GK: SINGS; He's smooth and he's cool, and quick with a gun,
A master in the boudoir.
A guy in a trenchcoat who gets the job done,
That's me.....Guy Noir.

SS: 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 still trying to find the answers to life's persistent questions.....Guy Noir, Private Eye.

GK: It was one of those days in January when you look out the window, and the snow is grey, the sky is grey, and there is a large grey cloud in the middle of the sky, and then you realize that's the reflection of your face. That's when I put on my coat and head over to the Five Spot for a little liquid embellishment. (DOOR OPEN, JINGLES) (FOOTSTEPS)

TR: Hey! Hiya, Guy.

GK: Hiya, Jimmy. Thought you were going to be bartending on a cruise ship in January....

TR: Yeah. Me too. But after the movie "Titanic" came out, a lot of people cancelled....

GK: Ahhhh. What a shame.

TR: So---- instead of St. Thomas, I'm in St. Paul. --- What can I get you, Guy?

GK: A glass of tomato juice, Jimmy.

TR (FADING): Coming right up.....

TK (DRUNK): Hey---- you're a good guy, you know that?

GK: Thanks, pal.

TK (DRUNK): You know what your problem is?

GK: No, I don't.

TK (DRUNK): Well, then how do you expect me to know?

GK: The guy had breath that'd remove wallpaper. I turned away and looked in the mirror over the back of the bar and I saw two women in a booth behind me, and I was about to turn and say something witty, and while I was trying to think of what it should be, I saw a big guy walk toward me. Double-breasted blue suit. Jazzy tie and a pink shirt with a white collar.

TR: Hey. You're Guy Noir, right? Am I right?

GK: You got it, pal.

TR: I been thinking of giving you a jingle and having you look up somebody for me. I'm Ray. Ray Fillmore. I'm in waste disposal. Dumpsters, that sort of thing.

GK: I see.

TR: Mind if I sit down?

GK: (MUSIC BRIDGE) The question you dread hearing. "Mind if I sit down?" If you've got to ask, then the answer is yes, I do. But I gestured toward the stool, and he sat down.

TR: Yeah, it's a girl named Lulu who I used to know. I've been wanting to find her so I can tell her how wrong she was about me back when she threw me overboard for the bass player.

GK: Uh huh.

TR: She said to me, she said, "Ray, you know what your problem is? you've got no class." That's what she said. And a week later she's dating a bass player.

GK: Uh huh.

TR: So all these years I've fantasized about walking in in my best suit and saying, "Hey, remember when you said I had no class?"

GK: Uh huh.

TR: Big diamond on my hand. Rolex. Italian shoes. The keys to the BMW in my hand. Bottle of champagne.

GK: Sounds good.

TR: That'd show her, huh? I'd walk in, be cool, take off the shades, give her the look, and say, "Hey, remember when you said I had no class?" ----I got to work on that line, though. It's not classy enough, is it.

GK: How about you walk in, take off the shades, you say---- "You want class, get a load of this?" No, that's not right. How about you walk in and you say, "Let me tell you something about class, Lulu."

TR: How about "Maybe you want to think again about what you said about me that time when you were about to go out with the bass player-----" Naw.

TK (DRUNK): Hey---- you know what your problem is?

GK: Yeah, right now it's you.

TK (DRUNK): Hey, I wasn't talking to you.

GK: Turn the other way, okay?

TR: You think you could find her? Lulu?

GK: No problem. How about you walk in and you say---- "Hey. Remember me? Mr. No Class?" Or "Remember me? The Guy Without Class"? How's that?

TR: Yeah. I like that. "Hey. Remember me? Mr. No Class?" Boy, that's a zinger.

GK: Or how about "You know what your problem is? you don't recognize a man with class. Your idea of class is having terrycloth toilet seat covers."

TR: Beautiful! That's it! I love it! I gotta write that down. Where's a piece of paper? Where'd the bartender go? (FADING) I'll be right back.

GK: I looked out the window. Snow was falling. Figures passed by on the street, bent forward into the wind, hands deep in their pockets, suffering, paying the price for whatever sensual pleasures they had enjoyed in the summer and fall----- and then----

SS (SUGAR): Guy?

GK: Sugar! What you doing here?

SS (SUGAR): I was sitting with a friend right here in this booth.

GK: Oh.

SS (SUGAR): This is my therapist, Denise. Denise, Guy.

SS (DENISE): Pleased to meet you, Mr. Noir. I feel I know you rather well already.

GK: Therapy, huh? Well, that's wonderful, Sugar. I was always going to recommend that you do that, but I didn't want to seem forward, you know.

SS (SUGAR): I was just telling Denise about the time you didn't call me up for six weeks in a row, Guy.

GK: Well, you didn't call me up for the same six weeks, Sugar.

SS (DENISE): That's what we call emotional ambush, Mr. Noir.

GK: It's what I call not picking up the phone because you got a lot going on....

SS (SUGAR): Listen to her, Guy. She makes a lot of sense.

SS (DENISE): You ever read a book called Men Who Hate Women And The Women Who Love Them, Mr. Noir----?

GK: No, I saw the other people who were reading that, and it made me think that I didn't want to.

SS (DENISE): That is such a typical comment from a male of your type.

SS (SUGAR): You hear that, Guy?

SS (DENISE): Like most men, you withdraw attention as a form of punishment for women expressing themselves as individuals, Mr. Noir. You like your women to be adoring and perky and to walk around behind you picking up things, and if a woman dares to say what she thinks, you simply make her invisible.

SS (SUGAR): That's the truth, Guy, and you know it.

GK: Sugar, sometimes lack of attention simply means that a person is busy doing other things.

SS (DENISE): You've immobilized Sugar ---- you've separated her from her own self-awareness ---- by making her afraid of your rejection ----and so she refuses to press for what she needs, which is intimacy. She accepts being treated like arm candy, instead of a partner.

SS (SUGAR): Denise showed me that my fear of your anger at my discovery of your need to avoid the intimacy that I need is not the same as unworthiness.

GK: Great. Glad you're getting that worked out.

TR (JIMMY): (FOOTSTEPS APPROACH) Here's your tomato juice, Guy. Sorry it took so long. Hadda go down the basement.

GK: Thanks, Jimmy.

SS (SUGAR): So what do you think, Guy?

SS (DENISE): It doesn't matter what he thinks, Sugar.

SS (SUGAR): Well, it sorta matters to me ---- I love him.

SS (DENISE): Okay, but in the end, this isn't about him, it's about you.

TR: (APPROACHING) Whew. Finally found a piece of paper and a pen. What was that line again, Mr. Noir?

GK: You know what your problem is? you don't recognize a man with class. Your idea of class is having terrycloth toilet seat covers.

SS (SUGAR): Oh yeah? (SLAP) I do too recognize a man with class and you are not him, ya big lug! So what if I do happen to like terrycloth toilet seat covers? Huh? You big jerk. (SLAP) Let's get out of here, Denise. (FOOTSTEPS, DOOR JINGLE, CLOSE)

TR: "You know....what....your....problem....is" --- what was the rest of it?

TK (DRUNK): Hey, you know what your problem is?

GK: You got some ice I could put on my jaw here, Jimmy?

TR (BARTENDER): Coming right up, Guy. (THEME)

SS: A dark night in a city that keeps its secrets, where one guy is still trying to find the answers...Guy Noir, Private Eye. (MUSIC OUT)

©1998 Garrison Keillor