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.

Advertisements

pt 141: SMOKE

Scampi: In the name of the Holy and Consubstantial and Indivisible Trinity!

Peter: Are we embarking upon a chemistry experiment?

Scampi: Perhaps.

Peter: Ah.

Scampi: In the name of the duodenum.

Peter: This scattering of vocabulary is difficult to parse.

Scampi: Oh really? Are you finding it hard to digest?

Peter: Really.

Scampi: Hee hee.  Haw haw.

Peter: SIGHS.

Scampi: I’m sure many before you have found transubstantiation to be quite the mouthful. You are by no means the first.

Peter: Indeed.

Scampi: A mouthful of wafer and a gulp of vino. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Peter: Are you addressing the duodenum of a Christian person?

Scampi: It’s possible.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Let’s build a fire.

Peter: No.

Scampi: Why?

Peter: Ahem.

Scampi: Don’t you want to build a fire?

Peter: No.

Scampi: Oh. Why?

Peter: It is not the time to be building fires.

Scampi: How do you know?

Peter: I believe that the midday sun is sufficiently scorching. Even for the likes of you.

Scampi: What’s that supposed to mean? Are you suggesting that I am a demon from hell?

PETER BARKS WITH LAUGHTER.

Scampi: Oh, I see. You’re a wolfhound all of a sudden.

PETER LICKS HIS PAW IN A CIRCUMSPECT FASHION.

Peter: Certainly not.

Scampi: Sure, sure.

Peter: This is no place for a fire.

Scampi: True. This is a place for a canteen. Lucky for you, you’re travelling with an intrepid desert explorer.

Peter: Oh?

Scampi: Here.

SCAMPI PASSES PETER A GOATSKIN FLASK CONTAINING WATER.

Peter: Euh.

Scampi: Take this, this is my something something.

Peter: Pardon?

Scampi: Water. It’s good for you.

Peter: I suppose it is.

Scampi: Ah, excellent. The oasis approaches.

Peter: [shading his eyes from the sun] I believe that we are approaching the oasis.

Scampi: That’s what I said.

Peter: Mm.

Scampi: You can have a rest beneath that lovely palm. Meanwhile, I shall peruse the saddlebags in search of victuals.

Peter: Vit-lz.

Scampi: Yes, yes.

Peter: Wait, why do we have saddlebags?

Scampi: To carry our provisions, of course.

Peter: I thought we didn’t have horses.

Scampi: Says who? Anyway, maybe they’re camels.

Peter: Camels?

Scampi: There’s no need to sound so alarmed.

Peter: Well.

Scampi: The Arabian horse is known for his petite, fiery temperament.

Peter: What?

Scampi: What?

Peter: Please stop with all this nonsense.

Scampi: Nonsense?

Peter: At least until we reach the shade.

Scampi: Well, look. We’ve reached it.

Peter: Ah.

Scampi: That’s right. Calm yourself. Here, catch.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Peter? What are you doing?

Peter: It is difficult to speak with goatskin on one’s face.

Scampi: Oh. Sorry.

Peter: That’s quite all right. I shall have a miniscule snooze now.

Scampi: Go right ahead. I’m just going to nibble on some pemmican.

Peter: [drowsily] Can you please stop displacing us with your scrambled lexicon.

Scampi: I will do no such thing.

Peter: Mm.

Scampi: I’ll build us a nice, smoky fire so the rescue planes can find us.

Peter: Are we in need of rescuing?

Scampi: Well. No.

Peter: Ah.

Scampi: I’m just practising. For the eventualities, you know.

Peter: Quite.

Scampi: Don’t mind me.

Peter: [snorts]

Scampi: There’s no need to snuffle like a mule.

PAUSE.

Scampi: What blood type are you?

Peter: Why?

Scampi: Just wondering. Just in case.

Peter: I see. Can you refrain from building fires and/or performing transfusions while I sleep?

Scampi: Okay.

Peter: Thank you.

Scampi: You’re welcome. I shall watch over you. Like a ptarmigan, as they say.

Peter: Right.

Scampi: When the stars appear, I shall identify our position.

Peter: Oh, lovely.

Scampi: Do you want some pemmican?

Peter: No. I want to sleep.

Scampi: Okay. I’ll keep watch.

Peter: Right.

Scampi: From the crow’s nest.

Peter: Am I going to wake up at sea?

Scampi: We are all at sea, Peter.

pt 145: IT IS NO LONGER TRUE

Scampi: I imagine St. Augustine and Plutarch to have this very dry sort of conversation.

Peter: Did they meet?

Scampi: Well.

Peter: I don’t recall them meeting.

Scampi: Very funny.

Peter: I really –

Scampi: I, Claudius.

Peter: No but I really do not know what you are speaking about.

Scampi: I am speaking about the aridity of the convo between St. Augustine and Plutarch.

Peter: Which they did not have.

[PAUSE.]

Peter: Wait, am I Plutarch?

Scampi: Ha! Ha, har. Oh. Ho.

Peter: [offended] What?

Scampi: Thinks he’s Plutarch!

Peter: Should you require reminding, you have called me Plutarch before. Numerous times.

Scampi: Oh ho, numerous.

Peter: Well, more than once.

Scampi: Need I so needfully remind you, there’s a great difference between perhaps being called Plutarch (Ploo-tark) and self-identifying as Plutarch. Like a lunatic. Loon attic.

Peter: [RUFFLED.]

Scampi: Why is it?

Peter: What?

Scampi: People are just awful, sometimes. So [CURSING] horrid.

Peter: What was that?

Scampi: Censorship. It’s my new thing.

Peter: Since when?

Scampi: Since never. I no longer plan to practise it.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: Yes well. I am only saying.

Peter: Ah yes. You and your ‘sayings’.

Scampi: Don’t take that tone with me. Har, har.

Peter: [SIGHS.]

Scampi: I have some things to say, you see.

Peter: So you claim.

Scampi: Can you imagine how terrible we are to each other?

Peter: Is this a pointed remark?

Scampi: Lucullus’ mother, you know, was notorious for her wild lifestyle.

Peter: Oh?

Scampi: Yes.

[PAUSE.]

Scampi: We are all a touch wild, I suppose.

Peter: Hm.

Scampi: A pack of insubordinate animals. How can one man trust another?

Peter: I trust my fellow-man.

Scampi: Oh, right.

Peter: I resent this antagonism.

Scampi: What antagonism?

Peter: You doubt the love I tender my brother?

Scampi: Oh yes, your estimable brother. Indeed.

Peter: There’s no need to hold humanity hostage to your mercurial moods.

Scampi: I blame the weather.

Peter: The weather, the Holy Roman Empire, the gender imbalance.

Scampi: Well yes. Have you understood me at last?

Peter: [EXASPERATED.]

Scampi: That’s exactly it, isn’t it?

Peter: Are you being facetious?

Scampi: No.

Peter: [suspicious] Oh.

Scampi: But it would be decent of people not to break each other’s hearts, sometimes.

Peter: Oh, this.

Scampi: This.

FOUR ALBATROSSES COAST BY, RIDING THE WIND LIKE A PACK OF NASCARS.

Scampi: Shall we walk?

Peter: Certainly.

Scampi: You can see the moss already. Coming up green.

Peter: Ahem.

Scampi: The chanterelles, the tubers.

Peter: Sshh. The woods.

Scampi: I know. There’s nothing wrong with aspiration, of course. Except in the areas of a) food intake; and b) height.

Peter: What? Height?

Scampi: No man is taller than a man.

Peter: I feel like that is one of those things that you say that does not mean anything.

Scampi: Well then, o ye of ickle faith. Parse it.

Peter: A truism?

Scampi: It wouldn’t kill you to think and feel at the same time, you know. In fact –

Peter: Facts!

Scampi: Don’t bark at me. Maybe you should brush up on your nautical terms instead of howling at the moon like this.

Peter: I am ‘up’ on my nautical terms, thank you.

Scampi: You’re welcome.

[PAUSE.]

Scampi: Tender: Nautical (of a ship) leaning or readily inclined to roll in response to the wind.

Peter: Certainly, certainly.

Scampi: Tender that to your brother.

Peter: Hm.

Scampi: The wind is blowing.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: It will be a long night, I fear.

Peter: YAWNS.

Scampi: And the fog is rolling in.