Car Talk Steele - Part V
Date: Monday, June 25, 2001
Lauryn Poynor <>

Car Talk Steele - Part V

by Lauryn Poynor

[Break - Station ID]

RAY: I think it's time for another plug from the Shameless
Commerce Division of Car Talk where not only can you buy the
Click and Clack Decoder Ring but our perennial favorites, the 'Sistine Wrench' T-shirt, winner of the Golden Suspenders Award at last years Newark Mechanics Fashion Show, and the classic Dewey, Cheetham and Howe Polo shirt. Ralph Lauren eat your heart out. This Special Spring Cleaning Edition of our show is available on audio for the low price of $8.95 - or less if you're willing to clean out our attic.

TOM: I don't hear any takers. Let's take another call.
1-800-332-9287. Hello, you're on Car Talk.

GUY: Car Talk? This is Guy calling from the twelfth floor of the Acme Building.

[Guy Noir Private Eye theme music swells and is answered by the Car Talk Theme, both clashing brightly like two marching bands approaching from opposite ends of a street. For one brief, fragile moment they blend, then fade away]

TOM: [shaking phone] Bell Atlantic must have a new jingle. Did you say Acme Building? What city?

GUY: The city that knows how to keep its secrets.

TOM: OK. Fair enough. We try to be sensitive to our caller's
needs for anonymity. Of course, with a name like Guy you have a head start. So, Guy. What's a guy like you doing calling a show like this?

GUY: I was hoping you could tell me. Spring was in the air.
Business was slow. I was at my desk cross indexing the
centerfolds in the 'Crime Monthly' when out of the blue I heard footsteps. [sound of footsteps]

GUY: There was something special about them. Those footsteps. [louder footsteps]

GUY: I felt lightheaded. I'd started the morning with a bottle of twelve-year-old Scotch and a plate of brownies.

GUY: The footsteps came nearer. Into an an elevator. Down a
hall. [footsteps draw closer, steadily]

GUY: Into an office with a name on the door. Remington Steele Investigations.

TOM: Did you cue up those footsteps, Ray? Why does he get his own sound effects?

RAY: Beats me. I think it's time we had a little chat with the producers.

GUY: It was a woman. [music] A woman with chestnut hair and
brown eyes so deep a man could get lost in them without a
Rand-McNally Road Atlas. [sexy sax music] A woman with great
legs. Two of them. [sexier sax] Legs that could make a man forget his name, rank, and serial number. His mother's maiden name.[even sexier sax]

TOM: And sax music, too. Must be non union.

GUY: The woman reached for the phone [music swells] dialed, and then spoke, with a soft lilt in her voice. 'Hello. Car Talk? This is Laura from Los Angeles.'

RAY: I'm getting a strange sense of deja-vu. Or should that be deja-vroom?

GUY: I wondered if I had been handed a second chance. If by some twist of fate a smart, sexy shamus from the City of Angels could find happiness with a guy like me. A medium speed, average, mid-western PI with a thrifty streak a mile wide. A guy who drives a 1956 Nash Rambler four door sedan. [loudly sputtering putt-putt noise]

TOM: How does he do that?

GUY: In pistachio green with mint trim, whitewalls, and
trademark reclining seats.

RAY: What a trademark! Who needs to spring for a hotel when
you've got a Nash?

GUY: A guy with his feet on the ground. Pounding the pavement. In a fruitless round of searching for aftermarket replacement parts. Wishing the Nash dealership hadn't closed up shop in

RAY: From the sound of that Nash you could use a major tune-up. Does it always sound like that?

GUY: She hasn't hit on all cylinders since lutefisk season.
Usually she's a pretty steady girl. Except for the time that kid from the corner gas station filled her with super premium. You have to go easy on the octane with a Nash Rambler. She took a spell of going [pocketa, pocketa, queep] but lately it's just [loudly sputtering putt-putt noise.]

TOM: With what I'm hearing, you definitely need some new plugs and plug wires, points, condenser, rotor, the usual. It sounds like you have a burned valve. Older cars often experience valve recession because they aren't designed to run on unleaded gas.

RAY: You'll note we use the term 'older' car rather than classic when refering to the Nash. Not wanting to use the term 'classic' too loosely.

TOM: If cars were presidents the Nash Rambler would be Calvin Coolidge.

GUY: Recession. Valve recession. That sounds ominous. Like
guys in grey suits jumping off buildings in 1929.

RAY: I'm thinking the burned valve will probably cost you a
couple hundred bucks. Assuming you don't need to replace the rest of them. You should be using a lead additive in your fuel, by the way.

TOM: You can get parts from standard automotive catalogues like J.C. Whitney. Lots of Nash-Hudson parts are interchangeable with Studebaker. With a little T.L.C. your Ramblin' putt-putt from that little plant in Kenosha will be feeling better in no time.

GUY: I dunno. That's awfully steep. Two hundred bucks would pay my bar tab at the Five Spot for a couple of weeks. Well, OK, a week and a half if business is slow at the office. Come to think of it maybe I could hoof it to the Five Spot from now on.

RAY: It's your dime, Guy. And your shoe leather.

GUY: Speaking of hoofing it I think I hear footsteps. [sound of footsteps]

GUY: On a sidewalk. [sound of footsteps on pavement, nearer]

GUY: A slinky brunette. [music]

GUY: In a red dress. Fire engine red. [sax music]

GUY: A four alarmer. [fire alarm bell]

GUY: A dress so tight I can see all the colors of her belly
button lint. [funky sax music]

GUY: A fatale femme, no better than she should be. [down and
dirty sax music] Heading into a fifth floor walkup on E. 13th St.

[Guy Noir theme swells briefly, blending with Car Talk Theme, to fade out]

TOM: I think we lost him. Shame we couldn't borrow that music for a while. Don't hear any footsteps but I think we have a caller. Should we go for a cliffhanger ending and keep our listeners in suspense? It would work if we only had sound effects. I'm sure of it.

RAY: If we only had listeners. Callers will have to do.

TOM: Callers! Yikes! I almost forgot. Could it be a slinky
brunette? [dead silence] Darn musicians. Always on a break.

RAY: Pick up the phone, Tommy.
To Part VI