Guy Noir
Saturday, May 15, 1999
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(GK: Garrison Keillor, SS: Sue Scott, TK: Tom Keith, TR: Tim Russell)

(GUY NOIR THEME & SONG)

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)

GK: It was one of those balmy spring evenings that gives a guy the feeling that if he went outside right now, a beautiful woman'd look at him and say, Wow, don't I know you? And he'd say, "Let's find out." Pure romance in the air but the reality was I hadn't had a date in two years and, like the plumber said to the rabbi, my career is in the toilet. I'd met a woman named Ginger Montoute through a dating service called Beautiful Losers but we hadn't met yet due to the discrepancy between my true self and how I had to describe myself in order to get her interest ...

SS (ON PHONE): You're a triathlon champion, Mr. Nolan?

GK: Actually I'm only doing biathlons now. Trying to cut back. I'm so busy now that my company is going public.

SS (ON PHONE): And your company does what, Mr. Nolan?

GK: We sell precision grommets. Federated Grommets.

SS (ON PHONE): Your own company! That's quite an accomplishment for a 34-year-old guy.

GK: Thirty-six, actually. I haven't updated my bio -

SS (ON PHONE): You've been with Beautiful Losers for two years?

GK: Well, what with running a company, a guy doesn't have time to meet women - you know?

SS (ON PHONE): Well, I'd love to meet you, Mr. Nolan.

GK: So you're a fashion model, you say -

SS (ON PHONE): Yes.

GK: Vogue? Elle? Allure?

SS (ON PHONE): Smaller magazines mostly. Snowmobiling Today, The Feedlot Owners Digest, Wallboard World -

GK: Well, that must be exciting.

SS (ON PHONE): I have plenty of time free this week ...

GK: Unfortunately, I'm on my way to Abu Dhabi.

SS (ON PHONE): Oh.

GK: A grommet problem. I expect to be back in a week or two. Maybe three. I'll give you a call. (MUSIC BRIDGE) I hated to keep her at arm's length, but I needed time to go from being the glamorous guy she imagined to the burnt-out wreck that I am. You don't go downhill that far in just a few weeks. (KNOCKS ON DOOR) Yeah, come in, the door's open. (DOOR OPEN, FOOTSTEPS)

TK: (GRUFF JOWLY GUY) Pest control.

GK: What about it?

TK: Gotta spray for bugs.

GK: Right now?

TK: Only takes a second.

GK: What are you spraying?

TK: It's harmless.

GK: How do I know that?

TK: Take my word for it. I've been breathing this stuff for years, and look at me. (HE HAWKS AND SPITS)

GK: But all I have is just the cockroaches and I've known them so long, we're like neighbors.

TK: Only takes a second. (A LONG BLAST OF SPRAY) (DISORIENTATION CHORDS)

GK: The air was filled with a bluish-gray mist and the moment I breathed it, I felt an overpowering urge to go to an ATM and draw out $300 and go to a shopping mall and buy Star Wars products.

TR (ALIEN): Buy the toys.

SS (ALIEN): Don't forget to pick up a T-shirt.

TR (ALIEN): Buy the novelization. The CD. The breakfast cereal.

SS (ALIEN): Get the souvenir jewelry. The posters. The Star Wars Visa card. Get the Star Wars Visa card. Visa card. Visa card.

TR (ALIEN): Get in line for tickets to the movie. (MUSIC BRIDGE)

GK: I felt woozy ... disoriented ... I went across the street to the Five Spot to see my therapist, Jimmy. (MUSIC, DOOR OPEN, JINGLE, CLOSE. FOOTSTEPS)

TR (JIMMY): Oh, hi, Guy. How's it going?

GK: Not so good, Jimmy. Feel like I'm losing it.

TR (JIMMY): Losing what?

GK: My grip. My sanity.

TR (JIMMY): Oh. That. Well, you don't look any less sane than you did last night about twelve-thirty ...

GK: I was afraid of that. Jimmy, I'm an empty shell. I'm a pita pocket with no hummus. I'm like some shrunken plant trying to grow in a place that only gets five minutes of sunlight a day. I need a career. I need romance. I need a new outlook on life.

TR (JIMMY): Well - just be the best you that you can be.

GK: Be the best you that you can be??? What's that supposed to mean?

TR (JIMMY): Sorry. It's just a saying.

GK: Be the best you that you can be! I don't need New Age truisms, Jimmy - I need help.

TR (JIMMY): Sorry.

GK: I used to get big cases, important cases, people wanting to know why Uncle Harold was found face-down in his waffles with a paring knife in his back. Now people don't bother finding out, they just go into grief therapy. Meanwhile, my personal life is a hollow shell. Women look at me and their glance doesn't stop, it keeps moving. You know?

TR (JIMMY): Well, you know what they say, Guy. There is no I in "Team".

GK: What does that have to do with anything?

TR (JIMMY): I don't know. Sorry. Just something that came to mind.

GK: "There is no I in Team"??

TR (JIMMY): Just a saying. Thought it might apply - (DOOR OPEN, JINGLE, FOOTSTEPS)

TK (GRUFF, JOWLY): Pest control man.

GK: What are you doing????

TK: Spraying for bugs, that's all.

GK: You are not - hey - get that out of here (BIG BLAST OF SPRAY) (STAR WARS THEME) - and I felt disoriented again - I saw George Lucas on TV, his big hair and beard (TR DOING SLOW LUCAS INTERVIEW GIBBERISH), he was talking about special effects - when I came to - Jimmy had taken off his apron and was climbing over the bar- - Where are you going?

TR (JIMMY): I've got to go home and get my lawn chair and sleeping bag and go to the eight-plex and get in line for tickets to the prequel.

GK: No, you don't, Jimmy - get back behind that bar -

TR (JIMMY): I'll be back in a couple of days.

GK: Take deep breaths, Jimmy. The urge will pass.

TR (JIMMY): The force be with you ...

GK: The force be with you, Jimmy. (KONK, JIMMY FALLS UNCONSCIOUS) Sorry, pal. Had to do it. Sleep it off. When you come to, you'll be grown up again. (DOOR OPEN, JINGLE, CLOSE. FOOTSTEPS)

TR (YOUNG): Mr. Noir?

GK: Yeah?

TR: Mr. Noir, I've been looking all over for you. Listen, I need your help. Right away. It's really important.

GK: What can I do for you?

TR: My name is Dr. Nudell. Matt Nudell.

GK: Right. What's your problem, Doctor?

TR: My mother.

GK: There's a lot of that going around.

TR: She set me up on a blind date with a woman but I've got something else I've got to do, Mr. Noir, so could you be me and go on a date with her and -

GK: I don't do blind dates, Doctor. Sorry. Too much bitter experience.

TR: I'll pay you five hundred bucks.

GK: What's her name?

TR: Ginger.

GK: Ginger?

TR: I've got to go.

GK: Have you been breathing bug spray, Doctor?

TR: (FADING) I've got some shopping to do.

GK: Doctor - there's no rush - the movie's going to be around for years - (DOOR OPEN, JINGLE, CLOSE) (MUSIC) I was looking at the five C-notes he gave me and sucking the pimento out of an olive when the lady arrived -

SS: Dr. Nudell? (SEXY SAX)

GK: She was blonde and so beautiful it took your breath away and wouldn't give it back. Her skin was like warm butterscotch. She wore a dress so tight I could read the name tag on her underpants.

SS: Are you Dr. Nudell?

GK: You must be Ginger ...

SS: Yes.

GK: Then I'd be glad to be anybody you want me to be, Ginger.

SS: I've never met a podiatrist before.

GK: With feet like yours, Ginger, any podiatrist'd love to meet you, believe me. Have a seat.

SS: Thanks. Your voice is familiar somehow.

GK: Well, they teach you that in medical school.

SS: Did we - did you and I - ever speak on the telephone?

GK: If I'd ever talked to you, Ginger, I'd remember it the rest of my life. Believe me.

SS: Oh. I thought I knew you. I donno. I'm sort of nervous. I don't usually go out on blind dates. I just broke up with my boyfriend, and I'm feeling a little lost.

GK: Consider yourself found.

TR (JIMMY): (GROANS, WAKING UP)

GK: The bartender took a nap he was so tired from the big lunchtime crowd -

TR (JIMMY): Hey, Guy, how are ya?

GK: He calls everybody Guy. Even women he calls Guy.

TR (JIMMY): What's wrong with that, Guy?

GK: You know me, Jimmy. I'm Dr. Matt Nudell. Your podiatrist. The guy who peeled off your bunions.

TR (JIMMY): Right. Glad you mentioned it. Good job.

GK: So you just broke up with a boyfriend, huh? You got a picture of him on you? I'm just curious -

SS: Yeah, right here.

GK: Kind of effeminate, isn't he?

SS: Oh - That's of my Aunt Agnes. Here he is -

GK: Big muscular guy standing on the beach and flexing his deltoids and pectorals. Interesting.

SS: Are you sure we never talked before on the phone? I could swear you're a guy I almost made a date with once.

GK: Well, you've got a date with me now, so what's the problem?

TR (JIMMY): So what can I get you, Dr. Nudell?

GK: I'm not much of a drinker, being a doctor, but how about you bring me a double bourbon straight up with a beer chaser?

TR (JIMMY): One Teamster Special, coming right up. How about you, ma'am?

SS: Just water is fine. (JIMMY GOING AWAY)

SS: So, tell me, what's it like to be a podiatrist?

GK: I'll show you. Let me have a look at your feet.

SS: Okay. (SEXY SAX)

GK: She took off her shoes, and put her bare feet in my lap. Each toe fit perfectly with the next, each little pink toenail - her instep, her ankles ...

SS: I've always felt my feet were too big -

GK: Ginger, your feet are what God meant when he said let there be feet. (DOOR OPEN, JINGLE, CLOSE, FOOTSTEPS)

GK: And suddenly, a great big guy in a black T-shirt came busting in the front door.

TR (PUNK): Hey. How come you got Ginger's feet in your lap? What you doing? Get your hands off her!

SS: Rico.

GK: I thought you said you broke up with him.

SS: I did. But I didn't get around to telling him.

TR (PUNK): Like I said, how come you got Ginger's feet in your lap?

GK: It's purely scientific, Rico.

TR (PUNK): Huh?

GK: I'm measuring them. It's a survey. We're testing whether length of instep is related to the intelligence of the boyfriend.

TR (PUNK): Not so fast, mister. What are you talking about?

GK: There. All done, Rico.

TR (PUNK): What'd you say about my intelligence?

SS: Rico, there's something you and I need to talk about.

TR (PUNK): First, I'm going to talk to him. Okay?

GK: Rico, I am a very delicate older man. You hit me and I'm apt to crumble, you're just going to have a great big mess on your hands ... (DOOR OPEN, JINGLE, FOOTSTEPS)

TK: Pest control man.

GK: Thank goodness, you got here just in time.

TK: Gotta spray for bugs. Only take a minute. (BIG SPRAY)

TR (PUNK): I'll deal with you later, first I gotta go see this movie, whatever it is. (FOOTSTEPS AWAY, DOOR OPEN, CLOSE)

GK: He's gone. - I said, he's gone, Ginger. You can open your eyes now. And breathe.

SS: He's gone?

GK: It's just you and me.

SS: Dr. Nudell - you're not really a podiatrist, are you?

GK: My name isn't Nudell, Ginger. And I'm not a podiatrist.

SS: Well, good. I'm not Ginger either. I'm Joanne. And I'm not a model, I'm a third-grade teacher. (THEME)

GK: I'm a private eye, Joanne. An aging romantic in a rumpled blue suit who makes a living on the shady side of the street trying to find the answers to life's persistent questions.

SS: Guy Noir, Private Eye.

GK: That's me, Baby.

(MUSIC OUT

 

(c) 1999 by Garrison Keillor

Old Sweet Songs: A Prairie Home Companion 1974-1976

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