1986 Pontiac Fiero GT
|Air Date||March 10, 2014|
Who killed the American Mid-Engined car? A car-review told as a Noir mystery film. Special thanks to Ted Stoltz for serving as our 3rd videographer.
Due to the unique format of this episode - half a noir narration by The Roman, and half a 'review' by Mr. Regular - opinions of it proved very mixed. This review also features K.W. as 'Cliona Shaw', and in the end card, someone presumed to be Ted Stoltz.
[AUDIO FADE IN, THE ROMAN:] I found her in a cathouse off the Blue Ridge Parkway - a cozy little den of low expectations where the johns had beady eyes and scrunched noses, like an invisible hand is pie-facing them, and has been since Rutherford split the atom. --- BACKING ‘SONG’, MR. REGULAR, THE ROMAN A jazzy, acapella noir tune. --- MONOLOGUE by THE ROMAN A little bird told me a girl named Cliona Shaw could tell me the truth about what happened to Mr. Regular, but I couldn’t shake the feeling I was tooting the wrong ringer - what could some nineteen-year-old twist (?) tell a fella about his world? Nineteen is too new. Nineteen is still slick with momma’s gel. I told the madam to take a powder, pressing a sawbuck in her arm to keep her blind, deaf and dumb, while I tightened the screws on Cliona. I entered the room and there she was – 5ft 3 inches of honey. The sort of dame who says yes and means it. [CLIONA:] Hello there, detective. Beautiful evening, isn’t it? [THE ROMAN:] I’m not exactly keen on the dark, or the small-talk. Make with the wisdom, or I’ll have you under glass thicker than the last supper. [CLIONA:] Your private dicks sure are testy. You know, you might do a thing or two about the goon situation around here. Girls been getting roughed up. [THE ROMAN:] I’ll call in some black-and-whites and have a look into it. [CLIONA:] Who do you think’s doing all the roughing? Why are you never here when us girls need you? [THE ROMAN:] Maybe you could start needing me when I’m actually around. [CLIONA:] What are you here for, anyway? Playing gumshoe for some nervous housewife who can’t keep her husband at home? [THE ROMAN:] I’m looking for Regular. [CLIONA:] And what makes you think I know where he is? [THE ROMAN:] Because a little birdie told me you’ve been stocking Old Crow, and I’m not quite so slow as to think you enjoy drinking anything with a kick to it. You want these people think you’re Strawberry Schnapps, but you’re kids stuff. You’re strawberry milk and a plate of Lorna Doones! Now where’s Regular?! [CLIONA:] Alright, alright, he was here, not about an hour ago. Not for that, but for what I know. [THE ROMAN:] Spill it, toots. [CLIONA:] I had a john a few nights back, and he (?) with Pat Coin. He got to bragging, saying Regular couldn’t piece it all together, that him and his boys were behind it all. [THE ROMAN:] Behind what? [CLIONA:] The murder of the American mid-engine car. [THE ROMAN:] Who is Coin? [CLIONA:] I don’t know. Mr. Coin’s been coming for a few months. Actually, Mr. Regular left this behind. Don’t know what it is, but maybe it’ll be useful to ya. [THE ROMAN:] She let out a giggle, and I let out a little weariness with this world. What doll-faced kid has no familiarity with the colour of innocence, before innuendo was a second language unto itself? I remember the world as it was, before the stony greys and the ink blacks blended into a muted, uniform monotone. Before the sharp edges of ambition were sanded down to whipped smooth corners, like the skin of some new-born babe with no expectation of the world ahead, no rosy picture of the world before. I remember what it was like when Lady Luck still saw johns. Now she’s out of the trade, having married herself to men with money and influence. Nothing for the hoods or the jobby-slinging spuds in hash-houses off the interstate. Lady Luck’s sold out, and she’s too rich for my blood. I knew it’d be a long night ahead. Hmm, well, what is this thing? Eh, I better listen to it. Could hold the key to everything. (music stops) --- MONOLOGUE by MR REGULAR, SLIGHTLY DISTORTED I saw visions of possibility. I saw a past, prophecy dragged through road salt and never hosed off, not even at the dollar do-it-yourself wash next to the second-hand roller rink and a foul-mouthed dry cleaner. For a year or two, Lady Luck was on our side in the 1980s – the 1980s, an alternate future past. Firebirds beget Fieros, and the sun rosed (sic) on this rain-soaked front-engine farce of an American sports car scene. We had it, Roman, we had it! This was supposed to be the new future! This was supposed to be what America could have been! We had it, America had our own mid-engine car, and we weren’t copying the Orientals! This was Yankee-Doodle, through and through! Damn, Roman, you should have seen her! She had eyes that did…that thing to me! *hiss* Curves where you wanted them, and even in places where you didn’t know you wanted them. This was the kind of dame you wanted to wake up next to. But once she got fresh with that ham-and-eggs heavy-petting, see, any hope of going back to cabbage-face factory girls took a dirt nap. We had it, Roman, we had it! May…maybe the French professor used his quantum accelerator to open a portal to another world, an alternate-reality where we embrace small, wedgy runabouts. Then…then Coin came in. Coin came in, dropped off a file, adjusted the inputs and protractor outputs – my readings! My readings were weird! I couldn’t figure it out! But hear me, Roman, hear this – Coin did it! Only he had the moxie to deep-six his original, angelic creation! He made it! He made her! And then he killed her! But I didn’t want to believe it. This was supposed to be the f- Or maybe…an alternate America, of the America we could have had. An America where George McGovern won. We were still the same country we always were, but the rest of the world liked us! We could go to the European Union and the UN and not get hassled! We could compete in all those little rallies! You know, maybe not win, but have some respect! *hiss* It’s a mid-engine car, yeah, and I know that’s not what we were used to, but those little gauges right there? Ah, that’s so American right there! Crooked dog-legged shifter; V6 instead of a four; trumpet exhausts – that’s how they came, man! Fiero, firery, like the phoenix! A rebirth…but not for us. Not for this America. Coin wanted to make sure his version of the truth won. He had to make sure front wheel, rear-wheel drive, V8 in the front, burnouts in the back stayed true. If his version of the truth was proven false, everything would fall apart! I know it’s hard to stomach, but this is the version we had to take. And this is the version we’re stuck with. I’ll meet back up with you at the waypoint, and we’ll figure out what we’re going to do from here. End transmission. --- MONOLOGUE by THE ROMAN, MUSIC RESUMES My thought conflowered into an idea, an idea into a brand, a brand into a legacy, and round into an ideology. But these are all things that are difficult to kill individually, much less in tandem. Coin. Coin – a brand, an ideology, a mechanism of demand. The American mid-engine car – who would have the motive? Who would stand to gain from this murder? Coin. Pat Coin. It was: (text on notepad reads ‘PAT COIN – PONTIAC!!!) --- END CARD (TEXT: The Roman as: Himself K.W. as: Cliona) *Mr. Regular impersonating a saxophone, The Roman impersonating a drum set. In almost the same tone, Mr. Regular says “Music!”, causing hysterical laughter from everyone in the room* [MR. REGULAR:] Okay, give me like a three-count before we go into Noir mu- *laughing resumes* [K.W.:] (indistinguishable) [STOLTZ?:] I love the dog is just like… [K.W.:] …but she’s like… [THE ROMAN:] Dog had no idea… [STOLTZ?:] (indistinguishable, as ‘the dog’) …what’s going on? [K.W.:] It was so good, though! [THE ROMAN:] Just leave that cut in. Credits (?) *dog howls*