Guy Noir, October 22, 2011

The Fitzgerald Theater

Saint Paul, MN


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Guy Noir

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(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, one of those fall days when a cold wind blows out of the northwest and dark clouds pile up like dirty laundry and you look at them and see the faces of people you used to know and you try to remember if they still owe you money. (KNOCKING ON DOOR) Yeah? Come in, the door's unlocked. (DOOR OPEN, FOOTSTEPS, DOOR CLOSE. FOOTSTEPS) Morning, sir. Have a seat.

JL: Thanks (FOOTSTEPS). My name is Butts, Mr. Noir. Ralph Butts.

GK: B-u-t-t-s?

JL: Yes.

GK: Unusual name.

JL: You think so?

GK: Seems like it to me.

JL: I never thought so.

GK: It wasn't hard growing up with a name like Ralph Butts?

JL: Not when you've got the kind of money we do. I was proud of us Butts. I've always been a Butts and I'll always be a Butts.

GK: Grew up with money, huh?

JL: Daddy owned the Chase Manhattan Bank. It's a family business.

GK: I see. And now you work for the bank?

JL: The bank works for me.

GK: Of course. So what's the problem?

JL: I have a girlfriend named Heather. The love of my life. Beautiful woman. Hot-tempered. We have these terrific arguments about tax structure and then we make love. And then we work it out in the bedroom. But now she's taking part in these street demonstrations against banks and Wall Street ----- she's camped out there with a video camera. She's a revolutionary, and I love her for it, Mr. Noir. I just wish she'd return my calls.

GK: So she's with the "99%" and you're the 1%.

JL: I'm more like the one-thousandth percent. But really I'm really an artist. A painter. Banking is just the family business.

GK: So why don't you give it up then?

JL: Well, I could. I've thought about it. But I have a private jet and a villa in the south of Spain that I'm very fond of.

GK: Well, how can I help, sir.

JL: I've got the heart of an artist and the bank account of a Butts. And I want to win her back. I'm in love. I want you to find her down in that Occupy Wall Street crowd. And persuade her to come back. And occupy my heart.

GK: You know, I hate to get involved in a romantic dispute like this. I mean, if Heather's changed her mind, there's not much I can do about it------

JL: I'm willing to pay good money, Mr. Noir.

GK: I'm sorry, but----

JL: Willing to pay a lot of money.

GK: You're making this hard, Mr. Butts.

JL: I'm willing to pay you anything to bring her back. (BRIDGE)

GK: So, I made my way down to the street, where all the protesters were gathered. (DRUMMING, OFF).

TK (YOUNG, OFF): Down with the rich!

TR (YOUNG, OFF): Throw em in the ditch!

SS (YOUNG, OFF): Down with patricians!

TK (YOUNG, OFF): Make em pay my tuition!

GK: And people marching back and forth, waving signs.

(MARCHING)

ALL (CHANTING): We're upset about how little we get.
Some get a lot and we do not.
Some ride in limos, but not us
We walk or we take the bus.
We're the 99 percent,
You own the country, we pay the rent.

GK: I found Heather with her video camera, filming the demonstration. (BLOGGING SFX)

SS: And, cut. Wow. That was great. So much action. Beautiful.

GK: Excuse me.

SS: Oh hi.

GK: The name's Noir. Guy Noir.

SS: You're a detective, aren't you. I can tell, the trenchcoat, the ashes on your shirt, the revolver under your jacket.

GK: That bulge? That's not a revolver. Those are love handles.

SS: Did Ralph send you? My old boyfriend?

GK: Well he loves you, Heather. You're the love of his life.

SS: He doesn't understand. I'm down here in solidarity with these people, making this documentary called "Up There and Down Here"----- all about economic injustice, how the richest 1% get richer on the backs of the middle class—the rich take away our job security, our health benefits, our homes, our savings, and our hope. And when we speak out about it, they start squealing like stuck pigs. We were lied to, Mr. Noir. The American Dream is a fantasy written by a banker and sold to the public with a 10-dollar box of popcorn. But it's game over, Noir. We're waking up.

TK (YOUNG, OFF): Yeah!

GK: I think Ralph is trying to understand, Heather.

SS: Ralph Butts doesn't want to understand.

GK: He wants to try to understand.

SS: Not good enough.

GK: He wants to make you happy.

SS: If he wants to make me happy, he can come off his high horse and start thinking about someone other than himself.

GK: I think he's thinking of you.

SS: He's thinking of me in his bed. Which means he's really thinking of himself.

GK: Well.

SS: Excuse me, I have some B roll to film.

(STING, FAST FOOTSTEPS OFF, BRIDGE)

GK: So, I reported back to Ralph Butts.

JL: Yes?

GK: The good news is that Heather is still passionate.

JL: Not about a man, I hope.

GK: No. About her movie. The bad news is that she's pretty angry at bankers.

JL: That means me, right?

GK: Well, you're part of the system.

JL: So? I didn't invent the system..

GK: You may have to step out of the system. You may have to give up your big house in the Hamptons.

JL: Which one?

GK: It might mean leaving your job and teaching in an inner city school for a while.

(A LONG BEAT)

JL: Can't I just pay someone else to do that?

GK: I'm afraid not.

JL: Oh boy. And probably I'd have to take public transportation.

GK: I think so. (BRIDGE) Ralph thought it over and came up with a proposal and I went back down to the street to find Heather.

TR (CHANTING): All you guys in Armani suits
We're gonna poke you in the snoots
Spit on your shoes and cut off your ties
Cut your lunches down to size.
Take away your V.I.P. pass
Make you sit in economy class.

(DRUMS, CHANTING FADE)

GK: Heather, you see that black Lincoln town car over there, idling on the corner.

SS: Leave me alone.

GK: Ralph is in it.

SS: So what?

GK: He's driving it himself.

SS: Why?

GK: He gave his chauffeur Raoul the day off to demonstrate.

SS: Really?

GK: He gave all the bank employees the day off to demonstrate against the bank.

SS: Ralph? Ralph did this? But why?

GK: He's in love with you. Simple as that.

SS: But he's a banker. He's rich.

GK: You could change that if you'd marry him.

SS: Oh?

GK: Money is meant to be spent. You want him to finance your documentary?

SS: He would do that for me?

GK: Get in the car, Heather. Find out for yourself.

SS: I don't want to sell out.

GK: It's not selling out, it's grasping an opportunity. You love him, don't you.

SS: I don't know.

GK: You think you shouldn't but secretly you do.

SS: Maybe.

GK: You're excited to see him, aren't you.

SS: I am.

GK: That's love.

SS: Hmm. Okay. (FOOTSTEPS, CAR DOOR OPENS, CLOSES)

JL: Heather.

SS: Hi Ralph.

JL: Champagne? (CORKSCREW, POP, FIZZ)

SS: How can you drink champagne at a time like this, Ralph? Let me out of here.

JL: It's French champagne. French workers have good health benefits and generous vacation leave.

SS: So you do have a heart.

JL: I'm leaving the bank, and opening an arts colony for the underprivileged in the Hamptons. I'll teach painting to at-risk kids. But first you and I are going to Barcelona. To talk. The villa is waiting. We can float in a 40-foot heated rooftop swimming pool and argue about tax policy.

SS: How much energy does that take? To heat a swimming pool?

JL: We can lie in a 40-foot unheated rooftop swimming pool and argue about tax policy.

SS: The flat tax is wrong, Ralph. It's obscene.

JL: I love it when you talk like that. Tell me how it's going to be, Heather.

SS: You're going to pay your fair share of taxes, Ralph. You're going from 37% to 55. And you're going to like it.

JL: I love it. Make me do it.

SS: I will, Ralph.

JL: And I'm going to pay for your documentary that shows people the ugly truth about the banking industry and the vultures who run it. You can despise bankers as much as you like, darling, just as long as you love me.

SS: I do, Ralph. It goes against my principles but I do----

JL: That's all I wanted to hear. Let's go.

(CAR SQUEALS OUT)

SS: How about Guy Noir? Did you pay him?

JL: Don't worry about it. (BRIDGE)

GK: So they flew to Barcelona and I'm still waiting for the check. I'm thinking about joining the demonstration. Come back, come back in your Lincoln town car. You owe me money, me, Guy Noir. I'm on your case, a Private Eye, So cut me a slice of the money pie. A man in a trenchcoat, won't be denied. I got love handles on either side. (THEME)

TR: A dark night in the city that keeps its secrets, where one guy 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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