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On the 12th Floor of the Acme Building...

June 14, 2010 | 20 Comments

Post to the Host:
Well, for years now, Guy Noir has been searching for the answers to life's persistent questions based out of his office on the 12th floor of the Acme Building. Everyone knows this. But for months now, there's been no mention of the fabled Acme Building.

Did Guy finally get evicted for non-payment of rent? Did he find a new office space and we weren't informed?

In short, what happened on the 12th floor of the Acme building? And who's looking into this?

Thanks for your time!

Basile V.


You have sharp ears, Basile, and I should've known I couldn't casually drop the "on the 12th floor of the Acme Building" line from the Guy intro without raising your hackles, but that's what happened. The show's been on tour — Spokane last week, Santa Barbara the week before, Washington and New York before that — and as you know, Guy is always involved in a case in the tour city. The Acme Building is in St. Paul, which is Guy's headquarters. If I mention the Acme, then I feel that I have to get Guy from St. Paul to Spokane: the phone has to ring, a gorgeous doll has to walk through the door in jeans so tight he can read the embroidery on her underwear ("Saturday"). I dropped the Acme reference so that Guy could simply say, "I was in Spokane" — wham bam, no expository machinery required. I meant no harm. This week we're in Ohio and I will put Guy back into the Acme Building and try to calm your hackles. Maybe he won't even leave his office but just sit there with the fan blowing on him and the pigeons grumbling on the windowsill and the landlord Lou chewing him out for scraping his chair on the floor. And then, I suppose, people in Ohio will be miffed that Guy didn't come to Cuyahoga Falls and solve the Case of the Klepto Cappucino. You just can't win in this business.


The amazing attention to detail is just one of the unsung heroes building up your watertight stories, whose endearing humor and genuine irony we all take great pleasure in. Dear GK, whatever you do, you can do no wrong but producing yet another thing of beauty over and over and over, which we've all taken for granted.

T for tender L for love! Amen to the sentiment.

The ACNE Building, where song and sound effects are premier 'meet me where I am', non-reading-dependent experiential expressive (expansive!) educational experiences, including (but especially!) sound effects [the dripping of that hideous faucet alone will drive us to drained aquifers and daily thirst, hunger, and despair for every woman, man, child, and 'others' not covered in this "nation of laws"; hideous farting in elevators; Toot Sweet, "the tootable, hootable treat" may call for an expansive fart repertoire, including ones that only dogs hear; and squirrels, too, and the ones they do in winter, so you see the little puff of a warm cloud burst...]. Not sure what ACNE stands for - Accelerated Curriculum Now Experiential, perhaps?

It's ACME, Hilary. Not ACNE. Look it up, sweetie. This is what comes from a childhood spent not watching Road Runner cartoons.

Psst. It's radio. Time and space are mere toys for you to play with. Logical radio is an oxymoron. Perhaps the ACME Building can move through advanced teleportation. Perhaps there is an ACME Building in every major metropolitan area. Perhaps Guy only "imagines" there is an ACME Building. Perhaps.... AAAGH!... brain cramp...

it was ACNE for the pimple-faced pop star, but perhaps you did not pick up the subtlety, darling? I try to avoid making assumptions - you know the old saying that when you assume, you make an ass out of you and me. Here's a nice little poem I like to share with my students:

Wise Old Owl,
Sitting in an Oak
The more he heard,
The less he spoke,
The less he spoke,
The more he heard.
Why can't we all be
Like that wise old bird?

There's a Capuccino Klepto? Oh, no!

Hilary and Larry. Please!

Several authorities trace "acme" back to the Greek word Ackme, meaning the highest state of perfection of something, the zenith. Their citations go back to the 16th C. A later 19th C. citation for the first use of the word "acne," used to refer to hillocks or eruptions on the skin finds it to be rooted in the Greek "ackme" as in 'high point.'

Whether Guy Noir suffers from periodic inflamations of the sebaceous glands of his facial skin (acne) or not, GK hasn't, to my casual knowledge, told us.

BTW, Hilary, owls, feather covered as their faces are, tend to suffer more from lice than from acne.

Be well


Myself, I have always pictured Mr. Noir as very rough shaven, even before the current popularity of "5-day stubble" among so many men. Years ago, the promotion of facial hair growth was quite often used to disguise epidermal imperfections resulting from small pox, war wounds, or as ubiquitous an ailment as zits, acne, pimples, etc.

If it would make everyone happy, you could have Guy Noir in the Cuyahoga Falls Acme supermarket, a local chain of stores that's been around here forever and hasn't been taken over by a conglomerate. There are no 12th floors though so someone would surely complain.

Thanks to Basile having the detective skills of Guy Noir. We could easily assume Guy was on per diem as he traveled around the country, even to the great MN State Fair.

Sorry to say, Jane, Acme is all around us in the mid-Atlantic states; there must be a conglomerate somewhere up their family tree.

If Guy Noir is in Cuyahoga Falls Acme Supermarket when in that neck of the woods, he could also drop by the Acme in Philadelphia when in Southeastern PA. The 12 floor situation is solved because he would have his office in the 12th isle behind the Acne creams. The question remaining would be: How would Guy Noir find an Acme in Philly? If he asked for directions, they wouldn't know where he wanted to go. In the bossom of this great Country's humble beginnings, it's not the 'acme', it's the Ac-A-me. (They did't watch Road Runner, too busy running up & down the Art Museum steps running off the cheesesteaks & soft pretzels.)

I thought it was B. Bunny,Esq. that had the Acme Co. connection before The Road Runner bought it out?

guy noir kicks butt!!!

Take it easy, sweetheart. I watched nothing but roadrunner cartoons as a child, and I turned out perfectly fine. Now if you will excuse me I must strap a rocket to myself and see about dinner tonight.

My dear Mr. Kiellor,
Your show is the highlight of my week. Imagine my dismay when my pastor decided to hold vespers services every Saturday evening. What to do? Imagine my delight when I discovered I could listen to the entire show, thanks to your site and the past shows function.
Your show is about another, sweeter time, where conflict consisted of what kind of pie to bake instead of what we are subjected to in the news on a daily basis. Yours is the voice of sanity and peace. I am so greatful. I am 70 and have been listening to you practically the whole time you have been on the radio. I wish you years of continued good health, and the best kind of rewards for the joy you have dispensed so well, always fresh, always funny, and wonderful. Thanks also to Tim, Sue, Fred and the greatest pianist in the world, Rich!!! You all are a treasure.

Here, Here, Garrison, Yes you are the epitome of sanity and humour that we all need to be part of indeed. Life must go on and I would cry and curl up into a ball if A Prarie Home Companion failed to air. With great respect and Love your friend Tim

Garrison (Keillor),

Kind sir,
Remember when you are in San Antonio on your LOVE tour that this meant slogans on the sides of Volswagen busses in the new Psychedelic colors, and that there has not been a good skywriter, parachuting Elvis, or watermelon seed spitting contest for a good long while. Poetry will work in this Metropolis, even in August.

Mark E. Kellmann, Architect
San Antonio

It is silly to say "it is radio; why worry about logic?" since the attention to detail is what separates an artist like GK from hackers on the web. But I think I would look for a historic building in each city, if it were up to me (the Brill building ...)

I <3 you, Mr. Keillor!

I LOVE this stuff!

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