Guy Noir
Saturday, January 24, 2009

Listen (MP3)
Listen (RealAudio)

(SUSPENSEFUL ORGAN)

SS: When George and Laura Bush got into the Marine Corps helicopter and the blades began to turn (CHOPPER) and the big bird lifted up over the Capitol and headed for Andrews Air Force base, everyone assumed they were flying to Texas. In fact, George was in a flight suit, at the controls of an F-18, and headed for Duluth, Minnesota.

TR (BUSH): Mission not accomplished yet. And even though I've been demoted in rank, I still have a job to do. And I won't rest until it's done. (JET TAKEOFF)

SS: The silver bird flew north (JET ZOOMING PAST OVERHEAD), heading toward Duluth, the Naples of the North. The nature of the mission — to investigate the recount of the recount of ballots in the race for U.S. Senator from Minnesota. (THEME)

SS: 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.

GK: It was January and cold in Minnesota. Which is redundant. It's like saying it was January and it was cold in Minnesota. My cash flow was frozen. And so when I got a call to help settle the race for U.S. Senate in Minnesota, I said yes. The best-selling author Al Franken was virtually tied with the comedian Norm Coleman — Franken leading Coleman by 225 votes out of nearly three million cast — so of course it was Coleman offering me money to take on the case.

TR (COLEMAN): There is something very fishy going on in Biwabik, Noir. I want you to look into it. It's very important to this country that I win this race and not the frivolous and frankly frightening Al Franken. And I suspect it's Canadians doing the dirty work.

GK: You have evidence for this, sir?

TR (COLEMAN): I have a friend flying in from Washington today who's going to dig it up. And I'd like you to be on the team. I'll pay $500 a day and a bonus of two pounds of beef jerky for the cold.

GK: Make it $600 and you've got a deal.

TR (COLEMAN): Five-fifty.

GK: Five seventy-five.

TR (COLEMAN): Five-fifty-one.

GK: A thousand.

TR (COLEMAN): Okay, six hundred. (BRIDGE)

GK: So I flew up to Duluth aboard Blue Goose Airline, which has even fewer frills than other airlines.

SS (ON P.A.): As you store your luggage, please remember that there is a $20 charge for use of the overhead. Correct change is appreciated. There are two lavatories on the plane, one forward and one to the rear. There is a charge for their use, $5 for No. 1 and $10 for No. 2. If you would like a seat belt, flight attendants will be coming down the aisle, offering them for $3 apiece. There is an additional fee of $8 if you wish to use the steps to exit the airplane.

GK: I was to rendezvous with Norm Coleman's Washington friend behind a dumpster outside the Duluth airport and I spotted him right away. He was bundled up in a flight suit and he wore a Plexiglass helmet, dark blue, but I knew right away who it was.

TR (BUSH): I never trusted those Canadians. Sitting up there in the snow, pretending to be like us, just waiting their chance to dash south and do their mischief. And now they've done it. Trying to steal an election. Elect a U.S. Senator.

GK: But I thought you'd flown to Texas, sir. I saw you on TV, getting on the plane, waving goodbye.

TR (BUSH): That was a dummy. Heh heh heh heh. Not me. A dummy.

GK: So what makes you think there's something going on in Biwabik?

TR (BUSH): Because Biwabik spelled backwards is Kibawib. And Kibawib is the code word we found on a laundry slip that was in the pocket of a man named John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt.

GK: Name is familiar.

TR (BUSH): Exactly my point. And there are two Jingleheimers in Toronto. Two of them. And Toronto is in Canada. I checked to make sure. Where's Biwabik?

GK: Not far, sir.

TR (BUSH): What I'm going to do is go undercover as a Canadian and when I meet a suspected Canuck I will speak to him or her in French, seeing as they are a bilateral country, and if they respond in French, then I know they're not American. Comprende?

GK: Gotcha.

TR (BUSH): We're going to take this jet-powered snowmachine to Biwabik and catch these Canadians trying to take away our freedoms. Get in. (TWO SNOWMACHINE DOORS OPEN, CLOSE. ENGINE STARTS, REVS. INTERIOR P.O.V.)

GK: Quite a machine. You look pretty happy, sir.

TR (BUSH): I'm a man with a mission, Noir. I wasn't meant to settle down and retire in Dallas. Write a memoir. Build a library, for heavens sake. Me and libraries aren't exactly copacetic. I'm a leader, not a reader. Let's go. (ENGINE REVS, MACHINE SPEEDS OFF. BRIDGE)

(CLINK OF GLASSWARE)

SS (DORIS): Care for another root beer, sir?

GK: No thanks. Still working on this one.

SS (DORIS): You folks new to Biwabik? You and Mr. Bubblehead?

GK: Ma'am, the protective headgear is to protect him from germs. His immune system is kind of at low ebb because he's been isolated from human contact for so long. So he's got to wear that thing.

SS (DORIS): Oh, I thought maybe it got stuck because his head got too big. (CELLPHONE RING)

TR (BUSH): I think that's me. (PICKUP) Yeah. Code Purple, state the password.

TR (CHENEY): It's me, George. It's Dick.

TR (BUSH): I know that but I gotta ask you the password.

TR (CHENEY): I've been at your side for eight years and I've gotta say a password?

TR (BUSH): This is a top-secret operation, Cheney. Say the password or I will press the button that sets off the stink bomb in your pants.

TR (CHENEY): Goosey Lucy.

TR (BUSH): Okay, that's better. What'd you call to tell me?

TR (CHENEY): You really want to know?

TR (BUSH): I assume you called to tell me something.

TR (CHENEY): I called to say, I love you.

TR (BUSH): I didn't read that.

TR (CHENEY): Did you find the flowers I put in the cockpit?

TR (BUSH): I'm not reading you, Cheney. Sorry. (CLICK) Wrong number.

GK: So where's the vice-president?

TR (BUSH): At an undisclosed location in Wyoming.

GK: I thought Wyoming is an undisclosed location.

TR (BUSH): (CLEARS THROAT, FRENCH SENTENCE, SLOW, CAREFUL)

SS: What's he jabbering about?

GK: He's Canadian. They all do that.

TR (BUSH): (FRENCH)

SS: What's he saying?

GK: He's saying he thinks Al Franken is the best thing since glazed doughnuts.

SS: Oh. Well, I wouldn't know about that. I voted Republican this year.

TR (BUSH): That's not what you told your sister on November 5th. Eleven-oh-five in the a.m. You want to see a transcript of that? Got a copy of it in my shoe.

SS: Do I know you? Is he who I think he is?

GK: Depends on what you mean by that, ma'am. (CELLPHONE RING) That's me. (PICKUP) Yeah, Guy Noir here.

TR (FRANKEN): This is Al, Guy. Al Franken. Remember? We were pals and now you're working for the other side. Why?

GK: They offered me money, Al. Sorry. A man's got to eat.

TR (FRANKEN): I am a worthy human being, Guy. I'm smart enough, I'm good enough, and doggone it, people like me.

GK: I do too. Where you calling from?

TR (FRANKEN): I'm in Washington. They gave me a temporary office in the Library of Congress. In the reading room.

GK: I'll let you know when this thing gets settled, Al. Take care. (BRIDGE) I got Captain Bush out of Mike's Bar and we walked down the Main Street of Biwabik. (TRUCK PASSES, THEN A COUPLE CARS, A SNOWMOBILE, ANOTHER TRUCK) You walk through town with a guy in a flight suit and a dark-blue Plexiglass bubble on his head, and you're going to draw some comments.

TK (ROUGH): Hey— Pinhead— you awake in there?

GK: Just back off, fella. And put that shovel down—

TK (ROUGH): Whatcha got there? Some kinda space alien? Huh? (BWANGGGG) (HE WALKS AWAY, LAUGHING)

GK: Big bully. If you were smaller than me, I'd come after you. You okay, sir?

TR (BUSH): Boy, didn't see that coming.

GK: You okay in there?

TR (BUSH): I don't know. Something just sort of clicked in my brain.

GK: We better take the helmet off you—

TR (BUSH): Yeah. Something's wrong.

GK: Hold still. (HE PULLS HARD, SQUEAKING, THEN POP) There. You okay, Mr. President?

TR (BUSH): Why'd I do that? Nominate Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court? She wasn't even a good office manager. That was dumb. And starting that war. Wrong war, wrong place. Impulse control. I should've known. And Katrina. Boy. Sat there watching it on TV— I thought it was a movie. Dumb dumb dumb. And then trying to put the Social Security fund into the stock market. What a lulu of an idea that was. I was dumb. Face it.

GK: Boy, that guy really whacked you.

TR (BUSH): It was just plain dumb. Dumb dumb dumb.

GK: I better get you to a hospital.

TR (BUSH): Legacy! What legacy? Idiocy, that's what. A presidential library?? You could put all my accomplishments in one text message. Why didn't I see this before? Why? (BRIDGE)

GK: The blow from the man's shovel had affected the shame cortex in the former president's brain and he had to be hospitalized and sedated. (VENT, BEEPS) TR (BUSH, DOPY): Stem cell research. Wrong again. Who was writing my speeches? Why did I sleep so much? Why? (FADES INTO BRIDGE)

GK: Meanwhile I the Biwabik elementary school, which was the polling place.

SS: The ballots are all here, Mr. Noir. (HAMSTERS)

GK: In the hamster cages?

SS: We did the recount already — thought we were done.

GK: You're using old ballots for hamster bedding? (HAMSTERS)

SS: Just grab hold of the little fellas and (HAMSTER PROTEST) we'll count 'em again. (BRIDGE)

GK: So we looked at the ballots. There were two-hundred and twenty-five of them . Enough to wipe out Al Franken's lead. (CELLPHONE RING) (PICKUP) Yeah?

TR (COLEMAN): Norm Coleman here. Just want you to know how important this is. Al Franken, Al Qaeda. Get my drift?

GK: Yes, sir. Later, sir. (CLICK) Hard to figure out these ballots. (PAPER SHUFFLING) They've got little black marks all over them.

SS: That's hamster poop.

GK: I see that. And some of the hamsters voted Republican and some voted Democratic. And apparently that's true of the voters too.

SS: Exactly. So what's the big fuss aboot?

GK: What'd you say?

SS: What's the big fuss aboot?

GK: Ma'am, I'd like to see your passport.

SS: It's oot in the car.

GK: Let's get it.

SS: Okay. I confess. I'm from up there.

GK: A frostback.

SS: Look— I'm a Canadian conservative. You know what that's like. It's lonely. So I came down here and voted. And that's what it's all aboot.

GK: So you voted Republican?

SS: Of course.

GK: Aha. (STING) So actually Al Franken's majority is two-hundred and twenty-six votes out of nearly three million cast. Not a landslide, not a mandate, but Karl Rove had governed on less than that. but Mr. Bush had governed with a minus majority, so — I went back to Mike's Bar —where a singer was on stage (PIANO)

HEATHER (SINGING FLAT):
Missed the Saturday dance,
It was on the North Shore
But it's just too darn cold out
don't get around much anymore

Thought I'd visit the club,
Maybe go to the store
But I just couldn't bear it
Don't get around much anymore

TR (BUSH): Pretty good singer, huh?

GK: Mr. President—

TR (BUSH): Captain Bush, now. I escaped from the hospital. Heh heh heh heh heh. Tied some sheets together and out I went. Came in here because it's dark and these hospital gowns don't cover your hinder.

GK: I better get you a parka, Mr. President. Is that a beer you're drinking?

TR (BUSH): A Leinenkugel. And after this I intend to have another one.

GK: I thought you were on the wagon, sir.

TR (BUSH): If a man does so poorly when he's sober, maybe it's time he tried something else. Here's to you, sir. —Across the lips and over the gums, look out, liver, cause here she comes! (CLUNK)

GK: Better take off the helmet first, sir.

HEATHER (SINGS): I was heading for town
Put my hand on the door
And the handle was frozen
Don't get around much anymore.

TR (BUSH): Hey, I like this song. Kinda gets me in a sensitive place. (HE SINGS)

People booing at me
Cause I started that war
I'm just living in Dallas
Don't get around much anymore.

Maybe I'll start a club
Me and John and Al Gore
Sit and play some pinochle
Don't get around much anymore.

GK: Good luck, Mr. President. (THEME)

SS: 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.

(THEME 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