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: It was summer on the northern tundra and it was hot already so when I got an invitation to come to Seattle and cool off, I jumped at the chance. It was a phone call from a man named Dibble.

TR (ON PHONE): Mr. Noir, my name is Michael Dibble, I'm calling from Seattle.

GK: Yes, sir.

TR: Back in the middle of April. My wife Sibyl and our poodle Kibble and I decided to settle in Seattle so we could peddle Bibles and little metal griddles and kettles.

GK: Griddles that you'd fry food on.

TR: Yes, you'd fry up vittles on the griddles. Anyway, there's one model of metal griddle called the Yankee Doodle which is a total griddle and comes with a ladle and it's vital that the Yankee Doodle be kept out of puddles.

GK: You have to keep it dry.

TR: Totally And the ladle. Anyway, Sibyl who plays the fiddle and the poodle Gretel who yodels were there in Seattle ----

GK: They play music----

TR: Mainly the Beatles.

GK: While you're peddling Bibles, kettles, and griddles.

TR: And ladles. The Yankee Doodle metal griddle comes with a ladle.

GK: The one that it's vital to keep out of puddles.

TR: Anyway, she played the fiddle and I peddle the metal griddles and kettles and Bibles as the poodle yodels---- you can't be too subtle in Seattle --- and I got befuddled and I dropped a bottle of bitter vanilla on the middle of the metal griddle and it made the metal brittle and----- did I mention that Gretel had a little prenatal adenoidal anomaly ----- anyway she sneezed as the poodle yodeled in Yiddish "Mottl in the Shtetl with his Dreidel" and Gretel choked on the glottals and it was fatal. Anyway, that's not why I called. You didn't call about the fatal yodel of the poodle Gretel as you peddled Bibles, kettles, and griddles?

TR: No, I called about the tunnel scandal. (STING, BRIDGE)

GK: Of course I had heard about the tunnel. In 2001 Seattle was hit by an earthquake that damaged the Alaska Way viaduct, a stretch of elevated highway on support columns along the downtown waterfront. The viaduct was declared unsafe, but it remains in use while Seattle debates what to put in its place.

TR (ON PHONE): Ten years, a hundred thousand cars a day go motoring over a wounded viaduct that the next earthquake will bring crashing down, and we're no closer to figuring out a solution than we were five years ago. You ever go to a public meeting in Seattle?

GK: No, sir.

TR (ON PHONE): It'll drive you right up the wall.

GK: How so?

TR (ON PHONE): Because of who lives here. People will do anything to live in Seattle so you've got a city of over-educated people in menial jobs ---- Ph.D's driving taxis, people with law degrees serving coffee ---- and a public meeting is where these people can show how smart they are. It's performance art. Sometimes it takes half an hour just to read the minutes of the last meeting and get that approved ---- a motion to adjourn can take hours to discuss.

GK: So how can I help?

TR (ON PHONE): Come to Seattle. Help us out of this mess. (BRIDGE)


GK: The Alaska Way viaduct was busy bumper-to-bumper when I got downtown and there at my hotel were two housekeepers arguing about it.

SS: If they dig a tunnel, it's gonna turn this city into Los Angeles. The last nail in the coffin.

FN (LADY): So what do you want? Another viaduct? Do you know how harmful that'd be to the environment?

SS: Tear down the viaduct. Put in some bike lanes. Let people figure it out.

FN (LADY): You're talking about gridlock like you wouldn't believe.

SS: You don't know what you're talking about.

FN (LADY): You're talking about two-hundred thousand cars sitting in gridlock releasing poisonous fumes into the atmosphere.

SS: Nobody's going to use a tunnel if they charge a toll! Nobody!

FN (LADY): It's going to be a tunnel so get used to it. You're just blocking progress. That's all you're doing.

GK: Ladies, excuse me-----

SS: A tunnel is going to cost 6 billion dollars.

GK: Ladies----

FN (LADY): That is a bald-faced lie and you know it.

GK: Ladies-----

FN (LADY): Who in the (BEEP) are you?

GK: I'm not from Seattle so I take no sides here-----

SS: Neutrality is the same as a yes vote for the tunnel.

GK: Ladies, may I ask----- where you're from?

FN (LADY): Boston.

GK: You go to Harvard?

FN (LADY): So what if I did?

GK: Public administration? Doctorate?

FN (LADY): None of your business.

GK: And you?

SS: Stanford. Doctorate in anthropology. Go away. Leave us alone.

GK: Just curious.

FN (LADY): Beat it or else.

GK: Do you think there's a solution here?

SS: Go away. Your kind isn't welcome here.

FN (LADY): Go. Git. Scram. (BRIDGE)

GK: I needed to know what was down underground so I found the construction site where the first test drilling had been done and I located a massage studio nearby and paid them to go away for a day and I handed out coupons to the construction workers -----

FN: Hey. Thanks.

GK: Fifteen bucks for an hour and a half. Make you a new man.


GK: In other cities, you'd offer construction workers whiskey or beer. Here I offered them an herbal tea and aromatherapy. -----

FN: Awww. That's good chamomile.

GK: Just let everything go. Let your neck relax. Let your back relax. I want you to imagine a stream of light passing through your body. Just let go of all of your worries, all your day's work, just release it into the air.

FN: Mmmmmmmm.

GK: I want you to take a deep cleansing breath now. And exhale all your tension away. And now another deep breath, and let everything go that you've been holding onto. And one more deep breath. I'm going to start on your neck now......

FN: Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

GK: There is a nerve on the side of the neck, under the jaw. You massage it and a man will tell you everything you want to know.

FN: Ahhhhhhh.

GK: Finding interesting stuff down in the hole, are you?

FN: Yeah, you wouldn't believe it.

GK: Try me.

FN: Ahhhhhhh. Gold. They discovered gold under the viaduct.

GK: Gold.

FN: A river of gold.

GK: Big vein?

FN: They think there's about three trillion dollars worth down there.

GK: So why don't they extract it?

FN: Because they wouldn't own it.

GK: Wouldn't own it?

FN: Nope.

GK: Who owns it?

FN: I donno. Somebody.

GK: You don't know?

FN: I donno. A little lower.

GK: You're done. Out of here. (SLAP)

FN: But you just started!

GK: End of the road, pal. Beat it. (STING, BRIDGE)

GK: If you want to get the lowdown on a situation, my policy is: ask a waitress. So I did. At a coffeeshop called Mom's. And the way to a waitress's heart is a big tip and outrageous flirtation.

SS (DEEP): Want me to warm that up for you?

GK: Warm what up for me?

SS (DEEP): Your coffee. What'd you think I meant?

GK: I wasn't thinking. I was only hoping.

SS (DEEP): Hoping for what?

GK: You drive me wild every time you walk by the counter. Those white shoes with crepe soles. The swish swish swish of your support hose.

SS (DEEP): Awww, come on. I'm old enough to be your mother.

GK: I like a mature woman. You don't need to beat around the bush, you get straight to the point.

SS (DEEP): Oh yeah, what's the point?

GK: What time you get off?

SS (DEEP): Get off what?

GK: Work.

SS (DEEP): Oh. That. Midnight.

GK: I got a couple of Ulysses S. Grants here who are looking for a new home. What I need to know is who owns the land down by the waterfront? The land under the viaduct.

SS (DEEP): Grant was a great man but I prefer Ben Franklin.

GK: Hey, I got a couple of Ben Franklins looking for a home too. Here. With my compliments.

SS (DEEP): I'll write his name down on a piece of paper. (SCRIBBLE, BRIDGE)

GK: It wasn't Bill Gates and it wasn't anybody you ever heard of. The name was Omar K. Doakes. And he lives on a large rock outcropping in the San Juan islands. Just him and his livestock.


TR: Lived here 47 years and never felt the need to go anywhere else. Haven't been to Seattle since I was 18. Wasn't much impressed by it. Too many people. Almost a quarter-million, if you can imagine that. Too big, too noisy. My great-great-great-great-grandfather lived there. Hiram. And he won some land in a poker game. I got the deeds somewhere in here.

GK: In here, sir? In this shed? (CHICKEN FLURRY)

TR: Oh, I don't know. Doesn't matter. Somewhere around.

GK: How about in here in the machine shed?

TR: I doubt it.

GK: You mind if I look?

TR: Whatever. It's just a deed to a bunch of land down by the water somewhere over there in Seattle, I don't know where and don't know what----

GK: How about I look in some of these old boxes? (RUMMAGING) (CHICKEN FLURRY)

TR: What's your interest in a bunch of old deeds anyway?

GK: I'm an antique dealer. Just like the gold decorations, the embossing, the lettering......

TR: Oh, you think they might have some cash value?

GK: Yeah. Five or ten bucks apiece.

TR: Oh. Well, that's interesting. (HE CHOKES)

GK: What's wrong, sir? Sir? Mr. Doakes?

TR: I'm having a heart attack.

GK: A major heart attack?

TR: Feels like the big one.

GK: I'll call an ambulance.

TR: Ain't no ambulances.

GK: Oh. A doctor?

TR: Nearest doctor is three islands away.

GK: Got any pills in the house?

TR: Aspirin.

GK: Who is your heir, Mr. Doakes?

TR: Air?

GK: Who will inherit your estate?

TR: A carrot what?

GK: Do you have a lawyer?

TR: Who???

GK: Is there a Mrs. Doakes?

TR: Mrs. Who?

GK: Are you married?


GK: I guessed the answer was no. (RUMMAGE) I looked around and didn't find anything that looked like a deed. There were mountains of boxes, old magazines, old everything, and I looked for awhile and then I decided to just let it go. I felt for a pulse and there was none and I covered him with a blanket and I thought about what to do and then I just lit a match and turned on his kerosene lantern (WHOOSH) and tossed that onto the pile (CRASH, BURST OF FLAME) and Mr. Doakes went up in smoke on his funeral pyre. (OUTBOARD MOTOR) I watched him as I steered my boat across the bay and back to Seattle, a column of black smoke rising in the air. And there I left it. Took a plane home that night. There's gold under Seattle and it belongs to somebody and maybe if they go visit their eccentric old uncle they might find something and chase down their trillion-dollar inheritance, and maybe they won't, and maybe Seattle will build a new viaduct and the secret will remain for another hundred years. I won't be around to find out.


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.