Tim Russell: A dark night in a city that knows how to keep its secrets.......but one man is still trying to find the answers to life's persistent questions......Guy Noir, Private Eye. (THEME UP AND OUT)
Garrison Keillor: It was April in New York and I was there seeing the sights and taking in some plays and having a terrific time until one afternoon on 59th Street, near Central Park -- (CITY AMBIENCE, TRAFFIC, FOOTSTEPS)
Fred Newman (RASPY): Hey, pal-- how about a ride around the park? Twenty bucks.
GK: No, thanks. I'd rather walk.
FN (RASPY): People in Minnesota don't like to ride in carriages?
(PAUSE, THEN FOOTSTEPS)
GK: What'd you say?
FN (RASPY): I said, what's the matter, don't you want a ride?
GK: You said Minnesota--
FN (RASPY): Yeah?
GK: What made you think I was from Minnesota?
FN (RASPY): Just a lucky guess.
(TRAFFIC PASSING, THEN BOOMBOX)
GK: It kind of shook me. A person goes to New York for the anonymity. Was there something about me that shouted Midwestern? If so, what? Other than my good manners. April in New York is a great time. The tulip bulbs were popping up in the flower beds. (JOGGER RUNNING PAST ON DIRT PATH) Runners were out running around the reservoir. Skinny runners, big heavy runners (JOGGER GOING BY, BREATHING HARD), runners with headphones, runners with cellphones (JOGGER PASSING, TALKING ON PHONE), ), runners sending e-mail on their Blackberries, runners pushing babies in three-wheeled carriages (JOGGER PASSING, BABY CRYING), runners on walkers (GEEZER RUNNER), runners with dogs (JOGGER PASSING, DOG RUNNING & COLLAR JINGLING), runners being chased by dogs (JOGGER RUNNING FAST, DOG BARKING IN CHASE). I sat down on a bench to read the paper and suddenly a runner came up to me, a slim grey-haired gentleman. (TR JOGGING UP, WINDED)
TR (MAYOR): Hi there.
TR (MAYOR): Mind if I sit down?
GK: Be my guest.
TR (MAYOR): Thanks. Bloomberg is my name. Mike Bloomberg. I'm the mayor.
GK: Well, well, well. Quite an honor.
TR (MAYOR): How do you like the city?
GK: It's great. Great time of year.
TR (MAYOR): Your hotel room okay?
TR (MAYOR): Room tax not too high?
GK: Hey, it's worth it.
TR (MAYOR): You finding toilets when you need to?
GK: I just go easy on the coffee.
TR (MAYOR): Me too. When you're mayor, it can be a long time between rest stops. --Well -- good talking with you. How's everything back home in Minnesota?
GK: Is there a sign on my back? Am I wearing a Golden Gopher cap?
TR (MAYOR): Hey, I meant no offense.
GK: None taken. But how did you know? .
TR (MAYOR): I don't know. Just something about you. --Hey. I gotta run. (BRIDGE)
GK: The Mayor took off and I headed for the Guggenheim and there on Fifth Avenue a woman in a parked BMW yelled at me. (TRAFFIC PASSING)
Sue Scott (OFF): Hey! You!
GK: Who? Me?
SS (OFF): Yeah. Who do you think? Come here.
GK: A New York cop was standing by the driver's window.
TR (COP): Lady - hang up the phone.
SS: I need you for a witness, sir.
TR (COP): Just stay out of this, buddy.
SS: He pulled me over for talking on my cell phone while I'm driving.
TR (COP): It's illegal.
SS: So is jaywalking. You gonna start arresting jaywalkers? Besides, I was talking to my lawyer. I got a right to do that. Boy, this is ridiculous! If I had a nickel for every time I have seen people talking on the phone while they drove today, I could buy the Taj Mahal. Or a studio apartment in Brooklyn.
TR (COP): You know this woman, sir?
GK: No, but I'm starting to.
SS: What's more, I am entitled to have a lawyer present if I am being questioned by the police. And the attorney-client conversation is privileged, so you have to step twenty feet away, officer.
TR (COP): Look. You were in violation of the law.
SS: According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, the operator of a motor vehicle is entitled to any assistive device and for me, that includes a telephone.
TR (COP): Listen. I'm gonna let you off this one time, but if I ever catch you again, it's gonna not be so good for you, okay? (BRIDGE)
GK: She was a scrapper. She talked him right out of giving her a ticket. (FOOTSTEPS) I decided to skip the Guggenheim -- it was so nice out -- and I walked over to Third Avenue and a joint called McNulty's-- (DOOR OPEN, JINGLE) (BAR AMBIENCE) I walked in. A couple guys sat at the bar and one look at them and you thought maybe drinking isn't the best hobby to take up. -- The bartender was busy trying to rig up some wires on the back bar.
TR (BARTENDER): Be with you in a minute.
GK: Take your time.
FN (PATRON): Where's the Mets game?
TR (BARTENDER): I'm doin my best.
FN (PATRON): Gimme the remote. I'll find it.
TR (BARTENDER): The remote ain't gonna help you. I gotta remove the scrambler.
FN (PATRON): I come in here to watch the game.
TR (BARTENDER): I'm trying to get the game -- but if the cable company decides not to carry the Mets game, what can I do?
FN (OLD PATRON): Put the game on. That's what you can do.
TR (BARTENDER): I'm fixing the scrambler. Get me a screwdriver.
FN (OLD PATRON): You're the bartender.
TR (BARTENDER): A screwdriver! The kind with the blade.
FN (OLD PATRON): All you need is a coat hanger.
TR (BARTENDER): How many times I gotta tell ya? I gotta take the filter outta this box up there.
FN (OLD PATRON): That's not the filter! Hey, mister-- look at what he's doing to that TV--
TR (BARTENDER): What does he know about it? He's from Minnesota.
FN (OLD PATRON): Are you? You are, aren't you. Okay. Forget it. (BRIDGE)
GK: I left McNulty's and I headed back toward the park (OUTDOOR TRAFFIC, STREET NOISE) -- and who should I see but the woman with the cellphone?
SS: Hey! You-- (FAST FOOTSTEPS)
GK: Yes-- Hello again.
SS: I've been driving around, looking for you.
GK: What's up?
SS: Do you mind if I ask a personal question?
SS: Are you from Minnesota? (BRIDGE)
GK: I nodded and she motioned me toward a little cafe and we sat in a quiet corner in back--
SS: That cop. What a dope. He just wouldn't listen. Men! They're such a pain. It all comes down to men. MENtal illness, MENstrual cramps, unemployment, MENopause. And HISterectomies. Anyway, I was on my way to the gynecologist's. I had to drive because you can't get a cab now that the CIA is recruiting people who speak Arabic. And the subway is just so hard on your self-esteem. I had a bad moment on the subway yesterday -- A man got up and offered me his seat. What's wrong? Do I look old? I didn't think I did. Anyway, the gynecologist told me I'm pregnant.
GK: Well, congratulations.
SS: I don't know.
GK: Do you know if it's a girl or a boy?
SS: Ehhhh-- I don't want to know. Why bother? In New York, you don't know what your kid's sex will be when it grows up. Why wonder about it now?
GK: Well, what can I do for you, ma'am--
SS: I'm afraid of what I might do to a child. I might damage it psychologically and it'd spend its adult life in Barnes & Noble in the psychology section, buying books about reclaiming your inner child through creative visualization.
GK: Well, this is New York. Therapy is big here. It's a whole sector of the economy.
SS: Last week when Daylight Savings Time came in, I forgot to set my clock forward and so I got to church early -- I was intending to just go to the coffee hour but I arrived in time for the sermon and he was talking about diversity, which we've been troubled about for a long time -- we Unitarians tend to be white -- we went all out once to attract African-Americans -- and we did -- and they turned out to be Baptists and they believed in being born again -- which we don't believe in --we think we got it right the first time -- so I sat through the sermon and then we stood around in the coffee hour and we planned our five-kilometer Run To Cure Attention-Deficit Disorder. Well, speaking of running-- I've got to get back to work. I own a day spa in Tribeca called the Women's Correctional Facility. We do nails and hair and outpatient cosmetic surgery.
GK: You said you needed me, ma'am--
GK: What did you need me for?
SS: Same as what we always need you midwesterners for--to listen to us.
SS: I've been waiting all day to tell somebody I'm pregnant. Hey. I gotta run.
GK: Bye. (BRIDGE) I stood there as she drove away (CAR PULLING AWAY, OUTDOOR TRAFFIC AMBIENCE) and I looked at myself in a shop window for signs of Midwesternness. No insignias. No labels. Nothing on my shoes. I studied myself for a long time and couldn't find the telltale mark. (THEME)
TR: A dark night in the city that knows how to keep its secrets, but one man is still trying to find the answers to life's persistent questions......Guy Noir, Private Eye. (THEME OUT)