GK: 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. Me. Guy Noir, Private Eye.
It was July and by rights I should've been up in the North Woods, out in a boat with a rod in hand, giving swimming lessons to nightcrawlers, but I was short on cash due to some bad investments in lottery tickets, so I was forced to take work with the Stearns County Board. They were concerned about some crop circles just west of the town of Avon -- a hayfield with a circle about fifty yards in diameter where the grass was flattened. So I put up a pup tent behind a tree and waited for nightfall to see what was up. (NIGHT SFX, CRICKETS, BIRDS) I was expecting to see headlights --- kids playing a practical joke -- and I waited. (TRAFFIC FAST, TRUCKS) Traffic was heavy on Interstate 94 as the evening wore on and then around midnight it got quiet. The bell tolled in the Avon church (SFX). And promptly at midnight I saw the distant headlight of an approaching train (WHISTLE, OFF) as it came in fast (TRAIN PASSING, CROSSING BELLS, DOPPLER) -- it was the old North Coast Limited eastbound and soon after another came from the other direction (TRAIN PASSING, WHISTLE, BELLS, DOPPLER) and it was the Empire Builder westbound --both of them running on what I thought was a bicycle trail. I walked over there and I saw no rails at all. Just asphalt. And then I heard another train coming. (WHISTLE, OFF) But this one slowed down. (SFX SLOWING) An old steam engine train pulled up with fourteen boxcars and three coaches, and out of the engine came the engineer (APE), an orangutan, and out of the caboose came the conductor (ELEPHANT), an elephant with a lantern in his trunk, and (SFX) chimpanzees and dogs and elephants and llamas and horses -- no people at all -- and they dragged out a big tent and spread it out and the elephants pounded in stakes (SFX) and they raised that tent (SFX) and then from all over the countryside came cows (SFX) and pigs (SFX) and chickens (SFX) and dogs (SFX) to buy tickets and gegt popcorn and go inside to see the show. Which -- as it turned out -- was a man. A poor naked man. (WHIMPERING) He was being poked at by his trainer (SEAL) who tossed him bits of fish and who made him run around in a circle in the circus ring (RUNNING) as cats came running (SFX) and jumped on his back and did somersaults and backflips (SFX) and bounced off a trampoline (SFX) and did a triple gainer onto the man's head (SFX) -- the audience, especially the dogs --- thought this was hilarious (SFX) -- and then the trainer (SEAL) made the man stand on a platform, lift one foot, and do a headstand (WHIMPERING) and the audience went wild (DOG HILARITY) and then he played a tune on a series of horns (SFX) and then the trainer cracked the whip (SFX) and the naked man climbed up a ladder to the top of the tent (WHIMPERING) as a team of horses (SFX) wheeled out a big tank of mud, or what you hoped was mud, and the trainer gave a command (SEAL BARKS) and the man dove (SFX) and landed in (SPLORT, SPLAASH) what we hoped was mud. And climbed out (SFX) and was hosed off (SFX) and that was the end of the show. The audience clapped (SEAL, DOGS) and the elephants pulled down the tent (SFX) and packed it in the train and I grabbed the poor man and told him I'd help him escape his horrible life running around naked and diving into mud. But he just looked at me and said,
TK: What?--and give up show business?
GK: Then he got on the train and the whistle blew (SFX) the engineer got back in (APE) and the whistle blew (SFX) and it chugged away, leaving a large circle of compressed grass. I thought about it that night and in the morning I told them that aliens had come (SFX) and a big revolving ring had landed and strange little men with antennae sticking out of their heads had gotten out. (SFX) It just seemed more believable than what I had actually seen. (DISTANT WHISTLE) One more reason not to ride the bicycle trail after midnight. (THEME)
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.