pt 119: TOUGH

Scampi: Look at the sky!  What a grisly fog.

Peter: The sky is grey.

Scampi: Grizzled.  In sable silvered.

Peter: It is to be expected.

Scampi: Oh yeah.


Scampi: What are you doing?

Peter: Reading.

Scampi: Oh.


Scampi: I had the strangest dreams.

Peter: And you are ascribing this occurrence to the barometric pressure?

Scampi: Of course I ain’t!  My comments on the grazing fog are separate from my comments on the strange dreams.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: Grazing fog.

Peter: Yes, grazing fog.

Scampi (expectantly): Yes!

Peter: Why are you looking at me like that?

Scampi: Nothing.  Grazing.

Peter: You keep repeating this word.

Scampi: I know!  It doesn’t make any sense.

Peter: Agreed.

Scampi: Like smouldering chunks of the petrified forest.

Peter: Yes.  That is also nonsense.

Scampi: I dreamed I met a Galilean.

Peter: Pilate?

Scampi: Peter?


Scampi: No, but really.  How can there be a cherry that’s got no stone?


Scampi: Well, seed, if you prefer.

Peter: I have no preference.

Scampi: Quel surprise.  In my opinion, a cherry when it’s blooming is not a cherry.

Peter: A cherry tree?

Scampi: A cherry flower.  The blossom on the tree.  Is that a cherry to you?

Peter: In what sense?

Scampi: In the sense of a cherry.  That you put in your mouth.

Peter: I would not put a cherry blossom in my mouth.

Scampi: Well, no.  Although perhaps you should.

Peter: Excuse me?

Scampi: I can see it now!  Peter with a mouthful of cherry blossoms.

Peter: Distasteful.

Scampi: Likely bitter.  Let’s go try it out.

Peter: Pardon?

Scampi: Let’s fill up your mouth with cherry blossoms and see what happens.

Peter: No, thank you.

Scampi: You’re welcome!  Let’s do it.

Peter: I regretfully decline.

Scampi: You liar.  Regretfully nothing.

Peter: I dislike it when you accuse me of lying.

Scampi: I dislike it when you lie about your declinations.

Peter: What?

Scampi: Declensions!  Anyway, a flower is not a fruit.  I think we can agree on that.

Peter: What makes a fruit a fruit?

Scampi: It’s about the seeds and the juiciness and things.  In biology.

Peter: Pardon me?

Scampi: The seeds.  I mean, versus a berry.

Peter (suspiciously): Ah.

Scampi: If love was really a book, or a tale or whatever, then presumably it would end.

Peter: Unless it was the neverending story.

Scampi: The Neverending Story.  Which ended, of course.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: Milk and eggs, jam and bread.

Peter: A fine shopping list.

Scampi: Shopping list!

Peter: List of ingredients?

Scampi: Could be, could be.


Scampi: Do you like amber?

Peter: Who?

Scampi: The, uh, the thing.

Peter: The substance?

Scampi: Oh, the substance.  Hoity toity.  Yes.

Peter: What do you mean, do I like it?

Scampi: That’s what I mean.  Do you?

Peter: I hold nothing against it.

Scampi: Not even your own skin?  A palm full of amber beads?

Peter: Uh.

Scampi: What is it made of?  Do you know?

Peter: Amber is made from.

Scampi: Yes?

Peter: It is a, ahem.

Scampi: Do you know what it is, or don’t you?

Peter: I do.

Scampi: Well?

Peter: Resin.

Scampi: I knew that.

Peter: [intake of atmosphere]

Scampi: I was just wondering.

Peter: Amber can contain plant and animal detritus.

Scampi: Detritus?  You mean corpses.


Peter: Amber is a yellowish translucent fossilised resin deriving from extinct trees.

Scampi: Especially coniferous.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: Showoff.

Peter: If you do not wish to hear an answer, please refrain from asking questions.

Scampi: Hey, chill out, bro.

Peter: I am not your brother.

Scampi: Of course you are, Peter.  We are all brothers.

Peter: SIGHS.

Scampi: We all harden up like resin, I suppose.


Peter: Are you suggesting that we contain fossilised insect life?

Scampi: Perhaps.  It’s all very mysterious, really.

Peter: Unnecessarily so.  We are not discussing an opaque material.

Scampi: Aren’t we?

Peter: Perhaps I have lost the train of thought.

Scampi: Probably ‘cause it left the platform an hour ago.  Oklahoma-bound!


Scampi: I take that back.  Oklahoma makes me sad.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: Indian Territory.  That’s what they called it, you know.

Peter: This is no longer what they call it.

Scampi: No.  But the germ of tragedy remains.

Peter: As in seed?

Scampi: Or stone.

Peter: Or resin-bound arthropod?

Scampi: Something hard, anyway.



Peter: Today I feel old.


Scampi: How adolescent of you.


Peter: (Glowers.)


Scampi: Can I touch your stubble?


Peter: No!


Scampi: But I want to see what it’s made of.


Peter: It’s made of hair.


Scampi: Imagine having hair coming out of your face!




Scampi: Tired?




Scampi: Did you just wake up?


Peter: No, no. I am merely enjoying a little midmorning constitutional.


Scampi: Like a walk?


Peter: I am facilitating blood flow.


Scampi: Is it working?


Peter: I feel a surge of renewed vigour.


Scampi: Can you touch your toes?


Peter: That’s private.


Scampi: It isn’t.


Peter: [SHOCKED.]


Scampi: What?


Peter: A man’s body is his—


Scampi: Corpus?


Peter: Porpoise?


Scampi: Christi?


Peter: None of that, now.


Scampi: Heh. Har.


Peter: You are up to no good.


Scampi: Says who?


Peter: That is my opinion.


Scampi: Based on what?


Peter: Based on the diabolical noises you were just making.


Scampi: Always something.


Peter: Ahem.


Scampi: There’s a hole in your sock.


Peter: Perhaps.


Scampi: Your stocking.


Peter: I do not wear stockings.


Scampi: Your stocking feet. That’s how they said it.


Peter: Who did?


Scampi: You know. The people.


Peter: Oh, naturally.


Scampi: Maybe the floor isn’t smooth enough.


Peter: Or the peanut butter.


Scampi: Are you lonely, Peter?


Peter: You have an issue with peanut butter?


Scampi: We can overlook that for the moment. Are you lonelier?


Peter: Than I was when last you asked?


Scampi: No.


Peter: No.


Scampi: It’s kind of wistful. How you’re staring out the window.




Scampi: Your cravat is less than laundered.


Peter: [taking umbrage] My cravat is composed of the finest silk. It does not get laundered.


Scampi: Chinese silk?


Peter: Well.


Scampi: Is it?


Peter: I do not know.


Scampi: Doesn’t even know the provenance of his filthy necktie.


Peter: Uncalled for.


Scampi: I’ll call for it. Seres! Cerebus! Here, boy.


Peter: Are you speaking to my garments?


Scampi: No less. Your silks, I am.


Peter: Is that a riddle?


Scampi: Are you an equestrian?


Peter: I am not.


Scampi: Did you know something?


Peter: I did. I continue to know it.


Scampi: Jockeys wear silks. Did you know that?


Peter: Perhaps. Most likely.


Scampi: Didn’t think so. That’s what what they wear’s called, their outfit.


Peter: Ah.


Scampi: Their costume. Silks.


Peter: A light, attractive, yet durable fabric.


Scampi: I could wash your tie.


Peter: I don’t doubt it.


Scampi: Tell me what you see right now.


Peter: Where?


Scampi: Now.


Peter: Which direction am I looking in?


Scampi: I don’t know. What do you see?


Peter: Immediately? Or in the distance?


Scampi: Have you ever been to Spain?


Peter: I have not.


Scampi: Oh.


Peter: Why do you ask?


Scampi: Just curious.


Peter: I can see the view. And the pores in my nose.


Scampi: Ew!


Peter: What?


Scampi: Pores. Yech.


Peter: Have you been to Spain?


Scampi: Who hasn’t?




Peter: I like the view from this window (of course),


Scampi: (of course)


Peter: but the sky is rather overcast.


Scampi: And that’s not something you like. Not something you’re a big fan of.


Peter: A fan? Am I a fan?


Scampi: You sound like a cockatoo, at present.




Peter: Say what you will.


Scampi: I shall.


Peter: Indeed.


Scampi: I shell. Shell on a shore. You know that whole thing about shells, right? Peter?


Peter: Are we discussing military history?


Scampi: No, please. I mean a shell on a beach.


Peter: An army could locate—


Scampi: It could be any beach, one of those hollow type shells.


Peter: A conch.


Scampi: Or whatever. Have you ever put one up to your ear?


Peter: In order to aurally witness “the sea”?


Scampi: Sure.


Peter: No.


Scampi: You haven’t?


Peter: Well, I don’t think so.


Scampi: You don’t know? You don’t even know if you did or if you didn’t?


Peter: I am unsure.


Scampi: Yes. I thought maybe you were lonely.


Peter: You are entitled to your thoughts.


Scampi: I entitle my thought regularly. As you well know.


Peter: I’m not sure when I was last on a beach.


Scampi: You don’t have to be on the beach to hear the shell. You can be at home.


Peter: With a shell.


Scampi: Yes. You bring it home, and then the sound of the sea is only an arm’s length away.


Peter: I see.


Scampi: You hear. That’s how it works.


Peter: I don’t believe it does work, in fact.


Scampi: No, I know. I was just curious.


Peter: To know whether I had tried it?


Scampi: That’s right.


Peter: Have you tried this? With the shell?


Scampi: Nonsense. I can hear the sea right now.






Scampi: I am up to my ankles.


Peter: It looks like rain.


Scampi: It certainly doesn’t taste that way.


Scampi: What do you call it when the air snaps and cracks – is that electricity, or dust?


Peter: Uh.


Scampi: You know what I mean. Don’t you? You do. You know – when the air makes that sort of crackling noise, like static on a carpet.


Peter: When dust particles suspended in the air have sunlight passing through them they look kinda crackly. Or, um, fireflies? Is that what you mean?


Scampi: No.


Peter: I have only ever experienced what you’re describing subjectively, before a thunderstorm.


Scampi: Oh.



Scampi: Are you asleep?


Peter: No. Reading.


Scampi: I am watching the spectacles on your nose. They are sitting like, right at the end. And your hair on your forehead, like a young man.


Peter: What?


Scampi: When your hair is on your forehead like that, it makes you look more like a younger man, or maybe someone from a hundred years ago.


Peter: That would make me an older man.


Scampi: Shut up. That’s not what I meant.


Peter: Did you just tell me to shut up?


Scampi: No. Cross that out.


Peter: [Scampi: Shut up.]


Scampi: You know what’s really stupid? Feminist organisations that are stuck in some stupid thing like the second wave, or maybe the third. Wait, what wave are we on now?


Peter: Well—


Scampi: Like some dumb feminist organisation in 1997. I hate that shit.


Peter: Why did you decide you hate 1997 feminist organisations today?


Scampi: That’s not what I said. That was three weeks ago, in the morning. This is three weeks later, and it’s dark out.




Scampi: Do you want some potatoes? Or beets?


Peter: No.


Scampi: Because there are some.


Peter: Really?


Scampi: Yeah.


Peter: Are they delicious?


Scampi: Pretty much.




Scampi: Are you pregnant?


Peter: (stares at his stomach, and makes it pop out more) Yes. I’m carrying our love child.


Scampi: Because you’re glowing.


Peter: I’m glowing? I shaved today.


Scampi: No, that’s not it.






Peter: Your potatoes and beets are internationally renowned for their deliciousness.


Scampi: (blush).