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 140: FRUIT TREES

Scampi: I’ll draw it for you.

Peter: That really is not necessary.

Scampi: Let me make you this diagram.

Peter: To what end?

Scampi: I want to draw it out for you.  To make things clearer.

Peter: Are we in great need of clarity, all of a sudden?

Scampi: No, no.  It has come up on us, bit by bit.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: You are like a rock on the seashore.

Peter: In what sense?

Scampi: In the sense that I said so.

Peter: Ah. Right.

Scampi: Baking in the sunshine like a loaf of wheat.

Peter: Loaf of wheat? What?

Scampi: Why are you so critical today?

Peter: Was I being critical?

Scampi: Yes. Very picky. For some reason. Which I do not know what it is.

Peter: Perhaps you are misinterpreting my words.

Scampi: Impossible!

PAUSE.

Scampi: Have you ever seen a cactus?

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: What, really?

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: I mean, not in a plant shop.  Or at the zoo.

Peter: They have cactuses at the zoo?

Scampi: Why shouldn’t they? People can have a cactus if they want.

Peter: Certainly.

Scampi: So, what? You’ve been to the desert, is that what you’re saying?

Peter: That is not what I am saying.

Scampi: Where did you see a cactus then?

Peter: I cannot recall.

Scampi: Humph. This all smacks of trickery.

Peter: Excuse me?

Scampi: Humph.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Perhaps you were driving along one day in your little Volkswagen.

Peter: I do not own a Volkswagen.

Scampi: Oh look! sez you to yourself. It be a cactoos yonder.

Peter: I do not speak this way.

Scampi: You’re in a very disagreeable mood today.

Peter: I –

Scampi: What? Do you disagree? Ho, ho!

Peter: Really.

Scampi: And truly. Furthermore, I’d like to know where this boat is going.

Peter: Yes, wouldn’t we all.

Scampi: [craftily] So you admit we’re in a boat.

Peter: What was that?

Scampi: Please pay attention to the map. Do you have anything against maps?

Peter: Certainly not.

Scampi: That’s what I’m saying. We don’t want to end up on a shoal.

Peter: Naturally.

Scampi: Well.

PAUSE.

Scampi: What does the chart say?

Peter: [irritably] You haven’t given me a chart.

Scampi: Says you.

Peter: Indeed.

PAUSE.

Scampi: I suppose we could ease up. Drift awhile, fish for smelt in the noonday sun.

Peter: I shall simply tip my chapeau over my eyes like so, and avail myself of a siesta.

Scampi: La-de-da. For my part, I shall read aloud from the book of Deuteronomy.

Peter: I would really rather you did not.

Scampi: Heathen!

Peter: Please. There is no need to shriek like a mynah bird.

Scampi: And why not?

Peter: I am right here.

Scampi: Oh. Well, why didn’t you say so in the first place?

Peter: SIGHS.

Scampi: Would you like a cushion?

Peter: What was that?

Scampi: The book of Deuteronomy is full of stiff necks, you know.

Peter: I am fine, thank you.

Scampi: Suit yourself.

PAUSE.

Scampi: You know what?

Peter: Erm.

Scampi: The shore is so beautiful this afternoon. I feel like a plover.

Peter: Wonderful.

Scampi: Yes. Are you listening to me?

Peter: Mm. Certainly.

Scampi: Okay. What did I just say?

Peter: Okay.

Scampi: Okay.

Peter: Okay.

Scampi: Just checking.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Will I wake you if I catch a fish?

Peter: No thank you.

Scampi: Fine.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Have you ever been in love?

Peter: I think so.

Scampi: What?

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: Oh. Shall I wake you in case something exciting happens?

Peter: Such as?

Scampi: Uh, dragonflies.

Peter: No, thank you.

Scampi: Fine.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Will you fall in love again, do you think?

Peter: Likely.

Scampi: How do you know?

Peter: I am taking a nap.

Scampi: Yes, yes.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Have I ever been in love?

Peter: I do not know.

Scampi: Oh.

pt 126: WE CAN’T ALL COME FROM SOMEWHERE

Scampi: Blah blah. Blah blah.

MUSICAL INTERLUDE.

Scampi: And so it goes.

Peter: Am I included in this?

Scampi: Peripherally, I suppose.

Peter: Oh.

Scampi: But not really.

Peter: Ah.

Scampi: If you’re going to sit on the tracks, you must sit next to them.

Peter: This does not parse.

Scampi: If you wish to sit down, amidst the urban landscape, you can’t get in the way of the train.

Peter: Oh?

Scampi: It isn’t the point. It will cause you to miss the point.

Peter: I wouldn’t want to do that.

Scampi: Well, no.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Do you think of yourself as a scientist?

Peter: No.

Scampi: I don’t think of you as being a scientist.

Peter: Then we are agreed.

Scampi: If that’s how you want to see it.

Peter: Are we not agreed?

Scampi: Be it resolved.

Peter: Yes?

Scampi: Sometimes, you know, people put those spiky things on buildings. So the pigeons can’t sit on them.

Peter: This is true.

Scampi: Doesn’t that bother you?

Peter: No.

Scampi: No?

Peter: I must confess, it does not.

Scampi: Just wait ‘til I put spiky things on your desk chair. Then we’ll see what bothers you.

Peter: There is no need to be so threatening.

Scampi: Where you see no need, I see need everywhere.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: We are different creatures, you and I.

Peter: We are not a different species, however.

Scampi: How can you be so sure?

Peter: It is a fact.

Scampi: You and your facts. Facts have never stood up to anything.

Peter: What have you got against facts?

Scampi: What did Senator McCarthy have against facts?

Peter: Pardon?

Scampi: Nothing at all. He just rolled on over, like a monster truck.

Peter: And you wish to take McCarthy’s attitude towards truth?

Scampi: I wish to inform you.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: Facts are very nice in your little basement apartment.

Peter: I don’t have a basement apartment.

Scampi: In your little hibernation cave. But they won’t save you, in the end.

Peter: Do I require saving?

Scampi: That’s all I’m saying about that.

Peter: Very helpful.

Scampi: I am helpful. Not that you care.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: You can see your breath.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: This is a sign.

Peter: Of respiration?

Scampi: Basically.

pt 102: LORD ACTON

Scampi: You know what I said then?

Peter: No.

Scampi: Are you listening to my story?

Peter: No.

Scampi: Argh.

Peter: Excuse me.

Scampi: Fine.

Peter: You were saying?

Scampi: I might have been saying anything.  Who cares?

Peter: Hm.

Scampi: I refuse to accept your dictum!

Peter: Are you speaking to me?

Scampi: You and the pope.

Peter: I am not a papist.

Scampi: What vocabulary.  Like a sixteenth century magistrate.

Peter: [disgruntled]

Scampi: For shame.

PAUSE.

Scampi: What were we talking about?

Peter: You were talking.

Scampi: Peter.

Peter: You call me by my true name.

Scampi: I do.

Peter: My head.

Scampi: It looks nice.

Peter: Ah.

Scampi: I am still tired.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: I reject the idiot shrapnel.

Peter: This seems a sound policy.

Scampi: Do you know what I’m talking about?

Peter: No.

Scampi: Fired from all directions.

Peter: An assault.

Scampi: I do not accept it.

Peter: Certainly.

Scampi: Is it time to sleep?

Peter: Please, do not let me interfere with your plans.

Scampi: That is the opposite.

Peter: Of what?

Scampi: The point.

Peter: Perhaps I did not understand the point.

Scampi: Lord.  Perhaps.

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.

pt 75: POLITICS

Scampi: Oh, “Peter”.

Peter (warily): Yes?

Scampi: How are you this fine day?

Peter: Well.

Scampi: What?

Peter: I am well.

Scampi: Well, indeed.  That’s where I’m headed, too.  Back to the well.  Once again.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: Of course you do.  You’re not the Chancellor of the Exchequer for nothing!

Peter: The what?

Scampi: You’re a busy man, you are.  An immunodiplomatic powerhouse.

Peter: Mm.

Scampi: A clay pot in a dowager’s garden.

Peter: I need a haircut.  Do you think I need a haircut?

Scampi: I think I should sharpen myself to a fine point, bounce off the west wall at atomic speed, and raze you a crewcut with my trajectories.

Peter: Oh.

Scampi: Pull up a chair.

Peter: Why’s that?

Scampi: You’re pacing.

Peter: That is my own business.

Scampi: Of course it is, Your Excellency.  Humblest apologies.

Peter: What’s with all the honorifics?

Scampi: What’s with being the Minister of Finance?

Peter: That’s not a rebuttal.

Scampi: What is it then?

Peter: It’s a, well, it’s not true.

Scampi: How dare you?

Peter: What?

Scampi: The truth is sacred here.  We are great proponents of truth and justice and such.

Peter: We are?

Scampi (pompously): Yes.

Peter: I was not aware of this.

Scampi: Hardly surprising.  Given your record.

Peter: What record?

Scampi: There are many records.  Records are kept.

Peter: And the archivist in charge?

SCAMPI CACKLES KNOWINGLY.

Peter: Hm.

Scampi: That’s right.  Hm indeed.

SCAMPI WHISTLES A FRANCO-ROMANIAN BALLAD.

Peter: That noise.

Scampi: What?

Peter: God.

Scampi: What?  A guy can whistle.

Peter: You’re not a guy.

Scampi: What does that have to do with anything?  Eh?

SILENCE.

Scampi: I’m a wanderer.

Peter: Intellectually?

Scampi: A tinker a tailor.

Peter: You certainly like tinkering.

Scampi: I’m a candlestick maker.

Peter: Right.

Scampi: I am, in fact.  Would you like to purchase a candlestick?

Peter: Not today.

Scampi: What do you mean, not today?

Peter: Perhaps another time.

PAUSE.

Peter: What was that?

Scampi: Oh.  I’m not sure.

Peter: Was that?  Did you just?

Scampi: It fell.

PETER SIGHS.

Peter: Let me get the broom.

Scampi: No, no.  I’ll do it.

Peter: [Acquiesces.]

Scampi: Sorry.  It fell.

Peter: It doesn’t matter.

Scampi: [humming distractedly] La bohème, la bohème…..

Peter: I think it fell over there.

Scampi: Oh, right, right.

Peter: SIGHS.

Scampi: Sorry.

PAUSE.

Scampi: I happen to know.

Peter: Full stop?

Scampi: I happen to know that this was not your favourite wineglass or anything.

Peter: Oh?  And how do you know that?

Scampi: I just know.

Peter: Convenient for you, isn’t it?

Scampi: (philosophically) It can be.

Peter: Great.

Scampi: Peter?  Petereteretereteretereter.

Peter: Elocution issues?

Scampi: I was just checking if you can hear me.

Peter: I can.

Scampi: I wasn’t sure, you see.  I had to check.

Peter: Who were you under the impression you were engaging in conversation with?

Scampi: Dr Preposition and the Fullstops.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: I am unsure how to proceed.

Peter: Affirmative.

Scampi: Affirmative?

Peter: Correct.

Scampi: What the hell does that mean?

Peter: At the risk of behaving like a thesaurus.

Scampi: I know what it means.

Peter: Oh?

Scampi: I don’t know what you mean.  By it.  What do you mean?

Peter: I think you need to take a break.  Take a breather.

Scampi: From what?  You can’t tell me what to do.

Peter: That’s nice.  Very nice.

Scampi: What are you saying?

Peter: You’re babbling.

Scampi: So what?  What else is new?

Peter: Slow down.

Scampi: No.

Peter: Okay.  Don’t.

Scampi: I won’t.

PAUSE.

Scampi: I can’t stop.

Peter: Why is that?

Scampi: I don’t know where I’m going.

pt 125: HACKLES

Scampi: I guess I still do.

Peter: What do you still do?

Scampi: This is the saddest song.

Peter: I hear no song.

Scampi: That’s a separate debate.

Peter: Humph.

Scampi: Do you know what Caledonia is?

Peter: Scotland?

Scampi: Sometimes.

Peter: Yes.  And sometimes we call it “Scotland”.

Scampi: No, no.

Peter: No?

Scampi: No.

PREGNANT PAUSE.

Scampi: Sometimes it could mean something else.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: Such as the coal mines of Glace Bay.

Peter: In Nova Scotia?

Scampi: Not to be confused with New Caledonia.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: You’ll find that there aren’t too many happy songs about miners.

Peter: You are correct.  This is something that I have found.

Scampi: Really?

Peter: The hardships of life in the mines have been well-publicised.

Scampi: What?

Peter: I said –

Scampi: I know what you said.  You think that’s tacky?

Peter: That you heard what I said?  I think it is perhaps unusual.

Scampi: You think the hardships of life in the coal mines is tacky?

Peter: That, for example, is not what I said.

Scampi: It was the way you said it.

Peter: Oh?  What way was that?

Scampi: You’re the one who said it.  I’m sure you know how you said it.

Peter: There was nothing wrong with my diction.

Scampi: Diction, quite frankly, is the least of your troubles.

Peter: My troubles?

Scampi: Of course, that’s what they called it in Northern Ireland.  The Troubles.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: What do you know?

Peter: Doubtless I know very little, in comparison to your majestic self.

Scampi: Ho ho.  Majestic!  Don’t mind if I do!

PETER PREENS CRABBILY IN THE WINDOW.

Scampi: Look at you.  You cobra.

Peter: I am demonstrating my feathers to best advantage.

Scampi: That’s evident.

Peter: [re: what Peter clearly just said] I would never say that.

Scampi: Sure.  The question is, for whose benefit is this occurring?

Peter: I am simply looking out the window.

Scampi: Oh, of course.  Now he looks out the window.

Peter: SIGHS.

Scampi: You’re like a serpent coquette, gyrating for the local snakecharmer.

Peter: Pardon me?

Scampi: Dancing around in your basket for all the market to see.

Peter: Ahem.

Scampi: Time to cross your eyes and go back to bed.

Peter: Are you saying that snakes cross their eyes?

Scampi: So, you think of yourself as a snake?

Peter: I don’t cross my eyes.  And I don’t believe it’s actually possible for a snake to cross its eyes.

Scampi: Aha!  So you are a snake!

Peter: That is a perversion of logic.

Scampi: Excessive vanity is the perversion of a healthy ego.

Peter: What?

Scampi: Sorry?

Peter: What does that even mean?

Scampi: Sorry?

Peter: I said, What does that mean?

Scampi: You don’t know what sorry means?  (Unsurprising.)

Peter: ARGH.

Scampi: Woah.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Well, there’s no need to get upset.

PETER’S HAIR STANDS UP ON END.

Scampi: You’re so punk rock.

Peter: I assure you, it is unintentional.

Scampi: You know what’s unintentional?

Peter: Do enlighten me.

Scampi: Participating in history.  This is unintentional.

Peter: How so?

Scampi: You have to do something intentional to not participate in history.  Tu t’en tires.  Or.  Tu t’en tire une balle.

Peter: I do not know what that means.

Scampi: Oh, naturally.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Do you believe that the Troubles are over?

Peter: In Ireland?  They are over.

Scampi: Technically.  Your troubles, however, are not.

Peter: Likely not.

Scampi: Yes.

PAUSE.

Scampi: You know, sometimes I look out at the sky and see birds in a vee formation.

Peter: Up at the sky.

Scampi: No.  Out.  In the direction of the horizon.

Peter: Ah.

Scampi: There they are, flapping all around.

Peter: This is a common activity for birds.

Scampi: Not penguins.

Peter: Or ostriches.

Scampi: Ostriches, Peter!

Peter: Yes?

Scampi: How ridiculous.  I’m talking about birds in flight.

Peter: Such as “not penguins”.

Scampi: Right.  I wonder if the birds have any idea of the sorts of longings they engender in terrestrial types such as myself.

Peter: Surely not.

Scampi: What are you, a bird-reader?

Peter: No.

Scampi: Flock psychology?  Cygnet Freud?

Peter: Stop that.

Scampi: Have you ever been to Caledonia?

Peter: [consulting a chart] New Caledonia?  The French-owned island in the – ?  Pacific.

Scampi: South-west Pacific.

Peter: There is no need to hyphenate.

Scampi: You know why they called it the Pacific?

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: Because it was so peaceful.

Peter: Yes, I knew that.

Scampi: Because it was so blue.  Like yourself.

Peter: I am not blue.

Scampi: Nor black, like a miner.

Peter: I do not have coal soot on my face.

Scampi: That is your good luck.

Peter: You may choose to see it that way.

Scampi: I do.  So you’ve never been to Caledonia.

Peter: No.

Scampi: Me neither.  This is a very sad song.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: I thought you said you couldn’t hear it.

Peter: I couldn’t.

pt 49: A WORKING MAN’S HANDS

Scampi: See those flowers?

Peter: I do.

Scampi: They remind me of you.

Peter: I don’t know why.

Scampi: I do.  They’re just like you.

Peter: They are not.

Scampi: They are.  Look at them.

Peter: I am looking at them.  This is how I can surmise that we are nothing alike.

Scampi: Those tulips remind me exactly of you.

Peter: I don’t understand this.

Scampi: Well, they do.

PAUSE.

Scampi: For starters, you’re both sort of delicate.  And stemmed.

Peter: Stemmed?

Scampi: Uh, yes.  Yup.

Peter: Right.

Scampi: Although, to be fair, you don’t have a brilliant stripe of scarlet for a throat.  Do you?

Peter: That’s private.

Scampi: Well, the tulips are two-tone.  You, on the other hand, are a monochrome gentleman.  I mean, am I wrong here?

Peter: I’m lost.

Scampi: While the tulips are grounded.  They are rooted in the earth.

Peter: Sometimes I’m rooted in the earth.

Scampi: I know.  I’ve seen it.

PAUSE.

Scampi: I notice you don’t get calluses from reading books.

Peter: Me?

Scampi: Or anyone, really.

Peter: That’s true.  Theoretically, someone could have a callus.  Depending on how they held the book.

Scampi: Or how silly they were.

Peter: What?

Scampi: You like to read a book or two.

Peter: I don’t deny this.

Scampi: But this doesn’t give you, say, back pain for example.

Peter: Uh.

Scampi: Or you don’t lose all the cartilage in one of your knees.

Peter: It is true that there is cartilage in both my knees.

Scampi: Right.  Your patellae are as ripe as oats.

Peter: What?

Scampi: You don’t have pains in your knees.

Peter: No, I don’t.  Should I?

Scampi: Not at all.  You’re beautiful as is.

Peter: Oh.  Ah.

Scampi: You and those tulips.

pt 116: AUTUMN LEAVES

Scampi: I have a few things to tell you.

Peter: I’m busy.

Scampi: Well, I have a few things to tell you anyway.

Peter: Is that the case?

Scampi: Yes.  Feeling defensive?

Peter: Is this one of the things you had to tell me?

Scampi: No.  It was a question.

Peter: I can sense a headache approaching.

Scampi: Well, change seats.

Peter: Pardon?

Scampi: If you can’t see the show, you know.  Switch seats.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Anyway, there are some Spanish expressions involving mules.  Did you know that?

Peter: I confess that it does not surprise me.

Scampi: Well ceded.

Peter: I ceded nothing.

Scampi: For a change.  Do you know what the expressions are?

Peter: No.

Scampi: Really?

Peter: SIGHS.

Scampi: One is ‘burro de Caleta’.  You know what that means?

Peter: I do not.

Scampi: It means you’re drunk all the time.

Peter: Pardon me?

Scampi: The expression.  It’s about a beer-fed mule.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Obviously, if you were a mule who hung around drinking beer all day, you’d be drunk.

Peter: Obviously.

Scampi: I like to think we’re making progress here.

Peter: In what sense?

Scampi: I don’t know.  I don’t think it’s true, in any event.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: I’m just sampling, you know.  From an array of available platitudes.

Peter: I heartily approve of this program.

Scampi: Oh, good.

Peter: I did not say that.

Scampi: Yes, you did.

Peter: In no way, shape, or form did I make that statement.

Scampi: Oh, right.  Who said it then?

Peter: No one said it.

Scampi: If no one said it, then what are we talking about?

Peter: That is illogical.

Scampi: I’m sure you’d like to think so.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Let’s put down blankets and bivouac here.

Peter: Right here?

Scampi: Why not?

Peter: I suppose.

Scampi: That’s right.  We can watch the stars rattle.

Peter: Stars do not rattle.  Rattling is not a property of gaseous entities.

Scampi: Ha!  You should look in the mirror.

Peter: What?

Scampi: Oh, nothing.  I want to lie down.

Peter: Very well.

Scampi: We’re in Georgia.  Did you know?

Peter: We are?

Scampi: Yes.

Peter: Which Georgia?

Scampi: The one that’s on our way.

Peter: Ah.

Scampi: We’re here for the peaches.  We’re here to sleep.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: Your hair grows faster while you’re sleeping.

Peter: Incorrect.

Scampi: Pah.  You’d like to think so.

Peter: You are taking a very cavalier attitude toward scientific facts today.

Scampi: That’s right.  Scientific facts are welcome to hop on for a canter.  We cavaliers like to see the world!

Peter: Go to bed.

Scampi: What are you talking about?

Peter: I hope you’re not waiting for me to fall asleep.

Scampi: I don’t care if you do or if you don’t.

Peter: Fine.  I intend to remain lucid a while longer.

Scampi: Lucid!  You wish.

Peter: You are tired.  Sleep.

Scampi: You’re tired, yourself.

Peter: I am.

Scampi: And cold.  Have a sweater?

Peter: Hm?

Scampi: It’s wool.  It will keep you warm.

Peter: Thank you.

Scampi: No problem.

Peter: Good night, Scampi.

Scampi: Good night, Peter.