Minnesota State Fair Grandstand
Falcon Heights, MN
Guy NoirListen (MP3)
SS: A dark night in a city that knows how to keep its secrets, but on the twelfth floor of the Acme Building, one man is still trying to find the answers to life's persistent questions......Guy Noir, Private Eye.
GK: It was Labor Day weekend. And I'd gotten part-time work at the Minnesota State Fair, walking around the Fair grounds trying to enforce the Fair's dress code. My boss was a woman named Florence Flexner.
SS (FLEXNER): We do not allow low-rider pants or T-shirts that reveal the bellybutton. Or baseball caps worn backwards.
GK: Yes, ma'am.
SS (FLEXNER): Find them. Remind them. And if you catch them a second time, throw them out. We don't tolerate sloppy dress at the Fair.
GK: If you're going to throw out people with exposed bellybuttons, ma'am, you talking about throwing quite a few people, we may have to call in the National Guard.
SS (FLEXNER): I didn't make the rules, I am only here to enforce them. (STING)
GK: So, for $10 an hour, I walked around the Fair looking for bellybuttons.
TK (BARKER): Hey hey hey, come on, step right up......hurra hurra hurra, It's the freak show, they're in here, they're under the tent, they're all alive. We've got vegans here, actual vegans, they walk, they talk, and they eat lentils. (FADE) Hurra hurra hurra. FN (BARKER): Hey, how about it---- guess the number of ping-pong balls in the chest of drawers and win a free aluminum storm door. Come on. Whaddaya say, whaddaya say----- TR (BARKER): I'm gonna show you something now that'll cut your kitchen prep time in half ----- it chops, it dices, it slices, it purees (SFX CHAINSAW) ---- and it also cuts wood.
GK: I walked 500 feet and saw a hundred bellybuttons and decided I just wasn't going to bother with that. I walked past the Home Activities Building and there was a bellybutton looking straight at me.
ER: Hey. What's up? Come on in. Want me to iron your pants? (SEXY SAX)
GK: I turned and saw a woman in a haltertop and jeans so tight they looked like they'd been sprayed on.
ER: Welcome to the Home Activities Building.
GK: A pleasure to meet you, ma'am.
ER: I'm sure it is.
GK: Never been in the Home Activities Building before---- I always thought it was just a lot of quilts and knitting and that----
ER: In my home we have a lot more activities than quilting and knitting. A lot more. Want me to show you some, big boy?
GK: Maybe so.
ER: If you want to come in and sit down, I'd be happy to iron your pants. Or anything else you need ironed. They call me the Iron Lady. I love to iron. I like to use a steam iron. (HISS) It's really hot. (STING)
TR (STONER): Hey dude, where's the beer garden at, huh?
GK: The beer garden?
TR (STONER): Yeah, like where's it at anyway?
GK: You want me to tell you a place that's like where it is or the place where it actually is?
TR (STONER): Huh? What you say?
GK: Did you know that the bill on your cap is supposed to face front?
TR (STONER): Huh? No way.
GK: Way. (TR PROTEST) And pull up your pants so the waist is around your waist. You don't want to have to reach down to your knees to get change out of your pocket. (TR PAIN) And here---- you got a fishhook or something caught in your eyebrow (SPRONG, TR YELL OF PAIN)
GK: And just then my beeper went off (SFX) and I got a call from headquarters ----- (SS FLEX ON PHONE: Return to base immediately. Repeat. Return to base. Code 3 emergency. Code 3. Over and out) So I made my way back through the crowd----
FN: (BARKER): I'll guess your weight, guess your height, guess your I.Q. Step right up........... TK (BARKER) : It's the Miracle Sponge Mop, folks, and look ----- (SPLORSH, SUCKING SFX). Fifteen gallons of water in thishalf-inch mop. And you flip the lever and (CLICK, SPLOOSH)---it's back in the bucket. It's just $29.99. Not available in stores.
TR: Hurra hurra hurra. Yowsa yowsa. Step right up to see the boy who eats insects. Eats em alive, their little legs wiggling.....before your eyes. Spiders and flies and moths and fistsful of bark beetles. Right here. In our tent......(STING, BRIDGE)
GK: Back at headquarters, the boss was dead serious.
SS (FLEXNER): Listen up, I am only going to say this once. We have had an anonymous threat that was phoned in five minutes ago and we may have to shut down the Fair. Listen to this very carefully.
(TAPE REWIND, CLICK)
ER (ON TAPE): My name is Lisa Love and I am taking action against the mistreatment of animals by the Fair. If the Fair does not release all animals immediately and cease the sale of animal-based products, I will set off an enormous stink bomb on the Fairgrounds. This is not a threat, this is a promise. I mean it. (CLICK)
SS (FLEXNER): A stink bomb. What does that mean?
TR (IRISH): It's nothing. Hydrogen sulfide or something.
FN: Could be more than that. Big clouds of smoke.
TK: She sounds serious, that's for sure.
TR (IRISH): One of those animal rights people.
SS (FLEXNER): I think I have no alternative but to close down the Fair.
GK: No, don't do that.
SS (FLEXNER): Why not?
GK: I know her. Lisa Love. She used to work in the coffeeshop in my building. The Brew Ha Ha. If she's on the Fairgrounds, I'll find her. She's tall with neon green hair.
SS (FLEXNER): Okay, I'll give you fifteen minutes to find the perp and bring her back, but after that----- I shut down the Fairgrounds. (STING, BRIDGE)
GK: It was one o'clock, the stock car races had just started. (CARS PASSING FAST). I headed down the street to the Food Building and I went inside. (CARS FADE) I knew Lisa was vegan but I didn't know she was so militant. I dropped by the World Wide Cheese Curd stand.
FN: Hey, Guy. How about a basket of curds?
GK: No thanks ---- hey Louie, you seen a tall dame with neon green hair today?
FN: You mean Lisa?
GK: So she's been here.
FN: Yeah, she gives us a hard time about cheese every year. But I told her---- hey ----- we're in compliance with state law.
GK: What's that?
FN: Minnesota requires that before you sell cheese curds to someone, you do a CAT scan of their coronary arteries----- see? This guy over here----- (HEART SFX) ----- sorry, old-timer----- you've got blocked arteries-----
TR (OLD): Please. Just a small basket.
FN: You're gonna have a heart attack.
TR (OLD): I know. And I want to have some cheese curds before I go. Please.
FN: I got low-fat.
TR (OLD): Low-fat cheese curds are like kissing the minister. (BRIDGE)
GK: I headed for the animal barns past the cotton candy machine (SFX) and the Children's Barn where little kids go to see the Miracle of Birth (SHEEP IN LABOR, SS GIRL: Yucchhhh......Ewww......gross) and next to it the gospel tent ----- (ORGAN)
FN: If you're hungry ----- if the deep-fried foods of this world fail to satisfy your spiritual needs.....(FADING)
GK: And next to that a big tent-----
TK (BARKER): Step right up and see the World's Largest Wonton ----- It's as big as a mobile home ----- the only walk-in Won Ton that's more than one ton....(FADING)
GK: And past the Democratic Farmer Labor booth where Senator Al Franken was shaking hands.
TR (AL): (LOUD AL LAUGH) Hey, how you doin? Call me Al. Hey. What's the difference between a U.S. Senator and a Rottweiler? Huh? What's the difference? Wingtips. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
GK: I got to the Swine Barn and there was a 3000-pound hog (SFX), a hog so big they put a beeper up his butt for when he backed up (PIG, BEEPER)......and then I spotted her, sitting on a bench. ---- (FOOTSTEPS) Hey Lisa. Remember me? Guy Noir.
ER: Yeah. I remember you. Remember you were a lousy tipper.
GK: Well, I've got a tip for you now, sister. Tell me where the stink bomb is and it'll go easier on you.
ER: I'm tired of having to breathe animal fat in the air. The lard they cook the deep-fried stuff in. It's everywhere. People don't realize ----- we are putting living creatures into gaseous form. It's not right.
GK: Where is the stink bomb, Lisa?
ER: Why can't people come to the Fair and eat broccoli? Food that's good for them. Tomatoes. You could fry tomatoes in corn oil. People could come to the Fair, get some exercise, learn about nutrition, do some yoga, eat healthy -----
GK: It's not going to happen, Lisa. People like to live high on the hog.
ER: Animals are creatures. Like us. They have brains, they have feelings-----
GK: How do you know that?
ER: That pig over there?
GK: The 3000-pound one?
ER: He's written a memoir. He wrote it on a computer.
ER: With extra large keys. It's good. About 30 pages. Take a look.
GK: Okay, but first tell me where the stink bomb is.
ER: There is no stink bomb.
GK: Okay. I looked at the memoir and as I read the first paragraph which began "Yes, I was born in a barn, and yes I know that the word pig is a derogatory term to most people. That's why I'm writing this book." And just then----- (BIG MUFFLED FART, THEN ANOTHER) (SOUNDS OF CROWD PANIC: pew! Who cut the cheese?? P.U. )
ER: It wasn't me!!!
GK: Who was it then?
ER: It wasn't me!
GK: And just then the door of the Port-O-Let opened and out came Florence Flexner. (SFX)
SS (FLEX): Oh. Hello. What's everybody looking at? What's going on? ----- Okay, folks, let's go back to work. Mr. Noir----- you're on bellybutton patrol. And do something about low pants.
GK: Yes, ma'am. (BRIDGE) I read the pig's memoir and it was pretty good for a pig but it moved very slowly and after ten pages about corn meal, I set it down and for the life of me, I can't remember where. The world's only known book by a pig and I lost it and frankly, I don't think it's a great loss.
SS: 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 OUT)
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).