TR: A dark night in a city that knows how to keep its secrets, but high above the empty streets, 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 --- (PIANO)

GK: I was back in my old office at the Acme Building, where the landlord Lou had completely renovated the place, put in plants, a coffee bar, a health club, a hair salon, and now the elevator smelled of expensive aftershave instead of cigar smoke. Which was fine with me until I got a bill for the first month's rent. (OPEN ENVELOPE. PULL OUT PAPER. UNFOLD IT) Six hundred dollars. For this little dinky office? If he put in a smaller door, he could use it for a wren house. (CRUMPLE PAPER) I'm gonna go see about this. (MUSIC) So I went up to his office and (OPEN DOOR, FOOTSTEPS) I walked in.

TR: Hey! What you doing? (RUSTLE OF PAPER)

GK: What's that you're reading, Lou?

TR: None of your business.

GK: It looks like a copy of Playboy.

TR: What do you want?

GK: And what does that say on the cover? Huh? The Women of National Public Radio? Let me see that. (A SLIGHT STRUGGLE OVER A MAGAZINE)

TR: Leggo of that. Gimme that. (SNATCHES MAGAZINE AWAY) What do you want?

GK: I want you to explain how come you're charging me six hundred bucks rent for that cupboard you call an office....

TR: This is a first-class building, Guy. We got classy tenants.

GK: Listen, Lou. Just because you own a building with a bunch of ficus plants in the lobby don't make you a big shot.

TR: Nobody said it did.

GK: Let me tell you something, when this stock market takes a fall, which it's going to do, you and your classy tenants are going to be riding the bus like the rest of us.

TR: What are you talking about?

GK: I hope you don't have your money tied up in mutual funds, Lou. That's all I can say.

TR: It's a good investment.

GK: Oh boy.

TR: What's wrong?

GK: Lou, this stock market balloon is about to go bang. The longest bull market in the history of the country--- the party's over. You don't see that coming? Huh? The band is playing "Nearer My God to Thee" --- listen, for crying out loud.

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

GK: Mutual funds earning 20, 30 % profits --- it's coming to an end, pal.

TR: What do you know about it?

GK: The dream is over, Lou. And when the crash comes, all these coffee bars with the $3 coffee and the hair salons with the $50 haircuts and the health clubs and all of that --- ppppppppttttt. All gone.

TR: Awwww, you don't know nothin. (FOOTSTEPS)

GK: Okay. Don't say I didn't warn you. (DOOR OPEN, JINGLE, CLOSE) I walked in the coffee shop. The young lady clerk stood behind the counter smiling the official smile she learned in the company training program. (FOOTSTEPS)

SS: Welcome to Warbucks Coffee. What can I do for you today?

GK: I'd like a plain coffee. Okay? Just plain coffee, caffeinated, no latte, no syrup, no whipped cream, no sprinkles, and no cinnamon. Okay? (HER FOOTSTEPS GO AWAY AND THEN COME BACK)

SS: I'm sorry. Did you say you would like cinnamon with that?

GK: No. I'd like it plain. (HER FOOTSTEPS AWAY AND BACK)

SS: Would you like to have our Grande' Plain or our Great Plain?

GK: What's the Great Plain?

SS: That's with grass in it.

GK: No grass. Just plain. Okay?

SS: We're offering a special on bran muffins when purchased with a coffee beverage ---- it's only a dollar seventy-five....

GK: I don't care for a bran muffin.

SS: We're also offering the same special on carrot cake....

GK: No carrot cake either.

SS: Okay. (POURS COFFEE) Our flourless chocolate tortes are also on special today.

GK: I don't care for any.

SS: Yes, sir. That'll be four dollars and twenty-nine cents.

GK: Four dollars and twenty-nine cents....my gosh. (CHANGE ON COUNTER)

SS: Thank you. And thank you for stopping at Warbucks.

GK: Right. (FOOTSTEPS) It's so hard getting a decent cup of plain coffee --- somebody is always trying to put cinnamon or something in it (DOOR OPEN, JINGLE, CLOSE) --- (FOOTSTEPS)

TR: Hey--- Guy----

GK: What is it, Lou? (FOOTSTEPS STOP)

TR: What sort of investment you recommending if what you say about the stock market is correct?

GK: Lou, if you want to throw your money down the rat hole of mutual funds, you go right ahead.

TR: I'm asking a question: where would you put your money?

GK: I'd put it in flowers.

TR: Flowers?

GK: Right. The flower market is very hot right now. I was talking to my flower broker just minutes ago. Fuschia futures are way up.

TR: They went up?

GK: Flowers usually do. Got some phlox options too --- very promising.

TR: So is it a bull market or a bear market these days?

GK: They don't use those terms. They say: a bulb market or a burr market. At the moment, it's a bulb market. The Dow Jones Terrestrial Average is up two hundred points in the past couple months.

TR: How much are fuschia futures going for?

GK: Well, your fashionable fuschia is the Tuscaloosa fuschia --- it has a more luscious perfume, and the fuschia fruit produces a juice useful in reducing contusions and bruises. Fuschia's at forty two.

TR: Fuschia reduces contusions? I thought fuschia was used for fish freshener.

GK: That's freesia. Freesia's the fish freshener, fuschia is the contusion reducer. Why? we don't know. Frankly, Lou, only a few facts are known about fuschia. Minutia, really.

TR: What about phlox?

GK: I'm talking about fuschia.

TR: Do you like forsythia too?

GK: What about forsythia?

TR: Is it like fuschia?

GK: Lou, forsythia is the antithesis of fuschia. But it depends on whether you're talking about the monolithic forsythia that exists along the Mississippi --- or the Swiss forsythia with the indehiscent tissue issued to physicians and pharmacies for use in the remission of conditional paralysis, superficial psoriasis, bleeding blisters, and pernicious cysts.

TR: Forsythia treating pernicious cysts---- I always thought forsythia was a fancy or fussy flower.

GK: Not forsythia. Not fancy or fussy or fishy or prissy or messy.

TR: Not messy? How about mossy?

GK: Mercy, no. You're confusing forsythia with phlox. Actually, either fuschia or forsythia can be confused with phlox, especially the freckled or flaming phlox with the red flecks.

TR: I thought that was foxglove with the flecks.

GK: Nope. Phlox has flecks, foxglove has flakes. The flaming freckled phlox has red flecks, and the frosted phlox has florescent chalk-like flecks.

TR: Red on the flaming freckled phlox, florescent chalk-like flecks on the frosted phlox.

GK: Correct. Actually, it's the flesh on the flanks of the frosted phlox that is freckled with florescent chalk-like flecks.

TR: On the flanks of the phlox....

GK: Between the flanks and the phlox blossoms. And if the phlox flanks are flaccid or the stalks fractured, you got problems.

TR: Fractured! I thought phlox stalks were flexible.

GK: That's flax that flexes. This is phlox. And the flanks of the phlox are freckled, and those flecks can be toxic.

TR: Phlox? Toxic?

GK: The flanks of the frosted phlox are toxic.

TR: The phlox with the frosted chalk-like flecks----

GK: Correct. The flaming freckled phlox with the red flecks are non- toxic. But certain factions of phlox-fanciers feel the flaming freckled phlox with the red flecks is the toxic phlox.

TR: I see.

GK: I'm one of the folks who feel the frosted phlox is toxic.

TR: What sort of folks feel the flaming freckled phlox, and not the frosted phlox, is the toxic phlox?

GK: Rather obnoxious, if you ask me. Anyway, for stock options, I recommend the flaming freckled phlox, obviously.

TR: Where do folks buy flaming freckled phlox stock options, Guy?

GK: There's a flaming freckled phlox stock option auction at the Phlox Exchange in Oxford, Ohio.

TR: Folks go all the way to Oxford for phlox options?

GK: They flock to it, Lou.

TR: So you recommend the flaming freckled phlox futures.

GK: No, I recommend Tuscaloosa fuschia futures and flaming freckled phlox stock options.

TR: Tuscaloosa fuschia futures and flaming freckled phlox stock options.

GK: Exactly.

TR: I've got to call my flower broker.

GK: Forget about the forsythia---- and, hey---- what about taking something off my rent, Lou? Six hundred bucks....

TR: Okay. I'll lower your rent on one condition. I don't want to see you hanging around the lobby.

GK: Hanging around lobbies is what private eyes do, Lou. We sit behind a newspaper in the corner by the ferns and study human nature.

TR: Well, study it somewhere else. (MUSIC BRIDGE)

GK: I headed around the corner to Mom's Cafe for a bite of lunch and to take a look at a free newspaper, which is a feature at Mom's ---- they always have a copy floating around.... (RATTLE OF SILVERWARE, TABLEWARE)

TK: Yeah? What'll it be, Mac?

GK: That grill right there--- is that where you fry your hamburgers?

TK: This here? Yeah.

GK: And your scrambled eggs?

TK: Yeah.

GK: And your grilled cheese sandwiches?

TK: Yeah, what's the matter? It ain't hot enough for you? (HE HAWKS AND SPITS. SIZZLE.) It's plenty hot enough, Mac. What'll it be?

GK: I'll have a tuna on whole wheat.

TK: Grilled?

GK: No.

TK: You want fries or hash browns?


SS: Hi Guy.

GK: Sugar! What you doing in here? Hey, it's good to see you.

SS: You really mean that, Guy?

GK: Of course, I mean that. Have a seat. You care for coffee? Hey. Nice sweater.

SS: You like it? It's cashmere.

GK: It's beautiful. And green is a nice color on you. Was it a gift from somebody?

SS: No. I bought it myself.

GK: I see.

SS: Who would ever buy a sweater this nice for a girl unless he was deeply in love with her? I just ask you.

GK: (SIGHS) I'm sorry. I've meant to call, believe me I have. I couldn't call because I was waiting for somebody to call me and I waited two months and then I find out I gave him the wrong number. Isn't that something?

SS: Don't lie to me, Guy. I can always tell when you do ---

GK: Sorry.

SS: Do you remember our little talk, Guy?

GK: Which little talk was that, Sugar?

SS: Our little talk about me and you.

GK: Oh, that talk.

SS: Guy, we've been seeing each other for eight years and four months now.

GK: Has it been that long?

SS: And?

GK: And those have been some wonderful years, Sugar. Time sure flies when you're having fun.

SS: Yes...And?

GK: And, uh, how about a sandwich?

SS: I was hoping you'd mention a wedding ring.

GK: Oh, Sugar. Why should we ruin a wonderful romance by getting married?

SS: Guy, if you're not going to marry me, then I don't want to see you anymore.

GK: What sort of an attitude is that?

SS: I mean it.

GK: What if everybody refused to see anybody they were not married to. You wouldn't have Congress.

SS: This is it, Guy. Goodbye.

GK: Sugar--- Sugar--- don't say that. Hey, look---

SS: What?

GK: Over there, crossing the street--- the guy in the coat--- isn't that John Travolta?

SS: Where? where is he? (SLIGHTLY OFF) John Travolta! Oh my gosh-- - is that him? No, that ain't him. Where is he?

GK: (OVER ABOVE) And as she ran to the window, I reached over and pulled a flower out of a vase --- it was wilted and covered with grease, and yet----when I gave it to her---

SS: Oh, Guy! A fuschia.....for me?

GK: She gave me a look you could pour on your pancakes.

: Thank you, Guy. A fuschia. Is that a Tuscaloosa fuschia?

: Absolutely it's a Tuscaloose fuschia.

: (A KISS) I love you, Guy. It goes against my better judgement, but I do. (MUSIC BRIDGE)

GK: One flower, and suddenly where there had been mistrust and resentment, now there was affection and gratitude. You wouldn't get that if you gave her a share in a mutual fund. We had lunch and I walked back to the office. (TRAFFIC) It was the coldest day of the year. It was so cold out that it was still Monday. It'd been Monday for almost a week and they were saying it might stay Monday at least until Wednesday. To me, flower futures looked pretty good. When it's cold, that's when you want to get in on flowers. (THEME)

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