Monday, December 06, 2021

The Wabbit at his Adventure Caffè

The team were about to take their seats at the chosen Adventure Caffè when Lapinette pointed to the sky and yelled, "It's going to rain." The Wabbit looked up at the unrelenting blue sky and shook his head. Skratch looked perturbed and started to make off. Wabsworth grinned because his barometric subroutines indicated that the weather was about to change. "Definitely rain," said Lapinette. Rain in Turin was a serious business. It poured down suddenly and soaked everyone in its path. "Nonsense," said the Wabbit, "Let's sit down - and if it rains we'll move." Skratch wanted to get down to business. He looked at the sky and made an anxious face. "What was that for a sort of adventure you just had?" Lapinette also squinted at the sky and made a face. "The semiotics of machines is quite different from humans. Spatialising the Euclidean Faction challenges the reader's linear path." Wabsworth smiled. "But it's a matter of coherence and incoherence." Skratch meaowed deeply. "Do you feel we're caught in chaos textuality and the disintegration of action?" The Wabbit chimed in with another question. "Do you then feel there was too much sensory overload?" Lapinette frowned. "No, not at all. There is little wrong with visceral impact." Wabsworth felt the first spit of rain. He laughed. "Is this umbrella tough enough to withstand the visceral impact of Turin rain?" The Wabbit shrugged. "I propose to tough it out." Skratch purred. "Shall we go inside?" The Wabbit scowled. "And get a reputation for being untough?" "That's not even a word," laughed Lapinette.

[I am indebted to a conversation at Open Culture by Colin Marshall]

Friday, December 03, 2021

6. The Wabbit and the Big Clear Out

The Wabbit never felt as calm as he did now. Things flash and banged around him, but he was cool as a cucumber. Susan the Biplane dragged the sharpies of the Euclidean Faction away and the Wabbit was content to look on. Remnants of the football bomb floated in the air. He toyed with the grappling device and mused to himself. "You can't make an omelette without breaking eggs." Wabsworth smiled. "Who said that?" Lapinette chuckled. "Just about everybody." Lapinette jumped up and down and waved her paws. "Take 'em away!" They all shook their heads because no-one knew what to do with them. "Where did you get the grappler device?" asked the Wabbit. Lapinette grinned. "Local Carabiniere. I walked straight in and asked for a spike strip. They wanted to know what a pretty little lop ear rabbit like me wanted it for. I said it was a for a rough party." The Wabbit nodded and looked around. "True enough," he said. Wabsworth wanted to know where the Euclidean faction came from. "A simple mathematical dispute. You know what mathematicians are like." The Wabbit was still thinking of where to put them. "What about an asteroid belt? They can very well work out a way to get home." Wabsworth started to laugh. "They'll have to resolve into non-Euclidean space." "And back again," grinned the Wabbit. Lapinette nearly had the final word. "They have to take into account the warp factor of our jokes." But Wabsworth jumped in. "In the Orion belt that's a huge waist of Space."

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

5. The Wabbit and the Euclidean Mob

The Wabbit was on his way to a strategic planning meeting to discuss the contents of his dream. In fact, they all were - but the Wabbit was first. He got up early and proceeded along Via Accademia Albertina with speed. But just as he got past Piazza Carlo Emanuele II he met with the advance guard of the Euclidean Faction - they were sharpies armed to the teeth and as noisy as a cave of bats. The metal knives clacked together like an angry medieval mob. Planes fired a series of sharp pencils at his ears. Worse still they launched a football from their midst. The Wabbit knew deep down in his gut that the football was more than that. "A bomb more than likely," he thought, and he took to his heels. But the faster he scampered, the faster they went. He kept his eyes on the front. To his relief he saw Wabsworth and Lapinette running towards him. They had a grappling device and were ready to throw it across the road. The Wabbit thought fast. It would take care of the sharpies but not the planes. He heard the familiar sound of a biplane. "Susan!" Everything seemed to be sorted - but could he get away in time? There was nothing left but to dive on top of the ball. Bomb or not, he had little option. He jumped astride, waving everyone away. He sailed past Wabsworth and Lapinette then jumped from the ball. It carried on until the open space of the skateboard park. He heard a crump, saw the flash. He was relieved. "No skateboarders this early," he shrugged. The stinger hit the road. Netting descended on the planes. "So far so good," thought the Wabbit.

Sunday, November 28, 2021

4. The Wabbit and a dream of Apple Pies

That night the Wabbit had an extraordinary dream. He was floating in Space near one of Jupiter's moons - and there with him were Wabsworth, Lapinette and three apple pies. They each had a pie. Wabsworth seemed the most astonished and he reached out a paw to touch it the pie. He could see Lapinette doing her best to keep clear of the apple. Her antipathy for fruit was well known and her feet flailed around. In fact, she was having the self-same dream. She wrinkled her nose as she saw the Wabbit floating on his back over a massive apple pie. Wabsworth was an android and chanced to use his dreaming sub routine. He found himself stepping in a chunky apple pie which he recognised from the Wabbit's memory banks. He prodded it. It was then he noticed a familiar symbol, lurking in the background. They all gasped pi at the same time. Pi in the sky!" muttered the Wabbit. Even though it was a dream, he chuckled to himself. Wabsworth prodded the apple again. "Sir Cumference," he laughed. "that's the fattest knight." Lapinette managed to drag her feet clear of the pie. "I draw the line at apple," she said. The Wabbit's mind was working overtime. "Pi repeats itself." He said as much in his dream. Wabsworth and the Wabbit and Lapinette all woke up at the same time. They knew the dream had been telling them something and they got to work with pencil and paper and fancy calculators. Wabsworth made an intuitive leap. "Squaring the Circle!" Lapinette was thinking too. "Pi is transcendental." But it was the Wabbit that got to the answer first. "This is an attack by the Euclidean Faction!" It was well known that the Faction had given up on mainstream mathematics and taken to armed geometry. So it could be no-one else ...

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

3. Lapinette and the Circles of Confusion

Lapinette made her way along the River Dora, without a care in the world and whistling a happy tune. She turned to look at a poster advertising dance and began to sing the song. "This is quite a happy song for Len Cohen." She smiled to herself. It was then that it happened.  They were the gear wheels from Hell and they came at her in sections like refugees from an old gearbox. There were four of them, each one larger and coggier than the last. She dived in the air and they whistled past her with a whizzing and a crunching.  She flattened against the poster, but the gear wheels proceeded down Via Dora Firenze with speed. "They didn't come for me then." She watched them until they were out of sight. "They must have slipped a cog," she thought, "but that's a matter of a pinion." She smiled and thought she was getting worse than the Wabbit. That was quite a thought. "I'd better follow them." She could just see the gears and the direction they were headed. She took a short cut and intercepted them at Piazza Vittorio Veneto, where they veered to the right and disappeared into underground parking. She heard smashing crockery, then silence. "Curious," she thought. "I'd better find the Wabbit." She didn't have to look far because the Wabbit and Wabsworth were emerging from the far entrance to the underground car park. They were shaking their heads in synchrony. She hopped as quickly as she could and caught up with them. "What's with the flying gears?" she yelled. "Looks like circles of confusion," shrugged the Wabbit.

Monday, November 22, 2021

2. The Wabbit and the Attack of the Plates

The Wabbit and Wabsworth started to amble down to the River Po when the Wabbit caught a flash of white from behind. At first, he paid scant attention. Then it came closer. "Wabsworth?" he said. "I know," said Wabsworth, "Ignore them and maybe they'll go away." They walked a bit faster, but still the objects came closer. "I think it's the circles," suggested Wabsworth, "they're mobile." Suddenly there were more and they circled round and headed for them. "They don't seem friendly," said the Wabbit. he broke into a fast lope. Wabsworth kept up with him. "They seem like crockery," he ventured. "Deep plates," muttered the Wabbit. He'd been to many a gala dinner and he knew his crockery. One of the plates started to whirl and it came far too close to the Wabbit's ears. "Yikes," shouted the Wabbit. He quickened his pace. The lead plate let out a piercing wail as it whirled faster. The other plates took up the wail. It was deafening. The Wabbit and Wabsworth started to run. "I think they mean us harm," shouted Wabsworth. "As if we haven't got enough on our plate!" answered the Wabbit. The lead plate shouted out loud. "Servings, servings!" They were racing along now but still the plates kept up. "Maybe they're tectonic plates?" said Wabsworth. "They're shifty all right," responded the Wabbit. They veered sharp round a corner. The plates missed the turn and soared into an underground car park. They heard a crashing as the plates dropped down a lift shaft. "That was their own fault," grinned the Wabbit. "I have a Freddy Mercury joke," laughed Wabsworth. The Wabbit offered a quizzical ear. "I want to break three," groaned Wabsworth.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

1. The Wabbit, Wabsworth & White Circles

The Wabbit bumped into Wabsworth near the Mole Antonelliana. He was merely standing and considering what all the white circles were for. He'd never come across a junction like it. "Wabsworth," he said, "You're just the rabbit I need to speak to." Wabsworth smiled. He was always pleased to bump into the Wabbit. "I was making my way between the River Dora and the Po. Just hopping aimlessly." The Wabbit thought Wabsworth might know about new traffic schemes, and he asked him. "What gives here?" Wabsworth was an android. He was fiercely logical but not without humour. "It's sending me round in circles. I think it's a plan to separate pedestrians from traffic. The Wabbit smirked. "It seems a roundabout way of doing things." Wabsworth laughed. I was nearly knocked down trying to work it out." Both shook with mirth. "Town Council!" They said it at the same time and laughed even more. Then they stuck their paws in their fur. "Any word from the Department?" asked Wabsworth. The Wabbit shook his head like a donkey. "Not a sausage. I was hoping to hear of a mission." Wabsworth said "Ha! They'll circle around us before they announce it." The Wabbit considered then replied. "And then we'll be running in circles." They guffawed a lot. "I suppose we'd better circle the wagons!" said Wabsworth. The Wabbit knew Wabsworth watched too many Westerns. He grinned. "We'd better contact our immediate circle."  The Wabbit ran out of jokes. Just then his radio crackled from deep inside his fur. "Must be the Circle Gang."

Monday, November 15, 2021

The Wabbit and his Adventure Caffè

The team gathered as usual in a Caffè they had always ignored.  The Wabbit thought the menu was hideous. Lapinette thought the Wabbit was too critical. Wabsworth didn't care because he was an android and all food was the same to him. Skratch hove into sight, complaining that half his head was cropped from the picture. The Wabbit was adamant and wouldn't move anything. "We need to show the chairs in case anyone from our audience wants to join us." Skratch shrugged and sat down. "So what was that for a kind of adventure?" Wabsworth clapped his paws. "The Devil in literature is a popular motif." Lapinette nodded. "He embodies specific anxieties and desires. Many serious people believe in Satan. He didn't just visit us in a story. He has active agency." Skratch purred long and hard. "He was the Devil, not merely a devil." The Wabbit rapped on the table. "The Devil is a trickster and aren't our stories also a trick?" Skratch was overjoyed. "That's true. Here he appears as a representative of corruption and decay. The spammer to end all spammers." Lapinette was anxious to contribute again. "Yes, and so Satan embodies desire. The audience has a desire for a world different from ours, where the Devil can just show up." Wabsworth had the last word. "The Devil emerges from a network of cultural forces. Evil and good, right and wrong are fundamental antinomies." The Wabbit laughed. "Like having a drink and not having a drink?" Lapinette picked up the napkin holder and made to throw it at the Wabbit. "Be a devil!" she cried. The Wabbit ducked fast ...

[I am indebted to the authors of Giving the Devil His Due: Satan and Cinema. (2021) Weinstock et al, Fordham University Press.]

Saturday, November 13, 2021

7. The Wabbit when the Devil Called In

The Wabbit took both boxes and headed for town, but on the way a phone started to ring. It was one of those boxes on the wall and the Wabbit hadn't seen one for years - except maybe in the station. Mobile phones had almost rendered them obsolete. Dring dring. Dring dring. The call was insistent. The Wabbit was still looking at it when Lapinette arrived. "Answer it," she said. The Wabbit was tentative. It vibrated so much it came off the call box and dropped into his paw. Lapinette waved frantically. She pointed towards the top of the wall. The Wabbit answered the call anyway. "Hello," said a mournful voice. "Beelzebub here!" "The Devil you are!" replied the Wabbit. Lapinette was pointing at the wall but the Wabbit took no notice. In fact, he turned his back. "Always the wag. Ha ha. You'll never stop my calls, Wabbit," said the Devil. "They stop here and now," replied the Wabbit. "I have your thingymajig." The Devil laughed. "That's just a simple machine." The Wabbit took both pieces and tried to connect them. "No!" yelled the Devil. "Why not?" asked the Wabbit. He tried again to fit the pieces together. "It will route me and my calls through Gehenna switchboard," howled the Devil. The Wabbit was successful and the two bits slotted together with a click. The phone made a ringing sound like a thousand feedback loops. Lapinette watched as the Devil began to dissolve. "I'll get Moloch to tidy your remains," quipped the Wabbit. The Devil's voice whispered along the wall.  "I won't call again." The ringing sound faded. Devilish pieces liquified and ran earthwards. "Paint the devil on the wall," quipped the Wabbit.

Tuesday, November 09, 2021

6. Tipsy and the Devil behind the Calls

Out at an abandoned factory on the edge of town, Lapinette's personal security detail Tipsy, Fitzy and Mitzy rounded a corner. "There he is," murmured Tipsy. "I knew it would be him - and I knew he'd be here." Fitzy was taken aback. "I'm blabbergasted. He looks rather devilish." Mitzy scoffed. "I don't believe in the devil." The Devil had his back to them, and he stood up to his waist in a sea of blood. Tipsy drew her edged weapon and hissed. "The devil's real enough. There he is. Beelzebub himself."  The Devil's lips curled. "Personally in person, little female rabbit. Some call me that. I prefer Lucifer." He looked askance at their weapons. "You cannot harm me. I am a supernatural phenomenon." Mitzy growled. "You've been causing a lot of trouble, you fiend." "A fiend indeed. And I'll cause more," said the Devil. He drew his Hellish lips back in a sneer. He stirred blood with his finger and painted an upside down cross on one of the wooden beams. "Now it's a crossbeam. Ha ha ha." He laughed a sinister laugh. Tipsy made the sign of a cross with her edged weapon. "Stop making annoying calls," she snarled. The Devil laughed. "Don't be silly small rabbit. I have enormous resources. I'll make as many calls as I like. All day all year. I'll wear you all down. Until you join with me." "Pipe down, Hobknocker," said Tipsy, "I'll send the Wabbit after you." For the first time, the Devil looked perturbed. "The Wabbit?" He began to fade. "We'll see about that." But he was frowning. He faded until only the frown remained and the frown spoke. "I have a score to settle with that lagomorph."

Friday, November 05, 2021

5. The Wabbit and the Big, Big Tower.

The Wabbit knew all about the Superga events. He was monitoring the signals and picked up a flash. It was instantaneous but he was able to ping it. The address was a telecommunications tower on the edge of town. "Let's go," he yelled. "Bring truck, bring guns!" Lapinette took the driving seat and Wabsworth dived in the back. In 30 minutes, they were at the site. It was a lonely location where no-one ever went. Just a field, and a tower and the hovering stars. Wabsworth started to climb. "What am I looking for?" The Wabbit started after him. "A device, we'll know it when we see it." Lapinette remained by the truck and shouted directions. "The dish to your right, Wabsworth." Wabsworth scrabbled around. "It's a device. It's buried." Lapinette replied immediately. "Kin you unbury it?" The Wabbit was nearly there. "Hang on Wabsworth, I can see an edge." He pulled at a strange box. "It's in two bits, like a jigsaw," shouted Wabsworth. Together they uncoupled it and pushed the pieces in their fur. Despite the ladders and lattice framework, it was a little precarious. A piece slipped away from the Wabbit and clanged its way down the tower. It bounced once, twice, three times - before Lapinette dived and caught it. What it was exactly, no-one knew. She clutched it close. "I have the thing." By the time Wabsworth and the Wabbit were at the foot of the tower, the box was safely stowed in the truck. Lapinette poked it with screwdriver. It flashed once then spoke. "You'll never ever find me." Lapinette smiled a grim smile. "Don't count your eggs and your chickens."

Wednesday, November 03, 2021

4. The Tipsy, Fitzy and Mitzy Intercept

Lapinette's personal guard were allocated the task of finding the photo decrypter but what they found was a robocall device. It was sending out nonstop signals from the bell tower at the Basilica. "It's not so high, I'll take it down," said Tipsy. She plucked an edged weapon from her frock and clenched it between her teeth. Then she began the ascent of the tower. "There she goes," said Fitzy. "Trouper!" said Mitzy. They both laughed. Tipsy slashed at the strange device. It bleeped and the photo signals became visible. "Gotcha," said Tipsy. but the machine fought back with electric shocks. "Fudge!" said Tipsy. She changed her position on the tower. "Need a helping paw?" asked Fitzy. Tipsy thought about it. "Yup," she said finally. Fitzy scrambled up and got a grip of Tipsy. Then Mitzy did the same. She grabbed on to Fitzy. They swayed around like a drunken concertina. "It's gonna self destruct," yelled Tipsy. "Sheeps' shiblets!" shouted Fitzy. "Jump!" yelled Tipsy. "Mother trucker!" yelled Mitzy as she let go and dropped. Together they slid down and lay in a heap. They had cuts and bruises and frocks were tattered. "Jerk water!" cussed Fitzy and put her paws over her ears. With a loud bang the device detonated. Stonework fell around their shoulders. Some time elapsed. "What do we tell the Wabbit?" said Mitzy. "I'll kick his corn nuts!" shouted Tipsy. Fitzy giggled. Mitzy snickered. "And then?" Tipsy thought about it. "Let's find the key device on our own." Tipsy paused. "I think I know where it is and who has it." Fitzy fished in what remained of her frock for her automatic. "We'll get that loompity frigstick!"

Monday, November 01, 2021

3. The Wabbit and the Lamp's Message

The Wabbit was on his way home when he heard a hissing. He looked up. "That streetlight must be out of order," he thought. But with a faint flash, the light illuminated with a phosphorescent glow. "Halloween is past," said the Wabbit and he shook his head. "Wabbit!" The voice was familiar. The Wabbit struggled to place it. "It's Lamp," said the voice, "I can see you. I'm calling you from the moon." The Wabbit looked up and imagined he could see a glow on the moon. "Lamp!" he said. He looked round just in case anyone saw him talking to himself. Lamp's voice carried on. "I'm communicating with you through one of my kind." The Wabbit shrugged. He'd left Lamp on the moon because he seemed to like it but hadn't expected him to get in touch so soon. "OK Lamp. What gives?" The glow faded and brightened again. "I can't keep this up for long. Clouds you know. Interfering with communication." "Give me the gist," said the Wabbit. "I've been receiving strange calls," said Lamp. "But nothing comes of them." The Wabbit stared at the moon and tried to visualise Lamp. "Same here," he said. "I'm supposed to sort it out, but I can't find the source." The Lamp continued. "I tracked it down. It's coming from the top of the Mole Tower." The Wabbit was sceptical. "Didn't come up on our radar." The Lamp snickered. "They're photo encrypted and decrypted somewhere near Superga." The Wabbit nodded as if he knew that already. "Good info Lamp, anything you need?" "A new bulb would be nice," said Lamp, "You can send me one, they're quite light." The Wabbit laughed and the green glow flickered and died.

[See: "The Wabbit stops off at the Moon."]

Sunday, October 31, 2021

2. The Wabbit's Hallowe'en Call

Nothing could interfere with the team's Hallowe'en Party and they found a particularly messy part of Pluto Park to host it. The Wabbit brought the red phone - since his new adventure was about irritating calls. He placed it with great care on a concrete block. Lapinette fluttered over the water like a dragonfly. No-one was quite sure how she did it. Wabsworth caused lightning flashes to erupt from his paws. Since he was an android it was nothing for him to organise. Skratch was late and he stood up to his knees in the murky water. "OK Wabbit. What's your Bunnyman trick this year?" The Wabbit smiled. "No trick. It's never a trick." Lapinette cackled heartily and floated back and forward. Wabsworth's lightning flashed. "Here comes the Bunnyman," he screeched. At that moment the telephone howled. The Wabbit scowled in response. "It only does that when it's important." Lapinette fluttered. "You'd better answer it then." The telephone vibrated until it was in danger of falling from the concrete block. The Wabbit lifted the receiver. They heard the sound of footsteps. "I'm coming!" said a deep voice. "Who's calling?" asked the Wabbit. "Who do you think?" shrieked the voice. "It's the Bunnyman," said the Wabbit. His voice shook. The phone spoke again. "I sent you my axe." They gaped in horror as an axe rose from behind the concrete block. Blood spattered right to left. Wabsworth lifted his paws towards the heavens. They sparked again.  The axe faded from sight and the blood disappeared. "Holography," he laughed. "But who was on the phone?" asked the Wabbit. "Not me," shrugged Wabsworth.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

1. The Wabbit and the Annoying Calls

The Wabbit was quietly minding his own business. He'd stopped at a restaurant where he liked to go for lunch - undiscovered. It was a cheap place with good food, populated with students and the odd rabbit like himself. He'd have one of the main courses - and always a glass of Prosecco. He was known as Mr Prosecco, not Commander Wabbit, and that was the way he wanted to stay. He was getting to the coffee stage when he felt a tap on his shoulder. "Hello Wabbit! So this is your secret lunchtime haunt?" The Wabbit grinned. "Not any more." He got up to find Lapinette a seat. "Have you eaten," he asked. "I have," she smiled. "Then perhaps I can offer you an amaro?" "Montenegro," said Lapinette. The Wabbit's wave to the waiter was cut short by the squeal of a telephone. "Aren't you going to answer that?" asked Lapinette. "They've been happening all day," said the Wabbit. "The phone rings and I answer and they hang up." The ringing stopped. Lapinette was highly amused. "And that is your next mission." The Wabbit pretended to misunderstand. "Making prank calls?" "Of course not," said Lapinette. "Locating the pranksters and eliminating them." The Wabbit giggled. "That seems harsh." Lapinette pirouetted in a manner that alarmed the waiters. "They're causing the Department a lot of wasted time." The Wabbit reached under his fur for his automatic. "I will find them. Then I will answer them." Lapinette nodded. "Gather all the resources you need. The Department is hopping mad." "How mad?" queried the Wabbit. "As mad as a bag of bees," grimaced Lapinette.