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. (MUSIC FADE)
Garrison KeillorK: I was sitting in the office of the Lakeside Ballroom in Glenwood,Minnesota, watching ESPN's Wide World of Curling on TV and waiting for a man named Norman Nisswa to come. (TV AUDIO)
Sue Scott: You like curling, Mr. Noir?
GK: I don't know.
SS: It's a lot harder than it looks, you know.
GK: I would hope so. It'd be more interesting if maybe a woman would sit on the stone as they slid it. A mermaid, maybe.
SS: You care for more coffee, Mr. Noir?
GK: Yeah, but could you put some caffeine in it?
SS: Is it too weak?
GK: Well, it'd just be better with caffeine.
TR: Mr. Noir? I'm Norman Nissenson. I'm the one who called you last night about the shoes. (BRIDGE)
GK: Somehow I was expecting him to be younger and more dashing, not wearing a car coat and a hat with earflaps and barn boots.
TR: Care for some coffee?
GK: Do you have any?
TR: Some right here.
GK: No thanks. So this is about these red dancing shoes that have been in your family, right?
TR: Yes. The legend is that when you dance in these shoes, you meet the person you're supposed to marry. My grandfather met my grandmother at a dance here in 1942. They danced the schottische and a week later they were married.
GK: He was wearing those red shoes.
TR: Yes. And then he gave them to my dad Walter and he wore them to a dance here in 1964.
GK: Same shoes.
TR: Right. And he met my mother. Gussy. And they married. My brother Bob borrowed the shoes and met his wife Dotty, and now I'd like my chance.
GK: You told me your uncle took them.
TR: Yes. Omar. He was 92. His bride was 91. They spent the first evening of their honeymoon just getting out of the car and into the room and taking off their shoes.
GK: So what'd he do with the shoes?
TR: Right after the wedding, he threw them from the church steps. Like a bouquet. I got one shoe and my cousin Jim got the other.
GK: And what did he do with his?
TR: He wore it to a dance and met a girl and they fooled around for a couple of years.
GK: I see.
TR: I don't want to have a one-shoe romance, Mr. Noir. I want to jump in with both feet.
GK: Where's your cousin Jim?
TR: Went to Florida. But he said he left the red shoe in somebody's ice-fishing shack out on the lake when he was playing cribbage one night.
GK: He doesn't remember which shack?
TR: He was drunk.
GK: So you want me to find it
TR: Please. I'm forty years old, Mr. Noir. I'm not getting any nicer
GK: Could I be frank with you, sir?
TR: Of course.
GK: It's about your toupee. They make them from better materials than nylon.
TR: It's not a toupee.
GK: Oh. Okay.
TR: It's my own hair.
TR: I used a conditioner that wasn't organic. (BRIDGE)
GK: (FOOTSTEPS IN SNOW, WIND) So I headed out on the lake to look for the red shoe that would bring Norman Nissenson into the arms of his beloved. (KNOCKS) Hello? Anybody home? (DOOR CREAKS OPEN)
SS (DEEP): Yeah? What you want?
GK: Looking for a lost shoe.
SS (DEEP): Are you a game warden?
GK: Nope, just looking for a red shoe that Norman's cousin Jim left out here after a cribbage game.
SS (DEEP): Was he the one who put his hand on my knee?
GK: Might have been. He was drunk.
SS (DEEP): We all were. It was January.
GK: You mind if I look around for the red shoe?
SS (DEEP): You interested in doing some smooching?
GK: I hadn't thought about it.
SS (DEEP): Would you believe me if I told you a story?
GK: I'd try.
SS (DEEP): I am a beautiful princess who was turned into an old lady with bad breath and if you kiss me, I'll be yours forever and you'll be rich and come live in my castle.
GK: Interesting thought.
SS (DEEP): But you gotta kiss me for a whole hour without stopping. Put a lip lock on me.
GK: Okay. Well, let me get back to you on that. Nice talking to you. (DOOR SLAM) (FOOTSTEPS, WIND, DISTANT SNOWMOBILE) Interesting life people lead out here in these fish houses. I guess when you're live out here in the country, life sort of takes on a life of its own. (KNOCKS ON DOOR) Hello? Anybody home? (DOOR CREAKS OPEN)
Tom Keith (LARRY): Hi. Are you from the FBI?
GK: My name is Noir, I'm looking for a red shoe, a red dancing shoe.
TK (LARRY): I thought maybe you were with the FBI, coming to arrest me.
GK: Why would I do that?
TK (LARRY): So you are from the FBI?
GK: No. If I were, why would I be here?
TK (LARRY): You're asking me?
GK: I'm just looking for a red shoe that a guy lost in a cribbage game. Odd as that may sound.
TK (LARRY): I'm out here carrying on a protest against the government taking our guns away. I'm gonna stay here in my fish house until they stop it.
GK: They took your gun away?
TK (LARRY): It was in the basement and now it's gone.
GK: Maybe you ought to look again. But if you stay out here, you're going to go through the ice.
TK (LARRY): And they know it. And that's to put pressure on them to quit doing what they're doing.
GK: How do they know it? The government-- know that you're here.
TK (LARRY): Wiretapping. They know more than you think they do.
GK: Lately, I'm not so sure. Anyway, I'm just looking for a red shoe.
TK (LARRY): Can't help you there. You want a drink? I got a couple bottles of pina colada mix.
GK: No, thanks. (BRIDGE) (FOOTSTEPS IN SNOW) I made my way to the next fish house and just as I got there-- (SS SCREAMS FROM WITHIN) (KNOCKS) Hello? (DOOR OPEN)
SS: (PANIC, GASPING) Oh my gosh--
GK: What is it, lady?
SS: (PANTING) Oh my gosh--
GK: What's wrong?
SS: It's a gigantic fish.
SS: In the fish house. (DOOR CREAKS OPEN)
GK: It's so dark in here--
TR (WALLEYE): (PANTING) Hey-- close the door and throw a bucket of water on me, wouldja?
GK: Okay. (BIG SPLOSH, TR SHAKES HIS HEAD, CHEEKS WABBLE) You look like a walleye.
TR (WALLEYE): I'm half walleye. Muskie on my mother's side. You don't have any nightcrawlers on you, do you?
GK: You've got a big Lazy Ike hanging off your lower lip. .
TR (WALLEYE): Had it for a week or so. You like it? We can't wear earrings cause we don't have ears but -- we got lips.
GK: You've got a big callous on your lip.
TR (WALLEYE): I'm a cornet player.
GK: How in the world did you come to play cornet?
TR (WALLEYE): How? I practiced, that's how. Found it on the bottom of the lake and started playing. Hey, toss some water on me--
GK: Okay. (BIG SPLOSH, TR SHAKES HIS HEAD, CHEEKS WABBLE)
TR (WALLEYE): Oh boy, that feels good.
GK: Here's a wire cutter, let me get that hook out of your lip, you'll be able to play better. Hold still.
TR (WALLEYE): Don't hurt me.
GK: Hold still and I won't. (SNIP) Okay, I'm going to just pull it out-- turn your head-- (THWOOP) There.
TR (WALLEYE): (SMACKS LIPS) Okay. Thanks. Let me try out my lips. (HE PLAYS CORNET) Good.
GK: I'm looking for a red shoe -- you didn't see it, did you?
TR (WALLEYE): It's down on the bottom. Must've fallen through the ice.
SS: Do you know "Glowworm"?
TR (WALLEYE): Hey, it's one of my favorites.
GK: Would you mind going down to the bottom and getting that shoe?
TR (WALLEYE): I'd do it if you'll do something for me.
GK: What's that?
TR (WALLEYE): A year ago somebody dropped a dish into the water -- a bowl full of this wonderful stuff that went (HE WAGGLES CHEEKS)---it was delicious. Boy, if somebody put some of it on a hook, I'd die happy.
GK: What did it taste like?
TR (WALLEYE): It tasted of lime and it had bananas in it and a maraschino cherry---And it went (HE WAGGLES CHEEKS)
TR (WALLEYE): I didn't catch the name.
SS: I've got some Jell-O in my car.
TR (WALLEYE): I'll be right back. (SPLASH)
SS: It's orange Jell-O. Is that okay?
GK: Fine. (BRIDGE) And the walleye brought the shoe up. (SPLASH)
TR (WALLEYE): Here you go.
GK: Here's your Jell-O. (TR DEVOURS JELL-O, HAPPILY)
SS: Why--it's Norman.
SS: I haven't seen you in ages---
TR: I was busy. You look wonderful.
SS: So do you? You remember we used to go dancing? At the Ballroom in Glenwood.
TR: Of course I remember. That was fun.
SS: Why did you stop coming?
TR: I don't know. Just got busy, I guess. That was a great ballroom. Too bad it burned down.
SS: They built a new one.
TR: They did?
SS: Brand new. Nice maple dance floor.
GK: Here's your other red shoe, Norman.
SS: Care for some Jell-O?
TR: I'd love some. Care to dance?
SS: My pleasure. (MUSIC)
GK: It was about that easy. I headed back to town and people were starting to arrive at the Ballroom. They were coming in snowmobiles (SFX) and pick up trucks (SFX) and John Deere tractors (SFX) and Harleys (SFX) and a plane flew overhead (SFX) and a man jumped out (FALLING) and his parachute opened (SFX) and he drifted down and as he did, rockets rose in the winter air (ROCKETS), evidently Norman and Evelyn had hit it off. (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.