pt 123: AQUINAS

Scampi: Personally, I’m not concerned with whether we exist or not.




Scampi: Right?


Peter: Hm?


Scampi: Peter!


Peter: Yes?


Scampi: I am concerned with other features.


Peter: Features.


Scampi: What are you, a parakeet?


Peter: No.


Scampi: Ho ho.  Of course not.  The very idea.  It’s absurd.


Peter: Correct.


Scampi: The wind, it howls.


Peter: This has been observed.  Over time.


Scampi: Overtime!  The good guys win it all!


Peter: I do not follow sports.


Scampi: That’s not what they say in England.


Peter: Oh?


Scampi: They call it sport.  Singular.


Peter: Singular, indeed.


Scampi: I don’t even believe we have any feelings.


Peter: We?


Scampi: Any of us.  Why should we?


Peter: As in, what practical use do they serve?


Scampi: You Darwinian monster.


Peter: Pardon me?


Scampi: I just mean, why should we, why shouldn’t we?  It’s highly uninteresting.


Peter: I see.  Not to pry, but what is interesting?


Scampi: Oh, you know.


Peter: Enlighten me.


Scampi: Everything else.  Pretty much.


Peter: Such as?


Scampi: Mollusks.  Typography.  That sort of thing.


Peter: Thank you for clearing up this issue.


Scampi: I am at your service.  As per usual.




Scampi: This exists, that exists.  I am unconcerned with these questions.


Peter: Yes, I can see that.


Scampi [eagerly]: Can you?


Peter: Indeed.


Scampi: How?


Peter: By the way you keep harping on them.


Scampi: Whoa, grumpiness.


Peter: I am not grumpy.


Scampi: Hokay.  Step away from de vehicle.


Peter: What are you talking about?


Scampi: Oh, you know me.  Just twiddling my opposable thumbs.




Scampi: Opposable thumbs, hey?  This is pretty nice.




Scampi: Yo, what’s up, doc?


Peter: I am stretching my legs.


Scampi: I am stretching my synapses.  Hey, remember the apple orchard?


Peter: No.


Scampi: No?


Peter: No.


Scampi: Not at all?


Peter: No.


Scampi: Oh.


Peter: Why do you ask?


Scampi: Just wondering.




Scampi: Have you noticed that we’re surrounded by natural beauty?


Peter: I have.


Scampi: Well?


Peter: Well what?


Scampi: What do you think of that?


Peter: I think it’s fine.


Scampi: It certainly is.  Roly poly mammals, craggy cliffs.  What more could you want?


Peter: I haven’t seen any cliffs.


Scampi: Of course you have.


Peter: I have not.  Not recently.


Scampi: Perhaps you should look up.


Peter: Not today.


Scampi: Why not?  Scared?


Peter: Not today.


Scampi: Tomorrow they may be gone.



Scampi: What do we know about Ohio?

Peter: Other than the fact that we’re in it?

Scampi: Or at least on it.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: So, that’s the extent of our knowledge, then?

Peter: Well.

Scampi: Yes?

Peter: Well, we can surmise, that is to say, ascertain, that, judging by—

Scampi: It’s really hard for you to admit that you don’t know anything about Ohio, isn’t it?

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: I understand.  If it makes you feel better, I don’t know anything about it either.


Scampi: It seems like spring is a good season to be passing through though.

Peter: Indeed.

Scampi: And you know, it’s just going to get springier as we go.

Peter: How do you mean?

Scampi: Because we’re heading south.  Due south.  Or I mean south-west.  Which is pretty much the same thing.

Peter [flustered]: First of all—

Scampi: Why do you have such a penchant for discrediting my whimsy?  Eh?

Peter: We’re heading into summer.  You have everything backwards.

Scampi: Yes, Peter.  I know.

Peter [somewhat appeased]: Well.  Well.

Scampi: I love springtime.  It makes me feel like a plant or an animal.  Or a major-league baseball player from nineteen fifty one.

Peter: Perhaps we should stop and have a siesta soon.

Scampi: You know, the further south we get, the more culturally acceptable this suggestion will become.  Did you know that?

Peter: I suppose.

Scampi: You see?  This journey is full of perks.

Peter: This state we are traversing is rather vowel-heavy.

Scampi: Yes.  Is that all right with you?

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: Good.


Scampi: Would you say that we are working together in concert to achieve a common goal?

Peter: Why do you ask?

Scampi: Oh, I dunno.  Just curious.

Peter: At the very least, we are headed in the same direction.

Scampi: On purpose.

Peter: Correct.


Scampi: Do I look worried to you?

Peter: No.

Scampi: Okay.

Peter: This is my favourite time of year.

Scampi: Yeah, right.

Peter: It is.

Scampi: I know.

Peter: Then why?  Actually, forget it.

Scampi: ‘Tis forgotten.

Peter: I’m glad you’re not fiddling around with that compass.

Scampi: Oh really?

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: Why?

Peter: I found it tiresome.

Scampi: Hoity toity.

Peter: SIGHS.

Scampi: “This is my favourite time of year.”  “I hate your compass.”

Peter: You’re being rude.

Scampi: Oh, that’s rich.

Peter: Excuse me?

Scampi: Whatever.

Peter: Are you tired?

Scampi: No.

Peter: Maybe you need to take a nap.

Scampi: You can’t tell me what to do.

Peter: Not to push the idiomatic envelope here,

Scampi: I’ll push your envelope.

Peter: Goodness.

Scampi: Also, badness.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: Is this a lecture on moral philosophy?

Peter: Why do you ask?

Scampi: Because if it is, I’m leaving.

Peter: Well, that is your choice.


Peter: Why are you looking at me like that?

Scampi: I’m not actually leaving.  Peter.

Peter: Oh.  I see.

Scampi: I wonder if you do.

Peter: Oh?

Scampi: I really do.  I wonder all the time.

Peter: You are certainly full of questions.

Scampi: What’s that supposed to mean?

Peter: Ahem.

Scampi: Oh.  Right.


Scampi: Do you –

Peter: Hm?

Scampi: I mean.


Scampi: I mean, have you ever do you?


Scampi: Peter?

Peter: This is very frustrating.

Scampi: What?  What is?

Peter: The way you are speaking.

Scampi: I’m just trying.  To say.

Peter: What?

Scampi: Bravery.


Scampi: Well?

Peter: I am loathe to make this request in light of how unlikely it is that you will honour it.  However: please explain yourself.

Scampi: I am, I am.  I just want to know what you think about bravery.

Peter: As a quality?

Scampi: No, as a book title.

Peter: I suppose this could be a book by Tom Clancy.

Scampi: Peter.  I mean, are we brave?

Peter: We?

Scampi: Are you?

Peter: I don’t know.

Scampi: Like, are you scared?

Peter: Right now?

Scampi: Sure.

Peter: No.

Scampi: Really?

Peter: There’s no need to sound so surprised.

Scampi: How else am I supposed to register my surprise?  Eh?


Scampi: So you aren’t scared.  You’re like, ready.

Peter: For what?

Scampi: The eventualities.

Peter: Oh?

Scampi: Of like, existence.  Or whatever.

Peter: Ahem.

Scampi: I’m not worried.  You said.

Peter: I did?

Scampi: Basically.


Scampi: Are we brave, Peter?

Peter: I don’t know.  I don’t understand the question.

Scampi: I want to be.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: But I don’t know how.


Scampi: I like your tie, Peter.


Peter: Oh, stop.


Scampi: No, really.  It brings out the best in us all.


Peter: Shucks.


Scampi: Have you ever had frostbite?


Peter: Seemingly.


Scampi: Sometimes people take a long walk on Christmas Eve in the late nineties.  Their quadriceps turn blue.


Peter: Is that so?


Scampi: This is a fact.  Bona fide.




Scampi: Well, really.  White more.  But you know what I mean.


Peter: I am immune to the elements.


Scampi: Oh?


Peter: Well, as compared to you.  I am coated in an impenetrable crust.


Scampi: Of dirt?


Peter: It’s my Anglo-Saxon skin.  It protects me from the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.


Scampi: That’s lovely.


Peter: I’m trying to think.


Scampi: Does that bother you?


Peter: Mm.  In fact, I am actually trying not to think.  It is a great relief to me.  I am enjoying the smells that are closest to my own nose.  I am just breathing them in.


Scampi: Would that be the smell of your moustache, for example?


Peter: No.


Scampi: Oh.


Peter: It is springtime in my nose.  It is warm and happy.


Scampi: Your nose is replete with the promise of happiness?


Peter: It is happy.  I am very content.  Look how happy I am.


Scampi: Perhaps it’s time for me to go outside and build an igloo.  I could be good at that.


Peter: Yes.  We could all be good at something.


Scampi: For me, it’s igloo-building.


Peter: Perhaps.


Scampi: For you, it’s simple narratives in the Romantic style.  (Peppered lightly with Industrial-age-jargon.)


Peter: In the Zeitgeist cookbook, you will find me on page ninety-seven.


Scampi: Oh, I have that on hold at the library.




Scampi: Nice touch.  Would you like to walk down to the library with me?


Peter: Certainly not.  I shall be staying in tonight.


Scampi: Oh?  Why is that?


Peter: I must count all of my blankets.  I only have one sheet, but I have several blankets.  I must count them in order of softness.


Scampi: That sounds like fun.


Peter: Yes.


Scampi: Well, I’ll catch you later.  I have snow to build.


Scampi: Take, for example, a pigeon on a post.

Peter: What sort of a post?

Scampi: A telephone pole.

Peter: On the pole or on the wire?

Scampi: What, you can’t take my word for it?

Peter: Pardon?

Scampi: On the post, the post.  The top of the log.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: I mean, the pole.  Turning this way and that.  Pecking around.  Surveying the territory.


Scampi: What is a bird doing, I wonder, turning round and round like that?

Peter: Like what?

Scampi: The way a dog does on a hearth.

Peter: Do birds get dizzy?

Scampi: Basically – no.

Peter: Erm.

Scampi: Cf: Yes.

Peter: Oh?

Scampi: No can be compared with yes.  No?

Peter: I suppose.

Scampi: Why not?  Compared to yes, no isn’t likely to be something a snake might say.

Peter: You feel that snakes tend towards optimism?

Scampi: Or hissing, at least.


Scampi: I don’t think you have to be an optimist to look on the bright side. 

Peter: This is not my area of expertise.

Scampi: Certainly not!  Har har.

Peter: [OFFENDED.]

Scampi: Do you know what ‘e.g.’ stands for?

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: Uh-huh.

Peter: I know what ‘e.g.’ stands for.

Scampi: It stands for truth, justice, and brotherhood.  For starters.

Peter: Naturally.

Scampi: It also stands for exempli gratia.

Peter: Why the italics?

Scampi: Latin is often spoken in italics.  The country’s full of them.

Peter: What country?

Scampi: Italy.

Peter: Is full of?

Scampi: Italians.

Peter: Stop that.

Scampi: Humph.  Some people OFTEN confuse ‘cf’ with ‘for example’.

Peter: Hm.

Scampi: I am not naming names, however.  As you can see.

Peter: Yes, you are startlingly gracious.

Scampi: You certainly appear startled.  Like a turtle-dove.

Peter: Thank you. 

Scampi: Coo. Cf: noises made by snakes.

Peter: Rattle. 


Scampi: I am also surveying the territory.

Peter: And how does our kingdom appear?

Scampi: It appears to best advantage in this light.

Peter: Excellent.

Scampi: Actually, everything appears to best advantage in this light.

Peter: How advantageous.

Scampi: I am pro-sunshine.

Peter: Good for you.

Scampi: Good for plants, too.  Plants are pro-sunshine.

Peter: I see little controversy in this statement.  Unless the implication is that plants are sentient.

Scampi: They are!

Peter: Plants?

Scampi: Of course.  Look at you: you’re a plant.

Peter: Excuse me?

Scampi: You don’t need an excuse to have vines for toes.  I’m as open-minded as the next guy.

Peter: I am not a plant.  Really.

Scampi: You’re sentient, aren’t you?

Peter: I believe so, most of the time.

Scampi: Plants are, too.  You’re a plant!

Peter: That manoeuvre has a name.

Scampi: Don’t I know it.  I practically invented the genre.

Peter: [SIGH-perbole.]

Scampi: That’s what happens if you’re going to sigh while talking.  No one will see what you’re saying.


Scampi: Anyway, some plants glow at night.  Like mushrooms.

Peter: I am not a mushroom.

Scampi: Tee hee.  No, certainly not.  You are a cellist.

Peter: Incorrect.

Scampi: How so?

Peter: I do not play the cello.

Scampi: Why not?

Peter: I – it’s not something I know how to do.

Scampi: Well, you should learn.  That’s my view.

Peter: Yes.  Quite.

Scampi: Our verdant and herbaceous friends are welcome to take up the cello.  This string quartet is non-discriminatory.

Peter: I shall take that into account.

Scampi: Pray, do.


Scampi: You know, some people miss the sun all winter long.

Peter: Yes.  I am not one of those people.

Scampi: Neither am I.

Peter: I might be.

Scampi: Yes.  It’s the chlorophyll in your veins.

Peter: Ah.

Scampi: You must soak your toes in water.  This will keep you fresh and alive.

Peter: Perhaps I shall avail myself of this excellent advice.

Scampi: [suspiciously] Oh?



Scampi: Well, that was unexpected.


Scampi: Well, Peter, here we are.

Peter: There is cause for much rejoicing.

Scampi: What?

Peter: We are all men of valour!

Scampi: Feeling a bit peppy today, I see.

Peter: Ah.  The air is brisk.

Scampi: What’s so great about that?

Peter: What IS so great?  Greatness is something we all aspire to.

Scampi: I have no idea what’s gotten into you.

Peter: But let us be serious.

Scampi: The dogstar.

Peter: Yes.  Let us be Cerebus.

Scampi: You are your classics.  Way to live in the world.

Peter: Thank you.

Scampi: I wish the jukebox would play my favourite song.

Peter: There is a solution to your longing.

Scampi: Two bits.  It’s all I need.

Dandee: [Hums] “All I need is the air that I breathe, and to loove you.”

Scampi: Bah BAH!

Peter: You want to hear a song, play a song.  I will not prevent you.

Scampi: Of course you won’t.

Peter: Why so glum?

Scampi: Don’t take that tone with me.

Peter: What tone?

Scampi: That patsying tone.

Peter: I am not taking a tone.  I assure you.

Scampi: Oh, right.  Right.

Peter: What?  You think that I am condescending to you?  My little friend?

Scampi: So funny.  You’re a regular comedian today.

Peter: I am Pierrot.

Scampi: Was that the sad clown?

Peter: I do not know.

Scampi: Sure you don’t.  And I’m Scaramuccia.  And we all go to hell in a handbasket.

Peter: A much-talked about mode of transportation to the netherworld.

Scampi: Please keep all your limbs inside for the duration of the ride.

Peter: Thank you.

Scampi: Any time.  Enjoy your stay at the carnival!

Peter: Ah.  The carnival.

Scampi: The midway!  The ferris wheel antics!


Scampi: Let’s get tickets for the ferris wheel, Peter.  From its zenith, we could see the whole city I bet.

Peter: We could likely see a portion of it.

Scampi: A portion of sky.  It’s a start.

Peter: Perhaps.  If you insist.

Scampi: I do.


Scampi: Oh, “Peter”.

Peter (warily): Yes?

Scampi: How are you this fine day?

Peter: Well.

Scampi: What?

Peter: I am well.

Scampi: Well, indeed.  That’s where I’m headed, too.  Back to the well.  Once again.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: Of course you do.  You’re not the Chancellor of the Exchequer for nothing!

Peter: The what?

Scampi: You’re a busy man, you are.  An immunodiplomatic powerhouse.

Peter: Mm.

Scampi: A clay pot in a dowager’s garden.

Peter: I need a haircut.  Do you think I need a haircut?

Scampi: I think I should sharpen myself to a fine point, bounce off the west wall at atomic speed, and raze you a crewcut with my trajectories.

Peter: Oh.

Scampi: Pull up a chair.

Peter: Why’s that?

Scampi: You’re pacing.

Peter: That is my own business.

Scampi: Of course it is, Your Excellency.  Humblest apologies.

Peter: What’s with all the honorifics?

Scampi: What’s with being the Minister of Finance?

Peter: That’s not a rebuttal.

Scampi: What is it then?

Peter: It’s a, well, it’s not true.

Scampi: How dare you?

Peter: What?

Scampi: The truth is sacred here.  We are great proponents of truth and justice and such.

Peter: We are?

Scampi (pompously): Yes.

Peter: I was not aware of this.

Scampi: Hardly surprising.  Given your record.

Peter: What record?

Scampi: There are many records.  Records are kept.

Peter: And the archivist in charge?


Peter: Hm.

Scampi: That’s right.  Hm indeed.


Peter: That noise.

Scampi: What?

Peter: God.

Scampi: What?  A guy can whistle.

Peter: You’re not a guy.

Scampi: What does that have to do with anything?  Eh?


Scampi: I’m a wanderer.

Peter: Intellectually?

Scampi: A tinker a tailor.

Peter: You certainly like tinkering.

Scampi: I’m a candlestick maker.

Peter: Right.

Scampi: I am, in fact.  Would you like to purchase a candlestick?

Peter: Not today.

Scampi: What do you mean, not today?

Peter: Perhaps another time.


Peter: What was that?

Scampi: Oh.  I’m not sure.

Peter: Was that?  Did you just?

Scampi: It fell.


Peter: Let me get the broom.

Scampi: No, no.  I’ll do it.

Peter: [Acquiesces.]

Scampi: Sorry.  It fell.

Peter: It doesn’t matter.

Scampi: [humming distractedly] La bohème, la bohème…..

Peter: I think it fell over there.

Scampi: Oh, right, right.

Peter: SIGHS.

Scampi: Sorry.


Scampi: I happen to know.

Peter: Full stop?

Scampi: I happen to know that this was not your favourite wineglass or anything.

Peter: Oh?  And how do you know that?

Scampi: I just know.

Peter: Convenient for you, isn’t it?

Scampi: (philosophically) It can be.

Peter: Great.

Scampi: Peter?  Petereteretereteretereter.

Peter: Elocution issues?

Scampi: I was just checking if you can hear me.

Peter: I can.

Scampi: I wasn’t sure, you see.  I had to check.

Peter: Who were you under the impression you were engaging in conversation with?

Scampi: Dr Preposition and the Fullstops.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: I am unsure how to proceed.

Peter: Affirmative.

Scampi: Affirmative?

Peter: Correct.

Scampi: What the hell does that mean?

Peter: At the risk of behaving like a thesaurus.

Scampi: I know what it means.

Peter: Oh?

Scampi: I don’t know what you mean.  By it.  What do you mean?

Peter: I think you need to take a break.  Take a breather.

Scampi: From what?  You can’t tell me what to do.

Peter: That’s nice.  Very nice.

Scampi: What are you saying?

Peter: You’re babbling.

Scampi: So what?  What else is new?

Peter: Slow down.

Scampi: No.

Peter: Okay.  Don’t.

Scampi: I won’t.


Scampi: I can’t stop.

Peter: Why is that?

Scampi: I don’t know where I’m going.

pt 49 ½: PAR CONTRE

Peter: I see.

Scampi: Good.  High five.

Peter: My god.  How did you manage to get that much dirt under your fingernails?

Scampi: Me?

Peter: They’re filthy.

Scampi: Yeah.

Peter: When did that happen?

Scampi: While you were reading the map.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: I was looking for something.

Peter: What?

Scampi: I’m not sure.

Peter: Was it a recipe for mud pies?

Scampi: No, no.  Nothing like that.

Peter: I certainly hope you found it.

Scampi: I had a good time looking, anyway.

Peter: So it would seem.

Scampi: [LAUGHS.]

Peter: What’s so funny?

Scampi: I don’t know.  But it’s working.

Peter: Hm.

Scampi: Hee hee.


Scampi: You seem a little under the weather today.

Peter: Do I?

Scampi: You do.

Peter: Well, there you have it.

Scampi: I don’t like to see you so down, Grumplestiltskin.  We’re heading in the right direction, aren’t we?

Peter: Yes.  For those who wish to go to Mexico.

Scampi: That’s us.


Scampi: Peter, that’s us.  Right?

Peter: So it would seem.

Scampi: Do you want some tea from my thermos?  It’s still really hot.

Peter: No, thank you.

Scampi: Are you sure?  Yummy delicious tea.

Peter: No.  I am sure I don’t want any tea.  It is your tea.  You should drink it.

Scampi: Okay.  Just let me know if you change your mind, okay?

Peter: Quite.

Scampi: It’s funny, when you say that, it’s almost like you’re saying, “Quiet!”.  I think that’s pretty funny.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: Quite.



Scampi: You look like a statue of yourself.

Peter: I regret to inform you that this is incorrect.

Scampi: I regret to inform you that a pigeon just shat on your head.

Peter: [alarmed] What?

Scampi: Ha ha, ho ho.  Just joking.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: A plaster of Paris.  A concrete imperialist.

Peter: Why must you do this?

Scampi: I’m not the one who annexed Scotland.

Peter: That doesn’t make any sense.

Scampi: Have you ever been plastered in Paris?  Or does that offend your Teutonic sensibilities?

Peter: I do not know how to respond to such a barrage.

Scampi: Nobody knows the trouble you’ve seen.

Peter: That is not what I said.

Scampi: Of course it isn’t.  What do you know about prehistoric Spain?

Peter: Prehistoric?

Scampi: Or like, paleo-something.

Peter: Paleolithic?

Scampi: Paleohispanic.  You know what that is?

Peter: Perhaps.

Scampi: No, you don’t.


Scampi: Nobawdy knooooows your sorrow.


Scampi: It was the language they spoke on the Iberian Peninsula.  Before they spoke Spanish, obviously.

Peter: Yes, this is obvious.

Scampi: Like, imagine a map of Spain.  Like a big chunk.

Peter: I wish to lean against this tree.

Scampi: Is something wrong?

Peter: No.  I resent the inference.

Scampi: Was something inferred?

Peter: I prefer to rest myself against this tree.

Scampi: I resent the preference.

Peter: What’s that?

Scampi: Well, I’m sure the tree does.

Peter: Excuse me.  I must rifle through the pockets of my coat.

Scampi: What do you know about our paleo-historical Spanish friends?  Not much, that’s for sure.

Peter: No.  Not much.

Scampi: Me neither.  This isn’t some kind of etymological manhunt, you know.

Peter: Ah.  A great relief.

Scampi: No need to stutter.



Peter: Why are you shouting?

Scampi: I’m not shouting.

Peter: You were.

Scampi: You were.  I was minding my very own business, personally.


Peter [observantly]: It is not springtime.

Scampi: No, it isn’t.  You’re becoming an old man in your boots.

Peter: What boots?

Scampi: Your feet on the earth.  You stand in one spot and grow older.

Peter: Are you trying to say I am stagnating?

Scampi: No.

Peter: Oh.  I see.

Scampi: You can just sit around all night buying tomatoes.

Peter: Where would I do this?

Scampi: I have no idea.  Right off the vine.  Who cares?  No one’s buying any tomatoes around here, that’s for sure.

Peter: Not at the present moment.

Scampi: The present moment.  The moment is a present.

Peter [acidly]: Yes.

Scampi: A gift, Peter.  Don’t you like gifts?

Peter: I am becoming damp in this rain.

Scampi: I’m noticing that.

Peter: What are your plans?

Scampi: “The great affair is to move.”

Peter: Hmph.

Scampi: Steady on.

Peter: Don’t touch me.

Scampi: Fine.  Sway all you want.  I don’t mind the hurricane.

Peter [above the wind]: What?

Scampi: Nothing!

Peter: Eh?

Scampi: Forget it!


Scampi: Collard greens.

Peter: What was that?

Scampi: I can’t hear you.

Peter: I’ve been thinking about my father.

Scampi: Oh, great.

Peter: Pardon?

Scampi: Let’s get out of this rain.

Peter: I don’t want to get out of this rain.  I like it here.

Scampi: So what?  So do I.

Peter: What?

Scampi: Hm?

Peter: Do you want to go inside?

Scampi: What?

Peter: I’ve been thinking about my father.

Scampi: You’ve been thinking about yourself.

Peter: What?

Scampi: You have to keep up with yourself.

Peter: It’s raining.

Scampi: (I know.)

Peter [mumbling]: The rain is falling.

Scampi: So are we.