TR (ANNC): 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.
GK: It was December, and I was in New York working odd jobs. At night I was staying at the Self Storage Motel on the Far West Side. Mondays and Wednesdays I handed out flyers for the Chicken Little Rotisserie, wearing a chicken mask with a big red comb and making soft clucking sounds. (SFX) Tuesdays and Thursdays I worked as a personal shopper for busy professionals who would be shy about having people see them in a department store, confused and desperate. People like Tom Brokaw.
TR (BROKAW): I want a fishing lure, that sings lullabyes –---- I think it's called a Lorelei or a Luellen. It's a large lure, looks like a little lollipop.
GK: Okay, and what does it sing?
TR (BROKAW): "My Walleye Lies Over The Ocean."
GK: I'll do my best. And there was Regis Philbin.
TR (REGIS): Holy cow it's Christmas! Where have I been? Here, take some money, go to Duane Reade and just go crazy.
GK: And Donald Trump.
TR (TRUMP): I want a gold limo with a blond named Katrinka in the back seat and--- oh wait. I already have that.
GK: And some people I'd forgotten about.
SS (HILLARY): Remember me? Still a New Yorker, despite my tireless work in behalf of human rights, free and fair elections, and world peace.
GK: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
TR (BILL): Me too. Hi there. Looking good.
GK: So you want me to find you something for Christmas?
SS (HILLARY): Something for our daughter who is now a celebrity in her own right.
TR (BILL): Like maybe a pancake maker. The one where you put the batter in the top, and it spits the pancake out the side. Beautiful thing. Love that. Love to watch it.
GK: And then I got a call from a guy named Terrence B. Schoendecker. An investment banker. I met him at a coffee shop downtown.
TR (RICH GUY): It's like this, you see. I just got a bonus. It's obscenely big. So big I don't want to tell you how big it is.
GK: So don't.
TR (RICH GUY): 85 million dollars.
TR (RICH GUY): I know. Think how I feel. What kind of a country rewards a guy like me who is just playing craps with other people's money and producing nothing of value while teachers, scientists, radio entertainers get paid chickenfeed?
GK: Right. So you need me to find a Christmas gift?
TR (RICH GUY): For my wife. I forgot our anniversary. In November.
GK: Uh oh.
TR (RICH GUY): Uh oh is right. She kept texting me all day, dropping hints like "Know what day today is?" and "Does St. Bartholomew's Church ring a bell?" Went right past me. Whoosh. I went out to a bar that night with some friends. Came home loaded. She hasn't spoken to me since.
GK: He wanted me to put on a Christmas party for his wife, Gardenia, in their 47-room apartment on Park Avenue, that would be the talk of the town. Money no object. So I went to work. I arranged for the Rockettes (PIANO & DANCING FEET & DIGI SISTERS SINGING):
We're in the money, we're in the money;
We've got a lot of what it takes to get along!
We're in the money, that sky is sunny,
Old Man Depression you are through, you done us wrong.
GK: I bought champagne (SFX SERIES OF CORKS POPPING) and filled up a bathtub with it (POURING). She loved horses so we arranged for the Lippizaner singing dogs (RD ACCORDION & DIGI SISTERS BARKING "HAIL HAIL THE GANG'S ALL HERE"). I brought in an elephant (SFX) and a couple of dolphins (SFX) and a French chanteuse
Hold me close and hold me fast
The magic spell you cast
This is la vie en rose.
GK: With the Schoendeckers' poodle Marcel.
SS & FN DOG (SING):
When you kiss me, Heaven sighs
And though I close my eyes
I see la vie en rose.
GK: I was charging up a storm on Mr. Schoendecker's Titanium credit card. I arranged for a flyover by eight F-16s (SFX) and a 12-gun salute by the battleship Iowa, anchored in the East River (SFX) and ---- the best thing ----- Bob Dylan singing while suspended from a helicopter flying over New York ------ (CHOPPER, TS SINGS: The singer, my friend, is blowing in the wind. The singer is blowing in the wind.) It was going to be the biggest party in the history of New York and then I got the phone call at a pay phone on Sixth Avenue which was serving as my office. (TRAFFIC, PHONE RING, PICKUP) Yeah. Noir.
TR (RICH GUY): It's me, Mr. Noir. Sorry. I had to leave town. Suddenly. (STING, BRIDGE)
GK: Tragedy had struck Mr. Schoendecker. A mere criminal indictment he could have handled. A whiff of scandal, it might've been a social asset. But the next day it was in all the papers. Mr. Schoendecker was infested with bedbugs. (CROWD SHOCK, MURMURS) A rare burrowing bedbug that gets under the skin. Cimex lectularius insidious (CROWD DISGUST) And he was shunned by everyone.
TR (BLOOMBERG): The money he donated to our cultural institutions has been returned and his name has been removed from the walls of the Metropolitan Museum. With a power chisel.
SS (NYER): Mr. Schoendecker is no longer a member of the Racquet Club. We have no further comment.
FN (PLIMPTON): He is no longer associated with our firm. His name has been scraped from the door and his bonus has been donated to charity.
SS (YOUNG): All employees of Starbucks have been, like, ordered not to allow him entry to our premises or whatever. We have totally doubled our security and we will be, like, prepared to use force if we have to, so just like, don't even go there, okay? God.
(PIANO, GRIMNESS AND DESPAIR)
TR (RICH GUY, ON PHONE): I'm sorry about this, Mr. Noir. Everything I've worked for, it's gone. Two days ago I was King of the Hill and now I'm crawling on my belly like a reptile. It's like something out of the Old Testament. The Book of Job (PRON LIKE "JOB").
GK: That's JOB, sir.
TR (RICH GUY, ON PHONE): JOB.
TR (RICH GUY, ON PHONE): Anyway, I'm in a railyard in Pittsburgh. Hopping a freight train heading for Minnesota. My cellphone is almost out of power. Goodbye, Mr. Noir.
GK: What about the Rockettes? The Air Force and Navy? Bob Dylan? (CLICKS) (STING, BRIDGE) So he got off a freight train in St. Paul and, to make a long story short, he was taken into a Bedbug Recovery Program at Hazelden where they sit you naked in a hot sauna for 15 minutes and then they throw you into a freezing lake. (TR WALKING BAREFOOT ACROSS ICE, STOPPING. COUNTING BACKWARD FROM 10, JUMP, SPLASH, SCREAM) (BRIDGE) He got an apartment on Selby Avenue and got a job in public radio delivering tote bags and coffee mugs. And his wife came out to be with him.
SS: I brought you a pie, Terry. Cherry.
TR (RICH GUY): Where'd you buy it?
SS: I made it.
TR (RICH GUY): You? You baked a pie?
SS: I made the crust and everything. It was a breakthrough. I did it for you, Terry.
TR (RICH GUY): You baked me a cherry pie----- (BRIDGE)
GK: They're out there, in love, working it out, and I'm still in New York. He promised to write me a check but I guess he has other things on his mind. Meanwhile, if you want to put on a party with F-16s and dolphins and the Rockettes, they are available:
DIGI SISTERS SING:
We are a dance line, all tall and skinny
And we can kick so high you can see our underwear WHEE
We are available for your next party
Just say a time and place and you'll know we'll be there.
TR (ANNC): A dark night in a city that knows how to keep its secrets. But 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).