TR (ANNC): 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. (THEME UNDER--..)
GK: It was November and I was in New York, which is a long story, starting a couple months ago when my ex-girlfriend Sugar came by to return my snow shovel and she noticed something on my desk.
SS (SUGAR): Hey-- what's this? A thousand shares in World Wide Walleye? Where'd you get these?
GK: Aw. Some guy. He owed me money and he didn't have any so he gave me this worthless stock.
SS (SUGAR): Worthless!!! Au contraire. You didn't read the article in Golden Twilight magazine?
GK: I don't read Golden Twilight, Sugar. I'm not that old.
SS (SUGAR): Walleye is thought to contain an enzyme that reverses the aging process. It's selling like crazy. World Wide Walleye is the security of the year. Wake up. (STING, BRIDGE)
GK: She was right. I checked the Wall Street Journal and World Wide Walleye -- WWW-- was rising so fast the print was blurred on the page, (STING) what once had been worth 35 cents a share was up to $800 --(STING) and then it split 2 for 1. (STING) And then the walleye people offered me a job --
TR: We want you to be the executive director of the Freshwater Grouper Association and promote grouper.
GK: I thought you were promoting walleye.
TR: We changed the name to grouper.
GK: But there already is a fish called grouper.
TR: Who cares? Fish is fish.
GK: But why?
TR: "Walleye" sounds like there's something wrong with the fish. So we're calling them freshwater grouper. Walleyes live in groups. So they're groupers. (STING)
GK: He offered me eighty-five grand a year to open an office in New York and promote the fish and that same day I packed my bag and headed for New York City. Good luck comes in threes and I was waiting for the third (BRIDGE). So when the tall raven-haired woman walked up to me at baggage claim --
SS: Need an apartment, sir?
GK: I said sure. She handed me her business card. Her name was Skye Waverly. We got in her car and drove into the city. (SFX)
SS: So-- you're coming at just the right time, Mr. Noir. Lots of properties coming onto the market. So let me ask you, straight-out-- no beating around the bush-- okay? How much-- you know--
GK: How much money?
SS: Right. What's your top? How high can you go?
GK: I can't believe I'm about to say this, but -- I've done awfully well for myself, Miss Waverly, and I'm in the mood to put some grandeur in my life and I'm prepared to go as high as a quarter-million dollars.
(TWO LONG BEATS)
SS: A quarter-million...
GK: I mean, for the right kind of thing, a quarter-million.
SS: You want some grandeur. For a quarter-million.
GK: I'm pulling out all the stops here. I'm ready to make a big splash.
SS: Oh, you can make a splash. The place will come with a bathtub. -- And for grandeur, I can get you a fourth-floor walkup in Queens with a view of the Long Island Expressway.
GK: I was thinking Manhattan.
SS: Manhattan, for a quarter-million-- how do you feel about cockroaches?
GK: Not good.
SS: I think we're talking a half-million then. A studio.
GK: Studio means high ceilings and big windows? Like a painter's studio?
SS: Studio means one room.
GK: One room...
GK: Plus kitchen?
SS: One room. But it's an eat-in kitchen. Also a sleep-in kitchen. (BRIDGE)
GK: So that's what I got. It was a room with two closets on the fourth floor of a former pickle factory on the Lower East Side. It had a strong lingering smell of vinegar. I discovered that in New York real estate ads, "charming" means small. And "lots of potential" means the place is a wreck. So you'll need a contractor.
GK: Oh. Sorry. I didn't hear you knock.
BC: That's because there's no back door.
BC: I could put one in for you.
GK: Who are you?
BC: The super sent me up. Said you might need a contractor.
BC: You're gonna need a sink in that kitchen.
GK: That's a kitchen? I thought it was a closet.
BC: That is a New York kitchen. And you're gonna need a bathroom zone. We just knock out a wall there, put up a wall there. Lay some parquet floors--- you like parquet? my brother-in-law handles parquet, he is Mr. Parquet, I got parquet like you wouldn't believe, I'll give you a price -- put that in -- paint the walls -- you like off-white -- that's what everybody's doing now -- off-white --
SS: Excuse me? (FOOTSTEPS) I would've knocked but there was no door.
BC: This is Sheila.
SS: I'm the decorator/slash/designer. I do a lot of work in the building. (FOOTSTEPS) Oh my-- this is gorgeous. Just gorgeous. You're going to love this. -- You know what I'm seeing is baroque minimalism. Gold leaf and cherubs but very restrained, butvery rich, very detailed'but very now -- zebra skin lampshades, an armoire, big swatches of silk, angora slipcovers -- how much were you thinking of spending?
GK: Well, actually I was hoping that--
SS: You know, we knock out a wall there, put up a wall there, lay some parquet, do one wall in velvet-- and lighting is so important--
BC: Lighting is everything.
SS: Very diffused lighting.
BC: I can do diffused.
SS: A chandelier but unobtrusive.
BC: You won't even know it's there.
SS: I'm seeing exposed brick walls.
BC: I can do exposure.
FN: (LOW UNINTELLIGIBLE)
GK: Who's he?
BC: It's Lenny the super.
FN: (LOW UNINTELLIGIBLE)
GK: What is he saying?
BC: He's welcoming you to the building. (FN LOW OFF)
TR: Hi there. I saw your door was open. I'm Trevor. I do lighting. I hear you're interested in chandeliers.
GK: Where are you people coming from? Is there a sign on my back that says "Out of towner"?
BC: I'll get you a backdoor, put it up tonight. (TR ITALIAN)
GK: Who's this guy?
BC: This is my demo guy.
BC: For the exposed walls. (KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK) See? That's just masonry there. (TR ITALIAN)
GK: Yeah, but don't you need an architect for that--
FN: Yes you do. I'm the architect. I saw your door was open so I came in.
GK: There is no door.
FN: Great concept.
GK: Do you people all know each other? Hey, wait a minute, what's he doing? (TR ITALIAN AND SWING AND CRUNCH OF WOOD) What is he doing? (TR ITALIAN AND SWING AND CRUNCH)
BC: See? It's just masonry. Nothing to it. I'll just grab this drill-- (CLUNK, AND RATCHET)
GK: What is that?
SS: Pneumatic drill. Don't worry about it.
(SLEDGEHAMMER THROUGH WALL)
BC: Whoa. You've got some illegal plumbing in these walls.
SS: I'm thinking a tortoiseshell veneer on your armoire and a chenille damask for the guest bedroom--
GK: What guest bedroom?
SS: We'll put up screens--
GK: Hey-- what's going on here--
BC (SHAKING, WITH DRILL): Just making a doorway here. (PNEUMATIC DRILL MORE, THEN STOP)
GK: You ran into a beam, didn't you-- a steel beam--
BC: Not a problem. Got my arc welder right here. (TORCH BLASTING)
SS: You're going to love this. Exposed walls-- and I'm thinking maybe marble instead of parquet --
FN: Marble is what everybody's doing now. You see it everywhere.
GK: Look, am I wrong or is this my apartment? I think it is-- it was.
FN (LOW UNINTELLIGIBLE)
GK: What is he saying?
BC: I forgot to tell you-- there's a penetration fee. Whenever you penetrate a wall, the super has to be informed. It's a rule.
GK: Well, he was right here. He saw it.
BC: Give him a hundred bucks. Make it two hundred.
GK: Okay. Whatever. (HE PEELS OFF FOUR BILLS) There. Have a nice day. (FN LOW UNTELLIGIBLE, HAPPIER) (TR ITALIAN)
BC: My demo guy would like a hundred too.
GK: Sure. Why not? (PEELS TWO, TR ITALIAN HAPPINESS)
BC: Great. Thanks. Listen-- we'll come back tomorrow and finish this up.
BC: Be here first thing in the morning.
GK: I thought you were going to put a back door on tonight.
BC: It's three o'clock. Building has a rule, no construction after 3:15. Except alternate Tuesdays. I'll be here by 11 with a door.
SS: And I'll come by with some samples. I really think you're going to love this place.
GK: I'm trying to, believe me. But I've paid a half-million dollars and what I have is one room and a pile of rubble.
FN: I'm going to mock up some plans and bring those around in the morning. First, I just need you to sign this--
GK: A contract?
BC: This is my contract here--
SS: And mine.
GK: So these three contracts......what do these say? I can't read the print, it's so dim in here--
BC: My estimate is $10,000 and I'd like half of that down and the work will be completed in three weeks.
GK: And the contract binds you to that?
GK: What does the contract say then?
BC: You really want to know?
GK: I think I do.
BC: The contract says it's gonna cost what it costs and it'll be finished when it's finished.
GK: And she's included in that?
SS: No, I'm entirely separate. -- You know, this is going to be fabulous. Absolutely fabulous. The tortoiseshell veneer-- (FADING) the window treatments--
GK: I don't know if I should sign these contracts or not. I mean, they're thirty or forty pages long, apiece-- I wonder if I shouldn't take these to a lawyer or something--
TR (RICH GUY) (FOOTSTEPS): Hey there. Welcome to the building. I heard you mention "lawyer," I live right downstairs. Let me see the contracts. (RUSTLE OF PAPER, TURNING PAGES, TR MURMURS) Looks good.
GK: You read it all?
TR (RICH): I'm a fast reader.
GK: You sure?
TR (RICH): Very standard. No problem.
GK: Do you people all know each other?
FN (ARCHITECT): You have any questions, give me a call. Here's my business card.
GK: "Box 1957, Ansonia Station, NY NY"? So you want me to send the check there --
FN (ARCHITECT): You know, if you happened to HAVE cash, that would be awfully nice.
GK: And what about you?
BC: I'll just take a credit card imprint and we'll be all set.
GK: Why do I feel like everybody else knows what's happening and I don't?
SS: See you tomorrow. Ciao. (FOOTSTEPS)
BC: The place is going to look great. You're not going to believe it.
GK: I am not believing it now. (BRIDGE) They left me as the sun was going down and (CLICKS) I realized I had no lights, no electricity-- I got out a foot pump and I blew up my (PUMPING) inflatable bed and I opened up a can of cream soda (POP OPEN) and I sat on the mattress in the dark and that was when I heard the upstairs neighbor (SAX) -- whoever said you have to be lonesome in New York. We're all here together. On top of each other. (THEME)
TR: A dark night in a city that knows how to keep its secrets -- join us next week as we continue with Guy in New York as he finds the answers to the persistent questions: how much are things supposed to cost? Who do you call? Where do you go if things aren't working out here? And how would you know? On Guy Noir, Private Eye. (THEME OUT)