pt 133: A BRITISH GENTLEMAN

Scampi: I have, which will unsurprise you, some few things to say.

Peter: I confess, it is undifficult to imagine such a circumstance.

Scampi: Yeah.  I know.  Some of what I have to say involves correspondence.

Peter: You plan to convey your thoughts in a letter?

Scampi: No.  I’ve just been thinking about the way people used to write to each other.

Peter: People can write to each other whenever they like.

Scampi: What if they can’t write?

Peter: Were you speaking about illiterate people?

Scampi: No.  I wasn’t.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Once upon a time, things were not so different from the way they are now.

Peter: Presumably.

Scampi: One British gentleman might address another.

Peter: This is most assuredly the case.

Scampi: The case now is one of a fragmented empire. And my de-masted heart.

Peter: This nautical analogy escapes me, I’m afraid.

Scampi: What are you talking about?

Peter: What are you talking about? You believe your left ventricle is seaworthy?

Scampi: Her Majesty’s Navy sailed upon a sea of tears.  Or something.

Peter: You seem distressed.

Scampi: I love it when you get all observant.  I’m, uh, so impressed.

Peter: There is no need to address me in this fashion.

Scampi: Fashion?  I love your style, Peter.

Peter: Oh, well.  I do what I can.

Scampi: You give tweed the stench of truth.  No one wears a garment like you do.

Peter: Well.

Scampi: King Arthur slept with his own sister.

Peter: Wasn’t she his half-sister?

Scampi: I’m pretty sure he got with both halves.

Peter: Ahem.

Scampi: Beaufort slept with his own sister.

Peter: Pardon me?

Scampi: He didn’t mean to.

Peter: I am unsure of where this is leading.

Scampi: Yes!  I know.  I am unsure of where this is leading.

PAUSE.

Scampi: A gentleman can express himself so beautifully.  And yet.

Peter: Many gentlemen do not express themselves well at all.

Scampi: Correct.  And a thing of beauty –

Peter: Is a Greek vase?

Scampi: Ha!  Look at us, slumming it on pottery row.

Peter: There is nothing wrong with a little crockery.

Scampi: Certainly not.  Certainly not.

Peter: You seem a touch out of spirits.

Scampi: Oh, there are plenty of spirits.  Stacked up high, a turbanful of ghosts.

Peter: A turban is quite a jaunty thing.  I enjoy a turban as well as the next man.

Scampi: What I want to know is, who’s the next man?

Peter: Mm.

Scampi: What’s that noise supposed to mean?

Peter: What noise?

Scampi: You just made a noise.

Peter: I don’t recall it.

Scampi: But you just did it.

Peter: I am sorry to disappoint you.

Scampi: Yeah, right.

Peter: That was uncalled for.

Scampi: Are you accustomed to being called for? By like, Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints?

Peter: I am accustomed to you brandishing my name with, ahem, vigour. If that applies.

Scampi: Someone has to apply himself with vigour.  Why not me?

Peter: Indeed.

Scampi: “Indeed.”

PAUSE.

Scampi: I miss the ocean.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Didn’t I once accuse you of missing the ocean?

Peter: That sounds familiar.

Scampi: I want to spend some time by the shore.  Tonight.

Peter: Tonight?

Scampi: Yes.  That is what I want.

Peter: Hey.

Scampi: If you touch my shoulder in this manner, I might disintegrate.

Peter: Oh.  Are you having composition issues?

Scampi: Perhaps it is a question of salinity.

Peter: Of the ventricle?

Scampi: Thar she blows!

Peter: [produces spyglass] Aye.

Scampi: She’s afloat, you see.  The salt buoys her up.

PAUSE.

Peter: That’s well.

Scampi: [speaking into the wind] Better.

Peter: Better?

Scampi: Yes.  Yes.

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