Guy Noir
Saturday, October 18, 2003
Listen

(GUY NOIR THEME)

TR: A dark night in a city that knows how to keep its secrets, but on the twelfth 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 the middle of October, one of those days when you look out across the prairie and see the glacier coming. It's flat in Minnesota and from the twelfth floor you can see halfway to Manitoba. Amazing to consider: there's a whole country north of here. Prescription drugs are cheaper up there because, frankly without prescription drugs, nobody'd be able to live in Canada. That's my guess. (KNOCK ON DOOR) Come on in. The door's open. (DOOR OPEN, DOOR CLOSE, FOOTSTEPS)

GK: Yes, sir. What can I do for you?

AF (LOUD, NEW YORK): Mr. Noir, the name's Lewis. Mel F. Lewis. I came because I need your help.

GK: Right. Have a seat.

AF(LOUD, NEW YORK): You want me to sit here? Or over there?

GK: Maybe over there would be better. .

AF(LOUD, NEW YORK): Okay.

GK: What's your problem, Mr. Lewis?

AF(LOUD, NEW YORK): My problem? Let me put it to you straight. I'm 43, I have a good job, my friends say I'm fun to be with, I'm fairly good looking, but I haven't been on a date in the past six years.

GK: Let me ask you a question. When you were in school, did they teach you about indoor voices and outdoor voices, Mr. Lewis?

AF(LOUD, NEW YORK): I attended a rough school, Mr. Noir. At P.S. 89, your voice had to command respect, otherwise guys would eat your lunch.

GK: Okay, but you're in Minnesota now, Mr. Lewis. Nobody's going to eat your lunch, they're going to feed you lunch and ask if you want seconds. Okay?

AF: So, you're saying you think I talk too loud?

GK: Yes.

AF: (A LITTLE SOFTER) How's this?

GK: Loud.

AF: (A LITTLE SOFTER): How about now?

GK: See if you can't come down a little more.

AF: How is this? Any quieter and I won't be able to hear myself.

GK: Okay. That's better. You're from New York, aren't you, Mr. Lewis?

AF (LOUD, NEW YORK): Right. New York. (SOFTER) Sorry. ----Right.

GK: So how long you in town for?

AF: I moved here.

GK: Really? Why?

AF: I grew up in the Bronx, Mr. Noir. And my dream was to live in Manhattan, near Central Park.

GK: Okay.

AF: I saved my money for twenty years and discovered that, in that time, the square footage of the Manhattan apartment I could afford to buy had shrunk to around 18 square feet.

GK: I see.

AF: I worked twenty years to be able to purchase a walk-in closet. .

GK: I understand.

AF: So I moved to Minnesota where the same sum of money bought me a three-bedroom brick home with a yard and a brick patio, a two-car garage, on a tree-shaded street where nobody bothers to have car alarms. For the first time in my life, I can actually sleep at night. I was in psychoanalysis for fifteen years, Mr. Noir. Turns out all I needed was a good night's sleep.

GK: So it's been good for you?

AF: Well, I miss the hot pretzels, but— ehhhhh.

GK: But you want to get a little romance in your life, huh?

AF: I would like that, yes. And I've made an effort to fit in here but I stick out like a sore thumb. I tell people what I think and they turn away. They're offended.

GK: For example?

AF: My neighbor called me up one night and asked me to turn down the stereo and I went over there and beat on the side of his house with a broom handle and I told him if he ever bothered me again I'd rip his lungs right out of his chest.

GK: I see.

AF: I got a little carried away. Now he hasn't spoken to me in two years.

GK: People here are into conflict avoidance.

AF: Every Halloween, I go all out ---- I dress up as a zombie with a nail coming out of my head and I sit on my front steps and moan and the Trick-or-Treaters skip my block and go on to the next.

GK: What sort of work you do, Mr. Lewis? Oftentimes people find romance in their workplace.

AF: I'm in retail. I'm at the cosmetics counter at Donaldson's.

GK: I see.

AF: I sell perfume. Same problem. No customers. I stand in the aisle offering free samples and nobody even makes eye contact.

GK: Well, you're a little intense. If you want to meet single women, maybe you should join a church.

AF: I did. Lutheran

GK: And how's that going?

AF: They're very nice people.

GK: I know that. How are you fitting in?

AF: Can I ask you something: How loud are you supposed to be when you all say the Lord's Prayer together?

GK: How loud are you saying it?

AF: The people in front of me get up and leave.

GK: You're too loud, Mel.

AF: I thought it was supposed to be joyful.

GK: It's a prayer. It's not a cheer. So have you met anybody at church?

AF: I went out with a woman named Jean.

GK: I see. And was that fun?

AF: Myself, I had a great time. She had sort of a dazed look on her face.

GK: And was there a second date?

AF: She got an unlisted phone number after that.

GK: Maybe you talked too much.

AF: What do you mean? What was I supposed to do? Sit there???

GK: Minnesotans like it when no one's talking.

AF: You're kidding.

GK: If they need to hear someone talk, they buy books on tape and listen to them on headphones. Listen. You'll catch on. I'm here to help you. Come on. (BRIDGE) I took him over to Danny's Deli for lunch (FOOTSTEPS)

TK (TEEN): Afternoon, Mr. Noir.

GK: Hi, Wendell. Like you to meet a friend of mine. Mel F. Lewis. From New York City.

TK (TEEN): Pleasure to meet you. What can I get you?

AF: You call this a deli? This isn't a deli. Where is your sturgeon?

TK (TEEN): What?

GK: He means the fish carcasses on ice.

TK (TEEN): Oh, right. We don't carry that stuff anymore. Nobody eats it. But we've got baloney and summer sausage and liverwurst.

AF: And are those bagels or are those glazed doughnuts?

TK (TEEN): These here are bagels. Fresh today.

AF: What kind?

TK (TEEN): Uh, chocolate revel, cranberry, pineapple, and Cajun.

AF: How about poppyseed?

TK (TEEN): Sorry.

AF: How about a pastrami on toast then?

TK (TEEN): And is Melba toast okay?

AF: Never mind. Give me a cranberry bagel with cream cheese.

TK (TEEN): What flavor cream cheese? We've got pimento cream cheese, butterscotch cream cheese, or Florida cream cheese. That's with grapefruit.

AF: How about just butter?

TK (TEEN): Okay, coming up.

AF: Look at that bagel. That's a baguette that they bent into a circle. What kind of a rinky-dink hole in the wall is this, anyway? This is an outrage.

GK: Mel, we don't complain here. That's not how we deal with things.

AF: Why not? What's the matter with these people?

GK: Mel, in Minnesota, when things go wrong, you resign yourself to it and you nurture your resentment for years, and you be extra nice to people and when you can't stand it anymore, you say something passive-aggressive behind their back Okay? (FOOTSTEPS APPROACH)

SS: Hi.

AF: Hi.

SS: Are you the guys who are shooting the underwear commercial? I'm Ingrid. I'm the model. (BRIDGE)

GK: She was tall and long-legged and her blonde hair hung down sort of like what Beethoven had in mind when he wrote the Moonlight sonata. She wore a knit sweater and jeans so tight it looked as if she'd been poured into them and forgot to say When. When she moved, she seemed to undulate under her clothes in ways that took a man's mind off the state of the economy.

SS: I've been wandering around, lost, for hours. I can't figure out this city at all.

AF: You're not from here?

SS: I'm from New York.

AF: New York!! You don't sound like New York.

SS: They taught us how to talk in modeling school.

AF: You're from New York really?

SS: (NY) Yeah and what's it to you, dogbreath? Huh? And whatcha looking at? Ain't you never seen a woman before? Put your eyes back in your head. Jeeze! Of all the weirdos in this town, I had to run into you.

AF: She's from New York all right. Beautiful.---- Where you headed for, sweetheart?

SS:: What business is it of yours? Looking for a store where I can buy some perfume.

AF: Hey. You're in luck. I can get you a deal on Chanel No. 4.

SS:: Never heard of it.

AF: Don't need to hear it, you smell it. (THEY EXIT, TALKING. BRIDGE)

GK: So he went off with the girl and I found me a stool at the bar at the Five Spot, and sat there looking deep into a glass of soda water and lemon.

TR (JIMMY): Kind of early to be down in the dumps, Guy. It's not even January yet.

GK: I'm not down in the dumps. Just brooding. It's a man's right to brood.

TR (JIMMY): Brooding over what?

GK: Oh, the usual stuff.

TR (JIMMY): Mortality---- mutability and change----

GK: Yeah, all that.

TR (JIMMY): The more that changes, the more it stays the same.

GK: And that's supposed to cheer me up?

TR (JIMMY): The rivers flow into the oceans and the oceans are not filled.

GK: Lovely.

TR (JIMMY): The race is not to the swift nor the battle to the strong.....

GK: Is there an extra charge for this?

TR (JIMMY): Just dispensing wisdom. (DOOR OPEN, JINGLE. FOOTSTEPS)

GK: Mr. Lewis----

AF: Hi, Noir.

GK: Jimmy, this is a friend of mine, Mel F. Lewis from New York.

TR (JIMMY): Well, well, well. New York. How about them Yankees?

GK: The man looks like he could use a drink.

AF: Sure. Why not?

TR (JIMMY): How about a Martini? Straight up. Dry. With a twist.

AF: Fine.

TR (JIMMY): Coming right up. ---- You want a gin martini, right?

AF: If it's not too much trouble.

GK: So how's with you and the underwear model? You two went off like a house afire.....

AF: She's okay.

GK: What happened? Things clicked between you? There were sparks? The earth moved?

AF: Yeah.

GK: Well, tell me about it---- so you and she found that you had a lot in common and hours passed and it was like minutes and you went for a walk and the moon was out and you said, “How about you come over to my house?” and she said, “I was hoping you'd say that” and you went to your house and you lit some candles and put on a Sinatra album and opened a bottle of white wine and you looked at her and she looked at you and----

AF: It was nice.

GK: And you fell for her and she for you and it was like all the great love songs come to life, it was like you were in a novel, all your sensations heightened.

AF: Yeah.

GK: So what happened? You two decided to get married or what?

AF: Yeah.

GK: That's terrific. Congratulations. When you getting married?

AF: Tonight, I guess.

GK: Tonight??? You're marrying Ingrid tonight??? You must be the happiest guy in the world.

AF: Yep.

TR (JIMMY): Here's your martini.

AF: Thanks.

TR (JIMMY): Hope it's not too dry. .

AF: It's good.

GK: Mr. Lewis is getting married tonight, Jimmy.

TR (JIMMY): Is that right? Congratulations.

AF: Thanks.

GK: Where you going to go for a honeymoon?

AF: Paris, I guess.

GK: Paris. Wow. Isn't that something? This is the biggest day of your life. Marrying a gorgeous woman. Going to Paris.

AF: Yeah.

GK: Are you all right, Mr. Lewis?

AF: Yeah.

GK: You sure?

AF: Yep.

GK: You're not depressed?

AF: Nope.

GK: You sure?

AF: Yep.

GK: Mind if I make a comment, Mr. Lewis?

AF: Nope.

GK: You were a lot more interesting back when you were unhappy. You know that?

AF: Yep.

GK: There's something kind of tedious about happiness.

AF: Yeah, I suppose.

GK: Well. Anyway.

AF: Yep.

GK: Welcome to Minnesota.

AF: You bet. (THEME)

TR: A dark night in a city that knows how to keep its secrets. But one man is still trying to find the answers to life's persistent questions...Guy Noir, Private Eye. (THEME UP AND 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).

Available now»

American Public Media © |   Terms and Conditions   |   Privacy Policy