Scampi: I have a few things to tell you.

Peter: I’m busy.

Scampi: Well, I have a few things to tell you anyway.

Peter: Is that the case?

Scampi: Yes.  Feeling defensive?

Peter: Is this one of the things you had to tell me?

Scampi: No.  It was a question.

Peter: I can sense a headache approaching.

Scampi: Well, change seats.

Peter: Pardon?

Scampi: If you can’t see the show, you know.  Switch seats.


Scampi: Anyway, there are some Spanish expressions involving mules.  Did you know that?

Peter: I confess that it does not surprise me.

Scampi: Well ceded.

Peter: I ceded nothing.

Scampi: For a change.  Do you know what the expressions are?

Peter: No.

Scampi: Really?

Peter: SIGHS.

Scampi: One is ‘burro de Caleta’.  You know what that means?

Peter: I do not.

Scampi: It means you’re drunk all the time.

Peter: Pardon me?

Scampi: The expression.  It’s about a beer-fed mule.


Scampi: Obviously, if you were a mule who hung around drinking beer all day, you’d be drunk.

Peter: Obviously.

Scampi: I like to think we’re making progress here.

Peter: In what sense?

Scampi: I don’t know.  I don’t think it’s true, in any event.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: I’m just sampling, you know.  From an array of available platitudes.

Peter: I heartily approve of this program.

Scampi: Oh, good.

Peter: I did not say that.

Scampi: Yes, you did.

Peter: In no way, shape, or form did I make that statement.

Scampi: Oh, right.  Who said it then?

Peter: No one said it.

Scampi: If no one said it, then what are we talking about?

Peter: That is illogical.

Scampi: I’m sure you’d like to think so.


Scampi: Let’s put down blankets and bivouac here.

Peter: Right here?

Scampi: Why not?

Peter: I suppose.

Scampi: That’s right.  We can watch the stars rattle.

Peter: Stars do not rattle.  Rattling is not a property of gaseous entities.

Scampi: Ha!  You should look in the mirror.

Peter: What?

Scampi: Oh, nothing.  I want to lie down.

Peter: Very well.

Scampi: We’re in Georgia.  Did you know?

Peter: We are?

Scampi: Yes.

Peter: Which Georgia?

Scampi: The one that’s on our way.

Peter: Ah.

Scampi: We’re here for the peaches.  We’re here to sleep.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: Your hair grows faster while you’re sleeping.

Peter: Incorrect.

Scampi: Pah.  You’d like to think so.

Peter: You are taking a very cavalier attitude toward scientific facts today.

Scampi: That’s right.  Scientific facts are welcome to hop on for a canter.  We cavaliers like to see the world!

Peter: Go to bed.

Scampi: What are you talking about?

Peter: I hope you’re not waiting for me to fall asleep.

Scampi: I don’t care if you do or if you don’t.

Peter: Fine.  I intend to remain lucid a while longer.

Scampi: Lucid!  You wish.

Peter: You are tired.  Sleep.

Scampi: You’re tired, yourself.

Peter: I am.

Scampi: And cold.  Have a sweater?

Peter: Hm?

Scampi: It’s wool.  It will keep you warm.

Peter: Thank you.

Scampi: No problem.

Peter: Good night, Scampi.

Scampi: Good night, Peter.


pt 141: SMOKE

Scampi: In the name of the Holy and Consubstantial and Indivisible Trinity!

Peter: Are we embarking upon a chemistry experiment?

Scampi: Perhaps.

Peter: Ah.

Scampi: In the name of the duodenum.

Peter: This scattering of vocabulary is difficult to parse.

Scampi: Oh really? Are you finding it hard to digest?

Peter: Really.

Scampi: Hee hee.  Haw haw.

Peter: SIGHS.

Scampi: I’m sure many before you have found transubstantiation to be quite the mouthful. You are by no means the first.

Peter: Indeed.

Scampi: A mouthful of wafer and a gulp of vino. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Peter: Are you addressing the duodenum of a Christian person?

Scampi: It’s possible.


Scampi: Let’s build a fire.

Peter: No.

Scampi: Why?

Peter: Ahem.

Scampi: Don’t you want to build a fire?

Peter: No.

Scampi: Oh. Why?

Peter: It is not the time to be building fires.

Scampi: How do you know?

Peter: I believe that the midday sun is sufficiently scorching. Even for the likes of you.

Scampi: What’s that supposed to mean? Are you suggesting that I am a demon from hell?


Scampi: Oh, I see. You’re a wolfhound all of a sudden.


Peter: Certainly not.

Scampi: Sure, sure.

Peter: This is no place for a fire.

Scampi: True. This is a place for a canteen. Lucky for you, you’re travelling with an intrepid desert explorer.

Peter: Oh?

Scampi: Here.


Peter: Euh.

Scampi: Take this, this is my something something.

Peter: Pardon?

Scampi: Water. It’s good for you.

Peter: I suppose it is.

Scampi: Ah, excellent. The oasis approaches.

Peter: [shading his eyes from the sun] I believe that we are approaching the oasis.

Scampi: That’s what I said.

Peter: Mm.

Scampi: You can have a rest beneath that lovely palm. Meanwhile, I shall peruse the saddlebags in search of victuals.

Peter: Vit-lz.

Scampi: Yes, yes.

Peter: Wait, why do we have saddlebags?

Scampi: To carry our provisions, of course.

Peter: I thought we didn’t have horses.

Scampi: Says who? Anyway, maybe they’re camels.

Peter: Camels?

Scampi: There’s no need to sound so alarmed.

Peter: Well.

Scampi: The Arabian horse is known for his petite, fiery temperament.

Peter: What?

Scampi: What?

Peter: Please stop with all this nonsense.

Scampi: Nonsense?

Peter: At least until we reach the shade.

Scampi: Well, look. We’ve reached it.

Peter: Ah.

Scampi: That’s right. Calm yourself. Here, catch.


Scampi: Peter? What are you doing?

Peter: It is difficult to speak with goatskin on one’s face.

Scampi: Oh. Sorry.

Peter: That’s quite all right. I shall have a miniscule snooze now.

Scampi: Go right ahead. I’m just going to nibble on some pemmican.

Peter: [drowsily] Can you please stop displacing us with your scrambled lexicon.

Scampi: I will do no such thing.

Peter: Mm.

Scampi: I’ll build us a nice, smoky fire so the rescue planes can find us.

Peter: Are we in need of rescuing?

Scampi: Well. No.

Peter: Ah.

Scampi: I’m just practising. For the eventualities, you know.

Peter: Quite.

Scampi: Don’t mind me.

Peter: [snorts]

Scampi: There’s no need to snuffle like a mule.


Scampi: What blood type are you?

Peter: Why?

Scampi: Just wondering. Just in case.

Peter: I see. Can you refrain from building fires and/or performing transfusions while I sleep?

Scampi: Okay.

Peter: Thank you.

Scampi: You’re welcome. I shall watch over you. Like a ptarmigan, as they say.

Peter: Right.

Scampi: When the stars appear, I shall identify our position.

Peter: Oh, lovely.

Scampi: Do you want some pemmican?

Peter: No. I want to sleep.

Scampi: Okay. I’ll keep watch.

Peter: Right.

Scampi: From the crow’s nest.

Peter: Am I going to wake up at sea?

Scampi: We are all at sea, Peter.


Scampi: Can you speak Italian?

Peter: Are you asking me?

Scampi: Who else would I be asking?

Peter: If I speak Italian?

Scampi: Do you?

Peter: Certainly not.

Scampi: Yeah I knew that.

Peter: Then why did you ask?


Scampi: Have you ever tried to see the backs of your legs?  It’s impossible.

Peter: I can see my calves.

Scampi: Yeah, so can I.  I mean the backs of your legs.  That you can’t see.

Peter: Why do you wish to know?

Scampi: I dunno.


Scampi: I do not know.

Peter: Perhaps I shall avail myself of a siesta.

Scampi: A siesta?  Avail yourself?

Peter: Both.

Scampi: Je-suss.

Peter: Uh.

Scampi: The sun is shining.

Peter: Yes.  It fatigues me.

Scampi: Fatigues you?

Peter: That is what I said.

Scampi: Goddam.

Peter: So much bluster.

Scampi: Well, yes.  It’s the only appropriate response to this sort of – mania.

Peter: My desire to take a nap?

Scampi: Precisely.  Who do you think you are, Rip van Winkle?

Peter: Certainly not.

Scampi: You don’t sound so sure.

Peter: I am not debating this.

Scampi: Why?  Because you can’t?

Peter: No.

Scampi: Oh ho!

Peter: What does that even mean?  That doesn’t mean anything.

Scampi: Why don’t you just curl up under the mountain?  On a pile of treasure?

Peter: Because I am not a dragon.

Scampi: Says you.  What happened to embracing the world?

Peter: Someone’s arms got tired.

Scampi: What?  What?

Peter: Who said anything about embracing the world, anyway?

Scampi: I did.  I just did.

Peter: Yes.  Well, now’s your chance.

Scampi: How many times do I have to say this, Peter?  We’re in this venture together.

Peter: What venture?

Scampi: This one.

Peter: Are we venture capitalists?  Is that what you’re saying?

Scampi: Of a sort.  Perhaps.

Peter: I didn’t hear anything about embracing the world.  That wasn’t in the contract.

Scampi: Ebenezer Scrooge.

Peter: This analogy montage is giving me cerebral spasms.

Scampi: Keep up.

Peter: Calm down.


Scampi: Thanks a lot.

Peter: Wait, how was this my fault?

Scampi: Such protestations.  Goodness.

Peter: I don’t appreciate this sort of –

Scampi: Jerrymandering?

Peter: Japery.

Scampi: Oh, Peter.

Peter: That is my name.

Scampi: We know.  That is the one thing we’ve been able, with the available instruments,  to establish, time and time again.

Peter: What instruments?

Scampi: The ones at our disposal, evidently.

Peter: Hm.

Scampi: I could build a fire.

Peter: Out of what?

Scampi: It’s something we can do.  We human creatures.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: We could have some coffee.  Would you like some coffee?

Peter: I feel faint.

Scampi: It will get better.  Keep your limbs moving.

Peter: I feel.  Ah.

Scampi: I know.  It won’t last.

Peter: Oh.

Scampi: It will get better.  Soon.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: Keep moving.