Scampi: It should be remembered of course that nothing is certain.

Peter: Certainly!

Scampi: Oh, look who’s decided to go all jocular all of a sudden.

Peter: Ahem.

Scampi: I, of course, am busy feeling up the grooves of history with my anthropologic tongue.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: It’s a textured approach.

Peter: Would you like some tea?

Scampi: Damn right.


Scampi: Whatsa matter?

Peter: There is no matter.

Scampi: Except for the matter at hand, which is that you entertain the delicacy of a gourmand. Nobody knows why, mind you.

Peter: What’s that?

Scampi: It would be entirely possible to doze off in the shade of these reeds.

Peter: What reeds?

Scampi: The ones on the riverbank, of course.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: What I’m trying to explain, you know.

Peter: Yes?

Scampi: Well, it’s all very here and there. That’s all I’m saying.

Peter: Ah.

Scampi: There’s no need to emit such a noise. I am not a dentist.

Peter: [huffily] I have never accused you of dentistry.

Scampi: Humph.


Scampi: Sometimes I feel so completely surrounded by history. As though it’s in my living room.

Peter: From my well-stuffed and starched perception of the universe, I can tell you that history is behind you. And the future is ahead, and no one is in your living room.

Scampi: I’ll believe that when I see it.

Peter: Time proceeds in a linear fashion.

Scampi: You have no way of knowing what’s going on in my living room while you loll about on a riverbank.

Peter: [peevishly] Nobody said we were on a riverbank.

Scampi: False! History cuddles you from all sides, like the words of your grandmothers.

Peter: Mm.

Scampi: You just have to run through it.

Peter: Run through what?

Scampi: I don’t know.


Scampi: To get to the other side?

Peter: Pardon?

Scampi: I can’t think straight.

Peter: Yes. This is readily apparent.


Peter: Stop that.

Scampi: Indeed. The people loved their maize. And eagles and snakes, and jaguars and frogs and human blood and sunshine.

Peter: People like many things.

Scampi: Yes. But we don’t build so many statues any more, do we?

Peter: I do not build statues.

Scampi: No. I could almost just drift off, in this dappled shade.

Peter: What time is it?

Scampi: I’m not sure. It’s either an hour earlier or an hour later.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: One can almost hear the gulls.

Peter: What gulls?

Scampi: From the nineteen-thirties. Calling out on an English beach.

Peter: Nonsense.

Scampi: The noises of the past are one simple eyelash away.


Scampi: See? That sigh wasn’t even yours. It was taken directly from the Regency Period.

Peter: You do natter on.

Scampi: Who are you, René Descartes?

Peter: I am not.

Scampi: Therefore you don’t think? Har har.

Peter: I admit the reeds are pleasant.

Scampi: I admit I don’t know what time it is. Luckily, you’re Peter and I’m Scampi.

Peter: Mm.

Scampi: Oh, look!

Peter: What’s that?

Scampi: A coracle.

Peter: How suspicious.

Scampi: Quick, let’s climb in.

Peter: Erm.

Scampi: How else are we supposed to find out which way the river flows?

Peter: By standing in it?

Scampi: We aren’t statues, Peter.

Peter: No. We are not statues.

Scampi: Right.

Peter: What are we then?

Scampi: Sailors, apparently.



Scampi: Let me get this straight.


Peter: Is there a time limit on this activity?


Scampi: Good point.  Now we know why you sigh so much.


Peter: Why is that?


Scampi: SIGHS.




Scampi: Ah.  Still got it.


Peter: What are you doing?


Scampi: Nothing.




Scampi: Have we given up on existence?  Because I haven’t.


Peter: What?


Scampi: You sure are touchy today.


Peter: Do excuse me.


Scampi: Perhaps.  Guess what I’m doing?


Peter: No thankyou.


Scampi: I’m fashioning a bailing bucket out of an old household cleaner container.  What do you think of that?


Peter: Ingenious.


Scampi: Yes.  You can’t leave the shore without a bailing bucket.


Peter: Are you boating somewhere?


Scampi: It never hurts to be prepared.




Scampi: Well, I suppose it sometimes hurts a little.  In any case, we can leave this for the international criminal courts to adjudicate!


Peter [dully]: Yes.


Scampi: You’re not even listening to me.


Peter: True.  I am not.


Scampi: Humph.  It’s as though there are no thoughts in my head.


Peter: Unusual.


Scampi: It is unusual.  I am not a concrete brick wall.


Peter: Did someone say you were?


Scampi: Yes: you did.


Peter: I did no such thing.


Scampi: Did, too.


Peter: This is incorrect.


Scampi: You wish.  What would you wish for?


Peter: I am not a wishing man.


Scampi: I am not a wishing well.




Scampi: Jeez.  Maybe you should take a chill pill.


Peter: None were available.


Scampi: The animals have gone to the river.  Why do you think that is?


Peter: They are likely thirsty.


Scampi: Yes, likely.




Peter [suspiciously]: Wait, what animals?


Scampi: Oh, you know.  It’s watering time, of course.  We must all drink our fill.


Peter: SIGHS.


Scampi: Did you ever think of doing anything?


Peter [sharply]: What do you mean by that?


Scampi: Oh, nothing.  Would you like to lie in the grass while I explore the apple orchard?


Peter: What apple orchard?


Scampi: This one.


Peter: It’s snowing.


Scampi: Those are macintosh blossoms.  Golden delicious.


Peter: It is wintertime.


Scampi: Tell that to the orchard.




Scampi: That’s the spirit.  I’m going to check on the view from the treetops.


Peter: Yes, do.


Scampi: Ahoy!  Bluebirds and grey skies ahead!  Man the pommey-slicer!  Steady down below!


Peter [lazily]: That doesn’t mean anything.


Scampi: Then why are you smiling?


Peter: Did you just dump snow on my head?


Scampi: Apple blossoms.


Peter: Ah.


Scampi: Let’s stay all afternoon.


Peter: Impossible.


Scampi: How so?


Peter: It’s already dark out.


Scampi: Certainly not.


Peter: Why do you want to stay here?


Scampi: Why don’t you?


Peter: I didn’t say that.


Scampi: All afternoon.


Peter: Right.


Scampi: Because it’s beautiful.


Peter: Ah.


Scampi: Because we can.


Scampi: Let’s go to Nassau.

Peter: What’s that?

Scampi: We will start in the Caribbean, reprovision in Madagascar, and then make our way to the Malabar Coast.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: Taking all the East India Shipping boats by surprise as we go.

Peter: You want to be a pirate.

Scampi: In the seventeenth century sense.

Peter: And what sense is that?

Scampi: A historical one.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: “The great affair is to move.”

Peter: Mm.

Scampi: Have you looked at the weathervane?

Peter: I have not seen a weathervane.

Scampi: How about the windsock?

Peter: What windsock?

Scampi: Well, what direction is the wind coming in from?

Peter: I do not know.

Scampi: It’s coming from the northwest.  Lightly.  Cat’s paws on the water.

Peter: You are certainly full of information today.

Scampi: I am.


Scampi: I’m tired.

Peter: Yes.  I am tired also.