The Town Hall
New York, NY«archive page
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.
GK: It was a beautiful spring day and I was in New York City, in the Self-Storage Hotel on 10th Avenue, room 11B, with a shag carpet on the floor that looked like a number of people had died on the spot. I'd come to New York to get away from my accountant, Lois, who'd come to see me on April 15. Lois! Haven't seen you for awhile.
SS: Ever since I sent you the bill. Six months ago.
SS: Guy, I'm here to tell you: you're broke. Your bank account is a black hole. It's anti-matter, Guy.
GK: It's taking me awhile to turn the corner here, Lois...you gotta
SS: Guy, it isn't a corner, it's a cliff. And you went over it a long time ago. I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news. But the handwriting is on the wall.
GK: Those are old phone numbers.
SS: Not that handwriting. I'm talking about the fickle hand of fate it's trying to tell you something, Guy. Two little words.
SS: Find work. (STING)
GK: I found a credit card with a little life left in it and bought myself a one-way ticket to New York and got the hotel room as a perk. It came with a job I got through an Episcopal priest named Rose Ann Atwater-Kent who I met because I'd flirted with her in an elevator. Hey, angel, haven't I met you before?
DM: If you went to Chicago Theological Seminary, maybe you did.
GK: You? Theological seminary? A woman with powerful pheromones like you?
DM: Why are you leaning over me?
GK: Just want to inhale you, ma'am.
DM: Well, just back off. I'm a black belt in taekwondo. I could take hold of your middle finger and flip you over like a pancake.
GK: I think I might enjoy that. So where's your church? Whatever you believe, I'd like to try to believe in it too.
DM: Don't have a church. They won't give me one. They say I'm too loud and brassy. Ha! Whatever!!
GK: So you just need to tone it down.
DM: I grew up in a big family. If you didn't raise your voice, they walked all over you.
GK: Well, you're just a little intense. People expect their ministers to be gentle. Meek. I think the gospel mentions that. No?
DM: I'm not meek, I'm unique. And when I speak, I don't want to hold back. I love to put the hay out there where the goats can get it. And when I celebrate Mass, I like it to be festive, you know? Celebrate! Woo-hoo! Wake up, people! (SHE SINGS)
Pax Dómini vobíscum.
Up against the wall and frisk em.
Can't trust em, gotta watch em
Dona nobis, nobis pacem.
GK: It's a prayer, though. Not a cheer. That's what I thought.
DM: Awwww. I say to heck with them. Did you know it takes forty-two muscles to frown and only four muscles to give people the finger?
GK: Didn't know that.
DM: So they don't want me in the church? no big deal. Bug off! Who cares! (BRIDGE)
GK: So it was through her I got the job with Celebrity Dinner Cruises, and made my way to the Hudson and the offices of Whosis Cruises.
TR: We're operating celebrity dinner cruises on the Hudson, Mr. Noir. Tonight we have the former radio host Carson Wyler.
GK: Never heard of him.
TR: He used to be big. Host of a variety show called Los Pampas Casa Compagneros. It means The Friend of the House on a Flat Place.
GK: So this was a Hispanic show?
TR: No, it was entirely in English. Why the title, nobody ever knew. He just liked it, I guess.
GK: And this guy needs security?
TR: He needs someone to stand around the ship and when he comes in sight, you'd say, "Isn't that Carson Wyler? Boy, that sure looks like Carson Wyler."
GK: Somebody to announce his approach
TR: Exactly. Problem is that he sounds normal and friendly but in person he looks like a heinous criminal. (BRIDGE)
GK: I was on my way to the boat (BOAT HORN) when I was accosted by a man from Wall Street. He stood so
close, I could see the swollen capillaries in his retina.
FN: Hey. Got a minute? Let me tell you something. Bullfrog futures. It's hot right now. Never heard of em? Bullfrog Exchange. We put three bullfrogs on the floor and you buy a contract, or sell, or bet against the contract, on whether the bullfrog comes in first, second, or third. Credit bullfrog swaps. Collateralized amphibians. Leverage your bullfrog with a little buckshot in his throat. I am very bullish on bullfrogs. You don't want to miss the boat. Let me show you this (HE FADES)
GK: And that's how I missed the boat. I ran across the street (TRAFFIC WHIZZING PAST) and into a taxicab (BRAKES, WHUMP) and bounced off the windshield and lay there in the street as a flock of warblers circled my head (SFX) and when I came to, the ship was gone, with the celebrity on board, and I was in a little bistro called the No Music Café. what is this? Hello? Who're you?
SARA: You okay?
GK: I guess. You come here often?
SARA: Yeah. It's quiet here. I like that. In the bar up the street there's a singer so bad nobody wants to sing with him. He had to get a duet-yourself kit.
SARA: I felt this terrible anxiety right before he sang. Pre-minstrel tension.
GK: I see.
SARA: He thought he was a poet but I just wanted to throw a chicken at him. Give him the pullet surprise.
GK: The pullet surprise, huh?
DM: Hey hey hey. What you doing here?
GK: I was unconscious and they carried me in.
DM: Usually it's the other way around.
SS: What can I get you ladies?
SARA: Absinthe for me. Absinthe makes the heart grow fonder.
DM: Make mine a martini. Straight up with a twist. I'm celebrating.
GK: What's the occasion?
DM: Got me a church.
GK: Hey, congratulations.
DM: It's at an old folks home. Fifty parishioners. All of them deaf as a post. DEAF! Hear me?
GK: Heard you both times. Sounds perfect for you.
Pater noster, qui es in cœlis,
Everybody play your ukeleles
Líbera nos, O Dómine
I WAS BORN IN THE USA.
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).