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 April and I was in Nashville, working on the case of a woman named Frances Fantod who had fallen for a guitarist. She had met him at a party and he played her a song and she got all woozy and the wedding was set for May 1st and she was starting to come to her senses.
EH: His name is Shady Johnson and I love him, Mr. Noir, but I realized the other day that I don't know him very well. I only met him Tuesday and it was in dim light and he'd had a lot to drink.
GK: Have you told your mother about this?
EH: I want to surprise her.
GK: What's the big rush?
EH: He's leaving on tour on May 2nd and I'm leaving on the 3rd. So it's now or never.
GK: You're a singer?
EH: Banjo player and clog dancer. It's a big show called Cirque du Rolaids. One hundred girl banjoists doing synchronized swimming.
GK: Cirque du Rolaids.
EH: It's huge.
GK: You wouldn't think underwater banjo would be that big a draw-----
EH: I know. I came to Nashville to be a singer-songwriter and now I'm playing banjo underwater in a glittery bikini. Who knew?
GK: Well, that explains why you want to marry Shady. So how can I help?
EH: I just want to make sure he doesn't have any big dark secrets.
GK: All guitarists have secrets, Miss Fantod, and the secret is: they're broke. There are a thousand excellent guitarists in Nashville and 900 of them are on food stamps. Or they have girlfriends.
EH: Oh, Shady works all the time. He's on tour through November with Brad Parsley and the Electric Rutabagas.
GK: What's that?
EH: Men dressed up as vegetables playing music on trapezes and setting each other on fire. It's another Cirque du Rolaids production.
GK: Sounds like it. Entertainment has taken some strange directions.
EH: He came to Nashville to be the next Chet Atkins and now he wears a potato outfit and blows fire out of his nose.
GK: And you want me to break into his apartment.
EH: I just want to see what it looks like inside.
GK: You've never been in his apartment?
EH: He always comes to my apartment.
GK: He never invited you over?
GK: Then I can tell you what the apartment looks like. It looks like a bomb went off in there.
EH: I just want to know how many guitar belt buckles he has. And what kind of dog he has. And if he has food fetishes. You know? Is he addicted to marshmallows? That kind of thing.
GK: Okay. (STING)
GK: A woman about to marry a man and she wants to know what he's really like ---- perfectly reasonable, so I went to 4711 Magnolia Boulevard in Nashville (CAR SLOWS, STOPS) and walked around to the side door. The one with the Rolling Stones tongue decal and the Duane Allman for President bumper sticker. (JIGGER) I opened the lock with a credit card and (DOOR CREAKS OPEN) got in and tiptoed up the stairs (SLIGHT CREAKS, STEPS) to the door and (LOW GROWL, BEHIND DOOR) I could see under the door the enormous feet of a beast standing on the other side. I sprayed a little chloroform through the keyhole (DOG MOANS) and opened the door and the Rottweiler lay dazed on the linoleum floor ----(DOG BREATHING) and I gave him a muscle relaxant (POP) and put him out. (SLOW FOOTSTEPS) The kitchen was quite neat. For a guitarist it was impeccable. (DOOR OPEN) In the refrigerator, I saw mostly fruit and vegetables. One beer, a Czech Pilsener.
TR: HELLO? WHO ARE YOU???
GK: Your name Shady?
TR: No. It's Larry.
GK: This your apartment?
TR: No. I'm the cleaner.
GK: So Shady hired you to clean.
TR: Yeah. What'd you do to my dog?
GK: That's your dog.
GK: He just lay down for a nap, I guess. I donno. I'm with the IRS. The name is Guy Wire. We're auditing his return. It'll only take a minute. How long you worked for him?
TR: About six hours.
GK: So this is a one-time thing?
GK: What was the apartment like when you got here?
TR: Like a bomb went off.
GK: Any bags of money lying around?
GK: Strange food products? Marshmallows?
TR: There was a 50-pound bag of pistachios.
GK: Any weird videos?
TR: An instruction video called "The Art of Underwater Banjo"------
(KEY IN DOOR, DOOR OPEN. FOOTSTEPS)
FN: HEY. Looks great. Great job. Thanks.
GK: You're Shady?
GK: I'm the Reverend Onassis from First Methodist---- pleasure to meet you.
TR: Hey wait a minute-----
GK: You just finish your cleaning, sir. Here's $50 for your trouble.
GK: Frances asked me to come by for a little premarital counseling. Is this a good time?
FN: Sure. I guess---- I have a banjo lesson in twenty minutes but-----
GK: You love her, right?
GK: What about the pistachios?
FN: I'm keeping them for a friend.
GK: How many of those big belt buckles you got?
GK: Anything weird about you I ought to know about?
FN: Well......sometimes I forget to lift up the toilet seat.....you know.....
GK: But you're working on that.
FN: I am. And I have an irritating habit of standing too close to people and talking too loud.
GK: I noticed that.
FN: And I am sort of addicted to Glade room freshener.
GK: You like to sniff it?
FN: I like to spray it in my ear.
GK: You're going to have to get on top of this.
FN: I'm in a recovery group right now.
GK: Anything else?
FN: I have panic attacks if I don't have raisins in my shirt pocket.
GK: Perfectly normal. Lots of people have that. Good luck. See you on May 1st.
FN: See you. (BRIDGE)
EH: So? Anything in Shady's apartment I need to know about?
GK: He's a fine fellow, Frances. And look----- he gave me this. For you.
EH: A video.....
GK: A video of him playing banjo underwater-----
EH: Awwwww, he shouldn't have.
GK: Look. (BANJO, UNDERWATER BUBBLES, SCUBA)
EH: And he's clog-dancing! (UNDERWATER CLOGGING, BANJO, SCUBA)
GK: And watch this----- watch------ (RISING FROM THE WATER, PLAYING BANJO, FN BLOWS FIRE)
EH: Flames coming out of his ears!!!! While playing banjo!!! How does he do it???
GK: I'm sure you'll find out. Good luck to you.
EH: Do you think I'm doing the right thing, Mr. Noir?
GK: Darling, if we keep asking ourselves that we're not going to get anywhere are we?
EH: Do you think we can have a happy marriage?
GK: You seem like a happy woman, Frances.
EH: I am. Somehow, synchronized swimming fulfils me. I never imagined that it would, but it does. I feel happy down there. And have you ever heard a banjo underwater?
GK: I never have.
EH: You should.
GK: I'll keep that in mind.
TR (ANNC): A dark night in a city that knows how to keep its secrets. But on the 12th floor of the Acme building, on 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).