May 29, 2010
Filene Center at Wolf Trap

Vienna, VA

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Guy Noir

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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.

(MUSIC)

GK: It was the end of May, and I was in Washington, working for Congressman Harry Newsome who was starting to think about his re-election campaign against a guy named Boodle Bendix

FN:
It’s going to be a tough race, Mr. Noir. I’ve dedicated myself to pension fund reform. Pension funds are hugely important. I find pension funds fascinating and it’s gratifying that when other members of Congress have questions about pension funds, they come to me. But it’s hard to get the voters excited about pension funds. And this Boodle Bendix is getting people all worked up. He’s the T.P. candidate.

GK: Tea Party?

FN: Toilet Paper. Look at this video clip----

(SFX: REWIND AND STOP)

TR: Friends, the pinheads and weasels who’ve been running things in Washington ---- we’re going to go down there and wipe the slate clean. (ROAR OF CROWD)

GK: Wipe the slate clean, huh?

FN: That’s their motto. And they throw rolls of toilet paper at me when I give a speech.

SS: I’m Agnes Elmblad,Mr. Noir, the Congressman’s campaign manager.

GK: Yes, ma’am. How are we doing?

SS: We are down about six points and sinking fast.

FN: We’re going to pull it out. I’m sure.

SS: Boodle Bendix is a multimillionaire who goes around in a pickup truck and talks about change and people love him to death. Meanwhile, Harry Newsome works on pension reform and the Middle East and maritime law and remedial education and a lot of things you can’t compress into a slogan and he’s about to have his head handed to him on a platter.

GK: So what do you want me to do, Miss Elmblad.

SS: Get some dirt on this guy.

GK: You want dirt----
SS: I want to find out that he cheated on his taxes, or cheated on his wife, or lied on his resume, or did some other creepy little thing. It’s June. Election’s in November. We don’t have time to educate the voters about pension reform! (STING, BRIDGE)

GK: So I set out to learn more about Boodle Bendix and in the meantime I found out more than I wanted to know about Congressman Harry Newsome. He was a Midwestern farmer when he went to Washington, but he sort of drifted away from it. He had become a wine aficionado and the Boodle Bendix people had a video of the Congressman turning away a glass of Montrachet.

FN: It’s just ever so slightly woody and I am sorry about that, but it doesn’t have the muscular bouquet that I was hoping for, the smooth finish, the afterglow in the epiglottis…….

GK: Back home in the Midwest, the phrase “muscular bouquet” is not what you want to hear from your Congressman. There was a YouTube clip of him a little drunk singing in a karaoke bar----

(INEBRIATED VOICES BACKGROUND)

FN (SINGS):

To think I did all that,
And may I say, not in a shy way -
Oh no. Oh no, not me.
I did it my way. (SPOKEN, DRUNK) Hey, you’re
beautiful. I love ya. You know that? Love ya. (BRIDGE)
GK: And worst of all, the Boodle Bendix campaign was running a video clip of the Congressman getting irate with a reporter ----

FN: What? You expect me to go hang around at some stupid county fair and shake hands in the rain? ----- I’ve got better things to do.

GK: Boodle Bendix ran that video over and over on TV ---- (FN: What? You expect me to go hang around at some stupid county fair and shake hands in the rain? ----- I’ve got better things to do.) and Congressman Pettigrew started to fall in the polls.
(FN: What? You expect me to go hang around at some stupid county fair and shake hands in the rain? ----- I’ve got better things to do.)

GK: And then the Congressman hired a campaign consultant ----

TR (DR. PHIL): Wake up and smell the coffee. You gotta tell people that you need them. It’s a process of courtship. You’ve got to come across as warm and loving, not just someone who cares about pension fund reform.

GK: So the Congressman made a disastrous commercial.


FN (SINGS):

I wanna be loved by you,
just you and your family too
And supported by you
Please vote for me poo poo pi doo
I wanna be loved by you
just you and your demographic too
And get a vote from you
Please do.

I would feel so dejected
Abused and neglected
Not to be re-elected
On November 2
Poo poo pi doo.

GK: The Congressman’s mother, Alberta, was part of the problem.

SS (OLD): I want your campaign to emphasize the need for international cooperation through the United Nations. The importance of higher education and public support for the arts.

GK: The arts was very important to Old Lady Newsome, and so the campaign had dumped its old campaign song----


ALL (W BIG BASS BEAT):

We’ll never stop doing the job
We are going to Congress YES
We never quit we never take it easy
We are going to Washington DC HUH HUH HUH HUH

GK: And instead of that, the campaign switched to a campaign song that got us nothing:

ALL (as CHOIR, TO “HALLELUJAH CHORUS): Har-ry Newsome, Harry Newsome, Harry Newsome, Har-ry-y New-ew-some. Har-ry Newsome, Harry Newsome, Har-ry-y New-some. Ha-a-ry-new-ew-some, (FADES). And that was why they hired me to go after Boodle Bendix. (STING) I found a little audio tape to play with.

TR (OFF): I am going to cut federal spending and keep Medicare 100 percent of what it is today and you can take my word for it.

GK: That was an easy one to massage. (TR: I am going to cut federal spending and keep Medicare…..(REWIND) I am going to cut federal spending and keep Medicare……(REWIND) I am going to cut Medicare 100 percent and you can take my word for it.) So much can be accomplished by judicious editing. There was some dirt to be dug up on Mr. Bendix, but not a whole lot.

(SS WAITRESS: Mr. Bendix came in my café every day for lunch and it never came to less than twenty bucks and he never left me more than a quarter for a tip. And he used to flip it, heads I’d get it, tails I wouldn’t.

GK: A lot of people had small demeaning things to say about Mr. Bendix.

(FN WOMAN: I was his second wife and I tell you, this man spends an hour in front of the mirror every morning, practicing his smile.

SS (FLEXNER): I was his personal assistant and I can tell you, the man has the personality of a box turtle.

GK: There wasn’t much there and we had to move fast so I did some more editing and created a clip of Mr. Bendix saying: (TR: Hockey is for idiots and sissies!) And he called me up on the phone.

TR: Where’d you get that? I never said that. I never said it. Never. (WEEPY) That’s dishonest. Why’d you do that to me? (TR SOBS, BRIDGE)

GK: I’d pieced together some bits of audio to come up with the line ----


TR (TAPE): Hockey is for everybody and it’s a pity it’s…..(REWIND) it’s a pity it’s…..(REWIND) pity it’s…..(REWIND) idiots……not played in Mississippi. (REWIND) sissi. (REWIND) Hockey is for idiots and sissies!

GK: And Boodle Bendix knew that it would be his death knell running for Congress in Minnesota.

TR: That is so dishonest.

GK: Sometimes fiction gets at a deeper truth, sir. -----So he withdrew……

TR: I’ve decided that, in order to spend more time with my wife and my children, I must announce, with great reluctance and with gratitude to all who have supported my campaign…..(FADE)

GK: And another candidate stepped in, Michelle Crocker.

SS: So how is that hopey changy thing working out for you, huh? You folks want a Muslim socialist in the White House telling us what to do? Huh? Do you? Well, neither do I. (STING)

GK: And we’ve been trying to get Congressman Newsome up to speed on campaigning-----

FN: (SINGS) I want to be loved by you, just you and all of your family too (TAPE SLOWS DOWN TO STOP)
GK: Sorry, Congressman. Got to get on that bus and head out across the dusty plains. Take off that suit coat, Congressman. Let ‘em see the sweat stains around your armpits. Shake hands with everybody and give them your message, short and sweet.

FN (REVERB): Friends, it’s a pleasure and privilege to come to Washburn Falls today. This fall, our country faces a choice and you’re the ones who’re going to make it. A choice between fear and faith. That’s the choice. And I’m here to talk about faith.

GK: I don’t know if he’s going to win, that isn’t up to me. I’m just trying to give him a chance.
(MUSIC)

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 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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