October 16, 2010
Fitzgerald Theater

Saint Paul, MN

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Guy Noir

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(GUY NOIR THEME)

TR: A dark night in a city that knows how to keep its secrets, but on the 12th floor of the Acme Building, one man is still trying to find the answers to life's persistent questions --- Guy Noir, Private Eye.

(THEME UP AND OUT)

GK: It was October, and the world was golden, the weather was perfect, and Sugar and I had gotten back together.

SS (SUGAR): Oh Guy ---- why did we ever break up? What happened? There's nobody I love like you.

GK: You mean you don't love anybody like me. Someone like me, you couldn't love?

SS (SUGAR): You know what I mean. Let's go out to eat at that little Italian place. You know----- the kootchy-kootchy place---

GK: The Cucina D'Amore-----

SS (SUGAR): (SEXY) Yeah. That one. The one with the booths and the dim light.

GK: But you told me that I was clueless. That's the word you used. Clueless.

SS (SUGAR): Whatever. --- Put your arms around me.

GK: What happened to the guy from Bozeman, Montana, you were going out with? You told me he was crazy about you.

SS (SUGAR): That's all over-----

GK: You said he was the first guy you met who really totally gets you.

SS (SUGAR): Whatever.

GK: I can tell you've been dating younger guys, Sugar. You're overusing the word whatever.

SS: Me??? Ha. As if. (BRIDGE)

GK: So we had a dinner date, Sugar and I called up Rico.

TR (RICO, ON PHONE): Yeah, what's happening, baby? What you got?

GK: You remember that guy in Bozeman, Montana, I asked you to lean on a little, Rico?

TR (RICO, ON PHONE): The guy who's dating Sugar?

GK: Yeah.

TR (RICO, ON PHONE): What about him?

GK: You can stop leaning.

TR (RICO, ON PHONE): You don’t want me to lean on him anymore?

GK: Right.

TR (RICO, ON PHONE): Don't want me to yank his chain and rattle his cage?

GK: Yeah. Leave him be. He's harmless.

TR (RICO, ON PHONE): Okey-dokey. You got it.

(KNOCKS)

GK: Gotta run, Rico. Someone's at the door. (KNOCKS) Be right there. (FOOTSTEPS, DOOR OPEN) Yeah?

(PAUSE)

AMS: Ah----- I love that.

GK: Love what?

AMS: "Yeah"------

GK: Uh huh.

AMS: Back where I come from, we'd feel honor-bound to say, "Good afternoon. What a pleasure to see you. How may I help?"

GK: Oh yeah?

AMS: But you----- you Americans----- you cut to the chase----Get to the point--- What's the bottom line----down to brass tacks----- isn't that how you put it?

GK: Uh huh.

AMS: Oh, I'm sorry. I forgot to introduce myself. The name is Smith. Alexander McCall Smith.

GK: Alexander McCall Smith the author of mystery novels.

AMS: Well, they're not exactly---- mysteries-----

GK: Author of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency books---- the books set in Botswana, right? You’re a famous author.

AMS: Very kind of you. 

GK: So what can I do for you, sir?

AMS: I'll get right to the point, Mr. Noir. I want to write an old-fashioned hard-boiled two-fisted American crime novel.

GK: You?

AMS: I know---- it's a leap, isn't it-----

GK: Well, you're extremely successful writing these very gentle, very charming, very English----

AMS: Scottish, actually. And Botswanian.

GK: ---comic novels in which nobody so much as pokes anybody.

AMS: An author needs to spread his wings, sir. Venture forth. Fresh woods and pastures new. Onward and upward, and so forth.

GK: So you want to----

AMS: I want to write a book in which there is shooting. Lots of hot lead. Guns blazing. Guys pulling out their rod, their roscoe, their gat, their heater, and give somebody lead poisoning and they take him away in a meat wagon and the killer scrams, he hightails it, he takes a powder, he gets on the rattler to Kalamazoo, but the coppers nail him for it, they find a snitch, they pinch him, they put the screws on him, and he hires a mouthpiece to help him beat the rap and save him from going to the gallows and doing the dance. He doesn't want to swing so he finds a patsy to take the fall for him. Lots of shooting and car chases and guys pasting each other in the chops. That's the kind of book I want to write. Not Isabel Dalhousie drinking tea with her lady friends ---- I've got enough lady readers, I want some men. My publisher finds that among men who go out hunting in the fall and bring home a deer, I have very few readers. I want to remedy that.

GK: But you've been very successful writing books in which people sit down frequently to tea.

AMS: I'm tired of tea. I hope to never ever use the word "scone" in a novel again. I want to create characters who drink bourbon out of Dixie cups and eat beef jerky. (BRIDGE)

GK: He wanted me to show him around St. Paul and point out places where John Dillinger lived and the Ma Barker Gang and Pretty Boy Floyd so we got in his car and (CAR ACCEL THROUGH GEARS, SCREECH OF TIRES) ----- you know, there is a speed limit, sir----

AMS: I love driving on the right side of the road. It just makes sense, don't you think?? Left side of the brain, right side of the road. (GUNSHOTS, METALLIC BWANG)

GK: What are you doing?

AMS: Shooting stop signs. (GUNSHOTS, METALLIC BWANGS)

GK: You know you're going to get into some serious trouble.

AMS: Good! (GUNSHOTS)

GK: You're very likely to get us thrown in jail. (TIRES SCREECH ON CORNER)

AMS: Everything bad that happens to a writer is simply good material for the next book ----

GK: Look out!!!! (TIRES SCREECH, CAR ACCEL) Almost hit that bicyclist. 

AMS: Love the feel of centrifugal force. (BRAKES SCREECH)

GK: What are you stopping here for?

AMS: Look up there.

GK: Where?

AMS: That billboard.

GK: It's only a billboard for ----

AMS: Elmore Leonard.

GK: His new book----

AMS: His new book, "Get Sandy." You think I'm going to take that lying down. Ha. (CAR DOOR OPEN, FOOTSTEPS ON GRAVEL) "Get Sandy," huh? Well, here's Sandy right here, and I got a surprise for you, Mr. Leonard. Meet Samuel Colt. (GUNSHOTS. DISTANT SIREN)

GK: Oh boy. What[d I tell you? What[d I tell you??
(RUNNING FOOTSTEPS, CAR DOOR SLAM)

AMS: Cheese it! The cops! ----- Is that the expression? And where does that come from? "Cheese it" ---- interesting word choice.

GK: C'mon, pal. Skip the etymology and let's get a move on. Shove off. C'mon. Wake up and die right.

AMS: This is wonderful. Not so fast. I want to write these down.

GK: C'mon. We gotta take it on the lam. Fly the coop. Haul ass.

AMS: Haul ass. How colorful.

GK: Let's boogie. Let's split. (SIREN COMING CLOSER) Burn rubber. Hightail it. Amscray. (SIREN STOPPING)

AMS: I've got to write this down. "Amscray" ---- how do you spell that. A-m-s-c-r- (FOOTSTEPS)

TR: (IRISH): Okay, pal. You're under arrest. Put the gun down where I can see it or else I'm gonna fill you full of daylight----- you get me?

AMS: I love that. "Fill you full of daylight."

TR: (IRISH): And put the pencil down, too.

AMS: I'm taking notes.

TR: (IRISH): I said, put the pencil down. What you doing, Noir?

GK: This is a client of mine, Lieutenant McCafferty. Alexander McCall Smith.

TR: (IRISH): Then that makes you an accessory after the fact.

GK: Accessory to what?

TR: (IRISH): Reckless driving, wanton disregard for human life, destruction of property, resisting arrest----

GK: Resisting arrest! What?

TR: (IRISH): Outta the car. Both of you. Hands in the air. You got the right to remain silent----- (FADING, BRIDGE)

(FOOTSTEPS, CLANK OF BIG METAL DOOR)

GK: I don't believe it. The Ramsey County Jail. I had a date to go out to dinner tonight with my girlfriend and now I've got to spend it in the cooler.

AMS: Cooler----- excellent

GK: ---- with these chiselers and flimflam men -----

TR (RICO): Hey, Noir. What's a gumshoe like you doing here in the Big House?

GK: Big mistake, Rico.(CARD DEALING) Hey, Tony.

TK: Hey Noir. Want to get in a hand of Texas Rock-Em?

GK: Never heard of it.

TK: Deuces wild and jacks high, faces to the floor, five bucks in the crapper.

TR (RICO): Deuces wild? In Texas Rock'em? You gotta be kidding. ----

GK: What you in for, Rico?

TR (RICO): Me and Tony here got caught with a big bag of cash that somehow found its way into the trunk of our car which came from the safe at the hock shop that through some weird coincidence had our fingerprints on it.

TK: Yeah.

TR (RICO): Me and Tony had nothing to do with any heist. We were at our book club and we got witnesses. Tomato Sally and Hophead Harrigan and Louie Palooka and Muggsy Spanier and Toots Patootie and Sudden Sam Heins and Larry B. Larry and ----- hey, what you writing down the names for? 

AMS: Me?

TR (RICO): You.

AMS: I love these names. Muggsy Spanier...Toots Patootie---- Sudden Sam----- it's like Damon Runyon.

TR (RICO): Yeah, well those are members of our book club and it's a very hush-hush type of book club whose members don't necessarily want their names made public on account of their interest in books might tend to give them the wrong reputation as being hoity-toi and kind of snooty if you get my drift.

GK: This is Alexander McCall Smith, Rico.

TR (RICO): Okay but put away the pencil or there might be a misunderstanding and I might need to hang a left on your chin.

AMS: "Hang a left on your chin" ----

TR (RICO): Give you a knuckle sandwich. Slug you one. Clip you. Coldcock you. Konk you. Comprende?

AMS: "Konk" "Clip"---- keep going-----

TR (RICO): What is this? A quiz? Put your pencil down or I'm gonna nail you, pal. I'm gonna wallop you one. Poke you. Maybe liquidate you. Settle your hash. Ice you. Polish you off.

AMS: Keep going, keep going-----

TR (RICO): I don't think you're reading me, pal. I'm just about to lower the boom on you and knock your lights out.

TK: Hey. Reading-----

TR (RICO): What about it?

TK: You said he's not reading you ----- he's a writer-----

TR (RICO): So what??

TK: Alexander McCall Smith ----- remember when we knocked over the bookstore? And we made off with fifteen boxes we thought were full of cash and they were full of them books about the Dollhouse lady----

AMS: You mean, Isabel Dalhousie? The Sunday Philosophy Club.

TK: Yeah, that's the one. He wrote those books. I loved those books.

TR: (RICO): I hated those books. People sitting around drinking tea and eating biscuits.

TK: What's wrong with that?

TR: (RICO): You don't eat biscuits with tea. You eat biscuits with gravy.

TK: You can eat biscuits with tea.

TR: (RICO): Cannot. And they couldn't even say the word tomato.

AMS: Tomahto----

TR (RICO): See??

TK: This guy is my favorite author.

TR (RICO): You're outta your gourd. You're trying to row with one oar in the water.

AMS: "One oar in the water" ---- I love that.

TR (RICO): You're about two bricks shy of a load, Tony.

TK: He's a good writer. You don't like him, no skin off my nose.

AMS: Of course.

TR: (RICO): Awwww, you don't know from nothing-----

SS (SUGAR): Guy----- what you doing in jail?

GK: Sugar! Good to see you.

SS (SUGAR): McCafferty called me and I came down to make your bail.

GK: That's sweet of you.

SS (SUGAR): Who's your friend? He sure looks a lot like Alexander McCall Smith----

GK: You know Alexander McCall Smith?

SS (SUGAR): Of course. I love his books.

TK: Hey, me too. I usedta like Elmore Leonard. But no more. I liked that Dollhouse book.

TR (RICO): Oh go shut your head. Whadda you know?

TK: More than you, meathead.

TR (RICO): Who you calling a meathead? Alexander McCall Smith ---- the books got no action.  Every time something is just about to happen, somebody comes in with a big plate of teacakes and a dish of clotted cream.

TK: Whadda you know?

TR (RICO): There's no action.

SS: I love the tea parties.

TR (RICO): And he can't write dialogue.

TK: What?

TR (RICO): He can't write dialogue----

AMS: Listen, it's all right-----

TR (RICO):  Nobody talks the way he writes dialogue.

TK: You're sitting there telling me that Alexander McCall Smith can't write dialogue???

TR (RICO): That's right.

SS: So who do you think can write dialogue?

TR (RICO): Elmore Leonard.

SS (SUGAR): Elmore Leonard doesn't write dialogue, he writes grunts and grimaces. He couldn't write his way out of a paper bag.

TK: Alexander McCall Smith can write circles around Elmore Leonard.

AMS: Listen, I appreciate it, but there's no point in arguing-----
TR (RICO): Shut up. Butt out. This is between me and him.

AMS: I'm only saying that Elmore Leonard is a perfectly wonderful writer and that-----

TK: You Rico---- take this----- (BIG KAPOW, TR REACT, THEY SLUG IT OUT, POW POW POW) 

GK: Hey, you two----- cut it out-----watch out, Mr. Smith.

SS: Ohhhh, Mr. Smith. You got hit. You're bleeding.

AMS (WEAKLY): It's all right. I's only material for my new book.

SS:  I'm going to get you out of here.

AMS (WEAKLY): Oh that's too kind of you-----

GK: I thought you were coming to get me out of here.

SS:  He's hurt. Look. He's getting blood on his shirt. I'm going to take you home with me, Mr. Smith, and get that shirt off you and soak it in cold water and wash it-----

AMS (WEAKLY): Sounds lovely, Sugar.

GK: What about me?

SS: Why can't you think of anyone but yourself, Guy? I'm taking Mr. Smith home and he's going to lay down while I wash his clothes.

AMS: Lie down. But never mind. I'll lay down if you like. You're so kind. So terribly kind.

SS: I love the way you talk. Do you know any poems?

AMS: Come live with me and be my love and we shall all the pleasures prove that this brief summer yields.

GK: Hey, hold on just a minute---- (BIG STEEL DOOR OPEN)

TR (IRISH): Okay, Smith. This way.

SS: Thank you, Lieutenant.

TR (IRISH): Anytime, Sugar.

GK: What about me, McCafferty?

TR (IRISH): What about you? (BIG STEEL DOOR SLAMS SHUT)

AMS: I will make you brooches and toys for your delight, of birdsong at morning and star song at night, and this shall be for music when no one else is near, a fine song for singing that only you shall hear. (FOOTSTEPS AWAY)

SS: I could listen to you all night, Mr. Smith.

AMS: Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments...(BRIDGE)

GK: The guy came to me asking for my help and I tried to help him and he walked away with my girl. Authors. They are not to be trusted. They will betray you at the drop of a hat.

TR (IRA): Mr. Noir, my name is Franzen. Jonathan Franzen. I'm writing a novel about St. Paul and I'd like some help----

GK: Get lost, Franzen.

TR (IRA): I just need to ask you a few questions----

GK: Beat it. Amscray. Hit the road. 

(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.