pt 79: SUCH AND SO FINELY BOLTED DIDST THOU SEEM

Scampi: I fell asleep.

Peter: I shall inform the relevant newsmedia.

Scampi: Piss off.

Peter: PARDON?

Scampi: It’s an expression.

Peter: A distasteful one.

Scampi: A delectable linguisto-fest, in fact.

Peter: That’s.  I.

Scampi: Ding!  Peter-eter, down for the count!

Peter: There is no need to howl so.

Scampi: I shan’t howl then.

Peter: Why are you speaking this way?

Scampi: I have no idea what you’re talking about.

Peter: “Shan’t.”

Scampi: Hee haw.  You sound like the emir in Tintin.

PETER LETS HIS RACQUET FALL.

Scampi: Can I offer you a beverage?

Peter: It appears that you have.

Scampi: Harumph.  Coffee?

Peter: I acquiesce.

Scampi: You’re terribly good at that.

PETER’S FACE IS A BLANK SHEET OF SPRING RAIN.

Scampi: Well, moving right along.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: What would you say if I said my heart was broken?

Peter: I suspect you wouldn’t say that.

Scampi: That’s what you’d say?

Peter: No.  I.

Scampi: What would you say?

Peter: I would.  Express my sympathies, I suppose.

Scampi: Yeah, right.  I doubt it.

Peter: Well.  I’m glad I was able to assist you with your query.

Scampi: Thanks a lot.  Why didn’t you just direct me to the reference desk?

Peter: Because I am not a library.

Scampi: I’ll say.  You don’t even have a photocopying machine.

Peter: I do not.  You are correct.

Scampi: And if you did, it would be cleft in twain.

Peter: Oh?

Scampi: Like my heart.

Peter: Ah yes.  Your heart.

Scampi: Ug.  Don’t say it like that.

Peter: Like what?  I have often been complimented on my excellent, above-average elocution.

Scampi: [snorts] Yeah huh.  We are referring to my fiery engine red construction paper heart here.  Not a lab experiment featuring amphibians.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: If only this were the case.

Peter: There’s nothing wrong with my vision.

Scampi: (That a little corrective eyewear can’t fix.)

Peter: Correct.

Scampi: Corrective.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: I have fallen asleep at a barbecue once.  Did you know that?

Peter: No.

Scampi: Well, I didn’t really.

Peter: Ah.

Scampi: But I could have.

Peter: Mm.

Scampi: See?

Peter: No.

Scampi: I’m just saying, I almost fell asleep at a barbecue once.  Or twice.

Peter: Well, good for you.

Scampi: I can get very sleepy.  That’s all.

Peter: We have been tired.  We are a tiresome race.

Scampi: What?  What?

Peter: I said—

Scampi: I know what you said.

Peter: Well then.

Scampi: You want some cake or something?

Peter: No.

Scampi: Why not?

Peter: I don’t know.

Scampi: So?

Peter: I don’t want any cake.

Scampi: Fine.

Peter: Thank you.

Scampi: You are terribly welcome.

Peter: How kind.

Scampi: Most certainly.  With utmost amounts of certitude.

Peter: Quite.

Scampi: With unscientific amounts of certitude.

Peter: Okay.

Scampi: With a blind, mad degree of certainty that contradicts the whole spirit of the scientific method.  With—

Peter: I think that’s quite enough.

Scampi: Enough what?

Peter: Chatter.

Scampi: Ho ho.  You would.

Peter: I do.

Scampi: Kids used to like to lick on candy, down to a seed in their palms.  You know what I’m talking about?

Peter: Roughly.

Scampi: Do they still do that, kids?

Peter: Why not?

Scampi: Well, why not?  Why not not?

Peter: Please.

Scampi: What manners!

PETER INSPECTS HIS UNCOMPLEX HANDS.

Scampi: Ho ho.

Peter: Wait a moment.  What are you saying about my hands?

Scampi: Me?

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: Me?  I didn’t say anything.

Peter: I suspect—

Scampi: Oh, that’s a change.

Peter: This coffee is.  Delicious.

Scampi: You’re kind of slow today.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: That’s okay.  I am broken.

Peter: Ah yes.  Your cardboard heart.

Scampi: Construction paper.

Peter: Inflammable, at any rate.

Scampi: We are.

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pt 98: WATER

Scampi: I didn’t know that that episode of Tintin with the Emir and Prince Abdullah and everything used to be different.

 

Peter: Excuse me?

 

Scampi: Peter!

 

Peter: Yes?

 

Scampi: Pay attention.

 

Peter: Different in what way?

 

Scampi: When it was first written. Before the Germans took Belgium.

 

Peter: I see.

 

Scampi: Well, yeah. Then he changed it. Hergé. You know what I’m saying?

 

Peter: A Tintin book was revised.

 

Scampi: The one with the Emir.

 

Peter: I could point out, ahem.

 

Scampi: What?

 

Peter: I believe there are several occasions where the Emir makes an appearance in a Tintin comic.

 

Scampi: So what?

 

Peter: So you can’t say, “The one with the Emir”.

 

Scampi: Yes, I can. I just did.

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi: If we were in a boat.

 

Peter: [alarmed] Are we in a boat?

 

Scampi: Oh, I see.

 

Peter: We are not in a boat. Currently.

 

Scampi: Make up your mind.

 

Peter: It was you who brought it up.

 

Scampi: I did. Boats.

 

Peter: Yes.

 

Scampi: It was hypothetical. Theoretical.

 

Peter: The vessel?

 

Scampi: Vessel! The situation.

 

Peter: Oh.

 

Scampi: Do you want to cross the water?

 

Peter: Now? Or in general?

 

Scampi: Such questions.

 

Peter: I have a certain amount of maritime competence.

 

Scampi: Oh, no doubt.

 

Peter: It is the case.

 

Scampi: The water is wide.

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi: Would you trail your fingers in the water?

 

Peter: When?

 

Scampi: In the boat. That we aren’t in.

 

Peter: I have no idea.

 

Scampi: Part of me can see it. Them. You know. Your fingers trailing along in the lake.

 

Peter: Fascinating.

 

Scampi: That’s right. But the other part.

 

Peter: GRUMBLES & RUMBLES.

 

Scampi: A blackness. There’s a hole where the picture should be.

 

Peter: This is all very exciting.

 

Scampi: Well, yes. It is. Are you leaning back, drifting? Happy?

 

Peter: Your imagination is getting the best of you, it seems.

 

Scampi: Or it’s getting the worst of you.

 

Peter: I don’t know what that means.

 

Scampi: Precisely!

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi: I could steer.

 

Peter: Oh?

 

Scampi: You could scan the sky for weather.

 

Peter: In our non-existent watercraft.

 

Scampi: Yes.

 

Peter: I’m sure that would be very nice.

 

Scampi: Are you humouring me?

 

Peter: Perhaps unsuccessfully.

 

Scampi: I think we need to make it to the other side. I think this could be the way.

 

Peter: Such urgency. Are we attempting some sort of escape?

 

Scampi: What do you think?

 

Peter: I think you are behaving like a felon on the run.

 

Scampi: So?

 

Peter: What I said earlier about your imagination still stands.

 

Scampi: You should be so lucky.

 

Peter: Pardon?

 

Scampi: Talking about my imagination like that.

 

Peter: There was no insult intended.

 

Scampi: Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

 

Peter: I do not tend to mistake human flesh for comestible material.

 

Scampi: Yeah, sure.

 

PETER GLOWERS. BUT LIGHTLY.

 

Scampi: Did you know that the only thing filthier than a human bite is the bite of a Komodo dragon?

 

Peter: This is plausible, I suppose.

 

Scampi: Komodo dragons go around biting things and then going back and gobbling them up once they, the things, pass on. They eat rotten stuff.

 

Peter: I shall have to look this up.

 

Scampi: Oh, right. Don’t take my word for it.

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi: You know the capital of North Dakota?

 

Peter: Excuse me?

 

Scampi: Stop stalling. Do you know it?

 

Peter: Well, I. Let me think.

 

Scampi: Bismarck!

 

Peter: Right. Yes.

 

Scampi: Ha.

 

Peter: What are you crowing about now?

 

Scampi: Nothing. Just talking about the world at large.

 

Peter: I see.

 

Scampi: Mature conversation.

 

Peter: Perhaps you should work on the art of the segue.

 

Scampi: Fiddlesticks.

 

Peter: It was simply a suggestion.

 

Scampi: Thank you for your feedback. It will be processed in due course.

 

Peter: The air is cooler when the sun sets.

 

Scampi: Nice segue.

 

Peter: Ahem.

 

Scampi: I am suddenly so tired.

 

Peter: Perhaps a small cup of coffee would not go amiss.

 

Scampi: I think that’s true.

 

Peter: Yes.

 

Scampi: Do you think we were different before the war?

 

Peter: What war?

 

Scampi: I don’t know.