December 5, 2009
The Town Hall

New York City, NY

«archive page

Guy Noir

Listen (MP3)
Listen (RealAudio)


TR: 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 December, I was in New York, it was cold but I got a job delivering hot coffee, so it wasn't so bad. ---- Gotcher caramel latte with 2 percent and wheat germ right here, sir ---

TR (RICH GUY): Thank you very much.

GK: And he hands me a twenty. ---- You need change back?

TR (RICH GUY): No. That's yours. (BRIGHT CHORD)

GK: So Wall Street bounces back. An order comes from Goldman Sachs, you go after it.

SS: I thought I ordered a double mocha with sprinkles of gold dust.

GK: I'm gonna make it for you fresh, right here. (COFFEE GRINDER) There's the beans. Now comes the coffee. (ESPRESSO)

SS: Wowser. An espresso machine the size of a flashlight.

GK: And now the milk---- (SFX)

SS: And what about my persimmon scone?

GK: Gonna bake it for you fresh right here on your desk. (CLANK OF TRAY, OVEN DOOR CLOSE)

SS: What kind of butter?

GK: Whatever you'd like. I have my churn right here. (CHURN) (BRIDGE) It was through delivering coffee to brokerage houses that I got to know the Mayor.

TR (BLOOMBERG): Good morning. I am Mayor Mike Bloomberg and I am here for you. I am a mayor for all of New York and I invite you to share with me your concerns.

GK: It's Guy Noir, Mayor Bloomberg,

TR (BLOOMBERG): Oh, yes. What can I do for you today?

GK: Actually, I'm working for you, sir. You asked me to check into which employees at Bloomberg did not vote for you in November----

TR (BLOOMBERG): Oh, right.

GK: I have the names right here.

TR (BLOOMBERG): Tell me my girlfriend is not on the list.

GK: She is not on the list.

TR (BLOOMBERG): Thank you very much. (BRIDGE)

GK: Through my City Hall connections, I'd met some people who were going to set up a company to deliver fresh-made coffee and fresh-baked pastries and fresh-churned butter to Wall Street offices and suddenly I was looking success in the face----

TR (GODFATHER): I like you, Guy. You're my kind of a guy. You're not a wise guy. You're a guy's guy. And so I'm gonna give you a couple million and we're gonna do business together and I'll have you do a few things for me from time to time, okay?. (STING)

GK: It sounded good to me. Due to financial constraints, I'd been forced to take a sublet on a tenth-floor walk-up studio apartment on West 47th and get a roommate. A singer named Rick.


GK: What you rehearsing for?

FN: Trade show.

GK: Cheese manufacturers?

FN: Bingo.

GK: Would you mind if I ask what the blue liquid is in the bathroom sink?

FN: It's hair coloring. I'm just wanting to get a little more intensity up there. Is there a problem?

GK: No, no. I'll just brush my teeth in the shower.

FN: Actually I'm using the shower to dry my underwear. (STING)

GK:. I didn't tell him that I was on the verge of a big deal. A couple million dollars would be about enough to purchase a one-bedroom apartment with track lighting and granite countertops and have enough left over for a pot and a pan.


GK: Yes?

SS: (VERY SHARP NY VOICE) Hello, is this Mr. Guy Noir?

GK: Yes, ma'am.

SS: My name is Laverne. I've got a situation.
Involving my husband, Mr. Bob Wilson. It's very important. Could you come right over? (STING, BRIDGE)

GK: It was a tiny apartment in a white brick building in the East 60s and Mr. Wilson was a small dapper man with a few wisps of hair combed over his bald spot. ---- My name is Guy Noir, Mr. Wilson. I'm a friend of your wife's.

TR: Oh. How is she? Haven't seen her for awhile.

GK: She's fine. A little concerned about you. ---- Mind if I come in?

TR: No. ----- (SLOW FOOTSTEPS) Watch your step there. ---- This way.

GK: I see you collect encyclopedias.

TR: Yes.

GK: Quite a few sets of encyclopedias here.

TR: Nine-hundred and fourteen. Just bought four more today.

GK: And you carried these up four flights of stairs----

TR: Me and my nephew Brendan.

GK: Nine-hundred and fourteen sets of encyclopedias is quite a few for a small one-bedroom apartment. No?

TR: Well, as they appreciate in value, I'm planning to sell some so I can move into a bigger apartment.

GK: You might want to consider selling a lot of them so you have room to walk in here.

TR: I've laid out paths. Here----- this is the trail to the bathroom. And here's the kitchen pathway. (MEOW) I'm going to sell these encyclopedias on eBay.

GK: Mr. Wilson, I take it, LaVerne has moved out.

TR: I think so.

GK: Where do you sleep?

TR: Up there.

GK: On top of the encyclopedias.

TR: Right. (MEOW)

GK: I see. LaVerne is concerned that the apartment is getting stuffed, Mr. Wilson, and in the event of an emergency, rescuers will be unable to get in and help you.

TR: Oh?

GK: You could be lying unconscious and they'd need a crane to get you out. You've made your apartment into a little cave.

TR: As soon as the economy improves, Mr. Noir, I'm going to get a very good price for these encyclopedias.

GK: Sir----

TR: Nobody is publishing these anymore. They've become rare books.

GK: They're rare because nobody uses them.

TR: I do.

GK: You use them to sleep on. (MEOW) Other people use the Internet to find out this stuff.

TR: Mr. Noir, people are always going to want to have books around. You can read anything you want to online but nobody KNOWS that you read it unless you have a book on a shelf in your house. People walk into your house and see your books and they can see you're a smart person with excellent taste. They don't get that from the fact you have a computer.

GK: So you think encyclopedias will become a decorator item----- interesting. (MEOW) How many cats do you have in here, Mr. Wilson?

TR: Four, I think. Maybe five. Plus the gerbils. They're here somewhere.

GK: It's none of my business but something smells bad from that corner over there.

TR: I don't smell it.

GK: I do. I think you might want to do some excavating.


I headed back home where Rick was tousling his hair.


GK: Another trade show?

FN: Organic Farmers convention. You think my hair is too silky? I mean, I'm going to be in bib overalls. I may have to color it darker. No?

GK: I don't mean to shock you, Rick, but I may be moving out soon. I've got a deal going involving some big bucks and I may need a little more room for myself.

FN: Hey, great. Me, too. I got my eye on a six-room apartment in the West 80s.

GK: Six? Wow.

FN: Yeah, the trade show biz is booming.

GK: Yeah, I am right on the verge of something major. Can't tell you the details, but ----- I'm shopping around for an apartment. High floor, nice views. (DREAM MUSIC) High floor, nice views. High floor, nice views. High floor, nice views. High floor, nice views.

SS (LANDLADY): Mr. Noir----- Mr. Noir------ wake up.

GK: Yeah? Who're you?

SS (LANDLADY): Juliette Binoche.

GK: Oh, Mrs. Santorini. The landlady.

SS (LANDLADY): Bingo. Guess what?

GK: You're here about the rent.

SS (LANDLADY): Righto. I'll wait here if you need to go down to an ATM machine. (BRIDGE)

GK: And then I remembered. I'd been downtown to see my patron the day before -----

TR (GODFATHER): I gotta go away for a couple years. I'll see you then, okay? You take care.

GK: You still interested in the coffee business?

TR (GODFATHER): Talk to Guido, okay?


GK: Guido----?


GK: And I came home and there was a copy of the Daily News and the headline ----- RUSSIAN TYCOON BUYS WILSON RARE ENCYCLOPEDIA COLLECTION FOR $6 MILLION. And the phone rang and it was Rick.

FN (SINGS, ON PHONE): Start spreading the news, I got on TV, I got my very own show ---- it's a reality-----

SS (LANDLADY): I'm waiting, Mr. Noir. Eleven hundred dollars.

GK: I'll just make a phone call, Ma'am.

SS (LANDLADY): I'm standing right here, waiting.


GK: Mr. Wilson, I'm not sure you remember me, but I called to congratulate you, and if you need any security services in the future, I'm here. There's just a tiny tiny favor I'd like to ask -----


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.


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