pt 144: THE WARSAW PACT

Scampi: Isn’t it funny to you how a map can look like a bloodstain?

Peter: What?

Scampi: You heard me.

Peter: Indeed.

Scampi: Well?

Peter: It is meet to point out that I heard the words, but was unable to glean their meaning. In this context.

Scampi: Oh, this is how we’re talking today?

Peter: Pardon me?

Scampi: I ain’t the Pope. I ain’t the state o’ the nation. No pardons dispensed here.

Peter: I think you may have misunderstood the term “State of the Nation”.

Scampi: I am a mixologist.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: Remember the Communist blob?

Peter: I believe that was ‘bloc’.

Scampi: Just a big red blob on a map. And now what?

Peter: Perhaps we should identify the appropriate cartographic terms before continuing.

Scampi: Nonsense. You never have any fun.

Peter: [pensively] No.

Scampi: See? Ghastly.

A GHOST STROLLS PAST, SELF-CONSCIOUSLY WRINGING ITS HANDS.

Scampi: What a world.

Peter: Wait, what’s going on here?

Scampi: I dunno. Nothing.

Peter: Did the power just go out?

Scampi: Who cares? That’s what I say.

Peter: You certainly do.

SCAMPI TOSSES A TEN-GALLON HAT IN THE AIR.

Scampi: Yeehaw!

Peter: My head. It spins.

Scampi: That’s not your normal sentence structure. Are you okay?

Peter: [dubiously] I suppose.

Scampi: Here we are, the kings of supposition. And no electric lightbulbs, to boot.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: That could be cathartic. Electric lightbulb-booting.

Peter: There is no need for violence.

Scampi: What about violins?

Peter: Well, yes. Violins yes.

Scampi: A full string section, of course.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: So you wouldn’t say, Ah history, the giant bloodstain?

Peter: I have never said such a thing.

Scampi: I have.

Peter: We are all aware of this.

Scampi: Good, good. This is an awareness program, after all.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Speaking of which, garrigue.

Peter: What’s that?

Scampi: Garrigue.

Peter: Oh?

Scampi: Do you know what that is?

Peter: Uh.

Scampi: Do you?

Peter: Not particularly.

Scampi: Scrub.

Peter: What?

Scampi: That’s what it is. Low-lying scrub. You know, like foliage. In the Mediterranean Basin.

Peter: Ah, the basin.

Scampi: Scrubs and shrubs. They change the taste of the air and the taste of the wine.

Peter: Ahem.

Scampi: A covering over the hills, running down to the sea.

Peter: I know what scrub is.

Scampi: One wouldn’t think so, to look at your neck.

Peter: I bristle at such remarks.

Scampi: I can see that.

PAUSE.

Scampi: I couldn’t get out of bed today.

Peter: Oh.

Scampi: Or perhaps I could. I can’t remember.

Peter: We all have beds. And difficulties.

Scampi: I suppose if this is a dream, I haven’t gotten out of bed yet. How shall I tell?

Peter: I thought we had abandoned this line of inquiry.

Scampi: You would say that, as a dream-figment. Trying to throw me off the scent.

Peter: Consciousness is not a children’s mystery novel.

Scampi: There’s no need to be so severe about everything. It’s not The Pilgrim’s Progress either, you know.

Peter: I am not a puritan.

Scampi: Don’t tell me. Tell them.

Peter: Who?

Scampi: I dunno.

Peter: Oh.

Scampi: You seem a trifle skittish.

Peter: [skittishly] I am not.

Scampi: Mm. It seems darker.

Peter: It?

Scampi: The world. The weather.

Peter: We are preparing for a healthy bout of condensation, I would say.

Scampi: I concur.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Will we ever be heroes, Peter?

Peter: Why would we want to be heroes?

Scampi: Why wouldn’t we?

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pt 44: EL BATALLÓN DE SAN PATRICIO

Scampi: You know what that is?

 

Peter: What?

 

Scampi: It’s Orion’s belt.

 

Peter: Yes. I did know that.

 

Scampi: I bet you haven’t seen the stars this clear in a million years.

 

Peter: Well,

 

Scampi: Oh, don’t start tabulating. I’m just saying it’s pretty.

 

Peter: Yes.

 

Scampi: Have you ever heard of St. Patrick’s Battalion?

 

Peter: I have not.

 

Scampi: A bunch of them were Irish defectors from the U.S. Army.

 

Peter: When?

 

Scampi: A hundred and fifty years ago. There were African-American slaves, and Germans and other Roman Catholic types, too. They fought for Mexico in the Mexican-American War. Yup. They were all granted Mexican citizenship, too.

 

Peter: Mm.

 

Scampi: Their flag was ultra-Irish. Green and gold with “Erin Go Bragh” on it.

 

Peter: Meaning?

 

Scampi: “Ireland forever.” You knew that.

 

Peter: Slightly.

 

Scampi: Americans said they were traitors. But the Mexicans said they were heroes.

 

Peter: That tends to be the way of things.

 

SCAMPI HUMS A SONG ABOUT HEROES.

 

Peter: Why are we doing this again?

 

Scampi: Because we can.