Guy Noir
Saturday, April 25, 1998
Listen

(GUY NOIR THEME)

GK: SINGS; He's smooth and he's cool, and quick with a gun,  A master of the boudoir.

A guy in a trenchcoat who gets the job done,

It's Guy.....Guy Noir.

TR: A dark night in a city that knows how to keep its secrets, but on the 12th floor of the Acme Building, one man is still trying to find the answers to life's persistent questions.....Guy Noir, Private Eye.

(THEME UP AND OUT UNDER....)

GK: It was April, beautiful, the sun was out, trees in bloom, grass green, one of those days that's so perfect it makes you depressed because there's no reason not to be happy on a day this nice and you're not and so you feel terrible ---- I ducked around the block and into the Five Spot. (MUSIC BRIDGE)(DOOR OPEN, JINGLES) The joint was empty except for the bartender, Jimmy. And a woman at the bar. A woman in jeans and a sweatshirt. (FOOTSTEPS)

TR: Hey! Hiya, Guy.

GK: Hiya, Jimmy. (FOOTSTEPS CONTINUE TO BAR, AND HE SITS DOWN) Good afternoon, ma'am.

SS: Hi.

TR: How's it goin, Guy? Nice day out today, huh?

GK: Yeah, right. If you like that sort of thing.

TR: You got something against spring, Guy?

GK: Maybe.

TR: How can you be down on spring?

GK: I donno. You take a day like today, it's a day like in the movies when you hear Mozart on the soundtrack and the boy and the girl are running through tall grass and wild geese rise up in the sky and it's one of those perfect days but what if you're not a boy and when you run through tall grass you look like a wounded moose and when you turn around the girl isn't running after you, she stopped running about thirty years ago, and then you see, those wild geese have left something in the tall grass and now it's all over your shoes ---- and that's why I don't care for April. It's beautiful but it's meant for someone else. Someone younger.

TR: What can I get you, Guy?

GK: I'd like a glass of that Malcolm of the Highlands Single Malt Scotch.

TR: Sixty year or a hundred and thirty?

GK: Surprise me.

TR: Okay. Be right down. (HE HEADS UP THE LADDER)

GK: Watch out with that ladder there. That doesn't look any too steady, if you ask me.

TR: (OFF) It's okay. I just grab onto the shelves!

GK: I can't bear to look. One of these days that ladder is going to slide out from under him (LADDER JIGGLES) and he's going to come crashing down and irreplaceable whiskey is going to be lost.

SS: I never tasted Scotch whiskey before. What's it like?

GK: What's it like--- it's like Scotland. It's rocky, hilly, rainy, cloudy, cold, miserable, and for some unaccountable reason it makes you happy.

SS: You sound like the minister at our church.

GK: Nope. I'm a private eye.

SS: You're a private eye? Really?

GK: Really.

SS: I've been thinking I ought to hire a private eye.

GK: Oh yeah?

SS: I need to have somebody followed so I can find out what's going on with him that he's never at home.

TR (OFF): Lookout. (GLASS BREAKAGE AND SPLASH) It's okay. It's only brandy.

GK: Have you asked this person why he's never home?

SS: I can't get hold of him.

GK: Look. I don't get involved in romances. Marriages are tough enough, okay?

SS: We are married.

GK: You're married!

SS: Married with four children.

TR (OFF): Heads up! (CRASH)

GK: Would you mind?

TR (OFF): Sorry.

GK: Does your husband leave you notes?

SS: He does.

GK: What do they say?

SS: "Went to hockey practice."

GK: Hockey?

SS: Right. I've hardly seen him since before Thanksgiving.

GK: Your four kids all play hockey?

SS: Right.

GK: How many leagues?

SS: Four leagues.

GK: Listen, wait until May --- if you don't hear from him by then, call me back. Okay?

SS: Okay, but they go to hockey camp too.

GK: If you don't hear from him by Labor Day, call me back.

(SFX TR COMING DOWN LADDER)

TR (APPROACHING): Here's your Scotch, Guy. Our last bottle. (FOOTSTEPS APPROACH) Hundred and thirty year-old Malcolm of the Highlands. (BLOWS DUST OFF) 1868. A good year, or so I've heard.

SS: What's that stuff in the bottom of the bottle?

GK: That's peat, ma'am. A clump of peat.

SS: A hundred and thirty years old - that must be expensive.

GK: One drink costs about as much as a pair of goalie pads.

SS: Wow.

GK: You care for a drink?

SS: I don't know. I'm the mother of four children.

GK: Then you've earned it.

TR: I'll get another glass----

SS: If you're sure you don't mind---

GK: Naw. Join me.

TR: Here goes. (POURING)

SS: Do you put 7-Up or Coke in that?

GK: With all due respect, ma'am. That'd be like pasting rhinestones to the Mona Lisa.

SS: Can you put a little ice in mine?

TR: We have a 12-year-old ice from Greenland, a very dry ice, or an excellent 48-year-old Norwegian ice.

GK: Give us that.

TR: It's a very smooth crystal with a slight bouquet of lichen and prehistoric fern - it's cold but it's not sharp - it's a rounded, very well-orchestrated ice, very mellow, with a nice mineral finish.

GK: We'll have that.

TR: Fine. (TWO PLOPS AND TWO SPLISHES)

GK: Well, here's to us and all we stand for ---

SS: LaVonne.

GK: Here's to you, LaVonne, and to the richness and poetry of youth hockey ---

SS: I never thought when I came in here that I'd meet a private eye and wind up drinking Scotch from the Civil War with ice with a bouquet of lichen.

GK: Life can surprise ya sometimes, kid.

SS: (SNIFFS) Oh migosh. Oh wow. Oh I don't know. This is too much.

GK: What's wrong?

SS: This is powerful stuff for a hockey mom.

GK: Oh?

SS: I might never be able to go back to washing uniforms again - I might do something crazy - like sell off my son's skates and use the money to go to Rio for a year.

GK: That's what makes grownup life interesting, having those choices.

SS: I better not drink this. Besides, we're Methodist.

GK: Not even one sip?

SS: (SNIFF, SHIVER OF PLEASURE) I'm afraid of what might happen.

GK: You know what they say - "it's better to go out burnished from use than rusting from principle."

SS: Who's they? Oh, what the heck---- (SHE GULPS IT DOWN)

GK: How is it?

SS: (SHE TAKES A DEEP BREATH) Suddenly I'm twenty-four years old, single, in a size 4 black dress and a string of pearls, my blonde hair falls carelessly over my forehead, and suddenly I realize that I'm sort of attracted to older, somewhat heavier, guys.

GK: That's quite a Scotch.

SS: I'm quite a woman.

GK: I think that you and I, between the two of us, are going to be able to create something very beautiful.

(THEME)

TR: A dark night in a city that keeps its secrets, where one guy is still trying to find the answers to life's persistent questions...Guy Noir, Private Eye. (MUSIC OUT)

© 1998 BY GARRISON KEILLOR

Old Sweet Songs: A Prairie Home Companion 1974-1976

Old Sweet Songs

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