song library but today it wanted to give me grief and I didn’t feel like fucking with it, until I tried to go regular radio. After slapping myself for such an ignorant fucking lapse in my common sense I got my personal shit running.

I know, of all the fucking great things to bitch and rant about, I pick commercial radio of all things no less. Why? It’s no big fucking deal, right? Right, if that is the fucking shit you want to hear coming out of your speakers. So, unless you pay for radio or listen to your own mix then you are ate the fucking mercy of a disc jockey who could give two shits about you personally. Am I being too selfish? Am I asking for too much from commercial radio? Yes, you are right, I do ask far too much, hell I’m not the one paying the bills for them, and I know that. Great thing I can fend for my damn self isn’t it. So now what? Nothing. I just wanted to remind y’all that commercial radio fucking blows, but y’all probably already knew that. Some of y’all listen to the that shit daily and on purpose no less. Anyway, I’ve learned my fucking lesson for the day, don’t trust commercial radio to satisfy you music needs, because they cannot. And that’s the absolute fucking truth my friends, truth indeed!

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All She Had On Was The Radio

Every once in a while I feel that I can share a little bit about my personal life without giving away that I’m actually a living breathing human being who has a life outside everything else I do. I had a funny haha last week that I think y’all could see how one line of text can have a thousand meanings on one’s head when, in reality, it was an attention getter to intentionally mislead me, to distract me from what I was actually doing at the time. Luckily, for me, I was intrigued enough to investigate. Let’s set up the plot, I was outside messing around with my daughter’s car, maintenance mostly, new air cleaner, windshield wiper replacement, windshield wiper fluid refill, and a taillight bulb replacement. Simple enough, something she asked that I do while she was out of town. In fact, the house was empty with the exception of my wife and I. That whole scenario can lead to big trouble, usually means I’m steam cleaning the carpet. So, being outside taking care of little things that needed to be done was just fine with me. At about lunch time I start getting texts asking if I’m hungry, asking what I’m doing, and how long I was going to be, tell you the truth I was starting to get annoyed a bit, telling her to bring her ass outside if she was so curious. Then there was about thirty minutes of silence.

Then she sends this text, “all I have on is the radio, want to dance?” It was drizzling out, I was all but done outside anyway, so I didn’t answer the text, I don’t think I was supposed to, I think I did the right thing by just going inside to see what in the world was going on. I opened the door to a quiet house, and all I could hear was the radio coming from the back bedroom, my bedroom. First I did stop by the kitchen, which was on the way, to wash my hands and to get a drink of water, then I followed the song on the radio that was playing. I was lead to the bathroom in fact, where I find my wife taking a bubble bath, then she tells me that she told me all she had on was the radio. I will leave the rest to your imagination, if you have one, if not then just know that we both had a nice candle lit bubble bath together.

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Later on in the afternoon she wanted to get out of the house, to go somewhere, just go out to get out of the house, no kids, no wondering what the kids would do for dinner, nothing, just go for a drive and see where we end up. So, she got all dolled up, wearing my favorite jeans, a ZZ Top t-shirt, and her hair pulled back in a tight pony tail. She’s up to something, I just know it. We drove around in her new mustang for a few hours, she makes me drive, I don’t know, its weird with her, if I’m in the car she wants me to do the driving, been like that since day one. I thought it would change with her new car, but no, same old habits. What if I want to get chauffeured every once in a while? I’ve learned, don’t ask that particular question to her, it doesn’t end well at all. I just figure if we are in her car that she would want to drive. After not eating lunch I was starting to get real hungry, I asked if she had any suggestions, no of course, said for me to pick. Fine, I pick Joe’s Crab Shack, it was close and I haven’t been there in a few years. Dinner was good, margaritas were decent, and my company was very good. It gave us an opportunity to talk, to have a “date night”, and just be us for once in so many years. I get it, we don’t get allot of one on one time, we are always doing something, or we always have the kids tagging along, so it was, in fact, very weird, a little too quiet if you ask me. But, it was a fantastic night, I wouldn’t trade it for anything, never, we need many more of these “date nights”.

Soon enough, we would leave, she wanted to head across the freeway to go to the mall for a few minutes, she wanted to go in to get some makeup that they only sell at the one store. I knew it, I knew there was a plot, I new it was too good to be true, I knew I just gave up the next hour of my life because we cant decide which shade of black she wants for eyeliner. Of course, I’ve been a victim in this store before, I hate this store, so much I can’t bring myself to even type the fucking name. Plus, she asks me, the colorblind motherfucker, which color do I like, I always just answer with the one that has the cool, off the wall name, has kept me out of trouble for many years. This time, with no kids, I had no excuse to go to the Lego store or to Brookstone, I had to go in, her not letting go of my hand was the tell tale sign for me, I was already getting the cold sweats, fuck I hate this store. As a pleasant surprise, she walks in, never letting go of my hand, because I would have run for cover and she knows it, she picked up what she came in for, a compact of something or another, and we then checked out, we were in this beast of a pit less than five minutes, tops. Not a word from me either, and not a word from her either, we were just done, just in and out, scary.

Then we head to Sears, where I get told to hang out for a while, and that she would return for me shortly. Huh? She tells me to just roll with it, don’t worry about it, she would be back. Well, okay then, I shall just wander around Sears for a “while”. I didn’t see much I haven’t seen before, same tools, same lawn mowers and lawn shit, same beds, same vacuum cleaners, same appliances, and the same conditions at the shoe department, nice shoes I like, decent prices, but only go up to size 13, which is bullshit. Why can’t we just carry size 16 so I can at least try them on? But then again, that is the same scenario at all shoe stores in the mall, which is also bullshit. So, I’ve managed to kill almost thirty minutes and still no wife, so I make my way to the jewelry counter, not getting anything, just wanted to get my watch cleaned, they use one of those sonic washers which is pretty cool, gets all the muck out of the crevices. Just before the lady is done with my watch my wife slinks up behind me, wanting to know what I was buying. Then she sees the lady bringing my shiny black watch back and then she knows I’m not buying anything, no need to, I bought this very Fossil Relic watch in November of 1999 and it’s never, not once, given me any shit or reason to replace it, I make Father’s Day, birthdays, and Christmas a bitch for everyone, because a watch is never an option. After putting old faithful back on my wrist I notice she is carrying a Victoria’s Secret bag, which she will NOT let me look into. Trust me, I tried, no dice. How rude. Hand in hand we leave Sears, one more stop I’m told, which is good, its 8:45, and the mall closes in fifteen minutes, bonus.

We end up at Hollister, not my favorite, yet not the worst place to shop for women’s clothing. But, damn, this place is so expensive, I always expect to have to pay some kind of “cover” every time I walk thru the doors. This one is cool though, the entire staff is all female, dress like strippers, the lights are down low, the music is always bumping, and they offer complimentary bottled water. Plus, Plus, Plus, and Plus for me. Okay, she shops here at the teenie bopper store because they carry her size, “0”, and the only other place that carries that size in most of the pants is Guess, but she has never been let down here. I took a seat, she begins the hunt, she’s like a lioness on the prowl, stalking her prey on the open savanna, and when she finds the one that catches her eye, she pounces. It’s fun to watch, deadly on the wallet, but still I appreciate watching this part of the “chase”. She finds three pair, all blingless, all slightly torn in various places, but ones she seems to like. Off to the changing room, let the show begin! My wife is a natural born tease, she knows I still check out her ass, she knows my eyes still follow her around as she passes by, so, she abuses me with it, and she knows she is doing it. I liked all three, well, two of them, the stretchy ones I really don’t like. They look like jeans, don’t feel like jeans, and just “aren’t right” in some weird old school way. I know, I’m showing my age here, I cant help it, I don’t like them, they just aren’t right. The other two, perfect, absolutely perfect!

Now we head out of the mall, my wife reluctant to let me carry the bags, which is odd, I’m the guy you always see carrying the bags, but not tonight, which is fine, its weird, but fine. Get out to the car, bags in the truck, out of sight, and we head on home. When we get there, now nine-thirtyish, I settle into my chair, flip on the television, and find I have missed the first half of River Monsters, oh well, he never finds the big monsters until the end of the show anyway, that man pulls some fucked up fish from the depths of the rivers and lakes, and just think I used to like going out on the water, but now that I know it’s full of all the different kinds of “nopefish” I may just have to stick to the cement ponds. I never bothered turning on any lights because I didn’t plan on being out there in the living room very long anyway. You know that eerie feeling you get when you just know there is someone behind you, the feeling that makes all the short hairs on your body become electrified? I got that feeling, soon after I feel the cool hands I know so well, come across my shoulders. She held my head so I couldn’t turn my head, told me to close my eyes, and I feel her hands leave me. Moments later, I open my eyes to see my wife wearing what she bought at Victoria’s Secret. Um, OMFG!

By the morning the house was full with kids again, the hustle and bustle of everyone getting ready for work and for school. It was nice while it lasted, the quiet times, the time with my wife alone, and the not having to worry about everything happing around us. Out of the blue I get a kiss on the cheek from my daughter and a thank you for taking care of her car. My son, gives me a fist bump, he’s getting too old to hug me I guess, all of thirteen. As I stand in front of the kitchen sink taking my medications I feel a familiar touch of a cool hand going under my shirt onto my back, and then a kiss between the shoulder blades. No good morning, not that I usually get a verbal good morning, just what I got, it was nice, real nice. Then as softly as she appeared she slinked into the shadows of the hallway heading to the bedroom, undoubtedly to finish getting dressed for work. As I drove off to work I remembered that the entire day prior all started with a clever text, “all I have on is the radio”, what a nice thought.

Finding A New Year’s Format Change

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I must say that when I got into my Pathfinder on New Years day to go get my oil changed I was quite alarmed and pretty disturbed. No, there wasn’t anything wrong with the car, but there was plenty wrong with a radio station that I’m a regular listener to. I will be honest, I’m a creature of habit when it comes to what music I enjoy listening to. I listen to basically 3 kinds of music, heavy metal, classic rock, and current hard rock. Depends on the mood and the time of the day really, but I tend not to stray from those three genres. So, anyway, when I turn on my radio to the classic rock station I’ve listened to since probably 1980 or so I’m greeted with the format change. Yes, it would appear that at 00:01 on 01 January 2014 the classic rock station was laid to rest and replaced with a hip hop/ r & b station. After a few minutes of shock, quickly changing stations back and forth I realized that I was indeed not dreaming.

So that is that, another one bites the dust. I have seen, over the years, since I’ve been back in the area I grew up in since 2002, a few radio stations do the magic format switch while nobody is looking. I can count 4 other “rock” stations that have reformatted to Spanish reggaeton, country, and now hip hop r & b. I guess it shows what the Houston market has turned into. I wonder how long it will be before the radio has nothing to offer to me personally on the public free airwaves. I understand it comes down to $$$ but I can’t help but feeling that I was just told a good friend has died a horrific death. Initially I was a little pissed about the format change and then I decided it really wasn’t worth my grief. Today is a new day and one must move on because it is a new year and I have bigger fish to fry.

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The Effects Of Healthcare Dot Gov

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With nearly half-a-billion dollars in government funding put behind promoting a product relatively few people seem interested in purchasing from a website that doesn’t work, Obamacare is perhaps the biggest marketing flop the world has seen in a very, very long time. The cost to build Healthcare dot gov is estimated at $319 million so far. The total amount to be spent nationally on publicity, marketing and advertising will be at least $684 million, according to data compiled The Associated Press from federal and state sources. As the Washington Post reported on Obamacare’s infamous website Healthcare dot gov, when the Web site went live Oct. 1, it locked up shortly after midnight as about 2,000 users attempted to complete the first step.

As time went by, things did not much improve. Fewer than 107,000 people had enrolled in Obamacare as of early November, even though more than 4.8 million Americans were notified their health insurance plans were canceled as a result of the new Obamacare rules and regulations. There were only 23 people per day that enrolled during the first month in the Federal Exchange. And the latest polls show growing opposition to the program, with 57 percent of Americans now opposing the Affordable Care Act, better known as “Obamacare”. President Obama candidly acknowledged what millions of Americans had concluded after trying to use the new HealthCare dot gov website: it was not working: “The rollout of the new health care [website] has been rough, to say the least… We always knew that that was going to be complicated and everybody was going to be paying a lot of attention to it,” he said. “We should have done a better job getting that right on day one — not on day 28 or on day 40.”

A significant part of the response to Healthcare dot gov’s failures, however, has been an intensifying ad campaign. ads based on research about the uninsured have already been popping up on radio, TV and social media. The pitch: If you don’t make much money, the government can pick up some of the cost of your health insurance. If you can afford a policy, by law you have to get one. The unintended punch line is the ads direct the uninsured to sign up for a plan on the website. One health insurance company executive questioned “why would you spend $1 million sending people to a website that’s broken.” A very good question since administration officials were warned by consultants in March that the healthcare dot gov website was “at risk of failure.” Yet the Administration went ahead and signed lucrative contracts with a number of big name Washington PR firms for more than $60 million to promote the site anyway.

In July, HHS (Health and Human Services) inked a $33 million contract with PR giant Weber Shandwick. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid had already signed a $3 million and $8 million contracts. Porter Novelli also has a $20 million contract with the agency. As one Washington PR veteran noted, “you can have the greatest PR program imaginable on all different platforms — social, media, advertising and earned media — but you have to have a product that is functioning”. The states setting up their own health care exchanges “will receive proportionally more federal money for outreach, advertising and marketing than” the states where the federal government is running the program. In those states, “community groups with federal grants will lead the effort” to convince people to sign up.

ABC News showcased what it labeled “The Strangest Ads to Promote Obamacare Sign-Ups.” Topping the list is Minnesota’s ads “using legendary folklore hero Paul Bunyan (and his blue ox Babe) to show Minnesotans that the land of the north is also ‘the land of 10,000 reasons to get health insurance.’” The two appear in a series of ads  “in which the famous lumberjack suffers some kind of typical Minnesota injury — an axe wound, a water ski collision”. Nearly $28 million will be spent promoting Obamacare in Washington. One of the state’s ads has a woman playing “paper, rock, scissors” to escape the attack of a rabid raccoon.

Oregon is spending $10 million advertising Obamacare with advertisements that don’t even mention the program or how to enroll in it. One of the television ads, produced by the Portland advertising agency North, Inc., does not mention the word “insurance” or how or why to enroll in the program. Another Oregon ad does not mention the word “insurance,” but features what appears to be Gumby riding on the Beatles’ yellow submarine. Between Oct. 1 to Nov. 30, however,  just 44 residents were able to sign up for private insurance through Cover Oregon.

Colorado is spending more than $20 million to promote the program hoping to enroll 136,000 patients in health exchange network by the end of March. So far, fewer than 4,000 have been enrolled, though one of the enrollee’s turned out to be a man’s pet dog. The state’s ad campaign compares enrolling in Obamacare to winning at a casino and features an Elvis impersonator. In Kentucky, outreach workers attended a number of bourbon festivals and visited college campuses across the state to make young people aware of the program. California is spending $94 million on its Obamacare enrollment campaign, including “radio and television commercials, highway billboard advertisements, and a number of Twitter and Facebook posts” and promotion at county fairs and street festivals.

Healthcare dot gov features a tool to search through health insurance providers in your area to see how much Obamacare can save you. The catch? The catch is, those prices are all AFTER maximum subsidies are calculated into the price by the website. This is apparently the lack of insecurity you can expect from the folks at HHS and healthcare dot gov.  A level of incompetence and lack of common sense programming I didn’t even think were possible for government until today. Want to see what the prices are without subsidies? Well someone forgot to password the database the prices are fetched from.  If you want to see it in all its glory head on over to data.healthcare.gov and see it for yourself but be sure to hurry before the government shuts it down for showing the truth.

Why do we find ourselves in this healthcare pickle?  How did the federal government get the idea they could insert themselves into our health insurance industry?   People forget that government is force; and that it is force at the point of a gun.  A model for the Obamacare law can be found in the federal seat belt law, requiring car manufacturers to install seat belts in every car, just as the Obamacare law requires insurance companies to place Obama’s requirements into your health insurance policy.

Information found for this “Your Tax Dollars @ Work” post was done by using a Google search. Information compiled from multiple public websites & media outlets.

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Why So Serious All The Time?

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Recently I received an e-mail which asked “How can you continuously besmirch our Lord the savior Jesus Christ?” and that wasn’t all she asked. She asked allot of questions about why I hate everyone and everything. I don’t think I have been asked such specific questions so I wanted to share so I could explore out-loud what I am thinking. Usually I get asked “why?” allot or I get told, in simple terms, “to go to hell” for the most part. People are so judgemental of what others have to say. Granted, I do write about a few sensitive subjects on occasion, like race, adoption, smoking and cooking, sheeple, fucktards, religion, atheists, Christians and Christianity, Jesus and God, the Devil, strippers, alcohol and drinking, disabilities, and so forth, so pick something from “A” to “Z” and I have probably written about it.. I don’t expect everyone or anyone to share in on my personal opinion, if you do then you do and if you don’t then so be it, no hard feelings either way on my part. The only qualifications I have to have my opinions is the simple fact that I’m a human being sharing this planet with many others so I get to see allot from my point of view. So, back to why I’m writing this post.

“How can you continuously besmirch our Lord the savior Jesus Christ?” That’s an accusation and a question all rolled up in one. To be honest, besmirch was a new word to me, not one previously in my limited redneck vocabulary, so I had to look it up to see what it means. Here’s what I found. the definition of besmirch (biˈsmərCH): to damage the reputation of (someone or something) in the opinion of others or to make dirty; to soil. Now the term continuously: uninterrupted in time, sequence, substance, or extent. Now, I’ve looked back in review, over the general contents included in my blog. Guess what I found. Nothing, in my opinion, that would suggest a continuous or even a partial besmirching of anything, in fact there isn’t one single thing that has space on my blog that gets continuous commitment. Now, if you want to talk about what I have had to say about the freaks in The Westboro Baptist Church that’s a different story, I mean, come on, is it normal for a group of people claiming to be Christians doing God’s work to have their website address as “godhatesfags”. Perhaps I’m the only person on the planet that doesn’t think that’s normal. Now, if that is Christian bashing then some of y’all need to check to make sure you are praying to the right idol. So, I’m at a loss with the concerns that I’m besmirching Jesus Christ anywhere ever here on my blog or in person. Just because I don’t believe in God or Jesus doesn’t mean I hate them or that I wish to damage their reputation. When I talk about Christianity in general it is because the “news” is on the radio, the papers, on the internet somewhere, and occasionally the information comes home from church with my wife. Still doesn’t make me a Christian hater. A better description would be a person who chose not to be sucked into Christian conformity.

So, what am I trying to get at here? Not sure, but I hope to have that figured out before we are done here. All I know is that I am a human being just trying to live my life the best way I know how. That’s all I have to offer, no more, no less. I return now with fresh thoughts after an extended lunch hour. I suppose I understand the judgemental nature of the human animal, we tend to judge and assume what we don’t know simply because we have never learned to do it any other way. Meaning? People tend to pick one point and focus on it with such fury that they become blinded by everything else, like the truth for example. I’m comfortable with myself within my own skin, with my thoughts, my actions, my life, and what I write about right here. I don’t hate anyone that I know of, with the exception of my ex-wife who is the queen of evil cunts. Other than my personal thoughts about her, I have no problems with people. I do, however, reserve the right to have an opinion or three about daily observations that I witness on a day-to-day basis. It’s just that damn simple. If, for whatever reason, you or someone you know, falls into the subject, topic, or category I happen to be discussing and you feel it’s like I’m pouring salt into your open wound then that is all on you because all I am doing is talking, I didn’t make what I’m talking a part of your life, you did. So, there you have it. Did it answer all of your questions? I hope not because I wasn’t trying to answer anyone’s questions. Look, I’m just here doing my thing, just living my life, and trying not to be so serious all the time. You should try it sometimes, it’s nice.

75th Anniversary Of The War Of The Worlds

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‘War of the Worlds’ broadcast, 1938

75 years ago, on Oct. 30,  1938, Orson Welles caused quite the panic when his radio adaptation of H.G.  Wells’ ‘The War of the Worlds’ convinced some listeners that Martian invaders  had really touched down in New Jersey.

It was Halloween eve. A musical break in the popular Chase and Sanborn Hour — with ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and dummy Charlie McCarthy — led radio listeners to do some channel-surfing, radio-style. If they happened upon the Columbia Broadcasting System’s “Mercury Theater on the Air” and didn’t catch one of several disclaimers, they might well have thought the end of the world was near.

Martians had landed in a town in Central Jersey no one had heard of, killing 7,000 soldiers, then marched through the Watchung Mountains and into the swamps of North Jersey, the broadcast reported. One of their fearsome fighting machines straddled the Pulaski Skyway, shooting death rays at army bombers. The invaders from the red planet would advance upon and destroy New York City, Chicago, St. Louis and other cities.

None of it was true.

Orson Welles, a 23-year-old theater actor/producer and voice of radio soap operas, had pulled off a monumental hoax.

But there were no Martians, no death-rays — and even the subsequent newspaper reports of deaths and suicides among panic-stricken listeners proved false.

Welles, his reputation as an enfant terrible growing (he hired an ambulance, siren wailing, to whisk him from studio to studio in New York for radio gigs), had pulled a night-before-Halloween prank on the nation.

What Welles did was brilliantly tap into a considerable national neurosis. America was still clawing its way out of the Great Depression; in 1938, unemployment rose to nearly 20 percent. The Hindenburg had exploded over Lakehurst the year before. There was the grim spectre of Hitler and a world war.

Why Grovers Mill?

The story goes that Howard Koch, who wrote the “The War of the Worlds” script adapted from the H.G. Wells novel of the same name, pulled into a New Jersey gas station and asked for a state map. Back home, he spread out the map, closed his eyes, and poked it with a pencil. The tip landed on Grovers Mill.

Between four million and six million people listened to the broadcast. About 1.7 million people, according to one study, thought it was a real broadcast, with 70 percent of those stating they were frightened.

The CBS switchboard quickly flooded with calls from panicky listeners. At the Lido movie theater in Orange, according to Acord, “a man ran into the lobby and shouted that a meteor had crashed into the middle of Raymond Boulevard in Newark” and poisonous gas was leaking from it.

A man dashed into a Maryland state police barracks and screamed  that “hundreds” of people were jumping from the Brooklyn Bridge. Inside a  New York City grocery store, a teenage girl said a giant meteor had fallen and that “a lot of little men jumped out” and started  killing people.

Word spread soon enough, though, that there were no Martians, no death rays. But officials of cities that had been “destroyed” were not amused. Lawsuits were threatened. The most colorful comment came from a South Carolina judge named A.G. Kennedy, describing the broadcast as the “consummate act of asininity,” and Welles as “a  carbuncle on the rump of degenerate theatrical performers.”

A man dashed into a Maryland state police barracks and screamed  that “hundreds” of people were jumping from the Brooklyn Bridge. Inside a  New York City grocery store, a teenage girl said a giant meteor had fallen and that “a lot of little men jumped out” and started  killing people.

Word spread soon enough, though, that there were no Martians, no death rays. But officials of cities that had been “destroyed” were not amused. Lawsuits were threatened. The most colorful comment came from a South Carolina judge named A.G. Kennedy, describing the broadcast as the “consummate act of asininity,” and Welles as “a  carbuncle on the rump of degenerate theatrical performers.”

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The War of the Worlds

COLUMBIA BROADCASTING SYSTEM ORSON WELLES AND MERCURY THEATRE ON THE AIR SUNDAY, OCTOBER 30, 1938 8:00 TO 9:00 P.M.

ANNOUNCER: The Columbia Broadcasting System and its affiliated stations present Orson Welles and the Mercury Theatre on the Air in The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells.

(MUSIC: MERCURY THEATRE MUSICAL THEME)

ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentlemen: the director of the Mercury Theatre and star of these broadcasts, Orson Welles . . .

ORSON WELLES: We know now that in the early years of the twentieth century this world was being watched closely by intelligences greater than man’s and yet as mortal as his own. We know now that as human beings busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinized and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinize the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water. With infinite complacence people went to and fro over the earth about their little affairs, serene in the assurance of their dominion over this small spinning fragment of solar driftwood which by chance or design man has inherited out of the dark mystery of Time and Space. Yet across an immense ethereal gulf, minds that to our minds as ours are to the beasts in the jungle, intellects vast, cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes and slowly and surely drew their plans against us. In the thirty-ninth year of the twentieth century came the great disillusionment. It was near the end of October. Business was better. The war scare was over. More men were back at work. Sales were picking up. On this particular evening, October 30, the Crosley service estimated that thirty-two million people were listening in on radios.

ANNOUNCER: . . .for the next twenty-four hours not much change in temperature. A slight atmospheric disturbance of undetermined origin is reported over Nova Scotia, causing a low pressure area to move down rather rapidly over the northeastern states, bringing a forecast of rain, accompanied by winds of light gale force. Maximum temperature 66; minimum 48. This weather report comes to you from the Government Weather Bureau. . . . We now take you to the Meridian Room in the Hotel Park Plaza in downtown New York, where you will be entertained by the music of Ramón Raquello and his orchestra.

(MUSIC: SPANISH THEME SONG [A TANGO] . . . FADES)

ANNOUNCER THREE: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. From the Meridian Room in the Park Plaza in New York City, we bring you the music of Ramón Raquello and his orchestra. With a touch of the Spanish. Ramón Raquello leads off with “La Cumparsita.”

(PIECE STARTS PLAYING)

ANNOUNCER TWO: Ladies and gentlemen, we interrupt our program of dance music to bring you a special bulletin from the Intercontinental Radio News. At twenty minutes before eight, central time, Professor Farrell of the Mount Jennings Observatory, Chicago, Illinois, reports observing several explosions of incandescent gas, occurring at regular intervals on the planet Mars. The spectroscope indicates the gas to be hydrogen and moving towards the earth with enormous velocity. Professor Pierson of the Observatory at Princeton confirms Farrell’s observation, and describes the phenomenon as (quote) like a jet of blue flame shot from a gun (unquote). We now return you to the music of Ramón Raquello, playing for you in the Meridian Room of the Park Plaza Hotel, situated in downtown New York.

(MUSIC PLAYS FOR A FEW MOMENTS UNTIL PIECE ENDS . . . SOUND OF APPLAUSE)

ANNOUNCER THREE: Now a tune that never loses favor, the ever-popular “Star Dust.” Ramón Raquello and his orchestra . . .

(MUSIC)

ANNOUNCER TWO: Ladies and gentlemen, following on the news given in our bulletin a moment ago, the Government Meteorological Bureau has requested the large observatories of the country to keep an astronomical watch on any further disturbances occurring on the planet Mars. Due to the unusual nature of this occurrence, we have arranged an interview with noted astronomer. Professor Pierson, who will give us his views on the event. in a few moments we will take you to the Princeton Observatory at Princeton, New Jersey. We return you until then to the music of Ramón Raquello and his orchestra.

(MUSIC . . .)

ANNOUNCER TWO: We are now ready to take you to the Princeton Observatory at Princeton where Carl Phillips, or commentator, will interview Professor Richard Pierson, famous astronomer. We take you now to Princeton, New Jersey.

(ECHO CHAMBER)

PHILLIPS: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. This is Carl Phillips, speaking to you from the observatory at Princeton. I am standing in a large semi-circular room, pitch black except for an oblong split in the ceiling. Through this opening I can see a sprinkling of stars that cast a kind of frosty glow over the intricate mechanism of the huge telescope. The ticking sound you hear is the vibration of the clockwork. Professor Pierson stands directly above me on a small platform, peering through a giant lens. I ask you to be patient, ladies and gentlemen, during any delay that may arise during our interview. Besides his ceaseless watch of the heavens, Professor Pierson may be interrupted by telephone or other communications. During this period he is in constant touch with the astronomical centers of the world . . . Professor, may I begin our questions?

PIERSON: At any time, Mr. Phillips.

PHILLIPS: Professor, would you please tell our radio audience exactly what you see as you observe the planet Mars through your telescope?

PIERSON: Nothing unusual at the moment, Mr. Phillips. A red disk swimming in a blue sea. Transverse stripes across the disk. Quite distinct now because Mars happens to be the point nearest the earth . . . in opposition, as we call it.

PHILLIPS: In your opinion, what do these transverse stripes signify, Professor Pierson?

PIERSON: Not canals, I can assure you, Mr. Phillips, although that’s the popular conjecture of those who imagine Mars to be inhabited. From a scientific viewpoint the stripes are merely the result of atmospheric conditions peculiar to the planet.

PHILLIPS: Then you’re quite convinced as a scientist that living intelligence as we know it does not exist on Mars?

PIERSON: I’d say the chances against it are a thousand to one.

PHILLIPS: And yet how do you account for those gas eruptions occurring on the surface of the planet at regular intervals?

PIERSON: Mr. Phillips, I cannot account for it.

PHILLIPS: By the way, Professor, for the benefit of our listeners, how far is Mars from earth?

PIERSON: Approximately forty million miles.

PHILLIPS: Well, that seems a safe enough distance.

(OFF MIKE) Thank you.

(PAUSE)

PHILLIPS: Just a moment, ladies and gentlemen, someone has just handed Professor Pierson a message. While he reads it, let me remind you that we are speaking to you from the observatory in Princeton, New Jersey, where we are interviewing the world- famous astronomer, Professor Pierson . . . One moment, please. Professor Pierson has passed me a message which he has just received . . . Professor, may I read the message to the listening audience?

PIERSON: Certainly, Mr. Phillips

PHILLIPS: Ladies and gentlemen, I shall read you a wire addressed to Professor Pierson from Dr. Gray of the National History Museum, New York. “9:15 P. M. eastern standard time. Seismograph registered shock of almost earthquake intensity occurring within a radius of twenty miles of Princeton. Please investigate. Signed, Lloyd Gray, Chief of Astronomical Division” . . . Professor Pierson, could this occurrence possibly have something to do with the disturbances observed on the planet Mars?

PIERSON: Hardly, Mr. Phillips. This is probably a meteorite of unusual size and its arrival at this particular time is merely a coincidence. However, we shall conduct a search, as soon as daylight permits.

PHILLIPS: Thank you, Professor. Ladies and gentlemen, for the past ten minutes we’ve been speaking to you from the observatory at Princeton, bringing you a special interview with Professor Pierson, noted astronomer. This is Carl Phillips speaking. We are returning you now to our New York studio.

(FADE IN PIANO PLAYING)

ANNOUNCER TWO: Ladies and gentlemen, here is the latest bulletin from the Intercontinental Radio News. Toronto, Canada: Professor Morse of McGill University reports observing a total of three explosions on the planet Mars, between the hours of 7:45 P. M. and 9:20 P. M., eastern standard time. This confirms earlier reports received from American observatories. Now, nearer home, comes a special announcement from Trenton, New Jersey. It is reported that at 8:50 P. M. a huge, flaming object, believed to be a meteorite, fell on a farm in the neighborhood of Grovers Mill, New Jersey, twenty-two miles from Trenton. The flash in the sky was visible within a radius of several hundred miles and the noise of the impact was heard as far north as Elizabeth. We have dispatched a special mobile unit to the scene, and will have our commentator, Carl Phillips, give you a word description as soon as he can reach there from Princeton. In the meantime, we take you to the Hotel Martinet in Brooklyn, where Bobby Millette and his orchestra are offering a program of dance music.

(SWING BAND FOR TWENTY SECONDS . . . THEN CUT)

ANNOUNCER TWO: We take you now to Grovers Mill, New Jersey.

(CROWD NOISES . . . POLICE SIRENS)

PHILLIPS: Ladies and gentlemen, this is Carl Phillips again, at the Wilmuth farm, Grovers Mill, New Jersey. Professor Pierson and myself made the eleven miles from Princeton in ten minutes. Well, I . . . I hardly know where to begin, to paint for you a word picture of the strange scene before my eyes, like something out of a modern “Arabian Nights.” Well, I just got here. I haven’t had a chance to look around yet. I guess that’s it. Yes, I guess that’s the . . . thing, directly in front of me, half buried in a vast pit. Must have struck with terrific force. The ground is covered with splinters of a tree it must have struck on its way down. What I can see of the . . . object itself doesn’t look very much like a meteor, at least not the meteors I’ve seen. It looks more like a huge cylinder. It has a diameter of . . . what would you say, Professor Pierson?

PIERSON (OFF-MIKE): What’s that?

PHILLIPS: What would you say . . . what is the diameter?

PIERSON: About thirty yards.

PHILLIPS: About thirty yards . . . The metal on the sheath is . . . well, I’ve never seen anything like it. The color is sort of yellowish-white. Curious spectators now are pressing close to the object in spite of the efforts of the police to keep them back. They’re getting in front of my line of vision. Would you mind standing to one side, please?

POLICEMAN: One side, there, one side.

PHILLIPS: While the policemen are pushing the crowd back, here’s Mr. Wilmuth, owner of the farm here. He may have some interesting facts to add . . . Mr. Wilmuth, would you please tell the radio audience as much as you remember of this rather unusual visitor that dropped in your backyard? Step closer, please. Ladies and gentlemen, this is Mr. Wilmuth.

WILMUTH: Well, I was listenin’ to the radio.

PHILLIPS: Closer and louder please.

WILMUTH: Pardon me!

PHILLIPS: Louder, please, and closer.

WILMUTH: Yes, sir — while I was listening to the radio and kinda drowsin’, that Professor fellow was talkin’ about Mars, so I was half dozin’ and half . . .

PHILLIPS: Yes, yes, Mr. Wilmuth. Then what happened?

WILMUTH: As I was sayin’, I was listenin’ to the radio kinda halfways . . .

PHILLIPS: Yes, Mr. Wilmuth, and then you saw something?

WILMUTH: Not first off. I heard something.

PHILLIPS: And what did you hear?

WILMUTH: A hissing sound. Like this: sssssss . . . kinda like a fourt’ of July rocket.

PHILLIPS: Then what?

WILMUTH: Turned my head out the window and would have swore I was to sleep and dreamin.’

PHILLIPS: Yes?

WILMUTH: I seen a kinda greenish streak and then zingo! Somethin’ smacked the ground. Knocked me clear out of my chair!

PHILLIPS: Well, were you frightened, Mr. Wilmuth?

WILMUTH: Well, I — I ain’t quite sure. I reckon I — I was kinda riled.

PHILLIPS: Thank you, Mr. Wilmuth. Thank you.

WILMUTH: Want me to tell you some more?

PHILLIPS: No . . . That’s quite all right, that’s plenty.

PHILLIPS: Ladies and gentlemen, you’ve just heard Mr. Wilmuth, owner of the farm where this thing has fallen. I wish I could convey the atmosphere . . . the background of this . . . fantastic scene. Hundreds of cars are parked in a field in back of us. Police are trying to rope off the roadway leading to the farm. But it’s no use. They’re breaking right through. Cars’ headlights throw an enormous spot on the pit where the object’s half buried. Some of the more daring souls are now venturing near the edge. Their silhouettes stand out against the metal sheen.

(FAINT HUMMING SOUND) One man wants to touch the thing . . . he’s having an argument with a policeman. The policeman wins. . . . Now, ladies and gentlemen, there’s something I haven’t mentioned in all this excitement, but now it’s becoming more distinct. Perhaps you’ve caught it already on your radio. Listen:

(LONG PAUSE) . . .

Do you hear it? It’s a curious humming sound that seems to come from inside the object. I’ll move the microphone nearer. (PAUSE) Now we’re not more then twenty-five feet away. Can you hear it now? Oh, Professor Pierson!

PIERSON: Yes, Mr. Phillips?

PHILLIPS: Can you tell us the meaning of that scraping noise inside the thing?

PIERSON: Possibly the unequal cooling of its surface.

PHILLIPS: I see, do you still think it’s a meteor, Professor?

PIERSON: I don’t know what to think. The metal casing is definitely extraterrestrial . . . not found on this earth. Friction with the earth’s atmosphere usually tears holes in a meteorite. This thing is smooth and, as you can see, of cylindrical shape.

PHILLIPS: Just a minute! Something’s happening! Ladies and gentlemen, this is terrific! This end of the thing is beginning to flake off! The top is beginning to rotate like a screw! The thing must be hollow!

VOICES: She’s movin’! Look, the darn thing’s unscrewing! Keep back, there! Keep back, I tell you! Maybe there’s men in it trying to escape! It’s red hot, they’ll burn to a cinder! Keep back there. Keep those idiots back!

(SUDDENLY THE CLANKING SOUND OF A HUGE PIECE OF FALLING METAL)

VOICES: She’s off! The top’s loose! Look out there! Stand back!

PHILLIPS: Ladies and gentlemen, this is the most terrifying thing I have ever witnessed . . . Wait a minute! Someone’s crawling out of the hollow top. Someone or . . . something. I can see peering out of that black hole two luminous disks . . are they eyes? It might be a face. It might be . . .

(SHOUT OF AWE FROM THE CROWD)

PHILLIPS: Good heavens, something’s wriggling out of the shadow like a gray snake. Now it’s another one, and another. They look like tentacles to me. There, I can see the thing’s body. It’s large, large as a bear and it glistens like wet leather. But that face, it . . . Ladies and gentlemen, it’s indescribable. I can hardly force myself to keep looking at it. The eyes are black and gleam like a serpent. The mouth is V-shaped with saliva dripping from its rimless lips that seem to quiver and pulsate. The monster or whatever it is can hardly move. It seems weighed down by . . . possibly gravity or something. The thing’s raising up. The crowd falls back now. They’ve seen plenty. This is the most extraordinary experience. I can’t find words . . . I’ll pull this microphone with me as I talk. I’ll have to stop the description until I can take a new position. Hold on, will you please, I’ll be right back in a minute.

(FADE INTO PIANO)

ANNOUNCER: We are bringing you an eyewitness account of what’s happening on the Wilmuth farm, Grovers Mill, New Jersey. (MORE PIANO) We now return you to Carl Phillips at Grovers Mill.

PHILLIPS: Ladies and gentlemen (Am I on?). Ladies and gentlemen, here I am, back of a stone wall that adjoins Mr. Wilmuth’s garden. From here I get a sweep of the whole scene. I’ll give you every detail as long as I can talk. As long as I can see. More state police have arrived They’re drawing up a cordon in front of the pit, about thirty of them. No need to push the crowd back now. They’re willing to keep their distance. The captain is conferring with someone. We can’t quite see who. Oh yes, I believe it’s Professor Pierson. Yes, it is. Now they’ve parted. The Professor moves around one side, studying the object, while the captain and two policemen advance with something in their hands. I can see it now. It’s a white handkerchief tied to a pole . . . a flag of truce. If those creatures know what that means . . . what anything means!. . . Wait! Something’s happening!

(HISSING SOUND FOLLOWED BY A HUMMING THAT INCREASES IN INTENSITY)

PHILLIPS: A humped shape is rising out of the pit. I can make out a small beam of light against a mirror. What’s that? There’s a jet of flame springing from the mirror, and it leaps right at the advancing men. It strikes them head on! Good Lord, they’re turning into flame!

(SCREAMS AND UNEARTHLY SHRIEKS)

PHILLIPS: Now the whole field’s caught fire. (EXPLOSION) The woods . . . the barns . . . the gas tanks of automobiles . . . it’s spreading everywhere. It’s coming this way. About twenty yards to my right . . .

(CRASH OF MICROPHONE … THEN DEAD SILENCE)

ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentlemen, due to circumstances beyond our control, we are unable to continue the broadcast from Grovers Mill. Evidently there’s some difficulty with our field transmission. However, we will return to that point at the earliest opportunity. In the meantime, we have a late bulletin from San Diego, California. Professor Indellkoffer, speaking at a dinner of the California Astronomical Society, expressed the opinion that the explosions on Mars are undoubtedly nothing more than severe volcanic disturbances on the surface of the planet. We now continue with our piano interlude.

(PIANO . . . THEN CUT)

ANNOUNCER TWO: Ladies and gentlemen, I have just been handed a message that came in from Grovers Mill by telephone. Just a moment. At least forty people, including six state troopers lie dead in a field east of the village of Grovers Mill, their bodies burned and distorted beyond all possible recognition. The next voice you hear will be that of Brigadier General Montgomery Smith, commander of the state militia at Trenton, New Jersey.

SMITH: I have been requested by the governor of New Jersey to place the counties of Mercer and Middlesex as far west as Princeton, and east to Jamesburg, under martial law. No one will be permitted to enter this area except by special pass issued by state or military authorities. Four companies of state militia are proceeding from Trenton to Grovers Mill, and will aid in the evacuation of homes within the range of military operations. Thank you.

ANNOUNCER TWO: You have just been listening to General Montgomery Smith commanding the state militia at Trenton. In the meantime, further details of the catastrophe at Grovers Mill are coming in. The strange creatures after unleashing their deadly assault, crawled back into their pit and made no attempt to prevent the efforts of the firemen to recover the bodies and extinguish the fire. Combined fire departments of Mercer County are fighting the flames which menace the entire countryside. We have been unable to establish any contact with our mobile unit at Grovers Mill, but we hope to be able to return you there at the earliest possible moment. In the meantime we take you — just one moment please.

(LONG PAUSE) (WHISPER) Ladies and gentlemen, I have just been informed that we have finally established communication with an eyewitness of the tragedy. Professor Pierson has been located at a farmhouse near Grovers Mill where he has established an emergency observation post. As a scientist, he will give you his explanation of the calamity. The next voice you hear will be that of Professor Pierson, brought to you by direct wire. Professor Pierson.

(FEEDBACK. THEN FILTERED VOICE)

PIERSON: Of the creatures in the rocket cylinder at Grovers Mill, I can give you no authoritative information — either as to their nature, their origin, or their purposes here on earth Of their destructive instrument I might venture some conjectural explanation. For want of a better term, I shall refer to the mysterious weapon as a heat ray. It’s all too evident that these creatures have scientific knowledge far in advance of our own. It is my guess that in some way they are able to generate an intense heat in a chamber of practically absolute nonconductivity. This intense heat they project in a parallel beam against any object they choose, by means of a polished parabolic mirror of unknown composition, much as the mirror of a lighthouse projects a beam of light. That is my conjecture of the origin of the heat ray . . .

ANNOUNCER TWO: Thank you, Professor Pierson. Ladies and gentlemen, here is a bulletin from Trenton. It is a brief statement informing us that the charred body of Carl Phillips has been identified in a Trenton hospital. Now here’s another bulletin from Washington, D.C. Office of the director of the National Red Cross reports ten units of Red Cross emergency workers have been assigned to the headquarters of the state militia stationed outside Grovers Mill, New Jersey. Here’s a bulletin from state police, Princeton Junction: The fires at Grovers Mill and vicinity are now under control. Scouts report all quiet in the pit, and no sign of life appearing from the mouth of the cylinder . . . And now, ladies and gentlemen, we have a special statement from Mr. Harry McDonald, vice- president in charge of operations.

MC DONALD: We have received a request from the militia at Trenton to place at their disposal our entire broadcasting facilities. In view of the gravity of the situation, and believing that radio has a responsibility to serve in the public interest at all times, we are turning over our facilities to the state militia at Trenton.

ANNOUNCER TWO: We take you now to the field headquarters of the state militia near Grovers Mill, New Jersey.

CAPTAIN: This is Captain Lansing of the signal corps, attached to the state militia now engaged in military operations in the vicinity of Grovers Mill. Situation arising from the reported presence of certain individuals of unidentified nature is now under complete control. The cylindrical object which lies in a pit directly below our position is surrounded on all sides by eight battalions of infantry. Without heavy field pieces, but adequately armed with rifles and machine guns. All cause for alarm, if such cause ever existed, is now entirely unjustified. The things, whatever they are, do not even venture to poke their heads above the pit. I can see their hiding place plainly in the glare of the searchlights here. With all their reported resources, these creatures can scarcely stand up against heavy machine-gun fire. Anyway, it’s an interesting outing for the troops. I can make out their khaki uniforms, crossing back and forth in front of the lights. It looks almost like a real war. There appears to be some slight smoke in the woods bordering the Millstone River. Probably fire started by campers. Well, we ought to see some action soon. One of the companies is deploying on the left flank. An quick thrust and it will all be over. Now wait a minute! I see something on top of the cylinder. No, it’s nothing but a shadow. Now the troops are on the edge of the Wilmuth farm. Seven thousand armed men closing in on an old metal tube. Wait, that wasn’t a shadow! It’s something moving . . . solid metal . . . kind of shieldlike affair rising up out of the cylinder . . . It’s going higher and higher. Why, it’s standing on legs . . . actually rearing up on a sort of metal framework. Now it’s reaching above the trees and the searchlights are on it. Hold on!

ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentlemen, I have a grave announcement to make. Incredible as it may seem, both the observations of science and the evidence of our eyes lead to the inescapable assumption that those strange beings who landed in the Jersey farmlands tonight are the vanguard of an invading army from the planet Mars. The battle which took place tonight at Grovers Mill has ended in one of the most startling defeats ever suffered by any army in modern times; seven thousand men armed with rifles and machine guns pitted against a single fighting machine of the invaders from Mars. One hundred and twenty known survivors. The rest strewn over the battle area from Grovers Mill to Plainsboro, crushed and trampled to death under the metal feet of the monster, or burned to cinders by its heat ray. The monster is now in control of the middle section of New Jersey and has effectively cut the state through its center. Communication lines are down from Pennsylvania to the Atlantic Ocean. Railroad tracks are torn and service from New York to Philadelphia discontinued except routing some of the trains through Allentown and Phoenixville. Highways to the north, south, and west are clogged with frantic human traffic. Police and army reserves are unable to control the mad flight. By morning the fugitives will have swelled Philadelphia, Camden, and Trenton, it is estimated, to twice their normal population. At this time martial law prevails throughout New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania. We take you now to Washington for a special broadcast on the National Emergency . . . the Secretary of the Interior . . .

SECRETARY: Citizens of the nation: I shall not try to conceal the gravity of the situation that confronts the country, nor the concern of your government in protecting the lives and property of its people. However, I wish to impress upon you — private citizens and public officials, all of you — the urgent need of calm and resourceful action. Fortunately, this formidable enemy is still confined to a comparatively small area, and we may place our faith in the military forces to keep them there. In the meantime placing our faith in God we must continue the performance of our duties each and every one of us, so that we may confront this destructive adversary with a nation united, courageous, and consecrated to the preservation of human supremacy on this earth. I thank you.

ANNOUNCER: You have just heard the secretary of the Interior speaking from Washington. Bulletins too numerous to read are piling up in the studio here. We are informed the central portion of New Jersey is blacked out from radio communication due to the effect of the heat ray upon power lines and electrical equipment. Here is a special bulletin from New York. Cables received from English, French, German scientific bodies offering assistance. Astronomers report continued gas outbursts at regular intervals on planet Mars. Majority voice opinion that enemy will be reinforced by additional rocket machines. Attempts made to locate Professor Pierson of Princeton, who has observed Martians at close range. It is feared he was lost in recent battle. Langham Field, Virginia: Scouting planes report three Martian machines visible above treetops, moving north towards Somerville with population fleeing ahead of them. Heat ray not in use; although advancing at express-train speed, invaders pick their way carefully. They seem to be making conscious effort to avoid destruction of cities and countryside. However, they stop to uproot power lines, bridges, and railroad tracks. Their apparent objective is to crush resistance, paralyze communication, and disorganize human society. Here is a bulletin from Basking Ridge, New Jersey: Coon hunters have stumbled on a second cylinder similar to the first embedded in the great swamp twenty miles south of Morristown. Army fieldpieces are proceeding from Newark to blow up second invading unit before cylinder can be opened and the fighting machine rigged. They are taking up position in the — foothills of Watchung Mountains. Another bulletin from Langham Field, Virginia: Scouting planes report enemy machines, now three in number, increasing speed northward kicking over houses and trees in their evident haste to form a conjunction with their allies south of Morristown. Machines also sighted by telephone operator east of Middlesex within ten miles of Plainfield. Here’s a bulletin from Winston Field, Long Island: Fleet of army bombers carrying heavy explosives flying north in pursuit of enemy. Scouting planes act as guides. They keep speeding enemy in sight. Just a moment please. Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve run special wires to the artillery line in adjacent villages to give you direct reports in the zone of the advancing enemy. First we take you to the battery of the 22nd Field Artillery, located in the Watchtung Mountains.

OFFICER: Range, thirty-two meters.

GUNNER: Thirty-two meters.

OFFICER: Projection, thirty-nine degrees.

GUNNER: Thirty-nine degrees.

OFFICER: Fire! (BOOM OF HEAVY GUN . . . PAUSE)

OBSERVER: One hundred and forty yards to the right, sir.

OFFICER: Shift range . . . thirty-one meters.

GUNNER: Thirty-one meters

OFFICER: Projection . . . thirty-seven degrees.

GUNNER: Thirty-seven degrees.

OFFICER: Fire! (BOOM OF HEAVY GUN . . . PAUSE)

OBSERVER: A hit, sir! We got the tripod of one of them. They’ve stopped. The others are trying to repair it.

OFFICER: Quick, get the range! Shift thirty meters.

GUNNER: Thirty meters.

OFFICER: Projection . . . twenty-seven degrees.

GUNNER: Twenty-seven degrees.

OFFICER: Fire! (BOOM OF HEAVY GUN . . . PAUSE)

OBSERVER: Can’t see the shell land, sir. They’re letting off a smoke.

OFFICER: What is it?

OBSERVER: A black smoke, sir. Moving this way. Lying close to the ground. It’s moving fast.

OFFICER: Put on gas masks. (PAUSE. VOICES NOW MUFFLED) Get ready to fire. Shift twenty-four meters.

GUNNER: Twenty-four meters.

OFFICER: Projection, twenty-four degrees.

GUNNER: Twenty-four degrees.

OFFICER: Fire! (BOOM)

OBSERVER: Still can’t see, sir. The smoke’s coming nearer.

OFFICER: Get the range. (COUGHS)

OBSERVER: Twenty-three meters. (COUGHS)

OFFICER: Twenty-three meters. (COUGHS)

GUNNER: Twenty-three meters (COUGHS)

OBSERVER: Projection, twenty-two degrees. (COUGHING)

OFFICER: Twenty-two degrees (FADE-IN COUGHING) (CUT TO SOUND OF AIRPLANE MOTOR)

COMMANDER: Army bombing plane, V-8-43, off Bayonne, New Jersey, Lieutenant Voght, commanding eight bombers. Reporting to Commander Fairfax, Langham Field . . . This is Voght, reporting to Commander Fairfax, Langham Field . . . Enemy tripod machines now in sight. Reinforced by three machines from the Morristown cylinder . . . Six altogether. One machine already crippled. Believed hit by shell from army gun in Watchung Mountains. Guns now appear silent. A heavy black fog hanging close to the earth . . . of extreme density, nature unknown. No sign of heat ray. Enemy now turns east, crossing Passaic River into the Jersey marshes. Another straddles the Pulaski Skyway. Evident objective is New York City. They’re pushing down a high tension power station. The machines are close together now, and we’re ready to attack. Planes circling, ready to strike. A thousand yards and we’ll be over the first — eight hundred yards . . . six hundred . . . four hundred . . . two hundred . . . There they go! The giant arm raised . . . (SOUND OF HEAT RAY) Green flash! They’re spraying us with flame! Two thousand feet. Engines are giving out. No chance to release bombs. Only one thing left . . . drop on them, plane and all. We’re diving on the first one. Now the engine’s gone! Eight . . . (PLANE GOES DOWN)

OPERATOR ONE: This is Bayonne, New Jersey, calling Langham Field . . . This is Bayonne, New Jersey, calling Langham Field . . . Come in, please . . .

OPERATOR TWO: This is Langham Field . . . Go ahead . . .

OPERATOR ONE: Eight army bombers in engagement with enemy tripod machines over Jersey flats. Engines incapacitated by heat ray. All crashed. One enemy machine destroyed. Enemy now discharging heavy black smoke in direction of —

OPERATOR THREE: This is Newark, New Jersey . . . This is Newark, New Jersey . . . Warning! Poisonous black smoke pouring in from Jersey marshes. Reaches South street. Gas masks useless. Urge population to move into open spaces . . .automobiles use Routes 7, 23, 24 . . . Avoid congested areas. Smoke now spreading over Raymond Boulevard . . .

OPERATOR FOUR: 2X2L . . . calling CQ . . . 2X2L . . . calling CQ . . . 2X2L . . . calling 8X3R . . . Come in, please . . .

OPERATOR FIVE: This is 8X3R . . . coming back at 2X2L.

OPERATOR FOUR: How’s reception? How’s reception? K, please (PAUSE) Where are you, 8X3R? What’s the matter? Where are you?

(BELLS RINGING OVER CITY GRADUALLY DIMINISHING)

ANNOUNCER: I’m speaking from the roof of the Broadcasting Building, New York City. The bells you hear are ringing to warn the people to evacuate the city as the Martians approach. Estimated in last two hours three million people have moved out along the roads to the north, Hutchison River Parkway still kept open for motor traffic. Avoid bridges to Long Island . . . hopelessly jammed. All communication with Jersey shore closed ten minutes ago. No more defenses. Our army wiped out . . . artillery, air force, everything wiped out. This may be the last broadcast. We’ll stay here to the end . . . People are holding service below us . . . in the cathedral.

(VOICES SINGING HYMN) Now I look down the harbor. All manner of boats, overloaded with fleeing population, pulling out from docks.

(SOUND OF BOAT WHISTLES) Streets are all jammed. Noise in crowds like New Year’s Eve in city. Wait a minute . . . Enemy now in sight above the Palisades. Five — five great machines. First one is crossing river. I can see it from here, wading the Hudson like a man wading through a brook . . . A bulletin’s handed me . . . Martian cylinders are falling all over the country. One outside Buffalo, one in Chicago, St. Louis . . . seem to be timed and spaced . . . Now the first machine reaches the shore. He stands watching, looking over the city. His steel, cowlish head is even with the skyscrapers. He waits for the others. They rise like a line of new towers on the city’s west side . . . Now they’re lifting their metal hands. This is the end now. Smoke comes out . . . black smoke, drifting over the city. People in the streets see it now. They’re running towards the East River . . . thousands of them, dropping in like rats. Now the smoke’s spreading faster. It’s reached Times Square. People trying to run away from it, but it’s no use. They’re falling like flies. Now the smoke’s crossing Sixth Avenue . . . Fifth Avenue . . . one hundred yards away . . . it’s fifty feet . . .

(BODY FALLS)

OPERATOR FOUR: 2X2L calling CQ . . . 2X2L calling CQ . . . 2X2L calling CQ . . . New York. Isn’t there anyone on the air? Isn’t there anyone on the air? Isn’t there anyone . . . 2X2L —

ANNOUNCER: You are listening to a CBS presentation of Orson Welles and the Mercury Theatre on the Air in an original dramatization of The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells. The performance will continue after a brief intermission. This is the Columbia . . . Broadcasting System.

MUSIC

PIERSON: As I set down these notes on paper, I’m obsessed by the thought that I may be the last living man on earth. I have been hiding in this empty house near Grovers Mill — a small island of daylight cut off by the black smoke from the rest of the world. All that happened before the arrival of these monstrous creatures in the world now seems part of another life. . . a life that has no continuity with the present, furtive existence of the lonely derelict who pencils these words on the back of some astronomical notes bearing the signature of Richard Pierson. I look down at my blackened hands, my torn shoes, my tattered clothes, and I try to connect them with a professor who lives at Princeton, and who on the night of October 30, glimpsed through his telescope an orange splash of light on a distant planet. My wife, my colleagues, my students, my books, my observatory, my. . . my world. . . where are they? Did they ever exist? Am I Richard Pierson? What day is it? Do days exist without calendars? Does time pass when there are no human hands left to wind the clocks? . . .In writing down my daily life I tell myself shall preserve human history between the dark covers of this little book that was meant to record the movements of the stars. . . But to write I must live, and to live, I must eat . . . I find moldy bread in the kitchen, and an orange not too spoiled to swallow. I keep watch at the window. From time to time I catch sight of a Martian above the black smoke. The smoke still holds the house in its black coil. . . but at length there is a hissing sound and suddenly I see a Martian mounted on his machine, spraying the air with a jet of steam, as if to dissipate the smoke. I watch in a corner as his huge metal legs nearly brush against the house. Exhausted by terror, I fall asleep. . .it’s morning. . . (QUIETLY) Morning! Sun streams in the window. The black cloud of gas has lifted, and the scorched meadows to the north look as though a black snowstorm has passed over them. I venture from the house. I make my way to a road. No traffic. Here and there a wrecked car, baggage overturned, a blackened skeleton. I push on north. For some reason I feel safer trailing these monsters than running away from them. And I keep a careful watch. I have seen the Martians. . . feed. Should one of their machines appear over the top of trees, I am ready to fling myself flat on the earth. I come to a chestnut tree. October chestnuts are ripe. I fill my pockets. I must keep alive. Two days I wander in a vague northerly direction through a desolate world. Finally I notice a living creature. . . a small red squirrel in a beech tree. I stare at him, and wonder. He stares back at me. I believe at that moment the animal and I shared the same emotion. . .the joy of finding another living being. I push on north. I find dead cows in a brackish field. Beyond, the charred ruins of a dairy. The silo remains standing guard over the waste land like a lighthouse deserted by the sea. Astride the silo perches a weathercock. The arrow points north. Next day I came to a city vaguely familiar in its contours, yet its buildings strangely dwarfed and leveled off, as if a giant hand sliced off its highest towers with a capricious sweep of his hand. I reached the outskirts. I found Newark, undemolished, but humbled by some whim of the advancing Martians. Presently, with an odd feeling of being watched, I caught sight of something crouching in a doorway. I made a step towards it, and it rose up and became a man! — a man, armed with a large knife.

STRANGER: (OFF MIKE) Stop. . . (CLOSER) where did you come from?

PIERSON: I come from . . . many places. A long time ago from Princeton.

STRANGER: Princeton, huh? That’s near Grovers Mill!

PIERSON: Yes.

STRANGER: Grovers Mill. . . (LAUGHS AS AT A GREAT JOKE) There’s no food here. This is my country. . . all this end of town down to the river. There’s only food for one. . . Which way are you going?

PIERSON: I don’t know. I guess I’m looking for — for people.

STRANGER: (NERVOUSLY) What was that? Did you hear something just then?

PIERSON: Only a bird . . . (AMAZED) A live bird!

STRANGER: You get to know that birds have shadows these days. . . Say, we’re in the open here. Let’s crawl into this doorway and talk.

PIERSON: Have you seen any . . . Martians?

STRANGER: Naah. They’ve gone over to New York. At night the sky is alive with their lights. Just as if people were still livin’ in it. By daylight you can’t see them. Five days ago a couple of them carried somethin’ big across the flats from the airport. I believe they’re learning how to fly.

PIERSON: Fly!

STRANGER: Yeah, fly.

PIERSON: Then it’s all over with humanity. Stranger, there’s still you and I. Two of us left.

STRANGER: They got themselves in solid; they wrecked the greatest country in the world. Those green stars, they’re probably falling somewhere every night. They’ve only lost one machine. There isn’t anything to do. We’re done. We’re licked.

PIERSON: Where were you? You’re in a uniform.

STRANGER: Yeah, what’s left of it. I was in the militia — national guard. . . That’s good! Wasn’t any war any more than there’s war between men and ants.

PIERSON: And we’re eat-able ants. I found that out. . . What will they do with us?

STRANGER: I’ve thought it all out. Right now we’re caught as we’re wanted. The Martian only has to go a few miles to get a crowd on the run. But they won’t keep doing that. They’ll begin catching us systematic-like — keeping the best and storing us in cages and things. They haven’t begun on us yet!

PIERSON: Not begun!

STRANGER: Not begun! All that’s happened so far is because we don’t have sense enough to keep quiet. . . botherin’ them with guns and such stuff and losing our heads and rushing off in crowds. Now instead of our rushing around blind we’ve got to fix ourselves up — fix ourselves up according to the way things are NOW. Cities, nations, civilization, progress. . . done.

PIERSON: But if that’s so, what is there to live for?

STRANGER: Well, there won’t be any more concerts for a million years or so, and no nice little dinners at restaurants. If it’s amusement you’re after, I guess the game’s up.

PIERSON: And what is there left?

STRANGER: Life. . . that’s what! I want to live. Yeah, and so do you. We’re not going to be exterminated. And I don’t mean to be caught, either, and tamed, and fattened, and bred, like an ox.

PIERSON: What are you going to do?

STRANGER: I’m going on. . . right under their feet. I got a plan. We men as men are finished. We don’t know enough. We gotta learn plenty before we’ve got a chance. And we’ve got to live and keep free while we learn, see? I’ve thought it all out, see.

PIERSON: Tell me the rest.

STRANGER: Well, it isn’t all of us that were made for wild beasts, and that’s what it’s got to be. That’s why I watched YOU. All these little office workers that used to live in these houses — they’d be no good. They haven’t any stuff to ’em. They just used to run off to work. I’ve seen hundreds of ’em, running wild to catch their commuter train in the morning for fear they’d get canned if they didn’t; running back at night afraid they won’t be in time for dinner. Lives insured and a little invested in case of accidents. And on Sundays, worried about the hereafter. The Martians will be a godsend for those guys. Nice roomy cages, good food, careful breeding, no worries. After a week or so chasing about the fields on empty stomachs they’ll come and be glad to be caught.

PIERSON: You’ve thought it all out, haven’t you?

STRANGER: You bet I have! And that isn’t all. These Martians will make pets of some of ’em, train ’em to do tricks. Who knows? Get sentimental over the pet boy who grew up and had to be killed. . . And some, maybe, they’ll train to hunt us.

PIERSON: No, that’s impossible. No human being. . .

STRANGER: Yes they will. There’s men who’ll do it gladly. If one of them ever comes after me, why. . .

PIERSON: In the meantime, you and I and others like us. . . where are we to live when the Martians own the earth?

STRANGER: I’ve got it all figured out. We’ll live underground. I’ve been thinking about the sewers. Under New York are miles and miles of ’em. The main ones are big enough for anybody. Then there’s cellars, vaults, underground storerooms, railway tunnels, subways. You begin to see, eh? And we’ll get a bunch of strong men together. No weak ones; that rubbish — out.

PIERSON: And you meant me to go?

STRANGER: Well, I gave you a chance, didn’t I?

PIERSON: We won’t quarrel about that. Go on.

STRANGER: And we’ve got to make safe places for us to stay in, see, and get all the books we can — science books. That’s where men like you come in, see? We’ll raid the museums, we’ll even spy on the Martians. It may not be so much we have to learn before — just imagine this: four or five of their own fighting machines suddenly start off — heat rays right and left and not a Martian in ’em. Not a Martian in ’em! But MEN — men who have learned the way how. It may even be in our time. Gee! Imagine having one of them lovely things with its heat ray wide and free! We’d turn it on Martians, we’d turn it on men. We’d bring everybody down to their knees.

PIERSON: That’s your plan?

STRANGER: You, and me, and a few more of us we’d own the world.

PIERSON: I see. . .

STRANGER: (FADING OUT) Say, what’s the matter? . . . Where are you going?

PIERSON: Not to your world. . . Goodbye, stranger. . .

PIERSON: After parting with the artilleryman, I came at last to the Holland Tunnel. I entered that silent tube anxious to know the fate of the great city on the other side of the Hudson. Cautiously I came out of the tunnel and made my way up Canal Street. I reached Fourteenth Street, and there again were black powder and several bodies, and an evil ominous smell from the gratings of the cellars of some of the houses. I wandered up through the Thirties and Forties; I stood alone on Times Square. I caught sight of a lean dog running down Seventh Avenue with a piece of dark brown meat in his jaws, and a pack of starving mongrels at his heels. He made a wide circle around me, as though he feared I might prove a fresh competitor. I walked up Broadway in the direction of that strange powder — past silent shopwindows, displaying their mute wares to empty sidewalks — past the Capitol Theatre, silent, dark — past a shooting gallery, where a row of empty guns faced an arrested line of wooden ducks. Near Columbus Circle I noticed models of 1939 motorcars in the showrooms facing empty streets. From over the top of the General Motors Building, I watched a flock of black birds circling in the sky. I hurried on. Suddenly I caught sight of the hood of a Martian machine, standing somewhere in Central Park, gleaming in the late afternoon sun. An insane idea! I rushed recklessly across Columbus Circle and into the Park. I climbed a small hill above the pond at Sixtieth Street. From there I could see, standing in a silent row along the mall, nineteen of those great metal Titans, their cowls empty, their great steel arms hanging listlessly by their sides. I looked in vain for the monsters that inhabit those machines. Suddenly, my eyes were attracted to the immense flock of black birds that hovered directly below me. They circled to the ground, and there before my eyes, stark and silent, lay the Martians, with the hungry birds pecking and tearing brown shreds of flesh from their dead bodies. Later when their bodies were examined in the laboratories, it was found that they were killed by the putrefactive and disease bacteria against which their systems were unprepared. . . slain, after all man’s defenses had failed, by the humblest thing that God in His wisdom put upon this earth. Before the cylinder fell there was a general persuasion that through all the deep of space no life existed beyond the petty surface of our minute sphere. Now we see further. Dim and wonderful is the vision I have conjured up in my mind of life spreading slowly from this little seedbed of the solar system throughout the inanimate vastness of sidereal space. But that is a remote dream. It may be that the destruction of the Martians is only a reprieve. To them, and not to us, is the future ordained perhaps. Strange it now seems to sit in my peaceful study at Princeton writing down this last chapter of the record begun at a deserted farm in Grovers Mill. Strange to see from my window the university spires dim and blue through an April haze. Strange to watch children playing in the streets. Strange to see young people strolling on the green, where the new spring grass heals the last black scars of a bruised earth. Strange to watch the sightseers enter the museum where the dissembled parts of a Martian machine are kept on public view. Strange when I recall the time when I first saw it, bright and clean-cut, hard, and silent, under the dawn of that last great day.

(MUSIC SWELLS UP AND OUT)

Orson Welles: This is Orson Welles, ladies and gentlemen, out of character to assure you that The War of The Worlds has no further significance than as the holiday offering it was intended to be. The Mercury Theatre’s own radio version of dressing up in a sheet and jumping out of a bush and saying Boo! Starting now, we couldn’t soap all your windows and steal all your garden gates by tomorrow night. . . so we did the best next thing. We annihilated the world before your very ears, and utterly destroyed the C. B. S. You will be relieved, I hope, to learn that we didn’t mean it, and that both institutions are still open for business. So goodbye everybody, and remember the terrible lesson you learned tonight. That grinning, glowing, globular invader of your living room is an inhabitant of the pumpkin patch, and if your doorbell rings and nobody’s there, that was no Martian. . .it’s Hallowe’en.

(MERCURY THEATRE THEME UP FULL, THEN DOWN)

Announcer: Tonight the Columbia Broadcasting System and its affiliated stations coast-to-coast have brought you The War of the Worlds, by H. G. Wells, the seventeenth in its weekly series of dramatic broadcasts featuring Orson Welles and the Mercury Theatre on the Air. Next week we present a dramatization of three famous short stories. This is the Columbia Broadcasting System.

Orson_Welles_1937

I have been waiting for this day all year. “The War Of The Worlds” (science fiction novel by H. G. Wells) is in my top 3 for favorite books. I have read it many times over the years, in fact, all three of my children grew up hearing me reading the book to them. One by one they would get on my lap wanting to hear a story and “The War Of The Worlds” is the story I would read to them. As well, as the internet grew, we were all able to listen to the original radio broadcast put on by Orson Welles. Needless to say, I will always be a fan of the “War Of The Worlds”. I decided to include a copy of the original script used in the radio show as well as the YouTube connection for the audio so people could read it and listen to it for themselves. I hope y’all have enjoyed this post and maybe I have introduced something new for y’all to enjoy for many years. Quite possibly you have been waiting for this day as well.

All of the pictures. the script, the YouTube audio, and most of the above narrative were borrowed from the internet using Google search terms. Everything I used is assumed to be royalty free and free to use by the public in not for profit publications and use.