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.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

2. The Wabbit and the Wet Window

Wabsworth became completely still and the Wabbit looked over his shoulder in case anything was wrong. "Nothing's wrong," said Wabsworth. "I just changed your point of view." The Wabbit put his paw out just in case his fur was wet. But it was bone dry. "I've been experimenting with virtual reality," said Wabsworth. "Good wheeze," shrugged the Wabbit; "So what about some water?" Wabsworth's circuits whirred momentarily. The air became distinctly damp. "That's as far as I got there," apologised Wabsworth. He paused. "It gives you a point of view change in the physical sense, but not in the existential sense." The Wabbit breathed a sigh of relief.  "OK, I had enough wet for now." "I'll turn it off," said Wabsworth. His circuits whirred again but nothing happened. Wabsworth made several unsuccessful attempts. "We're stuck in the rain," grumbled Wabsworth. "Maybe we should sing," quipped the Wabbit. They sang several verses of Singing in the Rain but the wet was still with them. "Maybe the desert will work," said Wabsworth. His circuits whirred alarmingly and there was smell of burning metal. Now it was very hot but the wet remained. "This is like Panama when the rain stops," moaned the Wabbit. "I'm still in the trial stage," said Wabsworth. The Wabbit nodded gravely. "We could try an existentialist change," suggested Wabsworth. The Wabbit shook his head vigorously but Wabsworth pretended not to notice. "Angst or absurdity," queried Wabsworth. "I already do both," groaned the Wabbit.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

1. The Wabbit and his Point of View

Wabsworth bumped into the Wabbit by a corridor window in the Department of Wabbit Affairs.  Wabsworth started as an exact android copy of the Wabbit - but time had elapsed. Now he was very much his own android and knew all the Wabbit's faces. Some of them Wabsworth was born with, some of them he'd copied and some of them he'd adapted. But this was an expression he couldn't do a thing with. "Penny for them?" he asked, touching the Wabbit's shoulder. He tried to hide a smile but the Wabbit half grinned. "I'm looking for a window of opportunity." Wabsworth shrugged and then turned theatrically to squint out the window. "They should replace this glass." The Wabbit was horrified. "It's sixteenth century!"  Wabsworth looked again and nodded gravely. "Yes, yes of course. It does offer a different perspective." With their noses pressed to glass they both squinted out. A few moments elapsed. "Can't make out a thing," said the Wabbit. "Neither can I," said Wabsworth.  The Wabbit shook his head like a donkey and murmured; "Now I can see your point of view." They stood in silence for a while. Voices echoed in the corridor. Traffic noise found its way through the glass. "Maybe I lost my point of view," said the Wabbit. "Maybe it's only mislaid," commented Wabsworth. "Maybe it's gone forever," answered the Wabbit. Wabsworth's processors searched quietly and then he poked the Wabbit in the ribs. "Maybe I still have a copy."

Monday, August 20, 2018

The Wabbit at his Adventure Caffè

The team gathered at the Safe House. It was medieval and seemed the most appropriate place. Skratch was well in character, purring and waving both paws at the table for attention. "Ariel, bring a corollary rather than want a spirit!" "Oooh, am I Ariel?" Lapinette lips puckered and she made a pert face. "You're Miranda," said Wabsworth, "and since I am closest, I must be Ariel." "I'm not sure who I am," murmured the Wabbit. Lapinette laughed. "Don't be so stodgy, Wabbit. Maybe you're the rainbow-bearing messenger sent by Juno." Now the Wabbit cheered up. "Then I'll get the drinks in!" He made to get up for the kitchen, but Skratch stopped him. "First Wabbit, tell us what was that for a sort of Adventure." "Postmodern," shrugged the Wabbit. "He says that about everything," laughed Lapinette. "It was a pastiche of two forms, the latter an adaptation of the former," said Wabsworth. "That is indeed postmodern." Wabsworth's voice was firm. He glanced at the kitchens and held up a paw. Four drinks arrived. The Wabbit grinned and sat down. "It's sour wine and mead, flavoured with honey," smiled Wabsworth. The Wabbit rose again and disappeared to the kitchen. "It's prosecco," whispered Wabsworth. They all laughed as the Wabbit returned with four glasses which he placed on the table. The Wabbit winked at Wabsworth, tossed back his drink and smacked his lips. "Cool clear water!"
["Ariel, bring a corollary rather than want a spirit!" Corollary: The Tempest. Act 4 Scene 1.  a redundancy, a supplement. ]

Thursday, August 16, 2018

9. The Wabbit and the Dream Manifest

"Wabbit, Wabbit! Wake up!" The Wabbit had been asleep for some time. His eyes were glazed and his mumbling incoherent. Lapinette shook him. He snored heavily. His chuntering at the end of each snore shook the papers on the desk. Lapinette leaned to hear. "Full fathom five, the Wabbit lies." murmured the Wabbit. Lapinette shook him more vigorously. He started to growl. "Be not afeard, the isle of full of robots." He sat up suddenly and looked around but just as quickly lapsed into sleep. Lapinette gave him a vicious dig in the ribs. "Ah woo, hoo," spluttered the Wabbit. His mouth tasted of brine so he scowled and complained. "I'm all pins and needles. It was the icy water." Lapinette folded her paws. "Wabbit! Have you been drinking?" The Wabbit shook his head. "I was rescued from a moving island." "You were snoring," said Lapinette. "Who me?" said the Wabbit, "I never snore." "Yes, you make enormous snores," said Lapinette, "and there's meaning in them." The Wabbit considered for a moment, then lifted the page of the Tempest that had fallen from the tome. Lapinette looked at it and smiled. "So did you find your inner self?" The Wabbit looked rueful and shrugged. "Nearly."

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

8. The Wabbit and the Savage Waves

A storm forced the Unut to move away from the island and the Wabbit was cut off. The island was still moving and massive rocks smashed together like gravel in a mixer. The sea rose above the Wabbit's legs. There was only one thing to do. "I have to swim for it," thought the Wabbit. He hadn't a clue where "it" was, but he dived in and started to swim like marsh rabbit. The water was icy and quickly numbed every bone in his body. His brain swam. He began to see a hazy picture of himself on a beach on the Caribbean eating a salad sandwich. The picture cleared and he spotted a waiter dressed as a plesiosaur arriving with beer. The waiter shouted something again and again. He strained to hear it. "Wabbit, Wabbit. Wake up!" Spray hit his head. He blinked water from his eyes and clung onto the waves. "Nessie!" he spluttered. The Wabbit coughed sea from his lungs as he lunged onto a large breaker that rose to meet Nessie's mouth. Now he was hanging by his fur from Nessie's teeth. "Hold yer nose," said Nessie with a muffled voice. The plesiosaur plunge took the Wabbit by surprise. Water rushed past at an alarming rate - then he burst from the surface of calm waters. The Lepus and the Unut floated on a mirror of antique blue. "My ships came in," murmured the Wabbit as he passed out.

Friday, August 10, 2018

7.The Wabbit and the Uncertain Welcome

An inner voice told the Wabbit to venture alone to the final island. He hopped from rock to rock across the brine, looking into every crevice, until he heard a voice calling from the cliff. "Hail, Captain of the storm-tossed ship." A ghostly voice sang a mournful tune and a specter wailed its way from the depths. "Hell is empty," it moaned, "and all the devils are here." "You devils look familiar," murmured the Wabbit. Waves smashed against the promontory and soaked the Wabbit's fur. "We take the shape you choose," said a figure on the rocks, "What message do you bring?" The Wabbit thought for a second and then shrugged. "I am the only message." The specter hung in the air and wailed long it set the Wabbit's teeth on edge. "What ails thee, specter?" asked the Wabbit. "Nothing ails me but the lack of it," moaned the specter. It sank beneath the waves only to surface close to the Wabbit. "Who are you?" said the Wabbit. His question was sudden and commanding. The figure on the rocks leaned down until he nearly reached the sea. "We are remnants, deserted and forgotten. We wait to be set free." The Wabbit grinned. "Thou shalt have freedom yet. Freedom is for the taking." "Then take us with you," said the figure. The Wabbit beckoned in welcome - but at that moment, both figure and specter faded until only waves remained.

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

6. The Wabbit and the Premised Tempest

The sea had looked like a mirror but a storm blew in suddenly from the east and lashed the Unut like a thousand whips. The sky grew black. Lightning coursed along the surface and flickered up the hull. The Unut was 10,000 tons and more but the sea tossed it up and down like a cork. The Wabbit strolled calmly along the deck and anchored himself to a rail. Lapinette scurried out and did the same. They peered into the distance. "It's good to mess about with boats," smiled the Wabbit. Lapinette thought of the pedalos in the park. "Adventure in the open air," she gasped. Her stomach lurched but her eyes swept the horizon nonetheless. "What's that?" "Something that shouldn't be there," muttered the Wabbit, "Dead slow." signalled Lapinette. But the Unut was already slowing to a standstill. Three islands shrouded in a soaking mist danced in the sea. "Dead slow ahead," signalled the Wabbit. The Unut moved forward. So did the islands. They're floating," gasped Lapinette. The wind roared and tore at their fur, snatching their voices and returning them mangled. "A plague on this howling," shouted Lapinette." "I've no mind to sink!" yelled the Wabbit, "Full ahead!" The islands pulled away and parted. as the vast bulk of the destroyer tore a path through the perilous waters. The Wabbit grimaced at the sea. "Parting is such sweet sorrow."

Sunday, August 05, 2018

5. The Lepus and the Mysterious Island

Captain Jenny was first to report the sighting of a likely island. But there was nothing there. Not a seagull, not a gannet, not even a crab. "Curious," thought Jenny. "Hail the island," she shouted. The Lepus let out three klaxon blasts, loud enough to wake the dead. The island remained still as the Lepus circled. Jenny considered a landing party but something made her draw back. "Move away," she ordered. The Lepus moved out a few metres but stopped. Propellers thrashed in an unyielding sea that clutched the Lepus in a grip of steel. Engines died. The breeze stopped and the flag hung limp. The Lepus pitched lazily up and down like a fishing fly. Jenny picked up the radio but it was dead. Only then did she feel a tug from below that dragged the Lepus close to the rocks that surrounded the island. She tried to compensate but it was useless. Then she felt a push in the opposite direction - it was a bit stronger than the pull. Jenny saw water thresh around a large hump, which lay close against the hull. Now a steady force pushed the Lepus sideways out to sea until it was some distance from the island. Only then did Nessie's head break the surface to an ear-splitting cheer from the crew. "Nae problem," said Nessie.
[Nae (Scottish dialect) :  No]