Guy Noir, November 5, 2011

CFSB Center, Murray State University

Murray, KY


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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 one man is still trying to find the answers to life's persistent questions.....Guy Noir, Private Eye. (FADE)

GK: It was November. Chilly. Low clouds. Gray day. My landlord Doris had just turned on the heat and the radiators were complaining about it (CLANKING, GROANING, METALLIC SOBBING).

SS (DORIS): I'm doing the best I can. The heating system is on the National Registry of Historic Heating Systems. I can't upgrade it without going through the Heritage Commission.

GK: I looked out the window and saw a gray cloud that looked like someone I knew and then realized it was my face. A pale shadow of myself. (PHONE RING, PICKUP) Yeah. Noir here.

TR: Mr. Noir, my name is Sonny Wells and I'm down here in Murray, Kentucky. Murray State University. Perhaps you've heard of it.

GK: Indeed I have. Who hasn't. Famous for its fine basketball team, the Murray State Racers, and for it's excellent program in Equine Science.

TR: Good. I've come to the right man. Then you can understand my extreme pain that my son, Sonny Wells Jr., an outstanding basketball player on his high school team, is thinking about leaving Murray and going over to Western Kentucky University and playing for the Hilltoppers.

GK: I am staggered at the thought. Your own flesh and blood----

TR: I couldn't be more shocked if he dyed his hair purple and got a big ugly tattoo on his forehead.

GK: It's traitorous. It's a sort of patricide.

TR: I couldn't be more shocked if I found out that he was a liberal Democrat.

GK: I can feel your pain.

TR: My granddaddy would just roll over in his grave if Junior put on a Hilltoppers jersey. Thank goodness he is dead because if he were alive, it would kill him.

GK: Well, what makes you think he's planning to defect to WKU? Have you found a course catalogue in his underwear drawer?

TR (SOUTHERN, ON PHONE): Last Friday night he said he was going over to his girlfriend's house and in the morning I checked the odometer and he'd put 320 miles on it. Glenda lives two miles away. Bowling Green, Kentucky, home of W.K.U. is 150 miles from here.

GK: I see your reasoning.

TR (SOUTHERN): I am utterly beside myself, sir.

GK: And what does your wife say?

TR (SOUTHERN): Melissa is a horsewoman, sir.Non-stop. She rides by occasionally and waves and I hand her a sandwich.

GK: I'll be down tomorrow. (BRIDGE, INTO JET LANDING) So I took Blue Grass Airlines down to Murray, Kentucky.

SS (SOUTHERN): We are now making our descent into Murray Airport and in preparation for landing please make sure that your shotguns are in the upright and locked position and please stow all dead carcasses and other carrion in the overheads. We will be landing shortly, Lord willing, and if not I hope to see you at the Savior's right hand in glory. (JET LANDING) Okay. Guess I won't be seeing you in glory right now. See you in church on Sunday. Or not. I'm Baptist. Looks like some of you are Methodist. Good luck with that.

(BRIDGE)

GK: I went to the rental car company to get a car.

FN: Don't have cars. Just trucks.

GK: You're out of cars?

FN (SOUTHERN): You want to be driving a pickup around here, sir. Pickup with a dog in the front seat. You want a coon dog or a Labrador?

GK: Coon dog, I guess.

FN (SOUTHERN): Shotgun or a .22 in the gun rack?

GK: I got to have a rifle?

FN (SOUTHERN): They'll look at you sideways if you don't.

GK: Twenty-two.

FN (SOUTHERN): Whiskey or beer?

GK: That comes with the truck?

FN (SOUTHERN): Whiskey or beer?

GK: Beer.

FN (SOUTHERN): Okay. Just so you know, the truck comes covered with dust and there's manure in the box ---- so's people won't think you're not from around here.

(BRIDGE)

GK: I drove up to the Wells farm outside of Murray just as a tall woman rode by on a handsome horse (CANTER, WHINNY) -----

SS (OFF): FORWARD----- HIYOOOOOOOO. HEE YAW!!!!!!!

GK: I assumed it was Mrs. Wells, the mother of Junior. And out came Mr. Wells, in a hunting jacket with a shotgun over his shoulder and two dead grouse hanging from his belt. (FOOTSTEPS)

TR (SOUTHERN): I'm sure that WKU is a perfectly good school, Mr. Noir. Good Christian people there, surely ----- misguided, perhaps, and we keep them in our prayers, but our family has never sent anybody there and the thought of him playing basketball ----- I'd rather he converted to Islam.

GK: Maybe he's just taking off to visit some girl he doesn't want you to know about?

TR (SOUTHERN): Oh, I doubt that, Mr. Noir. Junior is focused on basketball. I believe he's gone over to the dark side. I'd appreciate it if you'd follow him tonight and see where he's headed. (BRIDGE)

GK: I looked around town and dropped in at a little restaurant over on Chestnut. Bad Bob's BBQ. (DOOR OPENS, BELL JINGLES)

FN (SOUTHERN): Howdee! Come on in and set yourself down. What can I getcha? We got Squealers on special tonight. And the Big Hawg Combo is pretty good. Or the BBQ Bologna Plate. You can get that with cheese fries. Or there's the Hawgzilla combo. It comes with slaw, beans, a bun and Bad Bob's Hawg rub packet. You want that? It's reaaaalllly good...

GK: I don't think so----- you wouldn't happen to have a salad would you?

FN: You want a side of potato salad?

GK: I was thinking of the kind with green leaves.

FN: You mean greens? We got greens.

GK: Leafy greens, like lettuce. Arugula. Spinach.

FN: We got creamy spinach.

GK: Raw spinach.

FN: You eat raw spinach?

GK: I do.

FN: Right off the ground?

GK: We wash them.

FN: Cooking is better than washing for getting the germs off.

GK: How about you give me some pre-cooked spinach, and give me a big Hawg combo for my dog?

FN: Okay. You want greens, or beans, or cole slaw with that?

GK: YOU WANT GREENS OR BEANS OR COLE SLAW WITH THAT? (DOG HOWLS, OFF) I donno what he said.

FN: He said beans.

GK: You sure?

FN: Yeah. He wants beans.

GK: Are we close to Bowling Green?

FN: Nope.

GK: How far is it from here?

FN: Look, if you want Bowling Green, you gotta keep goin' East on this here road and head down to Caneyville. Once you get to Roundhill, just outside of Big Reedy, go right. Got that? Keep goin' til you hit Glasgow Road and then you want to take New Bowling Green Road....

(BRIDGE)

GK: I took the pork and beans out to my pickup truck. (PANTING). Easy boy. (LICKING CHOPS). There you go. You need a napkin. (DOG SAYS NOPE----- SNARFING AND CHEWING). I waited for Junior to go by and I turned on the GPS. (FLIPS SWITCH)

SS (GPS LADY): Enter destination. (BING BONG)

GK: I don't know the destination. I just need a map showing me where I AM. (CAR, LOUD MUFFLER, PASSES) There he goes. Junior. Heading east. (CAR REV AND GO)

SS (GPS LADY): Enter destination. (BING BONG)

GK: I don't know where I'm going, okay?

SS (GPS LADY): I'll say. (BING BONG)

GK: C'mon I just want to see a map. A map. Just show me where I am right now.

SS (GPS LADY): When possible, make a legal U-turn. Or move over and let me drive. (BRIDGE)

GK: I followed Junior for 150 miles but it wasn't to Bowling Green. It was to a club just outside of Nashville, Tennessee. (CAR PULLING TO A STOP) I followed him in. (FOOTSTEPS ON GRAVEL) It was a club called Transcendental Banjo and there was incense burning and candles and people waving cellphones in the air and a band on stage called The Brotherhood Brothers.

(MUSIC) (ALL THE GOOD TIMES ARE PAST AND GONE)

GK & PR (SING):

I've got no future, no present or past
My life is a mess and I hate it
I wish to the Lord I'd never been born
Or else could be reincarnated

I'm aware of my breath going in and out
And in and out and in
Exhale inhale exhale and
Repeat my mantra again

Give us the grace to accept what must be
And the courage to change what we can
And get me the name of that beautiful girl
Who is looking up at the band.

(BRIDGE)

GK: Junior was sitting cross-legged on the floor next to a woman in a saffron robe and they seemed to be together. -----Hey, Junior.

TR (SOUTHERN, STONER): Yeah man.

GK: You play the banjo, Junior?

TR: I do and I don't, man. That's why they call the club Transcendental Banjo. Banjo is not an instrument, banjo is a state of being. You play a banjo in order to be in a state of banjohood and when you are you don't have to play anymore. You are beyond banjo. You transcend it. Out of nothing comes something and that which is not is not that which is. Okay?

GK: Okay. And just then a band called Boddhisatva Grass got up to sing ----- (TABLA, SITAR, UNDER MULESKINNER BLUES)

PR (SINGS):

Good morning Teacher good morning guru of mine
My coping mechanisms
Don't help me all the time

Well it's hey my mentor bring your support system 'round
I need some mentoring so bring your resources'round
I'm in a downward spiral and there's no spa in this town

I'm thinking about being ----- being is what I want to be
I'm thinking about being ----- being is what I want to be
Can't no sweet-talking woman make a Baptist out of me.

(BRIDGE)

GK: I got back to the Wells farm in Murray and Mr. Wells was waiting on the porch.

TR (SOUTHERN): So, he's not driving to Bowling Green to go to the Hilltoppers' Friday night games?

GK: Nope. It's worse.

TR: He's dating a Catholic?

GK: Nope. Worse. He's going to a club down in Nashville where they sing Bill Monroe but they change the words.

TR: How can they do that?

GK: I don't know, sir.

TR: That's like putting lipstick on the Mona Lisa. It's like putting a drum break in Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. ---- Hey Junior???

TR (DOPER): Yeah?

TR: Remember how you asked me if it would be okay to get a tattoo?

TR (DOPER): Yes?

TR: Well, I'm going to give you one right now. Just lie down.

TR (DOPER): Okay. Cool.

TR: I'm going to put this blindfold on you.

TR (DOPER): Cool.

TR: And now I'm going to give you some ether. Breathe deep. (BREATHE IN GAS MASK) Good.

(TATTOING NEEDLE)

GK: On his forehead?

TR: It's the only way. R-A-C----------E-R. There. Marked for life. (BRIDGE)

GK: Kentucky ----a person is surrounded by music there. In the yard (FROGS, CRICKETS) and on the porch (BANJO) and people eat a lot of fried food ----- fried ham (SIZZLE) and biscuits in gravy (SFX) and fried salad (SFX) and it makes your voice smooth and sweet and it is a point of pride for a man to sing in a high voice like Bill Monroe (PR ACAPELLA: I heard a sweet voice calling........ (COON DOG HOWLS IN HARMONY)

(THEME)

SS: 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)

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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