University of Minnesota-Morris, Physical Education Center Gym, Morris MN
TR (ANNC): 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 trying to find the answers to life's persistent questions: Guy Noir, Private Eye.
GK: It was February, and we were in the middle of a heat wave. After weeks of brutal cold, suddenly it was in the 40s and 50s (DRIPPING) and the snow was melting and men who'd been majoring in business switched to music performance (TR TENOR) and women who were going into nursing went into exotic dance instead (LATIN PERC, SS CRIES) and meanwhile in Morris, Minnesota, they were planning a ten-million dollar amusement park called Vikingland.
TR (MIDWESTERN): It all started, Mr. Noir, when we were excavating for a sewer and we found the burial tomb from the 13th century full of helmets and swords and shields and flags and the body of a Viking chieftain named Olaf Olafsson. And stone tables with ancient Viking runic writings, which we're having translated.
GK: Sounds interesting.
TR: Morris, Minnesota---- center of the whole Viking domain in North America in 1265.
GK: Well, that's quite a distinction.
TR: Well, isn't that right. And that's why we need you.
GK: What's going on?
TR (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): Some of the other towns around here are envious of Morris and they're spreading vicious rumors that the Viking stuff is a complete hoax.
GK: A hoax??
TR (MID, PHONE): It's pretty shocking that your neighbors would say that about you but it's a fact.
GK: I'm on my way.
GK: I went out to Morris and I met Mr. Peterson at a coffeeshop called Doris's. ---- Say, I'm wondering if you could make me a latte?
SS: Yeah, of course. You want one?
GK: Yes. A large latte.
SS: Then why not just ask for one?
SS: Instead of saying (DOPEY VOICE) “I'm wondering if you could make me a latte”? Yes, I can make a latte. I have two hands, I'm not an idiot. I have an espresso machine.
SS: What do you think we are? Ignorant peasants? (ESPRESSO MACHINE, IN HARSH BURSTS, WITH ANGER)-----
TR: Ah, Mr. Noir. Just in time. This Vikingland idea is going like a house afire. Our Congressman came up with ten million dollars in stimulus money and----- take a look at this.
GK: He stuck a DVD into his laptop and showed me how VikingLand would look with big Nordic men in skirts and helmets at the gates (TR BELLOWING NORSK) and a Viking ship ride: the ship is suspended on long arms and it swings back and forth, (SFX, PEOPLE REACT), and around in circles (SFX, PEOPLE REACT), and a water flume called the Pillager's Plunge (WAVE OF WATER, PEOPLE ON FLUME).
TR: And this is Leslie Loomis, our new Executive Director. Just hired her. She's a producer. She produced the big King Tut tour, the Titanic tour, Rin Tin Tin, Archbishop Tutu, the World Teeter-Totter Competition, the Leon Trotsky tour, the Tutti Frutti Tater Tot tour, the Scottish Tantra Tartans -----
GK: I remember the King Tut tour. Not really top tier. A toga worn by King Tut's trigonometry tutor. And the Archbishop Tutu tour was a show of his more tempestuous Twitter texts. And tintypes she said came from Tintern Abbey that truthfully were traced to Trenton, New Jersey.
SS: People loved it.
GK: It lost money.
SS: Says you. (BRIDGE)
GK: I didn't have a good feeling about VikingLand and then Mr. Peterson drove me to the excavation site and we walked down a long stone staircase (SFX) and through a heavy wooden door (BIG HEAVY DOOR OPENS) into the tomb.
TR (MIDWESTERN): So….here we are.
GK: That's him in the coffin.
TR (MIDW): Yeah. Olaf Olafsson. Viking chieftain. GK: Very well preserved.
TR (MIDW): Well, he was Norwegian. They have a high-sodium diet, you know.
GK: I notice he's wearing a tie.
TR (MIDW): The Vikings invented neckties. They wore them around their necks and then they took them off and put them around somebody else's neck and strangled him.
GK: And a tie clasp.
TR (MIDW): Used for eye gouging.
GK: And cuff links.
TR (MIDW): They'd toss those down on the ground and when the enemy stepped on one with his bare feet and he shrieked with pain, they'd take their necktie and strangle him.
GK: These were serious people.
TR (MIDW): That they were.
GK: Well, it's all pretty impressive. What do you need me for? Looks like everything's under control.
TR (MIDWESTERN): This is a huge thing for Morris. The only Viking burial site in North America. And we don't want these rumors that the whole thing is a hoax. ---- Look at this.
GK: Three stone tablets. And ancient Norse runic writing, I believe.
TR (MIDWESTERN): This one, according to our translator, describes a buffalo hunt. And this one is a saga describing a feast to celebrate the harvest. And this one describes the principles of cruise control.
GK: Cruise control? But this is 1256 we're talking about
TR (MIDWESTERN): I know.
GK: Manual transmission hadn't even been invented.
TR (MIDWESTERN): I'm aware of that. It also talks about frozen waffles. (STING)
GK: What? But they didn't have toasters.
TR (MIDWESTERN): They toasted their frozen waffles on sidewalks.
TR (MIDWESTERN): They had concrete.
GK: So that's where the rumors come from that this is a hoax.
TR (MIDWESTERN): We want you to stifle the rumors. Keep them from spreading.
GK: Can't be done, sir.
TR (MIDWESTERN): No?
GK: Nope. Because this isn't a Viking chieftain. It's Olaf Olafsson, Grand Oya of the Morris Sons of Knute, 1954-1969.
TR: How do you know that?
GK: Says it right here. They buried his obituary along with him. It's under the helmet.
TR (MIDWESTERN): Darn. ---- Oh that hurts.
GK: I know.
TR: What do you know? You don't know. You come up here from the Cities with your know-it-all attitude and you try to push us around and puncture our balloon and ----- (HE SOBS) It was going to be so beautiful. So beautiful.
GK: You can still build an amusement park. But you can't put his body on display. You've got to put him back in the ground. (BRIDGE) The next day the Congressman who had earmarked the ten million dollars for the Vikingland museum and amusement park (TK (JOWLY, GIBBERISH) announced that he had always opposed earmarks so Vikingland was dead. But Morris still had a terrific college and when you've got that, you've got a stake in the future. And the future is a more thrilling ride than a boat that swings back and forth. ----Say, you wouldn't happen to have a bran muffin, would you?
SS: Yeah, of course. You want one?
GK: Yes. Please.
SS: Then why don't you just ask for one?
SS: Instead of saying (DOPEY VOICE) “You wouldn't happen to have a bran muffin”? We don't “happen to have” anything. We order it. Or we make it. It didn't just walk in the door on its own. I baked it. You want one?
GK: Okay, okay. You didn't happen to major in English and gender studies, did you?
SS: “Happen to major”?
GK: It's a happening major.
TR (ANNC): 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 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).