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.
GK: It was October, I was waiting for the phone to ring, and watching the mice start to migrate back into my office (SFX). They weren't shy at all. Somehow word had gotten around in the mouse world that I was not a killer. As a kid I was a big fan of Mickey Mouse, and then ----- the one time I set a mousetrap it caught a mouse by the ankle and he walked with a limp after that. I took care of him. Fed him. He became very fond of imported bleu cheese so I named him Mister Bleu. We became close. What can I say? I have his ashes in a little medicine bottle on my bookshelf. Ever so often I sprinkle some on the floor and that seems to keep the mice away. They know. Anyway—
I was waiting for the phone to ring, and then it did. Area code 402. Lincoln Nebraska. (PHONE RINGS, PICKUP)
GK: Yeah Noir here.
TR (LOUD, ON PHONE): Mr. Noir, this is Chuck Chowen, I'm the head coach here at Lincoln High. The Fighting Abrahams.
GK: This is a football team?
TR (ON PHONE): That's what I keep telling them.
GK: Football is big there, as I understand.
TR (ON PHONE): The football itself is the same size, but the game---- yes, it's huge. A football Saturday in Lincoln is sort of like New Year's Eve, Election Day, Easter, and the birth of your first grandchild, all rolled into one.
GK: How can I help you, Mr. Chowen?
TR (LOUD, ON PHONE): We've got a big game coming up against our deadly rival, South High School cross town-----
GK: Oh really. What's their nickname?
TR (ON PHONE): The Rebels. Anyway, there's a big kid on their team who is beating the heck out of everybody and we think maybe he's a little old for high-school ball. Could you check him out? (BRIDGE)
GK: So I flew out to Lincoln on Prairie Air.
LC (ON P.A.): Welcome to Prairie Air, my name is Donna,
I will be your flight attendant and I hope I can be even more than that, your friend. If there is anything ---- anything at all ---- that you want to talk about, please, don't hesitate. I have a degree in social work. And I have plenty of Kleenex up in the galley.
FN (ON P.A.): This is your pilot, Bob, and our flying time to Lincoln will be two hours or so, a little longer than scheduled because I want to fly over my parents' place in Seward and drop off a toaster—it's an anniversary gift, so thanks for your patience. (BRIDGE)
GK: So I reached Lincoln, just in time for the big game against the Rebels. (CROWD AMBIENCE). The Fighting Abrahams were just coming onto the field, and the cheerleaders all wore big top hats and fake beards.
ALL (GIRLS CHEERING):
Fourscore! Gimme some more!
Fourscore! Gimme some more!
We can pass and we can run!
Malice towards all!
Charity towards none!
Glory, glory, come on men.
GK: And the band was warming up under the bleachers (DRUMS, WARBLING TRUMPET) and I found Coach Chowen.
TR: The kid I want you to check out is No. 52—see him? Big kid.
TR: We're putting you in the game as a referee. Here's a striped shirt and a whistle.
GK: But I can't be a referee.
TR: Why not?
GK: I know nothing about the rules of football.
TR: Okay then, we'll make you a sportswriter.
GK: So I stood on the sideline with a notepad and watched the game.
ALL (AS GIRLS):
Fighting Abrahams ---- the best in the land
A house divided cannot stand
We will divide you ---- cut you in two.
We'll loose the fateful lightning and we'll loose it on you!
GK: And the cheerleaders on the other side answered back.
We are the Rebels, we're from the South.
We're the best, so shut your mouth.
Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee
Will lead our team to vic-to-ry.
GK: Back and forth they went. Back and forth.
Lincoln, Lincoln, red white and blue.
We are here to emancipate you.
So stand aside and get out of our path.
We are trampling out the vintage of the grapes of wrath.
GK: And then the cheerleaders on the South side:
Lincoln, Lincoln, it's the truth.
You are looking at John Wilkes Booth.
There you are, sitting in the box.
We pull out the pistol and the pistol talks.
BANG BANG. Goodbye Abe.
Shot by the man in the long black cape.
GK: And then the game started (WHISTLE, KICK)—South kicked off and (FOOTBALL GRUNTS, RUNNING) I kept an eye on No. 52, the big kid on the other team, and on the opening kickoff, he ran down and creamed the ball carrier.
(BIG GRUNTS, TACKLE, WHISTLE)
TR (REF, OFF): Unnecessary roughness, penalty 15 yards, South. (CHEERS)
FN (DEEP WOMAN): Unnecessary roughness! What you talking about, ref?? He's not hurt. He's faking it, the big pansy.
GK: The Lincoln guy who 52 had flattened was taken off the field on a stretcher. I took advantage of the time out to approach the big boy. Hey---- kid-----
FN (DEEP WOMAN): What you want, mister?
GK: You having a problem with puberty, kid?
FN (DEEP WOMAN): Get away from me.
GK: I don't think you're a boy. I don't even think you're a man. What's that on your chest?
FN (DEEP WOMAN): You touch me and you're gonna be looking at harassment charges.
GK: Lift up your jersey, kid.
FN (DEEP WOMAN): In your dreams, mister.
TR (REF): What's wrong here? What you doing on the field, mister?
GK: You've got an illegal player here, Ref.
FN (DEEP WOMAN): This pervert is trying to get me to undress, Ref.
GK: I want him to take his helmet off. It's cracked.
TR (REF): Where?
FN (DEEP WOMAN): Is not!
GK: Cracked helmet is dangerous, Ref.
TR (REF): Let me see your helmet, No. 52.
FN (DEEP WOMAN): No.
GK: Take it off.
FN (WOMAN): No.
GK: Okay, then if you won't, I will.
FN (WOMAN): Get your hands off of me! (STRUGGLE, HELMET COMES OFF). Aaaaa! Look what you've done!!!
TR (TEEN, OFF): Mom? What are you doing, Mom?
GK: The South quarterback was there.
TR (TEEN): What are you doing in our uniform, Mom?
FN (DEEP WOMAN): I wanted you to win, honey. I sat in the bleachers last year and yelled for all I was worth and I couldn't bear to see you lose so—I decided to come in and start knocking heads together.
TR (REF): Illegal player on the field! Fifteen yards. First down. (WHISTLE)
FN (DEEP WOMAN): You— you did this to me. You jerk.
GK: Your kid's got to do it on his own, ma'am.
FN (DEEP WOMAN): You got kids?
GK: No, I don't.
FN (DEEP WOMAN): Then you don't know beans. Get out of my face.
TR (REF): Okay----- off the field. Off the field. Start the clock. (WHISTLE)
GK: No. 52 was furious, she threw a tantrum in the locker room. (CURSING, SMASHING. CRUNCHING. BREAKAGE) I waited for her to calm down which eventually she did. (LAST BREAKAGE, KICKING A LOCKER)
FN (DEEP WOMAN): Ouch.
GK: You okay? You're quite a football player, lady. You could've made it in the NFL, if you ask me.
FN (DEEP WOMAN): Well, I didn't ask you.
GK: Maybe you should start a women's league.
FN (DEEP WOMAN): Already is one. Flag football. No tackling. I like the physical contact.
GK: I'm sort of fond of physical contact myself.
FN (DEEP WOMAN): Oh yeah?
FN (DEEP WOMAN): You're not bad looking.
FN (DEEP WOMAN): You want to practice some blocks?
GK: Why not.
FN (DEEP WOMAN): Where you from?
FN (DEEP WOMAN): Minnesota???!!! Do they allow physical contact in Minnesota???
GK: Some of us go for it, yes.
FN (DEEP WOMAN): I'm going to come at you and grab your shirt and you break my hold, okay?
FN (DEEP WOMAN): Ready?
GK: Are all Nebraska women like you?
(BIG GRUNT. STRUGGLE, BLOCK. RIP)
GK: It was a pleasure meeting her. We practiced illegal holding and unnecessary roughness and clipping and it hurt and yet it was very satisfying.
Tackle 'em, sack 'em, make 'em stop,
Throw 'em in a pile and jump on top
Grab 'em, hold 'em, every play.
Let's get physical, what do you say?
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.
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).