pt 43: I HOPE THIS KNOWLEDGE OF CARTELS

Scampi: Do you know where Dubrovnik is?

 

Peter: Of course.

 

Scampi: (I doubt that Peter knows.)

 

Peter: Pardon?

 

PAUSE.

 

Peter: What was that?

 

Scampi: Remember how I was telling you about Mexico?

 

Peter: Uh huh.

 

Scampi: Well, get a load of this. In Mexico, when you have three or more people who commit a crime, they count as a cartel. Amazing!

 

Peter: Uh.

 

Scampi: Eh? Don’t you think?

 

Peter: And how does this affect us?

 

Scampi: Oh, Peter, don’t be so coy. You must know that I am thinking of our future as Mexican criminals!

 

Peter: How so?

 

Scampi: Do you think we should give our cartel a name? Or do we angle for the subtle air of mystery?

 

Peter: I just don’t think we have a cartel.

 

Scampi: Please do not allow your cynicism to infest our glorious future.

 

Peter: I am not a cynic.

 

Scampi: Don’t be so negative. Grumble grumble.

 

Peter: You’re really asking for it today, aren’t you?

 

Scampi: Asking for what? A whirlwind tour of crime and romance?

 

Peter: Well, for starters, what’s so romantic about a life of crime anyhow?

 

Scampi: Oh, I don’t know, Peter. The way it’s spelled.

 

Peter: The etymological gesture to Crimea? Is that what you’re talking about?

 

Scampi: If you like.

 

Peter: Because I don’t think the Crimean War has anything to do with Mexican cartels.

 

Scampi: It could be fun. We could be cowboys.

 

Peter: I don’t think Mexico has cowboys.

 

Scampi: Ridiculous! Of course it does. They just call them gauchos.

 

Peter: Are you sure about that?

 

Scampi: Are we ever sure, Peter?

 

Peter: SIGHS.

 

Scampi: Maybe we can carry flintlock Napoleonic pistols. Like wild west pirates.

 

Peter: This historico-linguistical pastiche is causing me to experience some degree of nausea.

 

Scampi: No worries. That’s just wedding jitters. It happens to everyone.

 

Peter: Ah.

 

Scampi: Don’t sound so pained. People will start to think you’re backing out.

 

Peter: Of what?

 

Scampi: The grand adventure.

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi: Not that I’m calling you a coward.

 

Peter: I resent these implications!

 

Scampi: What implications? I told you, I’m not calling you a coward.

 

Peter: Very well.

 

Scampi: I’m just a little excited, is all.

 

Peter: Might I pose what I feel is a rather relevant question?

 

Scampi: Of course! This is a participatory plutocracy.

 

Peter: What?

 

Scampi: Go ahead, go ahead.

 

Peter: What exactly is this, ah, cartel of ours going to do?

 

Scampi: What do you mean?

 

Peter: Well, in my experience (which, I would like to point out, is entirely theoretical, in this context)

 

Scampi: (and in every other context, too)

 

Peter (valiantly): it is the case that criminals commit crimes. Ergo, I was wondering what types of crimes you had planned to commit. In Mexico.

 

Scampi: Oh, the usual.

 

Peter: Please elaborate.

 

Scampi: Well, we’ll be on horseback. As we have already discussed. I think this implies a little horse-thievery. And cattle-rustling.

 

Peter: Okay.

 

Scampi: And you know what? Speaking of plutocracies, there is great economic disparity in Mexico. I think you know what that means.

 

Peter: An impossibly unbridgeable chasm between rich and poor?

 

Scampi: Robin Hood!

 

Peter: Oh. So we’re to commit felonies based on principles of social justice.

 

Scampi: Jeez, Peter. You make us sound like assholes.

 

Peter: I suspect, somehow, that this is rather your line of work.

 

Scampi: Now, now. If you don’t want to rob the rich to feed the poor, that’s fine. I’ll think of something else for us to do. After all, your happiness is paramount. It’s at the top of my social calendar, right next to Sunday.

 

Peter: Your generosity touches us all.

 

Scampi: Perhaps we can sell pears illegally. They will be outlawed because of their deliciousness. Furthermore, they will make an indelible dent in the Mexican national consciousness. What do you think?

 

Peter: Pears.

 

Scampi: Yes: delicious, juicy pears. What do you say?

 

Peter: You want us to form a fruit-selling Mexican cartel.

 

Scampi: Do I!

 

Peter: Whom do you intend to include in this cartel?

 

Scampi: What do you mean?

 

Peter: Well, according to the intelligence you were imparting to me earlier, we need a third member to qualify as a cartel.

 

Scampi: That’s true. But maybe we could be handicapped.

 

Peter: What?

 

Scampi: We would think of ourselves as having three members. Or even five, really. But in fact, it would just be us. Conceptually, we’d be a cartel, and the law would view us as such.

 

Peter: Right. To sum up: Peter and Scampi go to Mexico on horseback armed with Napoleonic dueling pistols to start up a fruit-based, understaffed, conceptual cartel. Did I get that straight?

 

Scampi: You did! That was really great.

 

Peter: And when does this charming adventure commence?

 

Scampi: We ride at sunset.

 

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