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.


Garrison Keillor: It was the end of June and I was at Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, down the road from Stockbridge, hometown of Norman Rockwell, and you can sort of see that, walking around Stockbridge -- freckle-faced boys with cowlicks carrying cane fishing poles, girls pushing cats in baby buggies, old men with suspenders playing cribbage --I'd been brought in to Tanglewood on a case involving the theft of a Stradivarius violin.


GK: Dmitri, the assistant principal vice-concertmaster --his violin was gone-- (TR RUSSIAN GRIEF) and they left a cheap replacement.

TR: (RUSSIAN) My beautiful -- my sweetheart -- gone. Gone! And instead they give me this piece of crap. (SAWING ON FIDDLE) Yechhhhhh.

Sue Scott: I'm Felicia Flexner, the Associate Director of Artistic Communications and Resource Allocation -- Dmitri is absolutely devastated by the loss of his instrument.

GK: You have a rather strange-looking mouth, Miss Flexner.

SS: Ms. Flexner. Thank you.

GK: Your mouth is sort of firmly fixed in a tiny O.

SS: I was an oboeist, Mr. Noir, and I over-practiced.

GK: Your mouth looks like a sphincter of some sort. Or the O-ring on a radiator hose.

SS: It's what happens when you hold your embouchure too long. Now I'm the Associate Director of Artistic Communications and Resource Allocation. (BRIDGE)

GK: Dmitri had been staying at the Crimson Carnivore Inn in Stockbridge and I checked at the desk --

Erica Rhodes: I don't show any Dmitri Rostropovsky registered here, sir.

GK: That's because he registered under another name.

ER: What name did he register under?

GK: Piscacadawadaquoddymoggin.

ER: Piscacadawadaquoddymoggin. Dmitri Piscacadawadaquoddymoggin?

GK: Dmitri Rostropovsky Piscacadawadaquoddymoggin. The third.

ER: How do you spell that?

GK: Just sound it out.

ER: Pis -- p-i-s-s -- oh here it is. Yes. Room 1575.

GK: Who might have access to that room, Miss--

ER: Simpson. Cynthia Simpson.

GK: Nice name.

ER: I hate my name. I despise it. It fills me with utter loathing. Everytime I hear my name I just want to go kill myself in the bathtub.

GK: You seem to feel strongly about this--

ER: I'm a writer, Mr. Noir. I got my M.F.A. three years ago. Everybody I know is writing sensitive memoirs. I don't want to write a sensitive memoir. I despise sensitive memoirs. I loathe them. Everytime I see one I want to grab an axe and bust down doors. So I'm thinking about changing my name to Slash Harper.

GK: Why ever, Miss Simpson?

ER: Because I want to write fiction in which a sportscar is racing along a mountain road driven by an olive-skinned man and a woman in a low-cut black dress is standing up and firing a bazooka at the helicopter that is chasing them. I want to write passionately. Do you know what I mean by passionate? Kiss me, you idiot.
GK: She grabbed me by the shoulders and lifted me off my feet and then let go--

ER: Oh. I'm sorry. I-- I don't know what happened. I forgot myself-- who were you looking for?

GK: The Russian guy, Dmitri Rostropovsky Piscacadawadaquoddymoggin. The third. Room 1575. The man whose six-million dollar Stradivarius was stolen, by the way.

ER: Oh? A Stradi-what? When? (BRIDGE)

GK: The way she said "Oh" and tried to project casual surprise told me immediately that she was the thief -- I was about to put the handcuffs on her when the lady with the small mouth came running up (FOOTSTEPS APPROACH)--

SS: We've had another theft at Tanglewood, Mr. Noir. A bagpipe has been stolen.

GK: A bagpipe! Is the Symphony planning a performance of "Amazing Grace"?

SS: No, we've commissioned a new work for Bagpipe, Violin and Drums. The BVD Concerto.

GK: Somebody's trying to sabotage it, I guess. Well, nobody would steal bagpipes, so you better lock up the drums.

Arnie Kinsella: It's too late! It's gone! My best drum! Gone!

GK: Your best drum? I didn't know there was any such thing as a 'best drum'--

AK: It's my break drum. The one I do drum breaks on.

GK: A break drum?

AK: Now all I have are rhythm drums. My Josephine is gone. Gone!

GK: You name a drum for a woman?

AK: B.B. King had Lucille, I had Josephine.

GK: You have a strange view of women, sir.

AK: I cannot play the B.V.D. Concerto without her--

GK: We'll take that as a promise.

AK: (OFF) Gone! Gone!

SS: I have no idea what is going on here but I think I had better call a meeting of my advisory board, Mr. Noir, and come up with some goals and objectives.

GK: You know, a competent oral surgeon could fix your mouth, Miss Flexner.

SS: Ms. Flexner, thank you.

GK: Well, where will I find your bagpiper?

SS: Why, here is Mr. MacDonald right now--

TR (SCOTS GIBBERISH): Me pipes, me braw bricht pipes wha me wee mither hae gi' abou' henna bairn -- me wee mither gang ower many abou' on a braw bricht moonlicht nicht -- me couthie pipes at many a mickle maks a muckle--

GK: You know I can't understand a single word you're saying--

TR (SCOTTISH GIBBERISH): Aye, me pipes, laddie, they ar' abou' --me mickle muckle ha' gang on a braw bricht moonlicht nicht--

GK: The braw bricht moonlicht nicht, I got that--

TR (SCOTTISH): Me wee mither na mair, laddie, Na mair I' the warld on a verra braw fricht abou' I ken wha hae Wallace bled-- a man's a man for a' that and a' that and a mickle a muckle

GK: Wait a minute. The pipes--

TR (SCOTTISH): Ay, me gret pipes--

GK: Gret pipes.

TR (SCOTTISH): Gret pipes.

GK: You mean Great Pipes.

TR (SCOTTISH); Aye, gret pipes...

GK: Who not just say great then?


GK: Great.

TR (SCOTTISH): Gre-e-e-e-et.

GK: Stop rolling your R's like that. Just stop it. Swallow your R's.


GK: Stop it or I'll slap you.


GK: I'm warning you.


GK: Why couldn't you have said that before? So you're bagpipes are missing--

TR (MIDWESTERN): The pipes that my mother gave me.

GK: You know if you'd just said that at the beginning, we might've been able to catch the person. Instead you talk like you've got a mouth full of oatmeal and meanwhile the thief gets away. (BAGPIPE DYING) -- or not-- Miss Simpson, I heard a suspicious sound from behind your desk.

ER: Hands above your head, Noir. One false move and I crush this Stradivarius like a cockroach.

GK: I'd be careful with that violin, if I were you, Miss Simpson.

ER: The name isn't Simpson. It's Slash Harper, gumshoe.

SS: Why are you doing this, Miss Harper? Why?

ER: I grew up in Boston. My mother is a cellist and my father is a Quaker. It was a childhood of peace marches and ballet lessons. Nobody ever hauled off and slugged anybody! Everybody was very nice. I never got to know even ONE PSYCHOPATHIC PERSONALITY. And then I thought -- yes you do. You know one. Yourself. (EVIL LAUGH)

SS: Give me that Stradivarius!!!!! (FOOTSTEPS, STRUGGLE, SHOUTS)

GK: And Slash Harper raised the violin to her shoulder and she played a note so sharp (VERY SHARP NOTE, CRIES OF FAINTING) that everybody in the room fell down, writhing on the floor. (GROANS, ANOTHER VERY SHARP NOTE) People rolled around in pain. Everybody except me.

ER: What's wrong with you, Noir?

GK: I'm tone deaf.

ER: Oh.

GK: Give me the Strad, Slash. And the bagpipes. And the drum.

ER: You can have them, Noir. I'll just leave them here at the desk and pick up this bazooka.

GK: A bazooka?

ER: No sudden moves, Noir, or you're going to need a new chest.
TR (RICO): Hey sweetheart, you got the fiddle?

ER: Got it.

TR (RICO): Sweet. Hey, I like you in that little black dress with the spaghetti straps.

ER: Thanks.

TR (RICO): I got the Lamborghini out front. Let's blow this popstand.

GK: You'll never get away with it.

ER: Save your breath, gumshoe.

TR (RICO): Yeah, give it a rest, Pops. Let's go, baby.

GK: Turn back now, Slash. While you've got the chance.

ER: Turn back? Me? (BRITTLE LAUGHTER. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

TR (RICO): What a card. Turn back. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ah ha.


GK: And that's the last I saw of her, racing away in the sportscar, Rico driving, and her standing up and looking for the chopper which came over (CHOPPER) as the car headed over the mountain toward Lenox -- and the woman in black firing that bazooka (SHOTS, CHOPPER, CAR FADING AWAY). A good girl gone bad so she could pick up material for a book. The old story. It certainly made me look at Stockbridge differently. Norman Rockwell, yes, but times have changed. The little girls playing skip rope on the sidewalk--

SS & ER: Betty Betty are you ready
Legs are skinny like spaghetti
Faster faster -- if you miss
You will jump in a dark abyss
Betty Betty drinks and smokes
And has tattoos that scare her folks
How many tattoos will she get?
1-2-3-4-5-6 (FADING)

GK: It wasn't Stockbridge as Rockwell painted it. And the old man with his hands folded, saying grace over the turkey on the table --

TR (OLD MAN): Lord we do thank thee for the tourists who have come like sheep to our souvenir shop this year and despite the 200% markup, have purchased all of the Shaker products we imported from China -- for this we are truly grateful.

GK: And inside the old red barn, the video arcade (SFX) where men and boys were lined up to play a new video game, the Lizzie Borden Papa Whacker (SFX) -- a violent game in which you kill your old man with an axe as he lies taking a nap and then for extra points, you do your stepmother too. -- Underneath the thin layer of gentility, a lot of darkness, let me tell you. (THEME)

TR: A dark night in the city that keeps its secrets, where one guy is still trying to find the answers to life's persistent questions -- Guy Noir, Private Eye.