February 27, 2010
The Fox Theatre

Detroit, MI

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Guy Noir

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(THEME)

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. (MUSIC UP AND UNDER)

GK: It was March, bitterly cold. I got in the shower (SFX) and ice cubes came out (SFX, GK REACT), the coffeemaker had given up the ghost (SFX), and my upstairs neighbor was pounding away on his elliptical trainer (SFX) — I had picked up the bad habit of shuffling as I walked to keep from falling on ice, I looked pitiful—

FN: You okay, old-timer?

GK: Get your hands off me.

FN: Here, let me give you a hand.

GK: I was getting threatening calls from bill collectors...

SS: Mr. Noir, it’s the IRS calling. Remember us? The 1040 people? Anyway, looking at your 2009 return, I couldn’t help but notice that you listed Jack Daniels and Jose Cuervo as dependents. Could we talk? Could you stop down and see us? (STING, BRIDGE)

GK: And that was when I headed for Detroit. Detroit is close to Canada. If you needed to leave the country fast, that bridge is right there. And Detroiters are very proud of their city and they don’t care to hear other people run it down.

SS (DEEP): What you looking at?

GK: What do you mean?

SS (DEEP): What do I mean, I mean you’re looking at that coney island shop like it smelled bad or something— who’re you? That right there is my favorite restaurant.

GK: I’m sure it’s fine.

SS (DEEP): Who asked your opinion?

GK: You did.

SS (DEEP): That restaurant serves the best coney island you ever ate.

GK: Great.

SS (DEEP): My grandpa owned that coney island joint and from it he put my dad and two of my uncles through college and my dad put me through Harvard and M.I.T. to get my Ph.D in linguistics, so you just look down on that coney island joint all you like, mister, but those coney islands made me who I am today— You got a problem with that?
GK: Great.

SS (DEEP): “Great”— I hate it when someone says, “Great.” It’s so patronizing.

GK: I mean it. Great. I approve. You should be proud.

SS (DEEP): No, no, no— you meant, “Oh how quaint. These poor peasants eat wieners with chili and onions.”

GK: I stand second to none in my genuine respect for the coney island and your family.

SS (DEEP): Oh yeah?

GK: Yeah.

SS (DEEP): With peppers?

GK: Of course.

SS (DEEP): Pickles?

GK: The works.

SS (DEEP): How many can you eat? As many as me?

GK: Sure.

SS (DEEP): You’re on.
GK: How about we put down $20 apiece just to make it interesting?

SS (DEEP): How about we put down $200 apiece and make it even more interesting? (STING AND BRIDGE)

GK: Two hours and eleven coney islands later (STOMACH GRUMBLES), I was collapsed on a couch in the back of the restaurant. I was thinking about calling 9 1 1 and also I was wondering if I would live until the EMTs got there.

SS (DEEP): You don’t look so good, you know that? I feel terrific. Hit me in the stomach. Go ahead. Give it your best shot. Right there.

GK: I was not brought up to hit a woman in the stomach.

SS (DEEP): Awwwww. Cake-eater.

TR (GODFATHER): Hey Toots. Who’s he?

SS (DEEP): He’s a detective, Papa.

TR (GODFATHER): He’s not here snooping around about those shipments from Canada, is he?

GK: You know, at this point, I could care less about shipments from Canada.

SS (DEEP): Papa’s afraid you’re going to blow the whistle on all the illegal stuff we bring down out of Canada.

GK: I don’t care. I just want to live.

TR (GODFATHER): Cause if he’s working undercover for the Food and Drug Administration, then I’m gonna stuff another coney island in him...

GK: Please. Don’t even say that.

SS (DEEP): We don’t make so much from coneys anymore, so Papa had to find another line of work.

GK: I don’t want to know any more, okay?

TR (GODFATHER): Look— across the river— they’re coming, Toots. (STING, BRIDGE)

GK: I raised my head up and I saw people coming across the ice on big balloon tire bicycles that bounced up and down (BOING BOINGS) propelled by small rockets on the backs of the bikers (SFX) and when they got over to the American side, the bikes collapsed (SERIES OF RATCHETS, HISSES, WIDGETS) into a package the size of a toaster-oven. — The bikers carried big backpacks which they dropped into a pneumatic chute (SFX) and the stuff was sucked up by a powerful engine in the basement (SFX), one bag after another (SUCTION, DING, SUCTION, DING, SUCTION, DING. ETC) — so you’re bringing in pharmaceuticals, huh?
TR (GODFATHER): See? I told you he was an agent. Open up his mouth, I’m gonna stick a coney in him.

SS (DEEP): No, Papa. — Yes, pharmaceuticals. We’re bringing in Xanax, Xalatron, Hydrox, Parasol, Disconnex, Protocol, Retroflex, Massapecs, Syntax, Halifax, Orthodox, Genuflex, Paradox, Folderol, and Ex-Lax.

GK: And what do we ship back to Canada in exchange?

SS (DEEP): Jokes.

GK: Aha. Those are quite the bikes. You could make a nice profit just manufacturing those bikes. Who designed them?

FN: I did.

SS (DEEP): My brother, Bob.

TR: (MUTTERING)

SS (DEEP): He’s an inventor. He’s patented more than two hundred inventions. Show him your sprinkler/stomper.

FN: Okay. This is a bicycle that paints a center line down a highway while it crushes tin cans and sprinkles lawns.

(SFX, SWOTTING PAINT, CRUSHING, SPRINKLER)

GK: Interesting. Doesn’t really seem practical, does it—

TR (MUTTERING)

FN: That’s the thing about invention— you never know — people laughed at the automobile.

GK: It’s wonderful and all, but— I mean— (TR MUTTERING)—what’s the old man muttering about?

SS (DEEP): Don’t worry about it. He’s trying to figure out how big a bucket he’ll need to put your feet in and how much concrete to fill it. It’s nothing.

GK: What else do we have here?

TR (MUTTERING)

FN: I also have a bicycle with a pooper-scooper, a hedge trimmer, and a pneumatic cannon that hurls bags of snacks accurately onto front steps.

GK: Okay, let’s see it.

FN: It tosses bags of Corn Noogies or Cheese Dorks—

TR (MUTTERING)

SFX: (BICYCLE, HORN, CANNON AND FLIGHT OF SNACKS, HEDGE TRIMMER, SCOOPER)

GK: It’s making me very nervous the way the old man is looking at my feet—

SS (DEEP): Here. Have a Genuflex. (THEY STRUGGLE,
GK SWALLOWS) There. Feel better? Mr. Noir? How do you feel?

GK: I felt a great vacancy in my head and also some itching in the gluteal cleft.

TR (GODFATHER): This clown is with the FDA— and I’m gonna put him away, right here and now. (CLICK OF HAMMER) This is a Wesson pistol you’re looking at, gumshoe-

GK: You mean a Smith & Wesson—

TR (GODFATHER): A Wesson. It shoots boiling oil. I’m going to turn you into two hundred pounds of potato chips, Mr. Noir.

GK: You’ll never get away with it.

FN: That little square rug you’re standing on?

GK: Yes?

FN: I designed that. It’s a trap door and it drops you straight down into the shredder.

TR (GODFATHER): You’ve got five seconds, Mr. Noir— five— four— (TR FIENDISH LAUGH)—

GK: Wow. Look. It’s Alex Rodriguez on TV. In a Detroit Tigers uniform.

TR: Huh? Where? What TV? (SWIPE)

GK: There. Now I’ve got the hot oil gun. And I’ll just (BLAST OF HOT OIL ON WALL) empty it out on the wall. There. All gone. (SPACEY MUSIC) But the Genuflex had done something to me. Before I knew what I had done, I had purchased a bicycle with a steam-powered copier and a dog who stapled the pages together. And a bagpipe. (WOOF, RATCHET JINGLE, STEAM, PAPER PRINTING, AND BAGPIPE PLAYS “MICHIGAN FIGHT SONG”)

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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