Guy Noir, May 5, 2012

State Theatre

Minneapolis, MN


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Guy Noir

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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.

(THEME)

GK: It was May, and warm out, and I assumed that with no more heating costs, my cash flow would stabilize, but then I got hit with a bill from my long-distance provider for $3,358. I had been carrying my phone in my back pocket and evidently everytime I sat down it called a number in Stockholm.

SS (ON PHONE): So when may we expect your payment, Mr. Noir? Tomorrow? Monday?

GK: Never. I never called Stockholm. Never.

SS (ON PHONE): You called Stockholm 47 times in February alone.

GK: I don't know anybody there.

SS (ON PHONE): Are you having short-term memory problems, Mr. Noir?

GK: This is an outrage.

SS (ON PHONE): Oh my. Let me write that down. "This is an outrage." Oh that is priceless.

GK: I'll fight you people to the death. I'll write my Congressman. I'll write letters to the editor. I'll organize marches.

SS (ON PHONE): Oh, you are the highlight of my day.

GK: Stockholm? Why would I call Stockholm 47 times in one month?

SS (ON PHONE): I guess you loved her very very much. (STING, BRIDGE)

GK: So I had to earn some dough. I saw an ad for people to teach accelerated small-motor skills to 4-year-olds to help them pass the entrance exams to get into a top kindergarten ---- I saw a job opening to collect saliva samples from dogs to get their DNA so people can find out whose poop it is on their lawn ----- and I saw an ad for a driver of a milk truck. I thought: I can do that. So I applied. It was an address in north Minneapolis. A woman drove up in a horse-drawn carriage. (CARRIAGE, HORSE HOOVES. FIVE BEATS AND STOP) Hi there.

JS: Good morning to thee.

GK: Uh huh. So you're Amish----

JS: Amen.

GK: You don't look Amish.

JS: I suppose not. I'm triple-A. African-American Amish.

GK: Never knew there were any.

JS: Well, now you know.

GK: A convert, huh?

JS: Indeed.

GK: Why?

JS: I got tired of modern conveniences. They keep breaking down and they can't be fixed, you just throw them away and buy another one. And they all have PIN numbers. I had to remember 47 PIN numbers just to cook and clean the house.

GK: So you went back to the 19th Century----

JS: And I like the color black.

GK: So you need a driver, huh?

JS: I'm in the milk business. I deliver non-pasteurized non-homogenized milk and yoghurt and cheese to a hundred and forty-seven households in Minneapolis. People who believe that raw milk makes their children smarter.

GK: Why not deliver with horse and buggy?

JS: Because raw milk is illegal.

GK: Aha.

JS: Sometimes on the milk route you've got to suddenly haul ass. And horses can't lay down rubber.

GK: No. I guess not.

JS: So can you start right away?

GK: I'm here. (STING, BRIDGE) She got in the car and I drove around Lake Harriet and saw people standing in little groups at the ends of alleys. Her customers waiting.

JS: Afternoon, Sarah.

SS: Hello, Prudence. You got cottage cheese today? I'd like a gallon. And a pound of the cheddar and a gallon of skim.

JS: No skim today, sorry, the skimmer wasn't working. How's your family?

SS: Josh went from video games to reading Moby Dick. Thirteen years old and he's in accelerated programs and Cheyenne is doing integral calculus.

JS: Your eight-year-old-----

SS: Right.

TR: How about blueberry yoghurt? You got that?

JS: Got raspberry and blackberry.

TR: Okay, blackberry.

JS: How're the kids?

TR: Jason got accepted into Harvard. Emily's graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Carleton.

JS: Congratulations.

TR: They were both of them C-minus students until we put them on raw milk.

JS: Well, I'm glad to hear it.

TR: I just finished my screenplay. Marcia got a big raise at work.

JS: Terrific.

TR: Our cat has learned to use a toilet and she is doing simple arithmetic. Raw milk.

JS: Excellent. (BRIDGE)

(DOOR OPENS, FOOTSTEPS)

SS (DORIS): Guy—

GK: Doris—listen-----

SS (DORIS): Don't even say it. I don't wanna hear it. Rent is four months due. Don't tell me it's in the mail, don't tell me there was a mix-up at the bank—just give me the money, Noir, or you're out.

GK: Doris, I'm moving out.

SS (DORIS): I'm gonna count to three, Guy, and if you're not writing a check by three----- what did you say?

GK: I'm leaving the Shropshire Arms, Doris. I'm moving to Lanesboro. I've converted to Amish. I'm changing my name to Ezra.

SS (DORIS): You. Amish.

GK: Traffic in the Cities is getting so bad. I'm ready for a different way of life. Simple living.

SS (DORIS): You. Simple living. Amish.

GK: People change, Doris. You go along for years in a rut and then one day, you see the light and you make the move.

TR (IRISH): Hey. Noir. I been looking for you.

GK: Lieutenant McCafferty.

TR (IRISH): Did I hear you say something about turning Amish? Huh? You're not part of that Mennonite Mafia that's going around selling illegal dairy products, are you?

GK: Of course not.

TR (IRISH): You're not hanging out with the Horse and Buggy crowd?

GK: I was talking about paying homage ----

TR (IRISH): I thought I heard "Amish"----

GK: Homage. -----TORNADO SIREN) Uh oh. A tornado siren. We're not supposed to get tornadoes in May!

SS (DORIS): The sky is turning black. Let's get out of here.

TR (IRISH): Downstairs. Into the shelter. Into the shelter. (CROWD MOVING) Keep calm. No pushing. Down the stairs. Walk, don't run. (MUSIC COMES IN UNDER) Sit on the floor, backs to the wall, knees up, put your hands on your head. (MUSIC) (FADING) Sit on the floor, backs to the wall, knees up, put your hands on your head.

SS (WEIRD): Hi. Would you mind holding my hand? It's so dark down here.

GK: Is that a python around your neck?

SS (WEIRD): Yes. Is that a problem?

GK: Sort of.

SS (WEIRD): You scared of snakes?

GK: No, I just like to keep my distance so I don't scare them.

SS (WEIRD): I had a dream last night about a tornado.

GK: Oh?

SS (WEIRD): Yeah. And I dreamed I went down into a shelter and I met someone very special.

GK: I see.

SS (WEIRD): I guess that's you.

GK: Well, there are a lot of other people down here too. I'm sure they're special.

SS (WEIRD): Not like you.

GK: You know, I think I'm gonna go sit over here.

SS (WEIRD): What's the matter?

GK: I'll see you later.

(FOOTSTEPS)

TR (IRISH): You over there—sit down and put your head between your knees! Hands on your head!

(TORNADO ALARM)

GK: I'm working on it, okay?

SS (DORIS): There's a spot here, Guy.

GK: No thanks. (TORNADO HITS, ROARING, CRUNCHING AND CRACKING, WAGNERIAN MUSIC, TORNADO, THEN FADE. COWS, SHEEP. HORSES' HOOVES APPROACH)

JS: Well for heavens' sake, look what the wind blew in.

JEV: You know him, Sister Prudence?

JS: He's my chauffeur.

JEV: Oh my. Your chauffeur. La di da.

JS: What happened to you, Mr. Noir?

GK: Well, either I got picked up by a tornado or I have had a life-changing religious experience.

JEV: Well, whatever it was, we've got work to do around here. So how about you pick yourself up off of the ground and come and help us with the cheese.

GK: Don't ask me to cut it.

JS: We won't. Not ready to be cut. We'll just bring it in. Okay?

THREE SING:
Bringing in the cheese, bringing in the cheese.
We will come rejoicing, bringing in the cheese.
Bringing in the cheese, bringing in the cheese.
We will come rejoicing, bringing in the cheese.

(CELLPHONE RING)

JEV: What's that I hear?

(CELLPHONE RING)

GK: Is that my phone?

JS: It sure isn't ours.

GK: Excuse me. ---- Hello?

SS (ON PHONE): Hello. Still waiting for your payment, Mr. Noir, and now it's $6,639 ----- 47 more calls to Stockholm just in the past six days-----

GK: Those were butt calls.

SS (ON PHONE): Oh yeah? Listen----- go ahead, Svend.

TR (SWEDISH, ON PHONE)

GK: Who's this? I don't know this man.

SS (ON PHONE): He knows you.

GK: Those were butt calls.

SS (ON PHONE): Evidently your butt speaks Swedish.

TR (SWEDISH ROMANTIC, ON PHONE)

GK: Look. This is a violation of my religious beliefs. I'm Amish.

SS (ON PHONE): If you're Amish, then I'm Edith Piaf.

GK: Be careful what you wish for, ma'am.

JS: Let me have that cellphone, Mr. Noir. Hello?

SS (SINGS, ON PHONE):
Quand il me prend dans ses bras
Il me parle tout bas,
Je vois la vie en rose.

JS: Boy, do you have a wrong number. (HANGS UP)

JEV: Welcome to our little community, Mr. Noir. We'll get you a big broad-brimmed hat and coveralls and we'll put you to work shoveling out the barn.

GK: Shovelling what?

JEV: Guess.

GK: Gotcha. You know, I think I might be good at that.

JS: I'll bet you are.

GK: So this is your answer to life's persistent questions?

JS: Physical labor. It simplifies a person's thinking. When humankind invented labor-saving devices, they started to make life very complicated.

JEV: Look at the automobile. Made it possible to get lost farther and farther away from home.

JS: Radio. Made it possible to hear more and more stuff you weren't interested in.

GK: That's okay by me. But what about celibacy?

JEV: You're thinking of the Shakers. That's not us.

JS: They disappeared years ago. Guess why.

GK: Okay.

JS: You're not celibate are you?

GK: Well, I have been from time to time, but I'm hoping to change.

JEV: Good.

JS: You're a little old for me, darling, but I'm sure we can find you someone.

JEV: Sister Patience-----

JS: Sister Patience!!!! Of course!!!!

JEV: SISTER PATIENCE!!!!!

SS (DORIS): You calling me, Sister Mercy???

JEV: Come on out here, Sister Patience. Got someone I want you to meet.

(THEME)

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.

(THEME 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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