In retrospect, it was probably a long shot a best. It was pretty long (Almost 20 pages). I thought I nailed Guy Noir pretty well. It was filled
Guy Noir Saves Christmas
(SS, JM: Jimmy, GK, TW: Tweedle, SC: Sandra Claus, GR:
Ebenezer Grinch, ST: Santa Claus)
SS: A dark night in a city that knows how to keep its secrets, but high above the quiet 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.
(THEME UP AND OUT)
JM: Hey, Guy, what can I get you?
GK: Gimme a martini, Jimmy.
JM: That's it, Mr. Noir? Aren't you going to try to get into the holiday spirit?
GK: Okay, put a sprig of mistletoe in it. Send it up to my office, why don't you?
GK: (voice over) Good will towards man? Not in this town, brother. Times were tough and the people were tougher. And I needed a case. Certainly not my rush season. But then, it was my own doing. Or should I say undoing? The Barlow case didn't help much. I was supposed to rescue the Barlow's son. Ran off with some cult religion thing. Worshipped Jimmy Dean. Not the fifties actor, the singer who makes the pork sausages. Anyways, I got the kid, no problem. Started the deprogramming with the parents. Make a long story short, the Barlows wind up joining the cult with the kid. Makes you wonder. Tried to pay my fee in breakfast links. I was all set to enter a career in air conditioning repair when there was a knock at the door..
(Knock at the door)
GK: Come in.
GK:(V.O) He stepped into the room. But you really couldn't tell if he was there. He was a short guy, about 4 foot nothing. Knee high to a NeeHi. He was dressed in a hooded parka, wearing earmuffs and pointy shoes. I reached into my pocket for change.
GK: Sorry, kid. All I have is some loose change.
GK: You collecting for UNICEF or something?
GK: Not caroling, right?
GK: What do you want?
TW: I am in need of your services.
GK: You want to hire me? What's the deal?
TW: Missing person, sir.
GK: Your parents?
TW: No, my employer.
GK: I see.
GK: (V.O.) I had no idea what was going on.
GK: Now then, your boss is missing?
TW: That's right.
GK: Been to see the police?
GK: Why not?
TW: We must avoid publicity.
GK: Big shot?
TW: You might say that.
GK: Okay, let's get down to brass tacks. Now, then, Mr.---?
GK: So, your boss is a big shot, Mr. Tweedle?
TW: No, just Tweedle.
GK: Tweedle, huh? How do you spell that?
TW: With one "weedle."
GK: Okay, Tweedle, what's your boss' name?
TW: Yes. Santa.
GK: Santa---(pauses) Santa. Santa Claus.
TW: Yes. You heard of him?
GK: Yeah, you might say the name rings a jingle bell.
TW: Good. You don't know how hard it's been.
GK: Right. Who sent you here? McCormick, right? This is something those morons at Pinkerton would do.
TW: Who's McCormick?
GK: Okay, cut it. Gag's over. You done good. Now you can go on back to McCormick and get your money.
TW: (pleading) Mr. Noir, I'm serious.
GK: Okay, fine. But look, Tweedle, right up front, I should tell you, my fee is five hundred dollars a day, plus expenses.
TW: We assumed as much. Is two thousand enough as a retainer?
GK: (V.O.) The half pint flashed a wad of bills that would choke a reindeer. The expression, "boing" leapt to mind.
GK: That would about do it.
GK: (V.O.) If this was a case, I'd take it. My landlord would have wanted it that way. Sure, it sounded like an elaborate April Fool gag but this wasn't April. Besides, it's like my old man always said, "Never refuse a midget with money."
GK: So, your boss is missing?
TW: He just disappeared.
GK: When was the last time you saw him?
TW: Day before yesterday.
GK: Day before yesterday? Why'd you wait so long to act?
TW: We really didn't know how to handle it. We couldn't possibly report it to the authorities. Can you imagine what would happen if word leaked out Santa Claus was missing?
GK: Boggles the mind.
TW: Yes! And 'tis supposed to be the season to be jolly! We were simply were at a loss as to what actions to take. Until I thought of hiring a private eye.
GK: Seems like a long shot.
TW: I know, but this isn't just any twelve days of Christmas, you know.
GK: Where was he last seen?
TW: The North Pole.
GK: Of course? I'll tell you right off, it's a little difficult to work this case from here. I mean,
what with it happening at the North Pole and all.
TW: I realize that. That's why we've made arrangements to bring you there now. If it's convenient.
GK: Sure, what the hell? I came this far, right? How do we get there, magic carpet?
TW: Our private jet is at the airport.
GK: Lead on. You got somebody to fly us there?
TW: Hopsy the elf.
GK: He's a licensed pilot?
TW: Hopsy's the best, Mr. Flebber. He's been flying since he was nine.
GK: Piper cubs?
GK: Why do I keep asking these questions?
GK: (V.O.) Before you could say "Heigh-ho, heigh- ho" we were winging our way north. To as north as you could get. This was it. The North Pole. Not the bogus magnetic north pole. The real McCoy.
GK: I'm on top of the world, ma...
TW: Excuse me?
GK: Nothing. Who's that hobbit there?
TW: That's Bubba. He's an elf. He's holding our dogsled.
BB: (in a southern accent) Hey, you all.
GK: What's with the accent?
TW: Bubba's originally from the South Pole. Get in, Mr. Noir.
GK: In that? A dogsled?
TW: Best way around. Quick and environmentally safe. It's not far.
GK: When in Nome.
GK: (V.O.) We mushed on over to a gingerbread style house, trimmed in red and green. It looked good enough to eat. It was Big Red's base of operations. Tweedle led me inside.
GK: So, what now? Do you take me to your pot of gold?
TW: I'm going to bring you in to see Miss Claus. Right through this door to the sitting room.
GK: (V.O.) It may have been the door to the sitting room, but it was the also the door to my heart. Or one of my other organs. She stood there aglow, this blonde Nordic goddess; a woman whose looks could wreak havoc with the metabolism of a lesser man. Yet beaming with the innocence of a child. Sort of like Heidi Does Dallas.
SC: You must me the detective.
GK: Yeah. How's it hanging?
TW: By the chimney with care. Why do you ask?
GK: It's just an expression.
SC: Do you think you'll be able to find my father?
GK: Your father?
SC: Yes, Father Christmas.
GK: (V.O.) So, Jelly-Belly had a daughter. This would certainly stop the presses down at People Magazine.
GK: Yeah, I'm the man. Guy Noir. I'm a private investigator. The gnomes came down and hired me.
SC: You mean the elves.
GK: I guess I do.
SC: I'm Sandra Claus. A pleasure to meet you.
SC: Can I get you something? Eggnog? Saspririlla?
GK: Eggnog, sure.
SC: Have you had any success?
GK: Well, I only just arrived and it's just too early to tell.
SC: We've all been terribly upset by this. The workshop has all but been shut down. And here it is, our busy season.
GK: I know this is hard on you, doll, but these questions have to be asked if I'm going to begin my investigation.
SC: I understand.
GK: Have you known Santa to go off without warning for any amount of time?
SC: Not but once a year. And hardly without warning.
GK: Of course. Miss. Claus, please don't take offense but I'm just trying to touch all bases on this deal here. Is it possible Mr. Claus was seeing anyone?
SC: Whatever do you mean?
GK: You know, a...girlfriend.
SC: I hardly think so, Mr. Noir.
TW: The man's a saint.
GK: It had to be asked. Frankly, I'm hard put to say what happened. It is possible he may have had an accident or wandered off.
SC: Saints preserve us.
GK: I have to make you aware of all the possibilities.
SC: I understand. I hope you're mistaken.
GK: So do I, ma'am. Yo, half-pint. So, what happened?
TW: He left the workshop to check on the generator and never came back.
GK: Anything else missing?
TW: A miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer.
SC: Nine reindeer, Tweedle. You can never recall the most famous reindeer of all.
TW: Oh, that's just a lot of hype.
GK: Did your father have any enemies to speak of?
SC: Well, there was this one man.
TW: We did find this in the stable. It's a receipt from a store called Buymart.
TW: I've heard of them. Their slogan is "Satisfaction Almost."
TW: Yes. We've gotten some nasty mail from the president of the Buymart over the years.
SC: We think he really hates Christmas.
GK: Really? Why do you think he hates Christmas?
SC: His name is Ebenzer J. Grinch.
GK: I see.
GK: (V.O.) I couldn't help feeling it was all a dream. Or maybe I had taken some powerful mind-altering drugs which would produce these effects. Then I remembered, I can't afford any powerful mind-altering drugs.
TW: What do you think, Mr. Noir?
GK: Call me Guy. All these formalities are making me edgy. Only one man ever called me mister. And I had to shoot him.
TW: Gosh. Sure thing, Guy. Can we get him back?
SC: There is an old contingency plan we drew up years ago. However, I can't imagine little children the world over getting much excited about the arrival of the Federal Express man.
GK: He'll be back and safe in plenty of time. Don't you worry your pretty little head about that. Guy Noir's on the job.
GK: (V.O.): I don't know why I said that. I get real cocky sometimes. Truth is I still didn't know what was going on, really. Must have been the eggnog talking.
SC: Tomorrow is Christmas Eve.
GK: Which means in the race against time, the clock is pulling ahead. I better get the lead out.
TW: It's not much time. Think we can do it?
SC: I'm ever the optimist. I always look at the stocking and see it half full.
GK: I think we should check out this Grinch character. Do we know where he is?
TW: Sure, I can look him up on this.
GK: What's that?
TW: It's Santa's lap-top computer. I'll just call up Ebenzer Grinch's name from the list.
GK: What list?
TW: The list of all the boys and girls who are naughty and nice.
GK: What? The one he checks twice?
TW: The very same.
GK: It's all done by computer?
TW: Wake up, man. This is the twenty-first century. Santa's workshop is hi-tech and happenin'!
SC: Hmm, you might want to check under "Naughty" first.
TW: Of course.
SC: I hope this works. We have to get Papa back.
SC: Papa Noel.
GK: We'll find him. That's what you're paying me for, ain't it? And I don't figure to give refunds.
SC: Oh, I hope you're right.
GK: (V.O.): I hoped I was right, too.
TW: Here it is. Let's sleigh-ride.
GK: Whoa, you're not coming.
TW: Why not?
GK: I'd have a tough time explaining a goblin dogging my heels.
TW: I'm an elf.
TW: I can handle myself. I've taken elf-defense classes.
GK: Aww, what the hell. I can use the company.
GK: (V.O.) And before you could say "Rumplestillskin" we made our way to the headquarters for Buymart and the office of the president of the company, Ebenzer J. Grinch. We had to walk through the flagship store to get to the corporate offices upstairs...
AN: Attention, Bargain hunters: we have a flashing light special in aisle nine. Delicate glass Christmas ornaments only one dollar each. So rush on over to aisle nine...no, not that fast. Back, get back---
(crash is heard)
AN: Janitor with broom to aisle nine, please. And thank you for shopping at Buymart. And remember, Christmas isn't Christmas unless you spend lots of money.
(Buymart commercial jingle plays.)
GK; (V.O.) Tweedle and me made our way to the back offices. We located Grinch's office. I went to the door and heard him on the phone with some of his minions.
GR: Make sure all stores stay open late. We begin our final media blitz in just an hour. And the rumor mills are already in action. This should convince everyone that there'll be no Santa this year. When we open...That's right, open tomorrow. Bright and early. I know it's Christmas. What do you think we're doing up here? Just do as I say.
GK: Yes, Virginia, there is a Grinch that stole Christmas.
GR: Who are you?
GK: Guy Noir. I'm one of Santa's helpers.
GR: What are you doing here?
GK: I'm here to help Santa.
GR: What do you mean?
GK: Knock it off, Ebenzer. The jig's up. I know the whole scam.
GR: How could you?
GK: I did my homework. Snatch the Fat Man. Keep him on ice for the holidays. Make sure the workshop closes down. Then an ad blitz to coyly announce the Santa won't be coming to town. And you corner the Christmas market. Cute.
TW: Suffering sugarplums! Is that what this is all about?
GR: Very astute, Mr. Noir.
GK: Well, I'm here to take him home. So I guess that makes you a rebel without a Claus.
GR: I'm a rich man, Noir. How much are you being paid? I'll double it.
GK: I can't be bought, Grinch.... I get expenses, too.
GK: Just asking.
GR: This is very important to me, Mr. Noir. I cannot be allowed to fail. The economic health of my retail empire is in the balance because of that over-jolly threat to the capitalistic system. He'll ruin me and he must be stopped!
GK: Your stores are jammed, mister. Why pick on Santa?
GR: Yes, yes. Packed now. Fine. Up until the day after Christmas. Then they stampede back in for refunds because Santa brought them everything they wanted. Times are hard and sales are soft. The bottom line, Mr. Noir, is the bottom line.
GK: All's fair in love and retail.
GR: Christmas is only hours away. Soon little children will be waking up to barren tree bottoms and empty stocking. Their parents will make feeble excuses about Santa being late. They'll say he's socked in over Oswego. He forgot his EZ pass. They'll jump into their cars in desperation and guess what?
GR: BuyMart stores the nation over will be there to service their last minute needs. And for that, they will be eternally grateful. It's brilliant! It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas after all!
GK: Gee, Ebenezer, your tree's up, but the light's aren't on. Don't you know what Christmas really means?
GR: Certainly. It's the highlight of our fourth quarter. Has there ever been such a Christmas?
TW: He's babbling, Nick.
GK: What are you, the anti-Claus? You certainly missed the boat on this one, Ebenezer. If that's all you think Christmas is, you're sorely mistaken. There's a whole spirit. A Christmas spirit.
GR: Oh, stop. If I can't sell it discount, it doesn't exist.
GK: Wake up and smell the eggnog, Ebenezer. Sure, Christmas is a time to trade off gifts. But it's more. It's finding something, something like love, for instance, that makes it all worthwhile. Gives you the moxie to go on for another year. It's an excuse for displaying a little affection once a year. It's a shared moment with people all over the world and for that one day at least maybe they'll realize what the whole ball of wax is about.
TW: Not to mention the vast religious significance.
TW: Humbug? He said humbug? Do people still say that?
GK: I'm not here to sing a carol about the merits of the holiday, Ebenzer, I'm just here to free the Jolly One and be on my merry way.
GR: I can't let you do that.
GK: Don't make me deck the halls with you, Grinch. Just let Big Red go. And nobody gets hurt.
GK: (V.O) Unfortunately, I had to hurt him. I used a couple of Thi Chi moves on him, and a tire iron I keep with me, just in case. Now, we just had to find the man in red. Which we managed in two shakes of a reindeer's tail. He was locked in a closet down the hall. I opened it and there he was, in all his glory.
ST: Bless my soul! Thank you, son. Who might you be?
GK: Guy Noir, Santa.
ST: Noir. Noir. Oh, yes. You got the Dick Tracy Detective Set when you were ten. And some underwear, too.
GK: Yeah. You remember that?
ST: Ho-ho-ho. A fine Santa I'd be if I didn't remember all of my children. But what are you doing here, son?
Gk: Your pixies hired me to find out.
ST: You mean the elves? They hired you?
GK: I'm a private detective now. And I found you. And now I have to get you home.
ST: I knew the elves wouldn't let the children be disappointed.
GK: No, sir.
ST: Cutting it a little close, though.
GK: Be thankful you're not spending Easter here. Sir.
ST: Oh, that Ebenezer has been bad before but he really takes the fruitcake for this stunt.
GK: You know Ebenezer?
ST: Certainly. Over the years, I brought him enough coal to power a locomotive.
GK: Hey, Tweedle, look, it's Santa!
TW: You were expecting maybe the Little Drummer Boy?
GK: Let's getting moving.
GK: (V.O) It took a bit of hustle on our part, but we did it. We got him back to the North Pole in the St. Nick of time.
(The sound of sleigh bells is heard.)
ST: I wanted to thank you personally, Nick. That was a very brave thing you did. And a lot of children will be very happy for it.
GK: Yeah, well, you better get moving. Time and yuletide wait for no man.
GT: Very good. Ho-ho-ho. See you later! On, team!
(Sleigh bells ringing and out.)
ST: Ho-ho-ho, merry Christmas to all!
GK: You too, Santa. Don't take any yellow snow.
SC: Go get'em, pop!
GK: (V.O) Mission accomplished. It felt good. It felt so good I almost considered giving the money back. Almost. After all, I got bills to pay. Things looked like they would be back to normal.
SC: How does some butter cookies and hot cocoa sound? How about you, Guy? You want to stay for cookies and cocoa?
GK: I'll be there with silver bells on.
GK: (V.O.) Sufficed to say, I hung around. For some cookies. And then some cocoa. It's turned into a steady gig. I'm on retainer by the Claus man himself. I guess that makes me a subordinate clause. Santa has me do lots of background investigations. You see, Claus has this list. And he checks it. Twice. I have to keep tabs on who's naughty or nice. So you better watch out. You better not cry. You better not pout. I'm telling you why. 'Cause Guy Noir's on the case.
SS: A dark night in the city that keeps its secrets, where one guy is still trying to find the answers to life's persistent questions --- Guy Noir, Private Eye.