Thursday, December 12, 2019

4. The Wabbit and the Dragon's Message

The Tiger stuck with the Wabbit and Lapinette and that was just as well. They would need all the help they could get. Terni the Food Dragon swooped out of the sky as only a dragon could - and then the radio crackled. "Emergency, emergency" yelled Terni. Lapinette answered and then threw the radio to the Wabbit. "It's yours Commander." The Wabbit listened to the tale and relayed it all round. "Rome is sunder threat." Lapinette shrugged. "It's Christmas. Rome is always under threat at Christmas." The Wabbit nodded and the tiger shoved his head over his shoulder. "Rome is being attacked by pizzas." Lapinette laughed. She knew the Wabbit liked Roman pizzas the best. He scoffed at Turin pizzas describing them as clunky-heavy. Neapolitan pizzas were vaguely tolerable as far as he was concerned, but Roman pizzas were thin and light and tasty. "The Wabbit shook his head and continued. "These are giant pizzas, possibly from outer space. They ravage the suburbs looking in dustbins for extra toppings." Lapinette scowled. "Yukkedy yuk." Baekho the Tiger growled. "May I help you eradicate this alien menace?" The Wabbit grinned ear to ear. "The more the merrier. Let's get the team together." The radio crackled again. "I'll monitor the activities of these hooligans," said Terni, "See you at the other end." The air turned red with flame and he was gone ...

Friday, December 06, 2019

3. Tipsy and the Ride of the Tiger

The Wabbit and Lapinette encouraged the tiger to accompany them. Late in the evening and somewhat incognito, they hopped through the porticos with not a soul around - until an ear splitting shriek of delight cut through the quiet. Tipsy lurched out from a late night bar and with a single bound, she mounted the back of the tiger and urged him forward. Tipsy was one of Lapinette's personal guard and couldn't be argued with. "What's your name, tiger monshter?" she yelled. The tiger stopped and broke into several grins. "Baekho," he said. Then he bounced up and down. "Ride 'em cowgirl! Turn and burn," shouted Tipsy. She gripped what there was of Baekho's mane and held tight. Baekho swivelled, bucked and lurched to either side, but he couldn't unseat Tipsy. "I do like you," he growled, "What's your name, warrior?" The Wabbit couldn't believe his eyes. Lapinette hopped in the air and started to laugh. "I'm Tipshy," slurred Tipsy. "I don't believe you," said Baekho. Tipsy slid down from his back and sauntered up to the Wabbit. "I thought you said there was a monshter in town." The Wabbit nodded his head and pointed at Baekho. "That's a pusshy cat," scoffed Tipsy. "Prrrrr," said Baekho, "I can shape-shift you know." Tipsy quickly jumped back on. Baekho began to disappear and so did Tipsy. Shortly, only big smiles remained - and one of them was Tipsy's ...

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

2. The Wabbit and the Eyes of the Tiger

The Wabbit and Lapinette followed the roaring sounds. The streets were deserted and it was easy to trace the hubbub to the river. Now another noise joined the roaring. A siren shrilled continuously and Lapinette covered her ears. They rounded the corner. The Wabbit stuck his paw through the open window of an abandoned police car and turned the siren off. "Phew," said Lapinette. Her ears quivered. But now they could hear roaring again. "Looks like we've tracked the monster," said the Wabbit. Along the river embankment strolled a strange tiger. It had a nonchalant gait and seemed to be grinning. Every time its giant feet hit the road, it let out a mighty roar and its eyes flashed. "I know of that tiger," breathed the Wabbit. "Did it come to tea maybe?" quipped Lapinette. The Wabbit shook his head. "No, it arrived here with Puma." The tiger strolled past the police car. The Wabbit whispered in Lapinette's ear. "Who went in the tiger's den and came out alive?" Lapinette shook her head. "The tiger," replied the Wabbit. The tiger turned. "That's not funny. Are you my prey, rabbits?" The Wabbit tapped the hood of the car and laughed. "You got the wrong rabbits." Lapinette pointed along the embankment. "The rabbits you seek are elsewhere." The tiger smiled a rueful smile. "Well, they don't look like you." "Spiky ears and of ghastly visage?" asked Lapinette. The tiger nodded. The Wabbit hopped forward. "What did they do to you?" "Nothing," said the tiger, "they just get on my nerves."

Monday, December 02, 2019

1. The Wabbit, Lapinette and Monsters

Lapinette caught up with the Wabbit at Spezia Market. "Wabbit! Wabbit, have you any news?" The Wabbit was between missions and there was no news. So he shrugged. "Do you have any news?" Lapinette hopped up and down. "There's usually news by this time." The Wabbit hadn't a clue. But he knew it was getting close to Christmas. "News of the monster?" "Yes," shouted Lapinette. She waved her paws in excitement. "Coming over the hill?" asked the Wabbit. "Yes, yes," shouted Lapinette. "No, I haven't," said the Wabbit. Lapinette laughed a bit and pirouetted. "The monster is late?" Now the Wabbit laughed. "Do monsters have a timetable?" Lapinette nodded. "They do and one usually makes an appearance about now." The Wabbit took Lapinette by the paw and led her through the market. "We'd better keep an eye open then. How monstrous do you want your monster?" Lapinette had to hop at speed to keep up with the Wabbit. "Monstrous enough," said Lapinette, "but capable of being recuperated." The Wabbit turned. "Any particular locale where monsterising takes place?" Lapinette looked him straight in the eyes and swept a paw back and forth. "All across the land!" The Wabbit thought very, very hard until he could visualize the monster. The noise was sudden. They both heard an enormous roar. People ran to and fro. "Right on cue," murmured Lapinette ...

Friday, November 29, 2019

The Wabbit at his Adventure Caffè

The Wabbit insisted on Eataly for the Adventure Caffè and they all arrived at more or less the same time. Lapinette was happy to see the Wabbit was in such a good mood - especially as someone had taken his favourite seat. She bounced in the air and yelled, "Where's Skratch?" They heard a long meaow as Skratch approached. "Here I am, fashionably late as usual." The Wabbit turned. "I can't ask you what kind of story that was, since it was your story." Skratch laughed. "Well as the storyteller, I should know!" Wabsworth shook his ears. "Some say that prequels and sequels signify the end of story telling itself" Lapinette giggled. "Then I await the end of story telling with optimism." Skratch brushed all this baiting aside with a wave of his paw. "It's the signification of after the end - and the beginning of the end of the start." The Wabbit looked to see if his seat was available. He shook his head. "Analeptic continuation," he murmured. "Gerard Genette," nodded Lapinette. "The backward continuation works its way upstream," agreed Skratch. "Everything does," smiled Wabsworth. His android circuits hummed merrily. Skratch wasn't so certain. "I reconfigured Puma's story through memory." "Maybe he should tell his own story," said Lapinette. "Maybe he should," growled Puma.
[Thanks to:  "The Promised End" of Cinema: Portraits of Cinematic Apocalypse in 21st Century Shakespearean Cinema. Carolyn Jess-Cooke]

Monday, November 25, 2019

4. Skratch and the Call of the Wild

"Things went OK for quite a while," said Skratch. The Wabbit leaned forward to listen. Skratch's face was a feline delight as he recalled the sessions he'd spent with Puma in the grounds of the Old Abandoned Hospital. "Puma roamed at will, just as he had in his native Patagonia. He climbed trees, swam the river - and he explored the basements of the old buildings." He paused and crossed his legs over his tail. "But it couldn't go on forever. People were starting to notice. Puma told me tales of a photographer who prowled the grounds with heavy equipment, looking for him. Time was running short." The Wabbit chortled. "Now that sounds familiar." Skratch laughed a hollow laugh. "It was when you appeared. You thought I was poaching." The Wabbit smiled a rueful smile. "Yes, I meant well - but I was the cause of that awful event with the Forestry Policeman." "What happened to him in the end?" asked Skratch. The Wabbit burst into helpless mirth, "I heard he was eaten by badgers." "Serve him right," scowled Skratch. He growled for a while. "Well - you know the rest, Wabbit. You found Puma a berth up in the Superga Hills and gave him a good cover story." The Wabbit waved a paw. "I don't think the wild boars were very happy, but you can't please everyone. Where is Puma by the way?" "Behind you," growled Puma ...

Friday, November 22, 2019

3. Skratch and the Vanishing Creatures

The Wabbit leaned back in his seat to hear the next part of Skratch's story. This happened in a place he knew quite well and it was so long ago that everything had now completely changed. Skratch purred. "I thought I'd locate the creatures in a pet shop with which I had an arrangement and I wore a Blue Cross t-shirt for authenticity." The Wabbit laughed because he knew all about Skratch's arrangements and disguises. "We were waiting for the shop to open," meaowed Skratch, "when the oddest thing happened." Now the Wabbit wanted to giggle because the story was already very odd indeed. "A flying pig appeared," continued Skratch, "We all looked up. The Chinese fighting pig explained it was his Uncle Wang Xiu Wing - and off he went on his back." The Wabbit chortled. "So now the creatures were down to two." "Not for long," smiled Skratch, "Both Puma and I were gazing at the tiger and suddenly he vanished, leaving only a triple smile." "Like the Cheshire Cat," murmured the Wabbit. Skratch grinned mightily and went on. "It was then that the puma turned to me and observed that you don't see that sort of thing every day." The Wabbit beamed. "What did you do then?" Skratch made an expansive gesture. "Puma asked me if there was a forest anywhere nearby with a wild flowing river. I told him I there was something of the kind." Now the Wabbit felt he'd caught up with the story. "So you took him to the Old Abandoned Hospital?" "The very place," nodded Skratch ...

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

2. Skratch and the Captured Creatures

Skratch began to tell his tale and it was a strange one. "I heard the creatures were being held in a building as yet unopened. No one had ever seen them - but rumors flew like birds from a cage." The Wabbit settled back to be entertained. Skratch continued. "I watched the building, day and night without success. But one night a service lift dropped down and crates were shipped onto a van." Skratch meowed softly. "It was my chance. So I slipped in as they slipped out. The lift took me up to a high floor and I prowled onto a balcony." The Wabbit couldn't wait. "What was there?" Skratch took a deep breath. "It was quite a sight. There were plants and shrubs - it would have been nice except for the barbed wire." The Wabbit scowled. "Then it was a prison?" Skratch hissed. "It was and there were three creatures there - a puma, a tiger and a Chinese fighting pig." The Wabbit waited with baited breath. "They knew I was there," said Skratch, "but they made no sound. They didn't want to give me away. Then the puma spoke in a whisper. 'Are you here to liberate us?'" The Wabbit was agog. "How did you answer?" Skratch held up a paw. "I said nothing. I just dropped down and beckoned. Then they followed me up the stairs, into the lift and out." The Wabbit was impressed. He nodded his head with vigor and asked, "You avoided capture?" Skratch's teeth flashed. He grinned as only a cat can. "Those that saw us thought they'd had too much to drink - and probably they had. So together we made our way down Corso Inghilterra and beyond ..."

Monday, November 18, 2019

1. The Wabbit and the Curious Tale

The Wabbit was between missions and as usual he was at a loose end. So he was delighted to see Skratch at a cinema exhibition. He crept up behind him and touched his tail. "Eeek" yelled Skratch. His tail quivered and his ears went pointy. "Oh it's you, Wabbit," he gasped, "I thought it was the Curse of the Cat People." The Wabbit giggled helplessly. "I need to be entertained, and who better than you?" Skratch grinned. "Is it worth a significant lunch?" The Wabbit tugged at his tail and led him to a seating area decked out as a Belle Epoch caffè. "It is worth more. Much more," he murmured. When they were comfortable, the Wabbit leaned forward. "Tell me all about Puma. I'm really a bit hazy about how you came by him." Skratch meaowed. "It's quite a story." "Humour me," said the Wabbit. Skratch crossed his legs on top of his tail. "Puma came here somewhat against his will." He meaowed for effect and continued. "A group of inept and rather minor mafia sorts thought they could avoid the severe penalties on dog fighting by using other animals." "Do go on," smiled the Wabbit. "So they assembled quite a menagerie," said Skratch, "which they then tried to hide: A puma, a tiger and a pig." The Wabbit tutted in disapproval. "Sounds difficult." Skratch let out a long triumphant meaow. "That's how I heard about it - and so I hatched a plan to relocate the animals." "For a small profit no doubt," grinned the Wabbit. "Let's call it a finder's fee," smiled Skratch ...

Friday, November 15, 2019

The Wabbit at his Adventure Caffè

The team assembled at a favourite caffè in Piazza Giambattista Bodoni - and waited for Skratch. They didn't wait long. "Oh look! It's Skratch the Cat," shouted a man. "Ciao Skratch!" yelled a woman. Lapinette turned as customers welcomed the approaching figure. Skratch took a seat. "You're popular," observed the Wabbit. Skratch meaowed. "Must have been my popular lecture series." Lapinette twitched enquiring ears. "Foregrounding factors in signification," explained Skratch. Everyone applauded but the Wabbit tapped the table. "So tell us, Skratch. What kind of adventure did we just have?" Skratch laughed. "I'm tempted to say it was about the semiotics of light." Wabsworth nodded sagely. "My thoughts exactly. Typically absurd, the adventure's narratology configured around light itself." Lapinette rummaged under her frock for a spare copy of Samuel Beckett's Comment c'est, L'image, which she kept for reading emergencies - and lifted a paw. "The light followed, illuminated and ultimately reversed the adventure's absurdist flow." Wabsworth laughed heartily. "So the Wabbit would like to be indifferent to the universe, but the universe is not indifferent to him." The Wabbit nodded his head in agreement. "I think I'm somewhere between being and nothingness." He pointed at the empty tray and then raised a paw for service. "And only halfway to an aperitivo."

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

5. The Wabbit and the Abstract Place

The Wabbit and Lapinette climbed along the stairs. It was hard because water sloshed everywhere. They were slipping and sliding until they passed through a threshold of solid water. They pushed hard and their heads popped out on the weir on the River Po, more or less as Big Blue Snail had promised. The Wabbit patted his reflection and Lapinette did the same. The river eddied around their paws. The Wabbit shook his head. It was a weird weir and no mistake. "Which way is up?" he asked. "I think it's us that's up," said Lapinette. "This is an abstract place," commented the Wabbit. Lapinette nodded her head in vigorous agreement. It was then that she saw the beam floating towards them, the one they'd met before. Its course was slow and measured and it made not a ripple as it drew closer to the weir. The Wabbit waved. "I thought you were going to Venice?" The beam bumped against the breakwater. "I'm afraid no matter how hard I try, I never get further than this." The Wabbit leaned across. "Let me give you a helping paw." He placed a paw under the beam and flipped it over. For a moment it balanced, half on and half off the crest of the weir. Then it tipped, plunged and lay floating on the other side. It called up. "Maybe I don't want to go after all." Lapinette giggled. "Go on, take a risk." Now the beam was moving quicker and soon it was out of sight. "Make a wish," said Lapinette. The Wabbit grinned. "I wish we were both on the beam, sailing down to Venice." "Got the Po Delta Blues," laughed Lapinette ...

Monday, November 11, 2019

4. The Wabbit and the Mobius Snail

The fog cleared and there stood a familiar figure. "What are you doing on my strip, Wabbit?" The Wabbit and Lapinette breathed a sigh of relief. The Wabbit began to tell the story but Snail wiggled his antennae in dismissal. "Please don't burden me with a long explanation. You're here now." The Wabbit grinned. "Well why are you here, my slithering friend?" The clouds of gas abated a little and Snail's head became clearer. "This is my Mobius strip and I am here to practice keep-fit mathematical exercises." Lapinette laughed out loud. "Are these clouds your gaseous snail goo?" Snail inflated his chest and raised his shell. "Yes indeed, they represent my considerable physical efforts." "How do we get off the strip?" asked the Wabbit, "We've lost our orientation." Snail gestured with his antennae. Vapour swirled to reveal a shadowy stairway. "You must understand that the strip is a topographical construct," he said, "So please take the topographical stairs. But be careful - they're a bit one sided." "Where do they go to?" asked Lapinette. "A simply-connected domain," replied Snail. "Where's that exactly?" sighed the Wabbit. "Near the river," laughed Snail. But Lapinette was already climbing the stairs and calling down to the Wabbit. "I can see our house from here." The Wabbit made for the stairs, but just before he started to climb, he turned to Snail and said. "I don't suppose you ever lose your way ..?"

Saturday, November 09, 2019

3. The Wabbit, Lapinette and the Fence

The banister in the Cinema had got on their nerves. So when the Wabbit and Lapinette found themselves facing a high wooden fence across the street they were furious. "Where'd this come from?" said the Wabbit. "Beats me," replied Lapinette. They looked around. There was nothing whatsoever left - except the fence. They traced along it - but it didn't seem to end. "I think this was where we started," said Lapinette. She thought for a bit. "I tell you what. You go one way and I'll go the other." They both set off - and within a minute they both met. Then they tried the other way but within a short space of time they were face to face. "A Mobius fence?" shrugged Lapinette. The Wabbit had heard worse explanations. "I'll climb up and see,"  he said. Lapinette punted him up and he was nearly at the top when clouds of gas swirled over the fence. "I can't see a thing," grunted the Wabbit. The gas clung onto Lapinette's frock. She tried to brush it away. "Yuk, it's sticky!" The vapour was cloying but she summoned energy and gave the Wabbit an extra punt up. He flew over the top of the fence. A moment elapsed before she heard him drop to the other side. "I'll try walking along it on this side," shouted the Wabbit. Lapinette listened to his paw steps fade. Then they got closer. Suddenly his face peered directly through the gas. "It only has one side," he sighed. "I told you so," said Lapinette. The Wabbit ran his paws through his fur, then gestured in the air. "What's this for a sack of hammers ..?"

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

2. The Wabbit and the Banister Rail

The Wabbit and Lapinette forgot all about the talking beam on the river and went to the movies. But when they came out, the Wabbit stooped to examine a banister rail. "It's a good thing all wood doesn't talk." He shook it until the supports rattled. "Can I help you find your way out?" said the rail. Lapinette looked at the rail in a quizzical way. "How many are you?" The Banister shook himself. Light glistened from his varnish. "Many? Why?" came the response. The Wabbit tapped the rail lightly with a paw. "We met one of your number down on the river." "Him!" yelled the rail, "Is he still floating around?" Lapinette smiled. "He's on his way to Venice?" The rail almost arched in the air. "He's never gone further than the weir. He's a layabout. A rough sort." The Wabbit and Lapinette looked at each other and winked. "Oh, you don't believe me?" The rail shook with anger. "He's not like us. We're carefully-prepared ... and delicately moulded." The Wabbit hopped back and caught Lapinette's eye. He gestured to the stairs with his ears. "Urgent appointment," he said. But the banister rail wouldn't stop. "I've met film stars you know. William Shatner ran his hand along my varnish." "Me too," said Lapinette. The Wabbit hopped forward again and dragged Lapinette by the paw down the stairs. "I go all the way down!" yelled the rail. The Wabbit and Lapinette ran across the foyer and into the street. "That banister better belt up," shouted the Wabbit, "or he's dead wood!"

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

1. The Wabbit and the Floating Beam

The Wabbit wandered along the riverside and then wandered back to the jetty. He was in deep contemplation, as was his way between missions. "Hello Wabbit! That ol' riverboat don't go nowhere no more." The Wabbit laughed. "Hello Lapinette. I know, I was just thinking about a swim." Lapinette giggled. She knew the likelihood of the Wabbit plunging into the Po was slim as a cigarette paper. "Water's looking a bit murky today," she observed. The Wabbit nodded because it was none too clean. "I was watching bits of debris floating past." He gestured at the river. ".. and to each piece I attached one of my problems." Lapinette nodded sagely and listened. "Then," said the Wabbit, "I watched them until they passed out of sight on their way to Venice." Lapinette raised an eye. "How long would they take to get there?" "It depends," grinned the Wabbit, "maybe a week." "So no problem," shrugged Lapinette. The water behind them swirled. Something clunked on the jetty steps. "It takes longer than that," said a voice. The Wabbit didn't look round but Lapinette did. "That floating beam spoke!" The Wabbit started to hop away. "Everyone's a critic," he sighed. But Lapinette persisted. "Are you flotsam or jetsam?" The beam bobbed up and down on the eddies, displacing tiny bubbles. "Neither. I am my own wood." The Wabbit grunted and turned to look. The beam floated out midstream and called. "Do you have a problem?" The Wabbit winked and grinned. The beam returned inshore. The Wabbit leaned down and hissed, "Problem is my middle name..."