pt 92: THE CRANES ARE DIGGING

Scampi: [STRETCHES EXPANSIVELY]

Peter: Hey now.

Scampi: What?

Peter: You might do well to manage your limbs a little more comprehensively.

Scampi: Yes, yes.

Peter: What time is it?

Scampi: I don’t see what that has to do with anything.

Peter: SIGHS.

Scampi: Do you feel a chill?

Peter: A chill?

Scampi: That’s what I said.  In the air.

Peter: Hm.  Not really.

Scampi: Not really?

Peter: No.

Scampi: I’m going to make some coffee.

Peter: Are you chilly?

Scampi: No.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: I’m fine.

Peter: I am going to take a walk.

Scampi: You are?

Peter: I am.

Scampi: Right now?

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: There’s no need to sound so – put-upon.

Peter: What?

Scampi: Like it’s such a big hassle for you.  Talking to me.

Peter: Well, if you’re going to say things like that.

Scampi: I wouldn’t say things like that if you didn’t go around sounding so put-upon.

Peter: I am unfamiliar with this expression.

Scampi: Lies!

Peter: I am going to step outside.

Scampi: We are outside.

Peter: We are not.

Scampi: We are!

Peter: This argument is tedious.

Scampi: How could you?

Peter: I shall absent myself.

Scampi: Stop saying that.

PETER STEPS OUTSIDE.

Scampi: We ARE outside!

PAUSE.

Scampi: Oh me.

Peter: Is something the matter?

Scampi: I thought you left.

Peter: Momentarily, perhaps.

Scampi: Why would you do that?

Peter: I think you take certain things too seriously.

Scampi: Not true.

Peter: Hm?

Scampi: Really?

Peter: Perhaps.

Scampi: I am slightly excitable.

Peter: Rather.

Scampi: Today.

Peter: What’s up?

Scampi: Don’t patsy me.

Peter: Excuse me?

Scampi: I can see what you’re doing.  Trying to coddle me with the vernacular.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Are you laughing at me?

Peter: I am not.

Scampi: Oh.

PAUSE.

Scampi: I get the feeling it’s autumn.  Do you know what I mean?

Peter: It is not.

Scampi: I know.

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pt 110: THE NUMBERS SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES

Scampi: Ai.

Peter: This is a strange noise.

Scampi: Please, don’t mind me.

Peter: Okay.

Scampi: I would like to discuss some of the socio-politico-geodesical implications.

Peter: As you know, I am apolitical.

Scampi: This is nothing to be proud of.

Peter: I didn’t say that!

Scampi: What?

Peter: Wait, did you say “geodesical”?

Scampi: And?  What if I did?

Peter: I don’t understand.

Scampi: What else is new?

PAUSE.

Scampi: Remember when we were talking about pirates?

Peter: On numerous occasions.

Scampi: Incorrect.  Anyway, I’m not interested in having a conversation about murder, and that sort of thing.  I am interested in having a conversation about ADVENTURE ON THE HIGH SEAS.

Peter: You had planned to reprovision in Madagascar.

Scampi: Peter!

Peter: Yes?

Scampi: You do remember our conversations!

Peter: This should not be a surprise.

Scampi: Well, you know what a geodesic dome is, of course.

Peter: I do.

Scampi: Those things are great.

Peter: Innately?

Scampi: Have you ever seen one that wasn’t great?

Peter: Great how?

Scampi: Like, Oh, excellent, a geodesic dome!

Peter: Uh.

Scampi: Ha!  You see?

Peter: You are certainly in a mood.

Scampi: I am not.  Jerk.

Peter: Pardon me?

Scampi: You know what else?

Peter: No.

Scampi: Familiarity breeds contempt.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: So, obviously I’m not in a mood.  As you put it.

Peter: I fail to see the sense in this line of reasoning.

Scampi: Maybe you should get your eyes checked.

Peter: SIGHS.

Scampi: Don’t sigh at me.

PAUSE.

SCAMPI SIGHS LOUDLY.

Scampi: Haw haw.  Now I see why you sigh all the time.

Peter: Excuse me?

Scampi: It’s fun!

SCAMPI SIGHS FIVE TIMES IN A ROW.

Scampi: I could be a professional!

Peter: [inadvertently] SIGHS.

Scampi: Ahahahahahaha!  Amazing.

PAUSE.

Scampi: I’m sure you would enjoy the life of a buccaneer.

Peter: I am very distracted by all the important work I have to do.

Scampi: This would be true, if you were a buccaneer.  Imagine what we would call our boat.

Peter: Our boat?

Scampi: Yes, our boat.  Oh, was that a name suggestion?

Peter: No.

Scampi: I like it.  In lettering on the prow – what kind of lettering, do you think?

Peter: Roman.

Scampi: No, no.  I am asking about the font.

Peter: I have no idea.

Scampi: Well, how about Comic Sans, then?

Peter: No!

Scampi: I knew you had an opinion on this.

Peter: We do not have a boat.

Scampi: We don’t have one yet.  Per se.

Peter: We don’t have one at all.

Scampi: Untrue!

Peter: I am feeling restless.

Scampi: Perfect.

Peter: I want to go for a walk.

Scampi: You can go for a walk once we land on the Malabar Coast.

Peter: Of India?

Scampi: Where did you think we were going?  Sudetenland?

Peter: No.

Scampi: Look at the sunset.  It is a sad sight.

Peter: It is a gaseous orb.

Scampi: That’s what I said.

Peter: Ah.

Scampi: When the light is gone, it will get cold very quickly.

pt 112: LIKE VEINS THE ROADS

Scampi: Imagine walking across Australia.

Peter: I would rather not.

Scampi: Why not?

Peter: Hm?

Scampi: Are you saying you couldn’t imagine walking across Australia?

Peter: One imagines it would be a lengthy walk.

Scampi: Well yes.  Naturally.

Peter: Ahem.

Scampi: The epic journey!

PAUSE.

Scampi: Are you tired?

Peter: No.

Scampi: Oh.

Peter: Do I seem tired?

Scampi: No.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: Imagine the plant and animal life.

Peter: The flora and fauna of Australia.

Scampi: Yes?  This holds no fascination for you?

Peter: I am not a biologist.

Scampi: [sadly] No.

PAUSE.

Scampi: [quoting] Like veins, the roads travel everywhere.

Peter: Who said that?

Scampi: Who didn’t say it?

Peter: I did not.

Scampi: I mean veins in the sense of things that are commonly running around all over the place.

Peter: When I said that I was not a biologist, I did not mean to imply that I am completely ignorant of all aspects of human physiology.

Scampi: Big words, buster.  Wanna take this outside?

Peter: I do not.

Scampi Ho ho!

PAUSE.

Scampi: Here we are, on the road together.

Peter: ‘We’ who?

Scampi: Oh, you know, the two us.  By which I mean THE HUMAN RACE.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: One thing we haven’t really addressed –

Peter: Only one?

Scampi: Look here.  What about the period between the testaments?

Peter: Oh, yes.  How about that period.

Scampi: Alex the Great, Jerusalem, Babylonians, King Cyrus.  Eh?

Peter: Did you just say Alex the Great?

Scampi: Oh, pardon me for being so familiar.

Peter: Rather.

Scampi: I mean, you don’t want to study the marsupial population of New South Wales.

Peter: No, I do not.

Scampi: Grinch.

Peter: Pardon?

Scampi: Nothing.

PAUSE.

Scampi: But like, would you walk across Mesopotamia?

Peter: I highly doubt it.

Scampi: What, never?

Peter: Perhaps I have been biased by the daily news.

Scampi: Daily news!  What do you know about it?

Peter: [offended]

Scampi: Anyway, there’s a lot going on in Mesopotamia.

Peter: This is perhaps relevant to my inclination against participating in the great Mesopotamian walking tour.

Scampi: As led by Herodotus!

Peter: Presumably the tour kicks off with his exhumation?

Scampi: Scandalous.

Peter: Potamos.

Scampi: Mezzo-potamus.  On stage, one night only!

PAUSE.

Scampi: Do you hear music?

Peter: Regularly.

Scampi: No, right now.

Peter: Perhaps.

Scampi: What do you mean, perhaps?

Peter: It is a possibility.

Scampi: I’ll tell you what’s a possibility.

Peter: Yes?

Scampi: Humph.  Have you ever groomed a horse?

Peter: Certainly not.

Scampi: There’s no need to be so defensive.

Peter: I have not groomed a horse.

Scampi: You probably would have, though, if you were a horse farmer.

Peter: Isn’t there a word for that?

Scampi: Yes.  It’s called good stewardship.

Peter: A horse-farmer.

Scampi: Thanks for putting that hyphen in there.  So, uh, I didn’t confuse this for a conversation about farmer who is a horse.

Peter: I seek to introduce clarity.

Scampi: We’ve met.

Peter: Ahem.  It was not apparent.

Scampi: If you stood up, you’d be a comedian.  A barrel of laughs.

Peter: I am filled with humours.

Scampi: How phlegmatic.

Peter: Perhaps.

Scampi: That’s you.  Phlegm all over.  You should go live in Belgium.

Peter: I do enjoy frites.

Scampi: Freets!  Amazing.  You’re like, the king of Belgium already.

Peter: I am not.

Scampi: Are too.

Peter: No.

Scampi: Yup.  Peter Freetsnflem, King of Belgium & Grand Vizier to the Organ Grinders’ Association of Moravia.

Peter: Organ grinders?  How did this come up?

Scampi: I’m not the Grand Vizier around here.  You tell me.

Peter: SIGHS.

Scampi: Or as the Russians have it, шарманка.

Peter: Pardon?

Scampi: Sharmanka.  The hurdy-gurdy man, that’s you.

Peter: I take a great interest in personal fitness, you know.

Scampi: Oh, lord.  What’s next, democratic fitness?

Peter: In what sense?

Scampi: I highly doubt it.  In that sense.

Peter: You doubt democratic fitness?

Scampi: Yes.  In this case, specifically rather than generally.

Peter: Are you casting aspersions on my good character?

Scampi: I am rejecting the premise.  The question is thus mooted and diffused with accuracy and grace.

PETER, NOT KNOWING WHERE TO BEGIN, DOES NOT BEGIN.  OVERCOME WITH EMOTION, SCAMPI EMBRACES HIM LIKE A LOCKET.

Peter: Argh!

Scampi: What?

Peter: Is it entirely necessary to attack me in this manner?

Scampi: Yes.  It’s definitive.

Peter: Dare I ask?

Scampi: For a definition?

Peter: Likely not.

Scampi: There you go again, answering your own questions.

Peter: As you know, I am loyal to the Socratic method.

Scampi: You know what?

Peter: I have resigned myself.

Scampi: Don’t do that, Peter.

Peter: What?

Scampi: I’m not sure.  I wanted to say something about the brisk sunlight.

Peter: Ah.

Scampi: Shall we go for a walk?

Peter: It could happen.

Scampi: The germ of possibility.

Peter: Rearing its beak once again.

Scampi: Its beak!  Ha!

Peter: We could go for a walk.

Scampi: Prove it.

pt 58: PANACEA

Scampi: Peter?  Peter!

Peter: Hm?

Scampi: Jeez.  Louise.

Peter: Pardon?

Scampi: Oh nothing.

Peter: What?  What was that?

Scampi: I’ll wait ‘til it’s done.

Peter: Sorry?

Scampi: [WAITS.]

Peter: Ah, that’s better.

Scampi: Well, yes and no.

Peter: Only I couldn’t hear you, you see.

Scampi: I see.

Peter: Above all that cello.

Scampi: It was a sight to be seen.

Peter: Pum pum.  Pum-pa-pum.

Scampi: Yes yes.  The virtuosity cannot be denied.

Peter: I have no wish to deny it.

Scampi: Nor do I.  I embrace the virtuosity of your cellist.

Peter: Thank you.

Scampi: A four-string miracle.  Angels in the snowbanks.  Et cetera.

Peter: Ah.

Scampi: I’m all nerves.

Peter: I won’t offer to make a fresh pot, then?

Scampi: Oh won’t you?

Peter: What?

Scampi: Nothing.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Nothing!

Peter: Have you quite taken leave of your senses?

Scampi: Yeah, yeah.

Peter: Inside voices.

Scampi: Are concealed their venomous intent.

Peter: Pardon me?

PAUSE.

Peter: Uh, it seems to me—

Scampi: Don’t start.

Peter: Could I finish?

Scampi: Look, I’ll be better.

Peter: Would you like to stretch your legs?

Scampi: I’ve never heard you say that before.

Peter: I’m trying new things.

Scampi: I see.  So you want to go for a stroll?

Peter: Well, it’s a possibility.

Scampi: Okay.

Peter: One of myriad possibilities, really.

Scampi: There are an astounding number of options.

Peter: There are.

Scampi: I suppose it would be hackneyed to discuss paralysis at this juncture.

Peter: Rather.

BIRDS PERFORM EXOTIC DANCES ON THE PORCH, BY THE WINDOW.

Scampi: Are they like, cold?  Do you think?

Peter: Who?

Scampi: You know, the birds.

Peter: Noooo.  I don’t think so.

Scampi: Oh.  Okay.

Peter: Anthropomorphising our animal friends is rarely a wise idea.

Scampi: I already knew that.

Peter: Good.

Scampi: You should get a birdbath.

Peter: I will consider it.

Scampi: In this same vein, if you will,

Peter: Oh really?

Scampi: Do you accept the like, premise, that under the snow the earth and all it’s earth-type stuff is sleeping?

Peter: Is that really a premise?

Scampi: It’s like one, anyway.  Is the earth asleep?

Peter: Figuratively?

Scampi: However you like.

Peter: Well, I wouldn’t put it that way.

Scampi: No.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Would you say that I am asleep?  Underneath the snow?

Peter: When?

Scampi: Now!  Now, Peter.

Peter: I would say that you are not.  I would say that you are neither.

Scampi: Figuratively?

Peter: You are pecking at my literal bones.

Scampi: Your painter’s loose.  You’re adrift in the damp seas.

Peter: An act of vandalism I do not appreciate.

Scampi: Surely I can see this.  Surely I should return this conversation to dry land.  Where you have cell phone reception.  Where dust gathers on your eyeglasses.

Peter: Ahem.

Scampi: You want to talk about sports teams?

Peter: Never.

Scampi: I know.  Thus we are stuck with the metaphorical balletdance.

Peter: I refuse to accept your axiom.

Scampi: [Curtsies.]

Peter: Pardon?

Scampi: Shall we?

Peter: Shall we what?

Scampi: Waltz.

Peter: I will do no such thing.

Scampi: Too late.

Peter: [Drowned out by cello.]

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.