pt 36: ONION SANDWICHES

Peter: Crunch crunch.

 

Scampi: That is an unusually crunchy sandwich you’ve got there.

 

Peter: It is an onion sandwich.

 

Scampi: Hm.  [SCAMPI HAS NO AVAILABLE COMMENTS HERE.  THERE ARE NO OPTIONS.]

 

Peter: Well.  You’re awfully quiet today.

 

PAUSE.

 

Peter: Not that I’m complaining.  In fact, most of the time, your voice is like a jigsaw in my ear.  Whining and spewing sawdust.  Ug.

 

Scampi: Good call.

 

Peter: I was thinking of buying a new broom.

 

Scampi: To sweep the floor with?

 

Peter: In so many words.

 

Scampi: What?

 

Peter: You can’t take a hint, can you?

 

Scampi: No.  Of course I can’t.

 

Peter SIGHS.

 

Scampi: Why should I?

 

Peter: Well.  It’s the grown-up thing to do.

 

Scampi: I think the grown-up thing to do is to say what you mean.  Anyway, what do you know about grownups?

 

SCAMPI AND PETER REALISE AT THIS PRECISE MOMENT THAT THEY HAVE REACHED AN IMPASSE.  OR PERHAPS A CANYON.  ON THE ONE SIDE OF WHICH ARE CAMPED GROWNUPS.  ON THE OTHER SIDE OF WHICH SCAMPI AND PETER SQUABBLE LIKE CHILDREN.

 

Peter: Look, I’m going to boil the water for tea.  Would you like a cup?

 

Scampi: Yeah I’ll have one.  Thank you.

 

Peter: No, no.  I insist: thank you.

 

Scampi: The pleasure is all mine.

 

Peter: You’re too kind.

 

Scampi: I guess kindness is important.

 

Peter: Yes.

 

Scampi: Do you think you’re kind, very much?  I mean, do you think of yourself as a kind person?

 

Peter: What are you implying?

 

Scampi: I’m not.  [PAUSE.]  I’m really not.

 

Peter: Fine.

 

Scampi: I just mean – I don’t know.  I don’t know if people think of themselves as kind.

 

Peter: Perhaps I don’t think of myself at all.

 

Scampi: Yes, you do.

 

Peter: Sometimes, I think that my mind is a disease.  Does this count?

 

Scampi: Yes.  According to Depeche Mode, everything counts.

 

Peter: Ah.

 

Scampi: Sometimes one’s mind can be hard on one.

 

Peter: Yes.

 

Scampi: Maybe all this housecleaning is upsetting you.

 

Peter: Impossible.

 

Scampi: Maybe you should read a book.  Get back your special glow.

 

Peter: I already ate an onion sandwich.  I am not short on creature comforts.

 

Scampi: You are truly a self-made man.

 

Peter: Goodbye.

 

Scampi: What?

 

Peter: I am tired of your chatter.  It is tiresome.  I can’t think.

 

Scampi: But I haven’t had any tea yet!

 

Peter: Oh well.

 

Scampi: Oh well.

 

Peter: See ya later!  Ciao!

 

SCAMPI IS ALREADY HALFWAY ACROSS THE CITY, PLAYING PINBALL AND LISTENING TO THE WHO, AND THUS, SHE MISSES THIS LAST REMARK.  EVEN IF SHE HAD HEARD IT, HOWEVER, SHE DOES NOT SPEAK ITALIAN.

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pt 31: NOBODY DOES THE DRUMMER

Peter: I am feeling pretty vigorous today.

Scampi: It seems that way.

Peter: Yes. In fact, I’ve just come from the laundromat.

Scampi: Clean clothes.

Peter: I am truly dominating the world of simple tasks.

Scampi: Next thing we know, you’ll be chairman of the board.

Peter: I am shouldering my portion of responsibility. I am striding down the street with purpose.

Scampi: [YAWNS.] It is a wondrous thing.

Peter: Are you tired?

Scampi: No.

Peter: You seem tired.

Scampi: You seem artificially inflated.

Peter: Pardon me?

Scampi: Nothing.

Peter: Well, I—

Scampi: Do you—

[PAUSE.]

Scampi: Sorry, what?

Peter: Go ahead.

Scampi: No, you.

Peter: You were going to say something?

Scampi: No, no. What were you saying?

Peter: I should be pressing on.

Scampi: Yes, well, don’t press “off” by mistake.

Peter: Places to go, people to meet.

Scampi: Natch.

Peter: Maybe I’ll even purchase a new necktie.

Scampi: A fitting symbol.

[PAUSE.]

Scampi: Do you remember, we once walked past two different people carrying cymbals in the same day?

Peter: No.

Scampi: Ah.

Peter: Well, see you later.

Scampi: Goodbye.

pt 34: PHILOSOPHAURUS REX

Peter: Is the radio bothering you?

Scampi: I couldn’t care less.  It can’t be any worse than the static in my head.

Peter: This is not the fault of my radio.

Scampi: Nope.  I am reading about the constructivist approach to education.

Peter: [FOLDING SHEETS.] I much prefer the destructivist approach.

PETER LIFTS HIS ARMS LIKE A TYRANNOSAUR.

Peter: ARGH.  Children, today we will SMASH THINGS!

Scampi: Tee-hee.

Peter: We’ll start with THE STATE!

Scampi: That’s good.

Peter: [REFOLDING HIS SHEET.]  Thank you.

Scampi: Do it again.

Peter: No, no.

Scampi: [SIGHS.]

Peter: Pum-tum-pum-ta-tum.

Scampi: What do you call it when someone looks at you all funny?  Funny and mean?

Peter: Tum-pum-ta-tum-pum.

Scampi: Fish-eyes?  No, stinkeye.

Peter: Ha.

Scampi: Someone gave me the stinkeye.

Peter: Oh?  Who was it?

Scampi: Don’t you know?

Peter: No.

Scampi: I’m not telling.

Peter: You know what would be even more secretive than asking questions in this manner and then not answering them?

Scampi: What?

Peter: Not asking in the first place!

Scampi: Well, that’s not very nice.  Anyway, I did answer.

Peter: I disagree.

Scampi: Maybe you were just too busy humming to yourself to notice.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Should we talk about the Frankfurt school?

Peter: Should we what?

Scampi: Well, should we?

Peter: Why would we do that?

Scampi: I dunno.  It could make you appear more cultured.

Peter: I am highly cultured.

Scampi: Of course you are.

Peter: I am a highly cultured individual.

Scampi: Naturally.  I just thought we could expose that some more.

PETER CONSIDERS THIS.

Scampi: (aside) While Peter isn’t listening, I would like to point out that he knows a lot less than some about the Frankfurt school.  I bet he doesn’t even know where Frankfurt is.  Ha.  Haha.

Peter: What are you laughing about?

Scampi: Hee hee.

Peter: You’re nuts.

Scampi: Haw haw haw haw.  I bet you don’t even know where Frankfurt is!

PETER STOPS MIDWAY RUNNING HIS HAND THROUGH HIS HAIR.

Scampi: Hahahahaha.  Your hair!  You look like Einstein in the bath!

Peter: You sure have ants in your pants today.

Scampi: [respiratory difficulties] Oh, Peter.  You make philosophy accessible to us all.

Peter: [flustered.)  Well.

Scampi: Here.  Let me help you out with those sheets.

pt 33: STURGEON AND THE FUTURE

Scampi: Let me tell you something.  There was a distinct trout theme to yesterday.  Has this ever happened to you?

 

Peter: A trout has never happened to me.

 

Scampi: Not that you would know.

 

Peter: Ahem.

 

Scampi: I was more curious about thematic coherence.  Are your days ever a symphony of thematic coherence?

 

Peter: No.

 

Scampi: If you’re busy or you don’t want to talk about it, that’s fine.

 

Peter: What’s that supposed to mean?

 

Scampi: I just think you’re not really taking the time to think about my question before you answer.

 

Peter: [SIGHS.]  Uh, that some sort of theme animal would intermittently splash up through the fluid of my daily grind?  No, I don’t think so.

 

Scampi: Fine.  Well yesterday for me contained about nine hundred occurrences of trout.

 

Peter: What kind of trout?

 

Scampi: Just trout.

 

Peter: What about sturgeon?

 

Scampi: No sturgeon.  Not really.

 

Peter: What do you mean, not really?

 

Scampi: That’s what I mean.

 

Peter: In my experience (limited though it may perhaps be) there is either a sturgeon, or there isn’t.

 

Scampi: That’s why you are Peter, and I am Scampi.

 

Peter: I find this response to be dissatisfactory.

 

Scampi: I don’t expect factories to be sated.  I am looking for joy elsewhere, my friend.

 

Peter:  Like where?

 

Scampi: Well, not in the auto sector, for starters.

 

Peter: Are you implying that I look for joy in the auto sector?

 

Scampi: Don’t get all offended.  I wasn’t implying anything.  I was just saying, that’s not where I’m looking.  [PAUSE.]  I mean, you aren’t either.  You’re exemplary.

 

Peter: Really.

 

Scampi:  Sure.  You set an example for us all.

 

PETER COUNTS HIS BEARD.

 

Scampi: Are you looking forward to something?

 

Peter: I look forward to many things.

 

Scampi: Like what?

 

Peter: I am looking forward to having a bath.

 

Scampi: Oh.

 

Peter: Is that not sufficient?

 

Scampi: Well, a bath is fine, I guess.  But I meant something larger, like snow.

 

Peter: The computers of the future?

 

Scampi: Aren’t they here already?

 

Peter: No.  The computers of the present are here.  The computers of the future have not yet arrived.

 

Scampi: But you’re excited for them.

 

Peter: About them.

 

Scampi: Maybe they’ll be made of people.

 

Peter: Absolutely not.

 

Scampi: Then they might be happy.  Then you could be excited for them.

 

Peter: This belongs in a comic book for twelve year olds.  It has nothing to do with computers.

 

Scampi: You’re very touchy today.

 

Peter: I am bogged down by the incessant howling of my nervous system.

 

Scampi: Oh.  I’m sorry.

 

[PAUSE.]

 

Scampi: I’m not part of your nervous system am I?

 

Peter: [COMES DANGEROUSLY CLOSE TO LAUGHING.]  No.

 

Scampi: Okay.  So, if you were one of the knights of the Round Table, which one would you be?

 

Peter: If I was what?

 

Scampi: You know what I’m talking about.  King Arthur’s knights.

 

Peter: Yes, I am aware of them.

 

Scampi: I know you are.  Which one would you be?

 

Peter: Are there any named Peter?

 

Scampi: Come on.  If you could be any of them.

 

Peter: Which one got the most sleep?

 

Scampi: You know what I think?  I think you’d be King Pellinore.

 

Peter: That’s wonderful.

 

Scampi: You don’t know who King Pellinore is, do you?

 

Peter: [GLARES.]

 

Scampi: Ok, ok.  But see, King Pellinore had this thing for the Questing Beast.  He was always looking for it.

 

Peter: Are you suggesting I’m always looking for something?

 

Scampi: No, I’m suggesting that you would be King Pellinore.

 

Peter: If we lived in the Arthurian legend.

 

Scampi: That’s right.  Isn’t that exciting?

 

Peter: No.

 

Scampi: Do you know who I’d be?

 

Peter: No.

 

Scampi: Me neither.  But I would help you look.

part 26: JUDAS ISCARIOT, KING OF SANITATION

Scampi: Ever since you broke your right hand, you’ve been acting different.

 

Peter: What are you talking about?

 

Scampi: You wish to be elected king.

 

Peter: I stopped listening to you three weeks ago.

 

Scampi: Yes.  When you broke your hand.  And now you want to become king of anodyne.  It’s all clingfilm and beige suits from here on in.

 

Peter:  To think I admired you!  Well, now I despise you!

 

Scampi: I told you this would happen.

pt 30: DEER ON THE TRACKS

Scampi: I’m angry.

 

Peter: Mm.  Uninteresting.

 

Scampi: I went walking on the railroad tracks last week.

 

Peter: Uh-huh.

 

Scampi: I sat down in the middle of the tracks and had a picnic.  The sun was setting.

 

Peter: On the tracks?

 

Scampi: How poetic!  No, in the sky.

 

Peter: You sat down on the tracks?

 

Scampi: I don’t think it counts as a picnic if you’re standing up.

 

Peter: Ah.

 

Scampi: It was beautiful.  My mouth was full of apple.

 

[PAUSE.]

 

Right when the sun was turning into grey soup at the end of the view, I saw a deer.

 

Peter: On the tracks?

 

Scampi: Yeah on the tracks.  She looked at me with her big deer eye.

 

Peter: She?

 

Scampi: Yes.

 

Peter: What leads you to believe it was a she?

 

Scampi: Because the Yankee’s ballcap she had on her head was pink.  How do you think I knew?

 

Peter: Oh.

 

Scampi: I had the urge to lie down on the tracks, dig myself a groove like a fairy tale hero, and just let the train come.

 

[PETER INSPECTS HIS NAILS.]

 

Imagine all those commuters, flying over me like rubberband airplanes.

 

Peter: Eviscerating your cranium…..

 

Scampi: You wish.  Will you have some tea?

 

Peter: No.  Thank you.

 

Scampi: I think you’re wrong about me.

 

Peter: Pardon?

 

Scampi: I think, for your own convenience, you’ve made up things about me that aren’t true.

 

Peter: Oh?  What makes you think that?

 

Scampi: Because you wear them like a hooded sweatshirt.

 

Peter: That’s your opinion.

 

Scampi: I can see the strings dangling all the way down your front.

pt 35: ALL MEN ARE LIONS

Scampi: Oh, hi Peter.  How’s your hand feeling?

 

Peter: It’s fine.

 

Scampi: Good to hear.

 

Peter: What would be wrong with my hand?

 

Scampi: Well, you know.  With the chill in the air and all.

 

Peter: It is the season.

 

Scampi: Sometimes you get an ache in a bone that was broken before.  Hasn’t this happened to you?

 

Peter: Mm.

 

Scampi: What are you packing into that cardboard box, anyway?

 

Peter: Oh, this and that.  An assortment of things.

 

Scampi: Like what?

 

Peter: Mm.

 

Scampi: Hey, what’s — ouch!  Jeez.  If you didn’t want me to see what’s in your cardboard box, you could just say so.  Jeez Lou-eeze.

 

Peter: It’s private.

 

Scampi: Yeah, I can see that.

 

PAUSE.  WHILE PETER FILLS HIS BOX WITH SECRET THINGS, SCAMPI FILLS THIS PAUSE WITH WILTING TREASURES:

 

A PINT OF TEARS/DISHWATER; LOOSE TEA; FRESH SNOW; 2 MONTHS OF PREGNANT SILENCE; A BOUQUET OF HAIRCUTS; LEGS; CURRIED POTATOES, BEETS; SIX FEET OF COUCH; CONSECUTIVE MORNINGS, NUMBERED ALPHABETICALLY; A HANDFUL OF EXTRA ALPHABETS, BEVERAGES, AND BASIC MISTAKES/COMMON ERRORS; THE BLUEPRINT FOR WHAT IS POSSIBLY A DANDELION CROWN.

 

Scampi: Wow.  The ultimate care package!

 

Peter: What are you talking about?

 

Scampi: I’m being domestic.

 

Peter: Ah.

 

Scampi: Speaking of which, what is your opinion on the current political situations?

 

Peter: Situations?

 

Scampi: Sure.

 

Peter: I have sent them packing with a flourish.

 

Scampi: Where?

 

Peter: To the suburbs.  The current political situations are currently camped out in the meat-packing district.

 

Scampi: Ah ha!  Excellent.

 

Peter: Now go away.

 

Scampi: What?

 

Peter: I want you to go away now.

 

Scampi: Why?

 

Peter: Once you are gone, I will throw this box out the window.

 

Scampi:  But what if it hits me?

 

Peter: Then you had better start running.

pt 28: SAND IN OUR SHOES

Scampi: We have all swept the sand from our hair at the end of the long day.

 

Peter: Yes.

 

Scampi: I could shake the sand out of my hair. I could even shake your hand.

 

Peter: I reserve judgement.

 

Scampi: You certainly do. You are nothing if not judgemental, and reserved.

 

Peter: [sighs.]

 

Scampi: We could say something like: the water is this blue.

 

Peter: Yes.

 

Scampi: Let x be equal to the blueness of the water.

 

Peter: This is acceptable to me.

 

Scampi: Let y be equal to the violence we do to our neighbour.

 

Peter: Perhaps we can dispense with y.

 

Scampi: Y not?

 

Peter: Ah.

 

Scampi: Har, har.

 

Peter: My skin is fitting my face better, these days.

 

Scampi: As well it should. We all need a goddam vacation.

 

Peter: The bombast of your rhetoric never fails to put me on edge.

 

Scampi: Go fill this basket with fruit from the garden.

 

Peter: Why?

 

Scampi: We’re having a party.

 

Peter: We are?

 

Scampi: We are.

 

Peter: What’s to celebrate?

 

Scampi: Our great good luck.

 

Peter: Oh?

 

Scampi: The bruised and verdant earth. The worms oozing forth from the early apples of our smallest-handed selves.

 

Peter: I don’t want to eat worms.

 

Scampi: But you can swallow August whole and come up clean.

 

Peter: Your abstractions still make me wince.

 

Scampi: Go on out to the garden, Peter.

 

Peter: What are we meant to be celebrating again?

 

Scampi: The sublime coincidence.

 

Peter: Of what?

 

Scampi: Our great good luck.

pt 29: TRADE WINDS

Scampi: You know what time it is?

 

Peter: I believe it is approximately two p.m.

 

Scampi: It’s time to start counting down the snowflakes.

 

Peter: What snowflakes?

 

Scampi: They’re on their way.

 

Peter: Are you gesturing at the advent of winter?

 

Scampi: The season is upon us.

 

Peter: What season?

 

Scampi: The season of DEMOCRACY!

 

Peter: Like, pumping your fist in the air?

 

Scampi: That’s right. DEMOCRACY is on its way. I can feel it in my teeth.

 

Peter: My teeth hurt.

 

Scampi: You should brush them more often.

 

Peter: I do brush them often.

 

Scampi: With a toothbrush I mean. And paste.

 

Peter: This may or may not be the correct interval to mention that I see no evidence of democracy or snowflakes in the air.

 

Scampi: I’m not sure that was the correct interval. I will make a note of your suggestion, and address it in due course.

 

Peter: Thank you.

 

Scampi: Speaking of snowflakes, I am finding the air uncommonly warm.

 

Peter: Yes, it buffets us about with its uncommon warmth. We are truly blessed.

 

Scampi: We are.

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi: I have made a pot of tea. Would you like some?

 

Peter: No thank you.

 

SCAMPI DRINKS HER TEA. IT IS UTTERLY DELICIOUS.

 

Scampi: This tea is delicious.

 

Peter: I have no doubt.

 

Scampi: I do. I am plagued with doubts. They shimmy with me across the floor. They steep in my cup.

 

Peter: Oh.

 

Scampi: Have you ever looked out, way out, to the edge of the water?

 

Peter: Yes.

 

Scampi: Me too.

 

Peter: You’re looking a little queasy.

 

Scampi: I am?

 

Peter: Yes.

 

Scampi: It’s the waves. They’re swamping me.

 

Peter: Oh. Perhaps I will have some tea after all.

 

Scampi: Help yourself.

 

PAUSE.

 

Peter: You, ah—

 

Scampi: Don’t say it.

 

Peter: Right.

 

Scampi: Your hands are still so delicate. They are like moths.

 

Peter: Um.

 

Scampi: They’re practically phosphorescent. I can tell you’ve been reading lots of books.

 

Peter: How can you tell that?

 

Scampi: From your hands. They’re as delicate as your synapses.

 

Peter: There’s nothing delicate about my synapses.

 

Scampi: Of course not. Your synapses are firing a sixteen gun salute as we speak.

 

Peter: How terrifying.

 

Scampi: For my part, I salute your synapses, and their utter lack of delicacy.

 

Peter: I think I’m getting a migraine.

 

Scampi: It’s all that gunpowder going off in your hippocampus.

 

Peter: [SHUDDERS.]

 

Scampi: That was theatrical.

 

Peter: Yes well.

 

Scampi: Can you feel the wind on your face?

 

Peter: Why wouldn’t I?

 

Scampi: As we have previously discussed, you have hair growing out of your face.

 

Peter: So what?

 

Scampi: So maybe you can’t feel the wind. I don’t know anything about it.

 

Peter: I can feel the wind.

 

Scampi: Can you feel it rifling through your beard, looking for secrets?

 

Peter: No. There are no secrets in my beard.

 

Scampi: If I had a beard, I would fill it to the max.

 

Peter: With secrets?

 

Scampi: Yes. It would be the ultimate piggy bank.

 

Peter: Well, good for you.

 

Scampi: Thank you. Covert operations are my specialty. What direction is this wind coming from?

 

Peter: It’s coming from the far side of the world.

 

Scampi: It smells a bit like yesterday.

 

Peter: Yes. This is due to physics.

 

Scampi: Tell me.

 

Peter: Tell you what?

 

Scampi: Something I don’t know.

 

Peter: First I will have more tea.

 

Scampi: Go ahead. I’ve got all day.