Friday, December 30, 2011
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
corno portafortuna: good luck charm to chase away the evil spirits, typical of Calabria and Naples
Monday, December 26, 2011
Sunday, December 25, 2011
Saturday, December 24, 2011
Friday, December 23, 2011
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Monday, December 19, 2011
Saturday, December 17, 2011
"The Wabbit calling Franco, do you copy?" said the Wabbit. "There's no need for that, Wabbit, it’s a telephone," replied Franco as he swerved around a barrier. "Oh really, how disappointing," said the Wabbit. "What can I do for you Wabbit?" said Franco, ducking under another barrier. "Be on the lookout for a strange helichopper," said the Wabbit. "I clocked him, he’s at three o’clock," said Franco. "Did he spot you?" asked the Wabbit. "Yes, but I lost him," said Franco, "I swerved into an underground car park the wrong way." "Where are you now?" asked the Wabbit. "Coming out of the underground car park," said Franco. "The wrong way?" said the Wabbit. "It's possible," said Franco. "Do you think it's the Agents of Rabit helichopper?" said the Wabbit. "It hovers like a ghetto bird," said Franco. "That's their style," said the Wabbit. For a while, there was silence from Franco and the Wabbit heard a series of swerving noises. "Sorry Sir, I hit some cardboard boxes," said Franco. "Pay no attention," said the Wabbit and flinched at a loud bang. "What was that Franco?" asked the Wabbit. "A news vendor stand," shouted Franco and he whooped. "Pay no attention," said the Wabbit. Suddenly, there was a piercing scream of sirens and the Wabbit asked again what was happening. "I'm in the slipstream of a fire engine," said Franco. "Excellent!" said the Wabbit.
Friday, December 16, 2011
"I'm so pleased to be coming with you to Rome," said Robot as the Wabbit hopped round Skratch’s van. "You're one of us now," said the Wabbit, "of course you come with us!" "I'm going to see my favourite football team," said Robot. Everyone stared in amazement. "What team?" enquired the Wabbit with interest. "SPQR," said Robot. There was a surprised tittering but the Wabbit didn't turn a single hair. "Soccer Playing Quadruped Robots?" he asked. Now it was everyone else's turn to stare at the Wabbit, who merely grinned. "We're expecting Heart of Midlothian Football Club for a friendly match," said Robot. The Wabbit's fur stood on end. "No such thing," he stated categorically. "Will they give us a kicking?" asked Robot. "Not if you deliver to them a kicking first," said the Wabbit. "Mo' te gonfio!" shouted Robot, who then swayed from side to side, making klaxon sounds. "Wabbit, have you been tuning Robot's circuitry again?" said Lapinette sternly. The Wabbit shrugged. "Not guilty," he said and kicked the ground playfully. Everyone flinched as a stone ricocheted around the building site in a trajectory that narrowly avoided the Wabbit himself. "We're being watched," said Skratch abruptly. The Wabbit flicked his eyes to the sky. "Normal paranoia," he muttered and he had a think. "Is Franco taking the jeep?" he said to Lapinette. ""He's on his way," she said. "Can you get him on the blower?" asked the Wabbit.
Mo' te gonfio : "I'll beat you until you're swollen." A slogan of Roma FC.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
The Wabbit spotted Puma getting down from a Big Steam Train and he hopped up very quickly to find out what was happening. "Hello Wabbit," said Puma, "I have arranged my lift to Rome." "This train doesn't go anywhere," said the Wabbit. "You're quite mistaken," said the train. "The train is taking 500 children with special needs on a surprise trip to Rome," said Puma. "What's your name?" said the Wabbit to the train. "I am Gr 940-330," the train replied. "I'll never remember that," said the Wabbit, "do you have a nickname?" "I call her Thunder," said Puma. The Wabbit thought that was a much better name than a row of numbers and he nodded his head in agreement. "Puma, please stay in the cabin. Don't prowl the train, frightening the children," he said. "I am detailed to provide entertainment," said Puma. The Wabbit looked questioningly. "Together with the children I will look out the window and count things," said Puma. "Like telegraph poles?" asked the Wabbit. "Especially the ones with numbers, and then we will all calculate our average speed and there will be a prize," said Puma gravely. "A prize?" said the Wabbit. "A signed copy of our book on release," said Puma. "What a good idea," said the Wabbit, "and educational too." He deftly signed several imaginary copies of their book and grinned. "Thunder, will you set Puma down at the Stazione di Roma San Pietro?" he asked. "Now, that's what I call a railway station!" said Thunder.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
The Wabbit looked up to see Big Blue Snail arrive in the back of a truck. "I have hitched a lift with these kind strangers, who are taking me to Rome," said Snail. "Pleased to meet you," said the Wabbit, "where did you all get together?" "The Big Blue Bullhorn was blocking the road. It was easier to put him in the back," said the driver's mate. The Wabbit knew that snails were called bullhorns in Cornwall and realising that the strangers were a long way from home, he asked them if they needed any assistance. "Thank you! That would be nice, Luvver," said the driver's mate, "it's backsyfore round here. I'm boggled." "That's because in these parts, you're emmets," said the Wabbit with a grin. The driver and his mate chortled mightily." I suppose we are at that," they laughed. "We're heading to the Vatican for the Big Christmas Blessing," said the driver. "Then you are pilgrims," smiled the Wabbit and he rummaged in his fur and gave him several business cards from the Pontiff's Restaurant. "They may even serve you Cornish Pasta," he said with a wicked grin. The drivers' mouths dropped open in astonishment." "Snail gets off at Via San Silverio Market," advised the Wabbit. "Can you point us in the right direction?" said the driver. "What don't you ask the Big Football Boy?" said the Wabbit. "He's always right," said Snail. The driver looked out of the window. "Which way to Rome?" he shouted to the Big Football Boy on the wall. "It's over there!" yelled the boy. "Exactly," said the Wabbit.
emmets: tourists (derogatory), backsyfore: wrong way round
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Under the watchful eyes of Franco, the Wabbit was manoeuvring the camp jeep. "Am I going to be in the book, Sir?" Franco asked with a worried face. The Wabbit pulled on the brake with a screech. "Franco of course! It's your book too." "I wasn't in so many adventures Sir," said Franco. "You are the beating heart of the Free Wabbits of Turin," said the Wabbit firmly. "And you're at the heart of our book. " Franco looked both embarrassed and pleased at the same time. "What's in the crate?" asked the Wabbit. "Some of Ghost Bunny's equipment Sir," said Franco. "She's always building something," muttered the Wabbit with a little grin. "She's very diligent Sir," said Franco. "Call me Wabbit," said the Wabbit. "I can't call you Wabbit, Sir," said Franco. "Why not?" asked the Wabbit. "Protocol Sir," said Franco. "Wabbit, Wabbit, Wabbit!" shouted the Wabbit suddenly. "Sir, Sir, Sir," replied Franco. "Wabbit," yelled the Wabbit. "Sir!" said Franco. "Silence!" shouted Ghost Bunny from behind her crate and she flew up to look at the Wabbit. "Wabbit, Franco is more comfortable with Sir," she glared. Then suddenly she swooped at Franco with a stern voice. "Franco, the Wabbit would be happier with a more informal appellation!" Ghost Bunny paused and hovered and everything became quiet. "But you could always compromise," she said finally. "What do you suggest?" said the Wabbit, smiling. "Franco, why don't you try saying Sir Wabbit?" said Ghost Bunny. Franco looked absolutely appalled. "OK, Wabbit it is," he sighed.
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Saturday, December 10, 2011
On the advice of Puma, Lapinette was conducting market research for their book. She had just spotted the two respondents that might complete her quota, when she noticed they had noticed her too. "Who is that divine creature?" asked one lady. "I saw her on the front cover of Vogue last year," said the other. The first lady looked intently. "Oh yes, I remember she was raising funds for World Health," she said, and looked some more. "Shhh. She's coming this way," they agreed and they nodded a greeting. Lapinette gave an enormous smile. "May I ask you some questions about our book?" she said. "We'd be delighted," said the first lady. "Do you like adventures?" asked Lapinette. "As long as they're not too frightening," said the second. "Mild peril only," said Lapinette. The two ladies conferred. "What about conversations?" said the first. “There is talk throughout," said Lapinette."What about pictures?" said the second. "Both vivid and haunting," said Lapinette. By now her professional smile was wearing thin but she saw the Wabbit approaching and waved. "Oh look," she said. "Here's the author now. Let me introduce you to Commander Wabbit." "A Commander and so young!" said the first lady. The Wabbit positively beamed. "What is your posting?" said the second. "Cultural Attaché to the Department of Wabbit Affairs," said the Wabbit, coyly. "You're diplomatic!" said the ladies together. "I try so hard to be," said the Wabbit.
Friday, December 09, 2011
Thursday, December 08, 2011
Wednesday, December 07, 2011
Tuesday, December 06, 2011
Lapinette was hopping through a market in the Corso Spezia when Ghost Bunny swooped between the stalls. "Have you seen the Wabbit?" she said breathlessly. "He's nearby. He's looking for an out of print book on Robots," said Lapinette. "I could have found it for him," said Ghost Bunny. "You know he thinks that’s no fun," said Lapinette, "and so I have to hop endlessly through markets while he rummages." "He does find things," said Ghost Bunny, who loved the Wabbit. "Yes, and he keeps them all in his fur. Never go through airport security with the Wabbit," sighed Lapinette. "We'll be travelling soon ourselves," said Ghost Bunny with glee. "Yes, I wanted to talk with you about our Rome trip," said Lapinette. "Special duties?" asked Ghost Bunny. "Yes," said Lapinette. "Just between us?" said Ghost Bunny. "Only between us," said Lapinette. "Oooooh," moaned Ghost Bunny and she hovered. "What, where, who?" she shrieked. "I want you to keep a special watch on the gang and periodically report to me," smiled Lapinette. "To keep them out of trouble?" asked Ghost Bunny in a ghostly wavering voice. "Exactly," said Lapinette. "Are you expecting any particular trouble?" said Ghost Bunny. "No, just general trouble," grinned Lapinette. "The worst kind," said Ghost Bunny. "But the most fun," laughed Lapinette.
Sunday, December 04, 2011
The Wabbit took Robot to the place he now called Pluto Park. It was Ghost Bunny's favourite place to haunt and the Wabbit knew he would always find Ghost Bunny in that vicinity. "Who's your friend?" fluttered Ghost Bunny as she swooped very close to Robot. "Frighteningly yours," she moaned and came to a sudden halt. "You'll be looking after Robot for a while," said the Wabbit. "A delight to meet you Miss Phantasm," said Robot. "Ms" said Ghost Bunny. "Pardon me," said Robot. "Forgiven," said Ghost Bunny and then she spoke enquiringly. "I do like you, Robot. What is your general framework?" "Neural," said Robot. "And your memory?" asked Ghost Bunny. "Positronic," said Robot. "Ooooooh," sighed Ghost Bunny and she drew closer. "Do you by any chance have buttons?" she asked in a low voice. "Plenty, said Robot, "but they're hidden." "Don't let the Wabbit touch your buttons," whispered Ghost Bunny. "Why not?" said Robot in a hushed tone. "He does seem quite the Wabbit with circuitry." "Ah!" said Ghost Bunny. "Where the Wabbit and buttons are together, drama always ensues." "I can't hear you. What are you talking about?" asked the Wabbit. "I was just saying that Robot should come to our chummery," said Ghost Bunny. "What on earth is a chummery?" said the Wabbit. "It's a place where chums are billeted together," said Ghost Bunny. The Wabbit shook his head for a while. "And you may not push my buttons," said Robot suddenly. Ghost Bunny flinched and cowled her eyes. "You have buttons!" exclaimed the Wabbit.
Saturday, December 03, 2011
The Wabbit decided to take Robot for a refreshment. "What would you like?" asked the Wabbit. "A small bottle of contact lubricant," said Robot. The Wabbit was about to place an order when he heard a voice. "Hello my Wabbit!" said Lapinette. "Hello Lapinette, I thought you were having your fur done." said the Wabbit carefully. "That was yesterday," sighed Lapinette and she studied Robot closely. "Who is this, Wabbit?" she asked with interest. "It's Robot," said the Wabbit. Lapinette paused. "Wabbit, have you been taking things from museums again?" she said suspiciously. "Not at all," said the Wabbit. "Technically speaking, Robot has been liberated." "Liberated!" said Lapinette and she turned to Robot. "Piacere, bella coniglia, sono a tua disposizione," said Robot. "Were you oppressed, courteous Robot?" asked Lapinette directly. "Definitely," said Robot. "What was the nature of your oppression?" asked Lapinette. "I have a brain the size of a city yet every day I had to meet and greet and iron and clean and use a vacuum cleaner," said Robot, exhaustively. "Oh yes, I quite understand," said Lapinette quickly. "I told you," said the Wabbit. "Did you tinker with Robot's circuitry," said Lapinette firmly. "Only in the interests of freedom and justice," said the Wabbit and clenched a paw. "Hmmm," said Lapinette. "Who are these two babies?" asked Robot. "I don't know. Perhaps they're baby Buddhas," said the Wabbit and he looked behind him. "Are you baby Buddhas?" he asked. "No," said one baby. "Yes," said the other.
[Piacere, bella coniglia, sono a tua disposizione: Enchanted, beautiful rabbit, I am at your disposal.]
Friday, December 02, 2011
The Wabbit was taking a short cut through the Old Converted Train Factory when he heard an electronic voice. "Hello Wabbit, Hello Wabbit," said a Robot. The Wabbit looked up at a friendly robot face. "Meet and greet. Meet and greet," said the Robot. The Wabbit smiled. "You don't have to say everything twice." "I have to, I have to," said the Robot. The Wabbit thought for a minute and then he fished in his fur for an electronic meter that he'd bought in a market. He opened a hatch in the Robot's side and prodded with the electrodes. "Now say "Quando il coniglio, senza consiglio, con la coniglia, fece famiglia."" instructed the Wabbit. "Bel coniglio, Marcus Aurelius," said the Robot. The Wabbit snickered maliciously with all of his 28 teeth and made another adjustment. "Say, "I Robot."" said the Wabbit. "That's missing a verb," said the Robot. The Wabbit grinned, snapped shut the hatch and dusted his paws. "Would you care for some part time work?" asked the Wabbit. "I can't go out," said the Robot. The Wabbit reopened the Robot's hatch and made another adjustment. Then he stood high on his hind legs and looked all around. "We're just going for a little hop around!" shouted the Wabbit. "Any objections?" he bellowed. There was a long silence. "Did you hear an objection, Robot," asked the Wabbit.”I heard zilch, let's go," said the Robot.
Thursday, December 01, 2011
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
It was St Andrew's Day and the Wabbit rushed to the Parliament of his homeland to make a plea for restitution on behalf of the wabbits. "Attention Members please," said the Presiding Officer. "Attention for Commander Wabbit MacWabbit of that Ilk, who will make a formal request on behalf of the Department of Wabbit Affairs." There was a discreet murmuring from the Members. "Ahem," said the Wabbit, clearing his throat. "I'll get straight to the guts of the matter." "He speaks plainly," said one Member. "I like that" said another. The Wabbit straightened his coat and began. "My species endured a great injustice owing to the illegal introduction of the Mixoma virus here in 1953 and 95% of us were killed," he said."That was under a very different Parliament," said the Presiding Officer. "We haven't been here long." "With the greatest of respect," said the Wabbit to all the assembly, "you were part of the Government of the day and will make due amends." "What kind of amends?" said the Presiding Officer. "You will provide medicine to wipe out the virus in your land." said the Wabbit. He stared around at all the faces and spoke again. "It's my land too, and therefore I insist that measures be expedited soonest." Your proposal must pass through our Finance Committee," said the Presiding Officer. The Wabbit looked up and took from his fur a vast spiral-bound dossier full of facts and figures and names and dates. He then ruffled its many pages so much that the resulting wind caused his ears to flail. "This," he said, "will speed things up."
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Monday, November 28, 2011
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Friday, November 25, 2011
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Sunday, November 20, 2011
The massed wabbits hopped formally forward in a zig-zag movement, and each time they hopped they made a thunderous crash that shook the girders of the building. "Where did you find them?" whispered Lapinette. "My appointment comes with a small private guard," said the Wabbit. "Where does it say that?" asked Lapinette sceptically. "It's in the small print," said the Wabbit. "They're all dressed like you!" laughed Lapinette. "Isn't it embarrassing?" said the Wabbit, although he was secretly pleased. They both turned at a mighty cry from the wabbits as they smashed to a halt. Lapinette looked lovingly at the Wabbit. "Proceed," she smiled. The Wabbit turned to face the massed ranks of wabbits and raised a paw in salute. "How many are we?" he shouted. "We are four hundred!" came the reply. "And what are our just demands?" yelled the Wabbit. "Land, Peace, Hay!" cried the wabbits in unison. "And a few carrots," muttered the Wabbit under his breath. Lapinette dug the Wabbit sharply in the ribs. "Ouch," squealed the Wabbit. "Ouch!" cried all the wabbits. Lapinette hid her head behind her ears and giggled. "Where are they going?" she asked. "They're going to march to the Brek Restaurant, where they are obliged to drink copious quantities of carrot aperitivi," said the Wabbit with glee. "Won't they frighten people?" said Lapinette. "They certainly frighten me," said the Wabbit.
Saturday, November 19, 2011
The Wabbit was hopping past his favourite abandoned shed when heard the sound of a military vehicle and a shout. "Commander, Sir!" "Oh, hello Franco," said the Wabbit with affection. "You’re looking a lot better than the last time we met." "One hundred per cent fit for duty, Sir" said Franco. "You look like a marmittone with these wheels," joked the Wabbit. Franco laughed. "We're a couple of old marmittoni, Sir," he said. "I'll tell that to Lapinette," chuckled the Wabbit. "How is the Marchesa?" asked Franco. "She's having her ears smoothed," said the Wabbit. "She is such a lady, Sir" said Franco. "I fear the non-commissioned ranks have pictures of her in their barracks." "So do I" said the Wabbit. They both chuckled for a while."Where did you get the Fiat Campagnola?" asked the Wabbit. "I didn't make a requisition." "Skratch got it from the Motor Museum for our Rome trip," said Franco. The Wabbit looked concerned. "It was surplus to requirements, Sir," said Franco. "They were going to throw it away. It's all Hummers in there now." "Disgraceful!" said the Wabbit. He thought for a minute and there was a pause and a silence. "Franco," said the Wabbit soothingly. "This is an informal chat, so stand easy and chew the carrot." "Yes Sir," said Franco. "Now try saying "Yes Wabbit,"" said the Wabbit. "Yes Sir, Wabbit Sir," said Franco. "Try again and don't say "Sir" at all," said the Wabbit. Franco's forehead creased with effort. "Yes Wabbit ..." Franco's voice dropped and he said "Sir" under his breath. "I heard you," said the Wabbit. "I know Sir," smiled Franco.
marmittone: sprog, rookie, naive recruit