pt 45: PILOTS

Scampi: Peter, did you know that Annie Oakley could split a playing card edge-on at a distance of ninety feet?


Peter: Who?


Scampi: With a twenty-two. You know, like a gun.


Peter: I would like to submit that I abhor violence.


Scampi: Yes yes. But she was a sharpshooter, like a marksman. Markswoman. In Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show. No violence.


Peter: Hm.


Scampi: So, this playing card. Apparently Annie Oakley could put five or six more holes in it before it hit the ground.


Peter: So she didn’t like cards.


Scampi: This is a disingenuous response to what is in fact an extraordinary feat of hand-eye coordination. You know, what you use to play video games.


Peter: I do not.


Scampi: Sure.




Peter: Did you just give me the finger?


Scampi: No. Jeez, go back to what you were doing.




Scampi: What were you doing, anyway?


Peter (sighs): I am currently using my laptop to hack the mainframe.


Scampi: What?


Peter: Look, I’ll explain later.


Scampi: Fine. Be that way.


Peter (patiently): You will like it. I promise.


Scampi: Fine fine. Ok.




Scampi: You know what else about Annie Oakley?


Peter: No. What else about Annie Oakley?


Scampi: She was married to a man.


Peter: Call the papers!


Scampi: I wasn’t finished. When she died, of pernicious anaemia, her husband stopped eating. Frank Butler. Which was his name. He just stopped eating, and he died eighteen days later.


Peter: Can you source any of these statements?


Scampi: Maybe you should go use your laptop to hack the mainframe of the Tree of Knowledge.


Peter: What?


Scampi: Nothing. Death is pernicious, isn’t it?


Peter (yawning): It certainly seems that way.


Scampi: I want a twenty-two.


Peter: I feel that this would likely cause great damage to yourself. Not to mention me.


Scampi: Says you.


Peter: Yes. This is what I say.


Scampi: Many years ago, when airplanes were new, what do you think they looked like?


Peter: I know what they looked like. One does not require, ahem, excellent research skills to procure images of the Wright Brothers in action, for example.


Scampi: No, I mean what do you think they looked like? To the people?


Peter: Like airplanes.


Scampi: But there weren’t any airplanes before.


Peter: Before?


Scampi: Before that. So they wouldn’t of looked like airplanes at all. They would’ve looked like something completely new.


Peter: Perhaps.


Scampi: I know what I know, Peter.


Peter: Wittgenstein—


Scampi: Stop! No philosophy!


Peter: SIGHS.


Scampi: I hate philosophy.


Peter: No comment.


Scampi (sotto voce): And I hate you.


Peter: What did you say?


Scampi: Nothing!


Peter: You know—


Scampi: No, really. Nothing at all. I was just, ah, thinking out loud.


Peter: What?


Scampi: Nothing.


Peter: I think you should get some sleep.


Scampi: Yeah ok. Goodnight, Peter.


Peter: Goodnight.


Scampi: Peter?


Peter: Yes?


Scampi: Do you think we’ll make it over the border?


Peter: Presumably.


Scampi: Ok.


Peter: Why?


Scampi: Just curious.


Peter: Ah.


Scampi: Peter?


Peter: Yes?


Scampi: What if we don’t?


Peter: Go to sleep.


Scampi: I am. But what if?


Peter: What?


Scampi: Nothing.


Peter: Sorry?


Scampi: Sorry. Nothing.




Scampi: Peter?


Peter: Uh-huh.


Scampi: Annie Oakley didn’t have anything against playing cards.


Peter: Ok.


Scampi: She was just being accurate.


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