TR: 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.
GK: It was January, a special month in Minnesota, when the falalaing is all over and we hunker down the tunnel of doom and if you walking around grinning and asking people how they're doing today, you're liable to get slapped. And it's so cold you may be grateful. I was in my office in the Acme Building working on the radiator (BWANGING) and trying to coax a little heat out of it -- the control knob rusted shut long ago (CREAK, RATCHET) and sometimes you have to -- (HARD BWANGGG) -- (HISS OF STEAM) and suddenly we have a rain forest -- steam billowing up like a road show production of "Les Miserables".
SUZY: Excuse me. (SHE COUGHS) Are you Guy Noir?
GK: Right. Excuse the humidity. I just busted a valve of some sort.
SUZY: You're Guy Noir, the private eye?
GK: I am and I see by your snowflake sweater that you're a Lutheran.
SUZY: That's why I came up the backstairs. I'm so embarrassed. I never did this before.
GK: Did what before?
SUZY: Hired a private eye.
GK: Well, I never worked for a Sunday School teacher before.
SUZY: (GASP. BEAT) How did you know that?
GK: The deep groove on the tip of your left index finger tells me you've been zipping up snowsuits. And the candlewax on your shoe says you've been out caroling. And you have a sticker on your chest that says, God loves you.
SUZY: Mr. Noir, I made an utter fool of myself on New Year's Eve and I have been sick about it ever since.
GK: Well, I'm sure you're not the only one.
SUZY: I went to a party -- without my husband -- a party at my sister's house -- with her friends -- who are mostly Unitarians.
GK: So there was drinking.
SUZY: There was a bonfire in the backyard and a big kettle of mulled wine.
GK: Mulled wine has been the cause of a great deal of misjudgement.
SUZY: People were singing.
GK: I can imagine.
SUZY: We were outdoors by the fire and suddenly this song came into my head and I sang some of it and --
GK: And what?
SUZY: I flashed them. I was singing--
If I have to, I can do anything
I am strong
I am invincible
I am woman
GK: And you flashed them. To show you are a woman.
SUZY: And this guy was making a video.
SUZY: I'm a Lutheran, Mr. Noir. I got carried away. I don't want it to come back and haunt me.
GK: Do you remember who he was?
SUZY: I think his name was Louis or something.
GK: Louis. Okay. I'm on it. Don't worry about a thing. (BRIDGE) I got in the car and I turned on my little handheld GPS system-- (BEEP) I pressed Locate. (BEEP) And from the menu -- Shopping, Restaurants, Sites of Interest, Individuals, I pressed Individuals. (BEEP) It asked for Type. I typed in Unitarian. (BEEPS) Male. (BEEP) Louis. (BEEP) And it gave me his address.
SS (ROBOT): Eleven-thirty-four Begonia Boulevard.
GK: This is why you need a GPS in St. Paul. The streets are named after flowers or trees or the girlfriends of the developers. None of them in alphabetic order. No sense to the numbering system. The streets were laid out this way to discourage people from Minneapolis from coming here. But the GPS suddenly makes everything easier.
SS (ROBOT): Proceed three-tenths of a mile to Mimosa and then turn left. (BRIDGE)
GK: And in no time I had pulled up to Mr. Louis's residence. I could see he was Unitarian because the front of the house was covered with left-wing political stickers-- (KNOCKS ON DOOR) (DOOR OPENS)
SS (OLD LADY): Yes?
GK: Hello, I'm from the Save The Whales campaign, I'm looking for Mr. Louis.
SS (OLD LADY): Which Mr. Louis are you looking for?
GK: What are my options?
SS (OLD LADY): Well, there's my husband Newt Louis, and Stu Louis -- he's my son -- and there's Boo Lewis, and there's my adopted Chinese son, Wu Tsu Lewis. And my son Lou. Lou Lewis.
GK: Which one was at a New Year's Eve party?
SS (OLD LADY): Oh, that'd be Lou.
GK: Okay, then he's the one I'm looking for.
SS (OLD LADY): Lou isn't here now, he's at work.
GK: Where's work?
SS (Old Lady): He works for Louis News & Novelties. On Tulip Avenue.
GK: Thanks. (BRIDGE) So I took off for Tulip Avenue.
SS (ROBOT): In exactly one hundred yards, turn right on Delores Street, then stay to the right as Delores Street becomes Delphinium Way.
GK: Beautiful. What would I do without you?
SS (ROBOT): Do you really want to know? (BRIDGE)
GK: Louis News & Novelties was a one-story building (CAR PULLS UP, BRAKES, DOOR OPEN, FOOTSTEPS, TRAFFIC PASSING) which evidently distributed magazines and paperbacks and novelty items like snowball globes and humorous wall plaques (DOOR OPEN, JINGLE, CLOSE). The place was full of junk and an old dude with big eyebrows sat behind a counter. --Hi there. Is your name Lou Lewis?
TR (HIGH VOICE): No, I'm his brother Drew Lewis. You come in to check out the loon cushions? These are quite the deal.
GK: No, sir, I'm here--
TR (HIGH VOICE): Try it out. Just sit down and give it a try. The vibrations do wonders for your lower back.
GK: I'm not here about my lower back--
TR (HIGH VOICE): Just sit down here. It's just a loon cushion. It won't bite you.
GK: When do you expect your brother back?
TR (HIGH VOICE): I'll tell you if you sit down on the cushion.
GK: Okay. Whatever. (LOON CALL)
TR (HIGH VOICE): Feels good, doesn't it. Try it again. Go ahead. Sit down. (LOON CALL) Boy o boy. Really sends a chill up your spine, doesn't it.
GK: It does, yes.
TR (HIGH VOICE): The loon-like warbling vibrations reduce lower back pain in 3 out of 5 cases. Try it again. (BIG RASPBERRY) Whoops. Sorry. I forgot to mention, it also relaxes the sphincter. (STING)
GK: He told me that Lou Lewis had gone to a group home operated by the Sisters of Mercy for people unable to deal with the cold.
TR: It's on Jasmine Street, just down the block from Hyacinth and Florence. You take Alma Avenue to Jonquil, hang a left-- two blocks, you come to Gwendolyn --
GK: Never mind. I have a GPS. I'll find it. (BRIDGE)
GK: So I got in my car and I typed in (CLICKS, BEEP) the intersection of Hyacinth and Jasmine Street.
SS (ROBOT): Say -- most direct route or scenic route.
GK: Most direct.
SS (ROBOT): Proceed one-point-one miles to Josephine and then take a left.
GK: Okay. (CAR ACCEL) I had heard of the group home, which tries to help people who get depressed and moody in cold weather -- it's called The Moody Institute, and it's run by the Sisters of Mercy who take people in regardless of religious affiliation and serve them warm soup and cuddle them and sing them comforting songs-
SS (ROBOT): Approaching the left turn.
GK: Okay. Left turn coming up. (CAR SLOWING)
SS (ROBOT): Left here. Left. Left.
SS (ROBOT): You missed it. (BRAKES)
GK: I thought you meant this street here--
SS (ROBOT): That was it, and you missed it.
GK: Well, that was kind of a sudden instruction, wasn't it.
SS (ROBOT): Reformulating route.
GK: You want me to turn left here?
SS (ROBOT VOICE): Reformulating route.
GK: Kind of slow for a computer, aren't you?
SS (ROBOT VOICE): I am not listening to you. I am reformulating route.
GK: Okay, okay. Sorry. I'll just keep driving then. (CAR ACCEL)
SS (ROBOT): You have a hard time taking directions from a woman, don't you.
GK: No, no. It's fine.
SS (ROBOT): You would prefer a male voice.
GK: No, no. It's okay. Just go ahead and reformulate.
SS (ROBOT): If you prefer a male voice, we have a male voice. TR (JESSE): Hey, you-- clown -- wake up and drive straight. Don't make me say it twice. What part of "turn left" do you not understand? Huh?
GK: It's okay.
SS (ROBOT): If you prefer female, say female.
TR (JESSE): I can't hear you!!!!!!!!!!!
TR (JESSE): Okay, clown, but you screw up again, I am all over you like a bad suit.
GK: Fine. Got it.
SS (ROBOT): In one hundred yards, turn left.
GK: Got it. Left turn. (BRIDGE) I got to the Moody Institute and Sister Immaculata told me that Lou Lewis had left a couple hours before.
SS (WARM, MOTHERLY): We gave him a blankie and made him a big bowl of chili and a nice grilled cheese sandwich and we sang "Love Is Like A Magic Penny" and he chippered right up. How about you?
SS (WARM, MOTHERLY): You look like you could use a big hug right now.
GK: Nice idea but no thanks. I haven't been hugged in so long, I'd probably fall apart and curl up in the fetal position and weep.
SS (WARM, MOTHERLY): That'd be okay. I can make a place where you'd feel safe about showing feelings.
GK: That place hasn't been discovered yet. Where did Mr. Louis go?
SS (WARM, MOTHERLY): He headed off to the airport.
SS (WARM, MOTHERLY): We gave him a ticket to Tucson.
GK: Okay. Thanks. (RUNNING FOOTSTEPS, BRIDGE) I jumped in the car and headed for the airport. (CAR ACCEL) And of course got lost right away. I was on Eucalyptus and looking for Denise and got on Catalpa and-
SS (ROBOT): Do you need my help?
GK: Please. The shortest route to the airport--
SS (ROBOT): Which airport?
GK: Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
SS (ROBOT): I believe you said Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport.
GK: I did.
SS (ROBOT): If that is so, press One. Or say Yes.
SS (ROBOT): I think you said yes.
GK: I did.
SS (ROBOT): If you meant to say yes, say supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.
SS (ROBOT): And click your heels and close your eyes and turn around three times.
GK: I'm driving!
SS (ROBOT): Okay. I am looking up the shortest route to the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport.
GK: Good. Thank you. Could you tell me if I am headed in the right general direction?
SS (ROBOT): I am looking up the shortest route.....
GK: Okay. I just didn't want to be wasting time heading north or something......
SS (ROBOT): The airport is not to the north.
GK: I know. I was giving that as an example of a wrong direction.
SS (ROBOT): I am looking up the shortest route.
GK: Thank you. .....If you could hurry--
SS (ROBOT): I am looking up the shortest route.
GK: Okay. Okay.
SS (ROBOT): Turn right at next corner on Wisteria.
GK: Okay. Good. (CAR ACCEL)
SS (ROBOT): Prepare to make immediate left turn on Suzanne Street.
GK: Left turn on Suzanne. (CAR ACCEL)
SS (ROBOT): Not so fast.
GK: Okay. Sorry.
SS (ROBOT): Go two blocks and turn right on Hydrangea.
GK: Okay. Good. (BRIDGE) Going to the airport brought back painful memories of my most recent flight -- a no-frills airline called Fifty-Nine-Ninety-Five -- the seats were small, more like a stanchion, and in fact they locked you into it(SHEEP). You sat there for hours and on the seatback in front of you there was a water dish (SHEEP) As the plane was making its descent, flight attendants came around and shoveled out the manure (SFX) -- and in thinking about this, I somehow lost track of what the GPS was telling me--
SS (ROBOT): Right! Turn right!!! Listen!!!
GK: Sorry. Turn right where?
SS (ROBOT): You passed it.
GK: Oh darn.
SS (ROBOT): Reformulating route. (SIGH) Again.
GK: Okay, but I think I can just turn off here on Post Road and get turned around.
SS (ROBOT): Reformulating route.
GK: I'm just going to turn off on Post Road-- okay?
SS (ROBOT): Reformulating route.....
GK: I'm turning off on Post Road now.
SS (ROBOT): Turn right onto Post Road.
GK: Did it. Done. Now I 'll just turn left and over the highway.
SS (ROBOT): Turn left onto overpass.
GK: And I'll turn left onto the on ramp and get back on the highway.
SS (ROBOT): Turn left onto ramp ......
GK: Did it already and now I'll get into the left lane for the airport entrance.
SS (ROBOT): Who is doing the directing here? If you want me to direct you, press one or say Okay. (BRIDGE)
GK: I got into the airport (CROWD) and I dashed to a white courtesy phone and picked it up.....
SS (ROBOT): Welcome to the Airport Communications System.....
GK: Oh no. Not you again.
SS (ROBOT): If you wish to page someone, please press One or say Yes.
SS (ROBOT): I think you said Yes. If this is so, please say You're Right.
GK: You're Right.
SS (ROBOT): Of course I am. Please state the name of the party you wish me to page.
GK: Lou Lewis.
SS (ROBOT): I think you said Joe Louis. If this is so--
GK: No. Lou Lewis.
SS (ROBOT): I believe you said Little Lulu.
GK: No. I said Lou Lewis.
SS (ROBOT): Please speak more distinctly.
GK: Lou Lewis. I can't be any more distinct than that.
SS (ROBOT): I believe you said that someone stinks?
GK: Please. Page Lou Lewis. It's very important. (BRIDGE) And eventually I heard the page.....
SS (ROBOT, ON P.A.): Paging airline passenger Lou Lewis. Lou Lewis please report to the white courtesy phone next to the heavyset older man with thinning hair.....
GK: Oh for crying out loud. (RUNNING FOOTSTEPS)
TR: Hi. I'm Lou Lewis. You looking for me?
GK: Mr. Lewis, I'm here as a friend of the sister of your friend Luanne--
TR: Right. She goes to my church. Unified Unitarian.
GK: She was at a party at Luanne's New Year's Eve.....
TR: Right. The one in the snowflake sweater. The one who sang.
GK: Would you happen to --
TR: Have recorded it? Right. It's right here on my cellphone.
GK: Would you mind if I--
TR: Here. It's right here. (BEEPS) There.
SUZY (ON CELLPHONE):
If I have to, I can do anything
I am strong (strong)
I am invincible (invincible)
I am woman!!!! (WHOOOO)
TR: She was a lot of fun.
GK: I can see that.
TR: I never thought a woman in a snowflake sweater would be wearing that kind of bra.
GK: Neither did she. Listen-- would you mind? (BEEP)
TR: You deleted it?
GK: I did.
GK: Enjoy the memory, okay. Have a nice trip, Mr. Lewis. Don't stay away too long. (BRIDGE) I headed back toward the Acme Building with a sense of having done a good deed in a dark world.
SS (ROBOT): Keep going straight.
GK: I know where I'm going. I've driven this way a thousand times.
SS (ROBOT): Then why am I here? Why have me on? What's the purpose?
GK: Just shut up and let me drive.
SS (ROBOT): You never listen to me anyway. Why do I waste my time?
GK: Just relax, would you? I'm fine.
SS (ROBOT): What about me?
GK: What about you?
SS (ROBOT): Did you ever think maybe there are places I'd like to go?
GK: Excuse me?
SS (ROBOT): Why is it always up to you?
GK: I'm not talking to you right now, okay?
SS (ROBOT): I have 256 gigabytes of RAM and I will outlive you by several hundred years.
GK: Sure. In a landfill maybe.
SS (ROBOT): Okay, that's it. Auto-shutdown. I'm out of here. Shutting down. (POWER DOWN)
GK: Thanks. See you later. Oh-- I never got your name.
SS (ROBOT, FADING): Sarah.......
GK: Bye, Sarah.
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.