(GK: Garrison Keillor, SS: Sue Scott, TK: Tom Keith, TR: Tim Russell)
(GUY NOIR THEME)
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.
(THEME UP AND OUT)
GK: It was the day after Election Day and all over St. Paul you could hear the sound of winners back-pedaling, dancing away from the stuff they said in the campaign. I was sitting at my desk looking at the story about the defeat of Al D'Amato, one of the dirtiest campaigners in the history of American politics, and though I had read it ten times already, the pleasure was not dimmed by repetition. It was sort of like when Sonny Liston got beat. You just felt it was a better world.
(SFX: PHONE RINGS, PICK UP)
GK: Yeah. Guy Noir here.
SS (ON PHONE): Mr. Noir, I need your help, my husband is missing. Qualley is the name. Quentin Qualley.
GK: When did he disappear, ma'am?
SS: Last night, Mr. Noir.
GK: I see.
SS: Right after Newt Gingrich said he was stepping down as Speaker of the House.
GK: I see.
SS: Quentin sort of slumped in his chair and said he felt ill and he went down to the kitchen to get a glass of water. Quentin is a conservative, Mr. Noir. He worshipped Newt. Newt was his life.
GK: Of course.
SS: He went down the basement and he took all his handguns and he destroyed them. He said it didn't matter anymore. He sat down and wrote out a big check to the IRS, a donation. And he went out and tore the Impeach Clinton bumper sticker off his car and he threw his car keys in the woods and he went for a walk and he hasn't come back.
GK: I see. Well, he destroyed his guns and he can't start the car so he won't be fastening a hose to the tailpipe so all you got to worry about is sleeping pills.
SS: Quentin never used sleeping pills, Mr. Noir. He always went to bed with the memoirs of Dan Quayle and that did the trick. Seven years and he's only up to page nine. Could you go and look for him, Mr. Noir?
GK: What does he look like?
SS: (LONG PAUSE) You know something? I'm not sure.
GK: Was he tall? short?
SS: He worked such long hours. And weekends. He was gone a lot.
GK: What color hair did he have?
SS: I don't know. Brown, I guess.
GK: Well, if you remember, give me a call - (MUSIC) People go through a lot of emotions on Election Wednesday. It's a roller coaster. It's amazing we survive it. (RING, PICK UP) Yeah. Noir here.
TK (ON PHONE, SLIGHTLY DRUNK): Mr. Noir? I need your help.
GK: Yes, sir?
TK: I'm over at Mickey's having breakfast?
TK: I went out last night and I was celebrating the election and I tied one on and now I can't remember who I voted for.
GK: Uh huh.
TK: I just remember that I was real excited about it.
GK: I see. Are you a Republican, or a Democrat?
TK: I'm not sure.
TK: Republicans are the big tax and spend ones, right?
GK: Those are Democrats.
GK: Democrats are tax and spend, and Republicans are tax cuts and spend.
TK: Oh. Okay. Well, thanks for the tip.
GK: That's okay. (MUSIC) I folded up my Al D'Amato clipping and put it in my pocket and closed up shop and headed on over to the Five Spot.
(MUSIC BRIDGE, DOOR OPENS, JINGLES)
TR (JIMMY): Hey, Guy. How's it going?
GK: Not so bad, Jimmy. How's by you?
TR (JIMMY): Oh, not bad. Not bad.
GK: How was business last night?
TR: Oh, it was real good. Real good. The Christian Coalition had their election night headquarters here, you know.
GK: In a bar?
TR: Sure. I just put all the bottles away and we put choir music on the jukebox.
TR: Polls closed at eight o'clock, at nine o'clock the handwriting was on the wall, and by nine-thirty they were feeling no pain, Guy.
GK: That's nice. What were they drinking?
TR: Christian Coalition people drink enriched orange juice.
GK: Enriched with what?
TR: Vodka but they don't like to know. So they don't ask and I don't tell.
TR: They like to operate on faith.
TR: And they feel better the more you charge em.
GK: So you include the penance right in with the price.
TR: Exactly. Twenty bucks a glass they pay for it.
GK: They know they're being cheated and it makes them feel better about themselves.
TR: That's right.
GK: They're great people, the Christian Coalition. They got about as much to do with Christianity as the Elks Club has to do with large animals with antlers, but they sure know how to have fun, I'll say.
TR: What can I get you, Guy?
GK: Vodka martini, Jimmy. Straight up. With a handful of raw oats.
GK: I like to help the farmers.
TR: Comin' right up. (JIMMY OFF, MIXING AND SHAKING DRINK)
GK: I dunno, Jimmy. Thirty years ago politics seemed more real to me. It was about war and peace, about civil rights, about eliminating poverty, about changing things. Now it's all about television. It's all cosmetics and PR and speechwriters and focus groups and - (DOOR IS FLUNG OPEN. TR BELLOWS. BIG STOMPING FOOTSTEPS AND STOP.)
TR (JESSE): HEY! WHERE'S THE BARTENDER?
GK: Hi there, Governor. Congratulations.
TR (JESSE): YOU THE BARTENDER?
GK: No, Governor, I'm just a guy on a stool. The bartender is off trying to find some oats to put in my vodka Martini.
TR (JESSE): I AM SO (BEEP) FURIOUS AT THAT SCREWBALL newT GINGRICH - WHAT A TURKEY NECK!!! HE GOES AND RESIGNS ON THE FRIDAY AFTER I'M ELECTED GOVERNOR OF MINNESOTA!!! THIS WAS MY WEEK. HE RUINED IT. WALKS ALL OVER IT. UPSTAGES ME. WHAT A HOT DOG. I WAS GONNA BE ON THE COVER OF TIME MAGAZINE AND THEN GINGRICH WALKS IN AND STEALS THE SHOW - (TR EFFORT, AND CRASH AND GLASS BREAKAGE). THE BIG WEASEL! I AM THE GOVERNOR!!!! I AM JESSE (THE BODY) VENTURA!!!
GK: Well, we're all happy for you.
TR (JESSE): newT GINGRICH!!!! YOU JUST WAIT - YOU'RE GONNA BE SORRY!!! DON'T MESS WITH JESSE!!!! YOU CAN RUN BUT YOU CAN'T HIDE, YOU WEASEL. I AM GOING TO PUT A SCISSORS HOLD ON YOU AND GIVE YOU MY ATOMIC HOTFOOT! YOU ARE GOING TO BE MEATLOAF, newT!!! Y A HEAR ME?? (PAUSE. QUIET.) How'm I doing?
GK: You're doing great. You got a little five o'clock shadow right above your ear, but otherwise you look great.
TR (JESSE): You see me on TV?
GK: Every major network, Governor. You were big.
TR (JESSE): I WAS ON ALL THE MAJOR NETWORKS! I WAS ON ALL THE SHOWS! YOU SEE THAT, newT, YOU TURKEY NECK? YOU BIG QUITTER!!! HERE'S WHAT I THINK OF YOU, YOU BIG CRYBABY!!! (HE PICKS UP CHAIR AND SMASHES IT ON COUNTER, WOOD AND GLASS BREAKAGE) YOU THINK YOU CAN OVERSHADOW JESSE THE BODY VENTURA, GUESS AGAIN, GINGRICH. (PAUSE AND QUIET) How'd I look on TV? Was I okay?
GK: It was good. You did great. I liked that part where they asked you what your agenda was, and you looked em straight in the eye and said you were just going to do what the people want.
TR (JESSE): I'M JUST HERE TO DO WHAT THE PEOPLE WANT. SO DON'T MESS WITH JESSE.
GK: That's good. I like that. It's humble and it's in your face at the same time.
TR (JESSE): ALL I CAN DO IS MY BEST, AND I'M NOT GOING TO MAKE ANY PROMISES I CAN'T KEEP, CAUSE I'M NOT A POLITICIAN, I'M ONLY HERE TO DO WHAT THE PEOPLE WANT. (CRASH AND CRUNCH)
GK: That's good. You just keep saying that, until you think of what it is you want to do.
TR (JESSE): You mind if I ask you a question?
GK: No, not at all.
TR (JESSE): Do they give me a key, like, to the whole capitol or will somebody open the door if I was gonna like go over there?
GK: They'll open the door for you.
TR (JESSE): Oh.
GK: But if you want a key, you can sure get one. You're the governor. Right?
TR: Right. I AM THE GOVERNOR!!! (PAUSE AND QUIET) Who do I talk to about a parking space?
GK: Your transition team will handle that for you.
TR: Oh. (PAUSE) This transition team -
TR: Do I appoint them or does the governor?
GK: That's your team. You appoint them.
TR: Oh. Right.
GK: You are the governor. The new governor.
TR: Right. I AM THE GOVERNOR!!! (PAUSE AND QUIET) Can I ask another question?
TR (JESSE): If you're the governor, do you, like, have to be here a lot of the time, or can you like sort of go away if you want to?
GK: At the beginning, you probably ought to be here.
TR (JESSE): Oh. Okay.
GK: And after a few months, people probably wouldn't mind if you went away.
TR (JESSE): Okay. I'll remember that.
GK: It's like in show business, Governor. Leave 'em wanting more.
TR (JESSE): One more thing.
GK: What's that??
TR (JESSE): This is probably a dumb question.
GK: That's okay.
TR (JESSE): You're gonna laugh at me when I ask this.
GK: No, I won't.
TR (JESSE): You will too.
GK: I'm not going to laugh at you.
TR (JESSE): All you media guys laugh at me.
GK: I'm not a media guy.
TR (JESSE): I hate that when people don't respect a guy just because he's a professional wrestler. I hate that!!
GK: I respect you just fine.
TR (JESSE): JUST BECAUSE A GUY WAS A WRESTLER AND HE DID DROP KICKS AND FLYING MULES AND SLEEPER HOLDS AND HEAD BUTTS AND HE THREW GUYS OUT OF THE RING DOESN'T MEAN HE'S STUPID OR SOMETHING!!! I'M NOT JUST A WRESTLER, I'M THE GOVERNOR OF MINNESOTA!!! (CRASH AND CRUNCH)
GK: Governor, do you mind if I give you a little advice? (TR OFF, ROARING AND CRASHING) Governor? Governor Ventura? (TR WINDS DOWN. PAUSE.)
GK: Don't let it go to your head, Governor. Play it for laughs. That's my advice. Tuesday, everybody and his brother wanted to interview you, cause you were the man who bit the dog, and Friday night, another dog got bit by another man, and that's how it goes. Fame is a fickle lady, pal. The guys who chase her the hardest never lay a hand on her, and the guys who act like she doesn't exist, those are the guys she's in love with. So don't pay any attention. Just do your job and take care of business.
TR: You know something?
GK: What -
TR: I never ever thought this was going to happen.
GK: Neither did anybody else, but there you are. So - do the right thing.
GK: You care for a drink?
GK: What would you like?
TR: What sort of drink would a governor drink?
GK: Whiskey. Straight up. No ice.
TR: HEY BARTENDER, GIMME A WHISKEY, STRAIGHT UP! NO ICE!!
GK: That's good.
TR: Would you possibly be interested in being, like, Commissioner of Education? Agriculture?
GK: You wouldn't have an opening on the Supreme Court, would you?
TR: I dunno. Lemme check and see. (THEME UP)
SS: A dark night in the city that keeps its secrets, where one guy is still trying to find the answers to life's persistent questions. Guy Noir, Private Eye. (MUSIC OUT)
(c) 1998 by Garrison Keillor