pt 132: GLOW-BEASTS

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?

Peter: Pardon?

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.

Peter: Erm.

Scampi: Cf: Yes.

Peter: Oh?

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.

PAUSE.

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.

Peter: [OFFENDED.]

Scampi: Do you know what ‘e.g.’ stands for?

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: Uh-huh.

Peter: I know what ‘e.g.’ stands for.

Scampi: It stands for truth, justice, and brotherhood.  For starters.

Peter: Naturally.

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?

Scampi: Italy.

Peter: Is full of?

Scampi: Italians.

Peter: Stop that.

Scampi: Humph.  Some people OFTEN confuse ‘cf’ with ‘for example’.

Peter: Hm.

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.

Peter: Rattle. 

PAUSE.

Scampi: I am also surveying the territory.

Peter: And how does our kingdom appear?

Scampi: It appears to best advantage in this light.

Peter: Excellent.

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!

Peter: Plants?

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.

Peter: [SIGH-perbole.]

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.

Peter: Incorrect.

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.

PAUSE.

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.

Peter: Ah.

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.]

PAUSE.

Scampi: Well, that was unexpected.

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pt 75.5: DESERT EXPLORERS

PETER CHUCKLES.

 

Scampi: What are you laughing at?

 

Peter: I don’t know where you’re going, either.

 

Scampi: Of course you don’t.

 

Peter: I surely do not.

 

Scampi: But we’re in this together.

 

Peter: We are?

 

Scampi: If we aren’t in this together, I have no idea what you’re doing here.

 

Peter: [scratches his head] Good point.

 

PETER OFFERS HIS HAND. SCAMPI SHAKES IT.

 

DEMIPAUSE.

 

Scampi: Uh.

 

Peter: Hm?

 

Scampi: Are we shaking hands here?

 

Peter: Not any more.

 

Scampi: It just seemed a little. Uh.

 

Peter (hisses): Protracted?

 

Scampi: Why are you hissing at me?

 

Peter: The weather’s good.

 

Scampi: So what?

 

Peter: I’m a little restless.

 

Scampi: In that case, I say we head over that dune.

 

Peter: Why?

 

Scampi: I want to see the other side.

 

Peter: Ah.

 

Scampi: So do you.