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 trying to find the answers to life's persistent questions. Guy Noir, Private Eye.


GK: It was April and I was doing some spring cleaning in my office-and I'd found a 45-horsepower industrial vacuum cleaner (ROAR) that would eat up the big hairballs off the carpet (SFX), eat up the socks under the couch (SFX) and the empty cans (SFX) and the empty pizza boxes (SFX) and the pizza I'd forgotten to open a few months ago that was green and starting to move (SFX) -- a living pepperoni that put up quite a fight (SFX) and eventually I had to subdue it with a fire extinguisher (SFX) and then vacuum it up. (SFX) And that's when the phone rang (PHONE RING, PICKUP) Yeah Noir here.

TR (JOWLY, ON PHONE): Mr. Noir, I'm calling you from the Divine Ministry of the Foursquare Gospel down here in Hot Springs, Arkansas. My name is the Rev. Divine. J. Herbert Divine.

GK: You know, much as I would love to make a donation right now...

TR (JOWLY, ON PHONE): I'm not calling for a donation, Mr. Noir. We have a member of our church family, a lamb who has wandered out from the fold to the sharp rocks of worldly temptation. Her name is Geraldine Irons and Geraldine has gone over to the Episcopalians.

GK: Well, I guess she wanted a church where the lambs are more free-range.

TR (JOWLY, ON PHONE): She was our prize soloist. She is irreplaceable. We are offering a big reward.


GK: The word "reward" did it for me -So I went to the airport, got myself a last-minute flight to Hot Springs (JET). I dropped by Rev. Divine's church to pick up a picture of Geraldine and found him auditioning new singers. I could see how much he was going to miss her.


FN (SINGS, BARRY-LIKE): I found the Lord when I was feeling bad, He showed me what a gorgeous voice I had. And he inspired me my voice to share. And don't you think I have great hair-- (BRIDGE)

GK: He told me I'd find Geraldine out at the race track.

TR: They got card sharps out there, people want you to guess which cup the walnut is under, people wanting to roll dice -- it's the roughest place in Little Rock -- next to the state legislature. (STING) (RACETRACK HUBBUB)

GK: I got to the Oaklawn Racetrack and (CROWD HUBBUB, VOICES PASSING) there was a lot of action ---

SS (SOUTHERN): Oh my-I'm positively wilting! Griffin, darling, do go get me another julep.

TR (EVANGELIST): And Scripture makes it clear that any form of gambling is an abomination unto the Lord. (BANJO)

GK: And there were men sitting under trees picking banjos (BANJO)--..and there were coon dogs (SFX) and there were men having hollering contests (FN HOLLER, TR HOLLER) and then the horses came on the track (HOOVES, WHINNIES) and they got lined up and (BELL) off they went (POUNDING HOOVES) ...

TR (ANNOUNCER): And Montezuma takes the lead at the post with Last Call neck and neck with Dubious Honor followed by Destiny's Child two lengths behind and Margarita, Welcome Home, and Family Jewels as we come into the first turn, and Margarita is making her move passing Destiny's Child as Montezuma holds the lead and Last Call is challenging... (FADE UNDER) (HORSES RACE PAST, CROWD REACTS)

GK: And then I saw Geraldine. Right next to me.

JS: Come on, girl. You know you're going to win so just go ahead and do it. Mama's right here watching. Just lift your little feet and gallop, sugar.

TR (FADES IN) And Margarita is moving up past Dubious Honor and Last Call. Margarita is challenging Montezuma as they come around the far turn, Montezuma is ahead by a stride, and now Margarita is drawing up neck and neck--. (GALLOPING)

JS: Mama's watching you, child. Mama's got you in the palm of her hand. No way you can fail, darling. Mama's got you. You're doing just what I knew you'd do, darling.

TR (FADES IN): And it's Margarita by a length now as they come down the straightaway, Margarita is pulling away--.and --(HOOVES GOING PAST) it's Margarita the winner by three lengths. Twenty-five to one and she comes home a winner. (HUBBUB, CHEERING, THEN FADE)

JS: Thank you, darling. Mama thanks you.

GK: I followed her to the betting booth. She had her wager slip all filled out for the next race.

FN (DEEP): Hey Geraldine-- how you doin?

JS: Doing just fine, Larry. --

GK: Miss Irons, excuse me--

JS: (SURPRISED GASP) What're you doing looking over my shoulder? You trying to steal my bets?

GK: I'm Guy Noir, private eye. Your church sent me to find you.

JS: What do they want?

GK: They're worried about you.

JS: Fine. Let 'em worry. I'm betting on horses. What's the problem?

GK: I'm only the messenger, ma'am.

FN (DEEP): You want to make a bet, Geraldine?

JS: I'm going for the trifecta. Two grand on Dorothy Darling to win, Morley's Ghost to place, and Miss Chrissy to show. (WHIRR, KACHUNK) (BRIDGE)

GK: You're getting quite a pile of money, Miss Irons. So what's this all about?

JS: It takes a lot of money to be a big star. You have to get noticed. And a big beautiful black woman is going to get noticed in St. Ansgar's Episcopal Church. Mr. Noir, this is Melissa Phelps, she's my press person. Just hired her today.

GK: So you're planning a career in music?

JS: Honey, I had a career in music and nobody noticed.

SS: Geraldine is going way beyond music. She is going to become a phenomenon. I see a fragrance. A clothing line. Sweatpants with "Pump Irons" written across the butt.

GK: Okay, but the Episcopal church, Miss Irons-- what sort of move is that?

JS: Listen. Those Episcopalians are so sweet. When they baptize you, they do it in a Jacuzzi. I like that. NEW Page 7

GK: You don't feel odd?

JS: Honey, I am a very cool Episcopalian -- (SHE SINGS, TO "AIN'T MISBEHAVIN" IN A TORCHY STYLE)

I love the marble, love the stained glass,
A woman my size, I go for mass
Episcopalian, saving my love for you.
I love the statues, the beautiful candels
The choir singing anthems of Handel's
Episcopalian, saving my love for you.
There's white folks and black, and gay and morose,
Some male Anglo Saxons but we watch them pretty close.
Episcopalian, saving my love for you.

GK: Very nice, very nice. So you're going to become an Anglican soul singer.
SS: Geraldine feels that it's a niche she can fill.
JS: Oh, I'll fill that niche. That niche is gonna be overflowing. (SINGS, TO "NATURAL WOMAN") You make me make me make me feel...E-pis-co-palian. (SINGS TO "R-E-S-P-E-C-T)
Just as cool as we can be.
Drop in for a glass of wine.
SS: Geraldine is going to be the Soul Sister of Suburbia. The Queen Latifah of Lattes. The Beyonce of Banana Republic
JS: And right now I have to go figure out who to bet on in the fourth race.
JS: You might as well -- Excuse me. Coming through--
TR: You got a pass to get into the stables? Oh. Hi, Geraldine.
JS: Hi Gus.
TR: In you go. Who's he?
JS: He's with me.
TR: Fine. (BRIDGE) (HORSES WHINNYING, FOOTSTEPS, VOICES) GK; We walked through the stables to a stall in the back. There were curtains over it, and she pulled one aside and there was an old horse named Frank.
FN (HORSE): Hey. Better hurry if you're gonna bet on the fourth. Who's this guy? Not a reporter, I hope.
JS: He's okay. What you got in the fourth?
FN (HORSE): Well, the other horses and I talked it over in the paddock and Ananda's Pride had a lot of coffee this morning, so-
JS: Wow. But she's fifty-to-one--.
FN (HORSE): All the more reason to make her a winner. Then we got Elaine of Aquitaine to place and Dayani Honey to show.
JS: And those are all good, Frank?
FN (HORSE): Of course. When did I ever steer you wrong?
JS: Never. What can I do for you, Frank?
FN (HORSE): Just bring me an apple with a couple of antidepressants in it.
JS: Okay.
GK: So the races are fixed.
JS: By the horses, yes. They don't want to have to run hard all the time, maybe break a leg, get shot -- so they work out the results and just run as hard as they need to.
GK: We were walking through the stables when I heard a big whinny (WHINNY) and turned around and there was Frank waving a hoof at us (WHINNY) -- I think your friend wants to talk to you--
JS: Gotta hurry and place the bet. Let's go.
GK: He's waving at us.
JS: Later. Gotta get my bets down. Come on. (STING, BRIDGE)
GK: I guess what Frank wanted to tell us was that the horses had changed their minds about the finish. (DARK CHORD) Last minute change of plans. (DARKER CHORD) And so when the pack came past-- (HORSE GALLOPING PAST, CROWD HUBBUB)--
TR (ANNC): And it's Heartbreak by a nose, followed by Darkness in second, and Child of Despair in third. (DARK CHORD)
JS: I can't believe it.
GK: Heartbreak.
JS: What happened?
GK: Heartbreak was the favorite, so--
JS: I just lost everything.
GK: You put everything on it, huh?
JS: I was just about to ask if you could spare me a couple bucks for busfare?
GK: I'm afraid I'm wiped out, too. (BRIDGE)
GK: I went back to the Hot Springs Hotel and I went upstairs to my room. (KEY IN LOCK, DOOR OPENS). And there was a man in a pinstripe suit and a fedora sitting on the edge of my bed.
TR (MOBSTER): Who are you?

GK: Who am I, you're in my room, who are you?

TR (MOBSTER): Who do you think I am?

GK: Mr. Al Capone?

TR (MOBSTER): Bingo.

GK: But I thought you were--

TR (MOBSTER): I am. I'm dead. Died in Florida after they nailed me on tax evasion. Lousy deal.

GK: So you--

TR (MOBSTER): Walked through the wall to get here, that's right.

GK: Is that a ghost gun or a real gun?

TR (MOBSTER): Why don't you come over here and find out.

GK: What do you want?

TR (MOBSTER): I want to get dipped in water and get reborn.

GK: I don't think baptism works for dead people, Mr. Capone.

TR (MOBSTER): Well, I want to come back.

GK: As a Baptist?

TR (MOBSTER): Sure. Why not? What's involved?

GK: Well, for one thing, you can't drink.

TR (MOBSTER): Not a problem. I been on the wagon ever since I died.

GK: And you can't dance.
TR (MOBSTER): I never did dance. I just made other people dance.

GK: And you've gotta put your arms up in the air and close your eyes and say, "Yes, Lord. Yes, Lord"--

TR (MOBSTER): Hey. I can do that. --Yes, Lord. Yes, Lord.

GK: It was too easy. I grabbed the gun out of his hand and he tried to grab it away and I shot him. (GUNSHOTS) Twice.

TR (MOBSTER): Nice trick.

GK: Not a real gun, I see.


GK: There's a church you could try, Al, called the Divine Church of the Foursquare Gospel.

TR (MOBSTER): Okay. See yas. (PUFF OF SMOKE)

GK: I turned on the radio in my hotel room and (TR PREACHER) got the evening service -- and there was Geraldine, singing-- a duet with the guy with the hair.

FN (ON RADIO, SINGS): I found the Lord that's how the Lord found me

JS (ON RADIO): It ain't necessarily so.

FN (ON RADIO): He thought my voice was rather heavenly.

JS (ON RADIO): It ain't necessarily so.

FN (ON RADIO): And now I spread the message everywhere.


FN (ON RADIO): I have great hair, I have great hair.

JS: And we don't care, and we don't care.


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.