TR: 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 fall in Minnesota, a splendid time of year, a beautiful place to be if you're in the business of taking pictures of trees turning color. But if you're in the business of digging out the truth about human treachery and deceit, you're gonna have some slow months. I sat around one whole day checking my messages, waiting for email, (SFX) and then I must've fallen asleep--(DREAM CHORDS)

TR (BOGIE): Hey, kid. How's tricks?

GK: Not so good, Mr. Master.

TR (BOGIE): Oh. Sorry to hear it.

SS: Who's this, baby?

TR (BOGIE): Friend of mine.

SS: What rock did you find him under?

TR (BOGIE): Hey-- make me a drink, Roxy.

SS: You got it. (FOOTSTEPS)

TK (TEEN): There's a guy standing on the corner lookin' up at the window, Mr. Master. A guy in a green plaid suit and two-tone shoes. And if I'm not mistaken, a roscoe in his pocket.

TR (BOGIE): Looks like Dutch found us. Good.

SS: Good?

TR (BOGIE): He'll lead us to Maxie and Maxie's got the rocks.

TK (TEEN): But what if Maxie don't?

TR (BOGIE): Then we may have to use our powers of persuasion. (BRIDGE)

GK: Mike Master, Man of Mystery. I used to listen to him on the radio when I was a kid, sponsored by Toasted Oats. He was my boyhood idol. An action hero (CAR CORNERING, TIRES SCREECHING) --

TK (THUG): Hey, Master-- grab some sky--

TR (BOGIE): That Veg-a-Matic in your hand doesn't scare me, palooka.

TK (THUG): Huh? What you talking about? (KONK) (THUG FAINTS)

GK: He was smart and tough, and he played beautiful women like a violin.

TR (BOGIE): Hey, you mind going to the drugstore and getting me some smokes, doll?

SS: Right away, Mike.

TR (BOGIE): And pick up a fifth of gin while you're at it.

SS: You got it.

TR (BOGIE): And then you can fix dinner for me and Delores.

SS: You're having dinner with Delores?

TR (BOGIE): Yeah.

SS: I thought I was having dinner with you--

TR (BOGIE): No, you're fixing dinner for me.

SS: Oh. Okay.

GK: I loved the way he bent other people to his will. I often dreamed that he and I were pals. The trouble was, I woke up from the dream. Woke up sitting in my fleabitten office and headed over to the Five Spot. (BRIDGE. DOOR OPEN, JINGLE, DOOR CLOSE. FOOTSTEPS)

TR (JIMMY): Hey, Guy-- how's it going?

GK: Oh. About the same, Jimmy.

TR (JIMMY): Oh. Sorry to hear it. How about a drink?

GK: Naw.

TR (JIMMY): We got a new one called Weapons of Mass Destruction? Gin, vodka, Scotch, tequila and diet Yoo Hoo.

GK: Sounds lethal.

TR (JIMMY): Hey. We don't really have any. ---What you down in the dumps about?

GK:. I'm a back issue, Jimmy. A has-been who never was. Gumshoes like me--we went out of style fifty years ago. This is the era of the softboiled, handgun-free, gender-sensitive detective who tracks down people using a software program. My idea of software is a cashmere sweater.

SS: Maybe you need to see a therapist. (STING)

GK: I turned and there she was, giving me a look so cool you could've kept your cream in it. She was blonde. She was trouble. She came in a black knit dress so tight you could read the laundry instructions on her underwear. She had more curves than a scenic railway and a pair of legs that would've made a monk in a monastery sit up and do his illuminated lettering in neon colors.

TR (JIMMY): This is Lauren, Guy. She's new in the neighborhood. A psychologist.

SS: I never treated a private eye before. It might be interesting.

GK: Fascination isn't exactly my problem.

SS: What is your problem?

TR (BOGIE): Hey, kid.

GK: What, Mr. Master?

TR (BOGIE): Be cool. Don't stare at her that way.

GK: No?

TR (BOGIE): No. Look away. Light a cigarette. Check your watch. They love that stuff

GK: Be cool and distant, huh?

TR (BOGIE): Yeah.

GK: I thought I was cool, Mr. Master.

TR (BOGIE): Yeah, but you talk too much, kid.

GK: How much should I talk?

TR (BOGIE): Not that much.

GK: Okay. So the next day I went to see the therapist.

SS: Come right in, Mr. Noir.

GK: Right.

SS: Have a seat.

GK: Thanks.

SS: Why don't we start at the beginning.

GK: Okay. Good. (BRIDGE) I'm lonely, confused, depressed, crazy as a hoot owl. I feel like a potted plant. Not a lot of photosynthesis going on. I'm just barely alive.

SS: Maybe you need to get a good mouthwash. (STING)

GK: I couldn't believe she said that.

TR (BOGIE): It's the truth, kid. You smell like you been eating at roadkill cafe.

GK: What can I do? (STING)

GK: Quite a guy. Mark Master, Man of Mystery. I used to listen to him on the radio when I was a kid, Jimmy.

TR (JIMMY): Yeah, I'm a little young to remember, but I think my dad was a big fan of his, too.

GK: Thanks, Jimmy. Thanks a lot.

TR (JIMMY): What can I get you, Guy?

GK: A glass of fizzy water.

TR (JIMMY): How about a Pearl Diver?

GK: What's that?

TR (JIMMY): Vodka, triple sec, tequila, lime juice, mango sherbet, and a raw oyster. It's very popular with the younger crowd.

GK: They won't be young long, drinking stuff like that. Give me water.

SS (DEEP): I'm having me something called the Kamikaze.
GK: I turned and saw a face a few inches from mine that looked like it had been shrunk by aborigines. You could see the facelift scars, like the rings of a tree. Her eyebrows were sort of permanently raised. I hated to think of what'd happen if she hiccuped.

SS (DEEP): Remember me? We went to high school together.

GK: I don't remember you, ma'am.

SS (DEEP): Don't call me ma'am. Call me Dolores. Dolores Swanson. (STING)

GK: Dolores Swanson. From the cheerleading squad. Perky, peppy Dolores Swanson.

SS (DEEP): That's me.

GK: Well-- it's been a long time.

SS (DEEP): I think it's been just long enough. (STING) My husband died a year ago.

GK: I'm sorry to hear that.

SS (DEEP): That's nice. I'm not.

GK: You married--

SS (DEEP): Buddy Benson.

GK: Oh right.

SS (DEEP): He was a pest exterminator who invented the Benson Bug Bomb and devoted his life to carnage in the insect world and when the will cleared probate this summer, the lawyers handed me a check for fifty-six million.

GK: Fifty six million dollars.

SS (DEEP): That's my Lamborghini parked out front. The red one. It's a two-seater. They say it goes two-hundred miles an hour. I'm headed for North Dakota to find out.

GK: Interesting.

SS (DEEP): What you up to these days, Guy?

GK: Oh. Not a lot.

SS: (SHE SINGS) You just call out my name
And you know, wherever I am
I'll come runnin'...
To see you again--

GK: Where you heading after North Dakota, Dolores?

SS (DEEP): Where you want to go, baby?
(SHE SINGS) Winter, spring, summer or fall
All you have to do is call
And I'll be there, yeah, yeah, yeah,
You've got a friend...
GK: She was wearing a brown nylon wig and enough makeup to paint a barn, but who was I to be particular--winter was on its way and my choices seemed to be severely limited.

SS (DEEP): I spent forty years with a man who smelled of poison. I'm ready to live. I'm thinking Mexico. (SHE DOES A FLAMENCO TRILL)

GK: I should probably head back to the office and check my messages.

TR (JIMMY): You been checking your messages for years, Guy, and what did it get you?

SS (DEEP): It's up to you.--One more for the road, barkeep.

GK: I've gotta check my machine and go through my mail.

TR (BOGIE): What you hoping for, kid?

GK: I don't know. I just feel like checking my messages.

TR (BOGIE): You don't need e-mail, you need a female.

GK: I just got to head back to the office and check my messages. Sorry. Somebody might be trying to reach me. It'll only take a minute. (BRIDGE) So I did. There was one message on the machine. (BEEP)

GK: I didn't know exactly what the message was, but looking out the gray streaked window over the rooftops toward the clouds moving in from the north, I sort of got the idea. (THEME)

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--