Guy Noir
Saturday, March 3, 2001

(GK: Garrison Keillor, PHILIPP: Philipp Seibert, ANGEL: Gayle Tufts, HOLGER: Holger Off, AK: Arnie Kinsella)



GAYLE: A dark night in a city that knows how to keep its secrets, but one guy keeps trying to find the answers to life's persistent questions --- Guy Noir, Private Eye.


GK: It was one of those gray March mornings that feels like you drank a bottle of champagne the night before. The hangover without the party. I was sitting in my office in the Acme Building, looking at a postcard from my ex girlfriend Sugar that said, "The weather is here. Wish you were beautiful." It was addressed to: Lonely Guy, St. Paul, Minnesota. Somehow it found its way to me (PHONE RING, PICKUP) Yeah. Noir here.


PHILIPP: This Guy Noir? The private eye? The snoop? The gumshoe?


GK: That's me, Jack. What's up?


PHILIPP: I got a job for you. You got a couple days free?


GK: I think I could free myself up, yeah.


PHILIPP: I'm calling from Berlin.


GK: Is this a joke?


PHILIPP: I'm German. We don't do jokes.


GK: Sorry.


PHILIPP: Mr. Noir, I represent the Bundesgenossenschaft deutscher Biervertriebsgesellschaften.


GK: I see. Could you repeat that slowly?


PHILIPP: If I said it slowly, I might choke myself to death.


GK: Of course. Is this some sort of organization?


PHILIPP: The Bundesgenossenschaft deutscher Biervertriebsgesellschaften?


GK: Yes. It sounds like either it's an organization or it's a fable about some animals.


PHILIPP: The Bundesgenossenschaft deutscher Biervertriebsgesellschaften is the Federated Association of societies of German beer-distributors. The B.D.B.


GK: Very good.


PHILIPP: Here's the problem, Mr. Noir. We've noticed that someone is importing large amounts of flavored water from America and selling it as beer.


GK: Sorry to hear it.


PHILIPP: We sent it to a laboratory to be analyzed and they said, "If this comes from a horse, this horse is very sick and needs to see a doctor."


GK: What can I do to help, sir?


PHILIPP: We're afraid this liquid might be drunk accidentally by German women, and cause Mad Frau Disease.


GK: I'll be there tomorrow night. (BRIDGE) I bought a ticket online, through the economy German airline, Woof Luft.


HOLGER: (automated phone voice): Willkommen bei Wuff Luft. Für Information über unsere aktuellen Gerichtsverfahren, bitte die 1 wählen. Für Ticketinformation und Bestellungen, bitte die 2 wählen.


GK: Okay. Ticket information. Press 2. (beep)


HOLGER: (ON PHONE) Wenn Sie einen Platz mit Beinraum erwünschen, bitte die 1 wählen. Wenn Sie bequem sieben Stunden mit Ihren Knien unter Ihr Kinn geklemmt verweilen können, bitte die 2 wählen. (FADE) Wenn Sie Ihre Beine abschrauben und im Behälter über Ihrem Sitz verstauen können, bitte die 3 wählen.


GK: I followed the menu, kept pressing the number ein or zwei, and it was a very cheap flight, no flight attendants, no peanuts, no meal, no checked luggage, and we made three stops, in Miami, Lisbon, and Frankfurt, and the flight took twenty hours. (MUSIC) I checked in to a hotel, the Hotel Katzenjammer, and got to my room, which was about the size of the airplane lavatory, when suddenly (KNOCKS ON DOOR)---- Come in! (DOOR OPEN, FOOTSTEPS, DOOR CLOSE) Mein Gott. (SEXY SAX) She was tall and blonde and to say she was beautiful is like saying that Beethoven was a songwriter. In fact, she wore a black T-shirt with Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms on the front. Those guys never looked so good. Especially Bach and Brahms ----Come in, come in, come in.


ANGEL: Thank you. Are you alone? (MUSIC)


GK: Yes. I'm alone. And I hope you're alone too. Because this room is already full. Any more crowded and we'd have to get married.


ANGEL: You're not German, I take it.


GK: That's right.


ANGEL: Are you French?


GK: No, but if you want me to be, I could give it a shot. ---- Her T-shirt was so tight I could hardly breathe. Her skin was like melted caramel. Her hair was what God had in mind when he said let there be hair. ----Have I met you somewhere before?


ANGEL: No, you haven't.


GK: You're sure?


ANGEL: I'm very sure. Do you mind if I sit down? (MUSIC)----


GK: Her skin was like warm butterscotch. Her jeans were so tight I could read the embroidery on her underwear. It said Wednesday. --- What brings you here, ma'am?


ANGEL: I've come to get you.


GK: Oh?


ANGEL: My job is taking people to meet God.


GK: You're an ANGEL?




GK: Does that mean I'm dead now?


ANGEL: We don't like to use the word death. We prefer to say, transferred.


GK: When a person is transferred, does this involve lying in a long box with handles on the sides?


ANGEL: Yes, usually it does.


GK: When will I be transferred?


ANGEL: In a couple hours.


GK: Not long.


ANGEL: I'm afraid not.


GK: I'm too young for this.


ANGEL: I know.


GK: I'm not ready. (MUSIC) On the other hand, if death meant being with her, then give me the poison, doctor. ---- I didn't want to ask, for fear she might say, "Go to hell." So many beautiful women have told me that over the years.----So. A couple hours, huh?


ANGEL: That's right.


GK: How do I go? Is it in the midst of an act of passion, shot by a jealous husband?


ANGEL: No. Pneumonia.


GK: Pneumonia.


ANGEL: Pneumonia.


GK: I don't feel sick at all.


ANGEL: Try not to think about it. Do you care for a last meal?


GK: I'm not really hungry. Maybe a drink though. Sit in a bar with a piano player who knows some Ellington.


ANGEL: The Duke of Ellington?


GK: Yeah. You know him?


ANGEL: He's up there with these guys.


GK: Beethoven and Bach and Brahms----


ANGEL: Louis Armstrong. Puccini. All of them.


GK: You say UP there. Am I going to be up there too?


ANGEL: That's up to God.


GK: Of course.


ANGEL: There's a jazz club across the street, there's a band there, maybe they know some Ellington. (MUSIC)


GK: So we headed across the street (TRAFFIC). The club was called the Jazzspielgesellschaft and the band was called the Bebop Bund Band and when I walked in, they were in the middle of a drum solo (JAZZ DRUM SOLO, LIGHT, BRUSHES, RIMS, ETC.) We took a seat at the bar. The ANGEL in the Bach, Beethoven, Brahms T-shirt and me in my blue suit.


HOLGER: Guten abend, what can I bring you? Ma'am?


ANGEL: A mineral water.


HOLGER: Perrier? Evian? Himmelwasser?


ANGEL: Himmelwasser.


HOLGER: And you, sir?


GK: I'd like a double Martini. With an olive and two beans.


HOLGER: Two beans?


GK: I'm trying to get more fiber in the diet. Can you tell me something? How long does this drum solo go on?


HOLGER: Hard to say. It started on Wednesday.


GK: It's starting to get on my nerves. ---Hey, you about done with your solo? How about it?


AK: Nicht sprechen zie englisch.


GK: Well, I'm sprechen the englisch and I say, Knock it off with the drums already.


AK: Nein!


GK: Come on, pal. I only have a few hours to live.


AK: Oh, don't give me that.


GK: It's true. A few hours and I bid this world good-bye. You think I should spend my last hours on earth listening to a drum solo?


AK: You're breaking my heart. (DRUM SOLO STOPS. VIOLIN, HEARTS & FLOWERS)


GK: You play violin too?


AK: You prefer banjo? Accordion? Trombone?


GK: No. But how about that Duke Ellington tune, "Don't get around much anymore." (VIOLIN SWITCHES TO ELLINGTON) Thank you.


HOLGER: Here is your Himmelwasser. And the Martini. With an olive and two beans.


GK: Dankeschoen.


HOLGER: Bitteschoen.


GK: Well, here's looking at you, ANGEL. (CLINK) Kind of sad to think I won't be seeing New York again. Won't be seeing baseball again. Won't ever see the Grand Canyon or ever get a date with that waitress down at the Swank Café.


ANGEL: Kristin?


GK: Yeah. What a babe. ---


ANGEL: She didn't like your brown shoes.


GK: That's why she was so cold to me?


ANGEL: And the striped shirt and plaid pants.


GK: I shouldn't have worn stripes and plaid?


ANGEL: Right. Not.


GK: How about plaid shirt and striped pants?


ANGEL: Never.


GK: Darn. I wish I'd known that before. ----You know what I'm thinking?


ANGEL: Yes. And the answer is no.


GK: That's what I figured.


ANGEL: I can't do that. I'm a messenger of God, Mr. Schumacher.


GK: Schumacher?


ANGEL: That's not you?


GK: My name's Noir.


ANGEL: Room 515?


GK: I'm in 415.


ANGEL: I got the wrong room?


GK: They number the floors differently in Europe. The first floor is actually the second floor.


ANGEL: I'm sorry. So this is for the man upstairs.


GK: Hey. Mistakes happen.


ANGEL: I apologize for bothering you.


GK: Hey. It was my pleasure.


ANGEL: Would you mind doing me a big favor?


GK: Not at all. What is it?


ANGEL: Could you do some laundry for me? (SAX)


GK: There are women a man could easily say no to, and she was not one of those women. She was a woman who made me feel privileged just to be breathing air she had recently exhaled. ----What do you need to have washed?


ANGEL: My T-shirt.


GK: She pointed to Mr. Brahms. He had something white on his cheek.


ANGEL: I got some bird stuff on me on the way down.


GK: I see that. Yeah, that's bird stuff all right. (SAX) She crossed her arms and pulled the T-shirt up over her head. Underneath she wore a Spandex halter so skimpy, if it was cut any shorter, it would've been a belt.


ANGEL: Here. And thanks. Bye. Be careful. (MUSIC)


GK: And here I am, in Berlin, with a nice clean T-shirt, waiting for her to come back. I've looked all over for that watery beer --- been in almost every bierstube in town and haven't come across it yet. (THEME) A dark night in Berlin, a city that knows how to keep its secrets, and here I am, Guy Noir, waiting for a beautiful woman, hoping she'll give me the answers to life's persistent questions. (MUSIC OUT)

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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