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.
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.
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: 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?
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.
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: 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.
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?
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.
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)