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 the Saturday after Thanksgiving which I'd spent at my sister Georgina's attacking a turkey stuffed with butter (GLOP, SPLORT) and where her husband Al, dazed with animal fat, filled us in on his views of Obamacare (TR: It's socialized medicine is what it is. Socialism. I'm gonna stick with Medicare and my VA health care. I don't want the government telling me what I need. No sir.) And I was saved by a phone call. Area code 212. (PHONE RING)--- Yeah, Noir here.
TR: Mr. Noir, it's Bob Raymond in New York. I'm the vice-president for compliance and alignment at Ka-Ching-Ching Superstores and we're having a big problem with our sales associates today.
GK: You're open today? On Thanksgiving?
TR: Mr. Noir, we have 15,000 atheist employees we can call in to work in case of the Second Coming. We just plain don't believe in closing.
GK: So what's the problem?
TR: Something's gone wrong with the medications. We put a drug in the water cooler to make our employees all smiley and gracious and instead they're all snarly and bitter. Can you come now? (STING)
GK: KaChing-Ching is the biggest retailer in America, and I wasn't about to turn down the work, so I flew off to New York on Bronx Airlines. (BING BONG)
FN: Yeah, this is Joey your pilot up here in the cockpit with my co-pilot, the fabulous ---- va va va voom ---- Vanessa, and I am starting to feel some turbulence right now, not that it's unexpected ---- I'm ready for take-off and I know what I want you to take off. Anyways our ETA into JFK is approximately---- excuse me---- the tower is calling ---- Yeah. Bronx 215 here---- (OTHER VOICE) WHAT????? TEN MINUTE HOLD!!!!!! WHO IS THIS??? AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL? WELL, YOU AIN'T CONTROLLING ME, BIG BOY.? I'M OUTTA HERE.TRY AND STOP ME. (JETS REV) -----(BRIDGE)
GK: . . . It was an exciting flight. And I was still a little dizzy as I walked into the KaChingChing headquarters and the office of Bob Raymond.
ER: Mr. Noir---- I'm Monique L'Orean, assistant vice-president for compliance and alignment. (STING)
GK: She was tall and beautiful and I was ready to comply right then. She wore a black dress--so tight, she looked vacuum packed.
ER: So he looped you in?
GK: I hear you tried to medicate the help.
ER: Well, we incentivized, we prioritized, we moisturized and accessorized, and finally we decided to pharmacize.
GK: You tried to drug your sales people.
ER: We sedativized them. To socialize them.
GK: She reached for a remote and clicked it and a TV screen lit up, a security camera in one of their stores, and a woman sales clerk---- (CROWD TUMULT)
SS (ON TV): Just back off, people. I'm doing the best I can. And don't mess up the merchandise. You people are like animals. I busted my butt getting this crap straightened out. , people. ----Don't shove your credit card in my face, lady. I am armed with tear gas. Hear me? Shut your pie hole, mister. I'm sick of you and your noise. ---- Okay. That's it. Everybody out. That's it. This department is closed Everybody leave or I'm turning on the fire alarm. (CLICK)
GK: So the medications aren't working, obviously.
TR: Mr. Noir? I'm Bob Raymond.
GK: Pleased to meet you.
TR: Let me give you the lay of the land here. I see you've spoken with Monique----- the bottom line here at Ka-ChingChing is that we need to bring something to the table and take it to the next level and reach out and partner with our employees and empower our customers to build our deliverables. A solutions-based outcome. More additives and fewer minuses.
ER: What's the take away here, B.R.?
TR: I'm saying it's time to take a step back and tee up the ball, put our game faces on, get the oar in the water, stay focused, sharpen our pencils, shift gears, think outside the box, get traction, give 110% and move the needle. At the end of the day, it's about success. That's the takeaway here. It's a win-win situation. Are we in agreeance? Let's run with it, people. (FOOTSTEPS AWAY)
GK: But sir? Sir? (FOOTSTEPS STOP)
GK: Maybe instead of pharmacizing these people, you should try paying them a decent wage. I mean, for what sales clerks go through at Christmas-----
TR: Not clerks. Associates.
GK: For what sales associates go through at Christmas, $7.50 an hour is not really enough. You've got full-time people on food stamps. Full-time people who are living in homeless shelters. If you want them to smile, raise their pay.
TR: (THROAT HARRUMPHS) A pay raise is a non-starter. You're talking apples to oranges here. We just don't have the bandwidth. I mean, it is what it is. Workers need to learn how to manage expectatIons. It's a no-brainer. Let's all get on the same page, Noir. We need you to spearhead this thing, pick up the ball, take ownership, find the smoking gun, and make it happen. (FOOTSTEPS AWAY, DOOR SLAM)
GK: What did he just say?
ER: I think he's telling you to drink the Kool-Aid. (BRIDGE)
GK: I walked around the Ka-Ching-Ching store and it was very quiet. Disgruntled sales associates stood at the cosmetics counter. And then I saw Santa, sitting all alone on his throne. ---- A short Santa with a familiar face.
TR (BLOOMBERG): Good evening, how are we doing? Welcome to New York. And thank you for your support.
GK: Mayor Bloomberg---- you're playing Santa this year?
TR (BLOOMBERG): Well, it's my last opportunity. I'm out on the street in January.
GK: Are they paying you to be Santa?
TR (BLOOMBERG): Oh no. No, no. I do it for the love. When you're mayor of New York, you don't get the love you wish you got. Even though crime is down 35 percent and high school graduation rates are up 27 percent. Ambulance response times are at record lows. Teen smoking is down more than 50 percent. More than 600 acres of new parkland. Job growth. Life expectancy is three years longer. More than 80 public art projects. In all five boroughs.
GK: So when people come up to Santa and make a wish, what is it they want for Christmas?
TR (BLOOMBERG): They want a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
GK: Is that true?
TR (BLOOMBERG): No. What they want is to drink an enormous soda and then have a smoke.
GK: And what do you say?
TR (BLOOMBERG): I tell them to go back to New Jersey. (BRIDGE)
GK: And then I saw him go by. A man with a crutch. Carrying a plastic bottle of liquid. Heading for the water cooler. And I grabbed him as he was just about to pour something in. (STRUGGLE) Gotcha.
FN (BITTER TEEN): Lemme go. Leggo of my arm, mister.
GK: I got you, Tiny Tim. I thought maybe you were behind this. What happened to you, Tim? You used to be "God bless us, everyone" and now you're pouring vinegar into water coolers.
FN (TEEN): I hated roast goose. I hated the pudding. Hated my dad carrying me to church. And Christmas gave me the creeps. When Scrooge died and left the countinghouse to me, I changed my name from Cratchit to Hatchet. Let go of me-----
GK: You ought to be ashamed.
FN (TEEN): Christmas is all about ho ho ho for the dough re mi, and I am mi and I got the dough and I'll bet you didn't know this is a jet-propelled crutch. So long, sucker. (JET WHOOSH AND AWAY) (STING, BRIDGE)
GK: And he was gone, off through Housewares and Sporting Goods and up to the rooftop and away (JET WHOOSH, OFF). I went back to Mr. Raymond's office to pick up my check but he was gone. So, I decided to forego payment. I went outside. (TRAFFIC) New York. Just being here is worth the trip. To see a dog walker go by with fifteen dogs on a leash. (DOG CHAOS) I walked on and saw a mother with a cellphone talking to her child in a stroller who had his own cellphone. (CHILD CRYING)
ER: Ethan, we'll be at Gray's Papaya in one minute. Why are you crying? (CHILD CRIES) And stop kicking your feet, please. (CHILD SCREAM) I do not understand this behaviour, Ethan. I honestly do not. (CHILD SOB) Do we need to have a time out right now? Do we?
GK: And a Santa ringing his bell beside the Salvation Army bucket---- (BELL DINGING) It was the Mayor.
TR (BLOOMBERG): Hello little girl.
FN: My name's baby Elizabeth.
TR (BLOOMBERG): And how old are you?
FN: This many.
TR (BLOOMBERG): And what do you want for Christmas?
FN: I want a puppy and a license to carry a concealed weapon.
TR (BLOOMBERG): Sweetheart. I don't think so.
FN: Why not?
GK: So what would you like, Mayor?
TR (BLOOMBERG): I'd take another four years but I don't think it's gonna happen.
GK: Merry Christmas, Mayor. And thanks for the no smoking laws.
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).