pt 70: HATCHLINGS

Scampi: I, for one, have no problem discussing things that aren’t there.

 

Peter: Isn’t that called gossiping?

 

Scampi: Not at all. Gossiping is discussing people that aren’t there.

 

Peter: I agree.

 

Scampi: But I said things. Things.

 

Peter: So, you like to gossip about things.

 

Scampi: You are deliberately obfuscating my purposes.

 

Peter: How dare you.

 

Scampi: Ditto.

 

Peter: I didn’t realise you were in such a foul mood today.

 

Scampi: And this is how you achieve détente? Honestly.

 

Peter: Détente?

 

Scampi: Oh, I’m sorry. That entry in your lexicon has probably been hacked out. With a pair of plastic children’s arts and crafts scissors. Probably.

 

Peter: With what?

 

Scampi: Forget it.

 

Peter: How can I forget it if I don’t know what it is?

 

Scampi: [Nice use of italics. Copycat.]

 

Peter: Excuse me?

 

Scampi: Nice weather we’re having.

 

Peter: Uh.

 

Scampi: Fancy a trip to the ballet?

 

Peter: What, now?

 

Scampi: Why the hell not, Peter?

 

Peter: There’s no need to say my name so…..

 

Scampi: Acidly?

 

Peter: Well, yes.

 

Scampi: I wasn’t.

 

Peter: Oh.

 

Scampi: I would never use your own name as a weapon against you.

 

Peter: Well, that’s a comfort.

 

Scampi: I was merely suggesting that perhaps a trip to the ballet’s in order.

 

Peter: Okay.

 

Scampi: Perfect. I shall book our tickets presently.

 

Peter: That is to say, I must first consult my schedule—

 

Scampi: There is a hard k sound in that word, I’ll have you know.

 

Peter: Perhaps I have a previous engagement. And of course, today may not be—

 

Scampi: Right.

 

Peter: You see.

 

Scampi: A simple ‘no’ would suffice.

 

Peter: When has a simple ‘no’ sufficed with you? May I be so presumptuous as to inquire?

 

Scampi: You wouldn’t know if it had.

 

Peter: Well, when has it?

 

Scampi: When last you tried it. And when was that?

 

Peter: Well, I—

 

Scampi: Bingo!

 

Peter: Are you calling me a hound?

 

Scampi: In a manner of speaking.

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi: Anyway, I’ve seen a lot of sunsets lately.

 

Peter: [murmurs.]

 

Scampi: Not that you care. But I have been present for a number of them. Setting suns. Well, I don’t always see them. But I know what’s going on.

 

Peter: When?

 

Scampi: When the sun sets. Like, I might not be watching the colour.

 

Peter: Fascinating.

 

Scampi: Yes. Nonetheless, I know night’s coming on.

 

Peter: It is?

 

Scampi: It has been. It was.

 

Peter: Is this a grammar review?

 

Scampi: Probably. With bonus background squalor.

 

Peter: Such as?

 

Scampi: The racket of crows. Racketeering.

 

Peter: But that means –

 

Scampi: I know what racketeering means, Maestro. Jay-sus.

 

Peter: I believe you just called me Maestro.

 

Scampi: I’d like to see you prove that in a court of law.

 

Peter: I could.

 

Scampi: No doubt. I am waiting, on tenterhooks, as they say.

 

Peter: I feel you are making a mockery.

 

Scampi: Of what, your legal aspirations?

 

Peter: No,

 

Scampi: Litigation’s not your strong suit, I don’t think.

 

Peter: I never said it was.

 

Scampi: Yes. And I’m saying it isn’t.

 

Peter: The accuracy of your judgment has been called into question before.

 

Scampi: By who? The invisible magistrate you’re busy romancing with your silver tongue?

 

Peter: Pardon me?

 

Scampi: Ha! Pardoned, my lord!

 

Peter: Really.

 

Scampi: Perambulation, now. This could be your strong suit.

 

Peter: I am an excellent walker.

 

Scampi: And a shameless braggart, to boot.

 

Peter: Are you speaking of me?

 

Scampi: Har. Not at all, not at all. I am speaking around you. Do you know what they call this?

 

Peter: Yes.

 

Scampi: That’s right. Circumlocution. Like a choo-choo train in the 1800s.

 

Peter: I object.

 

Scampi: Sustained!

 

Peter: That’s enough of that, that,

 

Scampi: Sustained, I say! Case closed!

 

Peter: Uh huh.

 

Scampi: Congratulations, counsel.

 

Peter: (flattered) Well, thank you.

 

Scampi: You are an excellent specimen of human elasticity!

 

Peter: Oh. I.

 

Scampi: A barrister of note! A solicitudinous solicitor!

 

Peter: Yes well.

 

Scampi: In light of your great achievements, I would hereby like to call you to the bar!

 

Peter: Wait, doesn’t that happen before—

 

Scampi: The COFFEE BAR!

 

Peter: What?

 

Scampi: Pardon? Or would you like some tea?

 

Peter: In fact, I would.

 

Scampi: Is that all? Why didn’t you say so in the first place?

 

Peter: I don’t know.

 

Scampi: One pot o’ tea, coming right up.

 

Peter: Ah.

 

Scampi: Let me just put the kettle on.

 

Peter: Rather.

 

Scampi: Oh look!

 

Peter: Yes?

 

Scampi: The sun is setting.

 

Peter: Correct.

 

Scampi: The colours. At the risk of repeating myself.

 

Peter: You brave that precipice regularly.

 

Scampi: I do.

 

Peter: Yes.

 

Scampi: It is a risk I am willing to take.

 

Peter: It is.

 

Scampi: I do love the colours, Peter.

 

Peter: I know you do.

 

Scampi: I love them every time.

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