pt 135: THE MAN WITH TWO UMBRELLAS

Scampi: If I may, I’d like to bring the topic around.

Peter: Oh? What ails it?

Scampi: Har har.  I’d like to bring the topic around to the Linnaean Society, of course.

Peter: Of course.

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pt 36: ONION SANDWICHES

Peter: Crunch crunch.

 

Scampi: That is an unusually crunchy sandwich you’ve got there.

 

Peter: It is an onion sandwich.

 

Scampi: Hm.  [SCAMPI HAS NO AVAILABLE COMMENTS HERE.  THERE ARE NO OPTIONS.]

 

Peter: Well.  You’re awfully quiet today.

 

PAUSE.

 

Peter: Not that I’m complaining.  In fact, most of the time, your voice is like a jigsaw in my ear.  Whining and spewing sawdust.  Ug.

 

Scampi: Good call.

 

Peter: I was thinking of buying a new broom.

 

Scampi: To sweep the floor with?

 

Peter: In so many words.

 

Scampi: What?

 

Peter: You can’t take a hint, can you?

 

Scampi: No.  Of course I can’t.

 

Peter SIGHS.

 

Scampi: Why should I?

 

Peter: Well.  It’s the grown-up thing to do.

 

Scampi: I think the grown-up thing to do is to say what you mean.  Anyway, what do you know about grownups?

 

SCAMPI AND PETER REALISE AT THIS PRECISE MOMENT THAT THEY HAVE REACHED AN IMPASSE.  OR PERHAPS A CANYON.  ON THE ONE SIDE OF WHICH ARE CAMPED GROWNUPS.  ON THE OTHER SIDE OF WHICH SCAMPI AND PETER SQUABBLE LIKE CHILDREN.

 

Peter: Look, I’m going to boil the water for tea.  Would you like a cup?

 

Scampi: Yeah I’ll have one.  Thank you.

 

Peter: No, no.  I insist: thank you.

 

Scampi: The pleasure is all mine.

 

Peter: You’re too kind.

 

Scampi: I guess kindness is important.

 

Peter: Yes.

 

Scampi: Do you think you’re kind, very much?  I mean, do you think of yourself as a kind person?

 

Peter: What are you implying?

 

Scampi: I’m not.  [PAUSE.]  I’m really not.

 

Peter: Fine.

 

Scampi: I just mean – I don’t know.  I don’t know if people think of themselves as kind.

 

Peter: Perhaps I don’t think of myself at all.

 

Scampi: Yes, you do.

 

Peter: Sometimes, I think that my mind is a disease.  Does this count?

 

Scampi: Yes.  According to Depeche Mode, everything counts.

 

Peter: Ah.

 

Scampi: Sometimes one’s mind can be hard on one.

 

Peter: Yes.

 

Scampi: Maybe all this housecleaning is upsetting you.

 

Peter: Impossible.

 

Scampi: Maybe you should read a book.  Get back your special glow.

 

Peter: I already ate an onion sandwich.  I am not short on creature comforts.

 

Scampi: You are truly a self-made man.

 

Peter: Goodbye.

 

Scampi: What?

 

Peter: I am tired of your chatter.  It is tiresome.  I can’t think.

 

Scampi: But I haven’t had any tea yet!

 

Peter: Oh well.

 

Scampi: Oh well.

 

Peter: See ya later!  Ciao!

 

SCAMPI IS ALREADY HALFWAY ACROSS THE CITY, PLAYING PINBALL AND LISTENING TO THE WHO, AND THUS, SHE MISSES THIS LAST REMARK.  EVEN IF SHE HAD HEARD IT, HOWEVER, SHE DOES NOT SPEAK ITALIAN.

pt 83: PINFEATHERS

Scampi: Calm down, Peter.

 

Peter: Insufferable.

 

Scampi: There you go again.

 

Peter: Go?  Me?

 

Scampi: Ha!  Caught in the act!

 

Peter: [registers disdain]

 

Scampi: Grouchiness incarnate.  Stop the presses, baby!  We’ve got a new front page!

 

Peter: Nonsense.

 

Scampi: Correct.  Non-sense.  I am taking the nonsensical approach to mood resurrection therapy.

 

Peter: Stop talking.

 

Scampi: Never!

 

Peter: [grimaces]

 

Scampi: The look on your face.  Stupendous.

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi: So anyway.

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi: I am watching conifers gesticulate in the sunshine.

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi: What do you think about that?

 

Peter: Pompadours?  What?

 

Scampi: They are not deciduous.

 

Peter: What are you talking about?

 

Scampi: It was a hint.

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi: The fauna.  Is it breaking your heart?

 

Peter: What?

 

Scampi: The wildlife.  The creatures.

 

Peter: Comprehension level currently ranking at zero.

 

Scampi: Lost in the woods.  Your fellow creatures breaking your heart.

 

Peter: Uh.

 

Scampi: In two.

 

Peter: Is this educational?

 

Scampi: Yes.  Science is the way of the future.  We study the natural world.  We learn to survive.  Et cetera.

 

Peter: I see.

 

Scampi: The study of owls, the study of brokenness.

 

Peter: Pardon?

 

Scampi: You see what I’m driving at here, naturally.

 

Peter: [acidly]  Oh, naturally.

 

Scampi: Right.  Can we stop for lunch?

 

Peter: Stop what?

 

Scampi: Whatever it is we’re doing.

 

PETER SPUTTERS.

 

Scampi: I’ll take that as a yes.  Tunafish?

 

Peter: Thank you.

 

Scampi: You’re welcome.

 

Peter: Where did you say we were?

 

Scampi: That’s really not the question.

 

Peter: Oh.

 

Scampi: [grandly]  Yes.

 

Peter: What is the question?  If I may ask.

 

Scampi: Hahahahahha.  Ho.

 

Peter: I wasn’t joking.

 

Scampi: I know.

pt 80: OLD TIME

Scampi: We were having lunch this one time.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Peter?

Peter: Yes?

Scampi: We were having lunch.

Peter: I believe it.

Scampi: Ugh.  Anyway, out in a restaurant.  And you were like, The waitress is a ninja.

Peter: I was?

Scampi: She was stealthy.  She crept up.

Peter: Oh.

Scampi: Do you remember this?

Peter: No.

Scampi: Well, I do.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: Nice weather we’re having.

Peter: Oh yes.

Scampi: Shit.

Peter: What?

Scampi: I dunno.

Peter: Okay.

Scampi: Fresh herbs for summer salads.  Here today, gone tomorrow!

Peter: Are you reading something?

Scampi: No.

Peter: Oh.

Scampi: I’m just saying.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: Halfway to Mexico, and what do we do?

Peter: I don’t know.

Scampi: We stop going there.

Peter: Is that what happened?

Scampi: Well, I don’t know.

Peter: Oh.

Scampi: We could take a boat.  To England.

Peter: From where?

Scampi: I dunno.  Plymouth Rock?

PETER, A STUFFED PEACOCK, DISAPPROVES.

Scampi: Hee hee.

Peter: What?

Scampi: The world, as they say, is your oyster.  Did you know that?

Peter: I did not.

Scampi: Why, don’t you think it’s true?

Peter: As an apt metaphor?

Scampi: Who cares?

Peter: What?

Scampi: The world as a crustacean, the world as a shellfish.  You’ve got a problem with this?

Peter: Well.  I.

Scampi: Don’t you feel lucky?

Peter: Ah.  Certainly.

Scampi: Yeah, well.  You don’t act like it, buddy.

Peter: What is that supposed to mean?

Scampi: Nothing, nothing.

PAUSE.

Scampi: The luck, the luckiness.  It sneaks up on you like a ninja waitress.  One minute you’re finishing your tea, the next minute the bill is in front of you, right there on the table.

Peter: Right.

Scampi: How the hell did this get here? you say.  It was the goddam ninja waitress.

Peter: Some service industry professionals are certainly very skilled at their métier.

Scampi: Poppycock!

PETER SCRATCHES HIS HEAD.

Scampi: Look at you.

Peter: Me?

Scampi: Clawing away.

Peter: It itches.

Scampi: The truth always does.

Peter: This is incorrect.

Scampi: Itchy itchy scratchy scratchy.  That’s you.

Peter: I disagree.

Scampi: As a default.  We know.

PAUSE.

Scampi: When you think of walks we took, over the years.

Peter: I don’t.

Scampi: Harumph.  The seasons all roll together, don’t they?

Peter: We live in a temperate zone.

Scampi: Maybe you do.

Peter: We do.

Scampi: The winter, the spring.

Peter: Temperate seasons.

Scampi: The years.

Peter: Yes.

PAUSE.

Peter: You’re pacing.

Scampi: I am.

Peter: It’s hurting my head.

Scampi: So what?

PAUSE.

Scampi: I’m sorry.

Peter: Acknowledged.

Scampi: Shall we stick our head out the window?

Peter: Our head?

Scampi: Yes.  Your head, my head.  Should we test the air?

Peter: Perhaps.

Scampi: Not today.

Peter: No.

Scampi: The winds of change are blowing.

Peter: Excuse me?

Scampi: They are rustling the herbs in the flowerpots.

Peter: Oh.

Scampi: They appear at your door without warning.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: And then they disappear!

Peter: Right.

Scampi: And you’re stuck in the doorway, holding the bill.

Peter: What bill?

Scampi: You pretend you’re not following this train of thought.

Peter: I do not.

Scampi: You do.  But your amateur theatrics don’t fool me!

Peter: This is bordering on hysteria.

Scampi: Hysterical.

Peter: I presume that you are cognisant of the time?

Scampi: I am.  

pt 78: THE IONIZED TWO-STEP

Scampi: The wind, it blows.

Peter: Hm?

Scampi: What direction is the wind coming from?

Peter: Mm.

Scampi: Don’t you know?

Peter: Of course I know.

Scampi: Well then?

Peter: Well.  That way.

Scampi: [ROLLS EYES.]

PAUSE.

Scampi: I can tell you something.

Peter: Likely.

Scampi: Peter?  Would you like to know what it is?

Peter: Do I have a choice?

Scampi: The wind is blowing over the rooftops.  The wind is rattling the branches.

Peter: Okay.

Scampi: But what about me?

Peter: You are not doing either of these things.

Scampi: I am being buffeted about by the wind.  Paff boff.

Peter: You look rather stationary at present.

Scampi: That’s exactly the sort of thing you would think.

Peter: I do not deny it.

Scampi: That’s exactly the sort of thing you would say.

Peter: It is.

Scampi: Do you know how to waltz?

Peter: No.  Not exactly.

Scampi: Do you know how to waltz imprecisely?

Peter: Perhaps.

Scampi: Like, just approximately?

Peter: Possibly.

Scampi: What’s that mean?  You can waltz in two four time?

Peter: Where is this avenue of inquiry leading?

Scampi: It’s leading the waltz.  That you are incapable of leading yourself.  Apparently.

Peter: I see.  I am being browbeaten over the issue of ballroom dance techniques.

Scampi: You wish.

Peter: I certainly do not.  I do not wish to be browbeaten.

Scampi: Well then.  Don’t be.

Peter: SIGHS.

Scampi: I’m lost.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: You see?  Are you lost?

Peter: No.  Yes.

PETER GROWS FLUSTERED, AS A COCKATOO.

Scampi: The wind is blowing from over there.  Do we point our nose into the wind?  Do you think?  Do we keep the wind at our back?

Peter: What is this ‘we’?

Scampi: You’re lost.  I’m lost.  We’re trying to get unlost.  Aren’t we?

Peter: Perhaps.

Scampi: I mean, what else are we supposed to do?  Do you want some lunch?

Peter: I do.

Scampi: Oh.

PAUSE.

Scampi: I was in the country.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: Recently.

Peter: Oh?

Scampi: Yes.

Peter: The country.  Bucolic.

Scampi: Rather.  Theoretically.

Peter: We have all been known to take a bucolic sojourn.

Scampi: We have.  There were likely many species.

Peter: Of?

Scampi: Birds.  Or whatever.

Peter: Birds?

Scampi: I guess.

PAUSE.

Scampi: There’s something missing.

Peter: From what?

Scampi: Or maybe something extra.

Peter: Which is it?

Scampi: The time signature would clarify this point.

Peter: Are we speaking of musical notation?

Scampi: Maybe.

PAUSE.

Scampi: If we are lopsided, top-heavy.  If we are empty.

Peter: Yes?

Scampi: Does it make a difference?

Peter: How do you mean?

Scampi: The negative charge, the positive charge.

Peter: Are you speaking of isotopes?

Scampi: I am speaking of equilibrium.

PETER SHUDDERS.

Scampi: Precisely.  I don’t know if it matters to which side Pisa is leaning.

Peter: It would perhaps matter to the gentleman underneath it.

Scampi: But the tower itself.

Peter: Yes?

Scampi: It’s falling.

pt 40: BLACK-EYED SUSAN

Scampi: I smell trouble.

 

Peter: You are trouble.

 

Scampi: Me?

 

Peter: You.

 

Scampi: Humph. That was uncalled for.

 

Peter: How’d you get that black eye?

 

Scampi: Dunno.

 

Peter: Hm?

 

Scampi: Oh, well, you know.

 

Peter: Right.

 

Scampi: Let’s go have a snowball fight.

 

Peter: No.

 

Scampi: Do you know how to whistle using a blade of grass?

 

Peter: Theoretically.

 

Scampi: What?

 

Peter: No.

 

Scampi: I am fond of the sound the sun makes on snow.

 

Peter: Melting?

 

Scampi: No. Of course not.

 

Peter: What sound are you referring to?

 

Scampi: Sometimes, I think one shouldn’t end a sentence with a preposition.

 

Peter SIGHS.

 

Scampi: One could end it with a RE-position instead. Or with an onomatopoeia. Like, BLARG!

 

Peter: Blarg is not onomatopoeic.

 

Scampi: Don’t advertise the narrow breadth of your experience, Peter. Of course it is.

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi: The sound is like cut glass.

 

Peter: Blarg?

 

Scampi: What? No! How ridiculous.

 

Peter: Oh, excuse me.

 

Scampi: How foolish. I was referring to the sound of sunlight on snow. It’s like cutting glass. It’s like the tinkle of Waterford crystal on a shelf. Or on a table, I suppose.

 

Peter: I believe you are experiencing aural hallucinations.

 

Scampi: I believe I’m in love.

 

Peter: With what?

 

Scampi: The season.

 

Peter: Did you, uh, put some ice on that shiner?

 

Scampi: Sure I did.

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi: Sure I did. I put some icing sugar on the tip of Kilimanjaro while I was at it.

 

Peter: The flesh is weak, but the spirit soars.

 

Scampi: Hell yeah.

 

Peter: Have you had lunch yet?

 

Scampi: No.