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 December and on the radio they were forecasting heavy snows and major suffering and months of self-loathing and despair and then I realized I was tuned to Swedish radio (TR SWEDE, RADIO) -- but what did I care? I had a first-class plane ticket for Antigua and a month lined up at the Jubilee Bay Resort and Spa for the Ultra-Rich-- I'd been watching the resort's video for weeks. (SURF, GULLS) Beautiful beaches and gorgeous women. (Fred Newman: Hi. Haw yew?) Gorgeous women with deep tans. (FN: Yew mind rubbin some oil on my back?) And they had golf (GOLF SHOT) and tennis (SFX) and ping-pong (SFX) and badminton (SFX) -- -- and they had fine wine (CORK PULL, POUR) and gourmet food (FN: The chef recommends the sea bass lightly breaded and fried and served with a marshmallow wonton....) and they had beautiful women (FN: I'm sorry but-- you missed a few places.) -- so, you wonder, how did I put together the scratch, the gelt, to go to Antigua -- I did it thanks to my knowledge of knots -- specifically, the bowline hitch -- saving the life of young Walter Martin, heir to the multi-billion dollar WalMart fortune -- I was in Buffalo at the time -- I was looking for a man from St. Paul who got caught in the October blizzard and was stranded and taken in by strangers and he liked them better than people back home and I went out there to talk him back -- TR: I ain't goin' -- these people letcha drink alcohol here. Bars are open until four and even then they won't kick you out if you really want to stay. And they have better sausage and pizza. And they like me.
GK: I made sure he had money for busfare and I was heading toward the airport behind a black limo which, as it happens was carrying Walter Martin who was here to open a WalMart and suddenly (WHOOSH) a big wind came up and swept our cars off the road and down a slippery slope (SFX) and into the river and (SFX) we were being swept along by a powerful current (GLAD CRIES) while lots of honeymooners took our picture and made videos for YouTube -- (SFX) and I could hear Niagara falls up ahead and I climbed out the window (SFX) and there was this kid (FN: Help! Help!) and I tied the bowline hitch around his waist -- (TYING KNOT) just as the helicopter lowered a hook (CHOPPER HOVERING) and hauled us up as we were about to go over (ROAR OF FALLS) and up into the air we went and into the chopper (TR VOICE OF PILOT, RADIO. CHOPPER HOVERING) and took off into the wind and we were flying over the city (Tim Russell: Oh gosh I feel nauseous. I feel like I'm going to throw up) --hey, you can't do that, you're the pilot, what are you doing? (TR: I gotta go lie down) -- I don't know how to fly a chopper -- But I had to, and so I did. I pushed the lever down (CHOPPER) and we descended and I worked the pedals and we landed -- on a speeding semi (HORN, TRUCK) (full of chicken wings?) heading for a low overpass, but the blade of the chopper banged on his roof (SFX) and he put on the brakes (BRAKES, HARD) and we stopped about one foot short of the overpass (BRAKES STOPPING) -- you okay, kid? (FN: How can I ever thank you?)
GK: Well, there are many ways to answer that question, but he gave me this ticket to Antigua, so I headed for the airport but the wind was still blowing hard (SFX) and I was walking down a street when (SFX) the wind took the ticket right out of my pocket and it went blowing down the street (RUNNING FOOTSTEPS) past the Catholic Church (SS ON P.A.: B-19) and I chased it and almost got it just as it went down a storm-sewer (SFX) so I had to pry the sewer grate off and climb down (REVERB, FOOTSTEPS) and the water and sewage were flowing (SFX) so I headed that way and there were rats in there (SFX), freezing rats (SFX), and cockroaches (SFX) and I was trying to see the airplane ticket in the sewage flowing and suddenly --
Sue Scott: Excuse me, sir.
GK: Whoa----who're you?
SS: We're from Unitarian Outreach, sir--
GK: Look, I'm in a hurry--
SS: There are alternatives-- we can help--
GK: I'm looking for a ticket--
SS: You don't need a ticket. We have free organic food, fair trade coffee, Alpaca blankets made by a women's co-op in the Andes, environmentally- friendly lodging with solar heating panels, counseling--
GK: I'm looking for a plane ticket to Antigua-- it's here--
SS: We have psychiatric counseling--
GK: I finally managed to get away from her and head downstream but no sign of the ticket (SLOSHING) and now there were large creatures ahead (SFX), enormous phosphorescent creatures (SFX) and so when I saw rungs of a ladder leading up, I climbed up and pushed (BIG EFFORT) on a manhole cover (SLIDING STEEL, HEAVY) and slid it off just as a semi full of beef on weck came overhead (SEMI, DOPPLER HORN, FAST PASS) and I jumped out and ran (TRAFFIC PASSING FAST, HORNS) to the side of the road -- (BLIZZARD) it was snowing hard and there was a line of BMWs and Lamborghinis and Ferraris sitting there idling -- and a guy waved to me-- (TR OFF: Hey!) and I walked over and got into his car. (DOOR OPEN, CLOSE)
GK: Thanks. It's cold out there.
GK: What're all of you waiting here for?
TR: Slippery out, that's what. So the guys driving old beaters got the right of way.
GK: Hey-- are you thinking the same thing I'm thinking?
TR: I guess I am.
GK: Pretty unbelievable.
TR: Yeah. You and I look about exactly alike.
GK: I don't know what to say.
TR: We could be twin brothers. What's your name?
GK: Noir. Guy Noir.
GK: Naw. The family name was Norsk. They thought Noir sounded better.
TR: I'm a Brezhinski.
GK: Polish, huh?
TR: Our real name was Brennan. Irish. But Dad liked Polish girls because they kept their garages and basements so clean and their dads didn't want them to marry Irish, so-- that's how that happened.
GK: Well, quite a coincidence. Same eyes, same hair, or lack of hair. Same mouth. Huh.
TR: You know, you could do me a huge favor. It'd mean the world to me.
GK: What's that?
TR: Take my place for a day. Just be me.
GK: How could I do that?
TR: It's not hard. My kids are grown so there's no parenting involved. I'm a vice-president so the work's easy. And my wife's mad at me so there's not a lot of conversation required. Plus we have a plow service so you wouldn't have to shovel.
GK: Why you want me to do this?
TR: She and I are having a huge fight and I have seasonal affectiveness disorder and I just need to go to my yoga class tonight. I need to sit in a quiet place and meditate. What do you say?
GK: You don't think your wife could tell?
TR: Naw--she won't even look at me.
GK: But I mean, there wouldn't be any-- you know--
TR: Naw. None of that. She'll be glued to the Sabres game.
GK: Cause I wouldn't want to get involved in that.
TR: Understood. I'll tell you everything you need to know. (BRIDGE)
GK: So I got briefed on his life and got behind the wheel, dropped him at the airport and headed for his house-- a big mansion overlooking the river -- (CAR SLOWING) I pulled up to the garage and the garage door opened and in I went. And through a hall to the kitchen. (DOG GROWL) Easy, boy. Easy. Just me. (DOG SNIFFING) Easy. How about some ground beef? Huh? (DOG PANTING) Here. Here's the fridge. (DOOR OPEN) Get you out some ground beef, boy. Sirloin. Oh boy o boy. (SPLORT OF MEAT IN DISH) There you go. (DOG WOLFING FOOD)
SS: What are you doing?
GK: Feeding the dog.
SS: I just fed him.
GK: He seemed hungry.
SS: He's not. -- You get a haircut?
SS: You look different. Is that a chicken wing in your hair?
GK: I feel different.
SS: Helen called a little while ago.
SS: Helen. Your sister.
GK: Oh right. I thought you said Ellen.
SS: She said she saw you going into the YWCA.
GK: Not true.
SS: She thought you were going to yoga. I told her, The day John goes to yoga is the day bears convert to Catholicism. I don't know what's going on with her? You talk to her lately?
GK: Sure. Often.
SS: What's she up to at work now?
GK: I don't know. Some marketing, I think.
SS: Did she quit her job at the sports hospice?
GK: The what?
SS: Your sister works at a sports hospice. You know. Where they get to see edited videos of the Bills winning the Super Bowl.
GK: Hey. Of course. I know about that. And that's what they're marketing. The whole sports thing.
SS: I decided I'm not going to Florida to visit my mother. I just wouldn't feel right about leaving Buffalo this time of year. And leaving you.
SS: I feel so bad about what I said this morning.
GK: Oh. Okay.
SS: You don't hate me for it?
GK: I could never hate you.
SS: You're so good. I don't deserve you. (SHE STARTS WEEPING) Hold me.
GK: How are the kids?
SS: They're fine. Hold me. Hold me close to you.
GK: How close?
SS: I've been so -- rotten to you -- complaining -- nagging at you -- cold-- silent -- and then I said that terrible thing this morning. I can never forgive myself for it.
GK: Which terrible thing is that?
SS: When I said that I felt sick to my stomach whenever you touched me -- whenever we came into physical contact. I didn't mean it, darling.
GK: Well, I think you may have had a good point there. I don't think you should just -- I think maybe it's something we need to talk about.
SS: You thrill me when you touch me. Especially when you touch me....here.
GK: You know -- I hadn't realized the time -- I'm going to have to get off to my meeting.
SS: Let's have a little meeting right now.
GK: It's the Elks-- I'm supposed to be there--
SS: You're not in the Elks.
GK: They want me to join--Hey -- What are you doing?
SS: What do you think I'm doing?
GK: Don't do that, Lois. Listen. I'm due at the club in ten minutes.
SS: What club?
SS: They meet at noon.
GK: This is a planning meeting.
SS: What about the Elks?
GK: Some of them will be there too.
SS: Call and tell them you'll be late. Come here.
GK: I need to wash my hands. (FAST FOOTSTEPS)
SS: Come back here. (FAST FOOTSTEPS)
GK: I need to wash them bad. (RUNNING FOOTSTEPS, DOOR OPEN, CLOSE, RUNNING) Where's the bathroom? (RUNNING, DOOR OPEN, CLOSE. RUNNING) Gotta be a bathroom near here. (RUNNING, DOOR OPEN, CLOSE. RUNNING. DOOR OPEN, BIG DOG BARKS. DOOR CLOSE. RUNNING. DOOR OPEN. FN: HEY!
GK: Sorry. DOOR CLOSE. RUNNING) Well, there was one bathroom. Must be another one around here. (DOOR OPEN. SS: Hi, babes. Let's talk.
GK: It's not the talking I mind. --
SS: Is it me you're repelled by? Is it? It is, isn't it. You loathe me. I can tell. Why? What did I do? Is it because I wear a Sabres jersey to bed at night? Why can't you forgive me? Is there no love in your heart for me at all?
GK: You know something? I am having a heart attack. Yeah. I knew it was gonna happen if I didn't give up those glazed doughnuts and here it is. Mild heart attack. You mind calling 911? I'll go get my toothbrush and I'll meet them out at the front door. (BRIDGE)
GK: The ambulance picked me up (SIREN) and we raced to the hospital -- (VENT) there were dozens of people who'd fallen and broken their hips and they did a lot of tests on me (MURMURS OF DOCTORS) and while they were waiting for the results I slipped out the door and out to the highway to hitchhike (TRAFFIC PASSING FAST) and after awhile I got a ride from a guy in an old Malibu (CAR PULL OVER) with two German shepherds in the front seat. (DOGS) I'm heading for the airport.
FN: How come you're in a hospital gown?
GK: It's not. It's my native dress. I'm from Celanesia.
FN: Hey, don't I know you? Your face is familiar for some reason.
GK: I hope for a good reason.
FN: Didn't I see your picture in the paper this morning?
GK: I don't think so.
FN: There's a copy of the paper in the backseat. Grab that for me, wouldja.
GK: Okay. (PAPER RUSTLE) Aha. "LOCAL EXEC WANTED FOR--"
FN: Wanted for what?
GK: Wanted for part-time position.
FN: Let me see that.
GK: Keep your eyes on the road. (HONKS)
FN: Oh my gosh. (HONKS) Hang on-- we're going over the cliff.
GK: Not this again. (BANGING OF CAR BOUNCING ON ROCKS) (BRIDGE) Sure enough, we went right into the river (SPLASH) and the current carried us toward the falls (ROAR) and I had to use the bowline hitch again (CHOPPER) and the chopper pulled us out (WINCH , CHOPPER HOVERING, TR CHOPPER PILOT)-- I hope you're not still suffering from motion sickness.
TR: No, I'm all over that. Got a little diarrhea problem, but-- I'm okay. (CHOPPER) (BRIDGE)
GK: I got to the airport and the clerk at the counter held up a wet piece of paper--
SS: This yours, sir? Mr. Noir?
GK: A ticket to Antigua?
SS: No, it's to San Antonio.
SS: Two nights in a Holiday Inn, and all you can eat at Dennys'.
GK: Well, I may as well go.
SS: The plane is four hours late due to weather. Storm coming in off the Lake. The hotels are full so I hope you have some friends in Buffalo that you can stay with. Looks like a big one.
GK: Of course. Why not. (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.