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 December and I was in New York, after I had won 500 shares of World Wide Walleye in a poker game that suddenly exploded in value this fall after a study showed that walleye enzymes reverse the aging process, so suddenly I had a small fortune and then a full-time job as executive director of the American Walleye Association in New York City, and a studio apartment in a former pickle factory on the Lower East Side. I was there 48 hours when my ex-girlfriend Sugar called from Minnesota.
SS (SUGAR, ON PHONE): How's it going, Guy? You like it in New York?
GK: I'm sleeping on an inflatable mattress amid piles of rubble and I have no idea where my contractor went.
SS (SUGAR, ON PHONE): I hope you haven't paid him money, Guy.
GK: I paid him a lot of money.
SS (SUGAR, ON PHONE): Guy-- you pay people, it makes them disappear. Owing people money keeps them close.
GK: I didn't know that.
SS (SUGAR, ON PHONE): I'm telling you as a friend.
GK: Sugar, a man's ex-girlfriends are some of the best friends he has got. They know everything and they expect nothing. (BRIDGE) On her advice, I joined a support group called Victims of Construction.
FN: My neighbor said she was going to replace her garage. Fine, I say. So she builds a three-story garage with a tower attached. It's six feet from my house. Nothing I can do. City never notified me. So I'm buying barbed wire and a searchlight.
TR: I hired a contractor to put a nail in a wall so I could hang a picture. He comes in and six hours later I have no wall. And it was the outer wall.
GK: There was a big hole in the ceiling where my chandelier was supposed to go, and which now-- (FN BASS) enabled me to hear my upstairs neighbor practicing his electric bass. Until one night about midnight I'd had enough-- Hey!!!! Hey!!!! You!!! Upstairs!!!! (BASS STOP, FOOTSTEPS)
GR: (OFF) You talking to me?
GK: It's late. Could you knock it off?
GR: Late!!!??? Where you from? Kansas??
GK: I've got to get up and go to work in the morning.
GR: Well, that's not my fault you got a day job. (BRIDGE)
GK: My job was great, thanks to my assistant Suzanne who had the office all set up by the time I got there that first Monday morning.
SS: Good morning, Mr. Noir.
(FOOTSTEPS AND STOP)
SS: You like it?
GK: Amazing. What a view.
SS: Good. I signed the lease yesterday. Hope that's okay.
SS: That's the Hudson River and the harbor.
GK: What floor are we on?
SS: Forty-fifth. I thought an executive in the fish business ought to be able to see water.
GK: And the wood paneling and the desk.
SS: You like it? It's Brazilian maple.
GK: Beautiful. (FOOTSTEPS) I'm curious. How much is this place costing us?
SS: Two hundred a month. Including heat. The Galaxy Building, Mr. Noir, was built to generate passive activity losses.
GK: The building wants to lose money?
SS: You've never heard of ACRES? Accelerated cost recovery system depreciation?
SS: Or a 10-31 swap?
SS: Well, in an LLC -- a Limited Liability Company -- if you need a diversification hedge, you may be talking about a Type-A triangular tax-free reorganization -- this is in the Internal Revenue Code, which I happen to find fascinating -- section 469 in particular -- and in order to facilitate this'have you ever heard of master limited partnerships?
GK: A what?
SS: Listen-- never mind.-- I'll worry about all that. You worry about fish. Let's just say that the Galaxy Corp. is owned by a gentleman who does not like to pay income taxes and I happened to catch him on a day when he needed to lose more money.
SS: Now-- I have your schedule for the day right here-- you're meeting with Martha Stewart at 10 and Stuart Little at 11, Little Richard at 11:30, then lunch with Richard Gere, Al Gore, Gore Vidal, the Dalai Lama, Dolly Parton, Parker Posey, Rosie O'Donnell, Dawn Upshaw, Sean Connery, Connie Francis, the president of France Mr. Sarkozy, and ZZ Top.
GK: Coming here?
SS: Right here. I ordered lunch.
GK: How did you get them to come?
SS: I have my ways. Let's put it like this -- I do favors for people. And I remember who. And eventually it's payback time. (STING)
GK: She also gave me a list of fish wholesalers and I started making the rounds, starting with the Fulton Fish Market. I found Mr. Fulton sorting fish (THWOPS, SPLORTS, SPLATS, RHYTHMIC) into bins.
TonyR: (THWOPS CONTINUE) Black bass, sea bass, blowfish, bluefish, bonefish, brook trout, trout, trout, turbot, (BIG EFFORT HEAVE) tuna, turbot, turbot, turbot, perch, pike, piranha, mackerel, mackerel, holy mackerel. sunfish, salmon, sardine, sea bass, bass, bass, black bass, swordfish, sturgeon, striped bass, snapper-- (SNAP) ouch!!! -- fluke, fluke, fluke, flying fish-- hey!!! (FLAPPING OF WINGS) ---oh well -- fluke, fluke, fluke, flounder, fluke...grouper, guppy, goldfish, catfish, dogfish-- hey-- (SNARLING) Sit!! (SNARLING) Sit!!! -- Yeah??? Who're you? You got an invoice, take it to the office.
GK: Noir's the name, Mr. Fulton. I'm with the Walleye Association.
TonyR: Walleye!!! Nobody in New York eats walleye. We use it for catfood. Make fish sticks out of it. For people in nursing homes.
GK: This is Minnesota walleye. It's good. Taste it.
TonyR: I don't eat fish.
GK: But you're in the fish business.
TonyR: That's why. You work with fish, you lose your appetite for the stuff. I hire professional tasters. Hey, Brett. -- Eat this fish, wouldja.
FN: Hi there. (UNWRAPS) Hmmm. What do we have here? (HE NIBBLES) Tastes like walleye. (CHEWING) Excellent texture. Very grainy. It has a very rich dimensionality to it. Nicely layered. Very evocative. Very inclusive, very nonlinear. It's sequential but not linear.
TonyR: Brett used to be an art critic.
FN: I love the juxtaposition of textures.
TonyR: Never mind!!! Get outta here. (FN RETREATS) I'll bring in my other taster. Sparky!!!! (SEAL APPROACHES, FLOPPING AND BARKING)
GK: I never saw a seal with a broom and a dustpan before.
TonyR: He's my housekeeping seal.
GK: He looks like a good housekeeping seal.
TonyR: The best. -- Sparky??? (SEAL BARKS) Walleye, Sparky!!!! Eat!!!! (SEAL GULPS. CHEWS. PONDERS. SPITS. EXITS, BARKING)
TonyR: I don't think he liked it.
GK: Maybe it was a bad batch. Let me come back with some more.
TonyR: Hey. Wait a minute-- did you say -- MINNESOTA walleye?
GK: I did.
TonyR: (DREAMILY) Minnesota. I never got to see it. Only read about it. All my life I've been wanting to see it with my own eyes and somehow it never worked out.
GK: Sounds like Minnesota made an impression on you.
TonyR: Ever since I saw the musical. Never can forget it. (HE SINGS, TO "OKLAHOMA')
Minnnnnnnnnnnnnnn-esota where the snow comes sweeping cross the prairie
And it's ten below
And you can't go
Anyplace in January.
Minnnnnnnnnnnn-esota every night my Eloise and I Sit and clean our plate
And then at eight
O'clock we turn out all the lights.
(LOW GROWLING, SUCKING SOUND)
GK: Look out behind you, Mr. Fulton!!! That giant fish--
TonyR: What----oh-- (HE GRAPPLES WITH THE MONSTER WHO IS SUCKING AND SQUORTING) (FOUR METALLIC BWANGS, THE MONSTER SIGHS AND FALLS)
GK: What was that?
TonyR: That was a steelhead trout. Luckily I had a swordfish on hand to fight back with.
GK: A close call.
TonyR: A drink for you, Mr. Noir?
GK: Don't mind if I do. (POURING) Here's to you-- (CLINK)
TonyR: I hate fish. Hated fish since I was a kid. The sea -- the smell of salt water. Pretty much over-rated if you ask me. -- Minnesota. -- The very name breathes romance. Don't you think? The names of towns. Duluth. Winona. Fergus Falls. Owatonna. The counties -- Aitkin, Anoka, Becker, Beltrami, Benton, Big Stone, Blue Earth, Brown. -- it's like a poem.
GK: I never noticed that.
TonyR: What's it like out there? I imagine a lot of grandeur. The rolling hills of corn and soybeans and driving a pickup along a gravel road and all those farms with big blue silos and people standing by the barn and waving to you--
GK: Yeah. That happens a lot.
TonyR: And you get out of your pickup and you walk across the fields -- and the sun is setting -- and you think to yourself -- this is the land. My land. Me and the land. The land and me. We're here. Together. We're one.
GK: You maybe want to postpone being one with the land-
Away out there they have a name for snow and wind and fire. The snow is Al, the fire's Bob and they call the wind Brian. Brian blows the leaves around and sets the corn a-dryin'. Brian makes you feel so cold you wish you were Hawaiian.
They call the wind Brian.
Out here they have a name for dirt and sticks and for manure.
And lots of things that you won't find on tourist guide brochures.
I'd be a lost and lonely man on a long cold journey
Thank goodness I have pals around, Elmer, Lou and Bernie.
They call the wind Brian. (BRIDGE)
GK: He stood there in his fish market and he had tears in his eyes.
TonyR: I want all the walleye you can give me, mister. Truckloads of it. I'm going to teach New Yorkers to love walleye. Walleye from Minnesota.
GK: So I was all set. I had opened up a market for walleye in New York. And I had found the world's most capable personal assistant. Suzanne. She was waiting for me at my apartment.
SS: I called a new contractor, Mr. Noir.
TR: Hi there.
SS: It's called Fifteen-Minute Renovation .
GK: Fifteen minutes???
TR: Nothing to it. Ya just gotta know how. (VOICES OF WORKERS, CIRCULAR SAW, BANGING HAMMER, MORE VOICES)
GK: And right before my eyes, fifteen men came in and got the job done. (HAMMERING, SAWING) They put up a new wall and (DRILL) put in the appliances and plastered (SWOP THWOP SPLORT) and painted (RAPID PAINT STROKES) and sanded the floor (SANDER) and finished it (POWERFUL SPRAY) and moved in furniture (MEN'S VOICES) and hung pictures (HAMMERING) and vacuumed (VACUUM) and waxed (SPLORT SPLORT) and shined (SQUEAK SQUEAK) and spit-polished (HAWK SPIT SQUEAK SQUEAK) and a photographer from House Beautiful (CLICKS OF CAMERA) -- it's beautiful, Suzanne. How can I thank you.
SS: Hey. My pleasure. Okay-- I put together the guest list for your housewarming -- I've got Dave Barry, Barney Frank, Tom Hanks, Russell Banks, John Waters, Joan Rivers, Daniel Schorr, the Beach Boys, Boyz2Men, Manny Ax, Axl Rose, Rosie O'Donnell, Connie Francis, St. Francis of Assisi, Sissy Spacek, Chubby Checker, the Six Fat Dutchmen, the Jackson Five, The Four Tops, The Three Tenors, Tuesday Weld, and Wonder Girl.
GK: I hope they all fit. (STING) Suzanne got me a terrific car service.
TR (RUSSIAN): Call me anytime, day or night. I am parked two block
s away. I live in my car. I'm here for you, Mr. Noir. If you're happy, I'm happy.
GK: And an excellent cleaning woman.
SS (DEEP): I clean during the night. Every night. I make no sound. I can change the bed without waking you up. Every morning you wake up to a fresh apartment. Fresh coffee. All the sheets ironed.
GK: And a personal chef.
GK: I was happy and then I got a visit from Mr. Fulton.
TonyR: (SLOWLY) I have been eating walleye for the past three weeks. Every day.
TonyR: (SLOWLY) And now I read about a study....that walleye....contains a chemical called Bobinray...
GK: A chemical called Bobinray?
TonyR (SLOWLY): And this Bobinray is a chemical that makes people speak in a very slow and deliberate way.
TonyR: (SLOWLY): When New Yorkers hear that eating walleye makes you talk slowly and deliberately, nobody in this town is going to eat your fish, Mr. Noir. Nobody. If there is one thing New Yorkers have no time for -- it's--
GK: It's what--
TonyR (SLOWLY): People who talk...
TonyR (SLOWLY): Very deliberately and slowly and take a long time to say the things they need to tell you.
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 do you handle a public relations scandal? How do you manage to change the subject? Who was advising Rudolph Giuliani and how much does she charge? On Guy Noir, Private Eye. (THEME OUT)