Monday, September 21, 2020

1. The Wabbit at the Coffee Exhibition

 

The Wabbit wandered through the coffee exhibition. His favourite coffee, Lavazza. had opened a museum and somehow failed to tell him. The Wabbit hid his annoyance. It was enough that the thing was open and he could go. So he crept in one day, completely incognito. He was early - and there was no-one around except for the person on the door. The Wabbit flipped his carefully shielded travel card. "Museum Inspectorate," he snapped, "and it had better be good." The door person smiled. "You're very welcome Commander Wabbit, this is our first day." The Wabbit had been rumbled. "Something leaked," he grumbled to himself. Anyway, he ambled around the exhibits. There was a history of coffee, and a story of the world famous Luigi and how he came to found the famous coffee company. All that he took with a pinch of salt. "No-one could possibly be called Luigi Lavazza," he said to himself, "they have to be making it up."  He hopped on through the exhibits and was pleased to see the famous cartoons who had advertised Lavazza through the years. He nodded approvingly and he used his interactive coffee cup to get his extra content. All he had to do was place his expresso cup on the designated spot - and the spot lit up and spoke about this and that. "Splendid idea!" he said and made a note in his log. The Wabbit lounged on the sofas and sat on the seats and everything was going well - as well as could be expected from a visit from the Wabbit. Until he rounded a corner and saw it. It was a space-going coffee machine. The Wabbit couldn't believe his eyes and he wanted it immediately .... 

Friday, September 18, 2020

The Wabbit at his Adventure Caffe

 

"Everyone is late," said the Wabbit. "No, they're not," said Lapinette, "here they come now." The Wabbit still had a grumbly face. "OK," he said. Skratch meaowed into sight. "Hello," he said, "is this the place?" The Wabbit was still annoyed. "Yes," he said, I suppose it will do." "It looks fine," said Wabsworth looming up from the back. "Yes," said the Wabbit again. "So what was that for a sort of adventure we had." Skratch was ready. "It was a standard linear plot," he said, "unusual only from the point of view of the characters." Lapinette smiled. "I suppose the flights for small mammals, was unusual." Skratch drew himself up to his full height. "Deep focus, objective reality and a relative lack of montage suggest that the whole thing should be left to the spectator." Lapinette scoffed. "We really can't have that, Skratch." The Wabbit was still in a bad mood. "The spectator can very well get on with it and do no work at all." Wabsworth butted in from the back. "I'm inclined to agree, Wabbit. "The spectator is left in a state of dominant specularity. The spectator has to do a bit of work - otherwise what's left." Skratch was in a state of delirium. "The complexity of reality is enough,"  he said, "otherwise we're left with overwrought formalist mediation." "What do you say to a drink," said the Wabbit. "Or is that standing in the way of the impasse of the ideological?" Skratch laughed and laughed. "Are we feeling a little tetchy today, Wabbit." Lapinette laughed too. "The Wabbit is suggesting a quasi-mystical relationship between our narrative and objective reality." "Which is four aperitivi and a packet of crisps," said Wabsworth.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

8. Skratch, Wabsworth and the Prisoner

Skratch and Wabsworth guided the prisoner along the street. He was without handcuffs so as not to alarm the population. "You've been a very bad boy indeed," said Skratch. "Killing people is wrong," said Wabsworth, "even if they're in front of you at conferences." The prisoner failed to comment, but he looked at Skratch with baleful eyes. Finally he spoke. "Where are you taking me?" Skratch replied. "Taking you to the prison place, where you will be held indefinitely without trial until the end of time." The prisoner's eyes went glazed. "Just joking," meaowed Skratch. Wabsworth butted in. "You will get to choose life imprisonment or a free existence on an inhospitable planet of our choice, somewhere in the Sombrero Galaxy." The prisoner showed little hesitation. "The second," he said. Wabsworth shook his head. "It's very, very cold." The prisoner cried out, "But I'll be free." Skratch couldn't help adding some more information. "There are dinosaurs and evil flesh sucking voles," he said, "who will make your life difficult." The prisoner turned to Skratch. "I'll take my chances." Wabsworth chucked grimly. "You haven't heard everything. Every day there is a mist that sweeps in and changes your personality" Skratch gave a hiss. "Shouldn't change you much at all, except for the paranoia." The prisoner looked quite cheered. "All in all it doesn't sound so bad." Wabsworth laughed. "You are probably unaware of the Wabbit's frequent prison visits and correctional programme?" The prisoner looked tentative. "He talks for days and days, "said Skratch. "On and on and on."

Sunday, September 13, 2020

7. Flights for Small Mammals Conference

The Wabbit took his place at introduction of the Small Mammals Conference. A last-minute change to the timetable made him the target for the Murderer but he proposed to enjoy it nevertheless. "Small mammals of all kinds," he began. "For too long we have endured poor conditions in planes." There was a murmuring of agreement. "Cooped up in baskets, placed in holds - all manner of ignominy has been placed upon our shoulders." He looked around the conference. "This conference today signifies our unwillingness to endure this current treatment." There was a scuffle from the wings. The Wabbit carried on. "Today we legitimately ask, nay demand better treatment." Lapinette jumped up from the front row and pushed the Wabbit to the side, waving her automatic. "Stop right there," she shouted. You're under arrest." A figure emerged and he had a gun that pointed directly at the Wabbit. "You took the place that is legitimately mine," he yelled. "Stand down and give it to me." Lapinette yelled back. "Your place is at the back, where you belong." Creeping up behind the armed intruder were Skratch and Wabsworth, but the intruder was too intent on his task to see them. "I demand my rightful place, I am the authority on this subject, I am the one who should speak first," he shouted. Skratch took the revolver away with ease and Wabsworth handcuffed him. "Should I carry on?" asked the Wabbit. "You may as well," said Lapinette, "You seem to have the measure of it." And the Wabbit did, until he was asked to stop ...

Monday, September 07, 2020

6. The Wabbit and the Speaker List

The Wabbit met Lapinette at Lingotto. For security reasons they met in the children's section since there was never many people there. "What have you discovered, Wabbit?" breathed Lapinette. "Quite a lot," he replied. He was still clutching the guest book and he waved it. "I believe the answer is in here," He gave the book to Lapinette, who leafed quickly through the pages. "Have you ever heard of Bunk MacBatfit?" Lapinette shook her head.  "Can't say I have." The Wabbit paused. "Bunk is an authority on Flights for Small Mammals - but he likes to be first," Lapinette looked blank. The Wabbit's voice was harsh. "He likes to be first in everything he does." He paused. "Have a look at the speaker list." Lapinette read the first few pages. "He's not there." The Wabbit continued. "He's on the guest list but he's not speaking," Lapinette gasped. "He must be furious." "Furious enough to kill," said the Wabbit. Lapinette rocked backwards. "He'd kill to be first to speak!"  The Wabbit nodded. "I have a plan. Do you have any sway with the organisers?" Lapinette nodded too. "Can you get me on to the speakers list to speak first," said the Wabbit. "You're going to be bait," said Lapinette. "I'm the master of bait," replied the Wabbit, "so leave the changes until the last minute." Lapinette was cautious. "I'd better get Skratch and Wabsworth onto this. They can pass as small mammals, can't they?" The Wabbit looked sceptical. "They have to look dull." Lapinette laughed. "Anything's possible."

Friday, September 04, 2020

5. The Wabbit and the Sudden Attack

The Wabbit took a short cut along the side of the market because he wasn't sure when the attack would come. He knew there would be one - but of its exact shape he had no clue. So it wasn't entirely unexpected when it happened. When he saw a red dot appear he shifted like a cheetah running from extinction. He swayed to the left and then to the right, just as a rabbit does. He heard a sharp crack but the bullet went wide and hit the sidewall of the market. There was no second shot. Clearly the attacker had expected an easy hit and had now vanished, Nevertheless, he dropped down on all fours and looked all round for the attacker, but there was no sign, Just the mark of the bullet on the aluminium plate. The guest book was on the ground so he picked it up, shot to the other side of the road and round the corner. Clearly, he was close to the murderer and the murderer wanted the book. He clutched it against his chest and then flicked it open again.  He ran his eyes over the names of the three murdered rabbits and tried to think. The wind rustled the leaves of the book and turned the pages. There on the fourth page was the name of the next speaker at the conference, It leaped out at him. He looked familiar. The Wabbit snapped the book shut and stealthily went on his way. He didn't think the perpetrator would make a second attempt so soon. He was too smart a mammal for that. All the same, the Wabbit thought reinforcements would be a good idea at this stage. Keeping a wary eye open he stuck close to the buildings in the shadows, and made his way across town,

Monday, August 31, 2020

4. The Wabbit and the Hotel's Guest List

The Wabbit made his way to the Hotel Plaza, which was in a part of town he didn't know well. He wanted to ask for the Guest List. He figured all the homicide victims were booked in one hotel and, as it happened, they were. He stood at the desk for a while. No-one came. "This is a fine to-do," he muttered. "I'm not coming here on holiday." He waited and waited. It was absolutely deserted with not a soul around. No waiter passed. No bellboy emerged. But the thing he was looking for was on the desk in front of him. He looked each way, then flicked it open. All the names were there and a few more beside. "Tsk tsk," said the Wabbit. Then in a stentorian tone, he announced his presence. "Commander Wabbit, Department of Wabbit Affairs." No-one emerged. "I'd like to borrow your guest list for the Conference on Flights for Small Mammals," he yelled. Silence. The Wabbit flicked through the contents once more and there was one thing that he found interesting. So he scribbled a receipt, and tucked the book under his fur. Then he hopped down the stairs and out of the building. He made his way to a caffè, where he took another look at the book. "I have to figure the murderer is here," he said to himself. There were a lot of names - experts on this and experts on that.  There were keynote speakers in great number. And there was to be a special welcome by the President of the Chamber of Commerce himself. "Why wasn't I invited?" asked the Wabbit. He mused for a while. The Wabbit disliked conferences intensely, but that didn't stop people inviting him. So he nodded to himself with an impish grin. "I have an idea."

Friday, August 28, 2020

3. The Wabbit and the Naked City

The Wabbit looked out over the city. He often came up here when he needed to think and this was such a time. Two bodies and no clues. Somewhere down there was the answer, but the answer was hiding. He watched buses and trams go about their everyday business and somehow he knew that the murderer was on one of them - going to the next murder probably. This was a headache and no amount of paracetamol would fix it. He mused over the facts. Three bodies made up to look like the agents of Rabit - one killed by hanging and stabbing and the two others were deliberate drownings. According to forensics, the killings were in the night. But a curious fact had come to light. All three were going to the same event, a debate on flight travel for small mammals. The function was to be over the next three days but these rabbits wouldn't make it. There were names on the on the guest list - a Mr A.N. Other, Mr. A. Attendee and a Mr A Newman - all no-shows. The Wabbit grimaced. He could see the venue from his spot on the Mole Tower. What connected them? An esoteric knowledge of small mammal behaviour on planes perhaps? The Wabbit shook his head and tried to think hard. He lifted his radio. "Calling Lovely Lapinette. Come in please." The radio whined and whistled. "Lovely Lapinette here!" The Wabbit thought for another second then, "What do we have on small mammals on planes?" Lovely Lapinette rustled some papers. "Quite a bit as it happens." "Go through the names," said the Wabbit, "and get me any authorities corresponding to initials ANO, AA and AN." Lapinette's voice was sceptical. "When would you like it?" "Yesterday!" smiled the Wabbit.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

2. The Wabbit and the Second Strike

The Wabbit called in Wabsworth and a small forensics team. The team lurched towards their cars with the body, only dropping it twice. This was accompanied by a lot of shouting until the Wabbit looked a back and scowled. "It's a mystery all right," he said to Wabsworth. "He looks like an Agent of Rabit," said Wabsworth. The Wabbit shook his head. "I don't think he is." He told Wabsworth about the note. Wabsworth looked sceptical. "It could be a trick." The Wabbit shook his head again. "Just a feeling." "I don't like it," said Wabsworth, I don't like it one bit." He took out his automatic and rubbed the grip. "I'm expecting trouble and I'm going to be prepared." The Wabbit's radio crackled. It was Lovely Lapinette. "We found a body," she said. "Snap," said the Wabbit. "It looks like an Agent of Rabit," she continued. "So did ours," said the Wabbit. There was silence for a minute until the Wabbit asked, "Where did you find him?" Lapinette's voice was a shrug. "We found him drowned, half in and half out of the water." The Wabbit paused and glanced at Wabsworth, his eyes in the air. "Anything else?" "Yes," said Lapinette, "There was a note." The Wabbit heaved a sigh. "Let me guess. It said to expect more bodies." "No," said Lapinette, "it asked if we were keeping count." The radio crackled with another call. "This is Wabbit command," said a voice, "Someone's found a body." The Wabbit grimaced and switched to Lapinette. "Any advance on three?" he said.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

1. The Wabbit and the Body at the Kiosk

The Wabbit was between adventures and at an early hour in the morning he was lazing around at the old abandoned kiosk. It was a deserted place now since the boats had long gone, destroyed in a summer storm. They had never been replaced. He kicked his heels and rummaged through his fur for something, anything to do. That was when he heard the splat. It was a soft kind of splat, nothing much. Then it became an insistent splosh. He looked down and saw blood. "Rio Bravo!" he exclaimed. He looked up and pulled out his automatic. A body toppled forward. Then it fell in slow motion to the ground. It seemed to take an age. The Wabbit looked at the crumpled heap. The crumpled heap was a very dead rabbit and it held a crumpled note. The Wabbit took a step backwards because he thought it might be a trap. But his curiosity overcame caution and he crept forward, automatic at the ready. He dislodged the note with his foot. If there was any message written on the note it was on the other side. He turned it over with the barrel of his gun to see what there was - and indeed there was one. There were only two words. "More coming." The Wabbit bent forward and looked at the body. "More of what?" he wondered, although he already knew. He searched the body for clues, but there were none. No ID, no personal items, no money, nothing. He leaned back against the fence and breathed a sigh. "More of this kind of trouble."

Saturday, August 22, 2020

At the Wabbit's Adventure Caffè

The four gathered at the Adventure Caffè. Skratch was late but arrived before things got going. "Hello," he purred, "I hope you haven't decided what's what." Lapinette shook her head. "Certainly not. Now that you're here you can say what kind of adventure the Wabbit and Wabsworth had." Skratch purred mightily. "First, let me say what a pleasure it was to see little in the way of Sphynxology and Pharoahnicity." Wabsworth nodded with vigour. "Can you say a little more about that, Skratch." Skratch was delighted. "Charon and his obol doesn't really figure much in Ancient Egypt. He was more a product of Greek mythology." The Wabbit chipped in. "What about he who faces behind him and to the front at the same time,' in the Pyramid texts." Lapinette wasn't going to be left out. "What about the boat that wasn't there?" Wabsworth knew what all this was about. "I call that myntle, but that's a translation from hieroglyphics and hard to pronounce." Skratch shook his head. "There are said to be three names for the celestial ferryman." The Wabbit was becoming bored. "Huey, Dewey and Louie?" Skratch laughed and gave up. "Yes," he said. "OK," said Lapinette, "We have to call for the ferryman!" Skratch was already standing and lifted a glass. "To the luminal area of ordeal!" "What's that?" said Wabsworth. "When are the drinks coming?" said the Wabbit.
[Skratch is indebted to "The Celestial Ferryman in Ancient Egyptian Religion - Sailor of the Dead" by Dr.Radwan Abdel-Rady Sayed Ahmed]

Thursday, August 20, 2020

7. The Wabbit and the Big Return

They were falling again. One minute they were on Charon's shoulders and the next they were back in the shed. The air felt clean and nice compared to the dankness of the River Styx. Their descent was slow, even though they were somersaulting. "Whoah!" shouted the Wabbit. "Where were we?" shouted Wabsworth. The Wabbit grabbed at something falling past him. It was the sandwich he'd been promised. "I think we crossed into the underworld and got sent back." He took a munch of his sandwich. "Very nice," he said. Wabsworth spiralled round. "Maybe we got rejected, since we weren't really dead" he ventured. The Wabbit had time to think as he span. "Or maybe the Underworld is really the Overworld. Everything becomes its opposite." They were beginning to reach the top of Wabsworth's pyramid, which was where they started their journey. Wabsworth had time to be philosophical as they came in to land. "Maybe we're all alive and dead at the same time. We're like Schrodinger's cat." The Wabbit continued to spiral. "Maybe we thought outside the cat box," he suggested. "Maybe that's right - or wrong," replied Wabsworth. They both touched down and the Wabbit finished his sandwich. "You know, that wasn't bad at all." Wabsworth laughed. "Do you fancy going back for another one?" The Wabbit shook his head like a donkey. "Never go back," he said. "Go sideways then?" smiled Wabsworth.

Monday, August 17, 2020

6. The Wabbit and Charon's Desire

The Wabbit and Wabsworth gazed into the depths and watched Charon float upwards. The bird sat calmly on a reflection and seemed to find some humour in it. "What ho Charon?" it said, "I have two passengers for you." Charon glared. "Call these passengers?" he roared. The Wabbit was steadfast. "Two returns," he said, "and by the way - what happened to the rest of your oar?" Charon wrinkled his nose. "Michelangelo didn't make it long enough I'm afraid." "Well just for that," said the Wabbit, "we shall travel half price." Charon turned to the bird. "Comedians everywhere." The bird spoke in Charon's ear. "Better take the money before they change their minds." Charon turned back and said with a superior smile. "Just this time." Wabsworth chose his moment to speak. "You're supposed to be the ferryman, yet I see no ferry." "It's all the rage and it cuts down on overheads," said Charon. The argued about various details, then agreed to be carried across on his back. Charon snorted twice, then turned so that they could fit on his broad shoulders. "How far is it?" said the Wabbit. "Depends," said Charon. "On what?" asked the Wabbit. "On what kind of life you think you lived," responded Charon. Wabsworth chortled. Being an android copy, he had all the memories of the Wabbit and then some more of his own. The Wabbit interrupted his reverie. "What do you say to exploiting this place?" Wabsworth's android circuits were momentarily overloaded, something only the Wabbit could do. "Hades Holidays?" he said at last. "Underworld Excursions," replied the Wabbit. "That's been tried before," laughed the bird.

Friday, August 14, 2020

5. The Wabbit and the Ferryman's Obol

"Where's my sandwich?" asked the Wabbit. "All in due course," said the bird. The Wabbit was going to argue but Wabsworth dug him in the ribs. "But what's this place," he asked. "This is the Stxy," explained the bird, "and you can have the sandwich when you pay the ferryman." The Wabbit wasn't happy because he couldn't see the ferryman. "Where is he?" he asked. "He's on his lunch break," said the bird. The Wabbit's tummy began to rumble. Wabsworth thought this was a bad sign because the Wabbit could get bad tempered and make a fuss. "I expect he'll be along in a minute," he said and he looked around. "He will," said the bird, "and he will expect paying." "Paying!" exploded the Wabbit. "The fee is one Obol," said the bird. The Wabbit dug in his fur and rummaged for a bit. Then he brought out two coins and handed them over. "Wabsworth gasped. "You have Obols in your fur!" "Of course I do," said the Wabbit with a frown, "you never know when they might come in handy." He paused for a moment. "Otherwise we might roam as ghosts across the land." Wabsworth shook his head. "We certainly don't want to do any roaming. Not today." The bird called for attention. "It's Charon! Here he comes now." In the distance they could see an unkempt figure with unclean hair and blazing eyes. He carried a mighty oar and they watched as he shambled into sight. "I don't like the look of him," said the Wabbit. "Sordid," agreed Wabsworth. The Wabbit paused for an instant. "Doesn't Pluto have a moon named after this fellow." "Oh yes," said Wabsworth, "Its got a big red spot from Pluto." "So that's why he's bad tempered," said the Wabbit

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

4. The Wabbit and the Colourful Corridor

It was a long slide. The Wabbit and Wabsworth found themselves in a long corridor which seemed to be decorated with Egyptian artefacts. "Ouch," said the Wabbit who had landed on his bottom. "Yikes," said Wabsworth. He seemed to be upright but had acquired a pal. "Squeak squawk," said the bird. Wabsworth was heavy and had landed on top of him. "Where are we?" asked the Wabbit. "I have no idea," said Wabsworth. "Well you designed it," said the Wabbit. Wabsworth shook his head. I didn't design this bit." The Wabbit scrambled to his feet and pointed. "Who's your friend?" Wabsworth was confused. "I have no idea. Let's ask him." They both turned to the bird, who took another step back and spoke in a high squeaky voice. "This is the Tunnel of the Gods. We have oil, ointment, snacks, board games - including cross hieroglyphs - I have everything you might need on your way to the Afterlife." A little while elapsed. Wabsworth decided to be first to state the obvious. "We're not actually going to the Afterlife." This time the bird took a step forward. "Well you must be, since you're here." It was the Wabbit's turn. "We got in here by mistake, we're just visiting." The bird looked confused. "You're not dead then? You have to be dead to get in. I am your guide." The Wabbit thought about it. "You mentioned snacks. Have you got a salad sandwich?" The bird looked relieved. "Come this way," he said. "As long as your dead," he added.