Guy Noir, October 20, 2012

The Fitzgerald Theater

Saint Paul, 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 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.

(THEME)

GK: It was October, a chill was in the air, and it wasn't only the weather. The election was a couple weeks away and I was spending way too much time on the Internet reading the latest polls, reading blogs, looking at videos of candidates looking shell-shocked.

SS (DORIS): Hey. You watch the debate on Tuesday? Wasn't that a lulu?

GK: I get too riled up watching debates, Doris. I just hope the bums don't get thrown back in.

SS (DORIS): What bums you referring to?

GK: The gang who brought the country to the verge of economic disaster, the same guys who started two wars and are hoping to make it three.

SS (DORIS): Well, don't get your underwear in a bunch over it.

GK: Doris, half the people in the country don't know who their Congressman is and half the people in the country don't vote. You just hope it's the same half.

SS (DORIS): Is it half or is it 47%?

GK: No idea. (PHONE RINGS) Excuse me Doris, I gotta get this.

SS (DORIS): Okay. Okay. (DOOR CLOSES, PHONE PICKUP)

GK: Hello?

TR (RICH GUY, ON PHONE): Hi, this is Tommy Mittford, the CEO of Mittford, Wofford & Wombat and I am lost out in the woods somewhere and I'm wondering if you can find me. My personal assistant Mitzi carries my cellphone and she went off to get help and now it's getting dark.

GK: What are you calling on, sir?

TR (ON PHONE): A payphone. My S.U.V. went in the ditch when these two deer jumped out of the brush and I found this payphone on a pine tree and I put my last three quarters in it.

GK: Really? Well, just click the zero button for an Operator.

TR (ON PHONE): Do they still have operators?

GK: We'll soon find out. Go ahead and click. (CLICK. PAUSE, GK HUMMING) (CLICK)

TR (INDIAN ACCENT) This is your operator, Ramendar Narayan Mahanda. How may I help?

GK: This gentleman wants to know where he is, Operator.

TR (INDIAN) Who are you?

GK: I'm a consultant. He's at a payphone somewhere in the woods, can you trace where the call is coming from?

TR (INDIAN) I would have no idea whatsoever how to do that.

GK: Where are you?

TR (INDIAN) In Bangalore. Where are you?

GK: Minnesota.

TR (CEO): What in the heck are you doing off in Bangalore??? Good heavens!!!!

GK: Phone company is cutting costs, I guess.

TR (INDIAN) I have no way of knowing where the gentleman is right now. You need a smart phone, not a dumb phone. (BEEPS)

GK: Don't cut us off, Mr. Mahanda. The gentleman is out of quarters.

TR (INDIAN) I am here to give information.

GK: That's what we want. Information. Where is he calling from?

TR (CEO): I ran a business for 25 years and I never experienced incompetence on this level.

GK: Please, Mr. Mittford, watch your tone.

TR (INDIAN) Who is incompetent here, I ask you---- you're the one who's lost, not me. I am not in the woods. You are. Ha ha ha. Neener neener on you.

GK: Don't close the circuit, okay? Or you'll cut him off.---- listen, could we speak to another operator? Maybe an American one?

TR (INDIAN) You wish to speak to an American operator?

GK: Yes. Please.

TR (INDIAN, MUTTERING): Very well but they can give you no information either……One moment, please. (PAUSE)

GK: You okay, Mr. Mittford? Sir? You there? Hello? Mr. Mittford?

TR: Yeah. Sorry.

GK: Is there an area code on the pay phone?

TR: I don't know. It's pitch dark here.

GK: You can't see any lights where you are?

TR: No.

GK: What state do you think you're in?

TR: No idea. I have a driver who takes care of that.

GK: What were you out there for?

TR: It's written on my itinerary but I can't read it.

GK: Got any matches on you?

TR: Mitzi carries the matches.

GK: Well, hold on, we're going to get you out of there. (CLICK)

SS (NYER): Yeah. This is Louise Jansen, Special Services, to whom am I speaking?

GK: It's Guy Noir, ma'am, and I'm on the line with a CEO named Tommy Mittford who is at a payphone somewhere in a forest and it's dark and he has no idea where he is.

SS (NYER): Is this some kind of a joke? Huh? Cause if it is, there are laws against false reports of emergency---- you get me?

TR (CEO): Listen, lady, just trace the call, okay? it shouldn't be that hard.

SS (NYER): What?---- you telling me how to do my job? Huh? What do you know about tracing calls? Huh? Who made you the big genius?

GK: Ma'am, he didn't mean to -----

SS (NYER): Any more of your smart mouth and I'll press a button and make your phone burst into flames and don't think I can't. This isn't some wimpy little receptionist you're dealing with, Mister, this is The Phone Company. Read me?

GK: Yes, ma'am.

SS (NYER): Let me connect you to someone else, someone in your area, okay? Hold on. They'll be with you in a minute.

GK: Thank you, ma'am. That's terribly kind of you.

SS (NYER): Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Hold on. (PAUSE)

GK: How you doing, Mr. Mittford?

TR: There's something rustling around in the brush. It sounds like it's slithering on the ground.

GK: You're not carrying a gun, by any chance……

TR: No, I have a security guy who does. He went with Mitzi.

GK: Okay. (CLICK)

SS (GENTLE, KIND): Hello? How may I help?

GK: Oh, we were hoping for you.

SS (GENTLE, KIND): It's Sarah, Personal Services.

GK: Sarah, I'm on the line with a CEO named Tommy Mittford who is at a payphone and he's lost and confused and we need to find out where the payphone is.

SS (GENTLE, KIND): Oh my gosh. Oh I am so sorry. I can get that information for you in just seconds and if you need me to, I'll dispatch local rescue personnel to the scene. Do you need medical attention, Mr. Mittford?

TR: No, what I need is a sheriff to arrest Mitzi and Todd my driver who left me standing out here in the dark. How can they do this to me? I want them arrested for reckless abandonment----

GK: Easy, Mr. Mittford.

TR: I pay those folks a good salary and I do not accept incompetence. You know something? I've hired thousands of people over the years and about 47% of them were utter imbeciles. Idiots. I've got a whole binder full of women who let me down, big time. Why am I surrounded by fools???? It just makes me so mad, I'd like to (CLICK) -----

GK: Mr. Mittford? Are you there?

SS (GENTLE, KIND): I'm afraid the line went dead.

GK: Was he supposed to put in more quarters?

SS (GENTLE, KIND): No, I think he ripped the receiver off.

GK: How could he do that?

SS (GENTLE, KIND): He just got mad, I guess.

GK: Did you have time to locate him?

SS (GENTLE, KIND): No.

GK: So he's just out there in the woods somewhere----

SS (GENTLE, KIND): I wish there were something I could do.

GK: Well, he ran a business for 25 years, so I'm sure he can find his way out of the woods.

SS (GENTLE, KIND): Let's hope so.

GK: You sure sound nice. Mind if I ask a personal question?

SS (GENTLE, KIND): Not at all.

GK: Are you in anyone's binder?

SS (GENTLE, KIND): Not that I'm aware of.

GK: Well, I'm recruiting if you're applying.

SS (GENTLE, KIND): Just tell me what you want and I'll do my best.

GK: They don't make women like you anymore.

SS (GENTLE, KIND): Okay, searching my sources, I have found a number of women fairly close to you. Would you like me to connect you?

GK: Are you a robot?

SS (GENTLE, KIND): Do you want me to connect you with a robot?

GK: You're not real, are you.

SS (GENTLE, KIND): I don't know what that means.

GK: If I were somewhere in the dark, would you come and find me?

SS (GENTLE, KIND): Do you want me to find a dark place for you? I found fifteen dark places not far from you. Would you like underground or above ground?

GK: I withdraw the question.

SS (GENTLE, KIND): Thank you.

(BRIDGE)

SS (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. (THEME)

Old Sweet Songs: A Prairie Home Companion 1974-1976

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