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.

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pt 82: APRIL

Scampi: Let us listen to the birds sing.

Peter: Ah.

Scampi: We shall be immune to the trivial fripperies and discontentments of the modern-day world.

Peter: Quite.

Scampi: Like that snooty guy in the bookstore.

Peter: He wasn’t snooty.

Scampi: Who said he was?

Peter: You did.  You just did.

Scampi: [snorts] Nonsense.

DIAPHANOUS SILENCE.

Scampi: It sure is a beautiful day.

Peter: It is.

Scampi: This is springtime, right?

Peter: Is it?

Scampi: Well?

Peter: What do you wish to know?

Scampi: What season is this?

Peter: Spring.

Scampi: Well.  That’s what I was asking.

Peter: Okay.

Scampi: I love this song.

Peter: What song?

Scampi: It doesn’t matter.

Peter: Fine.

SCAMPI HUMS HAPPILY.

Peter: Ahem.

Scampi: What?

PAUSE.

Scampi: What?

Peter: Lovely weather.

Scampi: I said that already.

Peter: Not exactly.

Scampi: Yes, I did.

Peter: You said—

Scampi: Don’t tell me what I said.  I am not a gnat.

Peter: Pardon?

Scampi: As though I have the memory of an infant octopus.  I know what I said.

Peter: Octopi are relatively bright creatures.

Scampi: Octopuses.

Peter: SIGHS.

Scampi: Yeah, yeah.

Peter: Excuse me?

Scampi: What?  What?

Peter: You are being dismissive.

Scampi: Jealous?

Peter: I decline to comment.

Scampi: Heh.  Ha.

Peter: What’s so funny?

Scampi: You want some lemonade?

Peter: No.  I do not.

Scampi: Ha.  Ho ho.

Peter: What are you laughing about?

Scampi: Why are you so against laughing?  All of a sudden?

Peter: I am not.

Scampi: Well then.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Is it spring now?  Or was it spring then?

Peter: Pardon?

Scampi: Did this happen already?

Peter: What?

Scampi: This.

Peter: Now?

Scampi: Or then.  I mean, if this has already occurred, then it isn’t now.

Peter: I am not enamoured with this breed of sophistry.

Scampi: Peter!

Peter: Yes?

Scampi: What time is it?

Peter: After noon.

Scampi: But that’s everything.  Everything except twelve o’clock, anyway.

Peter: After noon.  Before sunset.

Scampi: What breathtaking accuracy.

Peter: I lay no claims upon perfection.

Scampi: You should live in Switzerland.  And get adjusted one one thousandth of a second per annum.

Peter: That’s not what happens.

Scampi: Maybe not yet.

Peter: Ahem.

Scampi: But it might be what happens next.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Peter?

Peter: Yes?

Scampi: Will you remember this spring separately?

Peter: From what?

Scampi: From all the others.

Peter: I don’t know.

Scampi: Come on.

Peter: Presumably I will remember certain events.  In their context.

Scampi: I don’t even know what that means.

Peter: I cannot predict the future.

Scampi: I can.

pt 69: THERE IS A HISTORY IN ALL MEN’S LIVES

Scampi: Imagine if you were from someplace that started with The.

 

Peter: Yes?

 

Scampi: Well?

 

Peter: Well what?

 

Scampi: Imagine if you were.

 

Peter: If I was what?

 

Scampi: From someplace that started with The.

 

Peter: With the – ?

 

Scampi: Yes.

 

Peter: With the what?

 

Scampi: No, just The. The word, “the”.

 

Peter: It is a word, yes.

 

Scampi: Like, The Hague. Imagine.

 

Peter: You want me to imagine that I am from The Hague?

 

Scampi: Not necessarily. I mean, you can if you want.

 

Peter: I am not particularly compelled.

 

Scampi: There’s news.

 

Peter: Where is this leading?

 

Scampi: Down the garden path, of course.

 

Peter: I see no garden.

 

Scampi: (sadly) No.

 

A FEW GLUM MOMENTS.

 

Scampi: On the bright side, gardening is a healthful practice. We could all stand to do some gardening.

 

Peter: And this is the bright side?

 

Scampi: It is. An order of new buds, sunny side up.

 

Peter: Oh.

 

Scampi: “Wow, the sun’s so far north, now.”

 

Peter: It is?

 

Scampi: I was quoting.

 

Peter: Quoth you.

 

Scampi: God wot. Or doth ‘e?

 

Peter: Duffy?

 

Scampi: Yes, Bob?

 

Peter: Pardon me?

 

Scampi: Oh, sorry. Do you prefer to be called Robert?

 

Peter: Absolutely not.

 

Scampi: Have it your way. The sun is setting.

 

Peter: That has nothing to do with me.

 

Scampi: It does if you’re where the action is.

 

Peter: Oh? And where is that?

 

Scampi: Sure ain’t in the east.

 

Peter: You are one of logic’s finest.

 

Scampi: Do you really think so?

 

Peter: Ah.

 

Scampi: [PREENS.]

 

Peter: Really.

 

Scampi: What?

 

Peter: Is this demonstration quite necessary?

 

Scampi: Necessary! What kind of a demonstration would that be?

 

Peter: A useful one.

 

Scampi: In your dreams, buster. This is a gratuitous display, thank you very much.

 

Peter: Oh, don’t thank me.

 

Scampi: I insist.

 

Peter: For a change.

 

Scampi: Snip snap. You’re quite the clippership today.

 

PETER SCRATCHES HIS NECK.

 

Scampi: What are you trying to do there? Molt?

 

Peter: I am not paying attention.

 

Scampi: Well, you should probably start. Unless you’re in the market for an emergency tracheotomy.

 

Peter: Certainly not.

 

Scampi: Good. Your body is your tempest.

 

Peter: Temple.

 

Scampi: Um—forehead!

 

Peter: Pardon?

 

Scampi: You lose!

 

Peter: At what?

 

Scampi: Word association, of course. Ho, ho.

 

Peter: There is nothing admirable in grandstanding.

 

Scampi: Yeah, sure. There’s nothing fun in having no fun.

 

Peter: [GROANS.]

 

Scampi: Jeez, Peter. There’s a difference between a tautology (garden variety) and like, a poisoned spear.

 

Peter: (weakly) I suppose.

 

Scampi: You do. Anyhow, speaking of gardens (once again), I am reminded of great joy.

 

Peter: How so?

 

Scampi: It’s the logical next step.

 

PETER ABORTIVELY RAISES HIS ARMS IN PROTEST.

 

Scampi: I am reminded of the profound feeling of great joy that neither of us is currently experiencing.

 

Peter: What sort of a statement is that?

 

Scampi: An accurate one.

 

Peter: I really have to protest.

 

Scampi: As well you should. We should be howling from the rooftops.

 

Peter: How utterly undignified.

 

Scampi: Don’t talk about yourself that way.

 

Peter: [SPLUTTERS.]

 

Scampi: Look over there!

 

Peter: [SQUINTS.]

 

Scampi: Gorgeous!

 

Peter: I am probably not the first to inform you of the detrimental effects of staring into the sun.

 

Scampi: Probably. Anyway, I wasn’t pointing at the sun.

 

Peter: I see.

 

Scampi: I was looking underneath it.

 

Peter: Underneath it?

 

Scampi: Yes. At the flowers.

 

Peter: I see no flowers.

 

Scampi: Yet.

pt 50: WHAT THE FUTURE TEACHES

Scampi: Peter?

Peter: Yes?

Scampi: I feel funny today.

Peter: Ah.  Funny peculiar?

Scampi: I think so.

Peter: Hm.

Scampi: I feel weird.

Peter: You are pretty odd.

Scampi: Weirder than normal.

Peter: Mm.

Scampi: Ominous.  That’s how I feel.

Peter: Well.  What do you think has caused this?  Too much auguring?

Scampi: Har har.  Why don’t you go find some bird guts of your own?  Then you can tell me.

Peter: I don’t kill things.

Scampi: Right.  Just implicitly.  You are subtlety incarnate.  Or what do they call it?  Passing the buck?

Peter: Are you delirious?

Scampi: I think I might be.

Peter: If you’re messing around, it isn’t very funny.

Scampi: I know.  It’s been real sunny today.

Peter: That doesn’t bother me.

Scampi: I know.

PAUSE.

Scampi: I feel, I dunno, it’s like, right on the edge between good and bad.

Peter: Mediocre?

Scampi: No, no.  The opposite.

Peter: Ah.

Scampi: Like, it could go bottomless pit, or grooming stablesful of angels.

Peter: You feel extreme.

Scampi: I’ll say.

Peter: Well, that’s hardly unusual.

Scampi: I know.  I know.

Peter: You often behave in rather extreme fashions.

Scampi: Yeah, but I don’t feel extreme.  Usually.

Peter: I wouldn’t know.

Scampi: No.  Are we going the right way?   Are we even doing the right thing?

Peter: I don’t know.  What do you mean?

Scampi: Dan would know.

Peter: Perhaps.

Scampi: I feel like Dan would know.

Peter: If we’re headed in the right direction?

Scampi: Yeah.

Peter: I have felt that way before.

Scampi: I think Dan has that effect.  Sometimes.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: The sky is phenomenal today.

Peter: In what sense?

Scampi: It just seems like more of a phenomenon than usual.  You know?

Peter: Mm.

Scampi: Like, what the hell is holding that shit up?

Peter: Atlas?

Scampi: Humph.

Peter: Don’t ask a classical question unless you want a classical answer.  I always say.

Scampi: I’ve never heard you say that once in my life.

Peter: Incorrect.

Scampi: Well, I’ve never heard you say that more than once.  And never before today.

Peter:  Perhaps.

Scampi: Anyway, how did you know I didn’t mean, What’s holding that shit up, like, What’s taking it so long?

Peter: Pardon me?

Scampi:  It’s an idiom thing.  Okay?

Peter: You do look a little flushed.

Scampi: I do?

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: Hum.

PETER FIRES OFF A SIDELONG GLANCE, WITH AN UNUSUAL LEVEL OF EFFICIENCY.

Scampi: The sky is entirely a mystery.  Today.  And on an assortment of other days.  Here and there.  Over time.

Peter: Okay.

Scampi: Do you know what I mean?

Peter: Probably not.

Scampi: Can you tell me about the Fibonacci sequence?

Peter: Possibly.  What do you wish to know about it?

Scampi: I don’t know.  It makes me uncomfortable.

Peter: Well, maybe that’s the problem.

Scampi: Maybe.

Peter: How could the Fibonacci sequence make you uncomfortable?

Scampi: It gets me all queasy.  I try to focus on the horizon and then my legs give way.

Peter: It happens.

Scampi: I know it does.

PAUSE.

Scampi: I mean, look at us, riding off into the sunset.  Meanwhile, I feel like I don’t even know the first thing about like, biology.  Ribosomes, cytoplasm, et cetera.  Mitochondria.  What are those guys even doing?  Chlorophyll.  The colour of light refracted.  Do you even know what colour that is?

Peter: This is certainly a unique take on science.

Scampi: Well, thanks.

Peter: Mm.

Scampi: I don’t know how to say what I am trying to say.

Peter: That much is clear.

Scampi: Really?

Peter: Rather.

Scampi:  Oh.  That’s a relief I guess.

PAUSE.

Scampi: I’m glad you came with me.

Peter: Where?

Scampi: Here.

Peter: Ok.

Scampi: I like to have a partner in crime.

Peter: Crime is often inappropriate.

Scampi: So is duplicity.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: I like to think that it could be us.

Peter:  It what?

Scampi: The sky.  I like to think that perhaps that’s why the sky is still standing upright way over that ridge.

Peter: Why’s that?

Scampi: Because we’re chasing it.

Peter: Ah.  So the sky is expecting us?

Scampi: Naturally.  Let’s not be late.

pt 30: DEER ON THE TRACKS

Scampi: I’m angry.

 

Peter: Mm.  Uninteresting.

 

Scampi: I went walking on the railroad tracks last week.

 

Peter: Uh-huh.

 

Scampi: I sat down in the middle of the tracks and had a picnic.  The sun was setting.

 

Peter: On the tracks?

 

Scampi: How poetic!  No, in the sky.

 

Peter: You sat down on the tracks?

 

Scampi: I don’t think it counts as a picnic if you’re standing up.

 

Peter: Ah.

 

Scampi: It was beautiful.  My mouth was full of apple.

 

[PAUSE.]

 

Right when the sun was turning into grey soup at the end of the view, I saw a deer.

 

Peter: On the tracks?

 

Scampi: Yeah on the tracks.  She looked at me with her big deer eye.

 

Peter: She?

 

Scampi: Yes.

 

Peter: What leads you to believe it was a she?

 

Scampi: Because the Yankee’s ballcap she had on her head was pink.  How do you think I knew?

 

Peter: Oh.

 

Scampi: I had the urge to lie down on the tracks, dig myself a groove like a fairy tale hero, and just let the train come.

 

[PETER INSPECTS HIS NAILS.]

 

Imagine all those commuters, flying over me like rubberband airplanes.

 

Peter: Eviscerating your cranium…..

 

Scampi: You wish.  Will you have some tea?

 

Peter: No.  Thank you.

 

Scampi: I think you’re wrong about me.

 

Peter: Pardon?

 

Scampi: I think, for your own convenience, you’ve made up things about me that aren’t true.

 

Peter: Oh?  What makes you think that?

 

Scampi: Because you wear them like a hooded sweatshirt.

 

Peter: That’s your opinion.

 

Scampi: I can see the strings dangling all the way down your front.

pt 43: I HOPE THIS KNOWLEDGE OF CARTELS

Scampi: Do you know where Dubrovnik is?

 

Peter: Of course.

 

Scampi: (I doubt that Peter knows.)

 

Peter: Pardon?

 

PAUSE.

 

Peter: What was that?

 

Scampi: Remember how I was telling you about Mexico?

 

Peter: Uh huh.

 

Scampi: Well, get a load of this. In Mexico, when you have three or more people who commit a crime, they count as a cartel. Amazing!

 

Peter: Uh.

 

Scampi: Eh? Don’t you think?

 

Peter: And how does this affect us?

 

Scampi: Oh, Peter, don’t be so coy. You must know that I am thinking of our future as Mexican criminals!

 

Peter: How so?

 

Scampi: Do you think we should give our cartel a name? Or do we angle for the subtle air of mystery?

 

Peter: I just don’t think we have a cartel.

 

Scampi: Please do not allow your cynicism to infest our glorious future.

 

Peter: I am not a cynic.

 

Scampi: Don’t be so negative. Grumble grumble.

 

Peter: You’re really asking for it today, aren’t you?

 

Scampi: Asking for what? A whirlwind tour of crime and romance?

 

Peter: Well, for starters, what’s so romantic about a life of crime anyhow?

 

Scampi: Oh, I don’t know, Peter. The way it’s spelled.

 

Peter: The etymological gesture to Crimea? Is that what you’re talking about?

 

Scampi: If you like.

 

Peter: Because I don’t think the Crimean War has anything to do with Mexican cartels.

 

Scampi: It could be fun. We could be cowboys.

 

Peter: I don’t think Mexico has cowboys.

 

Scampi: Ridiculous! Of course it does. They just call them gauchos.

 

Peter: Are you sure about that?

 

Scampi: Are we ever sure, Peter?

 

Peter: SIGHS.

 

Scampi: Maybe we can carry flintlock Napoleonic pistols. Like wild west pirates.

 

Peter: This historico-linguistical pastiche is causing me to experience some degree of nausea.

 

Scampi: No worries. That’s just wedding jitters. It happens to everyone.

 

Peter: Ah.

 

Scampi: Don’t sound so pained. People will start to think you’re backing out.

 

Peter: Of what?

 

Scampi: The grand adventure.

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi: Not that I’m calling you a coward.

 

Peter: I resent these implications!

 

Scampi: What implications? I told you, I’m not calling you a coward.

 

Peter: Very well.

 

Scampi: I’m just a little excited, is all.

 

Peter: Might I pose what I feel is a rather relevant question?

 

Scampi: Of course! This is a participatory plutocracy.

 

Peter: What?

 

Scampi: Go ahead, go ahead.

 

Peter: What exactly is this, ah, cartel of ours going to do?

 

Scampi: What do you mean?

 

Peter: Well, in my experience (which, I would like to point out, is entirely theoretical, in this context)

 

Scampi: (and in every other context, too)

 

Peter (valiantly): it is the case that criminals commit crimes. Ergo, I was wondering what types of crimes you had planned to commit. In Mexico.

 

Scampi: Oh, the usual.

 

Peter: Please elaborate.

 

Scampi: Well, we’ll be on horseback. As we have already discussed. I think this implies a little horse-thievery. And cattle-rustling.

 

Peter: Okay.

 

Scampi: And you know what? Speaking of plutocracies, there is great economic disparity in Mexico. I think you know what that means.

 

Peter: An impossibly unbridgeable chasm between rich and poor?

 

Scampi: Robin Hood!

 

Peter: Oh. So we’re to commit felonies based on principles of social justice.

 

Scampi: Jeez, Peter. You make us sound like assholes.

 

Peter: I suspect, somehow, that this is rather your line of work.

 

Scampi: Now, now. If you don’t want to rob the rich to feed the poor, that’s fine. I’ll think of something else for us to do. After all, your happiness is paramount. It’s at the top of my social calendar, right next to Sunday.

 

Peter: Your generosity touches us all.

 

Scampi: Perhaps we can sell pears illegally. They will be outlawed because of their deliciousness. Furthermore, they will make an indelible dent in the Mexican national consciousness. What do you think?

 

Peter: Pears.

 

Scampi: Yes: delicious, juicy pears. What do you say?

 

Peter: You want us to form a fruit-selling Mexican cartel.

 

Scampi: Do I!

 

Peter: Whom do you intend to include in this cartel?

 

Scampi: What do you mean?

 

Peter: Well, according to the intelligence you were imparting to me earlier, we need a third member to qualify as a cartel.

 

Scampi: That’s true. But maybe we could be handicapped.

 

Peter: What?

 

Scampi: We would think of ourselves as having three members. Or even five, really. But in fact, it would just be us. Conceptually, we’d be a cartel, and the law would view us as such.

 

Peter: Right. To sum up: Peter and Scampi go to Mexico on horseback armed with Napoleonic dueling pistols to start up a fruit-based, understaffed, conceptual cartel. Did I get that straight?

 

Scampi: You did! That was really great.

 

Peter: And when does this charming adventure commence?

 

Scampi: We ride at sunset.