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.
GK: I had moved to New York to take a job as executive director of the American Walleye Institute, promoting walleye as a gourmet delicacy, and it was not going well. The New York Times had come out with an article saying that a certain enzyme in walleye makes people talk slowly -- and it got on the Evening News.
TR: (HIGH SPEED): And now here's an explanation of why people from out of town talk the way they do -- it may be walleye. Yes, walleye. A new study by the Finster Fish Institute shows that an enzyme that is unique to walleye can slow down human speech to ten to fifteen words per minute. Scientists estimate that if New Yorkers talked at that slow a rate, the city would come to a standstill, and so Mayor Bloomberg is considering a ban on walleye consumption. More details at ten. In sports, the Knicks lost again at the Garden (FADING) to the women's team from Connecticut College...... (BRIDGE)
GK: I did what I could to fight back. I hired a plane (PLANE OVERHEAD) to tow a banner over Manhattan -- Why Not Try Walleye -- and I got a big pop star to record a song for me..... (PIANO INTRO)
I catch the fish that give the world a meal
I catch the fish, I use a rod and reel
I catch the fish that make the young girls cry
I catch the fish they call walleye.
GK: And I paid radio stations money to play it over and over.
TR: (RICO): Just slip the money into my coat pocket--. Into the pocket --. Don't look at me, just slip it into the pocket. (BRIDGE)
GK: Back in Minnesota, the walleye industry was putting a lot of pressure on me.
SS: (MINNESOTA, ON PHONE): Ya know, we got a boatload of fish sitting here on the loading dock, Mr. Noir. All ready to go. We're just waiting for word from you on where to ship it.
GK: I'm doing my best. I found an old episode of The French Chef and had it played over and over on TV--
TR: (JULIA): Walleye is my favorite fish and I love it rolled up in cornmeal batter and fried crispy brown in a deep-fat fryer and served on a stick. It's easy! Let me show you how! (BRIDGE)
GK: The person I needed to see was Martha Stewart. But I couldn't make it past her receptionist.
SS: (NY): Yeah? You got an appointment?
GK: She told me I didn't need an appointment.
SS: (NY): Who told you?
GK: Martha. She said, Drop by when you're in town. So-- I'm in town.
SS: (NY): You don't look like a friend of hers.
GK: Why not?
SS: (NY): You just don't look like somebody Martha Stewart hangs with.
GK: Well, I want to be one, okay?
SS: (NY): Where'd you get that haircut? A weed-whacke?
GK: Listen, gimme a break -- it'll only take five minutes.
SS: (NY): She doesn't have five minutes.
GK: Make it two minutes.
SS: (NY): Call and make an appointment.
GK: I don't have time. It's very urgent.
SS: (NY): Sorry.
GK: It'll just take a minute.
SS: (NY): Nobody gets by here who don't have an appointment.
GK: The name is Noir. Maybe she put it down on the list.
SS: (NY): You're Noir, the rock star?
GK: Yeah. Did I forget to mention that?
SS: (NY): The lead singer of the Love Shovels. That Noir?
GK: Right. We're playing the Garden tomorrow night.
SS: (NY): You look a little old for rock n roll--
GK: It's a hard life.
SS: (NY); You look like you're fifty-five, maybe sixty--
GK: Drugs will do that to you, kid. Yellows, greens, pinks, took em by the fistful -- smack, snow, drag, horse, bennies, goofballs, joy juice, all of it, the whole schmegeggy--
SS: (NY): Okay, come on in. She's upstairs. (BRIDGE)
GK: Unfortunately by the time I got in to see her, my walleye sample had gotten cold and greasy and sort of unappetizing-- she didn't care for it--
GK: I take it you don't like it ---Wait. Don't throw things at me-- (FN THROW, GLASS SMASH. FN THROW, METALLIC BWANGGG, FN THROW, CAT IN FLIGHT. STING) So in one last attempt to break through in New York, I called back our p.r. guy Bingo Baumgartner--
TR: (NY): I personally feel that it's just about to happen for walleye. You know? We're right on the verge of a breakthrough. One little push and in we go and walleye is going to be It -- the newest new thing -- goodbye, grouper, welcome walleye. All we have to do is throw a big celebrity gala-- GK: Okay, but we already did a Celebrity Gala -- remember? the Waldorf Astoria -- with Meg Ryan, Maya Rudolph, Rudolph Giuliani, Johnny Walker, Walker Percy, and Paris Hilton?
TR: (NY): Right. But this one is going to be for a charity. The Messengers and Takeout Deliverty Boys Relief Fund. Buying new bikes for the brave boys who buck the wind and sleet to deliver messages and moo shu pork. What do you say?
GK: I donno.
TR: (NY): Here's my list -- we invite Hilary Clinton, Clint Eastwood, Woody Allen, Alan Alda, Aldous Huxley, Ada Huxtable, Huck Finn, Fran Lebowitz, Lee Blaske, Bliss Broyard, Brook Shield, Shirley Jones, Johnny Depp, Old Shep, Three Dog Night, the Pointer Sisters, Joe Cocker, Bob Barker, Beau Bridges, Bridget Bardot, Dominick Argento, J. Lo, Jenny Lee, Lee Iacocca, Koko Taylor, Tyler Grant, Grandpa Jones, Jon Bon Jovi, Chevy Chase, Chase & Sanborn, Bernie Kerik, Koerner Glover and Ray, Rachel Ray, Raymond Carver, Marvin Gaye, and George Strait.
GK: Wait wait wait -- Hilary Clinton, Clint Eastwood, Woody Allen, Alan Alda, Aldous Huxley, Ada Huxtable -- how are you going to get people like that to come to a gala for Walleyes--
TR: (NY): That's what you hired me for. Listen-- I send a letter to Hilary Clinton, Clint Eastwood, Woody Allen, Alan Alda, Aldous Huxley, Ada Huxtable, etc -- saying that we already have confirmations from Brian Williams, Willy Nelson, Brian Wilson, Wilson Pickett, the Green Bay Packers, Parker Posey, Paula Poundstone, Paula Prentice, Pricilla Presley, Leslie Gore, Gore Vidal, the Dalai Lama, Amy Adams, Adam Sandler, Sandy Duncan, Duncan Hines, Busta Rhymes, Simon Rattle, Kathleen Battle, Betty Ford, Freddy Fender, Fanny Mae, Mavis Staples, Steppin Fetchit, Fletcher Kneble, Ken and Barbie, Barbara Walters, Walter Bobbie, Barbara Budd, Brad Pitt, Pat Paulson, Kris Kristopherson, Counting Crows, and Carole King.
GK: Okay.
TR: (NY): And I send those guys a letter saying that we already have confirmations from John Kerry, Carrie Fisher, Harry Carey, Halle Berry, Barry Bonds, Bonnie Raitt, Katie Couric, Kirk Douglas, Doug Green, Green Day, Tina Fey, Ray Charles, Charlie Roberts, Robert Redford, Red Skelton, Elton John, Joan Rivers, The Weavers, Wavy Gravy, Lovey Dovey, Davey Jones, Joni Mitchell, Cheech & Chong, Chuckie Cheese, Charlie Chan, Amy Tan, Peter Pan, Lindsay Lohan, Manny Ax, Axl Rose, Ross Perot, Romy Petters, Peter Piper, Piper Laurie, Laura Linney, Lainie Kazan, Zane Grey Greil Marcus, Mark Hooley, Holey Moley, Milli Vanilli, Liza Minelli, Nelly, Jelly Belly, Billy Baldwin, Buddy Rich, Rich Little, Little Richard, Richard Allison, Alison Janney, Jenny Garth, Garth Brooks, Brooks & Dunn, Don Johnson, John Mayer, Mayor Bloomberg.
GK: You think Mayor Bloomberg would come?
TR: (NY): Just as long as you don't seat him next to Rudy Giuliani, Annie Lennox, or the Lenox Hill Boys Choir.
GK: Good idea. (BRIDGE) And then my assistant Suzanne came into my office. (CHORDS)
SS: Sir-- I don't know how to tell you this, but -- you've been fired.
GK: Fired? Why?
SS: We aren't selling walleye.
GK: How about a golden parachute? Did they say anything about that? Severance package?
SS: No, they just said to sever.
GK: I don't know what to say.
SS: Well -- while you think of something, would you mind getting up--
GK: Why?
SS: You're sitting in my chair......
GK: You mean to say, they-- you're going to --
SS: Right. They replaced you with me.
GK: Oh. (CREAK OF CHAIR, FOOTSTEPS) There you go. Chair the right height? (CREAK)
SS: Feels good. And here-- type this up. It's your resignation.
GK: Okay. "It is with deep regret that I announce my on and so forth......proud to have been a part of the walleye family......hmmm hmmmm hmmmm......truly the fish of tomorrow.....and so on......while my work has given me deep personal satisfaction, I feel that I want to spend more time with my family...." But I don't have a family.
SS: Spend time with somebody else's family.
GK: Okay.
SS: The door is that way.
GK: All right. Congratulations.
SS: (CLEARS THROAT) Excuse me?
GK: What?
SS: Your key. And the elevator card.
GK: Oh. Right. (CLINK, CLAT) There.
SS: Thanks. Good luck. (BRIDGE)
GK: It was all so sudden. One minute I'm an executive behind a big walnut desk on the 45th floor and the next minute I'm in an elevator going down (DINGS OF FLOORS), down, down, with no idea of when I might be heading up again. (DOORS OPEN) And who should I run into right there but Alan Greenspan. Good morning, sir.
TR: (GREENSPAN): This may or may not be true, but I will take it under advisement.
GK: I wonder if you might have time for a cup of coffee, Mr. Greenspan.
TR: (GREENSPAN): That would depend on who is paying for the coffee, sir, and also if there might be a bearclaw or a jelly doughnut included in the package.
GK: Yes, of course. (BRIDGE) We went to a coffee shop and I tried to tell him my problem.
TR: (GREENSPAN): You have a short-term asset deficit resulting from the termination of cash flow and an unfunded liability upsurge, and I think the best answer is to make an appreciable appropriation of funds on an emergency basis from an unsecured retail outlet.
GK: You want me to knock off a liquor store?
TR: (GREENSPAN): That's not how I'd put it. ---I would say you need a liquid asset infusion from a place that sells liquids. What we economists would call a Dewar's debenture deferral. Or a Kahlua capitalization. Or Dos Equis equity relief. (BRIDGE)
GK: And suddenly I could see it-- me in a liquor store, pistol in hand.
FN: Hi. Merry Christmas. Nice ski mask. -- What's this? A note? -- "Empty your drawers and don't press your button." -- What is that supposed to mean? You some kind of pervert?
GK: Gimme your cash and step on it.
FN: You want me to step on my cash?
SS: (LITTLE KID): Hey mister--
GK: Step back, kid. Don't want anybody to get hurt.
SS: (LITTLE KID): Don't hurt my dad, mister.
GK: Hurry up, would you.
GK: And I'd dash out to the car empty-handed. And (CAR DOOR SLAM) now I'm looking around for my car keys -- (VOICES: That's him! In the ski mask! The guy who tried to rob the liquor store! There he is!) And I find the car keys and (CAR STARTER) the car won't start. (SIRENS APPROACH) And the cops are there-- (COP VOICES: THROW YOUR GUN OUT THE WINDOW.....GET OUT SLOWLY.....HANDS ON TOP OF YOUR HEAD) And I'm thrown into jail. (BIG STEEL DOOR SLAMS SHUT) Into a cell with a lunatic. (FN LUNATIC LAUGHTER, WHEEZING) And ten days later the trial is over. (GAVEL) And I'm sent up to Sing Sing. The choral prison. And I'm put in leg chains (CUFF CLASP) along with fifty other men (SLOW MARCHING FEET) and we're made to perform choral music eight hours a day.
Nobody knows the trouble I've been.
Nobody knows but I do.
Nobody knows the trouble I've been.
And that is why I'm in here. (BRIDGE, TIME PASSAGE)
GK: So I didn't go for the infusion of liquid funds. I just stood there on the corner (TRAFFIC PASSING, PASSERS BY) and took a look at New York. I'd been halfway to the top and now I was out on the street. Easy come, easy go. Once I led the life of a millionaire....but nobody knows you when you're down and out. (FOOTSTEPS) I headed for the Port Authority Bus Depot. I had enough scratch to make it back to Minnesota. And then -- who knows? I'll probably be back. I had an extra dollar and I gave it to a guy playing music on the corner. (GUITAR)
Start spreading the news
I'm leaving today
I want to be a part of it
St. Paul, St. Paul.
If you can make it there
And have clean underwear
And bear the cold, you'll be okay.
GK: I stood on the platform (BUS PASSING) and waited for my bus to arrive -- and I saw the headline on the paper: Wall Street Hooked On Walleye -- Shares up 55% overnight. And a picture of Suzanne grinning and holding up a big fish. (BUS PULLS UP) And then my bus came. (AIR BRAKE, DOOR OPENS)
TR: Express bus to St. Paul. Making local stops on Western Avenue, Lexington, Snelling, State Fairgrounds, and the Como Park Zoo.
GK: Thank you. Take any seat?
TR: Any seat.
GK: Bus is pretty full.
TR: Yeah. These are folks who bought the round trip.
GK: They came out from St. Paul?
TR: Yep.
GK: They're not getting off in New York?
TR: Nope.
GK: How come?
TR: I drove em around for an hour and they saw all they needed to see so now they're heading home.
GK: Okay. (BUS DOOR CLOSE, BUS STARTS) I found a seat next to a lady in a jumper who was knitting another jumper.
SS: So -- you from New York then?
GK: I'm from St. Paul.
SS: Don't sound like it.
GK: Long story.
SS: Going back home then?
GK: Yep.
SS: Out here on business or pleasure?
GK: Pleasure is my business, ma'am. I take pleasure in a great many things and I try to give some back.
SS: Well, my my. A philosopher. My late husband was a philosopher. Used to walk around lost in his thoughts, and one day a bus ran over him.
GK: Is that right?
SS: I don't know if it's right but it's what happened.
(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. (MUSIC OUT)