Monday, September 01, 2014

The Wabbit and the Parakalo Bird

Lapinette was relieved to drive from the ramp of the big ferry. The Wabbit was not happy sailing on a ship if he wasn't in charge and she had twice prevented him from interfering. It was extremely hot on the island and the jeep's temperature gauge looked alarmingly high. So Lapinette paused on the dock for a moment and the Wabbit hopped out to check. "Parakalo," said a voice. Lapinette glanced to her left and saw a large white bird made of stone. The Wabbit looked up. "In what sense?" he asked politely. "In a welcoming, hospitable sense,” said the bird, "may I help you in any way?" "We're on vacation," said Lapinette. "My name is Lapinette and this is Commander Wabbit. He is required to relax, rest and generally chill out." Perfect,” said the bird. "I will accompany you." "We couldn’t possibly impose," smiled Lapinette. "It is our custom," responded the bird and he made a soft cooing sound. "I will improve my language skills." Lapinette doubted that listening to the Wabbit would improve anyone’s language skills, but she nodded agreeably. The Wabbit nodded too. "Parakalo," he murmured. "How do you know my name?" asked the bird. "Lucky guess," grinned the Wabbit.

[Parakalo: Greek, roughly “please,” but it has a variety of meanings in polite conversation, depending on context.]

Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Wabbit and the Guidance of Unut

"Commander!" said Unut sternly. The Wabbit wished he hadn't accepted coffee because his paws trembled as they often did when he met the Rabbit Goddess. "Commander, you did well. You drew out the MacDrabs and eliminated them." Now the Wabbit was surprised, because he was expecting just a little trouble. "All in a year's work," he smiled. "You're not finished," said Unut, "but I wish to thank Duetta Spyder for performing her appropriate historical role." Duetta rustled her legs silkily. "Whit aboot me?" asked Stone. "Whit aboot ye?" replied Unut. "Have ah tae hing aboot wae the Wabbit?" "For now," said Unut. Stone was about to say "Great!" but he thought better of it. "Ah suppose ah'll hae tae thole it." he moaned. "There's more work to do," said Unut, "and you Stone, will work with the Wabbit and his team." "Jings" said Stone. Unut turned to the Wabbit. "But first Commander, you clearly need a vacation." The Wabbit's eyes lit up. "You're off to Greece." "Greece?" replied the Wabbit. "Take the Lovely Lapinette," said Unut. "Skratch the Cat and Rabbit Jenny will go with you to ensure you take a rest." Oh, OK," sulked the Wabbit. "You'll need the Jeeps," said Unut. "I'm sending you somewhere remote and roads can be rough." "OK OK," said the Wabbit. Unut frowned. "One more thing, Commander." The Wabbit cringed. "No adventures," smiled Unut.
[Jings: Scottish expression, popularised by cartoon character Oor Wullie (Our William) in the Sunday Post newspaper No translation. Hing aboot: Hang about. Ah'll hae tae thole it:  I have no option but to tolerate it.]

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Wabbit and the Stone Alliance

The Wabbit convened a special meeting with Stone and Marshall Duetta Spyder before their audience with Unut in the Dark Basement of the Goddesses. "I need to clear something up," said the Wabbit." "Go ahead, Sonny," said Stone. "You ask away." "You two already know each other?" "Aye we do," said Duetta. The Wabbit looked puzzled, so Duetta went on silkily. "I am the direct descendant of a famous Spider." The Wabbit still looked puzzled. "Roberto Il Bruce!" sighed Duetta. Stone watched as the Wabbit's brain whirred. "The King of Scotland?" he exclaimed. Stone let the Wabbit off the hook. "Bruce had been defeated and his armies scattered." Now Duetta continued. "But in his refuge, a cave, he was inspired by a spider who's endurance was unlimited." Stone laughed with delight. "The spider tried seven times to make her web but eventually she did it." The Wabbit grinned because now he remembered the legend - so he finished the story himself. "Bruce returned to the fray and chased the foreign army away." "That's how we know of each other," said Stone. "I'm the original Stone. I wasn't stolen by the scunner Edward. I was in that cave with Bruce and the spider." The Wabbit threw his head back, laughing with delight. "Sounds like a great film," he smiled. "Stoneheart!" said Stone. "Braveweb," said Duetta. The Wabbit shook his head, amazed. "That chasm on Wablantis is really Bruce's cave?" "And ye took yer time getting there, Sonny" said Stone. "Aye!" said the Wabbit

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Wabbit's Big Adventure Caffè

It had been a long adventure. Now the team assembled at a special venue for preprandials. The Wabbit and Skratch the Cat arrived late at the very same moment. "Whit was that for a kind of adventure?" laughed Stone. Skratch addressed the Wabbit directly. "It was complete excess," said Skratch. "A diabolical cross between Visconti and Spielberg." The Wabbit looked chirpy and reached for his glass. "It was colourful, eventful and ultimately far too long," added Lapinette. The Wabbit's face fell. "It was the explosives," he murmured to no one in particular. "Don't worry about it, Sonny," said Stone. "It might have featured a lonely stone struggling for survival in a Scottish village." "In 1945," said Wabsworth dreamily. He was nestling in the corner nursing a glass of rum, feeling cosy. "We had more battles than Braveheart," laughed Jenny. Now the Wabbit laughed. "I thought I was in trouble," he smiled. "You are," glared Lapinette. "The damage cost plenty, Wabbit." "Take it out my Dinosaur Fund," suggested the Wabbit. "Not enough," said Lapinette. "Via Arsenale Sports and Social Fund?" "Hardly," said Lapinette. Stone raised his voice. "Dinna fash yersel*. I have enough in gilts, Sonny," Lapinette looked inquisitive. "When do the gilts expire?" asked the Wabbit. "They're from 1694, they're in perpetuity," said Stone. "Endless!" said the Wabbit. "Like my love for you, Lapinette."
[Dinna fash yersel: Don't get worked up, don't bother about it.]

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Wabbit and the Big Kaboom

The Wabbit and his team ran for their lives. It was the fastest they had ever ran and that was a good thing. From behind there came a low rumbling sound, then several cracks, then a mighty explosion that sent a shower of MacDrabs high above the city. All became still and they started to slow. "Keep running," yelled the Wabbit. A series of smaller booms shook buildings, then lights in the area flickered and died. "Whit on earth did ye put in the fake stones?" shouted Stone. "CL20," shrugged the Wabbit. "He usually uses C4," yelled Lapinette. "I got it sale or return," yelled Skratch. "It was a bargain buy." "That was a sledgehammer to crack a nut, Wabbit," panted Jenny. Lapinette found time to turn. "And it's going to cost us," she shouted. The Wabbit finally stopped. They turned to look back and a crimson red sky lit their faces. "Worth it," murmured the Wabbit. "Too much damage," stated Jenny sternly. "Urban redevelopment?" suggested the Wabbit meekly. No-one spoke. The temporary silence was only broken by the sound of falling debris. "The job is done," said Stone. "Unless ye have any more enemies in your fur." "Who's buying the aperitivi?" laughed Skratch. "Now that it's all over," said the Wabbit, "I think it's my turn. "All over bar the shouting," sighed Lapinette who was making a rough calculation of the damage. "I'll cover for Attila the Hun here," smiled Stone. "I think this one's my shout."
[It's my shout: I am paying the cost (usually for drinks/meal]

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Wabbit and the Droning Stone

The MacDrabs pricked up their ears as they became aware of droning behind the screen. It got louder and louder and louder. Suddenly there was a tune and the MacDrabs swung to their left as the Wabbit and Skratch the Cat marched into the hall playing bagpipes. But they were so intent on watching that they missed Stone as he burst through the screen. "Heuch!" he shouted. "Heuch!" shouted Lapinette and Pirate Jenny and they flung their arms in the air and danced. "Sae glad yer a' here," shouted the Stone and he pirouetted around. Now the MacDrabs were angry. "We've come to get ye," they screamed. "You've a' got yer ain stanes," said Stone." "You're the one," shouted the leader. "Get him!" But they couldn't move. Stone floated gently to the floor and the bagpipes stopped dead. "Try and let go of your stones, MacDrabs." Stone's laugh menaced the silence. The MacDrabs shook their paws frantically, but they were stuck fast. No matter how hard they tried to break away, they could only tighten their grip. And the stones were getting hot. "Kin ye hear that wee noise, Sonny?" smiled Stone to the Wabbit. The Wabbit listened and ostentatiously fiddled with his chanter. Then he shook his head and turned. "Is that ticking noise coming from your tuning pins, Skratch?" Skratch wagged a paw of dismissal. "Evacuate!" yelled the Wabbit.
(1) Sae glad yer a' here: I'm so pleased to see you all here. (2) You've a' got yer ain stanes: You have stones of your own.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Lapinette and the Negative Surprise

Lapinette rapped her paw on the table and called for attention. "What about our investment?" shouted a Drab. "What about it?" said Lapinette calmly and waving him aside, continued. "I'd ask you to approve the minutes of the last meeting, but none of you were here." "Formally proposed and signed as a correct record," said Jenny. Lapinette inclined her head. "Next business. I'm pleased to inform you that our scheme is in the top 99 per cent of companies." A murmuring of approval echoed round the hall. "However ..."  said Lapinette. A pregnant pause caused Drabs to move uneasily. Lapinette smiled the sweetest of smiles. "Our business was affected by circumstances beyond our control." "What things?" said a Drab. "Global warming," said Jenny. Lapinette went on. "This experience has better prepared us for the future." "It's a fantastic learning curve," said Jenny. "We're leaner but fitter," smiled Lapinette. A leading Drab stepped forward. "That's all very well, but we're interested in a serious acquisition." "Do continue," said Lapinette. "We bought all the Stones," sighed the Drab, "but we wanted a niche Stone." "Do you mean the original Stone from which all your Stones were struck?" asked Lapinette. The Drabs nodded and Lapinette grinned. "Then I have a big surprise for you." "By special arrangement with Wabbit Biscuit International!" yelled Jenny. Lapinette glanced behind the screen. "I bring you the one and only, True and Original Stane ...!"

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Wabbit and Lapinette's Meeting

"Welcome," said Lapinette from the top of the stairs. "Welcome to an Extraordinary Meeting of the Stone Investment Scheme." "Entrance by Stone only," said Jenny. "Please display a Stone at all times." The Drab at the front gazed at Jenny and tried to snarl a bit, but it came out as a snuffle. "We heard there were more profits." "There certainly are," said Lapinette breezily. "Much, much more than in any previous year." The news filtered down the queue where the Wabbit and Skratch were watching arrivals through a stairs window. "There were no previous years," laughed Skratch. "She's good, isn't she?" smirked the Wabbit. Captain Jenny nodded to all the investors. "Please make your way to the Grand Hall, where refreshments are offered." The queue murmured so Lapinette waved for attention. "These are supplied at no cost by Wabbit Biscuit International." "The company is testing a new line of aperitivo flavoured shortbread." added Jenny. "Please note your comments on the feedback forms provided." "But some Drabs are without Stones," moaned a Drab. "Their funds are drying up." "We forecast this eventuality," nodded Lapinette. Jenny rocked back and forth. "Invest some of your earnings with fellow Drabs who are short." "It's for the Common Good," smiled Lapinette. "And we do have a limited number of extra Stones available," said Jenny. The Wabbit laughed quietly. "Only a Stone's throw away," he whispered.

Friday, August 08, 2014

The Wabbit & the Station with No Exit

Quantum the Time Travelling Train brought everyone to Porta Susa, but he was grumbling. "I can never find my way around this station." "The Wabbit sensed irony. "Don't worry," he said, "neither can anyone else." Skratch the Cat hopped onto Quantum's footplate and carried out basic maintenance, while the team planned the next move. "How many Stone investments have been made so far?" asked the Wabbit. "About sixty four," answered Skratch, "we can't keep up with demand." "Skim anything off the top?" asked the Wabbit. "Just expenses." "Then lodge it in the Dinosaur Fund," said Wabsworth, "we may need more copies of the Stone." "But what happens next?" asked Lapinette. "We call a special investors' meeting," said Jenny the Pirate. "We imply extra profits." "Admission is granted to putative investors," continued Skratch, "so all the MacDrabs have to attend." Lapinette looked around and pointed into the distance "I can see MacDrabs over there." "They're lost," said the Wabbit. Jenny laughed. "We'll help them find a way out." "Sonny," said Stone. "Once we get them together in the meeting, what happens?" "Apologies for absence," said the Wabbit. "Then minutes of the last meeting, then ... a Negative Earnings Surprise." His eyes twinkled and he laughed. "Then and only then do we reach Any Other Business." Lapinette raised an eye. "Is there any?" "Yes," smiled the Wabbit. "Kaboom!"

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

The Wabbit and the Space Aftermath

Quantum hung in space while the Wabbit and Wabsworth monitored the routing of the MacDrab forces. It was a swift affair without mercy and Wabsworth shuddered. "That felt unpleasant," he said. "War is Hell," said the Wabbit. "But I thought you were an android." "I'm trying to be more of an individual," said Wabsworth. "Is there anything more difficult?" "Being a character," shrugged the Wabbit. He gestured towards Marshall Duetta Spyder as she loomed up to the windscreen bearing the Stone. The radio crackled. "What next Commander?" Duetta had the silkiest of voices, but the Wabbit knew it wouldn't do to be fooled by sounds and appearances. "What about the MacDrabs?" he asked sharply. "All we could find are gone," said Duetta, "but under interrogation, a captive mentioned a Drab team operating Earthside." The Wabbit thought about his own team and the counterfeit Stones trick. "We'd better get back. Jump in Stone!" Stone did not comply. "I thought I'd return with Duetta Spyder," he said. "You'll be safer here," said the Wabbit. The Stone weaved up and down in his own particular manner. "Since I came under your protection, sonny, I've been attacked by every enemy with availability." "Join up with the Wabbit," smiled the Wabbit, "meet interesting creatures." "And give 'em grief!" said Wabsworth.

Monday, August 04, 2014

Lapinette & the Pyramid Sales Venture

"There are our marks!" whispered Skratch.  Lapinette smiled sweetly, picked up a Stone and hopped forward. "We are the Drabs of Clan MacDrab," said the creatures. "I'm Ponzi" giggled Lapinette. The Drabs considered, "We are interested in buying your Stones." Skratch, Jenny and Lapinette all shook their heads.  "Fortunately for you, you can't buy a Stone," said Jenny. "You can only buy into the Stone Investment Club." The Drabs were far from happy and grumbled noisily, so Skratch interrupted. "When more investors invest, you will receive a Stone as a gift." "And a lot of money," gurgled Lapinette, "you can't lose, look at me, my pockets are overflowing with cash." "We don't want money, we want the Stone ... I mean Stones," said the leading Drab. Jenny rocked back and forth in her most pirate fashion and guffawed. "With money you can get as many Stones as you desire!" "How much would it take to buy you out?" said the Drabs. "What, the whole lot?" asked Skratch. "That would ruin our business and spoil our fun." With a hop skip and a jump Lapinette darted to the rear of the Drabs and collected investments. Money came in quickly and she returned to her friends. Solemnly she handed €8000 to the Drab leader and lifted the first Stone. "This is your Stone, which may not be resold." "I want more Stones," said the Drab. "Then find more investors," said Jenny." "How many?" asked the Drab. "Everybody," said Lapinette. "Everybody must get Stones."

Friday, August 01, 2014

The Wabbit, Stone & Dark Dark Space

The instant Stone stepped outside Quantum the Train, there was a bright flash and he split into a multitude of identical Stones. Lining up behind him, the Stones ground against each other and chanted as they faced the Drabs. The Wabbit could hear it. He glanced at Wabsworth and said, "Sound doesn't travel in Space." "You could have fooled me," said Wabsworth, "it makes my fur stand on end." "Shh. They're going to talk," said the Wabbit and he peered out. "MacDrabs!" shouted Stone. "Away hame to yer mithers!" The MacDrabs made a sound like bagpipes deflating in a hall. "You're coming with us, we've a wee surprise for you." "The winds gone out of ye," shouted Stone. "Ye couldnae surprise a target in a fairground." Now the Drabs' sound became a piercing whine as they advanced towards the Stones. "Nae further!" shouted Stone. "And look behind you, by the way." "Did you think we'd fall for that old trick?" sneered the MacDrab leader. As the Wabbit watched from Quantum's windscreen the radio burst into life and crackled with signals - but they weren't for the Wabbit. "Stone to Marshall Duetta Spyder, copy?" A sea of red spiders appeared from each corner of space. The radio hissed and Duetta's silky voice answered. "Orders?" "Cut them off from their ship," said Stone. "Scatter them and pursue them until they drop." "And then?" said Duetta. "Finish them," said Stone ...
[Away hame to yer mithers (Scottish, derisive): Run directly home to your mothers' protection.]

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Wabbit and the Clan MacDrab

"Who are they?" asked the Wabbit. Creatures loomed at the windows of Quantum's restaurant car and peered in with sharp eyes. "These are the Drabs of Clan MacDrab," said Stone. "I've never heard of them," said Wabsworth. "There are more creatures in heaven and earth, undreamt of by androids," said Stone. They watched as Drabs pressed their granite grey faces against the windows. "I don't like the look of them, Stone," said the Wabbit. The Stone began to vibrate slightly. "They're so dreary and hostile they were banished," he hissed. "It didn't work," said the Wabbit, glancing out. "Well I'm gonnie deal wae them now," said Stone. The Wabbit shook his head vigorously. "No can do!" But Stone glowed a pale blue colour that gradually darkened. "I outrank you, sonny." The Wabbit shook his head again. "I just can't allow it." Now Stone was getting bigger. "I'm going outside," he said. "Ah know whit I'm doing." Now the Wabbit pricked up his ears because he could hear a scraping along the carriage that set his teeth on edge. "OK, what's your plan?" he sighed. "It's them or us," said Stone, "so I'm going to send them to a greyer place." "You'll need a helping paw," said Wabsworth. "Don't worry," snarled Stone. "I'll grind them finer than space dust."

Monday, July 28, 2014

Jenny, Skratch and the Pyramid Trick

In Turin, the fake Stones were taken to the market in a borrowed truck. "We have to put up a show, Skratch," said Jenny. Skratch had been a Cat Burglar and knew a few tricks. "I think I can manage!" he laughed. But Jenny was a pirate and tricks were her stock and trade. "I propose we don't sell the Stones at all." Skratch looked puzzled. She put down her stone and rocked back and forth like a pirate. "Clients have to buy into our scheme." Her eyes twinkled. "They don't buy the Stone?" asked Skratch. "No," said Jenny, "Someone pays us €1000 to be a Member of the Stone Club." "What next?" said Skratch - although he knew what was coming. Jenny swayed. "When they bring us 8 more paying members, they receive a Stone as a gift and €8000." "Ah," said Skratch, "Each of these new members recruit another 8 members," said Jenny, "at which point they receive a gift and money." "Most profitable," said Skratch, "but this system is doomed to collapse." "I know," smiled Jenny. "It will last long enough to spot the enemy." "How will we recognise them?" asked Skratch. "They'll know the trick," said Jenny, "and they'll try to trick us." "No-one can trick us," said Skratch smugly. "Then we pounce," said Jenny. Skratch threw back his head and laughed. "We need our shill," said Jenny. Skratch saw Lapinette come round the corner and nudged Jenny. "Here she is now." "Ahaaahrr there, young rabbit," said Jenny. "Wanna be a member?"
[shill: an accomplice of a confidence trickster who poses as a genuine customer to entice others]

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Wabbit and Singing the Stone

Leaving Skratch and Rabbit Jenny to trade decoy stones, the Wabbit and Wabsworth flew out with the real Stone on board Quantum, the Time Travelling Train. "Ooooh, this is braw" said Stone as he stared out into space. "Shall we sing?" said Quantum, "we always sing." The Wabbit nudged Wabsworth because he knew Quantum was referring to the two occasions it had actually happened. "You start, Wabwsorth," he smiled. Wabsworth put a paw over one ear and adopted a nasally folk voice. "Oh, I tell you a story of a powerful State/ but over the years it just wisnae so great/ It got down on its knees and it started to pray/ For the Stane that it needed was stolen away." "Too-ra-loo," sang the Wabbit. "Too-ra-lay," sang Quantum. "Wi’ a too-ra-li-oo-ra-li-oo-ra-li-ay" sang the Stone. Everyone laughed with delight. "Hang on," said the Wabbit as the radio hummed. "There's something on sub-space." "I'll try to get a better fix," said Wabsworth. The cabin echoed to strange syllables but they listened intently. "This is KOI-3284.01," said a voice. "Speak," said the Wabbit. "Our homeworld is the Planet of the Stones. You are singing our anthem." "Oh yes," growled the Wabbit suspiciously. "Then sing me some more." An instrument played notes they had never heard before and then a deep voice sang. "There's none here with courage to challenge your claim/ that you have the true and original Stane." "Red alert," said the Wabbit.
[braw: adj. Scots, fine, excellent.]