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 one of those cold days at the end of March when people in Minnesota realize that April might not the sudden rapturous experience they were hoping for ---- O to be in Minnesota now that April's here? Not necessarily. ---- I called over to Danny's Deli for a pastrami sandwich on rye.
FN (TEEN, ON PHONE): Will you be paying cash for that, Mr. Noir?
GK: Is that a tone I hear in your voice, Wendell?
FN (TEEN, ON PHONE): Danny said that he can't put any more on your tab, sir.
GK: How much is the sandwich?
FN (TEEN): Two dollars and eighty-nine cents.
GK: Including tip?
FN (TEEN): You're going to tip me, Mr. Noir? Really?
GK: I'll pay cash, Wendell.
FN (TEEN): Okay. Be right over. (BRIDGE)
GK: So I looked around for some money. Meanwhile I listened to voice mail. (BEEP)
TR (ON PHONE): It's your stockbroker, Todd, Mr. Noir. I'm afraid that American Carbon Paper went belly-up yesterday so your 500 shares are pretty much worthless at this point. Just thought I should tell you. (BEEP)
SS (ON PHONE): Mr. Noir, It's Sandy, at the diner. We have reason to suspect that the pork loaf dinner you ate last night may have contained toilet bowl cleanser. Are you experiencing numbness or stiffness in your extremities this morning? (BEEP)
GK: I was still searching for cash ---- found a dollar in a cigar box and then I busted a piggybank (CRUNCH) and found a dollar and a quarter, so I was short about sixty-four cents and then(KNOCKS ON DOOR) ----yeah, come in, Wendell, the door's unlocked. (DOOR OPEN. FOOTSTEPS) But it wasn't Wendell. It was a woman in a UPS uniform and what a parcel she was. Not even brown work clothes could dim her splendor.
SS: Mr. Noir?
GK: You have a package for me?
SS: I have a question for you.
GK: The answer is yes.
SS: It's about my boyfriend.
SS: He hasn't called me in three days.
GK: Dump him. He's moved on. So should you.
SS: He's an engineer, sometimes he gets engrossed in his work.
GK: An engineer is going to drive you nuts. Rationalism is good in theory but up close it's not pretty, and it just doesn't work.
SS: I drove by his house and his car isn't there.
GK: He's run off with another engineer. They got excited by algorithms and ---- (CELLPHONE RING) ----
SS: It's him. (CLICK) Hello? Ralph? (VOICE AT OTHER END) Oh, that's great. (VOICE) Okay, I'll see you later. Bye. (CLICK) ---- He went to his mother's and she wanted to connect her phonograph to her alarm clock so that at 7 a.m. it would play the 1812 Overture and it took him three days to hook it all up, but he's done now, and he's okay. Thanks for your help. (FOOTSTEPS)
GK: Remember what I said about rationalism. (DOOR CLOSE) (BRIDGE) I missed her, all that radiant beauty and then it was gone, and Wendell came with the pastrami sandwich----
FN (TEEN): We didn't have pastrami so I made corned beef instead.
GK: Corned beef is not pastrami, Wendell.
FN (TEEN): Well, it's close.
GK: I think I should get a discount.
FN (TEEN): How about you give me $2.50.
GK: I was thinking $2.25.
FN (TEEN): What about a tip?
GK: I'll give you a tip: don't invest in a carbon paper company. (BRIDGE) The corned beef sandwich was a real let-down, I must say. Danny's Deli isn't piling up the meat the way they used to. There isn't the big bulge in the middle. I wonder if Michelle Obama may be behind that ---- (POUNDING ON DOOR) ---- who is it?
TR: (OUTSIDE) Me!!!
GK: You got a name??
TR: (OUTSIDE) Mel!!!
GK: The door's unlocked, come in. (DOOR OPEN, FOOTSTEPS)
TR (BREATHING HARD, AGITATED): Listen, I need help. I need it right now. This thing is driving me crazy.
GK: Just settle down. Take it easy.
TR: "Take it easy" ---- listen to him. The man is sitting there eating a pastrami sandwich and he says to take it easy.
GK: It's corned beef. Not pastrami.
TR: Here. Take my cellphone.
GK: What's going on?
TR: Just take it.
TR: Listen to my cellphone.
GK: Okay, okay. Gimme it. (CLUNK)
SS: (ON PHONE) Thank you for your patience. Your call is very important to us. Someone will be with you shortly.
(LITE NEW AGE MUSIC, ON HOLD)
TR: I've been on Hold for the past hour and a half.
GK: Well, hang up and try again later.
TR: I can't. It won't hang up.
GK: Turn your phone off. Here---- see the off button. Just turn it off. (MUSIC CONTINUES)
TR: It won't turn off.
GK: What are you on Hold for?
TR: I forget!
GK: Huh. Odd. Sometimes it helps to hit them hard.
(BWANG OF CELLPHONE KNOCKED ON DESK, ANOTHER BWANG. MUSIC SKIPS AHEAD)
Well, that did something.
SS (ON PHONE): If you wish to continue on Hold, press or say One. If you wish to disconnect from Hold, press or say Two.
SS (ON PHONE): I'm sorry, I didn't hear that. Using the touchpad of your phone, indicate if you wish to continue on Hold by pressing the number One. If you wish to disconnect from (BEEP)......you have pressed Two. If this is the number you intended to press, indicate by pressing Three. (BEEP) Thank you. To insure that you have pressed the number and not someone else, please type in your PIN number.
GK: What's your PIN number?
TR: For what? I have no idea.
GK: They need your PIN number.
SS (ON PHONE): We need your PIN number.
TR: I DON'T KNOW WHAT PIN NUMBER YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT!!!
SS (ON PHONE): I'm sorry but I didn't understand you. If you cannot remember your PIN number, press One. (BEEP) Thank you. If you would like to create a new PIN number, press One. (BEEP) You would like to create a new PIN number. For personal security, using the touchpad of your telephone, please type in the name of your wife's firstgrade teacher.
TR: HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO KNOW THAT???
GK: Where's your wife? Let's ask her.
SS (ON PHONE): I'm sorry. I'm unable to give you a new PIN number at this time. I am now returning you to Hold. Thank you for your patience. (MUSIC CONTINUES)
GK: You know, I hate to be unkind, but would you mind taking your cellphone out in the hall so I can eat my corned beef sandwich in peace.
SS (ON PHONE): Pardon me, but did I hear you mention a corned beef sandwich?
SS (ON PHONE): You heard me.
GK: Yes, I mentioned a corned beef sandwich.
SS (ON PHONE): Does it have mustard on it?
SS (ON PHONE): Good. If you insert the corned beef sandwich into the mouthpiece, I will skip the PIN number and get you directly to an operator.
GK: I'm not going to stick my sandwich in the phone.
TR: Please. I'm on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
SS (ON PHONE): Put the sandwich into the mouthpiece.
SS (ON PHONE): Unscrew the cover and shove it in.
GK: I never heard of this before. (UNSCREW) Okay. Open wide. (SANDWICH SQUORTING IN, SS GROWLING, CHEWING, SWALLOWING) Okay. That's it. That's all there is.
SS (ON PHONE): You wouldn't happen to have some coffee too, would you?
(GK SIGH. POURING COFFEE INTO PHONE, SS GULPING)
SS (ON PHONE): I will transfer you to an operator now.
TR: Thank you. (CLICK)
FN (WOMAN): Hello, this is Bernetta. How may I help?
TR: To whom am I speaking?
FN (WOMAN): This is Bernetta. This is 9-1-1.
TR: Nine-one-one???? Now I remember. I called to report a gas leak. That's why I called. Did you hear me? There's a gas leak at my house.
FN (WOMAN): Thank you. I will transfer you to the Fire Department.
TR: No. No. Please. Don't. (CLICK, BEEP, CLICK)
TR (LOUD, LOW): Yeah?
TR: Fire Department?
TR (LOUD, LOW): Yeah.
TR: I'm calling to report a gas leak.
TR (LOUD, LOW): Yeah?
TR: I smelled gas about forty-five minutes ago. .
TR (LOUD, LOW): Okay. What's the address?
TR: Eleven-thirty-seven Wistful Vista Avenue.
TR (LOUD, LOW): What was that?
TR: My house.
TR (LOUD, LOW): On our way. (SIREN OFF, AND CLICK)
TR: Well, I guess I better go. Sorry about your corned beef sandwich. Here's a couple bucks. Get yourself another one.
GK: Thanks. Good luck to you.
TR: Yeah. (FOOTSTEPS, DOOR OPEN, CLOSE)
(DIALING ROTARY PHONE, SEVEN NUMERALS)
(RING) (PICK UP)
FN (TEEN): Danny's Deli, this is Wendell speaking.
GK: Wendell, it's Guy. Could you bring me over a half a corned beef sandwich?
FN (TEEN): We're fresh out of corned beef, Mr. Noir. How about peanut butter and jelly?
GK: What kind of jelly?
FN (TEEN): Grape.
GK: Okay. But hurry. I'm hungry.
FN (TEEN): Will this be cash or charge?
GK: Cash. And hurry. (BRIDGE) I guess I had forgotten to lock my office door because when I hung up the phone a man was standing over my desk and he was muttering gibberish.
FN: I'm at the end of my rope. If you don't give me two thousand dollars so I can fly to the Virgin Islands and see my mother, I am going to get wild ----- I have a pair of pliers in my pocket and I won't hesitate to use it.
GK: Sir, you don't need two thousand to fly to the Virgin Islands, do you?
FN (AGITATED): Just because I'm crazy doesn't mean I don't want to go first class.
GK: And your mother is there? In the Virgin Islands?
FN (CALMER): I think so. Either there, or in Virginia.
GK: The state of Virginia or the town of Virginia, Minnesota?
FN: The town, I think.
GK: That's north of here, up on the Iron Range.
FN: Then I guess I don't want to go there.
GK: Then what do you want?
FN: I just want to be held.
GK: You want to be held.
GK: I'm a private eye, I'm not your kindergarten teacher.
FN: You're a human being----
GK: Where's your wife?
FN: Don't have one.
GK: Where's your ----- well, she's up in Virginia.
FN: I can pay you.
GK: I don't do this for pay. I'm not in that line of work. Okay. One hug. One sixty-second hug. Okay?
FN: Okay. (CALM) Ahhhhh. Thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
GK: So what do you do for a living, if I may ask?
FN: I'm a psychologist.
GK: Uh huh. And do you offer hugs to your patients?
FN: No. I'm a school psychologist. There's no touching in schools. We can't even shake hands.
GK: Maybe you need to think about moving to a different climate before next winter. Maybe Minnesota isn't a good place for you. Maybe Samoa.
GK: Big white beaches, palm trees, and warm-hearted aboriginal people in shorts and t-shirts.
FN: Oh yeah. Gimme Samoa. (BRIDGE)
GK: It wasn't easy to get him to let go. Poor guy. But his cellphone rang and he answered it and suddenly he was very professional ---- like a lot of people in the therapy field, he kept his own distress under control by offering help to the distressed. (PHONE RING, PICK UP) Yeah, Noir here.
FN (TEEN): We're out of grape jelly, Mr. Noir, how about crabapple?
GK: Fine. Sure.
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.