January 24, 2004
SS: A dark night in a city that knows how to keep its secrets…but high above the quiet streets 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 end of January when it gets so cold in St. Paul that they go into denial and hold a Winter Carnival and put on parades outdoors and people stand outdoors and watch them ---- bands playing, drum majorettes in their skimpy skirts, queens in convertibles ---- and there's an Ice Palace and ice sculptures and it's a gorgeous thing. I stopped at Danny's Deli and watched it on television and then I got my bagel and cream cheese and ran to my office and threw myself on the radiator and that's where I was when the phone rang. (RING)
SS: Mr. Noir, my name is Sandy Scritch and I'm calling about my parents, Blythe and Durward Scritch. They've disappeared. Two days ago. They were supposed to be in the Winter Carnival parade, in a taichi drill team. But they took off.
GK: I see. Elderly people?
SS: In their seventies.
GK: Do they sometimes get confused, Ms. Scritch?
SS: Yes, but not this time. They've gone to Erie.
GK: Erie, Pennsylvania?
SS: I found their itinerary in the kitchen.
GK: Maybe they're on vacation.
SS: To Erie?
GK: Maybe they have friends there.
SS: They went in a big hurry. They forgot their laptop.
GK: Well, let me have that and I'll find out what happened. BRIDGE)
I took the laptop over to my nephew Buddy and told him to get in it and find out where the Scritches had gone to.
TR (TEEN): But I promised mom I wasn't going to do any more computer hacking. I spent 2 weeks in juvie for hacking into my school's system and changing all my classes to lunch.
GK: This isn't hacking, Buddy, it's trying to find two elderly people who may be disoriented and wandering around----
TR (TEEN): But it's not my laptop----
GK: Get in there and figure out the password and let's open up their e-mail and find out what's happening.
TR(TEEN): But that's spying on people. That's a violation of their rights.
GK: You ever hear about the Patriot Act, Buddy. It's there for our own protection and we're here to protect these poor old people. Old people wander away, they get confused, they go out on the ice thinking they're in the frozen foods section. They reach for an ice chunk thinking it's a pizza and they slip and fall and we find them the next day, dead, with a bunch of coupons in their hands.
TR (TEEN): Well, I'll see what I can do.
GK: I know you can do it. You're a genius, kid. The family's proud of you. (PHONE RING) ---- I'll answer it, you keep working---- (PICK UP) Hello?
SS (ON PHONE): Guy?
GK: Hi, Georgena. Listen, Buddy's working on something, he can't come to the phone right now.
SS (ON PHONE): (TWO BEATS) Aren't you going to ask me how I am?
GK: I was just about to but first I wanted to get a paper and pencil so I could take notes. How are you?
SS (ON PHONE): Terrible. Never felt worse. Tired all the time, and I can't sleep and I can't eat, I got stomach acid and I'm eating Rolaids like candy and it does nothing. Nothing. Only thing I can eat is pimentos. A pimento sandwich for lunch and that's about it. My feet are killing me, I've had a cold since July, did I mention the headaches --- I get these headaches ----- sometimes I feel this band tightening around my chest so it feels like I'm having a heart attack, I get dizzy, sweat breaks out on my forehead, I'm panting like a dog, but other than that, I can't complain.
GK: See a doctor.
SS (ON PHONE): Aw, whadda they know? They'll tell me I got too much stress. As if I didn't know. They'd have stress too if they couldn't breathe.
GK: Well, if something's wrong with you, find out about it-----
SS (ON PHONE): What do you mean, "if something's wrong"----- IF something's wrong ----- I just told you what's wrong. Anyway, don't worry about it. What are you eating?
GK: I'm not eating.
SS (ON PHONE): You've got food there.
GK: How do you know that?
SS (ON PHONE): I'm your sister. ----- You got a bagel, right?
GK: Yes, it's a bagel.
SS (ON PHONE): What kind? Is it sesame? I used to love sesame.
GK: Actually it's cranberry.
SS (ON PHONE): I'd give anything to have a bagel.
GK: You can't have them?
SS (ON PHONE): For me, it would be a carbohydrate bomb. I'd fall over dead.
GK: I'm sorry. I really am.
SS (ON PHONE): But listen: I didn't call to talk about me. I called to ask you a favor, Guy.
GK: What's that?
SS (ON PHONE): I hate to do it because I know how busy you are.
GK: What can I do for you/
SS (ON PHONE):And I've asked you so many favors in the past, I feel ashamed of myself for even asking.
GK: Asking what, Georgene?
SS (ON PHONE): I'm bothering you right now, aren't I. You've got people there.
GK: Georgene, there's nobody here but Buddy.
SS (ON PHONE): I'm bothering you, I can tell by the sound in your voice.
GK: What's the favor?
SS (ON PHONE): Now I've made you upset. I'm sorry. I'm sorry I bothered you, I won't do it ever again.
GK: Georgene, please----
SS (ON PHONE): It's okay. It's nothing. Probably it'll go away.
GK: What do you need? You want me to go to the drugstore and get you some Maalox?
SS (ON PHONE): No, no, no. Listen. Forget that I called you. Okay? Just go on with what you were doing and forget that you spoke to me. Can you do that?
GK: Georgene, why are we having this conversation?
SS (ON PHONE): I'm bothering you now and I know it and I'll just hang up and go away.
GK: Georgene, life is supposed to be pleasurable. That's why there's music and painting, theater ---- that's why there are caramel rolls. honey, you don't have to live in this dark hole of suffering-----
SS (ON PHONE): I'm sorry I bothered you and I won't ever do it again and you better eat that bagel before it gets cold.
GK: You want to go to a movie?
SS: No, but you go. Go to a movie and have a wonderful time. Okay? Enjoy. (HANG UP, DIAL TONE)
TR: How's my Mom?
GK: She's just fine. What did you find out about the old people?
TR: Well, they're part of a drug-dealing ring.
GK: In Erie?
TR: It's all here in their hard-drive. They're working out of a senior citizen day activity center in the basement of a Unitarian church. They and some of their geezer friends bought a Meals on Wheels van and six motorized wheelchairs and they're going into Canada with their handicapped parking permit, posing as physically challenged people, and they're bringing back prescription drugs concealed in the flaps of their long underwear.
GK: I suppose the border guards hesitate to check under the flaps.
TR (TEEN): They're smuggling drugs in hollow canes and urine pouches and their toupees are laced with beta-blockers and they're doing it posing as a Unitarian People to People program. (BRIDGE0
GK: So I flew to Erie and found the Unitarian church, The House of the Sacred Whatever, and the senior citizen center with big posters of Canada and an enormous wall tapestry that said, "Somebody or Something Loves You" and then----
TR (OLD MAN): Hey there fella. You looking for some Viagra?
GK: I don't think so, Pops.
TR (OLD MAN): How about a little pick-me-up? I got some treats in my dialysis bag.
GK: What you got?
TR (OLD MAN): Got Prozac, Zooloft, got Prilosec down here in my orthopedic inserts, and I got Celebrex. How about you, honey?
GK: Oh, hello, ma'am.
SS (OLD LADY): You ever try Paxil, mister? It's beautiful. Here. Try half a tablet. You want me to crush it in jelly? Take it. It's good. Half a Paxil and watch "Singing In The Rain" and you're like a new person.
GK: Selling prescription drugs from Canada is against the law, folks. I imagine you know that.
TR (OLD MAN): Aw, go blow bubbles in your milk. I went to Canada to avoid the draft in the 60s, you think I'm gonna worry about that?
SS (OLD WOMAN): I've got a thousand doses of Vioxx in my support hose. Got some Pravachol, Skelaxin, Trimox, Flonase. You got problems tinkling, I've got stuff that'll clear that up in a shot. Huh?
GK: Look, I'm not interested
TR (OLD MAN): Well maybe you'll be interested in this. (STING)
GK: What's this?
TR (OLD MAN): It's a new drug that the FDA hasn't approved yet because the FDA is controlled by a bunch of goody two-shoes, but they got it in Canada, it's called Genuflex.
TR (OLD MAN): It's powerful stuff. I crush it and mix it with my dental adhesive.
GK: What does it do?
TR (OLD MAN): It makes you feel young, dude. It's an age inhibitor.
SS (OLD LADY): Ever since he got on the Genuflex, he's been like a kid.
TR (OLD MAN): I'm seventy-six years old and I spend up to six hours a day playing video games.
GK: So it works, huh?
TR (OLD MAN): It's awesome. It goes right to your disappointment receptors which cause aging and it shuts them down.
GK: I'm looking for a couple from St. Paul. Blythe and Durward.
SS (OLD LADY): That's us. What you want? You're not the fuzz, are you?
GK: Your daughter sent me. She's worried about you. You were supposed to be in the Winter Carnival parade.
TR (OLD MAN): We were gonna and then we ran out of drugs.
SS (OLD LADY): What do you say we give you some free samples and you turn around and go back to St. Paul and forget what you saw here today.
GK: Well, if some of that Genuflex accidentally fell into my coat pocket, I don't suppose I'd put up a fuss.
TR (OLD MAN): Whoops! Dropped it! Where did it go? Oh, well.
GK: What do you want me to tell your daughter?
SS (OLD LADY): Tell her to get off my back. We're happy and that's all that matters. Let's go out to the car and neck, honey.
TR (OLD MAN): Soon as the snow melts, we're gonna get out the skateboards and have us a big time. (BRIDGE)
GK: I headed back to St. Paul and the Winter Carnival and the Ice Palace and somewhere between Erie and home, those little green pills fell out of my coat pocket but some of the chemical must've rubbed off on my right index finger and whenever I stick that in my ear, I start to feel all warm and happy. (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)