Guy Noir
Saturday, February 14, 2009

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SS (ANNC): 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)

GK: It was February—Valentine's Day— or as we say, Singles Awareness Day — a big day in Minnesota because they are cautious people. And they get all giddy and before you know it they've bought a calligraphy pen and they're writing poems in big loopy letters on rose-petal paper—— just like Mrs. Hansen who came to see me...

SS: I donno. It was just one of those weeks. You know? Driving the kids here and going there and picking up this and doing that and I just thought to myself, Elaine, you need an illicit romance in your life, so I came home and I did a really really dumb thing.

GK: Well, we've all done dumb things, Mrs. Hansen.

SS: This was really really dumb.

GK: Okay.

SS: I mean, I need a big romance like I need a major coronary. Anyway I wrote a love letter to the pastor of our church, telling him that I'd been head over heels about him since the retreat last fall and at a word from him I'd hang up my apron and live in a cabin in the mountains and collect rainwater and wild strawberries and look into each other's eyes.

GK: And you got a calligraphy pen for this...

SS: I did. I sort of got carried away on the G's and the Y's, making the big loopy tails, and I used words like "gorgeous" and "gaily" —

GK: And you put it in an envelope and sealed it with red wax.

SS: Exactly. Wrote out his address on the front.

GK: And then you took out a match and lit it and watched it burn...

SS: I was going to, Mr. Noir. Honestly I was.

GK: What happened?

SS: I just got distracted making sandwiches for the kids' lunches and I accidentally put the letter with some other letters, and — I mailed it.

GK: When?

SS: Yesterday.

GK: Okay. (STING & BRIDGE) So that's how I came to visit Balm of Gilead Lutheran Church in downtown St. Paul. (BIG DOOR OPEN. ORGAN PLAYING SOFTLY. DOOR CLOSE. FOOTSTEPS, LONG SERIES.) I walked in the side door, past the rummage sale collection box and the little coathooks on the wall by the Sunday School rooms and the big rainbow signs, "We Are All His Children" and things of that nature, and I walked into the pastor's office...

SS (OLD): Yes? Who are you?

GK: Looking for Pastor Sundberg, ma'am.

SS (OLD): Well, he's busy. In there in his office, doing I don't know what. Locks himself in there every damn morning. Probably reading the sports section. I'm Clarissa. What can I do for you?

GK: Well, it's sort of embarrassing...

SS (OLD): Oh don't sweat it. I've heard it all. Thirty years I been sitting in this chair and I've seen em come and I've seen em go — boy, I could tell you some lulus—

GK: It's just that— I sent in an offering and I feel embarrassed that it's so small and I want to rip up the envelope and write you a bigger check.

SS (OLD): Well, what sort of envelope did it come in?

GK: I sent it in a sort of rose-colored envelope with red sealing wax on it—

SS (OLD): Oh, that one. Oh I just handed that to him minutes ago— (FOOTSTEPS. BANGS ON DOOR) Hey! Where's that letter???? (DOOR OPEN)

MB: What is it, Clarissa?

SS (OLD): The guy's looking for an offering envelope he sent you.

MB: Come on in, sir. I'm pastor Bob Sundberg— (FOOTSTEPS) Excuse the mess— I'm just cleaning out some old files—

GK: Noir's the name. Guy Noir, Pastor. You know— I used to have a desk that looked just like that and — I can see what your problem is— (RUMMAGING)

MB: I sort of had those arranged into piles, if you don't mind—

GK: Everything that comes across your desk you should deal with right away— like incoming mail, for example. Where does incoming mail go?

MB: You know, I really can handle this myself, sir—

GK: Where's your incoming mail?

MB: I really would rather you didn't—

GK: Aha. I see it. Those letters including the large one in the rose-colored envelope.

MB: Yes, I was just about to go through those.

GK: Interesting handwriting here.

MB: If you don't mind—

GK: You know, it's such a small thing, actually. It's about my neighbor's wife. They have a clothes dryer and yet she hangs her lingerie out on a clothes line where I can see it from my bedroom window, and her camisole is black and I just get to looking at that thing and these thoughts go through my head — You wouldn't happen to have a pamphlet on this— something on that big bookshelf there behind you—

MB: Well, I don't know— let me see— it's such a mess—

GK: And the moment he turned his back, I had the rose-colored envelope in my pocket.

MB: I've got one for young people, "Resisting Temptation"—

GK: Not for me. Well, thanks for looking. I appreciate it.

MB: If you want to come back later, I'd be glad to talk—

GK: You know, it's been so useful just meeting you.

MB: Okay. Blessings on you—

GK: Oh you've been a blessing already. You have no idea. (BRIDGE) So I headed for the Five Spot to talk to Jimmy the Bartender. (DOOR OPEN, BELL JINGLE, DOOR CLOSE, FOOTSTEPS) VS (OFF): (SINGING "MY FUNNY VALENTINE") (COMING CLOSER AS GUY APPROACHES) (BAR AMBIENCE, GLASSES CLINK)

GK: Excuse me— excuse me, sir. — Sir? You in the apron? VS (STOPS): Oh. Sorry. Didn't hear you come in. What can I do for you, sir?

GK: Came in to see Jimmy the regular bartender. Where'd he go?

VS: Jimmy? I donno. I was hired to fill in for him. Just for today.

GK: He sick or something?

VS: Naw. It's Valentine's Day. So they hired a singing bartender.

GK: Oh. And that's you?

VS: That's me. Any requests?

GK: Yeah. Don't sing.

VS: (LAUGHS) That's a good one. Listen to him. "Don't sing." I get that a lot. — What can I get for you?

GK: How about a root beer, straight up, no ice?

VS: I make a terrific martini. You look like you could use one.

GK: I could use a martini like I could use a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.

VS: I never put a swizzle stick in a martini. Why would I do that? — One root beer coming up. (HE MOVES OFF, SINGING "SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME")

GK: One thing I'll say about Jimmy. He was unobtrusive. I sort of like that in a bartender. A good listener. As opposed to a performer. (VS CONTINUES SINGING, OFF)

SS (DORIS): Hey hunka hunka handsome man. Wanna buy me a drink?

GK: Not really.

SS (DORIS): Sure you do. It's Valentine's Day. Give it to me baby.

GK: If you promise not to talk to me, I'll buy you a drink.

SS (DORIS): Come on handsome. You're here, I'm here, what else could we want? It's fate.

GK: What you want?

SS (DORIS): I want to go sit in a heart-shaped Jacuzzi with the magic fingers...have a good time...hey, your fingers look pretty magical to me. Let me see your hand.

GK: How's that root beer coming? (VS STOPS SINGING, FOOTSTEPS)

VS: You want a lemon with that?

GK: No thanks.

SS: A guy like you shouldn't be alone on Valentine's Day-

GK: I'm alone every day. Why should today be any different?

SS (DORIS): You should join a book club. Meet somebody.

GK: The sort of women who read the books I like to read — I wouldn't want to know those women. Romance is a train that pulled into the station and kept on going. I was not a scheduled stop.

HM: Mr. Noir? Are you, Mr. Noir? (STING)

GK: I turned and I looked into her eyes. They were blue-green or greenish blue, hard to figure out which, and her mahogany hair cascaded onto her shoulders like a waterfall of love and I was ready to go over in a barrel.

HM: Mr. Noir my name is Melissa Chassey...I need you to look into something for me.

GK: I was already looking into something and I didn't mind looking some more.

SS (DORIS): You know, if you don't mind— I got here first.

HM: Sorry. But I got this letter today, and I need to know who it's from. (LETTER EXCHANGES HANDS)

GK: No return address, huh. And no postmark.

HM: He slid it under my door. I have to know who wrote it.

GK: Let me see this letter: (READING)
Let thy kinsmen dare to stop me,
I'll fly these stony walls on love's light wings
And lift thee gossamer angel and up toward
The star bespackled sky shall we traverse
The miles til we come there where comfort is...

Somebody lifted this off the Internet, Miss Chassey. He googled "gossamer angel" and found the lines and pasted them in—

HM: I want to meet him.

GK: It's nothing. Really.

HM: It's my first real love letter. Usually all I get is stuff on Facebook. They write on my wall —"How bout it"—stuff like that.

GK: You don't have a boyfriend, Miss Chassey?

HM: No. But I could, if I knew who this was.

GK: Listen, Melissa. What you need is an older man. Someone who knows how to write a letter. And not just lift stuff off a website. Someone who knows his way on a dark night through a dangerous world...who's seen some of life—

VS (SINGS): (YOU'LL NEVER WALK ALONE)

GK: Is there an off-switch on you? How about five bucks to stand still for a minute? (VS CONTINUES)

SS (DORIS): I love this song. I love it. I want it sung at my funeral.

GK: I'd be glad to do that for you.

HM: I think it's a guy who was looking at me in the library.

GK: The guy who wrote this?

HM: I was working in the library and I fell asleep and I woke up and this guy was standing and looking at me.

GK: There are men who go around to libraries and do that sort of thing. You're lucky you woke up when you did.

HM: He was a really handsome guy in a black t-shirt and jeans.

GK: Sort of fits the description.

MB: It was me.

GK: Who're you?

HM: It's you.

MB: Yes.

HM: The man from the library.

MB: You didn't read the rest of the letter—
O, speak again, bright angel, for thou art
As glorious to this night, being o'er my head,
As is a winged messenger of heaven
Unto the white-upturned wond'ring eyes
Of mortals that fall back to gaze on him
When he bestrides the lazy puffing clouds
And sails upon the bosom of the air.

GK: You know, anybody who knows how to move a cursor can pick up that stuff—

HM: Thanks, Mr. Noir. I found him. I found him at last. (FOOTSTEPS, DOOR OPEN, CLOSE) (LONG BEAT)

VS: I like that line..."bestrides the lazy puffing clouds and sails upon the bosom of the air."

SS (DORIS): Speaking of bosoms...

VS: SINGS "WIND BENEATH MY WINGS"

GK: I put down a five for the root beer and I pulled on my coat and I removed the old woman's fingers from my right arm and I headed for the exit (DOOR OPEN, CLOSE, VS STOP) and out into the cold night (TRAFFIC PASSING) — and I headed for the Acme Building.

TK (DRUNK): Hey, fella. You got five bucks?

GK: Five bucks?? Whatever happened to spare change?

TK (DRUNK): Prices went up. If you don't have five bucks, how about a ten?

GK: How about you back off? You know, if you did something about your breath, they might let you back indoors—

TK (DRUNK): Give me twenty bucks and I promise not to put my arms around you.

GK: Here. Have this instead.

TK (DRUNK): What's in the envelope?

GK: Happy Valentine's Day. (BRIDGE) I gave him the rose-colored envelope with the love letter to the pastor and I went back to the office and there was a voice-mail message from Sugar—

(BEEP)

SS (SUGAR): Guy. It's me Sugar. Just sitting here and thinking about you on Valentine's Day. I know we've had our ups and downs, Guy, but — I still think we can make it. Don't you? I'm over at a friend's house — let me give you the number— it's 6-5-

(BEEP)

TK (ELECTRONIC): That was your last message.

GK:

(BRIDGE)

MB (ANNC): 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).

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