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, It's Guy.....Guy Noir.

SS: A dark night in a city that knows how to keep its secrets, but high above the busy streets, 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 slack summer days when you sit down bright and early to get yourself organized and you put your head down on the desk so you can think and the next thing you're awakened by the telephone (SERIES OF RINGS, AT 4 SEC INTERVALS), it's almost noon, you've got paper clips stuck to your cheek, and you've drooled on your notepad ----- (PICKUP) Yeah. Guy Noir here. (LOUD LONG BEEP) And then it's someone trying to send you a fax. (HANGUP) One of the horrors of technology. This fax machine is going to automatically redial your number every two minutes for the next four weeks or until you go over the edge. And you just know there's a way they could design the thing so it wouldn't, but the high-tech world if you ask me is run by nerds whose secret motive is revenge on the rest of us because we didn't want to dance with them (RING)--- so ----- (PICK UP) I'm not a fax machine! Okay?


GK: Quit trying to send me a fax!

TK (OTHER END): What fax?

GK: What do you want?

TK (OTHER END): I'm calling for Mr. Noyer.

GK: Noir. Guy Noir. What is it?

TK (OTHER END): Mr. Noir, I'm sitting here trying to read a recipe for a dressing for a spinach salad ---- and it says 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, 1 tablespoon poppy seed, 1 1/2 tablespoons minced onion, 1/2 teaspoon worcestershire sauce, 1/4 teaspoon paprika, 1/3 cup olive oil, and fourteen cups cider vinegar. Doesn't that seem like too much vinegar to you?

GK: Yes. You'd never put fourteen cups of vinegar in a dressing that calls for a third cup of oil. That's obvious. That must be one-fourth cup of vinegar.

TK (OTHER END): Well, I put in fourteen cups and it tastes pretty good.

GK: You already made the dressing?

TK (OTHER END): It's a little bit tart, but I like it that way.

GK: So what are you asking me for?

TK (OTHER END): I just wanted to get another opinion.

GK: Okay. I'll give you one. You're as smart as a boxful of hammers, okay? (HANG UP) It used to be a private eye got called about blackmail, missing persons, and nowadays it's stuff about lifestyle ---- (RING. PICKUP) Listen---- stop bothering me, okay? (LONG BEEP)----- Oh for crying out loud. (HANG UP) So I left a message on the answering machine, saying to try me at the Five Spot--- and I headed over there. (MUSIC BRIDGE)(DOOR OPEN, JINGLES) (FOOTSTEPS)

TR (JIMMY): Oh---- hi, Guy----- how you doing there?

GK: Hi, Jimmy. Terrible.

TR (JIMMY): Too hot for you, Guy?

GK: Too hot, no ventilation, I'm fifty-five, I'm washed up, got no music in my life, and somebody keeps trying to stick a fax in my ear.

TR (JIMMY): Well---- you're always welcome here.

GK: Thank you, Jimmy

TR (JIMMY): I mean, you are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars, you have a right to be here, Guy.

GK: Run that by me once again?

TR (JIMMY): Just trying to make you feel welcome. Meet my cousin, Duke.

GK: Hi, Duke, how you doing?


GK: Good. Glad to hear it. What you drinking there?

TR (TOUGH GUY): Cranberry juice.

GK: Cranberry juice and what?

TR (TOUGH GUY): Cranberry juice.

GK: I thought maybe there'd be vodka in it.

TR (TOUGH GUY): Vodka is bad for my skin.

GK: I see. - You know, a person would almost think you were wearing makeup, Duke.

TR (TOUGH GUY): What's wrong? Didn't I feather it along the jawline? Is it too light?

GK: It's okay. Pour the man another cranberry juice, Jimmy.

TR (JIMMY): Coming right up----(PHONE RING, PICKUP) Five Spot. Jimmy speaking. ---- Oh yeah. Just a sec. ----- It's for you, Guy.

GK: Hello?

SS (OLDER WOMAN, ON PHONE, WEEPY): Mr. Noir---- it's Snowball ---- she's run away again....

GK: Listen, Mrs. Ramsey---- I ----

SS (OLDER WOMAN, ON PHONE, STILL WEEPY): She was sitting in my lap out beside the pool and she just shot right through the hedge.

GK: Right, but listen, Mrs. Ramsey-----

SS (OLDER WOMAN, ON PHONE, WEEPY): I need you to come and find her, Mr. Noir.

GK: I'm off duty----

SS (OLDER WOMAN, ON PHONE, WEEPY): She means so much to me, Mr. Noir. Especially now that Muffy and F. Spot Fitzgerald are gone.

GK: Look --- I don't do cats-----

SS (OLDER WOMAN, ON PHONE, WEEPY): All I have left is her and Pooky and Mr. Big Boy.

GK: Just hang tight, Mrs. Ramsey. She'll come back. Trust me. Trust me. (HANG UP) Bring me a beer, Jimmy. A nice cold one.

TR (JIMMY): You want me to tell people you're not here?

GK: I'm expecting a call from a guy I was supposed to call three days ago. A guy in Spokane.

TR (JIMMY): I see.

GK: Anyway, your makeup is fine, Duke, but it's maybe a little too perfect --- you know?

TR (JIMMY): (DOOR OPEN, JINGLE) (HE WHISPERS) Hey, Guy-- -- don't look, but your girlfriend just walked in.

GK: Is it too late to duck down and crawl to the men's room?

TR (JIMMY): Yeah. She spotted you.

SS (OFF): Guy? (FOOTSTEPS APPROACH) Hi, Guy. It's me. Sugar. Remember?

GK: Oh, Sugar. Don't give me that stuff.

SS (SUGAR): I ain't heard from you for so long, I thought maybe you went to prison.

GK: Well, I didn't, Sugar.

SS (SUGAR): Well, goody goody for you. ---Hi, what's your name?

TR (TOUGH): Duke.

SS (SUGAR): Pleased to make your acquaintance. I'm Sugar.

GK: Come on, Sugar. Sit down and have a beer.

SS (SUGAR): "Siddown and have a beer." As if that solves anything.

GK: Who mentioned solving anything?

SS (SUGAR): Well, maybe we should.

GK: Sugar, you can't solve life, you just have to live it.

SS (SUGAR): Oh, very brilliant. What fortune cookie did you get that out of?

TR (JIMMY): So what kinda beer you want, Guy?

GK: Just a beer. --- What you angry at me for now, Sugar?

SS (SUGAR): I'm not angry at you, I'm angry at myself for believing you, that's all. Fifteen years of deluding myself ---- I was looking for love, Guy, and you just wanted someone to spend Saturday night with. Okay, I'm over it.

TR (JIMMY): We got sixty-six different beers, Guy. You want me to read off the list?

GK: Just bring me a beer, Jimmy.

TR: We got your Spokane Paradise Porter or Paradise Pilsener, your Salish Summer Ale, your Couer d'Alene Lager, your Militia Malt Liquor----

SS (SUGAR): How about you bring him a glass of turpentine, then he'll know what I'm going through-----

GK: Bring me the Paradise Pilsener. You want one, Sugar?

SS (SUGAR): What do you have against marriage, Guy?

GK: Sugar---- it's bad enough I have to listen to you nag at me once in awhile ----- but as a daily thing? Why would a guy wish that on himself?

SS (SUGAR): I wouldn't nag you if you'd just do what you're supposed to do. But never mind. Why waste my breath? You're never going to marry me so why even mention it? I'm over it. It's done. Why bring it up? You never will. Even though you said to me a hundred times that you would, you won't. I know it. You know it. So why beat a dead horse? ---So what do you do for a living, Duke?

TR (TOUGH GUY): I'm an artist.


TR (JIMMY): Five Spot. Jimmy speaking. ---- Okay. One moment. It's for you.

GK: Yeah----- Noir here.

TR (ON PHONE): Guy Noir?

GK: Yeah.

TR (ON PHONE): The private eye?

GK: Right.

TR (ON PHONE): The name is Sparky. Sparky Spinnaker. Calling from Spokane.

GK: Uh huh.

TR (ON PHONE): I've been trying to send you a fax.

GK: Aha.

TR (ON PHONE): Finally, I says to myself, maybe it'd be easier just to call him up. You know?

GK: Yeah.

TR (ON PHONE): I'm the spokesperson of the Spokane Expansion And Total Transformation Lifestyle Engineering, Mr. Noir.

GK: The Spokane Expansion And Total Transformation Lifestyle Engineering ---

TR (ON PHONE): Right. And we're trying to figure out how to upgrade Spokane - you know - how to get rid of the white bread and the tartar sauce and bring in the Hollandaise and the sourdough.

GK: What's wrong with tartar sauce?

TR (ON PHONE): We're willing to pay plenty for your services, Mr. Noir.

GK: That's good to hear.

TR (ON PHONE): How does five hundred dollars a day sound?

GK: I like the sound of that. Say it again.

TR (ON PHONE): Five hundred dollars a day.

GK: I think I could get used to that.

TR (ON PHONE): You ever hear of a place called Seattle?

GK: I think so.

TR (ON PHONE): Well, we're another city with seven letters in its name, starting with S and ending with E, and it's our turn to be famous.

GK: Right. (CLICK) Sorry. You mind holding on? I got another call. (CLICK) Yeah?

SS (ON PHONE): Mr. Noir, Snowball did not come back and now Pookie and Mr. Big Boy are gone too.

GK: Oh no.

SS (ON PHONE): I need them back, Mr. Noir. Please. I'll pay anything.

GK: You will?

SS: (ON PHONE): Ten, fifteen, twenty dollars---- whatever.

GK: Hang on. (CLICK) Mr. Spiccato? Hello? (CLICKS) Mr. Spiccato? Darn. Lost him.

TR (JIMMY): Yeah, I've been having problems with that call holding button.

SS (SUGAR): Who were you talking to?

GK: A guy in Spokane. Hang this up, Jimmy----

SS (SUGAR): What a coincidence. That's where I'm going to move just as soon as I can clear up my credit card.

GK: Spokane?

SS (SUGAR): I read an article that said that Spokane has the highest proportion of eligible bachelors in the country.

GK: You sure that wasn't Seattle?

SS (SUGAR): No, it said that Seattle has the highest proportion of unintelligible balderdash. Spokane has the eligible bachelors. Woodsmen. Hunters. Men in red plaid shirts who when they promise a woman something they stick by it.

GK: There's lots of other places in the country, Sugar. What about San Francisco?

SS (SUGAR): Too cold.

GK: And Spokane isn't cold?

SS (SUGAR): Nope. And it's not too wet. It has a fine symphony orchestra and the opera and Gonzaga University --- and it has Auntie's Bookstore, and it has Mootsy's Tavern where they have a poetry reading every week.

GK: I didn't know that.

SS (SUGAR): Of course you didn't. Your mind is a mess, Guy. You sit in dark places brooding about the loss of youth and meanwhile you're losing your middle age. ---You ever been to Spokane, Duke?

TR (TOUGH GUY): Huh-uh.

SS (SUGAR): It's a beautiful place. Lots of vegetable gardens. Lilacs. Everybody cans. People like cats. It's cool. You know?

TR (TOUGH GUY): Sounds nice.

SS (SUGAR): So what kind of artist are you, Duke?

TR (TOUGH GUY): Performance art.

SS (SUGAR): Oh. How interesting. What kind of performance?

TR (TOUGH GUY): I break things. And then I talk about it.

SS (SUGAR): I see. So you're a conceptual artist.



GK: I got it, Jimmy! (PICKUP) Yeah. Five Spot here.

TK (ON PHONE): I spilled some of this dressing on my white couch.

GK: I don't do stains, okay? I'm a private eye! (HANG UP)

TR (JIMMY): Here's your beer, Guy. And a cranberry juice for Duke. How about you, Sugar?

SS: I'm not thirsty. I'm lonely and I'm angry but I'm not thirsty.


GK: Five Spot. Noir speaking....

TR (ON PHONE): Yeah. Hi. Sparky Spinnaker. Spokane Expansion And Total Transformation Lifestyle Engineering. Sorry. I dropped the phone.

GK: That's okay. I decided I can't do it, Mr. Spinnaker.

TR (ON PHONE): You're not available to come to Spokane.

GK: It's a great place, I'm sure, but it sounds a little bit wholesome for me. You know? I like the neon lights, the shadows in the alley, the sound of shuffling cards-----

TR (ON PHONE): Well, if you change your mind----

GK: If I change my mind, I'll call you. So long. (HANG UP)

SS (SUGAR): So what was that all about?

GK: Guy wanted me to go to Des Moines and talk to a youth group about the dangers of staying up late at night.

SS (SUGAR): Speaking of youth---- I gotta get going.

GK: If you're still around on Saturday night, let's catch a movie.

SS (SUGAR): We'll see.

GK: I'll call you.

SS (SUGAR): We'll see.

TR (JIMMY): Don't forget, you are a child of the universe, you have a right to be here.

SS (SUGAR): Yeah. Right.

GK: Take care, Sugar. Love you.


TR: A dark night in a city that knows how to keep its secrets, but one man is still trying to find the answers - Guy Noir, Private Eye.
(c) 1998 by Garrison Keillor