|It is a sadness, what we do to each other. It is a weeping, and a gnashing of teeth|
Chad Bowinger is a resident of Night Vale and a former intern at Night Vale Community Radio. He used to lead the army of Strangers brought by his diabolic though incredibly cute beagle puppy, and was Maureen's boss.
At the time of his internship, Chad lived alone in an apartment in the Shambling Orphan housing development down by the haunted baseball diamond. He had several hobbies that, according to the Faceless Old Woman secretly living in his home, mostly involved consuming: playing video games, reading books by comedians.
Chad did eventually return from the Used and Discount Sporting Goods Store, but he returned a very different man. He devoted himself to a summoning ritual: sewing red robes, filling the apartment with candles, hiding an amulet in his refrigerator. The Faceless Old Woman is horrified by Chad's summoning, declaring that she no longer lived in his home because "something else is living there now."
Cecil apparently failed to remember Chad as a former intern, despite mentioning him by name in a story during the events of the Antiques rampage.
Chad is the boy with the hoodie or baseball cap who has been accompanying Maureen who Cecil has referred to in the episodes "A New Sheriff in Town", "After 3327", "Skating Rink", and others. At the time, Cecil thought Chad to be Maureen's boyfriend, and not her boss.
The Beagle Puppy
After returning from the Used and Discount Sporting Goods Store, Chad asked Steve Carlsberg for advice and help. Steve suggested adopting a puppy, but Chad took that to mean "summon". Thus, Chad summoned a beagle puppy. The puppy appears to have a hypnotic effect on citizens of Night Vale. For example, when Maureen comes to visit Cecil with the puppy, Cecil says: "I would do anything for that little face, that tiny adorable face and those floppy dumb ears! I would do anything!". Also, someone writes a letter for Cecil's advice segment Hey There, Cecil and describes the terrifying impact of encountering the puppy:
"Hey there, Cecil! I love dogs a lot. The other day, I saw a young couple out walking the cutest little beagle puppy. I asked if I could pet him, they didn’t say anything but the dog had the sweetest expression, so I pet the dog. The couple didn’t speak or move. She just glared at me. The boy was smiling. And as the dog licked my hand I asked the boy, ‘what’s your dog’s name?’ and the boy laughed. It was a cruel, hollow laugh. And I pet the dog once more and they left, and I can’t get that dog out of my head. I’m dreaming about it now. Terrible dreams! Terrible dreams where I cannot move. I wake physically incapacitated and crying. When I can finally move I run to the bathroom needing to vomit, but unable. I am covered in cold, cold sweat but my face is on fire! I hunch over the sink, spitting up small globs of black tar, every single night. So my question is, should I get a dog? And if so, is a beagle a good breed?"
Chad appears to regret his decision, as he wrote a letter for Hey There, Cecil, saying:
“Hey there, Cecil! I have made a terrible mistake, and it consumes me. My life was once a life, and now it is an uncorrectable error. The arrival wakes each day, and feeds. It gives, and it takes. And it takes, and it takes...I would cry, but I don't think there's enough of me left anymore to make tears. What do I do? What do I do? Signed, Terrified in Shambling Orphan.”
In Episode 89, Lusia revealed how the puppy is able to hypnotize people: It is so adorable, that citizens would do anything (and everything!) to satisfy it. Even horrific and violent things. Its motive is also revealed: It wants absolutely nothing, and it will do whatever it takes to get it.
- Episode 88 "Things Fall Apart"
- Episode 3 "Station Management"
- Episode 59 "Antiques"
- Episode 53 "The September Monologues"
- Episode 85 "The April Monologues"
- Episode 81 "After 3327"
- Episode 84 "Past Time"
- Episode 75 "Through the Narrow Place"
- Episode 82 "Skating Rink"
- Episode 89 "Who's a Good Boy? Part 1"