Thursday, September 28, 2023

3. The Wabbit and things out of Whack

The Wabbit barely had time to take out his automatic when the scene changed. A horse and knight bore down on him. The horse bit his ear. His automatic flew from his grasp. A muffled bellow came from the knight, and he flailed with his lance. Sebby the Hat span off into the distance and he was yelling. "Wrong horse, wrong battle, wrong war. wrong museum! He turned in the air and sized up the knight as if for a fight. The Wabbit lunged for the automatic. It too turned in the air and pointed back at him. It racked on its own. The Wabbit dived to the side as it snicker-snackered. Everything had gone terribly wrong. Things were mixed up. Time zones, weaponry, personalities - all were out of whack. Sebby had an idea. He landed square on the knight's face. The knight could no longer see. His visor smashed down along with his lance. He pulled his horse up sharply and lost control of his spurs. The Wabbit rolled across the floor and grabbed his pistol. A 9mm round was still 9mm - even in this warped zone. Sebby continued to stifle the knight. The Wabbit fired a warning shot which bounced around and damaged a valuable chandelier. Things subsided. The horse became still. The knight sank as he gave up. "Things are a little too quiet round here," laughed the Wabbit. Sebbit tumbled over to see him and gasped, "I haven't had so much fun since 1860."  

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

2. The Wabbit, the Hat and the Horse

The hat led the Wabbit far and wide across the city until they reached the Museum of the Risorgimento. The Wabbit was curious He knew the museum and had a pass - but no idea about the visit. The hat led the way up the stairs. "Where are we going Sebby?" Sebby bounced along. "We're nearly there!" The room was big. In the middle there was a horseman. The horse snuffled. "Hello Sebby. How's your belly off for spots?" Sebby chortled. "I've brought a friend. His name is Wabbit." The Wabbit felt the need for formality. "Commander Wabbit." The horse laughed. "General Garibaldi at your service." The Wabbit saluted. "How is your good wife, Anita?" The Wabbit had met Anita in his travels. "Long dead," said Garibaldi, "As indeed am I." The Wabbit was a bit puzzled because the horse was speaking for Garibaldi. Sebby did a little dance. "We all take turns to be Garibaldi. I live along the corridor in a display cabinet." The Wabbit grinned. "Good game. Let's go and see that cabinet." The horse snickered and reared. "Can I come?" Sebby laughed. "You're the General!" The Wabbit wasn't sure the horse would go through the door but decided not to worry about it. Sebby led the way. "There are hats and tunics and medals and guns." The Wabbit sniffed the air. He could smell mineral spirits. He looked down the corridor and pondered. "Someone's cleaning guns." He felt for his automatic ...

Friday, September 22, 2023

1. The Wabbit and the Unguided Tour

The Wabbit made up a tour for himself. He just went for the first thing that came into his head and then another and so on. His first site was Superga because he liked to ride the Tramway up the hill. At the top there was a Basilica. It had been the site of many adventures and he stood stock still remembering them all. He murmured like a tour guide. The war with France culminated in the Siege of Turin. Vittorio Amedeo II fulfilled a promise to build a cathedral on the hill if the French were overturned. The Wabbit mulled it over. "Good job too," he thought. But he was pensive. "Many soldiers killed in that war, thousands." He nodded his head. His personal tour was going rather well. He looked up. The sky turned a peculiar shade. Buildings too. "I'm in an old photograph!" he thought. But it couldn't be anything to do with history. The Wabbit was an expert on photography and knew it was invented in the early 1800s. He blinked. Suddenly colour was back. Then it was gone again. Sepia returned. He thought for a while. "Maybe it's me." Then he heard a voice calling. "Wabbit, Wabbit! Follow me." He couldn't see anyone to follow. "Here, here!" He looked down. It was a military hat, more of a cap really. And it was red - a vivid crimson in a sea of sepia. He stooped down to speak to it. The hat looked up, or at least the peak did. "What's your name?" asked the Wabbit. "Eusebio Airoldi." came the reply. "That's a mouthful." said the Wabbit gently. "Call me Sebby," said the hat.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

The Wabbit at his famous Adventure Caffè

The team made its way along Via San Massimo. "It's definitely up this street," said Lapinette. The Wabbit was sceptical but said nothing. Skratch approached from the rear. He was complaining. "Cars come at you from nowhere," he screeched. The Wabbit laughed. "You prefer Rome?" There was silence. The Wabbit knew that Torino was quiet compared to the hustle bustle of Roman cars. "Never mind that," laughed Lapinette. "What was that for a sort of adventure we just had?" Skratch glared balefully at a scooter going the wrong way. "It was rich in symbolism." If Skratch could have fired a bolt of lightning at the scooter, its driver would be a lump of shriveled carbon. Wabsworth snorted. "Greek Gods were nasty. They didn't pull punches." Lapinette grunted. "I'd say they were pragmatic rather than cruel." The Wabbit didn't really agree. "They were cruel to be kind. Punishment usually fitted the crime." Skratch meaowed plaintively "Styx seemed put out by Zeus. But she bore no particular malice." "And he got the water he wanted." added Wabsworth. Lapinette was determined to find the restaurant she wanted. "Try veering to the right," said the Wabbit. They came on a large piazza with many restaurants. "There it is!" cheered Lapinette. "I knew it all along." "God's oath," muttered the Wabbit under his breath. But everyone heard it and laughed and laughed. 

Thursday, September 07, 2023

7. The Wabbit, Lapinette and Dog Days

The Wabbit and Lapinette found themselves at the gate of the museum. There was no sign of Zeus or his Gryphon. Lapinette jumped in the air. "I don't like boats and the sea." The Wabbit nodded. "I don't like rain and wet, it sullies my fur." They pondered a while. "I suppose it was to get away from the Dog Days," said Lapinette. "What are the Dog Days anyway?" The Wabbit was thoughtful. Lapinette pirouetted. "Something to do with the sea. You should know." The Wabbit had seen the film, Dog Day Afternoon and he knew all about Dog Days. But he didn't let on. Lapinette grew more impatient. "Sirius rises," said the Wabbit finally, "It brings lethargy, fever, mad dogs and bank robberies." Lapinette shrugged. "Nothing much then." The Wabbit glanced at the poster. "What's Colori dei Romani?" Lapinette pouted. "Mosaics. I'll be helping." The Wabbit stuck his paws in his fur, "Someone's got to do it, I suppose." Lapinette was silent. "Otherwise, they'd be bits everywhere," added the Wabbit. Lapinette put her paws on her hips. "You think you're very funny, don't you?" "I am funny," said the Wabbit. "That's why I said you'd help." Lapinette smiled. The Wabbit groaned to himself. He knew that small pieces would get in his fur, then they'd be a crisis and a search and a lot of shouting. "I've put you on the edges," grinned Lapinette, "They're latrine mosaics, there will be jokes." "Ah," said the Wabbit. "Like Zeus as a heron cleaning Ganymede's ...." "That's quite enough," snapped Lapinette.

Sunday, August 27, 2023

6. The Wabbit and the Craft of Stone

They made their escape. Styx turned their craft into stone to stop them, but the ship forged ahead with its precious cargo of pure water. Lapinette kept look out on the bow while the Wabbit guided the craft through perilous waters. He hummed a seafaring ditty as he span the wheel. "And the ocean waves do roll, And the stormy winds do blow." Lapinette sighed and shouted instructions. "Left paw down a bit, right paw up a bit! Watch that rock, mind that current. Steady as she goes, now." The Wabbit was oblivious to this, because in the wind he couldn't hear a thing. "I think I see land," yelled Lapinette. The Wabbit was confused. Maybe an accompaniment to his tune "I cannot hear a band," he sang. The waves splattered across the bows covering Lapinette in salty spray. She had no sea legs and was feeling nauseous. She gripped the sides of the vessel. "How do we get the water to Zeus?" The Wabbit had no idea. "We'll wait and see. It's what you do with Gods." Lapinette had the grace to laugh. "Wait and sea?" That seemed to be the magic word. The vessel was gripped by a gigantic force. Mighty talons plucked them from the water. "Water, water everywhere!" said a deep Gryphon voice. Plonked down in Montemartini Museum beside Zeus, they shed brine in all directions. But they'd kept the Styx water safe. "Well done Lapinette and the Wabbit," roared Zeus. "You may join the assembly of deathless Gods." The Wabbit looked at Lapinette and smiled. "After a year's probation," nodded Zeus. 

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

5. The Wabbit and the Styxian Waters

The Wabbit was right about their craft. It let in water then capsized. Lapinette and the Wabbit clambered onto what was left. Clear water from the Goddess Styx splashed upon their heads. "Wherefor goest thou?" murmured the waters. All the Wabbit could hear was tinkling. Lapinette's ears swivelled. "Wherefor goest thou!" shouted the Water. The Wabbit paused and then he spoke. "We're on a mission from Zeus." Water rained down. "He never calls, nor do my sons." The Wabbit thought quickly. "Consider us his emissaries. He tells that you are the greatest body of water in the Universe." "He should come here and tell it to my face," said Styx. Lapinette had waited her turn to speak and now she was most voluble. "All we want is to take back a small vial of your most holy water." Water continued to pour down. "I can't spare a drop." roared Styx. The Wabbit was trying to right the craft and he finally did it. The craft quickly filled with the purest of water from Styx. "Well, we'd better go back and ask Zeus," he hissed. "Good idea," said Lapinette. She started to push the boat into deeper water. The waterfall grew louder and louder. "Tell him his name is mud," yelled Styx. "If I ever see him again, I'll push him under." "Under what?" queried the Wabbit. "Underground," shouted Styx.

Monday, August 21, 2023

4. The Wabbit and the Dread Water

The Wabbit only remembered Zeus clapping his hands. Then they were aboard a barge in the Stygian depths of an underground waterway. Where it went, or where it came from, neither he nor Lapinette knew. "It could be the Styx," said Lapinette. The Wabbit thought back to his mythology classes. "The Styx is Zeus's mother." He shook his head and sighed. Lapinette went on. "He had a thing for his mother." The Wabbit trailed a paw in the water. "Zeus said that all solemn oaths of the Gods should be sworn by this murky gloop." "The dread water of the Styx," grimaced Lapinette. "What does Zeus want us to do?" groaned the Wabbit. He thought of something and smiled. Lapinette jumped from her seat, "Don't you dare, Wabbit!" He was nonchalant though. "I'm not going in there, all my fur would drop off." The barge creaked. It was an elderly makeshift affair, patched here and there. "Maybe this barge wasn't meant to hold together," croaked Lapinette. The barge creaked again and spoke. "Styx lives at the entrance to Hades, propped up with pillars. Zeus demands you fetch her cold, clear water and bring it to him. Otherwise you will be punished." The Wabbit looked aghast. "I never agreed to that." He looked at Lapinette. "Did you?" Lapinette scoffed. "I'm not Iris. Do I look like an Iris?" The Wabbit buried his head and they floated on.

Friday, August 18, 2023

3. The Wabbit and the Arrival of Zeus

Before the Wabbit and Lapinette could think of making their way to a bar, everything changed. The spaceship fragmented into splinters as a giant figure loomed. The Gryphon settled on his shoulder. "Ah, my little hound. Who have you brought for me today?" The figure's voice was gruff. Gryphon was in a bad mood. "Don't speak to me in that tone of voice. I brought you two creatures from the normal world." The Wabbit grimaced. "Normal? I wouldn't say that." The giant figure looked down. "It speaks." Lapinette chimed in. "We speak," she said, "Who are you?" Thunder roared from the giant engines that surrounded him. "I am Zeus. I am head of everything." Lapinette glanced at the Wabbit and they both motioned with their paws. "Big head," mouthed the Wabbit. "Blowhard," signalled Lapinette. "I thought you would like them, your loftiness," said Gryphon. "I don't dislike them," replied Zeus. Silence fell. "You're a meddler," said the Wabbit. "Of the first degree," added Lapinette. "Known for it," said the Wabbit. "Be quiet," said Zeus, "or I'll turn you into rabbits." They laughed. "We are rabbits," said Lapinette. "Don't get beyond yourself," grinned the Wabbit. "You obviously want something, or we wouldn't be here." Zeus shrugged. His shoulders thundered. "I do have a little task. It's not easy to explain." Lapinette growled and her ears twirled. "Go ahead, we've got all day."

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

2. The Wabbit and the Double Encounter

Lapinette and the Wabbit hadn't even reached the market when something happened. They felt a little wet, but it reached only part of their bodies. Lapinette was wetter and she shouted. "What's happening?" They looked up. They were Ice Mice vessels all right and one was directing snow straight at them. The Wabbit shook a fist. "You're not supposed to be in this sector. We had an agreement!" There was no reply. Two more vessels hovered, just as silent as the first. "Something's not right," shivered the Wabbit. "Intelligence said they were in another sector entirely."  Lapinette shrugged and tried to move but she was stuck in the snow. A silhouette fell across the Ice Mice vessels, the shadow of a giant bird. The Wabbit decided to speak harshly to Intelligence. But he left it for later. "Speak, creature!" he yelled. Again there was no response. "Use your universal translator," yelled Lapinette. "It's in for an overhaul," replied the Wabbit. Usually it didn't work, and he had given up. There was a roar. "I am tesh-tesh, the fiery one." He crumpled the vessel like an old tin can. "Respect my tendrils!" shouted tesh-tesh. The Wabbit and Lapinette smiled. "Your tendrils are most fine. Are you a gryphon?" The gryphon unfurled its mighty wings. "I am the multi-cultural gryphon of legend. From Ancient Egypt to Dante to modern folklore." The Wabbit smirked innocently. "You're not a dragon then?" The gryphon snarled. "Don't talk to me about dragons. They are most inelegant and quite rude." Lapinette raised a paw. "We're going to a bar. Would you like a drink?" The gryphon had no hesitation. "I'm partial to a glass of Sangue di Giuda."

Friday, August 11, 2023

1. The Wabbit and Lapinette take a Walk

The Wabbit and Lapinette were having a casual walk in a district they hardly knew. They were enjoying their amble as they made their way to a small market in the heart of the neighbourhood, when Lapinette turned and pointed. "Oh look. A demonstration." The Wabbit scrutinised the posters. " I hope you're not thinking of going." Lapinette shrugged. "Of course!" The Wabbit shrugged too. "Sorry to disappoint, but that demonstration was last year." Lapinette looked again. "It doesn't say the year on it." "I saw it my union journal," said the Wabbit. "It's a consumers organisation campaigning for better treatment of workers." Lapinette had a flash of inspiration. "Yes, I remember now. It's called the Clean Clothes Campaign. Clothing workers are being globally exploited." The Wabbit patted his supersonic fur. "Not guilty," he said, "But where was your mini kilt made? By children in Pakistan?" Lapinette folded her paws. "By children in Scotland!" she shouted. The Wabbit started to laugh - and so did Lapinette. Paw in paw they made their way along the road. Lapinette was curious. "What's the local market like?" "Very small, but with nice things made by local people," replied the Wabbit. "Exploitation free?" Lapinette was on her high horse. "Nothing is," murmured the Wabbit. "I think they have an alcohol-free prosecco bar, though." Lapinette was disgusted. "That's like coming to Italy and eating at McDonalds." 

Saturday, August 05, 2023

The Wabbit and his Adventure Caffè

The team assembled at a Caffè in Testaccio. Drinks had been ordered but you had to get them yourself. The Wabbit grumbled, but Lapinette said she would do it and returned quickly, because sandwiches had to be heated. She leapt into her seat. Skratch arrived and grunted at the empty table. "This isn't what I'm used to," he groaned. Lapinette was far from pleased. "Now look Skratch. I ordered you a tuna and shrimp sandwich. Don't give me grief." The Wabbit giggled quietly. Wabsworth sniggered. "Tell us Skratch, what sort of Adventure did the Wabbit and Lapinette just have?" Skratch meaowed and meaowed. "It was a slight adventure barely worth analysing." Skratch was having a fit of pique because he hadn't been in an adventure for a while. Lapinette pouted and Skratch took his sentiments back at once. "We must turn to Freud and the pleasure principle." Wabsworth scowled. "Nothing could be more annoying. Lacan said it was like hauling words over hot coals. Skratch's eyes shot up. "Good turn of phrase Wabsworth - and probably true." The Wabbit chortled and muttered about spiders. "Speak up, Wabbit," said Lapinette. "The narrator is compared to a spider in Proust and thus to madness," shouted the Wabbit. He could be very opinionated. Lapinette wanted to change the subject. "Shall we hurry up the drinks?" "We'd be mad not to," replied the Wabbit. The Shaman brushed past with tourists in tow. He turned and pointed. "Listen to them and you could learn something."

Wednesday, August 02, 2023

6. The Wabbit and the Domitian Empire.

The Wabbit and Lapinette conferred on the best course of action for the Electric Shaman. Lapinette suggested that tour guide was a good enough option for him, but the Wabbit suggested a new location. After due deliberation they decided on Musei Capitolini. The Wabbit said it was the oldest museum in the world. Lapinette wasn't so sure, but the Wabbit argued that he had a card that got him in free. That clinched it. Capitolini it was. The Electric Shaman took it all in and the Wabbit fixed it with the Director - or Zeus as he called him. They came to a door. "What is this exhibition?" asked the Shaman. The Wabbit grinned. "That's Domitian. He was quite the lad, but Conservative in his way." Lapinette pouted. "Didn't he conquer Scotland." The Wabbit scowled. "No-one ever conquered Scotland." The Shaman scribbled something in a voluminous notebook that magically appeared and just as quickly disappeared. Lapinette nudged the Shaman. "The Wabbit is Scottish you know." The Shaman scribbled Alba in his notebook. "Shall we celebrate your appointment in the bar," suggested the Wabbit. The Shaman's electric cloak brightened even more. "It's upstairs," said Lapinette. "I know where it is," said the Wabbit, "and I know how to get there." The Shaman laughed, and said, "So do I. Let's get the lift." 

Monday, July 31, 2023

5. The Wabbit and the Blue Sky Cubes

The Wabbit thought it best to discourage the Electric Shaman from any mischief, because he felt a headache coming on. He chanced the local pharmacy with the Shaman in tow. He could hear a familiar voice yelling "Yeah, yeah yeah!" and looked up. Lapinette was there and she was bouncing up and down. She seemed to be trying to touch the blue cubes and the Wabbit called out to her. Lapinette looked down and gasped, "Oh, hello Wabbit, what are you doing here?" The Wabbit explained about his headache. Lapinette gasped again "They won't give you anything in here unless you touch the sky." The Wabbit shrugged because there was another pharmacy, and it wasn't far. "Isn't that the Electric Shaman?" said Lapinette. The Wabbit nodded. "I'm a tour guide now," said the Shaman. "Then help me out," said Lapinette. "I have to touch three cubes and they'll let me have some vitamins." The Shaman waved his electric arms, grasped three cubes, and brought them to the floor. Lapinette floated down, picked them up and took them to the counter. "You haven't taken a queue ticket," said the shop assistant. She ducked as Lapinette sent the cubes flying past her head - and produced the vitamins that Lapinette wanted. "Lapinette, I remember you," said the Electric Shaman, "I had you in my cloak." "Not for long," replied Lapinette.

Thursday, July 27, 2023

4. The Wabbit and Arts and Crafts

The Wabbit stepped through a side door in the Metro. He was something of a shaman in his own right, having studied with Don Juan Matus in the Sonora Desert. So he didn't clap his paws or anything so mundane. He merely took the Electric Shaman through a door that breached reality. They emerged in a little-known house somewhere in Rome that once belonged to a group of artists. The Shaman gasped. "These designs, they look like my cloak." The Wabbit smiled. "I knew you'd like it." The Wabbit explained the origins of the house. Once it was very fine, but when a holy order of nuns took it over, it fell upon hard times. Luckily, most of it had been rescued and restored. "This is wonderful," said the Shaman. "I could come here and conjure up medieval knights." The Wabbit cringed. The thought of medieval knights jousting about Rome was worse than gladiators. "Couldn't you conjure up some nice illustrations." The Shaman looked crestfallen. "Where's the fun in that?" The Wabbit had a think. "Look Shaman, there's an awful filling station right in front of this building. It's an eyesore." The Shaman brightened. "Can I set it on fire? Get rid of it?" The Wabbit had one of his ideas. "Round up students, there's plenty in this neighbourhood. Design medieval banners. Block the road. Cause trouble." The Shaman really liked the idea. "What shall we tell the general public?" "Just stop oil," shrugged the Wabbit.