SS: A dark night in a city that knows how to keep its secrets, but on the twelfth 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 September in Minnesota, Labor Day weekend. Two days before the kiddoes go off to school and a great calm falls over the land as if the world took a dose of Valium. I was out at the Minnesota State Fair, on a case for the Twin Cities Pipeline Company. Somehow the Minneapolis and St. Paul pipelines had gotten mixed up and they were pumping beer into Minneapolis and Chardonnay into St. Paul. The Fairgrounds is in St. Paul so I was supposed to go around and check.
I was in the mood for a smoke, but there's a new anti-smoking ordinance in St. Paul that says you can't smoke within fifty feet of a tree or plant, so I had to go down to the Midway. Full of skinny men with long greasy hair and big tattoos and bad teeth.
TK (BARKER): Hey, hey, hey. Yowsa yowsa. Step right up! Break the plate with a softball, win a stuffed animal for the little lady!
GK: How much?
TK (BARKER): Two bucks.
GK: Two bucks!!!
TK (BARKER): A one-dollar discount for A.A.R.P. members.
GK: Awww, watcb your language. Look. I wasn't born yesterday. Some of those plates, they're steel-plated.
TK (BARKER): You accusing me of cheating? Huh? Hey, what you doin? (HE PROTESTS.....)
GK: Like many Minnesotans, I had a concealed weapon, and I pulled it out and (FIVE SHOTS, FIVE METALLIC BWANGS AND RICOCHETS) ---- I thought so. You big cheater. Tinhorn. (FOOTSTEPS, TRAVELLING SEQUENCE, VOICES IN PASSING)
SS (BARKER): I'll guess your weight, guess your height, guess your I.Q. Step right up........... TR (BARKER): Shoot the duck shoot the duck, come on and try your luck, shoot the duck! (HE FADES UNDER.....)
GK: I was walking along, taking in the sights, when suddenly my cellphone rings. (CELLPHONE RING) I hate cellphones. I feel like, if God meant you to carry on loud one-way conversations in public, he would've made you a crazy person. But I thought it might be that woman looking for a man. (PICKUP) Yeah------Guy Noir here
TR (ON PHONE): Mr. Noir- my name is Brad Carpet ---- I'm calling from the State Fair. I need your help.
GK: You sound like you're in a cave.
TR (ON PHONE): I'm calling from a Port-O-Let, Mr. Noir.
GK: A what?
TR (ON PHONE): A portable toilet.
GK: A person shouldn't make phone calls from a toilet, sir----- if you were brought up in Minnesota, you'd know that.
TR (ON PHONE): I'm locked in.
GK: Locked in the Port-O-Let?
TR: (ON THE PHONE) Could you help me out?
GK: Why not just pound on the walls and yell, Let me out?
TR (ON PHONE): It's hard for me to do that, Mr. Noir. You see----- I was an English major. You see----- (DIALTONE)
GK: And just then his phone went dead before I could find out which toilet he was in. So I started knocking on toilet doors. (KNOCKS ON DOOR) Anybody in here? (TK MUFFLED: GO AWAY) (KNOCKS) Anybody in here? (TK MUFFLED: BEAT IT) Anybody in here? (KNOCKS) No? (DOOR OPEN. SS SCREAM. DOOR SLAM) I did all the portable toilets by the Midway and then the ones around the Sheep Barn, and there I saw a woman who was sitting on a wall and weeping. (SS WEEPING) she was wearing a Bush/Cheney shirt ---- it said "God Has Chosen The Republicans, Why Haven't You?" (SS SNIFFLING) ---- What's wrong, ma'am? ----
SS: I've lost my husband. We went on the Tilt-A-Whirl right after we had a couple fish tacos and the man who was running the ride disappeared and he didn't come back for 35 minutes and Bob got off the ride and I don't know where he went.
GK: I wonder if I didn't just get a call from your husband locked in a toilet.
SS: Oh, thank goodness he's safe.
GK: I wouldn't go that far. Did you two talk about a place to meet if you got separated?
SS: Yes! As a matter of fact we did. At the English Major Booth. (STING)
GK: The English Major Booth. It was in the Home Activities Building. (FAIR HUBBUB, PASSERSBY) Excuse me, sir, I'm looking for the English Majors Booth?
TR: Somehow I can't hear the word "booth" without being taken back to when I was fourteen, that October, when the trees were fiery red.
GK: Okay, so you are an English major----- listen ---- I gotta run, Charlie. Good luck with the memoir. (BRIDGE) I headed past Horticulture, past a cotton candy machine (SFX) and the Children's Barn where little kids go to see the Miracle of Birth (SHEEP IN LABOR, SS GIRL: Yucchhhh...... Ewww...... gross) and next to it was the gospel tent ----- (ORGAN)
TR: If you're weary ----- if the deep-fried foods of this world fail to satisfy your spiritual needs.....(FADING)
GK: There was a booth, All The Kool Aid You Can Drink 25cents (TR BARKER: We got your raspberry, we got lemon-lime, we got your grape, and your tutti-frutti (FADING) and a ride called the Human Slingshot (RATCHET TIGHTER AND TIGHTER, THEN WHOOSH OF AIR PRESSURE, CRY OF ALARM, BIG RUBBER SPROING AND FLIGHT OF PERSON INTO AIR) and another ride called the Salad Spinner (REVVING UP, CRIES OF EXCITEMENT) in which people stood in a cylinder as it spun, pressed to the wall by centrifugal force, and were lightly dressed with olive oil ------ (FOOTSTEPS, CROWD)
TR (BARKER): Step right up and see the World's Largest Wonton ----- It's as big as a mobile home ----- the only walk-in Won Ton that's more than one ton....(FADING)
GK: I passed the high striker (EFFORT, SWING, WHACK, RISE OF MARKER, DING OF BELL) and a deep-fried cheese curd booth (DEEP FAT COOKER) ---- and a chiropractic ride called The Adjustor in which people hung upside down and were jiggled (TK JIGGLING PLEASURE). And there was Sheila. (STING)
SS: Yeah? What you staring at?
GK: Your sign there says you swallow car antennas?
SS: That's what the sign says. Swords, yardsticks, car antennas, my pride and sense of self-worth, you name it.
SS: Got out of graduate school and there were no jobs except teaching 7th grade English, so----- I chose this -----
GK: Swallowing swords?
SS: Have you ever taught middle school?
SS: Swallowing swords isn't bad.
GK: Suddenly I felt something wet on my shoe. I looked down and this liquid was running in the gutter, coming from the Swine Barn, it smelled like Chardonnay ---- Excuse me, Sheila ----- (FOOTSTEPS) I stuck my head in and there was no oinking, everybody was asleep. (FOOTSTEPS) In every pen, enormous pigs lying on their sides (PIG SNORING), passed out. I could smell the Chardonnay on their breaths. (PIG, DRUNKEN SNORING, AWAKENS) A Chester White opened one bloodshot eye and staggered to his feet. (PIG GROAN) I gave him a handful of Advil. (PIG GULPING, LONG PIG GROAN) No need to marinate yourself, Mr. White. They'll do that later.
TK (PIG): I feel so ashamed of myself.
TK (PIG): Why is it that there's so much alcoholism among us writers?
GK: You're a writer?
TK (PIG): I've written a memoir ---As I Lay Oinking-- would you have a minute to look at it?
GK: Wow. It's all neatly typed and everything. You learned English ----- you learned how to use a computer ----- that must've taken you a long time.
TK (PIG): Well, what's time to a pig? (STING AND BRIDGE)
GK: I took the memoir over to a corner of the Swine Barn and sat down and read it and I wish I could say it was good. It was okay for a pig but it moved very slowly and not much happened and twenty pages about corn meal is more than anybody wants to know. I set the memoir down and then I remembered Sheila ----- (RUNNING FOOTSTEPS) I dashed outside and the sword swallower's booth was gone. Packed up. Just dead grass and tire tracks through the dirt and onto the pavement and the black marks where she'd laid down some rubber and headed off into the sunset towards North Dakota.
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 OUT)