pt 39: SCAMPI TAKES A LONG WALK, PETER DOZES BENEATH AN APPLE TREE, FLOWER IN HAND (Also sometimes referred to as: THY NEIGHBOUR DOTH PROTEST TOO MUCH)

Scampi: I like your tie, Peter.

 

Peter: Oh, stop.

 

Scampi: No, really.  It brings out the best in us all.

 

Peter: Shucks.

 

Scampi: Have you ever had frostbite?

 

Peter: Seemingly.

 

Scampi: Sometimes people take a long walk on Christmas Eve in the late nineties.  Their quadriceps turn blue.

 

Peter: Is that so?

 

Scampi: This is a fact.  Bona fide.

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi: Well, really.  White more.  But you know what I mean.

 

Peter: I am immune to the elements.

 

Scampi: Oh?

 

Peter: Well, as compared to you.  I am coated in an impenetrable crust.

 

Scampi: Of dirt?

 

Peter: It’s my Anglo-Saxon skin.  It protects me from the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.

 

Scampi: That’s lovely.

 

Peter: I’m trying to think.

 

Scampi: Does that bother you?

 

Peter: Mm.  In fact, I am actually trying not to think.  It is a great relief to me.  I am enjoying the smells that are closest to my own nose.  I am just breathing them in.

 

Scampi: Would that be the smell of your moustache, for example?

 

Peter: No.

 

Scampi: Oh.

 

Peter: It is springtime in my nose.  It is warm and happy.

 

Scampi: Your nose is replete with the promise of happiness?

 

Peter: It is happy.  I am very content.  Look how happy I am.

 

Scampi: Perhaps it’s time for me to go outside and build an igloo.  I could be good at that.

 

Peter: Yes.  We could all be good at something.

 

Scampi: For me, it’s igloo-building.

 

Peter: Perhaps.

 

Scampi: For you, it’s simple narratives in the Romantic style.  (Peppered lightly with Industrial-age-jargon.)

 

Peter: In the Zeitgeist cookbook, you will find me on page ninety-seven.

 

Scampi: Oh, I have that on hold at the library.

 

PETER PLACES A LARGE FELT HAT UPON HIS HEAD.

 

Scampi: Nice touch.  Would you like to walk down to the library with me?

 

Peter: Certainly not.  I shall be staying in tonight.

 

Scampi: Oh?  Why is that?

 

Peter: I must count all of my blankets.  I only have one sheet, but I have several blankets.  I must count them in order of softness.

 

Scampi: That sounds like fun.

 

Peter: Yes.

 

Scampi: Well, I’ll catch you later.  I have snow to build.

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pt 97: FOOTPRINTS IN THE SNOW

Scampi: Your nose is shimmering in the heat.

Peter: Hardly.

Scampi: It is.

Peter: I feel rather sluggish.

Scampi: Like a slug!  Ha.

Peter: Not slug-like.

Scampi: A briny, spotted sluggy.

Peter: As you wish.

Scampi: I wish.

Peter: Do you think my face looks different?

Scampi: No.

Peter: Ah.

Scampi: If we are apprehended, will you stick up for me?

Peter: Why would we be apprehended?

Scampi: On our grand adventure.  Anything is possible.

Peter: I do not believe you need to worry.

Scampi: Famous last words.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Would you?

Peter: Be apprehended?

Scampi: Stick up for me.  You know, take my side.

Peter: I suppose that would depend on what you had done.

Scampi: What I had done?  What’s that supposed to mean?

Peter: Well, I don’t know what you’ve been apprehended for.  How do I determine whether or not I will take your part in the debate?

Scampi: Ridiculous.

Peter: Excuse me?

Scampi: You’re supposed to be my partner in crime.

Peter: I am not a criminal.

Scampi: Of course not.  Neither am I.

Peter: [SIGHS.]

Scampi: Maybe we should be more careful.

Peter: In what respect?

Scampi: You know, cover our tracks.  That sort of thing.

Peter: We have nothing to hide.

Scampi: Do you think so?

Peter: This is a transparent operation.

Scampi: Oh, so it’s an operation, is it?

Peter: Uh.

Scampi: Well, that’s a comfort.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Maybe we could drag leaves behind us when we walk.  To cover our footprints in the snow.

Peter: It isn’t snowing.

Scampi: I know.  Don’t you think I know that?

Peter: I am unsure.

Scampi: Oh ye of little faith.

Peter: Are you addressing me?

Scampi: Apparently.

Peter: I cannot recall when last it snowed.

Scampi: So what?

Peter: Pardon?

Scampi: I can.

Peter: Oh?  And when was it?

Scampi: I’m sure we’d all like to know that.  Ho.  Ha ha.

Peter: And?

Scampi: It snowed in the wintertime.  Winter is for snowing.

Peter: Thank you.  That was terribly informative.

Scampi: Big, fat flakes.  All over your face, and the windows.

Peter: Hm.

Scampi: We wandered into the woods, and were not found.

Peter: Oh?

Scampi: We hid the evidence as we went.

Peter: I do not remember this occasion.

Scampi: It was a secret.

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.

pt 63: DUNKIRK

Scampi: I had heard – Peter, are you listening to me?

 

Peter: Hm?

 

Scampi: Peter. I’d heard that Jane Austen.

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi: You know who that is, right?

 

Peter: Of course I do.

 

Scampi: (Yeah, right.) Anyway, she signed her letters, “your affectionate sister, JA”.

 

Peter: Did she sign all of her correspondence in this manner? How unusual.

 

Scampi: Ugh. I mean her letters to her sister. Not her letters to like, the Archduke of Mumbleford or whatever.

 

Peter: Oh? And how did she sign those letters?

 

Scampi: Humph. Well, think about this: Seventeen thousand Senegalese people died defending France in 1940. Did you know that?

 

Peter: I did not.

 

Scampi: I find it very upsetting.

 

Peter: You do seem agitated.

 

Scampi: Thank you.

 

SOFT PAUSE.

 

Scampi: Oh god.

 

Peter: What?

 

Scampi: The air is full of snowflakes.

 

Peter: So it is. Is there a problem?

 

Scampi: I don’t know, Peter. Sometimes the massive beauty of the world is just too much for me. I don’t know what to say.

 

Peter: I don’t understand your use of italics there.

 

Scampi: Peter!

 

Peter: Am I missing something here?

 

Scampi: Pay attention! Seventeen thousand troops from Senegal were killed defending France. The air is full of snowflakes.

 

Peter: There you go with those italics again.

 

PETER RUBS HIS FOREHEAD.

 

Scampi: I was quoting myself. I was summing up.

 

Peter: What’s the difference between quoting yourself and repeating yourself?

 

Scampi (valiantly): Please look out the window.

 

Peter: The snow is falling.

 

Scampi: Or are we falling? Peter.

 

Peter: We seem fairly stable, as compared to the snow.

 

Scampi: (snorts)

 

Peter: What?

 

Scampi: Oh, you can have your opinions. Oh, certainly.

 

Peter: (offended)

 

Scampi: My tea is cold.

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi: Peter, I wonder –

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi: I’m not sure.

 

Peter: With whom are you speaking?

 

Scampi: You.

 

Peter: I see.

 

Scampi: Peter, I’m adressing you.

 

Peter: Ah.

 

Scampi: Like a letter. Haw haw.

 

PETER POLISHES HIS GLASSES. SCAMPI PIROUETTES.

 

Scampi: You know what we should do?

 

Peter: I do not.

 

Scampi: We should go to church!

 

Peter: Pardon me?

 

Scampi: I know that you heard me.

 

Peter: I confess, I did.

 

Scampi: Confessing already! Let’s go find a church.

 

Peter: Why would we do that?

 

Scampi: I think it could be a fun adventure.

 

Peter: Don’t we have enough adventure in our lives?

 

Scampi: HA! That’s rich. The last tweed-covered person who had as many adventures as you was Sherlock Holmes. Ha ha.

 

Peter: I have no idea what you’re speaking of.

 

Scampi: Imagine: a church in the midst of all these snow flurries. So quaint. We will pretend to be foreign emissaries. We will receive a hero’s welcome.

 

Peter: From the rector?

 

Scampi: The rector! Hilarious.

 

Peter: What do you want to visit a church for?

 

Scampi: I want to light candles.

 

Peter: Ah.

 

Scampi: I want to see in the dark.

 

Peter: But it isn’t dark out.

 

Scampi: In a church it is.