Scampi: I would like to begin this essay by first establishing.
HOURS PASS, LIKE HONEYBEES.
Scampi: Well, what do you think?
Peter: I think it’s time for some spring cleaning.
Scampi: It isn’t spring yet.
Peter: In Mesopotamia it is.
Scampi: The rivers. They are warming in the sun.
Peter: I am currently planning to wash my drapes?
Scampi: Was that a question?
Peter: I don’t know.
Scampi: It certainly sounded like one.
Peter: If I could just. Argh!
Scampi: Maybe you should leave the curtains for another day.
Scampi: You can approach your intended goal in small, manageable chunks.
Peter: This is a strategy.
Scampi: It is. You might do well to employ it.
Peter: Allow me to prevaricate further on this matter.
Scampi: Of course. I suggest you leave the curtains, though. For the moment.
Peter: But. Ah.
Scampi: The dust, you see.
Peter: Oh. Yes.
Scampi: Do you know what I’m doing?
Peter: I do not.
Scampi: I know you don’t.
Scampi: I’m sorting through these ribbons.
Scampi: I’m laying them out, you see, such that they don’t get creased.
Peter: [glancing over] What are those?
Scampi: This one here for example. It’s the colour of your eyes.
Peter: I see.
Peter: What was that?
Scampi: Unless your eyes are black and white polkadots. Which I suppose they are.
Peter: There’s this splinter in my thumb.
Scampi: What are you planning to do about that?
Peter: Nothing. I suppose.
Scampi: I could help remove it.
Peter: No, no.
Scampi: It would be easy peasy. A simple operation.
Peter: No thank you.
Scampi: Are you sure?
Scampi: Really? Sure sure?
Peter: I’m positive.
Scampi: Fine then.
Peter: It is.
Scampi: Be that way.
Peter: I shall.
Scampi: No one doubts it.
PETER SNUFFLES AT HIS HAND, COLTISHLY.
Scampi: Oh, that’s very productive.
Peter: [muffled] Sorry?
Scampi: No man is an island!
Peter: (ARGH!) An oft-expressed sentiment.
Scampi: I suppose you imagine yourself to be some sort of peninsula?
Scampi: Did you get it?
Scampi: What happened?
Peter: It broke off.
Peter: Were you saying something about the Balkans? Just now?
Scampi: You wish.
Scampi: [cackles] If you wish.
Peter: I sometimes think you have an unhealthy fixation on the Balkans. I believe.
Scampi: Oh ho. That’s rich.
Peter: Balkan this. Balkan that.
Scampi: How your own mind betrays you!
Peter: What now?
Scampi: That certainly sharpened you up. Your ears just stood on end, my boy.
Scampi: So, watcha wanna talk about? The Iberian peninsula, maybe? Perchance?
Peter: (primly) I have nothing against it.
Scampi: Such an assiduous opinionist you are. La-dee-da.
Peter: At least I’m not a reactionary.
Scampi: Certainly not. You wouldn’t react if I paid you.
Peter: Like a common thug! Foul idea.
Scampi: Not you! You wouldn’t react if I poked your patella with a toothshaped hammer!
Peter: Leave my reflexes out of this.
Scampi: I couldn’t drag them in if I tried. Last I heard, they were on extended leave.
Peter: My reflexes?
Scampi: Never heard of them. You rock of the ages. Watertight, eh?
Peter: I am not made of stone.
PETER FILLS A COFFEE CAN WITH WATER.
Scampi: What are you doing with that thing?
Scampi: Observing your reflection?
Scampi: Oh, Peter.
Scampi: You’re a human bean, of course.
Scampi: Not a rock at all. Of course not.
Peter: Did you say bean?
Scampi: A furry little beanstalk.
Peter: Few have called me little. If I could insert a parenthesis.
Scampi: Brackets away!
Peter: I am not familiar with this expression.
Scampi: For which the subcommittee forgives you preemptively.
Peter: Preemptively? But I said it just now.
Scampi: They’d forgiven you already.
Peter: The subcommittee.
Scampi: Yes. They can’t resist you.
Peter: I’ll leave that to your discretion.
Peter: The train of thought.
Scampi: Oh. That’s very generous of you.
Scampi: You could use the water to water some plants.
Peter: That is what I had planned.
Scampi: Is it?
Peter: I had planned that already.
Scampi: I don’t doubt it.
Peter: Then the matter is settled.
Peter: Don’t call me sir.
Scampi: Why not?
Peter: Just don’t.
Peter: I don’t like it.
Scampi: Does it make you feel old?
Scampi: The auld sod.
Peter: Nothing of the sort.
Scampi: Shall I call you Ol’ Man Pete?
Scampi: Would you like that?
Peter: I would not.
Scampi: That’s Ol’ Man Pete for ya. Short and to the point! Oh yes. Yes sir.
Peter: There you go again.
Scampi: You’re glowing like a sunbeam.
Peter: I am?
Scampi: You almost laughed just now. I saw it.
Scampi: That’s right. I’m here, and I say so.
Scampi: You concede the point with your silence. I understand.
PETER CONCEDES THE POINT.
Peter: Whatever it might be.
Scampi: Agreed. How’s the spring cleaning coming?
Scampi: I’m not sure how up to date you are with geography and such.
Peter: I am a modern man.
Scampi: Or a variation thereof. A peninsula, as you may know, might sometimes drift out to sea.
Scampi: I mean break off, you know. Like splinters.
Peter: Yes, well. It might.
Scampi: The land, however. It’s the same.
Peter: I am not following you.
Scampi: It doesn’t matter. On either side of the water. Same dirt. Following be damned.
Peter: Are you discussing soil samples?
Scampi: History takes a long view of things, Peter.
Peter: And how does this pertain to soil samples?
Scampi: We all do, Peter. In the end.