pt 135: THE MAN WITH TWO UMBRELLAS

Scampi: If I may, I’d like to bring the topic around.

Peter: Oh? What ails it?

Scampi: Har har.  I’d like to bring the topic around to the Linnaean Society, of course.

Peter: Of course.

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pt 126: WE CAN’T ALL COME FROM SOMEWHERE

Scampi: Blah blah. Blah blah.

MUSICAL INTERLUDE.

Scampi: And so it goes.

Peter: Am I included in this?

Scampi: Peripherally, I suppose.

Peter: Oh.

Scampi: But not really.

Peter: Ah.

Scampi: If you’re going to sit on the tracks, you must sit next to them.

Peter: This does not parse.

Scampi: If you wish to sit down, amidst the urban landscape, you can’t get in the way of the train.

Peter: Oh?

Scampi: It isn’t the point. It will cause you to miss the point.

Peter: I wouldn’t want to do that.

Scampi: Well, no.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Do you think of yourself as a scientist?

Peter: No.

Scampi: I don’t think of you as being a scientist.

Peter: Then we are agreed.

Scampi: If that’s how you want to see it.

Peter: Are we not agreed?

Scampi: Be it resolved.

Peter: Yes?

Scampi: Sometimes, you know, people put those spiky things on buildings. So the pigeons can’t sit on them.

Peter: This is true.

Scampi: Doesn’t that bother you?

Peter: No.

Scampi: No?

Peter: I must confess, it does not.

Scampi: Just wait ‘til I put spiky things on your desk chair. Then we’ll see what bothers you.

Peter: There is no need to be so threatening.

Scampi: Where you see no need, I see need everywhere.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: We are different creatures, you and I.

Peter: We are not a different species, however.

Scampi: How can you be so sure?

Peter: It is a fact.

Scampi: You and your facts. Facts have never stood up to anything.

Peter: What have you got against facts?

Scampi: What did Senator McCarthy have against facts?

Peter: Pardon?

Scampi: Nothing at all. He just rolled on over, like a monster truck.

Peter: And you wish to take McCarthy’s attitude towards truth?

Scampi: I wish to inform you.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: Facts are very nice in your little basement apartment.

Peter: I don’t have a basement apartment.

Scampi: In your little hibernation cave. But they won’t save you, in the end.

Peter: Do I require saving?

Scampi: That’s all I’m saying about that.

Peter: Very helpful.

Scampi: I am helpful. Not that you care.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: You can see your breath.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: This is a sign.

Peter: Of respiration?

Scampi: Basically.

pt 104: STOUT

Peter: Are you suggesting I lack nous?

Scampi: What a vocabulary!

Peter: I am very sensitive about my vocabulary.

Scampi: I know you are, Peter.

Peter: Oh.

Scampi: You enjoy meats and cheeses.

Peter: Excuse me?

Scampi: Don’t you?

PAUSE.

Scampi: Of course you do.

Peter: I do.

Scampi: You like to eat pork.  The flesh of pigs.

Peter: Correct.

Scampi: Why do you think that is?

Peter: It is delicious.

Scampi: Beware of subjective truths!

Peter: Me?

Scampi: The epistemological pot calling the linguistical kettle black?  Is that what you’re saying?

Peter: Yes.

PAUSE.

Peter: That doesn’t make any sense.

Scampi: How did you understand it, then?

Peter: Did I?

Scampi: You did.  You assented.

Peter: I did.

Scampi: Are you having a crisis of faith?

Peter: No.

Scampi: Are you sure?

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: How do you know?

Peter: I am not a man of the cloth.

Scampi: I suppose not.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Are you having a crisis of faith?

Peter: No.

Scampi: Oh.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Yes, I would say that you lack a modicum of nous.  I would.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: Yes.  It is quite apparent.

Peter: You are certainly entitled to your opinion.

Scampi: I hadn’t noticed that.  Says who?

Peter: A nice, clear day.  Clear skies.

Scampi: I remarked on that already.  I already pointed it out.

Peter: When?

Scampi: I did.  You were sleeping, like Rapunzel.

Peter: I wasn’t sleeping.

Scampi: Neither was Rapunzel.  Technically.

Peter: I am not blonde.

Scampi: I am not a spinach farmer.  So what?

Peter: There is no need to be so argumentative.

Scampi: Really?  Who told you that?

Peter: I have spoken.

Scampi: Yes, you have.  Do you want a new shirt?

Peter: No.

Scampi: Why not?

Peter: I have shirts.

Scampi: So what?

Peter: SIGHS.

Scampi: Cotton shirts are very popular amongst men of your generation.

Peter: What generation?

Scampi: Well, that is the question.  That’s what I’m saying.

Peter: Pardon me, but I find it exceedingly difficult to keep track of what it is that you are saying.  From one day to the next, if you will.

Scampi: I won’t!

Peter: How juvenile.

Scampi: No pasarán!

PAUSE.

Scampi: Ah ha!  You don’t even know what that means!

Peter: Knowing what a word means, and knowing what you mean by it are two rather different things.

Scampi: But of course!  A whole new kettle of fish!

Peter: Would it be possible for you to modulate your voice?

Scampi: In what sense?

Peter: Lower it.

Scampi: Oh ho.  Hello, children, and welcome to the imperative.

Peter: There are many tasks to be accomplished.

Scampi: Yes, of course.  Let us preserve the Anglo-Saxon hegemony.  Et cetera.  [YAWNS THEATRICALLY]

Peter: What are you suggesting about me?

Scampi: ‘Scusi?

Peter: I feel that you are making inferences and allusions.  Offensive ones.

Scampi: You would.

Peter: I do.

Scampi: Want to make some prank calls?

Peter: No.

Scampi: What?  Really?

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: Yes, you do want to make prank calls?

Peter: No.

Scampi: No what?

Peter: No, I do not.

Scampi: Oh.  Have you ever met a man whose woman you didn’t like?

Peter: Woman?

Scampi: Yes.  Those creatures you feign disinterest in.

Peter: I am not sure what is being asked of me.

Scampi: Wherein lies the disingenuous germ of your existential crisis.

Peter: This is very rude.

Scampi: No, no.  That’s not the intent at all.  I’m simply asking a question.

Peter: Of course.  You have a tendency to do this.

Scampi: I do not.  Anyhow, you were right about the weather.

Peter: Hm?

Scampi: It’s a beautiful day.  It really is.

Peter: [SIGHS.]  Yes.

Scampi: Do you believe there will be others?

Peter: Other whats?

Scampi: Days like this.

Peter: I am not a meteorologist.

Scampi: No.  I suppose you aren’t.

Peter: I am not.

Scampi: But the light today.  It’s just so pretty.

Peter: Indeed.

Scampi: Perhaps there will be light like this tomorrow.

Peter: It is a possibility.

Scampi: [bitterly] Yes.

pt 118: HILLS MADE OUT OF DUST

Scampi: I can’t quite put it into words.

Peter: I can’t hear you.

Scampi: I’m not mumbling!

Peter: Sorry?

Scampi: Urgh!

A PAUSE REPLETE WITH MAGENTA AND BANANA LEAVES.

Sacmpi: I wish I could explain this to you.

Peter: I am simply going about my daily life.  I am a busy man.

Scampi: You’re always a busy man.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: These days.

Peter: I have many responsibilities.

Scampi: Yeah, like what?

Peter: I have important work to do.  I have bills to pay.

Scampi: False.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Forget it.

SILENCE.

Scampi: Could I offer you a tiny cup of scalding coffee laced with cardamom?

Peter: Oh?  What’s this all about?

Scampi: This is one way to have coffee, between friends.

Peter: Were you intending to be friendly?

Scampi: Really!  Don’t be preposterous!

Peter: Ah.  This is one way to have coffee.

Scampi: Yes.  We might discuss the days gone by and the days to come.

Peter: And what of the days at hand?

Scampi: They are swarming me.  Like fishes and bees.

Peter: Is something amiss?

Scampi: I don’t think so.  I believe it is all right as rain.

Peter: Is it raining?

Scampi: Somewhere it is.  Presumably.

Peter: Is this a meteorological fact?  That it is raining in some location at all times?

Scampi: Well, isn’t it?

Peter: No.  Perhaps.

Scampi: Just not in Antarctica, the driest place on earth.

Peter: No.

Scampi: My mind is simply stuffed.

Peter: With Antarctic aridity?

Scampi: Absolutely not.  With emotions.

Peter: Er.

Scampi: I don’t even know what kind of a noise that is.

Peter: Eh?

Scampi: You’re like the Consul General of the British Isles.  With these noises.

Peter: That is not my present occupation, in fact.

Scampi: Well, it is in fiction.

A PLAINTIVE RATTLE OF MOURNING DOVES.

Scampi: Whereas I am so thrilled and lowly.

Peter: Holey?

Scampi: Amen!

Peter: Pardon me?

Scampi: Low-some.  Down, down, in the depths of good cheer.

Peter: Is this the Homemaker’s Guide to Manic Depression?

Scampi: Oh, Peter.  Stop being so tense.  I’m simply explaining the state of affairs.

Peter: Well-stated.

Scampi: And speaking of the state of the nation, maybe you should go drape yourself in a colonial flag, like a cape, you know.

Peter: I have no reason to engage in such an activity.

Scampi: On the contrary, you love that sort of thing.

Peter: I feel I am being typecast.

Scampi: Typical.

Peter: There you go again.

Scampi: Don’t blame me for the faults of your feet.

Peter: That is a quote from something.

Scampi: Oho, “something”.  Well-cited.

Peter: It is not my task to cite your quotations for you.

Scampi: No, it certainly isn’t.

Peter: SIGHS.

Scampi: I am seeing a lot of beautiful things.  Of course.

Peter (yawning): Of course.

Scampi: Don’t let me disturb you with this familiar train of thought or anything.  But the beauty is manifesting itself differently.

Peter: I wonder if I should moisturise my beard.

Scampi: I don’t even know what’s being left behind.

Peter: Perhaps a residue of white flakes.

Scampi: Not in your beard, Peter.

Peter: Oh?  Where?

Scampi: With me.

Peter: You feel you are being left behind?

Scampi: No!

Peter: Oh.

Scampi: I’m trying to figure out these important things and all you do is talk about your beard.

Peter: Ah!  Thusly we see that in your estimation, my beard is unimportant.

Scampi: No, of course not.  Your beard is like a goddam christly miracle.  To me.  In its multitudinous bounty.

Peter: It is perhaps a touch full, of late.

Scampi: It is a thing in this world, anyway.

Peter: Or a portion of my face.

Scampi: Face shmace: we’re all things in this world.  Stack of dirhams in a treasury.

Peter: To whom does this treasury belong?

Scampi: One wonders.

pt 53: ENGLAND SWINGS

Scampi: I’ve been thinking about things.

Peter: Oh?

Scampi: Don’t get too excited, now.

Peter: I shall do my utmost to remain calm.

Scampi: Commendable.

Peter: Rather.

Scampi: Anyhow, I’ve been thinking.

Peter: The brain is a gift.

Scampi: Yes.  An evolutionary bouquet of surprises.

Peter: Uh.

Scampi: Cortex’s gold!  A big man on hippocampus!

Peter: Really.

Scampi: I saw you laughing at that.

Peter: Absolutely not.

Scampi: I saw you snickering into your handkerchief.

Peter: Now,

Scampi: Come on, Peter, don’t lie.

Peter: I am not a liar.

Scampi: Yes, yes.  And no one has accused you of being one.

Peter: You just –

Scampi: But back to the real revolution here, if you will.

Peter: SIGHS.

Scampi: For starters, we have the beauty of the outdoors.

Peter: We do.

Scampi: We have the bare bones of trees, a huge sky.

Peter: Theoretically.

Scampi: I mean, obviously I’m not going to list off everything.  We could be here all day.

Peter: SHUDDERS.

Scampi: Well, it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.  Or anything.

Peter: Maybe you should go into weather forecasting.

Scampi: What a thing to say.

Peter: What?

Scampi: Preposterous.

Peter: It was just a suggestion.

Scampi: I bite my lip, and then a perfect cloud appears overhead.  A perfect, fluffy slice of cumulus.  I brush my hair out of my eyes, and the wind plays a minuet on the shingles across the street.  And you want me to go into weather forecasting!  Really.

Peter: Am I to infer that you believe there is a causal relationship between your facial tics and the current weather systems?

Scampi: Do you believe in God, Peter?

Peter: Well, I need a bit more context to answer that question.

Scampi: Right.  Ridiculous.

Peter: Pardon me?

Scampi: I am so in love with the sun today.  And you just sit here punching me in the face with frozen slabs of like, Adorno.

Peter: I resent these accusations.

Scampi: While I present these adumbrations.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Peter?

Peter: Yes?

Scampi: Do you feel like dancing?

Peter: No.

Scampi: This is unsurprising.

Peter: Yes.  Well.

Scampi: I feel like stretching my legs.

Peter: How do you plan to do that?

Scampi: I just need to find a long pond.  To leap over, you see.

Peter: You might get your feet wet.

Scampi: Well.  One of us has to.

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.

pt 87: THE MOUTH OF THE RIVER

Scampi: Teeter eeter.

Peter: What are you doing?

Scampi: Teader toader.

Peter: Gibberish.

Scampi: Basically.

THE RAIN OF THE AGES.

Scampi: This keeps happening.

Peter: What does?

Scampi: It keeps happening to me.

Peter: The weather?

Scampi: No, no.

Peter: Are you all right?

Scampi: Does it matter?

Peter: Don’t be a child.

Scampi: I wasn’t aware there was an option.

Peter: I have rolled up my trouser cuffs.

Scampi: Good for you.

Peter: This will prevent them from absorbing moisture.

Scampi: The inclement elements.

Peter: The very ones.

Scampi: I am here.

Peter: Okay.

Scampi: I am here I am here I am here.  You are, too.

Peter: If you say so.

Scampi: What did you say?

Peter: Just now?

Scampi: Did you just say that?

Peter: Say what?

Scampi: Jesus H.

Peter: What does the ‘h’ stand for?

Scampi: Helvetica.

Peter: Oh.

Scampi: [sighs]

Peter: What?

Scampi: I was just sighing.  To myself.

Peter: Oh.

Scampi: Not that it matters.

PETER SAMPLES A FINGERTIP.

Scampi: Why are you grimacing?

Peter: I am not.

Scampi: Wow.  Look.

Peter: A lake.

Scampi: Looks like a lake.

Peter: Let’s take a look.

Scampi: Stop talking like that.

Peter: Pish posh.

Scampi: It is a lake.

Peter: Well.

Scampi: A body of water, anyway.

Peter: Could be a loch.

Scampi: Could be a tarn.

Peter: Tarnation!

Scampi: That wasn’t funny.

Peter: What are you laughing about then?

Scampi: Well yes.

PAUSE.

Scampi: A body of water, anyway.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: We could dip our toes.

Peter: Perhaps.

Scampi: It would be refreshing.  We could use a little refreshment.

Peter: Rather.

Scampi: What do you think?

Peter: I am troubled.

Scampi: No, you aren’t.

Peter: Ah.

Scampi: You know what he said?

Peter: Who?

Scampi: That’s what I’m saying.  Anyway, he said we must imagine Sisyphus happy.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: Can you imagine?  What a thing to say.

Peter: We must imagine Sisyphus happy.

Scampi: Yes.  Can you do that?

Peter: Imagine things?

Scampi: Sure.

Peter: Perhaps.

Scampi: Oh, well.  That’s conclusive.

Peter: Why must we do this?

Scampi: I don’t need to tell you.

Peter: Illuminating.

Scampi: I don’t.  Can you do it?

Peter: I have not yet tried.

Scampi: Oh, for crying out loud.

Peter: Calm yourself.

Scampi: You calm yourself.

Peter [philosophically]: I do.

Scampi: Lies.

Peter: Don’t start.

Scampi: We are always starting.  Always coming up new.

Peter: I don’t know what you mean by this.

Scampi: Maybe you do, maybe you don’t.

Peter: SIGHS.

Scampi: I am here.  I mean, look at my skin.

Peter: A beautiful sheath.

Scampi: What?

Peter: I thought we were talking about skin.

Scampi: We were, we weren’t.  No difference.

PAUSE.

Scampi: I am here, right?  So what?  So are you.  You are here!

Peter: If you say so.

Scampi: Oh no.

pt 100: ALBION CLIMES

Scampi: What’s between the water and the air?

Peter: Club soda?

Scampi: Was that a joke?

Peter: Perhaps.

Scampi: I don’t know what you have to be so cheerful about these days.  Jesus H.

PAUSE.

Scampi: You might think we’re between the water and the air, but we aren’t.

Peter: Duly noted.

Scampi: You’re not even listening to me.

Peter: My apologies.  Please, continue this nonsensical babble.

Scampi: Feh.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Now, take chalk.  Are you with me?

Peter: Chalk.

Scampi: Yes!  Calcium.

Peter: [stage whispering] Is that a secret?

Scampi: What?

Peter: Why are you speaking of calcium in this manner?

Scampi: We’re talking about chalk.

Peter: Ahem.  Calcium carbonate.

Scampi: I was getting to that.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: Right.  You know when you can see the air do that shimmering thing, because of the heat?

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: Well, what do you think of that?

Peter: I believe it would qualify as cliché, if it appeared in print.

Scampi: Print?  What are you talking about?

Peter: Literary mores.

Scampi: What do you know about it?  Anyway, I was talking about the weather.

Peter: Please, do not let me impede your progress.

Scampi: What?

Peter: Continue.

Scampi: When it’s so hot that the air doesn’t move, right?  What do you think about that?

Peter: That sounds very warm.

Scampi: Of course it’s warm.  Peter.

Peter: Yes?

Scampi: Is that all?

Peter: I am unsure as to what is being demanded at the present moment.

Scampi: What do you think of doves?

Peter: I approve of them.

Scampi: Without reservation?

Peter: [serious thought]  Yes.

Scampi: Okay.

PAUSE.

Scampi: You know the way if you mix pigment you get like, black or brown, but if you mix light you don’t?

Peter: That is one way of putting it.

Scampi: The cliffs of Dover are made of chalk.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: Not like us.

Peter: It is true that we are not composed of chalk.

Scampi: Are you sure?

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: [craftily] Well, then, what are we composed of?

Peter: Matter.

Scampi: A coward’s explanation.

Peter: Pardon me?

Scampi: What do you think about planets?

Peter: They are spherical in nature.

Scampi: [knowingly] They aren’t the only ones.

Peter: What are you suggesting?

Scampi: It’s very clear.  Like the view from the cliffs.

Peter: Have you visited in Dover?

Scampi: What does that have to do with anything?

Peter: SIGHS.

Scampi: I’ve been all around this world, mister.  Like the moons of Jupiter.

Peter: I am not sure I grasp the analogy.

Scampi: Ha.  Quel surprise.

PAUSE.

Scampi: [conciliatory]  You have an affinity for the natural sciences, of course.

Peter: Ah.

Scampi: Don’t deny it, Peter.

Peter: Well, we must begin by,

Scampi: Begin – nothing.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: I’m sure your trundled carapace hides the heart of an astronomer.  A seasick lordling, teetering amidships.

Peter: I am confused.

Scampi: In what sense?

Peter: Temporally.

Scampi: Right: Reformation, Renaissance.  Wars, Second World; Napoleonic.  See?

Peter: Are you obliquely referring to England in an attempt to make me feel more comfortable?

Scampi: Yes.

SCAMPI WHISTLES LIKE A BLUEBIRD.

Scampi: How are you today?

Peter: I am well.

Scampi: Great.

Peter: Thank you.  And you?

Scampi: Oh yes.  Yeah, bigtime.

Peter: Wonderful.

Scampi: The thing is, if you don’t know what medium you’re working with, you can’t know if it will turn out brown or not.

Peter: Pardon?

Scampi: I have been mixing all the colours at my disposal for quite some time now.

Peter: Well, good for you.

Scampi: But I don’t know if I’m building a blanched sheet of prismic perfection, or a mud puddle.

Peter: A quandary, to be sure.

Scampi: Are you paying attention to me?

Peter: It certainly appears that way.

Scampi: Humph.

Peter: With all due respect.

Scampi: (Oh, this’ll be good.)

Peter: You do seem to have a fondness for mud puddles.

Scampi: So what?

Peter: A simple observation.

Scampi: You and your observations.

Peter: Yes?

Scampi: Such a scientist.

Peter: There is nothing wrong with science.

Scampi: There is nothing wrong with anything.

Peter: Oh?

Scampi: Until the perfect view is destroyed by one’s presence in it.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Do you know what I’m saying to you?

Peter: I believe I do.

pt 144: THE WARSAW PACT

Scampi: Isn’t it funny to you how a map can look like a bloodstain?

Peter: What?

Scampi: You heard me.

Peter: Indeed.

Scampi: Well?

Peter: It is meet to point out that I heard the words, but was unable to glean their meaning. In this context.

Scampi: Oh, this is how we’re talking today?

Peter: Pardon me?

Scampi: I ain’t the Pope. I ain’t the state o’ the nation. No pardons dispensed here.

Peter: I think you may have misunderstood the term “State of the Nation”.

Scampi: I am a mixologist.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: Remember the Communist blob?

Peter: I believe that was ‘bloc’.

Scampi: Just a big red blob on a map. And now what?

Peter: Perhaps we should identify the appropriate cartographic terms before continuing.

Scampi: Nonsense. You never have any fun.

Peter: [pensively] No.

Scampi: See? Ghastly.

A GHOST STROLLS PAST, SELF-CONSCIOUSLY WRINGING ITS HANDS.

Scampi: What a world.

Peter: Wait, what’s going on here?

Scampi: I dunno. Nothing.

Peter: Did the power just go out?

Scampi: Who cares? That’s what I say.

Peter: You certainly do.

SCAMPI TOSSES A TEN-GALLON HAT IN THE AIR.

Scampi: Yeehaw!

Peter: My head. It spins.

Scampi: That’s not your normal sentence structure. Are you okay?

Peter: [dubiously] I suppose.

Scampi: Here we are, the kings of supposition. And no electric lightbulbs, to boot.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: That could be cathartic. Electric lightbulb-booting.

Peter: There is no need for violence.

Scampi: What about violins?

Peter: Well, yes. Violins yes.

Scampi: A full string section, of course.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: So you wouldn’t say, Ah history, the giant bloodstain?

Peter: I have never said such a thing.

Scampi: I have.

Peter: We are all aware of this.

Scampi: Good, good. This is an awareness program, after all.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Speaking of which, garrigue.

Peter: What’s that?

Scampi: Garrigue.

Peter: Oh?

Scampi: Do you know what that is?

Peter: Uh.

Scampi: Do you?

Peter: Not particularly.

Scampi: Scrub.

Peter: What?

Scampi: That’s what it is. Low-lying scrub. You know, like foliage. In the Mediterranean Basin.

Peter: Ah, the basin.

Scampi: Scrubs and shrubs. They change the taste of the air and the taste of the wine.

Peter: Ahem.

Scampi: A covering over the hills, running down to the sea.

Peter: I know what scrub is.

Scampi: One wouldn’t think so, to look at your neck.

Peter: I bristle at such remarks.

Scampi: I can see that.

PAUSE.

Scampi: I couldn’t get out of bed today.

Peter: Oh.

Scampi: Or perhaps I could. I can’t remember.

Peter: We all have beds. And difficulties.

Scampi: I suppose if this is a dream, I haven’t gotten out of bed yet. How shall I tell?

Peter: I thought we had abandoned this line of inquiry.

Scampi: You would say that, as a dream-figment. Trying to throw me off the scent.

Peter: Consciousness is not a children’s mystery novel.

Scampi: There’s no need to be so severe about everything. It’s not The Pilgrim’s Progress either, you know.

Peter: I am not a puritan.

Scampi: Don’t tell me. Tell them.

Peter: Who?

Scampi: I dunno.

Peter: Oh.

Scampi: You seem a trifle skittish.

Peter: [skittishly] I am not.

Scampi: Mm. It seems darker.

Peter: It?

Scampi: The world. The weather.

Peter: We are preparing for a healthy bout of condensation, I would say.

Scampi: I concur.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Will we ever be heroes, Peter?

Peter: Why would we want to be heroes?

Scampi: Why wouldn’t we?

pt 49 ½: PAR CONTRE

Peter: I see.

Scampi: Good.  High five.

Peter: My god.  How did you manage to get that much dirt under your fingernails?

Scampi: Me?

Peter: They’re filthy.

Scampi: Yeah.

Peter: When did that happen?

Scampi: While you were reading the map.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: I was looking for something.

Peter: What?

Scampi: I’m not sure.

Peter: Was it a recipe for mud pies?

Scampi: No, no.  Nothing like that.

Peter: I certainly hope you found it.

Scampi: I had a good time looking, anyway.

Peter: So it would seem.

Scampi: [LAUGHS.]

Peter: What’s so funny?

Scampi: I don’t know.  But it’s working.

Peter: Hm.

Scampi: Hee hee.

PAUSE.

Scampi: You seem a little under the weather today.

Peter: Do I?

Scampi: You do.

Peter: Well, there you have it.

Scampi: I don’t like to see you so down, Grumplestiltskin.  We’re heading in the right direction, aren’t we?

Peter: Yes.  For those who wish to go to Mexico.

Scampi: That’s us.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Peter, that’s us.  Right?

Peter: So it would seem.

Scampi: Do you want some tea from my thermos?  It’s still really hot.

Peter: No, thank you.

Scampi: Are you sure?  Yummy delicious tea.

Peter: No.  I am sure I don’t want any tea.  It is your tea.  You should drink it.

Scampi: Okay.  Just let me know if you change your mind, okay?

Peter: Quite.

Scampi: It’s funny, when you say that, it’s almost like you’re saying, “Quiet!”.  I think that’s pretty funny.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: Quite.

SCAMPI LAUGHS AT THIS UNTIL SUNSET, GIVE OR TAKE, AT WHICH TIME PETER DECIDES TO HAVE SOME TEA, AFTER ALL.