pt 104: STOUT

Peter: Are you suggesting I lack nous?

Scampi: What a vocabulary!

Peter: I am very sensitive about my vocabulary.

Scampi: I know you are, Peter.

Peter: Oh.

Scampi: You enjoy meats and cheeses.

Peter: Excuse me?

Scampi: Don’t you?


Scampi: Of course you do.

Peter: I do.

Scampi: You like to eat pork.  The flesh of pigs.

Peter: Correct.

Scampi: Why do you think that is?

Peter: It is delicious.

Scampi: Beware of subjective truths!

Peter: Me?

Scampi: The epistemological pot calling the linguistical kettle black?  Is that what you’re saying?

Peter: Yes.


Peter: That doesn’t make any sense.

Scampi: How did you understand it, then?

Peter: Did I?

Scampi: You did.  You assented.

Peter: I did.

Scampi: Are you having a crisis of faith?

Peter: No.

Scampi: Are you sure?

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: How do you know?

Peter: I am not a man of the cloth.

Scampi: I suppose not.


Scampi: Are you having a crisis of faith?

Peter: No.

Scampi: Oh.


Scampi: Yes, I would say that you lack a modicum of nous.  I would.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: Yes.  It is quite apparent.

Peter: You are certainly entitled to your opinion.

Scampi: I hadn’t noticed that.  Says who?

Peter: A nice, clear day.  Clear skies.

Scampi: I remarked on that already.  I already pointed it out.

Peter: When?

Scampi: I did.  You were sleeping, like Rapunzel.

Peter: I wasn’t sleeping.

Scampi: Neither was Rapunzel.  Technically.

Peter: I am not blonde.

Scampi: I am not a spinach farmer.  So what?

Peter: There is no need to be so argumentative.

Scampi: Really?  Who told you that?

Peter: I have spoken.

Scampi: Yes, you have.  Do you want a new shirt?

Peter: No.

Scampi: Why not?

Peter: I have shirts.

Scampi: So what?

Peter: SIGHS.

Scampi: Cotton shirts are very popular amongst men of your generation.

Peter: What generation?

Scampi: Well, that is the question.  That’s what I’m saying.

Peter: Pardon me, but I find it exceedingly difficult to keep track of what it is that you are saying.  From one day to the next, if you will.

Scampi: I won’t!

Peter: How juvenile.

Scampi: No pasarán!


Scampi: Ah ha!  You don’t even know what that means!

Peter: Knowing what a word means, and knowing what you mean by it are two rather different things.

Scampi: But of course!  A whole new kettle of fish!

Peter: Would it be possible for you to modulate your voice?

Scampi: In what sense?

Peter: Lower it.

Scampi: Oh ho.  Hello, children, and welcome to the imperative.

Peter: There are many tasks to be accomplished.

Scampi: Yes, of course.  Let us preserve the Anglo-Saxon hegemony.  Et cetera.  [YAWNS THEATRICALLY]

Peter: What are you suggesting about me?

Scampi: ‘Scusi?

Peter: I feel that you are making inferences and allusions.  Offensive ones.

Scampi: You would.

Peter: I do.

Scampi: Want to make some prank calls?

Peter: No.

Scampi: What?  Really?

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: Yes, you do want to make prank calls?

Peter: No.

Scampi: No what?

Peter: No, I do not.

Scampi: Oh.  Have you ever met a man whose woman you didn’t like?

Peter: Woman?

Scampi: Yes.  Those creatures you feign disinterest in.

Peter: I am not sure what is being asked of me.

Scampi: Wherein lies the disingenuous germ of your existential crisis.

Peter: This is very rude.

Scampi: No, no.  That’s not the intent at all.  I’m simply asking a question.

Peter: Of course.  You have a tendency to do this.

Scampi: I do not.  Anyhow, you were right about the weather.

Peter: Hm?

Scampi: It’s a beautiful day.  It really is.

Peter: [SIGHS.]  Yes.

Scampi: Do you believe there will be others?

Peter: Other whats?

Scampi: Days like this.

Peter: I am not a meteorologist.

Scampi: No.  I suppose you aren’t.

Peter: I am not.

Scampi: But the light today.  It’s just so pretty.

Peter: Indeed.

Scampi: Perhaps there will be light like this tomorrow.

Peter: It is a possibility.

Scampi: [bitterly] Yes.


pt 102: LORD ACTON

Scampi: You know what I said then?

Peter: No.

Scampi: Are you listening to my story?

Peter: No.

Scampi: Argh.

Peter: Excuse me.

Scampi: Fine.

Peter: You were saying?

Scampi: I might have been saying anything.  Who cares?

Peter: Hm.

Scampi: I refuse to accept your dictum!

Peter: Are you speaking to me?

Scampi: You and the pope.

Peter: I am not a papist.

Scampi: What vocabulary.  Like a sixteenth century magistrate.

Peter: [disgruntled]

Scampi: For shame.


Scampi: What were we talking about?

Peter: You were talking.

Scampi: Peter.

Peter: You call me by my true name.

Scampi: I do.

Peter: My head.

Scampi: It looks nice.

Peter: Ah.

Scampi: I am still tired.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: I reject the idiot shrapnel.

Peter: This seems a sound policy.

Scampi: Do you know what I’m talking about?

Peter: No.

Scampi: Fired from all directions.

Peter: An assault.

Scampi: I do not accept it.

Peter: Certainly.

Scampi: Is it time to sleep?

Peter: Please, do not let me interfere with your plans.

Scampi: That is the opposite.

Peter: Of what?

Scampi: The point.

Peter: Perhaps I did not understand the point.

Scampi: Lord.  Perhaps.


Scampi: What’s between the water and the air?

Peter: Club soda?

Scampi: Was that a joke?

Peter: Perhaps.

Scampi: I don’t know what you have to be so cheerful about these days.  Jesus H.


Scampi: You might think we’re between the water and the air, but we aren’t.

Peter: Duly noted.

Scampi: You’re not even listening to me.

Peter: My apologies.  Please, continue this nonsensical babble.

Scampi: Feh.


Scampi: Now, take chalk.  Are you with me?

Peter: Chalk.

Scampi: Yes!  Calcium.

Peter: [stage whispering] Is that a secret?

Scampi: What?

Peter: Why are you speaking of calcium in this manner?

Scampi: We’re talking about chalk.

Peter: Ahem.  Calcium carbonate.

Scampi: I was getting to that.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: Right.  You know when you can see the air do that shimmering thing, because of the heat?

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: Well, what do you think of that?

Peter: I believe it would qualify as cliché, if it appeared in print.

Scampi: Print?  What are you talking about?

Peter: Literary mores.

Scampi: What do you know about it?  Anyway, I was talking about the weather.

Peter: Please, do not let me impede your progress.

Scampi: What?

Peter: Continue.

Scampi: When it’s so hot that the air doesn’t move, right?  What do you think about that?

Peter: That sounds very warm.

Scampi: Of course it’s warm.  Peter.

Peter: Yes?

Scampi: Is that all?

Peter: I am unsure as to what is being demanded at the present moment.

Scampi: What do you think of doves?

Peter: I approve of them.

Scampi: Without reservation?

Peter: [serious thought]  Yes.

Scampi: Okay.


Scampi: You know the way if you mix pigment you get like, black or brown, but if you mix light you don’t?

Peter: That is one way of putting it.

Scampi: The cliffs of Dover are made of chalk.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: Not like us.

Peter: It is true that we are not composed of chalk.

Scampi: Are you sure?

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: [craftily] Well, then, what are we composed of?

Peter: Matter.

Scampi: A coward’s explanation.

Peter: Pardon me?

Scampi: What do you think about planets?

Peter: They are spherical in nature.

Scampi: [knowingly] They aren’t the only ones.

Peter: What are you suggesting?

Scampi: It’s very clear.  Like the view from the cliffs.

Peter: Have you visited in Dover?

Scampi: What does that have to do with anything?

Peter: SIGHS.

Scampi: I’ve been all around this world, mister.  Like the moons of Jupiter.

Peter: I am not sure I grasp the analogy.

Scampi: Ha.  Quel surprise.


Scampi: [conciliatory]  You have an affinity for the natural sciences, of course.

Peter: Ah.

Scampi: Don’t deny it, Peter.

Peter: Well, we must begin by,

Scampi: Begin – nothing.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: I’m sure your trundled carapace hides the heart of an astronomer.  A seasick lordling, teetering amidships.

Peter: I am confused.

Scampi: In what sense?

Peter: Temporally.

Scampi: Right: Reformation, Renaissance.  Wars, Second World; Napoleonic.  See?

Peter: Are you obliquely referring to England in an attempt to make me feel more comfortable?

Scampi: Yes.


Scampi: How are you today?

Peter: I am well.

Scampi: Great.

Peter: Thank you.  And you?

Scampi: Oh yes.  Yeah, bigtime.

Peter: Wonderful.

Scampi: The thing is, if you don’t know what medium you’re working with, you can’t know if it will turn out brown or not.

Peter: Pardon?

Scampi: I have been mixing all the colours at my disposal for quite some time now.

Peter: Well, good for you.

Scampi: But I don’t know if I’m building a blanched sheet of prismic perfection, or a mud puddle.

Peter: A quandary, to be sure.

Scampi: Are you paying attention to me?

Peter: It certainly appears that way.

Scampi: Humph.

Peter: With all due respect.

Scampi: (Oh, this’ll be good.)

Peter: You do seem to have a fondness for mud puddles.

Scampi: So what?

Peter: A simple observation.

Scampi: You and your observations.

Peter: Yes?

Scampi: Such a scientist.

Peter: There is nothing wrong with science.

Scampi: There is nothing wrong with anything.

Peter: Oh?

Scampi: Until the perfect view is destroyed by one’s presence in it.


Scampi: Do you know what I’m saying to you?

Peter: I believe I do.


Scampi: I have no opinion on that subject.

Peter: I am a busy man.

Scampi: What does that have to do with anything?

Peter: Ah.  One of these moods.

Scampi: Moods?  What are you talking about?

Peter: Please do not interrupt my self-satisfactions.

Scampi: Oh, yes.  Of course, of course.

Peter: Pardon?  What is going on?

Scampi: You were talking about your self-satisfaction levels.

Peter: I was discussing nothing of the kind.

Scampi: Oh ho.

Peter: As you well know.

Scampi: Says you.


Scampi: I’ve decided to make some changes.

Peter: Ah yes.  “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Scampi: Stop reading fridge magnets at me.

Peter: You were saying?

Scampi: Well, I don’t know.  Should I climb more trees?  Or fewer trees?

Peter: I have never witnessed you climbing a tree of any description.

Scampi: That’s a boldfaced lie.

Peter: Perhaps you wish to be alone.

Scampi: No.  I do not.

Peter: Interesting.

Scampi: We should listen to some music.

Peter: You may listen to some music.

Scampi: Urgh!

Peter: Excuse me?

Scampi: I’m trying to get to the bottom of something here.

Peter: May I be of assistance?

Scampi: No.


Scampi: Yes.  I need you to do some research for me.

Peter: I am a busy man.

Scampi: Oh for the love of god.

Peter: YHWH.

Scampi: Don’t get all fancy with me.

Peter: Are you incapable of doing your own research?

Scampi: What the hell is that supposed to mean?


Scampi: Yeah, well.  Let me tell you something.

Peter: Yes?

Scampi: Who signed the Magna Carta?

Peter: Are you asking me something, or telling me something?

Scampi: Just you wait.  So, who?

Peter: Ah.  King John.

Scampi: False!  Ha!

Peter: I believe I am correct.

Scampi: You would.


Scampi: Well, no one signed it.

Peter: This is highly suspicious.

Scampi: Um, it was sealed.  Like, King John, he stamped it with a seal.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: But he didn’t sign it.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: No one did.

Peter: Thank you for this enlightening factoid.

Scampi: Which you didn’t know before.

Peter: I did not.

Scampi: Neither did I.  I just found out.

Peter: Ah ha.

Scampi: I was going to talk about some other things.

Peter: Ah.

Scampi: But now maybe I won’t.

Peter: I am glad to be informed.

Scampi: Your tone belies your words, sir.

Peter: Don’t call me sir.

Scampi: Don’t slather me with pomposity.


Scampi: Would you like some coffee?

Peter: You always seem to think that I require caffeination.

Scampi: You do.

Peter: Hm.  Perhaps.

Scampi: Perhaps you are awake.

Peter: It certainly appears that way.

Scampi: And I am asleep.

Peter: [sharply] Pardon?

Scampi: I am dreaming.  Perhaps.

Peter: God.  My head.

Scampi: Would you like some coffee?

Peter: Perhaps that would be best.

Scampi: Probably.


Scampi: We are in the woods, Peter.  Or rather, I am in the woods.  Peter?  Do you follow me?

Peter: COUGHS.

Scampi: We might as well make ourselves at home.


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: I think I was dreaming.

Peter: Oh?

Scampi: Sometimes I can’t tell.  You know.

Peter: I do not know.

Scampi: How do you know?

Peter: I do not.

Scampi: But how do you know that you don’t?

Peter: SIGHS.

Scampi: I can’t tell if I’m dreaming or not.  Occasionally.

Peter: What are you suggesting?

Scampi: No need to get so nervous.  I’m just saying.

Peter: I am not nervous.

Scampi: Sure.


Scampi: What do you dream about?

Peter: Peace and quiet.

Scampi: Very funny.  Can’t you remember your dreams?

Peter: I can.

Scampi: Well.  And what are they about?

Peter: This is very tedious.

Scampi: Isn’t.


Scampi: I sometimes feel as if I inhabit a waking fog.

Peter: Perhaps you should have some coffee.

Scampi: That has nothing to do with it.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: I am like a monster of my own creation.  Half-asleep.

Peter: Perhaps you should keep such thoughts to yourself.

Scampi: What’s that supposed to mean?

Peter: Forgive me.  I have a headache.

Scampi: Oh.  Okay.

Peter: Ah.

Scampi: Sorry.

Peter: It’s quite all right.

Scampi: Do you think we are in the dark?

Peter: That would certainly soothe this migraine.

Scampi: We’re in a cave, a bed of leaves.

Peter: Are you suggesting that we are hibernating?

Scampi: Like bears.

Peter: I am not a bear.

Scampi: We have collapsed from the exhaustion of open spaces.

Peter: I wouldn’t say “collapsed”.

Scampi: No, of course not.  You’d just do it.

Peter: I am a human man.

Scampi: An overdose of beauty can be a tricksy thing, Peter.  Beauty and possibilities.

Peter: Which causes you to transform into an apostate ursus experiencing a low degree of consciousness under a rock somewhere?

Scampi: Perhaps.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: There is the question of our animal nature.

Peter: We are bound by the flesh.

Scampi: I don’t know about you.

Peter: Pardon?

Scampi: Oh, nothing.


Scampi: What good is the meadow if one’s mind remains a howling wilderness?

Peter: Do you feel that your mind is a howling wilderness?

Scampi: I feel that my memory of the meadow grows swampy.

Peter: Perhaps you are unwell.

Scampi: What a thing to say!

Peter: Lower your voice.

Scampi: I did.

Peter: Thank you.

Scampi: Maybe we should get some sleep.

Peter: We?

Scampi: I sleep, you sleep.

Peter: This is fundamentally illogical.

Scampi: Is not.  You might as well be sleeping.  If I’m asleep.

Peter: This is not the case.

Scampi: It might as well be.

Peter: SIGHS.


Scampi: Can you hear the sound of running water?

Peter: A leaky faucet?

Scampi: I believe it is the sea.


Scampi: Your nose is shimmering in the heat.

Peter: Hardly.

Scampi: It is.

Peter: I feel rather sluggish.

Scampi: Like a slug!  Ha.

Peter: Not slug-like.

Scampi: A briny, spotted sluggy.

Peter: As you wish.

Scampi: I wish.

Peter: Do you think my face looks different?

Scampi: No.

Peter: Ah.

Scampi: If we are apprehended, will you stick up for me?

Peter: Why would we be apprehended?

Scampi: On our grand adventure.  Anything is possible.

Peter: I do not believe you need to worry.

Scampi: Famous last words.


Scampi: Would you?

Peter: Be apprehended?

Scampi: Stick up for me.  You know, take my side.

Peter: I suppose that would depend on what you had done.

Scampi: What I had done?  What’s that supposed to mean?

Peter: Well, I don’t know what you’ve been apprehended for.  How do I determine whether or not I will take your part in the debate?

Scampi: Ridiculous.

Peter: Excuse me?

Scampi: You’re supposed to be my partner in crime.

Peter: I am not a criminal.

Scampi: Of course not.  Neither am I.

Peter: [SIGHS.]

Scampi: Maybe we should be more careful.

Peter: In what respect?

Scampi: You know, cover our tracks.  That sort of thing.

Peter: We have nothing to hide.

Scampi: Do you think so?

Peter: This is a transparent operation.

Scampi: Oh, so it’s an operation, is it?

Peter: Uh.

Scampi: Well, that’s a comfort.


Scampi: Maybe we could drag leaves behind us when we walk.  To cover our footprints in the snow.

Peter: It isn’t snowing.

Scampi: I know.  Don’t you think I know that?

Peter: I am unsure.

Scampi: Oh ye of little faith.

Peter: Are you addressing me?

Scampi: Apparently.

Peter: I cannot recall when last it snowed.

Scampi: So what?

Peter: Pardon?

Scampi: I can.

Peter: Oh?  And when was it?

Scampi: I’m sure we’d all like to know that.  Ho.  Ha ha.

Peter: And?

Scampi: It snowed in the wintertime.  Winter is for snowing.

Peter: Thank you.  That was terribly informative.

Scampi: Big, fat flakes.  All over your face, and the windows.

Peter: Hm.

Scampi: We wandered into the woods, and were not found.

Peter: Oh?

Scampi: We hid the evidence as we went.

Peter: I do not remember this occasion.

Scampi: It was a secret.


Peter: And then, while no one was looking, Jupiter’s belts disappeared.

Scampi: You said that before.

Peter: Perhaps.

Scampi: How do you know no one was looking?

Peter: I am a busy man.

Scampi: Oh yes.  We are all well aware.


Scampi: Do you know what a skipjack is?

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: Oh, really?

Peter: Yees.

Scampi: It’s a boat on the Chesapeake.

Peter: Ah, yes.

Scampi: Used for oystering.  Because no one uses sailboats any more for work.

Peter: I beg to differ.

Scampi: Beggars can’t be choosers.  An oyster boat’s a sailboat.  That’s what I’m saying.  A skipjack.

Peter: There is no denying the facts, ma’am.

Scampi: Just the facts, Pete.  Pewter.

Peter: Ah, the world of alloys.

Scampi: Yes.  It’s a jungle out there.


Scampi: Peder Oxe.

Peter: Hm?

Scampi: Imagine if you were Peder Oxe.


Scampi: Not Peter-the-Ox.

Peter: Of course not.

Scampi: What do you think of the future?  Of humanism?

Peter: As opposed to the oxen-based economy?

Scampi: No, really.

Peter: I consider myself a humanist.

Scampi: What?  Is that true?

Peter: No.

Scampi: Oh.


Scampi: The ceiling is too low.

Peter: I am unconcerned.

Scampi: For a change.

Peter: Mm.

Scampi: There isn’t enough room.

Peter: For the future of humanism?

Scampi: For the present.

Peter: Well, don’t let me hinder your progress.

Scampi: Oh, of course.  Progress.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: You know a synonym for present?

Peter: Uh.  Here?

Scampi: Gift.


Scampi: You are squandering it.

Peter: And what are you doing?

Scampi: Waiting.


Scampi: Let’s go to Nassau.

Peter: What’s that?

Scampi: We will start in the Caribbean, reprovision in Madagascar, and then make our way to the Malabar Coast.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: Taking all the East India Shipping boats by surprise as we go.

Peter: You want to be a pirate.

Scampi: In the seventeenth century sense.

Peter: And what sense is that?

Scampi: A historical one.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: “The great affair is to move.”

Peter: Mm.

Scampi: Have you looked at the weathervane?

Peter: I have not seen a weathervane.

Scampi: How about the windsock?

Peter: What windsock?

Scampi: Well, what direction is the wind coming in from?

Peter: I do not know.

Scampi: It’s coming from the northwest.  Lightly.  Cat’s paws on the water.

Peter: You are certainly full of information today.

Scampi: I am.


Scampi: I’m tired.

Peter: Yes.  I am tired also.


Scampi: I’m trying to make you a cup of coffee.

Peter: You may do as you wish.

Scampi: That’s not the point.

Peter: Ah.  Terribly sorry.

Scampi: What?


Scampi: You are not.

Peter: Ah.

Scampi: Why are you making that noise?

Peter: It is hot.

Scampi: Yes.  Would you like me to mop your brow for you?

Peter:  Ugh.

Scampi: What?

Peter: Please.

Scampi: I have been dancing up a storm.


Scampi: What do you think of that?

Peter: The statement appears to be plausible.

Scampi: You haven’t danced in two years.

Peter: Perhaps.

Scampi: I was learning awful things about dying of typhus.

Peter: Pardon?

Scampi: Gaol fever.  With a gee, in the olde style.

Peter: Perhaps I should open the window.

Scampi: That’s what they called it.  Carried around in the excretions of lice.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: Disgusting.

Peter: May I remind you that I did not bring up the subject?

Scampi: Well, I thought it was all just awful.

Peter: For what purpose were you investigating this disease?

Scampi: Investigating!  What do you think this is, Scotland Yard?

Peter: I do not.

Scampi: Well, you’re correct.  This is not Scotland Yard.

Peter: I will make a note of it.

Scampi: Good.


Scampi: These poor people.  Peter.

Peter: What people?

Scampi: Wilting with fever and deliriums.

Peter: This occurred in the past.

Scampi: I know when this occurred.


Scampi: You look drawn.

Peter: Oh?

Scampi: Like a charcoal sketch.

Peter: It is too hot.

Scampi: You know what else?

Peter: I do not.

Scampi: We are very lucky.

Peter: SIGHS.

Scampi: I could put ice in your coffee.

Peter: No thank you.

Scampi: Fine.


Scampi: What?  What?

Peter: Could you please explain the presence of your head on my scapula?

Scampi: It’s heavy.