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.

 

SCAMPI SCOWLS AT PETER, MENACINGLY.

 

Peter: Did you just give me the finger?

 

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

 

PAUSE.

 

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.

 

PAUSE.

 

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.

 

PAUSE.

 

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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