Guy Noir
Saturday, May 16, 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 a beautiful spring day in Minnesota, and I was about to go out and breathe when this new janitor at the Acme, a guy by the name of Mike, came in.

TJ: Came to help you with your spring cleaning, Mr. Noir. Got a dumpster out back. Got a wheelbarrow and a shovel ---- what do you say?

GK: I've gotta go through this stuff first. Got a lot of keepsakes in here.

TJ (RUMMAGING IN PAPER): What about these old calendars? These go way back.

GK: That's my life you're looking at, pal.

TJ: A lot of these old calendars are blank, Mr. Noir.

GK: I didn't say it was a great life----

TJ (RUMMAGING, METAL): How about these old license plates?

GK: Lot of memories there.

TJ: And these old cigar boxes?

GK: Those are valuable. People collect those. There are cigar box shows, you can sell those things-----

TJ: What about these old newspapers? You got about five years' worth of old newspapers and magazines-----

GK: I'm not done reading them.

TJ: You got People magazine from the late Eighties --- half those celebrities nobody's ever heard of anymore....

GK: I gotta go through em first.

TJ: And these boxes of earrings----

GK: Never mind those.

TJ: What about this? This watering can. (PAUSE) You planning on raising plants up here? (PAUSE) It's got a hole in the bottom.

GK: Okay, you can take that.

TJ: Why don't you let me take the magazines----

GK: Listen. We made a start, okay? Rome wasn't built in a day. Come back in a week. I'll go through the stuff---(MUSIC BRIDGE) He left and I was going to go out for a walk, when (PHONE RING, PICKUP) Yeah, Noir here.

SS: (OLDER WOMAN, ON PHONE, WEEPY): Mr. Noir---- it's Muffy --- - she's gone.

GK: Again?

SS: (OLDER WOMAN, ON PHONE, STILL WEEPY): I was fixing her Cat Chow and I turned around and she was gone.

GK: (SIGH) Maybe you need to keep your doors closed there, Mrs. Ramsey.

SS: (OLDER WOMAN, ON PHONE, WEEPY): Can you find her?

GK: Maybe there's a reason Muffy is trying to escape----

SS: (OLDER WOMAN, ON PHONE, WEEPY): What do you mean?

GK: I mean, you hug that cat an awful lot, Mrs. Ramsey.

SS: (OLDER WOMAN, ON PHONE, WEEPY): I love her. She's my Muffy. She's all I have since Pooky and Mr. Muffin ran away.

GK: I'll be right over. (MUSIC BRIDGE) So I went and found Muffy huddled by the garbage cans and collected my fee and headed down to the Five Spot, feeling none too proud of myself. (DOOR OPEN, JINGLES) And then who should I see at the bar but Charlie. The guy I started out working for. My old bo

SS:. He was sitting at the bar and next to him was a blonde with shoulders like melted candy and she was clinging to him like she was about to put down roots. (FOOTSTEPS) Hi, Charlie.

ST: Hey! Guy Noir! How are you, pal!

GK: Good to see you, Charlie. Been a long time.

ST: Hey, Mitzi, want you to meet my protegee, Guy Noir.

SS: A pleasure to make your acquaintance, I'm sure.

ST: Miti's a researcher. She's doing research for me.

GK: Don't feel you need to tell me what sort of research.

TR (JIMMY): Here's your carrot smoothie, Mi

SS:.---- Oh, hiya, Guy. What can I get for you?

GK: A very dry Martini. Straight up, with a corn flake.

SS: A cornflake?

GK: For fiber. How come I aven't run into you for so long, Charlie?

ST: I joined a health club. I've been working out, Guy. On those weight machines they've got. That's where I met Mitzi.

GK: Well, well. You're looking pretty good for a guy who's 86.

ST (WHISPER): Shhhhhh. I told her I'm 68.

GK: For a guy who's 68, you look not as great as you did a moment ago.

ST: You look good, Guy, but you got cat hair on you.

GK: Oh. I was taking care of a cat for a friend. She sort of got attached to me.

ST: Mitzi and I are leaving for Hawaii in a few minutes.

SS: We're going to work out together.

GK: That's wonderful.

TR (JIMMY): Here's your Martini with the corn flake, Guy.

GK: Thanks, Jimmy.

ST: Remember the Case of the Marxist Martini? The socialist girl who lured wealthy industrialists to motel rooms and got them drunk and tied them to the bed and talked them to death?

GK: You're thinking of the Case of the Bratwurst Brunette, Charlie.

ST: Naw, that was different.

GK: Doris Lebensfrieden, the heire

SS: to the Lebensfrieden Bratwurst fortune, who ran off to the Florida Keys with her chauffeur. She was a socialist.

ST: She was a socialite.

GK: Her mother was a socialite and she was a socialist and she kept falling in love with one household servant after another.

ST: You're thinking of the Case of The Hairle

SS: Heire

GK: No, this is the Bratwurst Brunette.

ST: Oh well, it doesn't matter. Those were the days, weren't they?

GK: I wish I'd taken notes, I coulda written a novel.

ST: Remember the Sneakin Deacon?

GK: Indeed.

ST: The Deacon used to preach on the street corner, waving his Bible around and saying that the world was about to end and everybody should repent.

SS: So what's wrong with that?

ST: It wasn't his Bible.

SS: Oh.

ST: It was an old family Bible and it wasn't the Deacon's family.

GK: The Deacon had to go back to selling Piscacadawadaquoddymoggin Joy Juice.

ST: It cured gout, dyspepsia, and the heebie-jeebies, and contained some sa

SS:afras root and was about three-quarters pure grain alcohol.

GK: He was some guy.

ST: I mi

SS: all those old con men. The bunco artists, the grifters, the hustlers, the card sharps, the flimflammers. Nowadays, crime has been taken over by the big corporations. Microsoft. Disney. Philip Morris. There ain't any room for the small-time crook anymore.

GK: Those were the days, Charlie.

ST: You got cat hair all over you.

GK: Don't worry about it.

ST: It doesn't look good. You gotta think about your appearance. A gumshoe isn't supposed to have cat hair on him.

GK: It's no big deal.

ST: Hey Jimmy, you got a whisk broom?

TR (JIMMY): Coming right up.

GK: So you been working out, huh, Charlie?

ST: I've been running fifteen miles a day. Do two hundred pushups. Five hundred situps. I feel great. And Mitzi makes me feel like a teenager again.

SS: This is some guy, let me tell you.

GK: I'll bet. (DOOR OPENS, JINGLE, FOOTSTEPS APPROACH)

TR: Hey. Which one of you's Guy Noir? Izzat you?

ST: It's him. The guy with the cat hair.

TR: You Guy Noir?

GK: Who're you?

TR: Guido. Rocco sent me.

GK: Well, give Rocco my best.

TR: Rocco's got a problem, Noir. His cat is missing. Carmen. His favorite tabby cat.

GK: Give Rocco my condolences.

TR: Rocco wants you should go find his cat for him, Noir.

GK: I'm not in that line of work, Tony.

ST: Try the Humane Society, pal.

TR: This is a cat who is wearing a red ribbon with a little locket that contains the key to a safety deposit box that contains seven hundred thousand simoleons and a first-class ticket to Italy what Rocco needs on account of he has a sick uncle in Palermo who is not expected to last for very long and neither will you if you don't find that cat.

GK: Well, why didn't you say so? A man has a right to go see a sick uncle, don't you think, Charlie?

ST: Absolutely.

SS: Where is this cat anyways? up a tree or something?

TR: She jumped out of Rocco's big white Caddie when he stopped in front of the Acme building to go in and buy some frozen custard.

GK: Right around the corner then-----

TR: Correct.

ST: When did she run away?

TR: Just now. (CELLULAR PHONE RINGS) Yeah? Oh hi, Rocco. ----- Yeah, everything's under control. ---Okay. (CLICK)

GK: So Rocco is outside?

TR: You got it. He's circling the block in the Caddie, looking for Carmen.

GK: Rocco doesn't hug the cat a lot, does he?

TR: Rocco don't hug anybody. Rocco is not a hugger. (CELLULAR PHONE RING) Yeah? ----- Oh, hi Rocco. Yeah, he's out lookin for her now. ---- Okay. (CLICK) ----- Rocco's gettin antsy.

GK: Don't rush me. What is the cat's favorite food---

TR: She likes sea bass. Broiled. And she likes scallops. Raw. And tuna, very rare.

GK: Fish, huh?

(DOOR OPEN, JINGLE. FOOTSTEPS)

TR: Who's this joker?

GK: He's okay. He's Mike, the janitor from the Acme building.

TJ: You've got a stack of boxes in the hall, Mr. Noir, and they're full of old Look magazines and clothes hangers --- okay if I chuck em?

GK: I'm busy, Mike. I'll take a look at em later.

ST: Look magazine. Those are valuable now, aren't they.

SS: Are they really?

ST: I heard that an issue of Look with a picture of Miss America on the cover playing the marimba was recently sold for $360.

TJ: Marimba, huh?

ST: Her name was Bebe and she was wearing a satin gown and playing "Malaguena" on the marimba.

TJ: I don't remember seeing that, Pops.

TR: Hey, you guys gonna start looking for Rocco's cat or what?

TJ: What cat?

TR: Bug out. This don't concern you.

SS: Say--- don't I know you from someplace, Mike?

ST: Him? the janitor?

TJ: I don't think so.

SS: I thought I saw your picture somewheres.

TR: Hey! What do I have to do to get your attention, Noir?

GK: I'm thinking.

TR: Well, think harder.

ST: Where'd you see his picture?

SS: I don't know, but I remember that face ----

ST: Cause it's so ugly?

SS: There's something vulnerable about him that appeals to a woman. He's manly but he's not afraid to show a kind of emotional openness.

TJ: That's quite an insight.

ST: Are you kidding? This guy? This guy has the emotional openness of a toaster!

GK: Hey, Jimmy---- you got any anchovies?

TR (JIMMY): You bet, Guy.

GK: Gimme all you got.

ST: What does a bartender have anchovies for?

GK: Some guys put em in their drinks.

ST: Anchovies?

GK: It's a way to stop drinking.

TR (BARTENDER): Here's your jar of anchovies, Guy.

GK: Thanks. Take the lid off, would ya, and set it by the back door. TR (BARTENDER, FADING): Okay. Whatever you say----

SS: Now I remember---- I saw you on a poster at the circus.

ST: Him? the janitor?

SS: His name is ---- Mike, the Milwaukee Strong Man.

ST: Him? A strong man? Are you kidding?

TJ: You had to open your big mouth, sister.

SS: I always wanted to meet you. I couldn't forget you after I saw that picture. It haunted me. TR (TONY): I don't see no cat coming in the back door, Noir.

GK: She'll be here soon as she smells those anchovies.

TR: You better hope so.

ST: What kind of strong man were you, pal? You lift balloons on a stick?

SS: He could rip phone books, Charlie.

ST: Phone books! That's nothing. That doesn't take strength, just leverage.

SS: And he could bend a steel bar.

ST: Ha! A trick!

SS: And he could throw a knife and hit a button at thirty feet.

ST: I've done that myself. Many times.

TJ: You're kind of old to be playing with knives, aren't you, Pops?

ST: You call me Pops one more time, I'll take a coat hanger and remove your appendix with it.

GK: Okay, okay---- just calm down. You're scaring off this cat.

SS: Maybe we oughta go, Charlie. You're getting upset.

ST: Nonsense. You got a phone book, bartender? TR (BARTENDER): St. Paul or Minneapolis?

ST: Minneapolis. TR (BARTENDER): Good. I don't know anybody there anyway.

SS: Don't get upset, Charlie. It's not good for your ticker.

ST: Nothing wrong with my ticker.

TJ: Don't get yourself all steamed up, Pops.

ST: Stop calling me Pops---- or I'll pop you one in the snoot!

GK: Would you mind taking this someplace else? I'm trying to lure a cat in the back door and ----- TR (TONY) (CELLULAR PHONE RINGS.) Yeah? Oh, hi, Rocco. ---He's looking everywhere. It's gonna be okay. You're gonna get Carmen back. --- Okay. (CLICK)

SS: Our plane for Hawaii leaves in forty-five minutes, Charlie.

ST: I'm gonna take care of this wiseguy first.

TJ: Hawaii is a long way to go, ain't it, Pops?

ST: What's it to you, punk?

TJ: You want the name of a cardiologist out there?

ST: Why you----- TR (BARTENDER): Here's your Minneapolis phone book.

GK: Boy. Minneapolis has sure grown, hasn't it.

TJ: You want me to help you lift that, Pops?

ST: You keep mouthing off and I'm going to have to hurt you, kid.

GK: Charlie, are you really going to rip that phone book???? (PAUSE, AND ST GIVES A SNORT AND A ROAR. HEAVY-DUTY RIPPING SFX)

GK: How'd you do that?

ST: The ferocity of old age.

SS: Boy, you sure are strong, aren't you. TR (TONY): The meter is running, Noir. Where's the kitty cat? Rocco is waiting.

GK: It takes time for that anchovy bouquet to extenuate itself into the anterior spaces---- TR (TONY): Oh. Okay.

ST: Okay. You want to see me bend a steel bar? How about this barstool here? (RIPPING AND CRUNCHING AS HE PULLS STOOL LOOSE FROM FLOOR)

TJ: Don't throw your back out, Pops.

ST: Gonna bend this barstool and then I'm going to throw you out, punk. (STUDS SNORTS AND GIVES A ROAR AND THERE IS A SLOW CREAKING OF METAL AS STOOL BENDS) TR (BARTENDER): Okay. One barstool. Want me to add that to your tab?

ST: You got a knife back there, bartender? TR (BARTENDER): Sure. The one I cut lemons with. (FOOTSTEPS AWAY)

SS: I just don't understand the male psychology at all. This competitive urge, the violence----

ST: It isn't psychology. It's character, sweetheart. This clown from Milwaukee called my hand and I'm showing him my cards. TR (TONY): (CELLULAR PHONE RING) Yeah? ---- Oh, hi, Rocco. -- Yeah, looking good here. You just keep circling the block. ----Okay. (CLICK)

TJ: Maybe all of us oughta go out in the alley and scout around for that cat?

ST: You're not going anywhere, kid.

GK: The way to find a cat is to sit tight, and wait.

ST: You been doing a lot of lost-cat work, Guy?

GK: No. None at all.

ST: You got cat hair on you.

GK: You already said that.

ST: It's still there. It bothers me. TR (BARTENDER, APPROACHING): Okay. Here's the knife. But you be careful, okay?

ST: Okay, Mr. Milwaukee, you see that jukebox in the back of the room?

TJ: What about it? you want me to play you a tune, Pops?

ST: Number B-7. You see it? It's Toots Mahoney playing "Deep Purple".

TJ: Never heard of him.

ST: There's a lot you never heard of, punk. TR (BARTENDER): "Deep Purple" always was my favorite song. I danced with Sheila Soderberg at the high school prom ---- we danced to "Deep Purple".

SS: That's sweet.

GK: Wait. I hear something. Listen. TR (TONY): (CELLULAR RING) Yeah? ---- Who? ---Oh, hi, Ma. ---- What? what are you crying about, Ma?

TJ: You want to put some money on this, Pops?

ST: You name it, Milwaukee.

TJ: How about we bet a trip to Hawaii? just to make it interesting?

ST: Getting kind of cocky, aren't you, kid?

TJ: You starting to feel a little uncertain about hitting B-7 and Toots Mahoney playing "Deep Purple"?

ST: You want to bet me a round trip to Hawaii that I can't hit B-7 with this knife?

TJ: That's right, Pops.

ST: I'll wipe that smile off your face, kid. TR (BARTENDER): Sheila and I were dancing and she asked me if I happened to have a safety pin on me, and I did, and I pinned her strap to her dress. I'll never forget that moment.

TJ: So it's a bet? A round-trip to Hawaii.

ST: It's a bet.

SS: Charlie!

ST: I can do it, baby.

SS: You're going to bet me in a wager with a guy I don't even know?

ST: This is a cinch. TR (PUNK) But Mama ---- I didn't know your birthday was tonight---- I thought it was Tuesday.

GK: Who was Toots Mahoney? I forget.

ST: Vibraphonist. He was married to LaVerne LaSalle. The actress. She was in "The Untamed Heart".

TR (BARTENDER): I pinned her strap to her dress and she gave me the most beautiful smile.

GK: Why would anybody want to go to Hawaii when it's spring in Minnesota?

ST: I've never been to Hawaii. Sixty-eight and I've never seen Waikiki.

TJ: You're sixty-eight, Pops?

ST: Listen, you sausage-stuffer ---- in just a minute, you're going to be about two thousand bucks lighter in the wallet.

TJ: If you're sixty-eight, I think you ought to see a doctor.

ST: You're the one who's going to be seeing a doctor and he's going to straighten your nose for you, punk. TR (GUIDO): How can you say that, Mama? Of course I love you! I love you with all my heart!

SS: Charlie, let's go. Enough of this.

ST: I made a bet, Mitzi. And if everybody'd just settle down, I'll throw this knife. TR (BARTENDER): And then she did a cartwheel. Right there on the dance floor.

GK: Hey. Shhhhh. I hear something at the back door. You hear that?

SS: Everybody in this joint is crazy except me.

ST: If I could just have a moment of silence! please! TR (GUIDO): You're my best girl, Mama ----- I'll always love you the best.

TJ: Before you throw, there's something you oughta know, Pops.

ST: Later, punk.

TJ: I'm not the Milwaukee Strong Man. I can barely lift the phone book. Never threw a knife in my life. TR (BARTENDER): Sheila ran and she did a cartwheel and when she did, I saw London, I saw France.

SS: I'm out of here, Charlie. The plane is leaving.

ST: Would everybody please shut up?? (DOOR OPENS, JINGLES, FOOTSTEPS)

GK: Rocco! TK: Hi, I'm Rocco.

TJ: That's Rocco?

GK: That's him. TR (TONY): I'm talking to Mama, Rocco. Tonight was her birthday. It's Mama's birthday.

ST: Hey Rocco ---- would you mind stepping to the left, you're in the line of fire. I'm trying to throw a knife. TK: What's this about?

SS: Charlie, I'm getting my coat.

TJ: Let me get your coat for you, love. Where is it?

SS: There. On the chair. TR (BARTENDER): She did her cartwheel and suddenly I saw Paris. TK: I been trying to call ya on the phone, Guido. TR (GUIDO): I'm talking to Rocco, Mama. --- No, we're not at a party. We're working. TK: The cat came back, Guido.

ST: Move to the left, Rocco. Okay? TK: Carmen came back. She's in the car.

GK: That's a tough throw, Charlie. You got a post in your way.

ST: I'll throw a sidearm curve.

TJ: Here's your coat, love.

SS: Thanks. You're so considerate. TK: Let's go. I'm hungry. TR (GUIDO): We'll be there in ten minutes, Mama. Me and Rocco. Can you fix us something for dinner? TK: What's with the knife anyway?

GK: So you got your cat, huh, Rocco?

ST: A little more to the left, Rocco. TR (GUIDO): Here, Noir ---- for your trouble.

GK: Hey, thanks, Guido. Very generous of you.

TJ: You want me to call you a cab, love?

SS: I don't know. Where are we going?

TJ: You name it.

ST: Be with you in a moment, Mitzi. COULD I HAVE A MOMENT OF SILENCE, PLEASE?

GK: Hundred bucks for sitting on a barstool. Not bad. TR (BARTENDER): I've never been able to emotionally commit to another woman since I danced with Sheila.

ST: Would you mind? Stop snivelling so I can throw this knife. TK: Let's go. TR (GUIDO): Coming. (DOOR OPENS, JINGLES, CLOSES)

TJ: There's a nice Italian restaurant just west of here. It's on the way to the airport.

SS: I was thinking I'd rather eat Hawaiian tonight.

TJ: Oh?

SS: A platter of puu-puu sticks and some pineapple on pork.

TJ: Sounds perfect.

ST: (SNORTS, ROARS. THROWS. WHISTLE OF KNIFE IN AIR. CLUNK. PAUSE. SFX SCRATCHING OF 45 RECORD, AND ANDY STEIN PLAYS "AUTUMN LEAVES" ON SAX, HIGHLY COMPRESSED FOR 45 SOUND, WITH SFX SCRATCHES)

GK: Doesn't sound like vibraphone, does it.

ST: I can't believe it. I missed.

TJ: This the ticket here in your jacket pocket, Pops? Thanks.

ST: I missed B7.

SS: Bye, Charlie. Don't forget to take your Vitamin E.

TJ: Here's your box of Look magazines, Mr. Noir. Maybe the marimba player is in there somewhere. Come on, love. Bye. (HE BLOWS A KISS.) Thanks. It was fun. (DOOR JINGLE, OPEN, CLOSE) (A LONG PAUSE) TR (BARTENDER): I never cared as much for Autumn Leaves, I guess.

GK: No. He's good but he's no Toots Mahoney.

ST: How could I have missed that?

GK: It was the draft from the door opening. TR (BARTENDER): Yeah. The wind took it.

ST: I just been hustled out of a girlfriend and two weeks in Hawaii.

GK: Make this man a Martini, Jimmy.

TR (BARTENDER): With a cornflake?

GK: Make it an olive. And turn off the jukebox, okay?

TR
(JIMMY): You got it. (CLICK. "AUTUMN LEAVES" STOPS IN MID NOTE)

ST: I guess those small-time con artists aren't gone after all.

GK: They did a good job on you.

ST: What do you mean, "they"?

GK: How long had you known Mitzi?

ST: Met her about two hours ago.

GK: They were in cahoots, the two of em.

ST: Are you sure?

GK: A girl meets an 86-year-old guy at two in the afternoon and at four she's gonna go to Hawaii with him? Huh? Come on.

ST: I thought she was in love with me.

GK: I'm sure you did.

ST: So you think it was a setup, huh?

GK: Kind of looks like it.

ST: I don't know how I could've been so dumb not to see it.

GK: It's spring.

ST: Right. It's spring.

GK: And we're guys and we're half-crazy about two-thirds of the time.

ST: Well, at least I was flimflammed by a couple of pros.

GK: They were slick.

ST: I do think she did sort of like me in a way, though. TR (JIMMY): Here's your Martini.

ST: Thanks. I'm going down to the Marigold Ballroom tonight. What do you say? It's Tango Night.

GK: No thanks.

ST: By the way, you got cat hair all over you.

GK: Would you mind? Enough already.

ST: Nobody's going to want to dance with you if you go around looking like an old couch.

GK: Okay, okay. (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) (c) 1998 by Garrison Keillor

Old Sweet Songs: A Prairie Home Companion 1974-1976

Old Sweet Songs

Lovingly selected from the earliest archives of A Prairie Home Companion, this heirloom collection represents the music from earliest years of the now legendary show: 1974–1976. With songs and tunes from jazz pianist Butch Thompson, mandolin maestro Peter Ostroushko, Dakota Dave Hull and the first house band, The Powdermilk Biscuit Band (Adam Granger, Bob Douglas and Mary DuShane).

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