pt 142: LOONS

Scampi: What saint looks after lovers?

Peter: Ah yes, the lives of the saints.

Scampi: There’s no need to be such a sourpuss.

Peter: This again.

Scampi: Says you. You know, we used to have two moons?

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: One for each of us. ‘Cause we didn’t want to share.

Peter: What’s that?

Scampi: Nothing. Jupiter’s got lots.

Peter: Of moons? Certainly.

Scampi: No, for parking in.

PAUSE.

Scampi: [hums] Tell me old shipmates I’m takin’ a trip, mates.

Peter: How folksy.

Scampi: I am a volksmensch, after all. Imagine looking up at the sky and seeing two moons.

Peter: Mm.

Scampi: Of course, this isn’t very interesting for you. You probably look up at the sky and see two moons all the time. After a sufficient quantity of wine.

Peter: Indeed, this is not the case.

Scampi: Ooh, indeed. Tra-la-la.

PAUSE.

Scampi: I mean, maybe it wouldn’t make any difference. What do I know?

Peter: You seem to know a great deal about making noise.

Scampi: You would say that. That’s a precise example of something you would say.

Peter: I did say it.

Scampi: Typical.

Peter: No doubt you will now treat me to a delightful series of infantile musings – “Peter, pray tell me why is the sky blue? How deep is the ocean?”

Scampi: First of all – oh wait, and secondly, I bet you have no idea how deep the ocean is. And firstly, the sky is not blue.

Peter: Thank you for sharing this fresh take on chronology with me.

Scampi: That’s right.

PAUSE.

Scampi: You’ve never really shown a huge interest in sharks. Would you say that’s fair comment?

Peter: I am not certain what this sort of judgment is intended to procure.

Scampi: Procure? What are you, a drygoods store?

Peter: I am not.

Scampi: Yes, I’d like a bolt of blue poplin and a pound of flour, please.

Peter: I am not a drygoods store.

Scampi: You know, most people don’t have the occasion to make such protestations.

Peter: I agree.

Scampi: It’s a little suspicious, don’t you think? That you feel the need to deny being a drygoods store?

Peter: Be that as it may, I am still most emphatically not a drygoods store.

Scampi: Well, whatever makes you feel comfortable. If you’d rather be thought of as a greengrocer, or what have you, I’m perfectly prepared to accommodate your manly whims.

Peter: SIGHS.

Scampi: Maybe it wouldn’t be that different. Two moons. Herds of brontosaurs chomping at will.

Peter: What connection does the apatosaurus have with the extra moon you’ve been bewailing all afternoon?

Scampi: Aftermoon. That’s what they should call this era.

Peter: You are a little geologist.

Scampi: That I am. I am imagining if the world was slightly different. Only slightly.

Peter: With two moons and one herd of thundering herbivorous lizards?

Scampi: Well, sure. Maybe it wouldn’t make a difference.

Peter: The tides might be different.

Scampi: But not the tides of our LIVES.

Peter: Good lord.

Scampi: You wake up one morning, right? Two moons are just fading from the white sky. Your wife is not in bed next to you because she is gone. She’s gone off to Kentucky to sit and strum the mandolin under the blue moons with some guy who isn’t you.

Peter: This is quite the tale.

Scampi: What’s a brontosaur here or there compared to your broken heart? That’s what I’d like to know.

Peter: My heart is not broken.

Scampi: What?

Peter: [abashed] My heart is not broken.

Scampi: Peter.

Peter: Yes?

Scampi: Don’t fib.

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pt 83: PINFEATHERS

Scampi: Calm down, Peter.

 

Peter: Insufferable.

 

Scampi: There you go again.

 

Peter: Go?  Me?

 

Scampi: Ha!  Caught in the act!

 

Peter: [registers disdain]

 

Scampi: Grouchiness incarnate.  Stop the presses, baby!  We’ve got a new front page!

 

Peter: Nonsense.

 

Scampi: Correct.  Non-sense.  I am taking the nonsensical approach to mood resurrection therapy.

 

Peter: Stop talking.

 

Scampi: Never!

 

Peter: [grimaces]

 

Scampi: The look on your face.  Stupendous.

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi: So anyway.

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi: I am watching conifers gesticulate in the sunshine.

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi: What do you think about that?

 

Peter: Pompadours?  What?

 

Scampi: They are not deciduous.

 

Peter: What are you talking about?

 

Scampi: It was a hint.

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi: The fauna.  Is it breaking your heart?

 

Peter: What?

 

Scampi: The wildlife.  The creatures.

 

Peter: Comprehension level currently ranking at zero.

 

Scampi: Lost in the woods.  Your fellow creatures breaking your heart.

 

Peter: Uh.

 

Scampi: In two.

 

Peter: Is this educational?

 

Scampi: Yes.  Science is the way of the future.  We study the natural world.  We learn to survive.  Et cetera.

 

Peter: I see.

 

Scampi: The study of owls, the study of brokenness.

 

Peter: Pardon?

 

Scampi: You see what I’m driving at here, naturally.

 

Peter: [acidly]  Oh, naturally.

 

Scampi: Right.  Can we stop for lunch?

 

Peter: Stop what?

 

Scampi: Whatever it is we’re doing.

 

PETER SPUTTERS.

 

Scampi: I’ll take that as a yes.  Tunafish?

 

Peter: Thank you.

 

Scampi: You’re welcome.

 

Peter: Where did you say we were?

 

Scampi: That’s really not the question.

 

Peter: Oh.

 

Scampi: [grandly]  Yes.

 

Peter: What is the question?  If I may ask.

 

Scampi: Hahahahahha.  Ho.

 

Peter: I wasn’t joking.

 

Scampi: I know.

pt 79: SUCH AND SO FINELY BOLTED DIDST THOU SEEM

Scampi: I fell asleep.

Peter: I shall inform the relevant newsmedia.

Scampi: Piss off.

Peter: PARDON?

Scampi: It’s an expression.

Peter: A distasteful one.

Scampi: A delectable linguisto-fest, in fact.

Peter: That’s.  I.

Scampi: Ding!  Peter-eter, down for the count!

Peter: There is no need to howl so.

Scampi: I shan’t howl then.

Peter: Why are you speaking this way?

Scampi: I have no idea what you’re talking about.

Peter: “Shan’t.”

Scampi: Hee haw.  You sound like the emir in Tintin.

PETER LETS HIS RACQUET FALL.

Scampi: Can I offer you a beverage?

Peter: It appears that you have.

Scampi: Harumph.  Coffee?

Peter: I acquiesce.

Scampi: You’re terribly good at that.

PETER’S FACE IS A BLANK SHEET OF SPRING RAIN.

Scampi: Well, moving right along.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: What would you say if I said my heart was broken?

Peter: I suspect you wouldn’t say that.

Scampi: That’s what you’d say?

Peter: No.  I.

Scampi: What would you say?

Peter: I would.  Express my sympathies, I suppose.

Scampi: Yeah, right.  I doubt it.

Peter: Well.  I’m glad I was able to assist you with your query.

Scampi: Thanks a lot.  Why didn’t you just direct me to the reference desk?

Peter: Because I am not a library.

Scampi: I’ll say.  You don’t even have a photocopying machine.

Peter: I do not.  You are correct.

Scampi: And if you did, it would be cleft in twain.

Peter: Oh?

Scampi: Like my heart.

Peter: Ah yes.  Your heart.

Scampi: Ug.  Don’t say it like that.

Peter: Like what?  I have often been complimented on my excellent, above-average elocution.

Scampi: [snorts] Yeah huh.  We are referring to my fiery engine red construction paper heart here.  Not a lab experiment featuring amphibians.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: If only this were the case.

Peter: There’s nothing wrong with my vision.

Scampi: (That a little corrective eyewear can’t fix.)

Peter: Correct.

Scampi: Corrective.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: I have fallen asleep at a barbecue once.  Did you know that?

Peter: No.

Scampi: Well, I didn’t really.

Peter: Ah.

Scampi: But I could have.

Peter: Mm.

Scampi: See?

Peter: No.

Scampi: I’m just saying, I almost fell asleep at a barbecue once.  Or twice.

Peter: Well, good for you.

Scampi: I can get very sleepy.  That’s all.

Peter: We have been tired.  We are a tiresome race.

Scampi: What?  What?

Peter: I said—

Scampi: I know what you said.

Peter: Well then.

Scampi: You want some cake or something?

Peter: No.

Scampi: Why not?

Peter: I don’t know.

Scampi: So?

Peter: I don’t want any cake.

Scampi: Fine.

Peter: Thank you.

Scampi: You are terribly welcome.

Peter: How kind.

Scampi: Most certainly.  With utmost amounts of certitude.

Peter: Quite.

Scampi: With unscientific amounts of certitude.

Peter: Okay.

Scampi: With a blind, mad degree of certainty that contradicts the whole spirit of the scientific method.  With—

Peter: I think that’s quite enough.

Scampi: Enough what?

Peter: Chatter.

Scampi: Ho ho.  You would.

Peter: I do.

Scampi: Kids used to like to lick on candy, down to a seed in their palms.  You know what I’m talking about?

Peter: Roughly.

Scampi: Do they still do that, kids?

Peter: Why not?

Scampi: Well, why not?  Why not not?

Peter: Please.

Scampi: What manners!

PETER INSPECTS HIS UNCOMPLEX HANDS.

Scampi: Ho ho.

Peter: Wait a moment.  What are you saying about my hands?

Scampi: Me?

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: Me?  I didn’t say anything.

Peter: I suspect—

Scampi: Oh, that’s a change.

Peter: This coffee is.  Delicious.

Scampi: You’re kind of slow today.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: That’s okay.  I am broken.

Peter: Ah yes.  Your cardboard heart.

Scampi: Construction paper.

Peter: Inflammable, at any rate.

Scampi: We are.

pt 145: IT IS NO LONGER TRUE

Scampi: I imagine St. Augustine and Plutarch to have this very dry sort of conversation.

Peter: Did they meet?

Scampi: Well.

Peter: I don’t recall them meeting.

Scampi: Very funny.

Peter: I really –

Scampi: I, Claudius.

Peter: No but I really do not know what you are speaking about.

Scampi: I am speaking about the aridity of the convo between St. Augustine and Plutarch.

Peter: Which they did not have.

[PAUSE.]

Peter: Wait, am I Plutarch?

Scampi: Ha! Ha, har. Oh. Ho.

Peter: [offended] What?

Scampi: Thinks he’s Plutarch!

Peter: Should you require reminding, you have called me Plutarch before. Numerous times.

Scampi: Oh ho, numerous.

Peter: Well, more than once.

Scampi: Need I so needfully remind you, there’s a great difference between perhaps being called Plutarch (Ploo-tark) and self-identifying as Plutarch. Like a lunatic. Loon attic.

Peter: [RUFFLED.]

Scampi: Why is it?

Peter: What?

Scampi: People are just awful, sometimes. So [CURSING] horrid.

Peter: What was that?

Scampi: Censorship. It’s my new thing.

Peter: Since when?

Scampi: Since never. I no longer plan to practise it.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: Yes well. I am only saying.

Peter: Ah yes. You and your ‘sayings’.

Scampi: Don’t take that tone with me. Har, har.

Peter: [SIGHS.]

Scampi: I have some things to say, you see.

Peter: So you claim.

Scampi: Can you imagine how terrible we are to each other?

Peter: Is this a pointed remark?

Scampi: Lucullus’ mother, you know, was notorious for her wild lifestyle.

Peter: Oh?

Scampi: Yes.

[PAUSE.]

Scampi: We are all a touch wild, I suppose.

Peter: Hm.

Scampi: A pack of insubordinate animals. How can one man trust another?

Peter: I trust my fellow-man.

Scampi: Oh, right.

Peter: I resent this antagonism.

Scampi: What antagonism?

Peter: You doubt the love I tender my brother?

Scampi: Oh yes, your estimable brother. Indeed.

Peter: There’s no need to hold humanity hostage to your mercurial moods.

Scampi: I blame the weather.

Peter: The weather, the Holy Roman Empire, the gender imbalance.

Scampi: Well yes. Have you understood me at last?

Peter: [EXASPERATED.]

Scampi: That’s exactly it, isn’t it?

Peter: Are you being facetious?

Scampi: No.

Peter: [suspicious] Oh.

Scampi: But it would be decent of people not to break each other’s hearts, sometimes.

Peter: Oh, this.

Scampi: This.

FOUR ALBATROSSES COAST BY, RIDING THE WIND LIKE A PACK OF NASCARS.

Scampi: Shall we walk?

Peter: Certainly.

Scampi: You can see the moss already. Coming up green.

Peter: Ahem.

Scampi: The chanterelles, the tubers.

Peter: Sshh. The woods.

Scampi: I know. There’s nothing wrong with aspiration, of course. Except in the areas of a) food intake; and b) height.

Peter: What? Height?

Scampi: No man is taller than a man.

Peter: I feel like that is one of those things that you say that does not mean anything.

Scampi: Well then, o ye of ickle faith. Parse it.

Peter: A truism?

Scampi: It wouldn’t kill you to think and feel at the same time, you know. In fact –

Peter: Facts!

Scampi: Don’t bark at me. Maybe you should brush up on your nautical terms instead of howling at the moon like this.

Peter: I am ‘up’ on my nautical terms, thank you.

Scampi: You’re welcome.

[PAUSE.]

Scampi: Tender: Nautical (of a ship) leaning or readily inclined to roll in response to the wind.

Peter: Certainly, certainly.

Scampi: Tender that to your brother.

Peter: Hm.

Scampi: The wind is blowing.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: It will be a long night, I fear.

Peter: YAWNS.

Scampi: And the fog is rolling in.

pt 85: A LITTLE BIT OF ATMOSPHERE

Scampi: Can’t

Peter: Immanuel?

Scampi: Jesus.

PAUSE.

Scampi: You look like you got some sun.

Peter: Perhaps.

Scampi: Sometimes I think your hands are made of wax.

Peter: They are not.

Scampi: Candle wax.

Peter: Incorrect.

Scampi: I’m just saying.  That’s all.

Peter: Well.

Scampi: What do you think about that?

Peter: About you saying things that are untrue?

Scampi: Forget it.

Peter: I shall do my best.

Scampi: Do you hear a crackling?

Peter: In your voice?

Scampi: No.  In the air.

Peter: No.

Scampi: It’s electric.  The air.

Peter: Your voice is cracking a little.

Scampi: It isn’t.

Peter: Okay.

Scampi: It is not.

Peter: Fine.

Scampi: I like pinecones.

Peter: Oh?

Scampi: I do.  Nice shape they have.

Peter: It is an ingenious design.

Scampi: [with great disdain] Design!

Peter: Roomy, yet delicate.

Scampi: Just like you!

Peter: I am not roomy.

Scampi: [CACKLES]

Peter: Well.

Scampi: Horses are good, too.  All that kind of stuff.

Peter: What kind of stuff?

Scampi: You know, horses.  And stuff.

Peter: Horses?  And?

Scampi: Stuff.

Peter: Stuff.

Scampi: You know what I mean.

Peter: This is rarely an accurate statement.

Scampi: [GUFFAWS.]

Peter: I fail to see the humour.

Scampi: This is generally an accurate statement.

Peter: Are you quite finished?

Scampi: With what?

Peter: This tomfoolery.

Scampi: Tomfoolery!  Oho, Peter!

Peter: No comment.

Scampi: Har har.

PAUSE.

Scampi: You and your waxy fingertips.

Peter: They are not waxen.  This has been established.

Scampi: Waxy.

Peter: SIGHS.

Scampi: Do you know what a dagesh is?

Peter: Perhaps.

Scampi: I bet you don’t.

Peter: That’s rude.

Scampi: It’s a dot.

Peter: Ah.

Scampi: In Hebrew consonants.  It strengthens them.

Peter: I see.  Perhaps I did know that.

Scampi: Yeah right.  Anyway, can you imagine?  Strengthening a consonant.

Peter: I don’t see why not.

Scampi: Humph.  Imagine yourself.

Peter: I don’t generally have to.

Scampi: Being strengthened by a dot, I mean.

Peter: I am not a consonant.

Scampi: Don’t be too sure.

Peter: I am fairly sure.

Scampi: Well, it’s nothing to be smug about, anyway.

Peter: I don’t think—

Scampi: You probably think you’re some kind of a vowel!  Ha ha.

Peter: Incorrect.

Scampi: And sometimes y!

Peter: I am not a member of the alphabet.

Scampi: A member!  You’re killing me.

Peter: That is not the intent.

Scampi: Ah, the comprehensive Aristotelian tragedy.  Intent has nothing to do with it, I’m afraid.

Peter: That is cause to be fearful.

Scampi: It is.

THE SILENCE OF BLACKBIRDS.

Scampi: Would you like to know something else about the language of our fathers?

Peter: What are you talking about?

Scampi: The shva.  You know what that is?

Peter: I do not.

Scampi: I know.  You know what it does?

Peter: No.

Scampi: Ha.  It represents four things, four different things.  Grammatical entities.  Get this.

Peter: One hopes I shall, eventually.

Scampi: Resting, moving, and floating are the first three.  You know what the last one is?

Peter: Hang-gliding?

Scampi: No.  Bleating.  (Or bellowing.)  Can you imagine?

Peter: Being so often in your company leaves little about bleating and bellowing to the imagination.

Scampi: Humph.  I bet you’d be strengthened by a pinprick to the middle.

Peter: As I have recently stated, I am not a consonant.

Scampi: True.  You might deflate.

Peter: SIGHS.

Scampi: It would probably sound like that, too.  Or not.

PENSIVE MOMENT.

Peter: Are you suffering from a broken heart, perchance?

Scampi: I liked it better when we were talking about horses.