Scampi: Take, for example, a pigeon on a post.
Peter: What sort of a post?
Scampi: A telephone pole.
Peter: On the pole or on the wire?
Scampi: What, you can’t take my word for it?
Scampi: On the post, the post. The top of the log.
Peter: I see.
Scampi: I mean, the pole. Turning this way and that. Pecking around. Surveying the territory.
PETER PLAYS A GAME OF CAT’S CRADLE WITH HIS CHIN.
Scampi: What is a bird doing, I wonder, turning round and round like that?
Peter: Like what?
Scampi: The way a dog does on a hearth.
Peter: Do birds get dizzy?
Scampi: Basically – no.
Scampi: Cf: Yes.
Scampi: No can be compared with yes. No?
Peter: I suppose.
Scampi: Why not? Compared to yes, no isn’t likely to be something a snake might say.
Peter: You feel that snakes tend towards optimism?
Scampi: Or hissing, at least.
Scampi: I don’t think you have to be an optimist to look on the bright side.
Peter: This is not my area of expertise.
Scampi: Certainly not! Har har.
Scampi: Do you know what ‘e.g.’ stands for?
Peter: I know what ‘e.g.’ stands for.
Scampi: It stands for truth, justice, and brotherhood. For starters.
Scampi: It also stands for exempli gratia.
Peter: Why the italics?
Scampi: Latin is often spoken in italics. The country’s full of them.
Peter: What country?
Peter: Is full of?
Peter: Stop that.
Scampi: Humph. Some people OFTEN confuse ‘cf’ with ‘for example’.
Scampi: I am not naming names, however. As you can see.
Peter: Yes, you are startlingly gracious.
Scampi: You certainly appear startled. Like a turtle-dove.
Peter: Thank you.
Scampi: Coo. Cf: noises made by snakes.
Scampi: I am also surveying the territory.
Peter: And how does our kingdom appear?
Scampi: It appears to best advantage in this light.
Scampi: Actually, everything appears to best advantage in this light.
Peter: How advantageous.
Scampi: I am pro-sunshine.
Peter: Good for you.
Scampi: Good for plants, too. Plants are pro-sunshine.
Peter: I see little controversy in this statement. Unless the implication is that plants are sentient.
Scampi: They are!
Scampi: Of course. Look at you: you’re a plant.
Peter: Excuse me?
Scampi: You don’t need an excuse to have vines for toes. I’m as open-minded as the next guy.
Peter: I am not a plant. Really.
Scampi: You’re sentient, aren’t you?
Peter: I believe so, most of the time.
Scampi: Plants are, too. You’re a plant!
Peter: That manoeuvre has a name.
Scampi: Don’t I know it. I practically invented the genre.
Scampi: That’s what happens if you’re going to sigh while talking. No one will see what you’re saying.
PETER ANGLES ONE OF HIS TENDRILS SKYWARD.
Scampi: Anyway, some plants glow at night. Like mushrooms.
Peter: I am not a mushroom.
Scampi: Tee hee. No, certainly not. You are a cellist.
Scampi: How so?
Peter: I do not play the cello.
Scampi: Why not?
Peter: I – it’s not something I know how to do.
Scampi: Well, you should learn. That’s my view.
Peter: Yes. Quite.
Scampi: Our verdant and herbaceous friends are welcome to take up the cello. This string quartet is non-discriminatory.
Peter: I shall take that into account.
Scampi: Pray, do.
Scampi: You know, some people miss the sun all winter long.
Peter: Yes. I am not one of those people.
Scampi: Neither am I.
Peter: I might be.
Scampi: Yes. It’s the chlorophyll in your veins.
Scampi: You must soak your toes in water. This will keep you fresh and alive.
Peter: Perhaps I shall avail myself of this excellent advice.
Scampi: [suspiciously] Oh?
Peter: [FALLS ASLEEP.]
Scampi: Well, that was unexpected.