A Prairie Home Companion Segment 15 for May 31, 2014
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0:00 | 00:10:51


SS: 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's a beautiful spring up north and I was frankly

getting tired of the complaining on my voice mail every

morning. Aiyiyi.

TR (ON PHONE): Yeah, I don't eat seafood, okay? SO

why do people invite me over for dinner and serve seafood?

Huh? I don't get it. (BEEP)

SS (ON PHONE): Can you do something about my

husband? He keeps saying "him and me" when he should

say "he and I" - it makes me want to scream. (BEEP)

FN (PHONE): Mr. Noir, it's Dr. Wilkspivtz the

orthodontist on the eighth floor --- Someone in the building

is spraying room freshener and it's making my sinuses

crazy. (BEEP) (BRIDGE)

GK: People and their problems, even in the midst of

splendor, that's why I headed for Arizona and the Grand

Canyon. I'd been there once and the grandeur of it made

me extremely happy for almost a week. I'm older now so I

figured maybe it'd work for a day, a day and a half. I flew

out there on McCain Airlines.

SS (P.A.): (BING BONG) My name is Sarah Palin, I will

be your flight attendant today, or stewardess as some of us

gals like to say. I will be going around offering seat belts

for an additional charge and to all our Second Amendment

friends who are carrying weapons, we say, please do not

aim toward the front of the plane. I do have a shotgun up

here and I know how to use it.

TR (P.A.): (BING BONG) This is John McCain, your pilot

up in the cockpit. Thanks for flying McCain Airlines ----

the maverick airline. Our destination today is either

Flagstaff or its Phoenix, we'll let you know when we get

closer. There are no flotation devices on this plane ---- I

mean, it's Arizona, where you going to float. Enjoy the

flight! That's an order.


GK: We landed in Flagstaff and I took a train to the South

Rim of the Canyon (STEAM ENGINE, WHISTLE) and I

walked along the Rim looking out at geology, the colors,

the eons of time, the sheer vastness of it (BIRD, AWAY) --

-- surrounded by tourists who were as awestruck as I. (TR

JAPANESE AWE) Short people with big cameras and a

man in a kilt who was testing the acoustics of the Canyon


ECHO). A lot going on on the South Rim. A little too much

for me.

FN (HAWKER): Hey, looky here, over here. I got it, you

want it, this musical necktie, you pull on it and it plays

"Cool Water" ---- listen (MUSIC BOX, "Cool water") and

for you, I'm gonna knock two bucks off the


GK: So I rented myself a horse and I headed down the trail

into the Canyon (SLOW CLIP CLOPS, CONTINUOUS...),

a very dramatic trail, with the rock wall two feet away on

your right, and to your left, a sheer drop of---- I'd say, two

or three thousand feet. Maybe four. Not sure. The horse

seemed to be nervous too. (WHINNY) He was trembling

and snorting and perspiring heavily.I could tell he was


FN (HORSE): Hey. Sorry about that. I got a real fear of


GK: That's okay. You want to turn around and go back?

FN (HORSE): No room to turn around.

GK: So I got off him and that seemed to help (FN HORSE:

Thanks. Big load off my back. WHINNY) and I continued

on down the trail (FOOTSTEPS ON GRAVEL) and it was

beautiful, the vast space of the canyon out there (DISTANT

BIRD) and very peaceful and still except for the occasional

sightseeing helicopter (SFX) and the ring of my cellphone

(SFX)----Yeah. Noir here.

TR (ON PHONE): Hey, it's Al. Would you be available to

come over and help me find my glasses? I set 'em down

somewhere here in this Costco store.

GK: I'm at the Grand Canyon, mister, looking at eternity.

Time and space and relativity and the meaning of life on

earth. It's all here.

TR (PAUSE): Are you all right?

GK: Never better. (BRIDGE) I got down to the canyon

floor and headed for the Indian Garden campground to get

a drink of water when I heard a voice-----

FN (REVERB, OFF): Hey. You in the shorts.

GK: Who's that?

FN (REVERB, OFF): Over here.


FN (REVERB): In the cave.

GK: And I looked up and there he was just inside a cave

on a rocky slope about fifteen feet above my head, a man in

a white robe, with a long beard, sitting cross-legged in the


FN (REVERB): Approach my Serene Presence with

caution, for what I have is the truth and truth is fire.

GK: What is this truth, Serene Presence?

FN (REVERB): Very well. (CLEARS THROAT) What is

is that which is and it is now and always has been. You are

in it and it is in you. We are all united in this great What Is.

And there is aloe in it.

GK: Aloe?

FN: Aloe.

GK: How long did it take you to come up with that?

FN: Time means nothing to me. (PAUSE) Eight years.

You wouldn't happen to have a cigarette on you, would


GK: I don't.

FN (REVERB): Are you sure?

GK: I didn't know that mystics smoked.

FN (REVERB): I've been here for eight years meditating

and I realize that what is blocking my spiritual pilgrimage

is that I really really really need a smoke.

GK: Well, I don't have one. What about aloe instead?

FN (REVERB): Could you ask around and see if someone

else has a smoke?

GK: I'll do my best. (FOOTSTEPS ON GRAVEL)

(BRIDGE) I came on a man who was smoking a smoke but

it was down to a nubbin and he was busy with a long

bungee cord he'd attached to a rock on the canyon wall----

You got a smoke, sir?

TR: Nope but I'm going up to the South Rim, I'll stop and

pick you up a pack.

GK: When you going?

TR: I'll be there in about 45 seconds.

GK: With this?

TR: This is my Canyon Express Elevator.

GK: Does it work?

TR: Only one way to find out.

GK: What if it doesn't?

TR: If it doesn't, I won't know it until the last two or three

seconds. And if it does work, I'm on Easy Street. I'll

charge ten bucks a lift. More for fat people.

GK: You don't think you should test it with, maybe, a sack

of potatoes?

TR: I got the press waiting on the Rim for me to come

flying up. I don't think a sack of potatoes would impress


GK: Well, it's your life. I hope you know what you're


TR: People laughed at Edison. And Steven Jobs.

GK: They also laughed at the man who tied weather

balloons to his lawn chair and went a mile up in the air.

TR: Let em laugh. I'm on my way to the bank.

GK: So - what are you planning to say when you fly up

there and land on the Rim and the TV cameras are running?

TR: "It is a far far better thing I've done than I have ever

seen." ---- No. Not that. "One short flight for a man, and

one------". Well, I guess not. "Advance confidently in the

direction of your dreams....." Let me think about that.....

GK: While he was pondering the line that would

immortalize him, a dog had walked up and sat down in the

chair the bungee cord was tied to (WOOF) and he wagged

his tail and accidentally hit the release lever


HOWL) .....and he flew toward the South Rim and

appeared to land safely. Which he did, because a few

minutes later he was back with a pack of Pall Malls in his

mouth. I had to wrestle them away from him. (DOG


finally I got them. He looked so broken-hearted about it

(DOG WHINE) that I pulled out a smoke and lit it for him

(SFX) and put it between his lips and he took a drag. (DOG


FN (DOG): Boy, that is what I call a smoke.

GK: How was the ride?

FN (DOG): I don't recommend it. (BRIDGE)

GK: I took the cigarettes up to the cave and the wise man

was gone and in his place a woman in a red bikini was

lying on a blanket in the sunshine. ----Hi! Where's his

Serene Presence?

SS: Went into the cave to change.

GK: Change into what?

SS: Change into a suit and tie and take me to the dance up

at the Lodge.

GK: I thought he was looking for the meaning of life.

SS: Hey, I'm right here. Who're you? (BRIDGE)

GK: Good question. I hiked up to the Rim and took the

train back to Flagstaff (STEAM WHISTLE) and took

McCain Airlines back home.

TR: (McCAIN) We're heading for the Twin Cities,

whichever two seem viable for a landing - maybe

Minneapolis/St. Paul, maybe something else - play it by



GK: Then he descended and here I am, none wiser but still

in one piece and there's something to be said for that.


SS: One man is still trying to find the answers to life's

persistent questions....Guy Noir, Private Eye.