Friday, February 23, 2024

The Wabbit at his Adventure Caffè.

The team was in the process of assembling at a Caffè in Via Gregorio VII. It was a bright day and the sun carved harsh patterns in the sidewalk. Lapinette came flying out the Caffè door. "I just ordered Proseccos all round!" The Wabbit scraped his chair with a lot of noise. "Good!" he replied. Are you upset, asked Lapinette. I didn't know you were inside, we may have ordered twice." Lapinette giggled. "We'd just have to drink twice as quickly." The Wabbit brightened immediately. Skratch came into sight. "Hello everyone. "What was that for a sort of adventure?" Wabsworth appeared at the side and threw in his opinion. "It was an intervisual dialogue. A hybrid of forms." Skratch smiled. "Joussance!" Lapinette pulled a face. "Roland Barthes?" Skratch pulled another face. "I was thinking of Lacan." The Wabbit grinned so much you could hear it,. "The slippy-slidyness of the text." Lapinette frowned. "You're thinking of glissement." The Wabbit stopped grinning then started again. "That's glissement." This was followed by a long silence, interrupted by Wabsworth. "The French don't have a word for that!" Skratch meaowed long and hard. "Your joke routine is improving, Wabsworth." The Wabbit sat back. "Where's this double drink coming from?" Lapinette looked round. "I think I accidentally locked the door."  The Wabbit could see their drinks on the counter. "Life and prosecco are very similar," He paused and looked around, then delivered his punchline. "You have to chill for best results." Everyone groaned.

Monday, February 19, 2024

6. The Wabbit, Lapinette and Last Drinks

The Wabbit and Lapinette turned to find themselves at a cocktail bar. A voice said that they'd been a lot of fun, and they should help yourselves. They shrugged. The Wabbit sorted through the whisky and found an Auchentoshan. "This is my local whisky and just a short hop from my home in Scotland." Lapinette made herself a cocktail. "I just like the blue colour." They sipped. "Delicious," said the Wabbit. "Exquisite," said Lapinette. The Wabbit looked around. "Where's Sebby?" Lapinette shrugged. "He's looking for a painting to be in." The Wabbit grinned. "I'm sure he'll find something to his satisfaction." They both laughed. Lapinette considered. "We seem to be pre-empting the Adventure Caffe." "We'd be stupid not to," said the Wabbit. He savoured his whisky. "It tastes of honey and dandelions." He sipped again. "And wellington boots." They set down their drinks and did a little dance. "I didn't know you knew the waltz." smiled Lapinette. "I happen to be a bronze medallist," answered the Wabbit. "You didn't get the gold?" queried Lapinette. "I fell over my coat," admitted the Wabbit, "but I landed on my back and twirled my partner round like an ice skater." Lapinette paused because she knew there would be a punch line. "I got points for improvisation," laughed the Wabbit. 

Friday, February 16, 2024

5. The Wabbit and the Smoke Eater.

It was only the Wabbit who was drawn into the picture. Sebby the Hat and Lapinette were pushed rudely to the side, but he found himself face to face with a woman with a direct stare. She was a smoke eater. The Wabbit knew this from twenties movies. His head was whirling. He heard a voice in his head telling him she had more curves than Passo Pordoi and the right number of navigable slopes. She fixed him with a steely gaze. "If you're some kind of forty niner, Mr Rabbit, I can inform you I'm no tomato." She threw him a look that was meant to make him roll over with his paws in the air. She sounded as half cut as her hair. His head twirled the other way. Another voice came into his head. He twisted his mouth into a wry smile and heard himself say, "You might be the cat's pyjamas, but I'm the big cheese. You won't get a handcuff from me unless you got plenty of hush money." A puff from her cigarette enveloped his head in a cloud of smoke. The smell of her breath was peaty, like an Islay whisky distillery. She looked closely at the Wabbit. "You're old father time," she breathed. "I think I'll sit this one out." She was fading from view. The Wabbit fell from the picture like a brick and into Lapinette's outstretched paws. She whispered in his ears. "Did you like the lines I gave you?" The Wabbit considered. "As much as chalk and cheese." "But did you like her?" she murmured. The Wabbit shrugged. "Like applause at the end of a show or ... a like on Facebook."

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

4. The Wabbits in a Work of Art

They all began to twirl and were ever so gradually sucked into a painting. "Where are we?" yelled Lapinette. She hung in the air being eyed up by a well-dressed gentleman who should have known better.  "It's when are we? About 1920 something!" shouted the Wabbit. He looked down at himself. "I'm only half in!" he yelled. A woman looked down at him. "I don't like rabbits," she stated. She was a sniffy sort and she pushed him from the painting. "We have all the fur we need and it's certainly not rabbit." But the gentleman with a rose in his lapel was more than happy. "Now you're a pretty little thing," he said to Lapinette, "What's your name?" Lapinette was almost at a loss for words but recovered quickly. "Trixie Beaujolais at your service," she simpered. Sebby made a bee line for the other gentleman. "Good Sir. You require a nice hat," he quipped. "Be off with you, rough Garibaldini," retorted the gentleman. "Perhaps you'd prefer a rose," said Lapinette. As sweet and sticky as honey, her voice trickled down on the fur. His eyes gleamed and he stretched out a hand. He was stuck to the rose and dangerously close to the fur. "Now's our chance," said the Wabbit. He unstuck himself and pulled his friends from the painting. They gazed for a second. Everyone in the painting was stuck to each other. Then the Wabbit, Lapinette and Sebby each felt a tug and a push. The Wabbit exclaimed, "Oh no, it's happening again..." 

Monday, February 12, 2024

3. The Wabbit and the Belle Epoque

The neighbourhood wasn't great on eateries and the Wabbit returned to the hotel for a snack. To his surprise, Lapinette caught up with him there and she was wearing a Garibaldini hat. He knew it was Sebby and he gulped. He ushered Lapinette into a corner. "That's Sebby!" His voice was a hoarse whisper. Wherever Sebby went there was bound to be trouble. "I know," she said. "He's just .." And just at that moment, he flew off Lapinette's head and into the air. He moved so quickly he was just a blur and the Wabbit lost sight of him. The hotel was a product of the belle epoque and the paintings were of their time. They were representations of various luminaries of the period, and the Wabbit was a little in awe of them. Even more so when they began to move. Not only did they move but they began to talk among themselves. "Who are these ghastly people?" said one in an expensive high pitched voice, which the Wabbit felt was  high fallutin. "Oh, leave them alone, they might be fun," said another more mellow fellow. The lady high up on the wall was rather amenable. She threw her rose to Lapinette who smiled and caught it. Sebby twirled and danced and as he swirled around, the Wabbit felt a strange feeling, a bit like a shove and a bit like a pull. So did Lapinette. "Come," said the lady on the wall. "Come with me." The Wabbit caught sight of a calendar with the pages flying round and round. He recognised a sinking in his tummy - and it wasn't hunger ... 

Thursday, February 08, 2024

2. Lapinette and the Garibaldi Hat

Just as the Wabbit left the Hotel, Lapinette was visiting a little-known museum way across town. It was a working museum and there were still offices and staff- so Lapinette was there by kind permission of a very nice man from the Ministry. She wandered through the building. Apart from the telephones, it remained exactly as it was in the nineteen twenties and thirties, with beautiful murals, statues and artefacts. A memorial to the soldiers of the Great War, it was designed by important artists of the time and bore the embellishments of Mussolini. Lapinette gasped at the attention to detail. At the bottom of a wide staircase, she came upon a large mural dedicated to the people. But she noticed a curious detail. A Garibaldini marched alongside the rest. "Psst!" Her ears flapped and she tuned in to the sound. "Psst, Lapinette. Over here." Lapinette was amazed. It was Sebby the Hat. She sighed. "Sebby, I thought you were going to behave yourself." Sebby floated down. I did a bit of exploring and then I got stuck in here." He whirled round. "Get me out of here." He settled on Lapinette's head. "Hey!" yelled Lapinette. "It's my exit strategy," said Sebby, "Besides you look most fetching." Lapinette made for the door. Sebby whistled a marching tune and span round a few times. A member of staff held the door for her. "That hat suits you," she remarked. Lapinette laughed politely. "I can pull a rabbit out of it!" 

Tuesday, February 06, 2024

1.The Wabbit and the Grand Hotel Palace

The Wabbit crossed the road with a silly smile on his face. He was recalling the time he won a thousand on the Lotto. He chortled to himself. But he was in a quandary. He was frightened to buy another in case he won nothing and started a run of bad luck. That amused him further. He glanced up to the nearby hotel. It was the Grand Hotel Palace and he wondered why it had given itself two names. He laughed again because he knew it had been the Ambassador Hotel and was a relic of the Belle Epoque. "So stylish they named it twice." He mused on. He had only been in there once with Lapinette for a jazz lunch, when the place had jumped to Louis Armstrong classics and Pimento Stuffed Celery. The Wabbit loved celery and he'd had too much to eat. He rubbed his tummy and made his way to the centre along Via Veneto. It was as pleasant a winter's day as you could experience in Rome. The Wabbit adjusted his anti-matter fur for the temperature and hopped happily to a jazz standard he was playing through his built-in earphones. He wondered what his next mission would be like. He began to design one in his head, but that seldom worked because the colour and shape was never right - far less the beginning and the end. He decided to consult Lapinette, but before he could do that, he spotted something very strange indeed ...

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

The Wabbit's Outdoor Adventure Caffè

The team gathered outside a shop in Piazza Campo de' Fiori. It was moderately busy, and they were in a good mood. Lapinette bounded towards the Wabbit. He put his paws up half to embrace her and half to defend himself. Skratch chatted amiably to Wabsworth about the delights of foreign food. Skratch enjoyed a bit of French brie. Wabsworth was fond of baked beans. The Wabbit's voice cut through the chatter. "Tell us Skratch. What was that for a sort of Adventure?" Skratch grinned and shrugged. "On this occasion I can't really say, Wabbit." Wabsworth chipped in. "People find themselves in spaces they don't belong." The Wabbit nodded. "Yes, mostly they came from a window. Maybe it was about the window itself." Lapinette was vociferous. "The window substitutes for the gaze. And the gaze leads to visual pleasure." Skratch nearly cackled. "But what about the sheep? They had no window or pedestal and appeared from nowhere." Lapinette thought for a second. "But they bleated and flocked around." Skratch meaowed. "It was an allegory. Cicero compared sheep with the hordes of plebeians." Wabsworth laughed. "Didn't do them any good though." The Wabbit snorted. "No. Because they elected a wolf to protect them." He took his turn to shrug - he had a poor opinion of populism. He indicated the shop. "Can we get a drink here?" "No," said Wabsworth, "Unless we buy a bottle and sit by the fountain." The Wabbit giggled. "That counts as an outdoor activity." Then they laughed and laughed and laughed.

Monday, January 22, 2024

6. The Wabbit and the Centre of Rome

The furious bleating died down. Cicero had gone. Sheep had gone. But the Wabbits were still there and they wandered cheerfully into Piazza Campo de' Fiori. The Wabbit inspected an old vehicle, parked by the restaurants. "Thinking of changing of transport to an Ape?" Lapinette was curious. She'd seen that look on the Wabbits face before. "Not really," mused the Wabbit. "I was thinking of a time when everything was smaller. "We were smaller too," laughed Lapinette. She jumped in the air. "We grew to what the frame demanded," responded the Wabbit, with a twinkle in his eye. "Needs must where the devil drives," added Lapinette. They relaxed and looked at the twinkling lights and listened to the echoing sounds of the Piazza. "So we stay in Rome for a while." Lapinette seemed positive. "It's very good fun." The Wabbit looked at the rear screen of the Ape three wheeler. "I'd say. It's rather vibrant and all - with the hustle bustle and the rufty tufty." Lapinette giggled. "Rufty tufty?" "That's what Romans like to think, anyway," said the Wabbit, "Fancy a spin round the piazza?" He looked around for the owner ad received a nod of consent." Before long they were driving slowly in and out of barrows and left over vegetables. That was a bit of a daft adventure," murmured Lapinette. "Like the old days," added the Wabbit. "When we were young and beautiful," smirked Lapinette. "Still are!" grinned the Wabbit.

Saturday, January 20, 2024

5. The Wabbit and the Phantom Sheep

"What shall we do with these sheep, Cicero?" asked the Wabbit, "They're your sheep, you called them up." Cicero was astonished. He spoke sardonically. "So many different sheep. It will take more than a wolf to protect them." The Wabbit couldn't resist. "They'll get the government they deserve." Lapinette stroked one sheep and pointed to another. "That looks like a colourful sheep." The sheep bleated and milled around the square in all directions. "They need a leader, said Lapinette, "What about you Cicero?" Cicero swept his arm forward. "I'm no leader. I'm just advisory." He swept his arm backwards and the baa-ing stopped and the sheep were gone. "They were only a metaphor anyway." The Wabbit thought and thought. "Perhaps you were better outside the law courts, sweeping your arm and reading from your scroll - for all eternity." Cicero nodded. "For all the time that Rome endures?" "It's endured a while," commented Lapinette. "That's true," replied Cicero. "Now that's settled, I'll treat us all to a drink," laughed the Wabbit, "I see a hostelry over there. The Ape Bar." They wandered over, pulled out chairs and sat down. Cicero lifted his glass. "For the replenishment of our health!" "And not for our sorrow," said the Wabbit and Lapinette together. "He was a wise man who invented wine!" quoted the Wabbit. "That's Plato," said Cicero. "And it was beer," said Lapinette. "Just testing you," giggled the Wabbit.

Thursday, January 18, 2024

4. The Wabbit and the Meaning of Death

With Cicero in tow, the Wabbit and Lapinette went to San Lorenzo in Damaso, an old church they knew. They didn't really know what to do with Cicero, but they had no intention of going back to Ostia Antica. That was far too dangerous. Just at the door, they paused by an elaborate gravestone. "Here lies Tomai Aretio!" exclaimed Lapinette. She had no idea who that was but had an encyclopaedic memory for catalogues. Cicero drew himself up into oratorial style, "You have your dead here?" He was astonished. "We always separate death from life. Tombs should be outside the city gates." The Wabbit knew all about funeral practices in ancient Rome, having competed a module at night school. "More recently, church benefactors could be buried within the walls." Cicero stepped back. "But dead bodies are polluting. Perhaps this deathly creature transported the dead to the Esquiline undertakers." Lapinette shook her head. "No, his body lies below." She indicated the flagstones on the floor of the church. "Do you believe in one God, Cicero." Cicero laughed. "By Jove, that depends on who's listening!" The Wabbit struck a pose. "Arm'd with the terrors of Almighty Jove. Lov'st thou to walk, the peaceful solemn grove." Cicero struck a pose too. "Sounds OK to me. Better than debating that sheep, Mark Antony." Lapinette made funny ears and yelled baa. So did the Wabbit. Then Cicero. The sound of sheep echoed from the church door and bleated its way into the piazza.

Monday, January 15, 2024

3. The Wabbit & Lapinette meet Big Cicero

The Wabbit was walking by the Tiber where he spotted Lapinette. He hailed her with a merry cry. She rushed towards him with puckered lips. They hugged. "Let me tell you about something strange that's been happening to me," said the Wabbit. Lapinette laughed. "Something strange is always happening to you." The Wabbit shared her amusement. But just as he was about to explain, a voice hailed him. "Commander, Commander!" The Wabbit ignored it. Lapinette looked around. She saw nothing and shook her head. "Pay no attention, it's in your head." They gazed at the Tiber. "I've swam the Tiber and the Po." murmured the Wabbit." Lapinette pouted. "So damned exciting, is that so?" They both giggled. "Commander, Commander! Remember me?" It was that voice again. This time they both turned. "Over there," said Lapinette. "It's Big Cicero!" shouted the Wabbit. "Long time, no see," said Cicero. "Join me in a dish of garum? I know a little place round the corner." Lapinette waved but turned up her nose. "I hate garum." It was under her breath, but Cicero heard her. "Don't worry Lapinette, there's lots of fishy Roman cuisine here." It was more than a decade since they'd met Cicero in Ancient Rome. The Wabbit touched Lapinette. "He must have found a way back, through the fabric of time." He dropped his voice to a whisper. "Talking of fabric, he needs a new toga." Lapinette knew what was coming. "XL?" she asked. "No, just the one!" chortled the Wabbit.

Thursday, January 11, 2024

2. The Wabbit and Betty's Advice

The Wabbit never gave the tobacconist a second thought. But later that year he was prowling through the back streets of Turin when he heard a voice. "How are your adventures, Wabbit?" He turned, then smiled. Betty Boop looked at him, backlit and beautiful. She winked. "Wabbit, your adventures are famous worldwide." The Wabbit was in front of a cinema which Skratch insisted showed experimental films. But the Wabbit knew it was an adult film theatre. "My adventures are just fine and dandy Betty," he said, "Always full of excitement." Betty winked once more. "Satire too." The Wabbit blushed, shrugged and asked the critical question. "Why are you in front of a place like this?" Betty stuck a leg in the air and simpered. "I'm public domain now. But I like to watch the street." They gazed at each other. The Wabbit chirped. "I'm trademarked, you know." "Does it hurt? smiled Betty. "Only when I laugh," gasped the Wabbit. "You were in a few adventures, Betty. Any story advice?" Betty's lights flickered. "I like the ones that have no narrative point." The Wabbit blinked. "None of them do." Betty winked the slowest wink that ever was winked. "Maybe that's the point, Wabbit." The Wabbit thought of Minnie the Moocher.  His head swam. "I'll keep an eye open for you, Commander," said Betty. The back light flickered. The cinema plunged into darkness. The Wabbit heard singing as he hopped along the street. "He's got eyes of blue and that's my weakness now."

Tuesday, January 09, 2024

1. The Wabbit and the Damp Sunday

The day was damp. Wet leaves lay on the street. The Wabbit hopped aimlessly along Via Gregorio VII. It wasn't so cold, but the weather lay on his shoulders like a soggy towel. The Wabbit didn't like days like this. His fur was humid, which put him in a bad a bad mood. He was passing a tobacconist when a voice spoke to him. "What?" grunted the Wabbit. He didn't want to be rude, but he was quietly minding his own business. "How are your adventures?" Now the Wabbit paid attention. "Who are you?" He stared for a while at the closed shutter. "I am the smoking shutter as befits a tobacconist." The Wabbit looked displeased. "Smoking is bad for you!" The shutter smiled. "I'm what you might call a campesino." His shoulders seemed to shrug. "Besides, lots of things are bad for you." The Wabbit was in no mood for idle chitter-chatter and he breathed a sigh. "Please come to the point." The campesino took the cigarette from his mouth. "Come back and see me when I'm open and I'll advise you of an adventure you might have. I'll sell you a lotto ticket too." The Wabbit brightened. In the summer, he'd bought a lotto ticket on a whim and won a hundred euro. Then he'd bought another and won a thousand. He shrugged. "When I come back, the shop will be open - but you'll be closed." The campesino roared with laughter. "Just listen. Put your paw on the lotto ticket you want. If it's a winner I'll rattle in the wind." The Wabbit grunted and hopped on down the road. "Joke, rattle and roll," he murmured. 

Friday, January 05, 2024

The Wabbit at his Adventure Caffè

The team gathered at a Caffè they knew. But when they arrived it looked different. It was under new management, so they hesitated. "Looks safe," said Wabsworth. The Wabbit nodded. It was near various embassies and was likely secure enough. He nodded to an officer from the Carabinieri and received one in return. Skratch rolled up behind them. "What's everyone waiting for? Let's order." Lapinette simpered. "We were waiting on you, Skratch. Tell us what kind of adventure we just had." Skratch miaowed. "Your Lapinette was a real double, otherwise you wouldn't be wearing a version of your dress. Most fetching by the way." Lapinette curtsied. The Wabbit frowned. "In that case, the other Lapinette is not a dark and unacceptable part of your ego." "Much too Gothic," chortled Wabsworth. They all laughed. "At a sub- atomic level, atoms and molecules might know their own properties," commented Skratch. "So the other Lapinette knew who she was?" Lapinette was intrigued. "Now that's Gothic," said Wabsworth. Skratch let out a blood curdling growl that astonished passers-by. "The realm of the subatomic may be governed by principles that are not unlike semiotic ones." The Wabbit leaned forward. "The other Lapinette did have quantum coherence. Momentarily frozen and unfrozen in knowing and unknowing." Wabsworth was intrigued. "So where is she now, without her frock." I think she seized the possibility of another frock," purred Skratch. Lapinette's eyes widened to an impossible size. "We shouldn't really give a frock," said the Wabbit, "I'm ordering drinks!"