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 April in Minnesota, the frozen tundra was starting to wake up from the long nap, the robins had arrived (BIRD SONG) and the cardinals (LATIN) and the scarlet teenagers (GIGGLE), and I was feeling sort of weird. Beautiful women would pass me in the street and I'd snort and toss my head and paw the ground with my right foot. So I called up my doctor and I got his voice mail.

TR (ON PHONE): Hello, this is Dr. Farrell. If you are experiencing unbearable chest pains and shortness of breath, press or say one. If you are on the verge of unconsciousness, press or gasp two. If this is just some sort of vague discomfort that can easily wait until Monday, press your head against the pillow and don't bother me, okay? (BEEP) You have pressed one for chest pains. If you wish to come and sit in my waiting room for three hours, press or say one. If you wish six firemen to come to your home immediately and put electric paddles on your chest so that your legs fly up in the air and you lose control of your bladder, press or say two. (BRIDGE)

GK: I decided to drive down to Rochester to the Mayo Clinic. At the front desk, a young lady asked me about my insurance and insurance and whether my 80/20 co-pay group benefits package had been pre-authorized for in-patient intake remittal, -- lovely phrase, benefit package. I could see her benefits package but I didn't think my insurance would cover it. I leaned over the desk and I said, (GRUNTING)--

Sue Scott (SWEET): Third floor, endocrinology, sir.


SS (FLEXNER): I am Dr. Flexner, Mr. Noir. I specialize in seasonal male hormonal swings and I think yours might be an overactive libido triggered by a food product. How many water chestnuts do you consume in a week?

GK: I don't know, not so many.

SS (FLEXNER): Would you say you consume less than six per week or more than six?

GK: I-- I've never stopped to count my water chestnuts. Is there a problem, Dr. Flexner?

SS (FLEXNER): Water chestnuts is a euphemism, Mr. Noir. Water chestnuts are actually the dried testes of sea lions. As such they are loaded with hormones -- They can cause carnal urges powerful enough to overwhelm a person of very strong morals.

GK: So just think of what it would do to someone like me.

SS (FLEXNER): The answer, Mr. Noir, is Beer.

GK: Beer?

SS (FLEXNER): It's worked for generations of Minnesota men. Nothing lowers libido like a cold brew. Beer and baseball. Nobody comes home from three beers and nine innings of baseball with the slightest interest in sex.

GK: Could I see another doctor?

SS (FLEXNER): We are not doctors, we are healthcare providers.

GK: I see. And what am I then?

SS: You are a wellness partner. (FOOTSTEPS)

TR: (BUSH) Excuse me ma'am. I've been sitting in that little room in there for awhile. Hope you didn't forget about me. Heh heh heh heh heh heh.

SS: I'll be right with you, Mr. President -- uh--You know you can tie that gown closed, you know. There's a string in the back.

TR (BUSH): Oh. Okay. Felt a little windy back there. Funny, I been going around like that all morning. Nobody said a thing.

SS: This is the Midwest, Mr. President. We don't like to point out the obvious. (BRIDGE)

GK: I was on my way out of the Mayo Building when a man tapped me on the shoulder. (TRAFFIC)

TR (OLD): Excuse me. Could you direct me to the Department of Urology?

GK: I think it's across the street in the Plummer Building.

TR (OLD): Could you help me over there? (TRAFFIC)

GK: Of course. Nice jacket you've got there. You work for WalMart?

TR (OLD): I'm the founder of WalMart. My name's Wally. Wally Martin.

GK: Guy Noir, Mr. Martin. Pleasure to meet you.

TR (OLD): I've been unable to pass water for more than a week. That's why my voice is so high.

GK: I'm sure they can help you in here, Mr. Martin.

TR (OLD): I haven't peed since a week ago Friday. Boy, it's uncomfortable.

GK: I can imagine.

TR (OLD): Kind of ironic, I guess. I'm worth eighty billion dollars but I'd give all of that if I could just pee. Take a look in my eyes. What color are they?

GK: Sort of yellow.

TR (OLD): I was afraid of that.

GK: You can't even go a little bit?

TR (OLD): I went to a doctor down in Arkansas and he put in a catheter but it isn't working.

GK: Well, I'm sure they can make it work.

TR (OLD): Would you mind taking a look? I don't dare bend over or it might come out my ears.

GK: You want me to take a look? There are doctors here who do that--

TR (OLD): I don't think I can take another step.

GK: I could get you a wheelchair.

TR (OLD): I don't think I can sit either.

GK: I'd like to help you but--

TR (OLD): Please. Just take a look.

GK: I think there may be laws against a man doing this --

TR (OLD): Please. Help me.

GK: And suddenly I remembered my old scoutmaster Einar and what he told us -- (DREAM GLISS)

Tom Keith (JOWLY): Boys, I want to congratulate you on what you've done. Today you've earned your merit badge in urology. You've stayed on track and now you're in the elite of Eagle Scouts. Someday you may be in a position to help someone-- (DREAM GLISS)

GK: And so I did. Standing in the middle of the street (TRAFFIC) I did a quick examination --

TR (OLD): See anything?

GK: Whoever put this catheter into you, Mr. Martin -- he neglected to open the valve--

TR (OLD): Oh my gosh--

GK: This may hurt. You've built up quite a bit of pressure.

TR (OLD): Go ahead.

GK: You people want to back up over there-- (CROWD MURMURS) Stand back-- this could travel. (

TR (DEEP): Wow. Oh, wow.

GK: Feels good, I'll bet.

TR (DEEP): You have no idea.

GK: You look happy, Mr. Martin.

TR (DEEP): This is the happiest day of my life.

GK: Well, I was glad to do you the favor, Mr. Martin.

TR (DEEP): I am a happy happy happy man.

GK: And it was my honor, sir. Let me give you my business card, Mr. Martin.

SS (DEEP): Okay, you. Hands up. Rochester police. You're under arrest.

GK: Under arrest!!! Me? For what???? What did I do?

SS (DEEP): Listen to him, Al. "What did I do?" Look around you. The big puddles. Huh? You think it rained or something?

GK: That is not mine.

SS (DEEP): Come on. This way.

GK: I didn't do it.

SS (DEEP): Look at your pants.

GK: He did it and it got on me. Him. The guy in the WalMart jacket-- where is he? Where'd he go?

SS (DEEP): Cuff him, Al. Let's take him in.

TR (IRISH): Put your hands behind your back, you filthy pervert. Think you can come down here to a town of decent people and do your dirty things out here in the street. Where were you brought up, anyway? Doing a dirty thing like that. What if some innocent child had been passing by? Some little girl. Came around the corner and seen you doing what you did. Why you-- (WHACKS) (BRIDGE)

GK: I found myself in the holding tank of the Rochester City Jail --

TK (DRUNK): Hey, you-- You smell worse than I do.

GK: Just back off, sir.

TK (DRUNK): What'd you do to your pants? Hey?

GK: I didn't do it. Another man did it.

TK (DRUNK): Boy, he must've been mad at you. Hey! Don't I know you? I know you. Don't I?

GK: I sure hope not.

TK (DRUNK): Are you the Vice-President of the United States?

GK: I resent that.

TK (DRUNK): Well, you look like him.

GK: Just stay over on your side, mister. I'm going to sit back here. (FOOTSTEPS) Boy, some people's manners. Think they can say anything they want to-- oh. Excuse me.

TR (CHENEY): That's okay.

GK: Didn't see you here in the dark.

TR (CHENEY): Not a problem. Have a seat. What brings you here?

GK: A big mistake, that's what. How about you?

TR (CHENEY): I just like the peace and quiet. Nobody asking you a lot of stupid questions. No grand jury sniffing around.

GK: Cops said I took a leak on the street.

TR (CHENEY): Yeah, they've accused me of leaking too.

GK: So did you?

TR (CHENEY): Depends on what you mean by leak? Depends on what you mean by depends.

GK: I was just helping this guy. Nice guy. Wally Martin.

TR (CHENEY): Oh yeah. I know Wally Martin. Went quail hunting with him once.

GK: Oh really. What happened?

TR (CHENEY): My gun went off. Accidentally. I'd had a few highballs. Almost shot him in the face. Scared the piss out of him.

GK: Ah. Well, he's better now. You've got nothing to worry about.

TR (CHENEY): So what brings you to Rochester?

GK: I had some sort of hormone problem. Got it from eating water chestnuts. Made me howl and bark anytime I was attracted to someone. How about you?

TR (CHENEY): I came up to Mayo because they've got these drugs that cause partial loss of memory. I just figured it might come in handy.


SS (DEEP): Noyer? Mr. Noyer.

GK: Yo.

SS (DEEP): This way, Noyer. You're out of here. (UNLOCK DOOR, CREAK OPEN. FOOTSTEPS. DOOR CREAKS SHUT. FOOTSTEPS) Pick up your personal belongings at the front desk, Noyer. You're free to go.

GK: Okay. (FOOTSTEPS CONTINUE) The name is pronounced Noir, by the way. Not that it's an issue.

SS (DEEP): You think I care about that?

GK: No.

SS (DEEP): You're right.

GK: Did somebody pay my bail? Somebody named Martin, maybe?

SS (DEEP): County attorney dropped the charges.

GK: Oh. Okay.

SS (DEEP): Right out that way. Noyer. And next time, try to use a bathroom. (BRIDGE)

GK: I walked outside. I thought of trying to find Mr. Walmart and remind him who was responsible for the happiest day of his life, and then donate the money to Mayo to study the aging male urinary tract, a cause of misery to millions -- and then I saw his private jet taking off overhead (JET TAKING OFF) and I thought, hey, what did I do? I turned a valve. It's spring. Lighten up. You've got a slight hormonal disorder. You're howling and grunting, so what? This too shall pass. (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.