New York, NY
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. (THEME UP AND OUT)
GK: It was December and I was in New York, trying to get away from people I owe money to back home. My landlady, Danny's Deli, the Five Spot. Even my coffee shop Solid Grounds was after me for money.
SS: You owe us thirty-four dollars and fifteen cents, Guy. (ESPRESSO SOUND) I'd like it paid up by Friday. (STEAM) Otherwise, I'm cutting you off. (SFX) I mean it. (SFX)
GK: Dolores. You can't cut off a man's coffee. Why not just cut my throat?
SS: Don't give me ideas. (STEAM)
GK: Times are hard, Dolores. There's a recession on, you know. I bought a toaster oven the other day and my free gift was a bank. I got a credit card in the mail and it was pre-declined. It's the recession. Angelina Jolie adopted a child from Nebraska.
SS: You're breaking my heart. Here----- here's your latte. The last one. (BRIDGE)
GK: My last latte. So that's why I went to New York. To get away from all that defeatism. My bus pulled in to the Port Authority (CROWD, PASSERSBY) and I walked through the crowds to the subway, just as a train was rolling in. (LONG BRAKES) There was music all around. (BREAKDANCE TRACK) Breakdancers and a guy playing the steel drums. (CHRISTMAS CAROL ON STEEL DRUMS) And a guy singing to a music track on a boombox. (ELECT ORGAN & TR:
O ascoltare le voci angelo
O notte divina!
O notte in cui Cristo ´ nato
O notte divina!
O notte, divino o notte!
GK: And there was a women's trio singing -----
DIGI SISTERS: (BACH: SLEEPERS AWAKE)
GK: They were good and they were selling CDs except nobody was buying them and I looked down and I could see why. The Larson Sisters. Excuse me------ (THEY STOP SINGING) You're from Minnesota, aren't you-----
CD: Yes. How'd you know?
GK: You're wearing a Golden Gophers sweatshirt, that's how----- listen---- let me save you a couple years of heartbreak----- change the name----- change the look-----
ND: Change the name??? But we're Larsons. That's who we are.
DD: We just got to New York and we're looking for singing jobs and meanwhile-----
CD: We're singing for rent money-----
GK: Kids, you're great. You're fantastic. But the name is doing you no good. Larson is okay if you're a hockey player or a CPA or a civil engineer or a pastor, but in the world of the arts, it's a stone around your neck.
CD: But we went to a high school for the talented and gifted------
GK: But if you're a Larson, people will not accept you as an artist. Trust me. Get an Italian name and dye the blonde hair and start wearing black. It's the only way.
DD: That's rough advice, mister.
GK: I know. But it's good advice. (CROWD PASSING, FOOTSTEP) The crowd was pushing and I moved on the next train. (LONG BRAKES) It was a C train, an older train. It smelled as if it might have been at one time a boxcar in which farm animals had been transported someplace they didn't want to go. (FN UNINTELLIGIBLE P.A. ANNOUNCEMENT) Excuse me, sir----- what did he say?
TR: He said that this train is out of service and for everybody to get off.
GK: I don't see anybody moving.
TR: They're waiting for a second opinion. (FN UNINTELLIGIBLE P.A. ANNOUNCE)
GK: What'd he say now?
TR: He said that this local is now an express to Ronkonkoma.
BC (LOUD): Excuse me. I'm sorry to bother you. I am unemployed, I am a former English teacher, and I am a poet and if you could help out, I'd be very grateful. I'd like to recite a poem for you-----
When in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes
I travel around in this disheveled state,
A panhandler whom travelers despise,
With my paper cup I come to supplicate.
SS: Aw, shut it, wouldja? Beat it.
BC: Spare change----- please----- help a poet ----- help a poet----- (SHAKING CUP W CHANGE)
GK: Hey. I know you. You used to be the Poet Lariat of the United States.
BC: Laureate. Not lariat.
GK: Where you going, sir?
BC: If you don't mind----- a poet laureate is never addressed as "Sir"-----
BC: Serene Highness is the customary form of address. Or Your Prominence.
GK: Very well. Thank you for correcting me. (BRIDGE) We got off the train downtown and walked into a coffee shop and I bought His Prominence a tall latte-----
BC: With a shot of absinthe, please.
GK: Yes, Serene Highness.
TR: One latte with absinthe coming up----- (SFX)
GK: And as we waited for his latte and my glass of water, he told me his story.
BC: I was a successful poet, writing dark poems in which I looked out rain-streaked windows onto a flat gray landscape scarred by man's inhumanity and greed and I opened the fridge and took out a container of Chinese take-out with mold on it and thought about mortality. I won awards for these poems and I had a very nice teaching position at a university that paid me a lot of money simply to come around once in awhile and breathe on the students.
GK: Sounds like a nice gig. What happened then?
BC: I started playing golf and I was really good at it and I got a very wealthy girlfriend and I started writing rhymed verse.
Tommy went to confession,
He said, "Bless me, for I have sinned."
Father Murphy said, "With whom?
Was it Megan or Marilyn?
Was it Brenda, fiona or Kathy?"
Tommy just rattled his beads.
The priest gave him four Our Fathers
And also five good leads.
GK: Light verse, huh.
BC: For some reason rhyme thrilled me.
GK: I see.
BC: And in the end that's what killed me.
GK: Uh huh.
BC: In academia.
BC: Humor is worse than uremia. They like poetry dark and mysterious. I was fired for being unserious.
GK: What's your name, (STING, BRIDGE)
BC: DiGiallonardo. Rhymes with Bardot.
BC: Orlando DiGiallonardo.
GK: That's a lot of cargo.
That's a name big enough to park cars in.
I think you should change your name to Larson.
And you'd be from Fargo. Out on the prairie.
Where life is scary. (STING, BRIDGE)
GK: And that's what we did. The Larson girls became the DiGiallonardos and right away their career took off. With a name like DiGiallonardo, you've got to be an artist. And Orlando became Orville Larson, a serious award-winning poet-----
BC: I look out my window streaked with tears
Across the corn stubble and the flatness of Dakota
And nobody is coming to see me.
I am alone. I and my dog and my shotgun
Lying across my lap,
Like a lover.
GK: And the DiGiallonardos soon were on the radio.
(BIG YOWSA YOWSA THEME)
TR (ANNC): From NEW YORK!!!! Live from the Tom-Tom Room at the fashionable Hotel Oglallah on West 43rd Street, it''s THE JIGGS WAHPETON SHOW, starring "the gal in the know," New York Journal-American gossip columnist Jiggs Wahpeton. And now....heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere's Jiggs----
SS: Thank you so much, Jack Carleton. And I can't tell you what a thrill it is for me personally to have as my guest today, none other than the brilliant, the stylish, the amazing and talented and gifted DiGiallonardo Sisters who are burning up the Billboard charts right now with their big big big hit for the Christmas season, "How'd You Like To Spend Christmas On Christmas Island" ----- I love it------
DIGI SISTERS (SING VERSE AND CHORUS, AND FADE UNDER...)
GK: I heard them on a radio in the subway where I was selling caramel apples ----- and I suppose I should've signed a contract to manage them and earned myself some money, but it's Christmas ------ a time for gifts ----- hey, get your caramel apples here, get your caramel apples...(FN UNINTELLIGIBLE P.A. ANNC)
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.