Saturday, October 30, 2004
(GUY NOIR THEME)
SS: 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
GK: It was Halloween and I was in my office, finishing up the Swanson case. A nice family, generous people, community-minded, lovely home, beautiful children, but the father had breath in the morning that could strip wallpaper—and the family hired me as a truth teller. Is this Mr. Swanson?
TR (RICH GUY, ON PHONE): Yes, this is he.
GK: You don't know me but I have to tell you. Your breath would knock a buzzard off a septic tank.
TR (RICH GUY, ON PHONE): Oh. Really. (BRIDGE)
GK: I get a lot of jobs like that now. I used to be the guy you called to find out whose lipstick that was on Uncle Sig's left index knuckle where he lay in the solarium having been brained by the potted palm. Now I'm the guy you send to tell Daddy to use breath mints. Oh well. Sic transit gloria mundi, and so forth. I was just dozing off in my chair when (PHONE RING) I jumped when the phone rang and knocked it off the desk. (CRASH, CLUNKS) Picked up the receiver—
SS (BREATHY, ON PHONE): Hi. Guess you got excited, huh. That's nice. You remember me?
GK: I hope so. I'd like to.
SS (BREATHY, ON PHONE): It's been a few years, Guy.
GK: Give me a hint.
SS: The Kit Kat Club. You were sitting at ringside.
SS: I was dancing under the name Honey Peterson.
GK: Right. A stripper. The lower region Norwegian. I remember you were working with a small flag and two small pieces of lefse.
SS: You have a good memory.
GK: Well, that's almost all I have.
SS: So how are you, Guy?
GK: Right now?
GK: Sort of dazed. Overwhelmed, in fact. What can I do for you?
SS: Could you come over? To my house?
GK: Well, I sure don't know why not. (BRIDGE) And that was how she conned me into taking her three kids, Jared, Tyler, and Brittany, around trick-or-treating.
SS: They've been looking forward to it for weeks.
GK: I'm sure, but why me? Wouldn't it be a more meaningful experience for them if you or their father were to go?
SS: Their father is busy with his campaign for the legislature. We haven't seen him for months. And I need to rest my ankle. I need to go lie down.
GK: I don't know how to trick-or-treat.
SS: It's only for a couple of hours and afterwards we can go have a drink and get reacquainted. (BRIDGE) (OUTDOOR NIGHT AMBIENCE) Her son Jared was dressed as a cowboy with little six-guns and a hat and in his pocket, I soon found, he had quite a few cherry bombs.
TR (KID): Have you ever seen somebody put a cherry bomb down a toilet, Mr. Noir?
GK: Jared, that's not the sort of thing nice people do.
TR (KID): I did it once and it was really neat.
GK: Well, we're not going to do it tonight. We're going to go trick-or-treating.
TR (KID): That's the trick. If they don't give us the right candy, then, blammo, I blow up their toilet. It's a pre-emptive strategy.
GK: Well, not on my watch, Jared. The little girl Brittany was dressed as a ghost and she had a very bad cold.
SS (CHILD): (BLOWS NOSE) (BLOWS AGAIN, HARD)
GK: Don't use your costume for a handkerchief, Brittany.
SS (CHILD): Oh. Okay. (SHE SNIFFLES) You got a hanky, Mr. Noir?
GK: Right. Here. (SS BLOWS) Something tells me I'm going to have a cold next week.
SS (CHILD): I have to go potty.
GK: Don't say that, Brittany
SS (CHILD): I have to go really bad.
TK (CHILD): So do I—
GK: You couldn't have gone before you left home?
TK (CHILD): I have to go really really bad.
GK: Tyler was wearing a pumpkin costume and I looked at him and I could see how long it would take me to get it off him, so I thought we'd better find a toilet. Is there a gas station near here, kids?
TR (CHILD): No.
GK: A school? A church?
TK (CHILD): We're lost! (CRY OF FEAR)
GK: Don't do that—is there a senior citizens center?
SS (CHILD): We don't know. We just stay in and watch videos, we never go outside.
GK: Well, there's got to be a place around here—
SS (CHILD): Can I have your hanky again, Mr. Noir?
SS (CHILD): I feel like I'm going to throw up.
GK: Oh my gosh. It's just puking and peeing and snot with you kids.
TR (CHILD): I could light a cherry bomb and then the cops would come and they'd know where there's a toilet.
GK: No thanks. And just then I saw an old lady standing in an open doorway of a big house— (FOOTSTEPS) Ma'am?
SS (OLD LADY): Yes? (SLIGHTLY OMINOUS CHORDS)
GK: Would you mind if we used your toilet?
SS (OLD LADY): No, not at all.
GK: The kids need to—you know.
SS (OLD LADY): Mmmmmm. What a nice little boy. Your finger is so nice and plump.
TK (CHILD): Thank you.
SS (OLD LADY): Would you like to come in and look at my oven? I can't seem to get it to work.
GK: We don't do ovens. We just need a toilet.
SS (OLD LADY): I just need someone to put their head into the oven and see if the pilot light is on.
GK: Call the gas company, ma'am.
SS (OLD LADY): I did but they sent me a man who was so skinny.
GK: Listen. Come on, kids. Let's go find another house. Where's Jared?
TK (CHILD): He went inside.
GK: Ma'am, did a little kid in a cowboy outfit just slip in here?
SS (OLD LADY): Wait. My husband wants to say hello. Igor? Igor????? We have trick-or-treaters at the door. (SLOW FOOTSTEPS, DRAGGING ONE FOOT, TK MUMBLING) Lovely little ones. (SHE CHUCKLES)
GK: No need to trouble your husband, ma'am, just send out the boy in the cowboy suit if you don't mind. Jared?
TK (IGOR): Come in. Please. We have a very nice toilet. With terrycloth toilet seat covers. And nice liquid soap. Come— come in.
GK: You know, I'd love to, but I just need to get the little boy in the cowboy outfit.
TR (DRACULA, CLOSE): Don't go. Come in. (VAMPIRE BREATHING)
GK: A man in a cape stood just behind me, his hand on my shoulder. His hand was cold. His face was white and lumpy like New England Clam Chowder.
SS (CHILD): Oh boy. Now I really have to go potty.
GK: Easy, Brittany. It's okay.
TR (DRACULA, CLOSE): We've been waiting for you.
GK: I'd love to stay longer, but I'm going around trick or treating with my kids.
TR (DRACULA): I love children.
SS (CHILD): I am just about to go potty, Mr. Noir.
TR (DRACULA): Come in. I have a special knack for finding children. Perhaps he went down into the crypt.
SS (OLD LADY): Come in and we'll fix the oven and soon we'll have us a wonderful wonderful dinner!!!! (SHE LAUGHS)
GK: I tried to think fast. Garlic. Did I have any? A crucifix? A mirror? And then the old lady's husband pulled out a hypodermic— (HIGHPITCHED BOINGNGNGNG OF VERY FINE METALLIC POINT)
TK (IGOR): Novocaine, Mr. Noir. This will keep you nice and numb until Christmas.
SS (FLAT VOICE, YOUNG WOMAN): And by Christmas you won't be on this planet any more.
GK: All of a sudden, a young woman with one blue eye in the middle of her forehead stood in front of me. (LOW MUSICAL HUM)
SS: You'll be on your way to the galaxy of Klephton. You'll be one of my femors. Working in the Margon, making krainisite out of pemlar.
GK: I don't think so, ma'am. And just then Jared appeared and I saw him light the match to the cherry bomb. (EXPLOSION. SS CRY OF RAGE. TK SAVAGE SHOUT. CRASH OF METALLIC OBJECTS. GLASS BREAKAGE) The man in the cape grabbed my shoulder and I turned and whacked him and his head came off (BONK, CLOMP, ROLLING) and rolled across the porch. The space alien grabbed at me (SS EFFORT. WHACK. GK OOFFF) just as old Igor jabbed the needle (SS CRY) and it went right into her eyeball and (SS MONOTONE HUM, DESCENDING) and she fell to the floor and then a little ghost and a cowboy and a boy in a pumpkin suit and I took off running (FAST FOOTSTEPS, CHILDREN'S HEAVY BREATHING) —let's go, kids—run!
SS (CHILD): I don't need to go potty anymore, Mr. Noir.
GK: Oh? Why? (RUNNING FOOTSTEPS) Never mind. I don't want to know. and I didn't stop. I tore up the street and across the street (HORNS HONKING, TRAFFIC ZOOMING PAST) and ran smack into the ghost of Jacob Marley—
(TR OOFFF, RATTLE OF CHAINS)
TR (MOANING, BRIT): I wear the chains I forged in life—
GK: Well, just deal with it.
TR (MOANING, BRIT): Tomorrow you will be visited by the first of three ghosts—
GK: You know, after what I've been through, ghosts would be welcome. (FOOTSTEPS WALKING) And a minute later I was at Honey Peterson's house and the kids went upstairs to change their clothes...
SS (BREATHY): Hi. Thanks for taking them trick-or-treating. But where's the candy?
GK: We decided not to go for candy this year. Just the experience was enough.
SS (BREATHY): I know they're a handful. I really appreciate it.
GK: Hey. They're great kids. Weak kidneys, but hey—that's okay—
SS (BREATHY): Listen. Something came up. I'm going to have to take a rain check.
GK: You can't— get reacquainted?
SS (BREATHY): Not tonight. Some other time. I'll give you a call. Thanks so much. (AIR KISSES) Bye. (DOOR CLOSE) (BRIDGE)
GK: I stood there for a minute, looking at my shattered hopes strewn on the pavement, and I headed down to the Five Spot. (DOOR OPEN, JINGLE, CLOSE. FOOTSTEPS) And there at the bar sat a familiar face.
TR (BUSH): Hey. How's it goin? Good to see ya.
GK: His eyes were a little glazed and he had a glass of what appeared to be whiskey in front of him.
TR (BUSH): Just taking a little break from campaignin'.
GK: Big week for you, huh?
TR (BUSH): Yeah. My last campaign. Kind of emotional. And then the World Series on top of it. Still trying to come to grips with that one.
GK: You weren't rooting for the Red Sox?
TR (BUSH): Houston.
GK: Oh, right. The Astros. Well, they put up a good fight against the Cards.
TR (BUSH): "Good fight" doesn't cut it in my book. They kind of got their astros kicked. But where'd these Red Sox come from? I don't get it. Kind of a flip-flop team. Centerfielder with long hair. What kind of a deal is that? Got some leftwinger out in center? Huh?
GK: You had money on the Yanks, huh?
TR (BUSH): Quite a bit.
GK: Well, you win some, you lose some.
TR (BUSH): What kind of a thing is that to say to a man? Huh? I think I'm going to find me a different bar.
GK: Sorry, pal.
TR (BUSH): No point sitting here flapping my chops with you. I'm gonna hit the bricks. (FOOTSTEPS AWAY)
GK: So long. See you in the funny papers.
(GUY NOIR THEME)
SS: A dark night in a city that knows how to keep its secrets, but high above the busy 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