(GK: Garrison Keillor, SS: Sue Scott, TK: Tom Keith, TR: Tim Russell, SJP: Sarah Jessica Parker, WB: Walter Bobbie)

TR: 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 the week before Christmas and I was looking at a card from my sister Georgina and one from my insurance man, Jerry Eisenbrink, wishing me a merry Christmas and a collision-free New Year. One from Sugar, that said, "Deck the halls and clear the decks, a Merry Christmas to my ex." Jimmy at the Five Spot sent one that said, "In appreciation of your patronage." And there was one from someone named Sharon. It said, Happy Holidays, and underneath she wrote XOXOXOXOX. There was no return address. Probably a cruel joke from a former friend. (KNOCKS) Yeah. Come in. The door's open. (DOOR OPEN, FOOTSTEPS) Yeah? what can I do for you.

SJP: Mr. Noir? Guy Noir?

GK: Right. What can I do for you?

SJP: My name is and I need your help, Mr. Noir. I'm desperate. I don't know who else to go to.


GK: She was the sort of woman who the moment you look at her, a guy sort of instinctively starts to go to his knees. She was blonde and her skin was like melted caramel and she looked like someone whose job it is to escort you to heaven and fit you with wings.

SJP: You've got to help me, Mr. Noir. I'm in a terrible situation.


GK: There are women to whom a man might say no, or I don't think so, or maybe later. This was not one of those women. She was a woman who made me feel privileged just to be breathing air she had recently exhaled. I went to close the door and the thought of touching a doorknob that she herself had handled made me slightly dizzy. (DOOR CLOSE) Right away I had to sit down. (CREAK OF CHAIR)

SJP: Is something wrong, Mr. Noir?

GK: No, just an old heart condition. Triggered by beauty. That's why I stick to the office as much as possible. What can I do for you, Miss Kirkpatrick?

SJP: Mr. Noir, it's the weekend before Christmas and I absolutely can't find a Christmas gift for my boyfriend, Bob.


GK: At the mention of a boyfriend, I felt a cold chill in my heart.

SJP: He's about your size and your age and I thought you might have some ideas.


GK: My first idea was to kill him with a clothes hangar, but I decided not to mention it. - Tell me more about your beloved, Miss Kirkpatrick. But, do you mind if we do it around the corner at the Five Spot? It's a little bistro for the broken-hearted. I feel the need of an egg nog. (MUSIC UNDER ...) We went around to the Five Spot and the place was empty (DOOR OPEN, JINGLE, CLOSE. FOOTSTEPS) except for an old lady parked at the bar. She wore a beige wig and pink tights and a black sweatshirt that said, "Go Ahead, Ask Me. The Answer Is Yes."

TR: Hiya, Guy. How's everything going?

GK: Just fine, Jimmy. Jimmy, this is Kathy Kirkpatrick.

TR: Pleased to make your acquaintance.

SJP: Hi. This sure is an old bar, isn't it.

TR: 1964 it was built.

SJP: Wow. A landmark.

GK: What would you like, Miss?

WB: Are you asking me?

GK: No, I'm not.

WB: Oh. Well, if you decide to, the answer is yes.

GK: Miss Kirkpatrick -

SJP: I'd just have a glass of white wine.

TR: Okay. Guy?

GK: I'll have the usual.

TR: Okay, coming right up.

GK: So tell me about your boyfriend -

WB: I don't have one, that's why I'm in here.

GK: I wasn't talking to you.

WB: Sorry. No need to bark.

GK: You've known him a long time, Miss Kirkpatrick?

SJP: About a week.

GK: A week. I see.

SJP: He waited on me at a shoestore. I was looking for something comfortable but still classy, and he found these slippers -

GK: Glass?

SJP: Leather - and they're wonderful. And so is he.

GK: And the sight of him kneeling in front of you -

SJP: He took my foot in his hand and the way he slipped it into that shoe - I knew that he adored me.

TR: Excuse me - all I got for white wine today is this DeMolay -

WB: Dreadful wine, honey. Very immature. Gives me a headache like the Grand Tetons.

SJP: I'll just have water, thanks.

GK: So you're looking for a gift for this Bob -

SJP: And he's such an unmaterialistic person, it's hard to think of what he'd like.

GK: Well, a person has to have clothes. He does wear clothes, I hope.

WB: My, you get right to the point, don't you.

SJP: He's a very natty dresser.

GK: Maybe a tie.

SJP: A tie - no - I want it to be more exciting than a tie.

WB: Underwear. Theme underwear.

GK: Would you mind? - how about jewelry?

SJP: Oh, I can't afford anything nice. I'm only a struggling actress.

GK: You're an actress!

WB: Oh dear. You seemed so genuine. So thoughtful.

GK: Well, how about a book of poetry. Love poems. You could give him a volume of Shakespeare's sonnets and then you could read to him out of it.

SJP: That's a wonderful idea.

TR: (APPROACHING) Here's your water, miss. And Guy, your martini with a string bean.

GK: Let me not to the marriage of true minds Admit impediments.

SJP: Love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds Or bends with the remover to remove.

GK: Oh no, it is an ever fixed mark That looks on tempests and is never shaken.

SJP: It is the star to every wandering bark Whose depth's unknown although its height be taken.

GK: You know that poem well.

SJP: I memorized it for my high school graduation. Piscacadawadaquoddymoggin High School. Class of 1992.

GK: Piscacadawadaquoddymoggin. On the Penobscot peninsula?

SJP: Exactly.

GK: Where they make that Penobscot isotropic cough syrup made from pumpkins, peapods, peachpits, poppyseeds, and papyrus.

SJP: Pumpkins, peapods, peachpits, poppyseeds and peppercorn.

GK: No papyrus?

SJP: The papyrus is optional.

GK: I always thought that the Penobscots used papyrus.

SJP: Not in Piscacadawadaquoddymoggin, they don't.

GK: Well, I guess you would know.

WB: What are you people talking about?

GK: It's a cough syrup.

WB: Well, I'm not going to need any where I'm going. I'm off to Palm Springs. Sold my home and I bought myself a brand new Porsche. Put your foot on the gas and it throws you in the backseat.

GK: Anyway, this boyfriend Bob - does he like poetry?

WB: My husband's name is Bob. I told him: forty-seven years of marriage and I need a little room. Room to grow.

SJP: I don't know if he does or doesn't. Interesting.

WB: I've been bored out of my gourd for the past thirty-five years.

GK: You don't know if he likes poetry or not?

SJP: Somehow the subject never came up.

GK: Yes, but - does he have poetry in his soul?

WB: I'm at the age where I don't give a rip what anybody thinks.

SJP: I'd have to think about that, if he does or not ...

GK: If you have to think about it, then I'd say the answer is no.

SJP: He's a very kind man -

GK: Kindness and poetry aren't the same thing, ma'am.

WB: I did my time in the Epworth League and now - I'm ready to boogie.


GK: Sugar! What - I thought you were going back to Maine for Christmas?

SS: (WEEPY) I am, you big jerk. And I hope you're happy!!

GK: What do you mean?

SS: (WEEPY) Why is it I spend ten years waiting for you to ask me to marry you? Why? What is it about me? Who's she??

GK: She's a client.

SS: Oh, call it whatever you want to.

WB: Maine. I used to know some people from there.

SS: You drop one, you pick up another - what is it about men?

SJP: He's helping me find a Christmas present for my boyfriend.

SS: I'll bet!

GK: You know, maybe you're not getting the nutrition you need, Sugar.

SS: Well, after you help her, maybe you can help me find a present for my boyfriend, Rocco.

TR (ROCC0): Hi, Guy. Heard a lot about you.

GK: I can imagine. Well, have a wonderful Christmas in Maine, Sugar.

SS: I will, no thanks to you.

GK: I hope you two are very happy. I mean that.

SS: Sure. Right. But what about all those wasted years -

GK: This is too complicated for me.

TR: Nice meeting you, Noir.

WB (MOM): Let me tell you something -

SJP: Did you say you're from Maine??

SS: Yes -

SJP: I'm from Piscacadawadaquoddymoggin. On the Penobscot peninsula.

SS: Kathy? Kathy Kirkpatrick?

SJP: Aunt Sugar?

SS: Well, I'll be jiggered.

SJP: I've heard so many stories about you.

SS: Aren't you going home for Christmas?

SJP: I think maybe I will.

SS: I'm leaving tonight.

SJP: I was thinking about spending it with my boyfriend, but - I think I'd rather go home.

SS: If you'd like a ride, you can come with me and Rocco.

SJP: Really?

TR (ROCCO): Sure. Got lots of room.

SJP: Okay. Well, thanks, Mr. Noir. You really gave me a lot to think about. Nice to meet you -

WB: Merry Christmas, dear.

SJP: Good luck in Palm Springs.

WB: Thank you.

SS: Goodbye, Guy. Have a nice holiday.


WB: You're looking kinda droopy, big fellow. You okay?

GK: Yeah. I'm fine.

WB: Bring this man an eggnog, bartender.

GK: No thanks.

TR (JIMMY): You sure?

GK: I'm sure.

WB: She sure was beautiful, wasn't she.

GK: Yeah.

WB: In dim light, with a couple of stiff drinks, you might be able to confuse me with her.

GK: I don't think so.

WB: Got my Porsche out front and she's pointed south.

GK: I'm too old for romance, lady.

WB: As long as you can still fog up a mirror, you're never too old -

GK: My heart has been broken so many times, the pieces don't even fit.

WB: It's Christmas. You just pick out a star that looks good to you, and you follow it.


TR: 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