Monday, October 15, 2018

9. The Wabbit and the After Effects

Jumpback Jack strode from the church clutching his original bag with his original beans. The switch had been easy - and persuading Jack he was holy proved easier. The crowd unfroze and rose as one to meet him. The smell of beans drifted from the bag. "That's the odour of sanctity," gasped a figure. The crowd clustered round Jack. At the church door, the Wabbit spread his paws wide and nodded. Lapinette dug him in the ribs. "Did you put something in with the beans?" "Eau de cologne." smiled the Wabbit. Lapinette snorted. "You've had that perfume at least 15 years." "It won't last long," grinned the Wabbit. Lapinette gave him a look. "Unlike the effect of Batch 10 chocolates." "Hmm. Get it all back?" asked the Wabbit. "Except for the ones they ingested." replied Lapinette. Voices drifted in the morning air. "Let's spread word of the holy beans." "Everyone must know." "We'll go on a pilgrimage." The Wabbit and Lapinette kept their eyes on Jack as the crowd escorted him into the distance. "Absolutely harmless," shrugged the Wabbit. He smiled nervously. "What can possibly go wrong?" He had a bit of a think. "Who was supposed to pick up Batch 10?" "I was," said Lapinette, "but someone had moved it." The Wabbit's mind flashed back to his day at the chocolate factory and he clearly saw himself moving sacks around. He gulped. "Some tidy fellow?"

Friday, October 12, 2018

8. Lapinette and the Miracle Brigade

Lapinette and her guard placed the church under lock down. The public was advancing, so they holstered their weapons and shouted. "Nuffing to see here," yelled Tipsy. "Were having an ickle curfew," shouted Mitzy. "Worship the miracle." yelled one individual. He touched the hem of Tipsy's frock. "Ooof," he said as he dropped like a stone, clutching his ankle. "Another miracle," said an onlooker. "Miracle!" echoed the crowd. Lapinette binkied straight into the air to get attention. The crowd gasped in awe. "Spectacular public miracle working," said one. "I'm witnessing visible signs," said another. One by one they delved in their wallets and pulled out money. Tipsy confiscated some of it. Lapinette slapped a paw to her head. "We gotta soup sandwich," she scowled. "Sheep's shiblets," grimaced Mizty. "Holy frijoles," nodded Fitzy. Tipsy gestured to the sky. "Incoming." The crowd gasped as a chocolate dropped from nowhere. The speed of Tipsy's draw would have put Wyatt Earp to shame. Her automatic fired and the chocolate shattered. Fragments showered everywhere and the crowd fell on them and ate them. Then everyone remained on their knees, heads bowed. They were completely frozen. Lapinette turned to look at the Church. Her ears pricked up. She could hear faint strains of the Wabbit chanting something in Latin. She turned to Fitzy and sighed. "He's starting a Homily." She looked around the frozen figures. "Better get them blankets."

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

7. The Wabbit and the Holy Orders

The Wabbit made short work of the sacristy door. He grabbed the first vestments he saw and plucked from his fur an old family bible. Jumpback Jack bowed his head as the Wabbit entered. The Wabbit stood silently for a considerable time. Jack became fidgety and he clutched his bag close. The Wabbit lifted a paw in greeting. Jumpback Jack released his grip and rested his bag on the floor. The Wabbit silently blessed it and chanted a few Latin words he learned at school. "I come to atone," gasped Jack. The Wabbit waved his bible at the bag. "Relinquish all material things and embrace the spirit gifted to you." Jack placed his paws together in supplication as his head sank to his chest. "Are you feeling peaceful?" asked the Wabbit. Jack twitched and trembled, then became as still as stone. Wabsworth stretched out a paw to grasp the bag, but just as he got in range, Jack grabbed it and clutched it to his chest and yelled. "The bag is the Tabernacle of the Holy Beans." Wabsworth crept forward again, but something fell and hit the bag. Then another. Jack gazed at the chocolates as they fell and he spread his paws wide and touched his head to the floor. "It's a miracle!" The Wabbit waved Wabsworth back and spoke in an authoritative voice. "Miracles require a certificate."

Monday, October 08, 2018

6. The Wabbit and the Holy Roller

The Wabbit and Wabsworth caught up with Jumpback Jack at the big church on the corner. Jack was heading in and his head was bowed and on his lips was a prayer. "Can you hear him?" asked Wabsworth. The Wabbit flipped his super ears skyward. "I can hear him. Can you hear him?" "He said he was in fear of his enemies" replied Wabsworth, "and he goes to worship in fear." The Wabbit listened carefully. "Fear of the righteous love of Chocolate? Did I get that right?" The Wabbit saw something and he grabbed it. "Chocolate rain," he growled. Wabsworth hissed. "Don't eat it and whatever you do, don't lick your paw." The Wabbit cast it on the entrance and rubbed his paw up and down the pillar, but he had to hide as Jumpback turned. "It's a sign! I will not perish." He dropped the bag and waved his paws in the air. Wabsworth reached out for the bag but Jack stopped waving and knelt beside it. He looked inside and smiled in a sickly manner. "I will share the merits of the blessed." He rose, hugging the bag to his chest. Then he bowed his head and strode into the church. The Wabbit scowled at Wabsworth. "Batch 10? Explain. What do they do?" Wabsworth shrugged just like the Wabbit. "Seized from the Agents of Rabit. It was under analysis." "And?" growled the Wabbit. Wabsworth cast a glance at the open door of the church and pointed to the end of the aisle where Jack knelt before an altar. "It makes you holy."

Friday, October 05, 2018

5. Jumpback Jack and the Chocolate Trail

Jumpback Jack, the beans dealer, clutched his bag close and lurched unsteadily down Via Accademia Albertina. The Wabbit's truck had dropped him at a basic yet convenient hotel and he laughed quietly to himself. "Excellent treatment and good fortune is mine!" A hotel sign painted the street with a garish red glow. Traffic slushed through a wet asphalt slick left in the wake of a sudden downpour.  He patted his bag and murmured, "Best beans you can get." The bag seemed to bulge and he grinned. "Jumping beans!" He didn't notice the slit opening in the bottom of the bag or the trail of contents scattered on the sidewalk. He turned as conversation broke out at the traffic lights. He heard talk of food. Small shapes on the sidewalk scuttled to and fro. He could smell chocolate. "Great beans," he smiled. But the shapes followed him and no matter which way he turned, they were always there. He stooped to pick one up. The chocolate shape was warm and it slipped from his grasp. Instinctively he licked his paw. Then he dropped the bag and threw his paws in the air. "Glory be! I see the light!" He did a tiny dance and smiled around. "I must atone," he murmured: "Quickly atone for my crimes against cocoa." In the distance he noticed an imposing church fronted by vast columns - and gathering as many chocolates as he could, loped quickly towards it.  ...

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

4. The Wabbit and the Change of Beans

Because he was an android, Wabsworth got to examine the contents of Jack's bag. "Perfectly good cocoa beans these. Excellent I'd say." The Wabbit was puzzled. He'd expected lethal toxins. "These are from Jinotega, Nicaragua," continued Wabsworth: "And you don't get better." "How the Binky can you tell?" gasped the Wabbit. "The smell corresponds with one I received from your memory," explained Wabsworth. For a brief moment the Wabbit saw himself hanging from the back of a truck. He could smell diesel and hear mortars in the jungle. He gritted his teeth. "What about the bag?" Wabsworth shrugged. "Just cocoa." The Wabbit frowned. "Then whatever it is, he still has it," said Wabsworth. The Wabbit glanced back at the bag. "What did you put in the duplicate bag? What did Jumpback get?" asked Wabsworth. The Wabbit laughed. "A heap of old stuff lying at the back door." Wabsworth groaned as only an android could. "Batch 10 was awaiting collection by the Department." The Wabbit tried to look nonchalant and adjusted his glasses. "Samples only, for the trade." He nodded in agreement with himself. Wabsworth turned and gave the Wabbit one of his own grim stares. The Wabbit's insides shrank. "What was it?" Wabsworth searched in his fur for his automatic. "We have to get it back."

Monday, October 01, 2018

3. Lapinette and her Personal Guard

Tipsy lurched from the truck and waved an automatic. No-one took the slightest notice. It was that kind of day on that kind of street. A few might have seen Fitzy taking a squint through a window but they were well used to squinting through windows. Mitzy stared down the barrel of a bump-stock Makarov. She'd never tried it but it but seemed like a day that she might. Fitzy murmured a series of expletives that few had ever heard before. "It's our chocolate rabbit," she growled. Tipsy sprawled against the truck. "What's his game?" Fitzy spoke from the roof of the truck. "Jumpback Jack's his name. Selling's his game." Mitzy drew a bead. "I could take him now." Tipsy scowled. "Stick to the Plan." Fitzy glanced back. "We have a plan?" "Your plan is my plan," whispered Tipsy. "So what's your plan?" asked Fitzy. "My plan is no plan," scowled Tipsy. "Sheep's shiblets!" breathed Fitzy. She had another squint. "Jumpback Jack is trying to sell something to the Wabbit." They waited. "The Wabbit is inviting Jack to sample a chocolate liqueur." Fitzy chuckled. "Jack threw the liqueur back and the Wabbit swapped the bag." Mitzy had a thought. "But what's Lapinette doing?" "I'm behind you," said Lapinette.

Friday, September 28, 2018

2. Lapinette and the Travelling Salesman

Lapinette's radio crackled but it drowned in the racket from Via Bardonecchia. "Looks like a travelling salesman." Her hiss matched the radio. A bus passed. Inside, the Wabbit brushed one paw down his fur and smiled. "Has he brought his wares?" Lapinette scanned the salesman. "He has a brown new bag." "Papa," muttered the Wabbit, "What's he like?" Lapinette scanned the salesman. "He's chocolate fancy and the colour of beans." The radio whined. "He don't seem cheap," said the Wabbit, "Let's see if he's shy." Lapinette carefully placed her radio down but she left it on. She raised her paws and leaped out from behind the packing case. "Dig our crazy chocolate scene, we do chocolate and we do it mean." The Salesman stepped back. "I'm not a customer," he sneered: "I'm Jumpback Jack." The Wabbit heard everything and he muttered to himself. "Jumpback Jack, the bean dealer." Lapinette pounced forward. "I know who you are. I'm hip to the jive." The Salesman waved his bag. "Only Jack has merchandise." A truck drew up with a screech. "They don't grow this stuff no more,"  laughed the salesman. Lapinette pirouetted. "The boss is at the back of the house." The Salesman reached for the door but he turned back. "What you packing, sister?"  "Bump-stock Makarov," shrugged Lapinette. The salesman opened the door. "There's a seller's market for specials."

Sunday, September 23, 2018

1. The Wabbit and the Chocolate Factory

The Wabbit loved being undercover, especially when he was in a chocolate factory. He hopped along the aisles and inspected chocolates as they dropped from exquisite machines. He gave each one a sniff and then went on to the chocolate bars. He examined all wrappings and nodded his head gravely. He carried packs of chocolates from factory to shop, ensuring the boxes were stable and protective. He straightened displays, polished counters, cleaned equipment and did everything he could to look authentic. But his eyes were everywhere and his ears sharp. He was expecting to see a visitor whose interest was far, far away from chocolate. The Wabbit had forewarning of a dastardly plot to cause harm and havoc in the city through the distribution of doctored confectionery. The mission was vital. The Wabbit shook his head, for he found the smell of chocolate intoxicating - and he wasn’t alone. All in his team of specially selected agents loved chocolate, so he’d no need to ask for volunteers. This was a labour of love. They had no idea of when the visitor would arrive, only that he would. They just had to wait - and the chocolate was oh so tempting. Eating any chocolate was forbidden, because it was heady stuff and they were likely to lose sight of their mission. The Wabbit's head swam slightly with delicious smells, but suddenly he became aware of another less subtle odour. He wrinkled his nose, picked up a box of chocolates and made for the shop ...

Friday, September 14, 2018

The Wabbit's Adventure Caffè

"In here, in here!" yelled Lapinette. Wabsworth looked at the Wabbit and the Wabbit glanced back. They both grinned, because this wasn't the sort of place that Lapinette frequented. "It's raining," yelled Lapinette, "and there's a special offer." The Wabbit and Wabsworth stopped abruptly. Skratch crashed into their backs. "What's that for a sort of adventure?" he meowed. "Episodic," replied the Wabbit. "Featuring seemingly random events," added Wabsworth. "And repetition," shouted Lapinette. The Wabbit peered inside the establishment. "I thought they only served beer in that place," observed Wabsworth. "English beer," added Skratch. "And they show Italian football," said the Wabbit. "It's an Irish pub, isn't it?" purred Skratch. "Phew and phew again," shrugged the Wabbit. "I think Jarmusch should make a film about it," said Wabsworth. Lapinette hopped up and down and pouted. "They said they had only limited prosecco." The Wabbit held up a paw and a waitress rushed out with four glasses and four plates of chips. They sat down. Rain dropped on the canopy. Cars swooshed past. "I didn't think you knew this place," frowned Lapinette. "Sunday football," explained the Wabbit. "Is that why you smell of beer and cigarettes on Sundays?" asked Lapinette. The Wabbit shook his head. "High spirits and bonhomie, much smoke, beer spilled on fur." Everyone laughed. Lapinette glanced at the TV. "I don't understand football."  "No-one really does," smirked the Wabbit.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

7. The Wabbit and the Size of Reflection

Wabsworth hopped off. He felt his work was done and he left the Wabbit to reflect. Lapinette took the Wabbit by the paw. "Did you find your point of view?" The Wabbit grinned the biggest grin she had ever seen. "It wasn't lost," he said. "Not even misplaced?" asked Lapinette. "It was here all the time," said the Wabbit. "In front of your nose," suggested Lapinette. "Yes," shrugged the Wabbit. "It was so close I lost sight of it." Lapinette considered. "It must have crept into your blind spot." The Wabbit looked down to the floors underneath and his eyes swept back and forth. He nodded. "Wabsworth could see it." "Wabsworth doesn't have your blind spot?" said Lapinette gravely. It was more of a statement than a question. "He's an android version of me," said the Wabbit. "He has a version of my blind spot but he knows it's there." Lapinette thought for a while. "So he can see more than you." The Wabbit shook his head. "He can see my version and he has his own version. That's how he knows about my point of view." Lapinette giggled. "He's much more than a reflection." "Scary," said the Wabbit. Lapinette pulled the Wabbit away. "Lets eat," she said, "Metaphysics makes me hungry." The Wabbit's tummy grumbled. "I'm a little peckish myself." Lapinette smiled in a mischievous fashion. "I know a great place with a view." The Wabbit was curious. "The Piano Bar," said Lapinette. The Wabbit waited for a punchline. "On Piano 35," yelled Lapinette.
[The San Paulo building in Turin hosts PianoTrentacinque, a chic restaurant on the 35th floor.]

Friday, September 07, 2018

6. The Wabbit in Che Tempo Che Fa

"Welcome to the show, Commander." "Very pleased to be here, Fabio. May I call you Fabio?" "Call me anything you like," said Fabio. The Wabbit smirked and winked at the audience. The audience tittered. "Commander," said Fabio. "You recently compiled all your adventures into one big bumper book." The Wabbit looked directly at the audience. "It's a dual purpose book." Fabio raised an eye and blinked. "It will tell a story and double as a door stop," said the Wabbit. "You're a rather famous rabbit now," sighed Fabio; "How does fame affect your fur?" The Wabbit droned on for a while as instructed, then ended by striking the table. "... and so fame comes at a cost." "At what cost?" asked Fabio. "About the price of a haircut." The Wabbit waited for a laugh. The audience giggled. "And that's what RAI is paying me tonight," grinned the Wabbit. The audience reaction was cut short by a long-legged lady rabbit who climbed on the table and lay along it. "Were you ever harassed by anyone, Commander?" Fabio intervened and pushed her to the side. "Leticia, that's not why the Commander is here." The Wabbit brushed him away. "All the time," he said. Letitia looked at the audience and simpered. "So what do you do about them, Commander?" "Sometimes I blow them up," said the Wabbit. The audience went wild with glee, hollering and clapping. "Or occasionally I exile them to a distant galaxy." The audience was on its feet. The cheers were deafening. Leticia crawled past Fabio until she was in front of the Wabbit. "May I touch your fur?" "Put a paw on me and I'll push you off the table," grinned the Wabbit.
[My compliments to Fabio Fazio and Leticia Littizzetto of the popular Che Tempo Che Fa talk show, formerly broadcast on RAI3 now on RAI1]

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

5. The Wabbit and One side or the Other

"What's this for a sort of algorithm?" asked the Wabbit. "It's my deviancy algorithm," said Wabsworth. "At least it's warmer than the last," commented the Wabbit. He smirked. Wabsworth smirked back. Traffic passed. Lights changed. Shadows grew longer. "So?" asked the Wabbit. "I designed this one to test out your point of view," smiled Wabsworth. "You know my point of view," said the Wabbit. "I know your point of view," grinned Wabsworth, "but do you know your point of view." "Of course I do," answered the Wabbit; "I made it in the first place." He swung around the pole and looked up at the sign. "It is forbidden to enter the binary," said Wabsworth. "I can read," said the Wabbit. He hopped across the rails and hopped back. Then he shrugged. "Nothing happened." Wabsworth grinned. "Nothing happened because it's my algorithm." A tram hurtled past and blew sand in the Wabbit's face. "You better keep to one side or another," warned Wabsworth. "Nah," said the Wabbit. "You think you can change water to wine," frowned Wabsworth. "On a good day I can," said the Wabbit. "And on a bad day?" queried Wabsworth. "Vinegar," sighed the Wabbit, sourly. "From your point of view my freedom is absurd," said Wabsworth. "And vice versa," nodded the Wabbit. Another tram whizzed past. "I must remind you I'm an android," said Wabsworth. "Nobody's perfect," said the Wabbit.

Monday, September 03, 2018

4. The Wabbit and the Window of Nine

"This is like breathing cotton wool," spluttered the Wabbit. "This is my Cloud in Time saves Nine algorithm," said Wabsworth. Mist swirled round his paw as he carefully adjusted the hands of the clock. "So is there anything you want to keep in the Cloud!" he asked. The Wabbit looked puzzled. "Before time gets to Nine," explained Wabsworth. "What happens after Nine?" asked the Wabbit. Wabsworth made another adjustment. "It's more expensive," he shrugged. The Wabbit shivered. "More expensive than what?" He was even more irritated than usual since he was very cold. He leaned against the wall because there was warmth there. "Than it would cost you before Nine," continued Wabsworth. The Wabbit nodded, but he still had no clue. "So is there anything you want to store there?" Wabsworth voice was pressing. "Such as?" shrugged the Wabbit. "Information." said Wabsworth. The Wabbit thought hard. "Like all the soccer results ever?" Wabsworth shook his head back and forth. "Oh that will cost you." "Not before Nine!" said the Wabbit quickly. "OK then," nodded Wabsworth. Now the Wabbit shook his head sadly. "But I haven't got them with me." Clouds of mist swirled round the clock as Wabsworth pushed the hands close to Nine o'clock and murmured, "You might be able to get them from somebody else's Cloud." "What will that cost me?" asked the Wabbit. Wabsworth pushed the clock hands ever closer to Nine. "It will cost you five minutes." "Time is short," groaned the Wabbit. "So is money," answered Wabsworth.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

3. The Wabbit and the Wind Window

"You said absurdity," said Wabsworth. "I did nothing of the sort," said the Wabbit. Wabsworth ignored him and exclaimed, "This is the wind window and you get a great point of view with extra special effects." The Wabbit's ears flattened as the wind tore at his fur. "Are we really in a small plane with no windscreen?" "Virtual reality," said Wabsworth. "We're quite close to that building," warned the Wabbit. "Nothing but pixels," said Wabsworth. "What are we sitting on then?" asked the Wabbit. "Pixels," said Wabsworth. The Wabbit's stomach rumbled. "Got anything to eat?" he asked. Wabsworth took a salad sandwich from under the seat. The Wabbit grabbed it and tore at it frantically with his teeth. "It's not very tasty," he grumbled. "Pixels," said Wabsworth. "It's like cardboard and lubricant," complained the Wabbit. "I did my best," responded Wabsworth. "Well, at least it's not raining," said the Wabbit. Wabsworth pressed a switch on the instrument panel and a spray of minute particles hit the Wabbit's face. "Pixels?" asked the Wabbit. "I worked hard on that one," said Wabsworth. Now the Wabbit was existentially tired. "Where and when will we land?" he snapped. "I never got to that," said Wabsworth. "I'm expressly feeling a state of angst," moaned the Wabbit. "Excellent!" shouted Wabsworth. He reached under his fur and pressed something. The plane disappeared and they seemed to hang in space. "How do you feel now?" he asked. "My self is authentically irritated," gasped the Wabbit.