Tim Russell: 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.


Garrison Keillor: It was January and the weather had turned lethal, so I was warming my office with hot air from the radio--

TR: (RUSH, ON RADIO) My friends, the secular humanists' war on St. Valentine's Day has begun. Take a look at the cards. Why are they called simply-- 'valentines'? What happened to the "Saint"? Liberals in the greeting card business, waging war on all that is holy......(SFX: TELEPHONE RING, RADIO SWITCHING OFF)

GK: Yeah. Noir here. What can I do for you?

TR (ON PHONE): Mr. Noir, it's Dean Johnson over at the University of Minnesota.

GK: What can I do for you, Dean?

TR (ON PHONE): I've got a problem with a mad scientist, Mr. Noir.

GK: Oh boy.

TR (ON PHONE): Yeah. We've got a few of them but this one is a lulu.

GK: So you're the dean of the School of Science?

TR (ON PHONE): No, Dean is my first name.

GK: I see. But you teach science?

TR (ON PHONE): I'm a janitor in the Biochemistry Building.

GK: Well, there's no bigger cheese than the man with a ring of keys.

TR (ON PHONE): This dame is dynamite. In more ways than one. (BRIDGE)

GK: So I went outside (BLIZZARD) to the even-numbered side of an odd street where the old DeSoto was parked and got in (CREAKING DOOR). The engine was a little stiff. (SLOW CAR STARTER GROANING) It was cold out. You could tell by the birds dropping dead out of the sky (SFX). I mixed up a batch of pure alcohol (POURING) with a shot of nitro (HEAVIER LIQUID) and urine from a cougar (POURING) and sprayed that on the carburetor and (STARTER, SERIES OF EXPLOSIONS AND POOFS) got her going. (BRIDGE, FOOTSTEPS) I found the Biochemistry building and made my way down the hall past an office where a large man in a football jersey was singing:

Adrienne Young (SINGING): Lots and lots of flowerpots
And little tots with polka dots
And double shots of gin
And parking spots for sailing yachts
And apricots and mystery plots
May I help you?

GK: Just surprised to see a guy your size who's a soprano.

AY: It's a chemistry experiment.

GK: And it's succeeding.

AY: Nitrous oxide has marvelous properties.

GK: Now you just need to do something about your hair. Who put you up to this?

AY: My advisor is Dr. Rome.

GK: Gloria Rome?

AY: Right.

GK: The very woman I was looking for. (STING) I found Dean Johnson down the hall. (ELECTRIC FLOOR SWEEPER) He was cleaning the floor. (SWEEPER IS TURNED OFF, MOTOR DIES)

TR: Mr. Noir. Thanks for coming so soon.

GK: It sounded urgent, Dean.

TR: It is. Gloria Rome has come up with a chemical that, darn it, could destroy higher education as we know it. I don't understand it completely, but through nanotechnology she's developed a hyper-powerful encrypted enzyme that can push a student through eight years of college in three months, with 92% retention of material. All by listening to extreme high-speed audio.

GK: Sounds like a great advance.

TR: You think so? Think of a flood of hundreds of thousands of 18-year-olds with Ph.Ds.

GK: Sounds like a disaster.

TR: Look into it. Please. Her office is right down there. (STING, BRIDGE) (KNOCKS ON DOOR)

GK: Dr. Rome?

Tom Keith (DOG, INSIDE OFFICE): Come in. (DOOR OPEN, CLOSE. FOOTSTEPS) May I help you?

GK: You're a dog, right?

TK (DOG): You're pretty quick.

GK: I'm looking for Dr. Rome.

TK (DOG): Whom should I say is here?

GK: Noir. Guy Noir.

Sue Scott (OFF): Rex? Who's there?

TK (DOG): It's a Mr. Noir, Dr. Rome. (FOOTSTEPS)

SS: Yes? May I help?

GK: The name is Guy Noir, Doctor.

SS: I'm sorry, I am in the middle of an experiment with love chemicals and I find myself attracted to you so powerfully it's all I can do not to throw myself into your arms.

GK: Well, I'm a strong man, Dr. Rome.

SS: This is a chemical designed to make intellectuals attractive, and -- boy O boy--

GK: Really. I believe it was Aristotle who said, "The educated differ from the uneducated as much as the living from the dead."

SS: So you're an educated man--

GK: Well, I have to plead nolo contendere on that. (BRIDGE) She was a beautiful woman in a blue lab coat with glasses on a chain hanging down into a region I dared not allow my eyes to follow--

SS: What can I do for you, Mr. Noir?

GK: Many things, I'm sure. --I want to go to Grad School, Dr. Rome, but -- I'm an older guy, as you can see.

SS: I'm attracted to older men. Because they know what they want.

GK: Yes. Indeed. -- I need to earn a doctorate extremely fast. I'm older and I don't have many good earning years left.

SS: A doctorate in what?

GK: How about rocket science?

SS: No problem. Stay right here. (FOOTSTEPS, DOOR OPEN, CLOSE)

GK: Where does she keep it, Rex?

TK (DOG): Why ask me?

GK: She's not sharing that enzyme with you, is she?

TK (DOG): She gave me a little toot.

GK: Where does she keep the enzyme? We can give you a full dose and you can get a law degree.

TK (DOG): Boy. (WOOF)

GK: Run for public office.

TK (DOG): Think people'd vote for me?

GK: I know they would. You might have to do something about your hair, but--

TK (DOG): It's right here. In this bottle. (BOTTLE ROLLS SLIGHTLY ON BASE AS HE SETS IT ON DESK)

GK: Thanks, Rex. (DOOR OPENS)


SS: I'm ready for you now, Mr. Noir. One little injection and then you can put the headphones to your ear and (SFX FAST FORWARD) in fifteen minutes you'll know all about integral calculus.

GK: I can't tell you how much this means to me.

SS: I'm trying to control my overwhelming physical attraction to you--

TR (RICO): I'm crazy about you too, darling-- (SHE GASPS) Hands in the air, darling. You too genius. (DOG GROWL) You too, peabrain.

TK (DOG): Don't call me peabrain.

TR: I was talking to the detective. Now hand over the bottle. Set it down very slowly on the floor in front of my feet. And then step away.

SS: You'll never get away with it.

TR (RICO): One injection of this enzyme and I become a super-criminal. No more need to wave a gun around. I'll just go to Washington and open a lobbying firm.

SS: I doubt that.

GK: You're forgetting one thing, pal.

TR (RICO): Oh yeah?

GK: The audiotape she's got in the tape machine that the enzyme will help you learn--

TR (RICO): Right--the tape on criminal law--

GK: Is actually a tape of the epistles of the apostle Paul.

TR (RICO): What????

GK: You'll get a Ph.D in New Testament and wind up with a parish in North Dakota.

SS: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

TR (RICO): Why you--

GK: Get the enzyme, Rex! (WOOF) Good dog.

TR (RICO): Come back here with that!


AY (SINGING): Pounds and pounds of satin gowns
And coffee grounds and garlic rounds
And little towns with a cocktail lounge and an ounce or two of tea
And fluffy clouds and canvas shrouds and Sunday crowds with heads all bowed
And Maureen Dowd and me.



GK: How do we get out of here, sir?

AY: If you go out the window, the river is about fifty yards that way.


GK: Rex and I went out the window and landed in a snowbank and there was the river and a boat tied to shore so-- we went aboard. (RUNNING FOOTSTEPS, ON DECK) and there was a man in a crewcut on deck.

TR: Welcome aboard. Who're you?

GK: Fugitives.

TR: Aren't we all. My name's Comer. This is my boat, the Francine.

GK: Quite a boat, Captain Comer. (PARROT: quite a boat, Captain Comer)-- Nice parrot, too. (PARROT: Thank you very much.)

TR: Come on up to the bridge. (FOOTSTEPS) Watch your head-- (DOOR OPEN, CLOSE. SONAR) I was just about to head downstream. Where you heading?

GK: Downstream sounds good. (BOAT HORN. MOTOR REVS UP)

TR: Had this boat built to my own specs. It'll sail, it'll fly, it'll submerge-- it has an icebreaker on the prow for when we go to the Arctic.

GK: What do you use it for?

TR: Exploring.

GK: Exploring! On the Mississippi?

TR: Person can explore anywhere. (BOAT HORN) -- Here, let me introduce you to my crew. My chief engineer. (GERMAN) My chef. (FRENCH) My first mate. (SWEDISH) My cartographer (ITALIAN). The ship's doctor. (RUSSIAN) And my climatologist.

SS: Hi.

TK (DOG): Woof.

GK: She was tall, with blonde curls and blue eyes like flames. She wore a sweater that appeared to have been made from recycled hyacinths and jeans and she took your breath away and didn't give it back.

TR: Stephanie is very interested in climate change.

GK: She was changing my climate as we spoke. Parts of my polar zone were turning into rain forest.

SS: Captain Comer and I are out to save the world, Mr. Noir. The world is sliding toward a desperate crisis with greenhouse gases. And time is running out. We need a lot of people to get a lot smarter very fast.

GK: The enzyme!!! (WOOF) -- Rex barked, forgetting that the bottle of enzyme was in his mouth and it fell-- No! -- (SPLASH) in the river.

TK (DOG): Oh gosh. For dumb. Sorry.

TR: What was it?

GK: A hyper-enzyme that promotes learning at warp speed.

SS: Should we send in divers?

TR: Let me check sonar. (SONAR) Sorry, it's gone. The bottle broke and the fluid is dispersed in the river. But the intake for the St. Paul water system is just downstream, so -- maybe it'll have some effect there. (OFF) Pull up anchor! (REPEATED IN GERMAN, THEN ITALIAN, THEN RUSSIAN, OFF)

GK: Where are you headed?

SS: Up to Norway. Tromso. Four hundred kilometers above the Arctic Circle. We get there tomorrow afternoon. (ENGINE REVS UP)

GK: On this boat?

SS: It has retractable wings and a cover. In ten minutes, it turns into a 757.

TK (DOG): Wow.

SS: Capt. Comer is a man of action. (BRIDGE)

GK: The boat sailed down the river to St. Paul and they dropped us off and a few minutes later (JET TAKEOFF) we watched them lift off from the water and head for Norway. I headed back to the office. The biochemist Gloria Rome soon got into trouble with drugs. She turned herself into a baritone and got a big crush on the janitor, Dean, and he got a Ph.D in business, and they both went to jail for mail fraud. -- And if the enzyme got into the St. Paul water supply, it doesn't seem to have had an effect as yet. (THEME)

TR: 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. (MUSIC OUT)