Saturday, November 27, 2004
Sue Scott: A dark night in a city that knows how to keep its secrets. But on the 12th floor of the Acme building, one man is still trying to find the answers to life's persistent questions: Guy Noir, Private Eye. (MUSIC FADE)
Garrison Keillor: I got up early on Thanksgiving and heard on the radio that there were major air traffic delays so I called up my sister Georgina and told her maybe I couldn't come for dinner after all—
SS (ON PHONE): But I live in Minnetonka, Guy.
GK: Oh right.
SS (ON PHONE): Just west of Minneapolis. Remember?
GK: Sure. See you later. (BRIDGE)
For years I've gotten out of having to host Thanksgiving by letting my family think that I'd just become vegetarian. So I went to Georgina's and the combination of tryptophan and listening to my brother-in-law talk about his medical problems put me right to sleep and when I woke up— (FIREMEN TALK) there was the fire department using the Jaws of Life to extract me from a La-Z-boy recliner — (FIREMEN INSTRUCTIONS, CRUNCHING, BENDING METAL) (BRIDGE)
The day after Thanksgiving was cold and rainy, the kind of day that it takes a special kind of person to enjoy, and we have a lot of special people here. They were all out Christmas shopping. (RING, PICK UP) — Yeah, Noir here.
Tim Russell (ON PHONE): Mr. Noir, it's Ken down at Dayton's Department Store. Listen, I got a mob on my hands — (OFF) Get back! Get away! — it's out of control, Guy. People are climbing up each other's backs. (SHOUTS & CRIES)
GK: Sorry, I don't do security anymore. I don't care for the headsets. (BRIDGE)
I spent Friday afternoon writing my Christmas letter (COMPUTER KEYS CLICKING) all about how at this stage of my life emotional fulfillment is more important than material gains and suddenly (COMPUTER BUZZ) the screen went blank and there was a warning message (TK ELECTRONIC VOICE: I CAN'T REMEMBER WHAT YOU JUST WROTE. IT'S ALL A BIG BLANK.) and it crashed and before I could get control of myself, I had thrown it down on the floor (CRASH) and kicked it (GLASS BREAKAGE). (BRIDGE)
I went for a walk to try to get a grip on myself (CITY AMBIENCE, TRAFFIC PASSING, FOOTSTEPS) and headed over to the East Side of St. Paul, which I've always liked because it reminds me of the Fifties. Kids everywhere playing mumblety-peg and Ring-a-Lario (CHILDREN'S VOICES) —kids sitting on the stoop reading Popeye comics and drinking Nesbit's Orange Crush. I walked past Don's Diner —eggs and hash browns, $1.29, and the East Side Haberdashery with a window full of fedoras and there was a shop that said TYPEWRITERS. (STING, DOOR OPEN, DINGLE, CLOSE)
GK: You sell typewriters?
TR: That's what the sign says.
GK: I used to have an old Underwood. I sure miss it.
TR: Got an Underwood right here. Same as the Underwood you had.
GK: Really. How'd you know what—
TR: I sold you that Underwood.
TR: Nineteen sixty-two.
GK: Huh. I forgot all about it.
TR: I didn't. I remember it very well.
GK: (ROLL PAPER IN) Gosh that feels good. Real paper. (TYPING). The quick brown dog jumps over the lazy fox. (TYPING) Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their party. (DING, CARRIAGE RETURN) Boy that feels good. Throw that carriage back—
TR: I got some ribbons back here (FOOTSTEPS AWAY) — just a sec—(MYSTERY BRIDGE)
GK: He went into the backroom and turned on some lights and —
TR (OFF): Come on in.
GK: You want me to come back there?
TR (OFF): Come on back.
GK: You couldn't bring the typewriter ribbons out here?
TR (OFF): Come on back. I'm all ready for you. (CHILL CHORD)
GK: Ready for what?
TR (OFF): All set.
SS: Remember me, Noir? (STING)
GK: She was standing behind me, a bony woman in a starched white uniform, and she held my elbow in an iron grip.
SS: I was his sister.
GK: Whose sister?
SS: You don't remember my brother? He liked to give people chloroform and then dress them up in costumes and force food down their throats?
GK: Now I remember. (CHILL CHORD) The Stuffer. (STING) I thought he was in prison.
TR: I got out on Tuesday, Mr. Noir. And I never forgot who helped put me there.
SS: It was you. You identified the typewriter that he used to write his "dinner invitations"—
GK: You're evil. Both of you. And you're crazy as a hoot owl.
TR: Oh? (HE LAUGHS)
SS: I think we're extremely normal. (SHE LAUGHS)
TR: Extremely!!! Ha ha ha ha.
GK: Listen to me. You were abused as children and forced to eat. But we can get help for you—
SS: We don't need help. We're going to super-size you, Mr. Noir.
TR: We're going to stuff you like a knockwurst. Until you've got food coming out your ears.
SS: I wonder how much he can hold.
TR: I've got a twenty-pound turkey and a gallon of mashed potatoes for starters. Ha ha ha ha ha.
SS: Don't forget the candied yams. Ha ha ha ha ha.
TR: And the pumpkin pie. A great big one.
SS: With whipped cream. And we'll wash it down with a bottle of wine and a gallon of coffee.
GK: You'll never get away with it — (STRUGGLE)
TR: Take a deep breath.
SS: It's only chloroform.
GK: No, no— (DREAM DISTORTION, REVERB) No— no. No— (DREAM CHORDS) (REVERB FOLLOWING)
SS (OLDER): Have more potatoes.
GK: No, Mom. No—
SS (OLDER): Don't you like my potatoes?
GK: I don't want any more?
SS (OLDER): How can you say that? To your own mother?
GK: I've had enough.
SS (OLDER): I made these for you.
TR: How can you treat your mother like that?? Eat your potatoes. You're not going anywhere until you eat everything in that wheelbarrow.
GK: No. Please. No— No— (COMING OUT OF DREAM REVERB) No.— No. — Where am I? (SLAPPING)
TR (IRISH): Wake up, Noir. Wake up—
GK: Captain McCafferty—
TR (IRISH): Thank goodness we got here when we did.
GK: Where am I?
TR (IRISH): You're in the ambulance, Mr. Noir. We got to you just as he was starting in on the second pumpkin pie. You would've been a goner for sure.
GK: My ribs hurt. Ohhhhhh—
TR (IRISH): We got the Stuffer and we're putting him away for good. He's stuffed his last victim.
GK: What did he put in me?
TR (IRISH): You don't want to know, Noir. It's a miracle you're still alive.
GK: I taste garlic. Was there something with garlic in it?
TR (IRISH): I believe there was. Dr. Flexner? Was there a dish containing garlic in the Stuffer's kitchen?
SS (FLEXNER): There was a garlic-flavored sweet potato puree.
GK: That must've been it.
TR (IRISH): We'll have you to the hospital in minutes, Noir. They'll pump out your stomach. You'll be just fine.
GK: There wouldn't be any more of that puree, would there?
GK: He was a sick man, the Stuffer. But he had a very nice Underwood typewriter. I took it back to the office and I put a paper in it (FEED PAPER INTO ROLLER) — and I started writing my Christmas letter. (TYPING) "Dear Friends, Two-thousand four. What a year." I was going to write the stuff about emotional fulfilment being more important than material gain, but you know, it's harder to write nonsense on those old Underwoods. So I just wrote, "Time for all good men to come to the aid of their party. Yours sincerely, Guy Noir." (THEME)
TR: A dark night in a city that knows how to keep its secrets but on the 12th floor of the Acme Building, one man is trying to find the answers to life's persistent questions...Guy Noir, Private Eye.