pt 139: KNIGHTS ERRANT

Scampi: “Lucullus, when frugality could charm,/ Had roasted turnips in the Sabine farm”.

Plutarch: What?

Scampi: Oh! Ploo-tark.

Peter: What’s this?

Scampi: I thought we were having a classical moment.

PAUSE.

Scampi: No?

Peter: I am very busy with my important work.

Scampi: Oh. Okay.

PAUSE.

Scampi: I would like some ice cubes.  Do you have any ice cubes?

Peter: Yes.  I have seventy.

Scampi: Very nice.  I will take five.

Peter: Did you just throw five ice cubes onto the floor?

Scampi: No.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: I was juggling.

Peter: Ah.

Scampi: Like you juggle your busy schedule: home, work, family, community.  You are a modern woman.

Peter: SIGHS.

Scampi: It’s all very vulgar of course.

Peter: Pardon?

Scampi: Giving in to the modern life. Better to retire to your country home, your concubines and four-legged friends.

Peter: Perhaps you have mistaken me for someone else.

Scampi: Impossible! You are Pewter, Vice Undersecretary to the Minster of the Interior.

Peter: Ah.

Scampi: You stand to make a fortune at the next Queen’s Plate with Secretariat, your namesake.

Peter: When did Secretariat win the Queen’s Plate?

Scampi: Well, he didn’t.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Anyway, it’s all very exhausting.

Peter: Galloping?

Scampi: Oh, everything.

PAUSE.

Peter: I am not a horse.

Scampi: I never said you were a horse.

Peter: Ahem.

Scampi: Well, I didn’t. Of course, we all have our problems.

Peter: Are you having problems?

Scampi: No!

Peter: I am also not having any.

Scampi: We have so much in common.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: Why don’t we take a walk through the gardens and look at the flutterbys?

Peter: Pardon me?

Scampi: Danaus plexippus. The Monarch, no?

Peter: Oh?

Scampi: Oh, look, azaleas and shit.

Peter: Yes. Pungent.

Scampi: You know what that is?

Peter: A butterfly.

Scampi: Is it a scarce swallowtail?

Peter: Perhaps.

Scampi: Of course not. Let’s just stroll through the King’s gardens, thinking of nothing.

Peter: Ah yes.  The King.

Scampi: And you.

Peter: And I.

Scampi: You know, Peter, I’ve been thinking.

Peter: Is that not against the drift of this exercise?

Scampi: We can all get some exercise of course. I’m not stopping anyone.

Peter: Naturally.

Scampi: Sometimes the plants are very lonely, the way they’re set up.  And sometimes all bunched together.  See?

Peter: Indeed. Horticulture.

Scampi: I’m not talking about a kitchen garden here. Rows of beans and such.

Peter: I never claimed that you were.

Scampi: Right. Sometimes my mind is a tangle of roses.

PAUSE.

Scampi: What are you going to do about that? I’d like to know.

Peter: I hadn’t planned on anything.

Scampi: I should think not.

PAUSE.

Scampi: A tangle of roses, I’m telling you. Peach trees.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: Well, Peter. I certainly hope that you do.

pt 69: THERE IS A HISTORY IN ALL MEN’S LIVES

Scampi: Imagine if you were from someplace that started with The.

 

Peter: Yes?

 

Scampi: Well?

 

Peter: Well what?

 

Scampi: Imagine if you were.

 

Peter: If I was what?

 

Scampi: From someplace that started with The.

 

Peter: With the – ?

 

Scampi: Yes.

 

Peter: With the what?

 

Scampi: No, just The. The word, “the”.

 

Peter: It is a word, yes.

 

Scampi: Like, The Hague. Imagine.

 

Peter: You want me to imagine that I am from The Hague?

 

Scampi: Not necessarily. I mean, you can if you want.

 

Peter: I am not particularly compelled.

 

Scampi: There’s news.

 

Peter: Where is this leading?

 

Scampi: Down the garden path, of course.

 

Peter: I see no garden.

 

Scampi: (sadly) No.

 

A FEW GLUM MOMENTS.

 

Scampi: On the bright side, gardening is a healthful practice. We could all stand to do some gardening.

 

Peter: And this is the bright side?

 

Scampi: It is. An order of new buds, sunny side up.

 

Peter: Oh.

 

Scampi: “Wow, the sun’s so far north, now.”

 

Peter: It is?

 

Scampi: I was quoting.

 

Peter: Quoth you.

 

Scampi: God wot. Or doth ‘e?

 

Peter: Duffy?

 

Scampi: Yes, Bob?

 

Peter: Pardon me?

 

Scampi: Oh, sorry. Do you prefer to be called Robert?

 

Peter: Absolutely not.

 

Scampi: Have it your way. The sun is setting.

 

Peter: That has nothing to do with me.

 

Scampi: It does if you’re where the action is.

 

Peter: Oh? And where is that?

 

Scampi: Sure ain’t in the east.

 

Peter: You are one of logic’s finest.

 

Scampi: Do you really think so?

 

Peter: Ah.

 

Scampi: [PREENS.]

 

Peter: Really.

 

Scampi: What?

 

Peter: Is this demonstration quite necessary?

 

Scampi: Necessary! What kind of a demonstration would that be?

 

Peter: A useful one.

 

Scampi: In your dreams, buster. This is a gratuitous display, thank you very much.

 

Peter: Oh, don’t thank me.

 

Scampi: I insist.

 

Peter: For a change.

 

Scampi: Snip snap. You’re quite the clippership today.

 

PETER SCRATCHES HIS NECK.

 

Scampi: What are you trying to do there? Molt?

 

Peter: I am not paying attention.

 

Scampi: Well, you should probably start. Unless you’re in the market for an emergency tracheotomy.

 

Peter: Certainly not.

 

Scampi: Good. Your body is your tempest.

 

Peter: Temple.

 

Scampi: Um—forehead!

 

Peter: Pardon?

 

Scampi: You lose!

 

Peter: At what?

 

Scampi: Word association, of course. Ho, ho.

 

Peter: There is nothing admirable in grandstanding.

 

Scampi: Yeah, sure. There’s nothing fun in having no fun.

 

Peter: [GROANS.]

 

Scampi: Jeez, Peter. There’s a difference between a tautology (garden variety) and like, a poisoned spear.

 

Peter: (weakly) I suppose.

 

Scampi: You do. Anyhow, speaking of gardens (once again), I am reminded of great joy.

 

Peter: How so?

 

Scampi: It’s the logical next step.

 

PETER ABORTIVELY RAISES HIS ARMS IN PROTEST.

 

Scampi: I am reminded of the profound feeling of great joy that neither of us is currently experiencing.

 

Peter: What sort of a statement is that?

 

Scampi: An accurate one.

 

Peter: I really have to protest.

 

Scampi: As well you should. We should be howling from the rooftops.

 

Peter: How utterly undignified.

 

Scampi: Don’t talk about yourself that way.

 

Peter: [SPLUTTERS.]

 

Scampi: Look over there!

 

Peter: [SQUINTS.]

 

Scampi: Gorgeous!

 

Peter: I am probably not the first to inform you of the detrimental effects of staring into the sun.

 

Scampi: Probably. Anyway, I wasn’t pointing at the sun.

 

Peter: I see.

 

Scampi: I was looking underneath it.

 

Peter: Underneath it?

 

Scampi: Yes. At the flowers.

 

Peter: I see no flowers.

 

Scampi: Yet.