pt 108: DECIDERIUS ERASMUS

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.

PLUS TARD.

Scampi: I’m tired.

Peter: Yes.  I am tired also.

Advertisements

pt 91: THE BROOD MARE IN THE SULTAN’S STABLES

Scampi: When I was a child.

 

Peter: When was this?

 

Scampi: Very hilarious.

 

Peter: I am simply looking for a degree of clarity.

 

Scampi: A modicum, if you will.

 

Peter: Could be.

 

Scampi: Could be.

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi: You like adventure stories.

 

Peter: Oh?

 

Scampi: At sea.

 

Peter: When I was a boy.

 

Scampi: Yes.

 

Peter: There was a certain appeal.

 

Scampi: Are you suggesting that the appeal is gone?

 

Peter: I am no longer a boy.

 

Scampi: No debate there.

 

Peter: I didn’t say there was.

 

Scampi: And I agree wholeheartedly.

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi: With the whole of my heart.

 

PETER CAREFULLY PLACES HIS HANDS INTO HIS POCKETS.

 

Scampi: I like tales of adventure.  Myself.

 

Peter: [sighs] You certainly do.

 

Scampi: Feats of bravery, clever castaways.

 

Peter: Uh.

 

Scampi: I am for it.  You know.

 

Peter: Fairy tales.

 

Scampi: Adventure.

 

Peter: What are you driving at?  May I ask?

 

Scampi: Why do we always have to talk about what I’m driving at?

 

Peter: One wonders.

 

Scampi: Coffee?

 

Peter: No, thank you.

 

Scampi: Really?

 

Peter: Yes.  Really.

 

Scampi: Fine.

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi: What do you think of harmony?

 

Peter: Uh, harmoniousness.  Or, possibly, two or more individuals producing complementary note combinations.

 

Scampi: What are you, a dictionary?

 

Peter: No.

 

Scampi: Right.  I said what do you think about harmony.  Not what is it.

 

Peter: How do these two subjects differ?

 

Scampi: What you think about something and what it is?

 

Peter: Yes.

 

Scampi: Come on.

 

Peter: I am here.

 

Scampi: I wonder sometimes.

 

PETER SHRUGS, IRRITABLY.

 

Scampi: Oh, very nice.

 

Peter: What?

 

Scampi: Nothing.

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi: Have you ever held a baby?

 

Peter: Yes.

 

Scampi: That’s all?

 

Peter: Have I misunderstood the question?

 

Scampi: I mean, Yes?  That’s all?

 

Peter: I have held a baby.

 

Scampi: What did you think about it?

 

Peter: I was very careful.

 

Scampi: Did this happen only once?

 

Peter: On each occasion.

 

Scampi: God.

 

Peter: You do like to invoke the Judeo-Christian deity.

 

Scampi: You like to presume.

 

Peter: I see.

 

Scampi: Ah, a clearing.

 

Peter: You call this a clearing?

 

Scampi: What do you call it?  A meadow?

 

Peter: I might.

 

Scampi: You might.

 

Peter: Yes.

 

Scampi: Well, do you?

 

Peter: I could.

 

Scampi: Look, Peter.  A meadow!

 

Peter: This is very nice.

 

Scampi: Let us rest awhile.

 

Peter: Where?

 

Scampi: How about here?

 

Peter: Hm.

 

Scampi: Or here?

 

Peter: Yes.  Or perhaps just there.

 

Scampi: Okay.

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi: I can hear the humble-bees.

 

Peter: What?

 

Scampi: Buzz buzz.

 

Peter: Ah.

 

Scampi: The clover.  The honeyed air.

 

Peter: Mm.

 

Scampi: Are you sleeping?

 

Peter: No.

 

Scampi: Do you know a story?

 

Peter: Yes.

 

Scampi: Tell it!

 

Peter: Perhaps another time.

 

Scampi: Why not now?

 

Peter: Now is not the time.

 

Scampi: Why not?

 

Peter: B- – snurfle – vor – – fleece.

 

Scampi: What?  What?

 

Peter: My voice becomes muffled when my hat is resting on my face.

 

Scampi: I’ll say.

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi: I like stories.

 

Peter: You certainly do.

pt 75.5: DESERT EXPLORERS

PETER CHUCKLES.

 

Scampi: What are you laughing at?

 

Peter: I don’t know where you’re going, either.

 

Scampi: Of course you don’t.

 

Peter: I surely do not.

 

Scampi: But we’re in this together.

 

Peter: We are?

 

Scampi: If we aren’t in this together, I have no idea what you’re doing here.

 

Peter: [scratches his head] Good point.

 

PETER OFFERS HIS HAND. SCAMPI SHAKES IT.

 

DEMIPAUSE.

 

Scampi: Uh.

 

Peter: Hm?

 

Scampi: Are we shaking hands here?

 

Peter: Not any more.

 

Scampi: It just seemed a little. Uh.

 

Peter (hisses): Protracted?

 

Scampi: Why are you hissing at me?

 

Peter: The weather’s good.

 

Scampi: So what?

 

Peter: I’m a little restless.

 

Scampi: In that case, I say we head over that dune.

 

Peter: Why?

 

Scampi: I want to see the other side.

 

Peter: Ah.

 

Scampi: So do you.

 

pt 43: I HOPE THIS KNOWLEDGE OF CARTELS

Scampi: Do you know where Dubrovnik is?

 

Peter: Of course.

 

Scampi: (I doubt that Peter knows.)

 

Peter: Pardon?

 

PAUSE.

 

Peter: What was that?

 

Scampi: Remember how I was telling you about Mexico?

 

Peter: Uh huh.

 

Scampi: Well, get a load of this. In Mexico, when you have three or more people who commit a crime, they count as a cartel. Amazing!

 

Peter: Uh.

 

Scampi: Eh? Don’t you think?

 

Peter: And how does this affect us?

 

Scampi: Oh, Peter, don’t be so coy. You must know that I am thinking of our future as Mexican criminals!

 

Peter: How so?

 

Scampi: Do you think we should give our cartel a name? Or do we angle for the subtle air of mystery?

 

Peter: I just don’t think we have a cartel.

 

Scampi: Please do not allow your cynicism to infest our glorious future.

 

Peter: I am not a cynic.

 

Scampi: Don’t be so negative. Grumble grumble.

 

Peter: You’re really asking for it today, aren’t you?

 

Scampi: Asking for what? A whirlwind tour of crime and romance?

 

Peter: Well, for starters, what’s so romantic about a life of crime anyhow?

 

Scampi: Oh, I don’t know, Peter. The way it’s spelled.

 

Peter: The etymological gesture to Crimea? Is that what you’re talking about?

 

Scampi: If you like.

 

Peter: Because I don’t think the Crimean War has anything to do with Mexican cartels.

 

Scampi: It could be fun. We could be cowboys.

 

Peter: I don’t think Mexico has cowboys.

 

Scampi: Ridiculous! Of course it does. They just call them gauchos.

 

Peter: Are you sure about that?

 

Scampi: Are we ever sure, Peter?

 

Peter: SIGHS.

 

Scampi: Maybe we can carry flintlock Napoleonic pistols. Like wild west pirates.

 

Peter: This historico-linguistical pastiche is causing me to experience some degree of nausea.

 

Scampi: No worries. That’s just wedding jitters. It happens to everyone.

 

Peter: Ah.

 

Scampi: Don’t sound so pained. People will start to think you’re backing out.

 

Peter: Of what?

 

Scampi: The grand adventure.

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi: Not that I’m calling you a coward.

 

Peter: I resent these implications!

 

Scampi: What implications? I told you, I’m not calling you a coward.

 

Peter: Very well.

 

Scampi: I’m just a little excited, is all.

 

Peter: Might I pose what I feel is a rather relevant question?

 

Scampi: Of course! This is a participatory plutocracy.

 

Peter: What?

 

Scampi: Go ahead, go ahead.

 

Peter: What exactly is this, ah, cartel of ours going to do?

 

Scampi: What do you mean?

 

Peter: Well, in my experience (which, I would like to point out, is entirely theoretical, in this context)

 

Scampi: (and in every other context, too)

 

Peter (valiantly): it is the case that criminals commit crimes. Ergo, I was wondering what types of crimes you had planned to commit. In Mexico.

 

Scampi: Oh, the usual.

 

Peter: Please elaborate.

 

Scampi: Well, we’ll be on horseback. As we have already discussed. I think this implies a little horse-thievery. And cattle-rustling.

 

Peter: Okay.

 

Scampi: And you know what? Speaking of plutocracies, there is great economic disparity in Mexico. I think you know what that means.

 

Peter: An impossibly unbridgeable chasm between rich and poor?

 

Scampi: Robin Hood!

 

Peter: Oh. So we’re to commit felonies based on principles of social justice.

 

Scampi: Jeez, Peter. You make us sound like assholes.

 

Peter: I suspect, somehow, that this is rather your line of work.

 

Scampi: Now, now. If you don’t want to rob the rich to feed the poor, that’s fine. I’ll think of something else for us to do. After all, your happiness is paramount. It’s at the top of my social calendar, right next to Sunday.

 

Peter: Your generosity touches us all.

 

Scampi: Perhaps we can sell pears illegally. They will be outlawed because of their deliciousness. Furthermore, they will make an indelible dent in the Mexican national consciousness. What do you think?

 

Peter: Pears.

 

Scampi: Yes: delicious, juicy pears. What do you say?

 

Peter: You want us to form a fruit-selling Mexican cartel.

 

Scampi: Do I!

 

Peter: Whom do you intend to include in this cartel?

 

Scampi: What do you mean?

 

Peter: Well, according to the intelligence you were imparting to me earlier, we need a third member to qualify as a cartel.

 

Scampi: That’s true. But maybe we could be handicapped.

 

Peter: What?

 

Scampi: We would think of ourselves as having three members. Or even five, really. But in fact, it would just be us. Conceptually, we’d be a cartel, and the law would view us as such.

 

Peter: Right. To sum up: Peter and Scampi go to Mexico on horseback armed with Napoleonic dueling pistols to start up a fruit-based, understaffed, conceptual cartel. Did I get that straight?

 

Scampi: You did! That was really great.

 

Peter: And when does this charming adventure commence?

 

Scampi: We ride at sunset.