TR: A dark night in a city that knows how to keep its secrets, but on the twelfth 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 and in St. Paul, the sun was out, the city was shining like a medieval painting of heaven or something, but in my line of work, human frailty and the cruel impulses of the broken heart, not much was going on. I was hanging paper clips together to make a decorative vest for myself when the phone rang (PHONE RING, PICK UP) Yeah, Noir here.

FN (ON PHONE): Guy Noir, the private eye?

GK: Yeah. Who is this?

FN (ON PHONE): Would you mind texting me and attaching a picture of yourself so I know it's you?

GK: Have we met before?


GK: Then how would you know the picture was of me?

FN (ON PHONE): Well, do you have somebody there who can vouch for you? I just want to make sure I'm talking to you and not somebody posing as you.

GK: You want to talk to my secretary, Francine?


GK: Just a minute. (GK FALSETTO) Hello?

FN (ON PHONE): Are you Francine?

GK: Yes, sweetheart.

FN (ON PHONE): Could you put Mr. Noir back on?

GK: (FALSETTO) One minute, darling. (GUY) Yeah?

FN (ON PHONE): Was that Francine?

GK: Yes, of course.

FN (ON PHONE): What's her Social Security number?

GK: 486 58 9827.

FN (ON PHONE): Okay, thanks. So anyway---- do you hear breathing on the phone?

GK: Yeah. Me. Now what did you call me about?

FN (ON PHONE): You don't hear little taps. A tapping sound. Very faint.

GK: It's probably the blood vessels in your ear drum. How can I help you?

FN (PHONE): Let me call you back from a different phone. I'll call you right back.

GK: Okay. (BRIDGE) It was a slow day and I found myself listening to the Murray Morris show on the radio---- - he was having a slow day too-----

TR (GROWLY): ---- unbelievable, I mean it's just plain unbelievable, but there it is in black and white, a secret government plan to round up the dogs of American citizens ---- to take our dogs ---- and I'm sorry but that just sticks in my craw ---- it's an outrage and who is speaking out against it? Nobody. Why would they do it? So it'll be easier to come and get our guns, that's why. Connect the dots. Anybody want to weigh in on this? Our lines are open, give us a call. 1-800-LIBERTY ---- or if you have more thoughts about forced health care----- or Benghazi ----- or the IRS----- are you angry? Are you going to let them (PHONE RING) come in and tell you (SNAP) (PHONE PICKUP)

GK: Yeah. Noir here.

SS: Hello, it's Nola over at Sunrise Collection Agency? How you doing?

GK: Fine. What you got, Nola?

SS: Got a deadbeat who owes $15.35 to a dry cleaner for spot removal on a white linen sportcoat.

GK: Uh huh. What kind of stain?

SS: Enchilada.

GK: Were they able to get it out?

SS: No.

GK: Yeah, those enchiladas can get messy.

SS: So if you find him, squeeze him for the fifteen bucks. His name is Wheeler.

GK: Okay. What's my finder's fee?

SS: Three bucks.

GK: I was hoping it might be more like five bucks.

SS: Sorry.

GK: You used to pay more. In fact, you still owe me for that deadbeat who reneged on his bill at the Romeo Motel.

SS: You're right.

GK: The honeymoon suite with the hot tub and the mirror on the ceiling. That fell off in the middle of the night. I got $163 out of him. I think it was fifteen bucks you owe me.

SS: How about the end of next week?

GK: How about the end of today?

SS: Listen, let me get back to you.

GK: Get back to me with fifteen bucks, okay?

(CLICK, DIAL TONE) (BRIDGE) She hung up on me. And then I noticed the man standing just inside the office door.

TR: Mr. Noir, my name is Tommy Mahoney and I'm the attorney for Johnny Mastroianni of Mastroianni Aluminum Awnings and Lawn Ornaments of Menomonie, Wisconsin.

GK: I see. Have a seat.

TR: Thank you. Does the name Ronnie Mulrooney ring a bell? Or Connie Mulrooney or Tony Sweeney?

GK: No, sir.

TR: Or Danny Feliciano?

GK: No.

TR: Well, Ronnie Mulrooney is Johnny Mastroianni's loony economist cousin who flew to Miami Monday to give testimony in Julian Hooley's trial for palimony, brought by Naomi Azerbaijani.

GK: So Naomi and Mr. Hooley were-----

TR: Exactly. She's the former nanny of Asher Azerbaijani, a brainy gal who became a neo-paleontologist, moved to Palo Alto, wrote The Dichotomy of Ambiguity and Incredulity---- and in '82 she ran the Shawnee Shoshone Student Unity Committee at Menomonie Community Unitarian Church where she taught Pilates and met Julian Hooley.

GK: I see. And where does Johnny Mastroianni enter into this?

TR: I'm coming to that. Ronnie Mulrooney and Tony Sweeney have the same granny, Connie, from Missoula, Montana, who gave them an annual annuity on three conditions: one, anonymity; two, they run the family salami shop in Menomonie; and three, they memorize the book of Deuteronomy.

GK: In toto.

TR: No, Deuteronomy. Anyway, Naomi Azerbaijani is not Shawnee or Shoshone, she is Pakistani and a Sunni, originally from Juniper, New Jersey.

GK: Muslim.

TR: No, Sunni Unitarian. So were the Mulrooneys. All of them Sunni Unitarian, but Naomi was Pakistani and they were Thessalonian.

GK: Okay, but the Shawnee Shoshone Student Unity Committee at Menomonie Community Unitarian Church. How does a Sunni become Shoshone?

TR: Don't try to confuse me. Naomi Azerbaijani was a secret security advisor to Dick Cheney in a subterranean chamber in Pennsylvania and he mentored the Mastroiannis and their minestrone monopoly in Menomonie.

GK: Aha. So the Mastroiannis were in minestrone---

TR: Minnesota minestrone, made with macaroni, mustard, muscatel and macadamia nuts.

GK: But run from Menomonie.

TR: Yes, from the Mastroianni Aluminum Awnings and Lawn Ornaments company, to avoid scrutiny.

GK: Fascinating.

TR: So----- Naomi Azerbaijani's book on ambiguity and incredulity won the Papadopolis Prize for public policy by propounding principles of perpetual prosperity.

GK: I've heard the Papadopolis Prize people put down as a pack of pompous pipsqueaks.

TR: Not according to Johnny Mastroianni. He knows Pops Papadopolis from before his lobotomy and they became enemies over Pops' attempt to penetrate the Shawnee Shoshone Student Unity Committee.

GK: Listen, Mr. Mulrooney, I'm sort of busy.

TR: My name is Mahoney, not Mulrooney. Tommy Mahoney. Mulrooney is Johnny Mastroianni's economist cousin in Menomonie who gave testimony in Naomi Azerbaijani's palimony lawsuit against Julian Hooley who foolishly questioned Naomi's scholarly bonafides.

GK: Be that as it may, where does the Shawnee Shoshone Committee come into the picture?

TR: It's the Shawnee Shoshone Student Unity Committee at Menomonie Community Unitarian Church.

GK: Right, but what does this have to do with Minnesota minestrone?

TR: You know, Mr. Noir---- I think you're not the right detective for this job. You don't seem to have a good grasp of details.

GK: I think you're right. So how about you leave?

TR: How do I and Johnny Mastroianni know that you're not going to spill the beans about this?

GK: I don't know what the beans are.

TR: I explained it to you. Now you've got all this data on us and you could use this to your advantage.

GK: Please. I don't remember a thing you said. Not a thing.

TR: How can I be sure of that?

GK: Listen. Pay me some hush money and my lips are sealed.

TR: How much you want?

GK: How about a thousand?

TR: A thousand???

GK: Okay, make it two thousand.


There. Two thousand. And remember: one word about this to anybody and I'll be back with some muscle.

GK: A pleasure doing business with you, Mr. Mahoney. A pleasure. (BRIDGE) Two grand. Just like that. What a day brightener. (RING, PICKUP) Yeah, Noir here.

FN: Yeah, it's me again. We talked a few minutes ago.

GK: Right. The paranoid guy.

FN: You haven't heard any funny little clicks or hums on your phone line, have you?

GK: No. So you were going to ask me something?

FN: I was? I thought you called me.

GK: You called me up and asked if my phone was tapped.

FN: No, you called me----

GK: You wouldn't happen to own a white linen sportcoat, would you?

FN: I don't know what you're talking about.

GK: Took it in to the dry cleaner?

FN: Are you with the government? Is this the NSA?


GK: Two thousand bucks. I counted it again to be sure, and then---- hey, Lieutenant McCafferty. What a pleasure.

TR (IRISH): Top of the morning to you, Mr. Noir, you wouldn't happen to have a radio in here, would you now?

GK: Radio. A police radio?

TR (IRISH): Faith, no. An FM radio. The mayor is supposed to be on the radio and everybody on the force has been ordered to listen.

GK: What's he doing on the radio?

TR (IRISH): Singing.

GK: No. Why would he do that?

TR (IRISH): That's exactly what I thought.


TR: A dark night in a city that keeps its secrets, but one guy is still trying to find the answers, Guy Noir, Private Eye.