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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.
(LIGHT KNOCKS. PAUSE, LIGHT KNOCKS)
TR: (BEHIND DOOR) Mr. Noir?
TR: (BEHIND DOOR) Mr. Noir? It's me. Lou. Your landlord.
GK: Is that you, Lou?
TR: Open the door.
GK: It doesn't sound like you.
TR: That's because my voice is muffled.
GK: I just want to make sure it's you.
TR: Open the door and see for yourself.
GK: Your voice is muffled, Lou, I can't hear what you're saying.
TR: You can't hear what I'm saying because the door is shut. (DOOR OPEN)
GK: Sorry, I couldn't hear you. What'd you say?
TR: I said, the reason you can't hear me is that the door is shut.
GK: Oh. That's what I thought you said. What do you want, Lou?
TR: Wondering if you sent the rent check for September.
GK: Sent it three weeks ago, Lou.
TR: I didn't get it.
GK: Call the post office.
TR: Did you put a stamp on it?
GK: Yes, of course I put a stamp on it.
TR: A U.S. Stamp?
GK: Yes, of course a U.S. stamp.
TR: I remember the time you put a two-peso Mexican stamp on it.
GK: I put a U.S. stamp on.
TR: A cancelled one?
GK: No, of course not.
TR: Guy, the U.S. Postal Service delivered all the other rent checks. Yours seems to be the only one they have a problem with.
GK: If you want me to look into that, I will.
TR: Tomorrow, Guy. Gotta have it tomorrow.
GK: I'll make sure to tell them that. (CHORD, UNDER) It was a rough summer for me, cashwise. I used to get big cases involving an heiress and a tycoon and a black Lamborghini driven by a man in a snap-brim hat. (CAR PULLS AWAY) But lately, nothing, and I had put ten thousand dollars, my entire retirement account, into my cousin Sunny's invention called the Ever-Wet Portable Stamp Moisturizing Sponge.
SS: You carry it in this little plastic case, it stays moist for days, never a need to lick a stamp again and go around with the taste of mucilage in your mouth.
GK: It sounded good to me. But then the Ever-Wet ran into problems.
SS: I just need another ten grand to fix a little fungal problem that came up with the Ever-Wet.
GK: The sponge has a fungus now?
SS: A humungous and rather repugnant fungus.
GK: But a sponge is a fungus.
SS: The sponges come from Hungary where on Sundays and Mondays after lunch monks plunge into the sunken sponge beds where sponges grow in abundance in dungeons and tunnels under the Junta river frontage and there they hunt for functional sponges and bring them up in bundles in gunny sacks.
GK: What about the nuns?
GK: That's what I'm asking. How many nuns hunt sponges?
SS: None. Nuns don't hunt. Not with monks after lunch.
GK: Okay, so what happened that the sponges got the fungus?
SS: The monks found chunks of pungent-smelling fungus in the sponges in tree-trunk stumps amongst the wreckage of a sunken junk, a pungent fungus that gets on your tongue it's funky and tastes like monkey dung.
GK: I don't want to know.
SS: We're working on it and we just need an additional ten grand per investor.
GK: How many investors are there?
SS: Just you, so far.
GK: Just me!!!!
SS: So far.
GK: I thought there were twenty of us.
SS: We're expecting more any day now.
GK: Listen. Travis. I don't have ten grand.
SS: We just need to turn the corner on this fungus problem. Then we're gonna start seeing the cash come rolling in.
GK: Can't do it. Don't have it.
SS: Then I'm afraid we're down the drain. (STING)
GK: I was desperate. I tried get the money from Jimmy the bartender at the Five Spot...
(SFX: AMBIENCE, FIVE SPOT)
TR: (JIMMY) Evening, Guy.
GK: Hiya, Jimmy. Listen. I know I owe you some money, Jimmy. But I'm in a bad spot. I need some dough to rescue an investment. And I've got security. I'll give you a couple hundred shares in a company that's just about to take off I hate to part with it, but for youa pal
TR (JIMMY): What's the company?
GK: They make underpants for left-handed men.
TR (JIMMY): This is for real?
GK: Underpants are made with to open from the right, so a right-handed man can get in there a few seconds quicker, and a left-handed man is going to take longer and his chances of dribbling are greater. That's why you see left-handed men walking around holding their briefcases funny. This is going to be big.
TR (JIMMY): Who sold you these shares, Guy? Somebody you ran into at a urinal?
GK: Okay. Never mind. Don't blame me if Fruit of the Left stock goes up and up and up okay? Don't come crying to me. (STING) and of course the stock went down and down and down. Especially after the story on the news.
SS (NEWSCASTER): In New York, a left-handed man trying out a new pair of left-handed underpants got his hand stuck in them and was arrested for indecent exposure. And for peeing on the man next to him.
GK: In my desperation to bring in a little cash, I had for the first time in my life become a lobbyist for the ACLU. The American Corvid Lovers Unlimited. Corvids are crows. Black crows. And the ACLU was trying to remove the Loon as Minnesota's State Bird and replace it with the crow.
SS: The crow is an intelligent bird, Mr. Noir. Look at this video. See? (CROW)
GK: Okay, but the legislature named the loon Minnesota's state bird and it's a done deal, ma'am, and I don't think they're about to
SS: They did it on the assumption which turns out to be erroneous that loons form stable monogamous relationships for a lifetime. As it turns out, loons mess around more than just about any other species. Look at this video. (LOON CRY OF SEDUCTION)
SS: Disgusting. And male loons invade another male's territory and kill him and take his wife. It's like a Greek tragedy or something.
TR: And they're not that good at flying Ever see a loon try to take off? They're white knuckle fliers. Look at this video. (LOON FLAPPING WINGS HARD, PANICKY CRY, AND SPLASH)
TR: Whereas the crow is the most intelligent of all birds. A crow is able to hide as many as 100 objects and remember exactly where they are. An intelligent and dignified bird.
SS: And a good flier.
TR: A bird that Minnesotans could be proud of. Instead of this sex-crazed murderer we have now. (LOON CALL)
GK: The ACLU offered me a thousand dollars and I took the money. I made big banners that said “Support the CAWS” (spelled c-a-w-s) and we brought in crows marching and holding picket signs.
ALL (AS CROWS): Whose woods these are, I think I know.
These woods belong to us, the crow.
So we do not have miles to go before we sleep oh no, oh no.
We will not sleep or use that word
Until you make us your state bird.
GK: Every day, crows flying in C-formation, singing: (WINGS)
ALL (CROWS SINGING TO CAISSONS TUNE):
Over hill, over dale, with the wind behind our tail, and the corvids go flying along...
GK: I wasn't proud of it, but it was money, and I was able to mail in my rent check.
(SFX: KNOCKING ON DOOR.)
TR: (AS LOU) Mr. Noir? (KNOCKING) Mr. Noir?
GK: What is it, Lou?
TR: (OUTSIDE DOOR) I received your rent check. But it was unsigned.
GK: I can't understand what you're saying, Lou.
TR: (OUTSIDE DOOR) Open the door so you can sign the rent check.
GK: Just slide it under the door. I'll sign it and get it back to you.
TR: (OUTSIDE DOOR) Why won't you open your door?
GK: I've got a cough and I'm all stopped up. Signs of swine flu, I'm afraid. (SFX: PIG SNUFFLING) Just slide it under the door.
TR: (OUTSIDE) Okay. Here it is. (SFX: PAPER SLIDING)
GK: Oh. Gee.
TR: (OUTSIDE) What's the problem?
GK: I can't sign it. My hand seems to have stiffened into a sort of cloven hoof.
TR: (OUTSIDE) I'm going to have to evict you.
GK: (SNUFFLING SOUND) I've got some valuable stock in left-handed underpants, Lou. And I'm on the verge of getting a big case involving an heiress and a tycoon and a black Lamborghini driven by a man in a snap-brim hat. (CAR PULLS AWAY) Trust me, Lou. The best is yet to be.
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.
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).