Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Wabbit Takes Off in a Hurry

Having been waved through the Gate and onto the airport bus, the Wabbit was a little relieved he wasn't getting special treatment. He would be able to relax and read all the papers from the net on the back off the seat in front. Maybe he would order a salad sandwich from the trolley. A pang of hunger shot through the Wabbits tummy at the thought. But suddenly the doors closed and he found himself completely alone as the bus lurched out to the Big Green Plane. The Wabbit looked out and saw many disgruntled passengers making their way off the plane. "Not normal, not normal at all," thought the Wabbit. He slid quietly into the shadows at the side of the bus and listened. "I must take exception to all this. I've never had such treatment. Throwing all of us off!" A woman with a rucksack that was far to big for her complained bitterly. "Apparently its a matter of international security," said her partner soothingly. "We should feel privileged to help and they're going to give us a free lunch." The Wabbit put a paw up to his brow and shook his head from side to side. "I think it may be time for me to be be getting along promptly," he thought. He put his head down, his ears right back and then he sprinted lickedy-split for the plane. He shot straight up the steps and he neither stopped nor looked back until he was through the doors. The Wabbit collapsed in Seat 1C and straightened his fur as the plane taxied out to the runway. "Here we go again," murmured the Wabbit. "Seat Belt, Mr Wabbit." The friendly steward fastened him in and he heard the turbines roar. The very next thing the Wabbit knew, he was looking out at a rosy sun that painted the snow-peaked Alps a delicate shade of pink.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Wabbit gets help with his Bags

Strictly speaking, the Wabbit did not need a trolley to help carry his bag, even if his bag was heavier than it used to be. He had also acquired a temporary bag from Lapinette and though it was a little flowery for his taste, it was, as the Wabbit always put it, "serviceable". "Where are you going small wabbit?" A friendly voice boomed out from behind the Wabbit's trolley. "The Big Green Plane! said the Wabbit immediately. "I am going to the Big Green Plane too," said the voice. "May I be of any assistance?" "My bag is quite small," said the Wabbit, who was not that keen on being called "small wabbit". He felt it unbecoming for a Wabbit of his considerable merits to be addressed thus. All the same, it was a friendly voice and a friendly offer so he decided to accept. That was just as well for the Wabbit, who then enquired, "May I ask your name?" "My name is Captain Sean of the Big Green Plane. "What a coincidence," said the Wabbit. "Are you familiar with helichoppers? " I'm afraid not," laughed Captain Sean. "But I am familiar with the Airbus 320." The Wabbit was quiet. He didn't think an Airbus sounded half as exciting as an Augusta-Bell AB412, but was far too polite to say anything of the sort. The Captain pushed the Wabbit's bags all the way to the Gate. "That was very nice of you, thank you" said the Wabbit. "Please take one of my new business cards." The Captain didn't seem to think it strange that a wabbit would have a business card. "Thank you," said the Captain. "One never knows when one might need the services of a wabbit such as yourself." You're certainly right there," thought the Wabbit.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Wabbit gets a Surprise Cake

The dinner had been excellent and Wabbit, Lovely Lapinette and Franco Contadino were all extremely happy. Then suddenly, as if by magic, a giant cake arrived on the table. "Whats this?" The Wabbit hadn't a clue where the cake came from. "It's cake," said Lapinette. Franco chimed in. " Cake Sir! What to do? Sir!" The Wabbit was philosophical. "There's only one thing to do with cake. Perhaps it came from Sergio Marchionne." "He doesn't seem like the cake type - but it could be a present," said Lapinette as she picked up a small card that had gone unnoticed. She studied it closely. "It says it's from Sergio and the Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino." Lapinette put the card carefully in her bag. "That spells FIAT! Sir! That is the name of the Cake, Sir!" The Wabbit thought for a minute. "It's a celebration cake and it's just for us." Lapinette frowned. "There are some others who deserve some cake. All the staff at the Big CTO Hospital." The Wabbit pondered. "Clari Csuk, Sergio Marchionne and Moloch!" "What about the students you splashed? Lapinette looked disapprovingly. "Oh I'm sorry, send them some cake," said the Wabbit. Lapinette took some small plastic wrappers from her bag and together they cut off bits of cake for all their friends. They sat in silence for a while. The Wabbit broke the silence. " What kind of adventure was that, anyway?" Franco was swift in reply. "It was Italian neo-postmodern, Sir!" Lapinette and the Wabbit looked at Franco with big eyes. "Got you Sir," said Franco. And for the second time that day, they laughed and laughed and laughed.

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Wabbit rounds Things Off

The Wabbit saw to it that Sergio and his helichopper were dropped off at Lingotto in time for dinner. Now with Franco at his own controls, the Wabbit and the Lovely Lapinette sat in the passenger seats at the back and looked out at Turbina. "It will hold, of course," The Wabbit always worried. "Of course it will. Why do you always worry?" Lovely Lapinette was quite practical in these matters. "Oh, I don't know," said the Wabbit. As usual, when stuck for an answer, he tried of think of as many things as he possibly could. " Weight, wind velocity, downward thrust, turbulence, local atmospheric conditions?" The Wabbit ran out of technical terms and for a brief moment he was quiet until Franco broke in."Where to Sir? Orders, Sir!" The Wabbit turned to Lapinette. "He always calls me Sir." "Oh I know," said Lapinette. "He insists on calling me Marchesa and there is nothing I can do that will stop him." "Lets head for Milan," said the Wabbit. "I know a very good place for dinner." "Really? Celery, carrots, basil?" Lapinette was enthusiastic. "The very best ... " The Wabbit smiled, " ... and artichoke tubers." "Excellent Sir! Sounds good to me Sir! Setting a course for Linate, Sir! "There he goes again," said the Wabbit. Then to the Wabbit's surprise, Franco began to sing. "O mia bella Madonnina, che te brillet de lontan tutta dòra e piscinina, Ti te dòminet Milan/sòtta Ti se viv la vita, se sta mai coj man in man." "I thought he was from Turin," said the Wabbit. "Apparently not," giggled Lapinette. And they both giggled and laughed until they fell fast asleep.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Wabbit has to Jump

The Wabbit didn't take long to circle the parapet and he was already expecting a helichopper. But he had not expected such a special welcome. He looked out from the railings, astonished. Lovely Lapinette was piloting and his bodyguard, Franco Contadino looked out. Much to the Wabbit's surprise. Sergio Marchionne was there sitting beside Clari Csuk, the Wabbit's designer."Sir" Jump. Sir!" Franco called out to the Wabbit in his usual manner, cutting easily through the din of the engines and the rotor blades. The Wabbit's ears were buffeted by the wind from the blades and he shivered as his fur ruffled all over. He glanced over the rail and it looked a long, long way down, even for a wabbit. "New helichopper, Franco," shouted the Wabbit. He was trying to appear nonchalant but his voice was shaky. "Courtesy of Sergio, Sir! Less turbulence, Sir." Lapinette inched the helichopper in closer. "I can't get in any further than this Wabbit, we'll lose the blades. Just make a big hop." Then he heard a familar voice. "Don't forget your special ears, Wabbit," yelled Clari who had invented them. "Of course," shouted the Wabbit and engaged his ears. They made a soft and curious humming noise, inaudible to most above the sound of the helichopper. But the Wabbit could hear them. "It's funny to think that your ears sound good," thought the Wabbit. "Here I come, ready or not," the Wabbit exclaimed. "I won't even bother to shut my eyes." And he hopped out from the parapet and through the helichopper door with consummate ease. The Wabbit looked out from the door and bad farewell to the Mole as Lapinette took the helichopper back and then up. Then quick as you like the Lovely Lapinettte wheeled it around and the helichopper became a small yellow dot on the horizon.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Wabbbit gets to the High Place

The Wabbit hopped out of the lift and the first thing he saw was Moloch. "That was quick," said the Wabbit. "I'm a God," said Moloch. The Wabbit thought that was fair enough, but neglected to say so. "Of course I had to secure a favour," added Moloch. The Wabbit thought this was best left ignored. "What is next?" The Wabbit put that politely. "You have to go around until you are behind the school children. I will distract them." The Wabbit shot Moloch a warning look. "I will amuse them with one of my many jokes," said Moloch. The Wabbit smiled and glanced over Moloch's shoulder at the skyline. He was becoming familiar with the city. Far off he could see Lingotto and he briefly wondered about Sergio and his furry sweater. "Can't you hear anything?" Moloch was insistent. The Wabbit didn't have to prick up his special ears. Now he was acutely aware of the dull choppedy-choppedy of a helichopper. "Let me make sure," said the Wabbit. "Round to the other side, behind the school children. Helichopper waiting?" "I said I'd get you home. Be quick," said Moloch." I'm gone. Be seeing you," said the Wabbit. He put down his ears and hunched his shoulders. Moloch tilted his head back and bellowed. "Baaaambini!" All the children turned and took photographs. The Wabbit sprang round the parapet and as he did he could hear Moloch's voice fading. "A funny thing happened to me when I was in Carthage ... " The Wabbit winced and sprang on.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Wabbit enters the Presence of Moloch

The Wabbit, who was now at the front of everyone, hopped through the entrance and found himself at the feet of Moloch. "That was quick," thought the Wabbit, who had been expecting to make more effort. "I'd better hop around to the front and address him directly." The Wabbit thought he could afford to do this because Moloch looked restrained enough. But he had heard of Moloch and murmured to himself, "Well who hasn't heard of Moloch?" The Wabbit was philosophical about Gods. It was becoming second nature to talk to this and that sort of being. "There appear to be rather many," surmised the Wabbit. "Waaaaaabbit!" Suddenly the God Moloch howled a long Howl. The Wabbit was taken aback but decided to reply in kind. "Moooooloch!" There was no response so the Wabbit carried on. "I have heard of you from Cabiria. I trust you will not require a sacrifice." "Oh I've given all that up," said Moloch. "I quite turned over a new leaf. I have a steady job here and it's a nice little earner." "Well done. Good for you," said the Wabbit. "Good for you," he added. He felt a lot better now that he knew no particular sacrifice was involved. "Draw closer small Wabbit," said Moloch. The Wabbit hopped cautiously forward. "Your mission is complete and transport home is arranged. You will leave from a high place. "The Wabbit wondered whether Moloch was speaking metaphorically, but he looked up high anyway. "Apologies Moloch, I'm a wabbit not a squirrel," he said. "Take the lift, said Moloch. "Silly me," said the Wabbit.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Wabbit revisits an Old Haunt

The Wabbit's hop turned in to a stroll. Insofar as it could be said that wabbits can stroll, the Wabbit had worked hard and practiced. Now, in his view, he felt he had perfected the art of the wabbit stroll. The Wabbit turned to look up, since he had been told that if he looked up he couldn't miss the Mole Antonelliana the symbol of Turin. The Wabbit had been known to miss quite large things, so every so often he suddenly looked up and around. "Do you know," mused the Wabbit. "I think I've seen this high place before." And he thought and thought and thought. Then it came to him in an instant and he remembered. "This is where I was, when I was in the Wrong Museum." The Wabbit wondered for a while if it was possible to be in the wrong museum. While he was wondering, a choppedy-choppedy sound took his attention, so he kept staring up for a while and squinted through his special glasses. It wasn't Franco Contadino's helichopper but it did look nice against the blue sky. The Wabbit's thoughts turned to his new attaché. What was Franco doing at this very moment? The Wabbit turned to the street and with some difficulty, hopped through the hundreds of school children. He avoided their many feet and the flashes from their phone cameras and studied the long queue for the museum. "Mmm," said the Wabbit. Then he spotted some senior citizens with special passes. "I also have a special pass," said the Wabbit loudly. So he took it out of his bag and waved it in the air as he attached himself to the silver-haired group. Soon he was in the museum. And he was right at the very front.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

The Wabbit talks Hard Boiled.

The weather had improved by the time the Wabbit found his contact. He had only had to lope after the bus. When he reached Porta Nuova station, he knew where he was. The Wabbit hopped through familiar territory until he reached the Piazza San Carlo. "This is the time, this is the place, this is the fellow," murmured the Wabbit. He put his front paws on the wall and looked right up. The statue moved and spoke. "You the Wabbit?" " None other, " said the Wabbit. "You could use a drink," said the statue. "Do I look like I could use a drink," said the Wabbit. "Everyone could use a drink," said the statue. "May as well," said the Wabbit. The Wabbit had a good long drink and was surprised. He was instantly refreshed. The Wabbit patted his mouth with his paws. "You got further instructions," he said. It was a question but it came out like a statement. "Everyone needs further instructions," said the statue. The Wabbit thought the statue was a bit of a wise guy, and an old wise guy at that. He decided that he would humour him. "I gotta steer from Turbina, said you had the lowdown." Sure" said the statue "I'm a regular 411." This was lost on the Wabbit, but he ploughed on. "I'm supposed to see some guy." "You gotta see Moloch down at the Mole. He the main man. Importantly important." The Wabbit was ruffled. "That's my line," he murmured to himself. "Be seeing you," he said out loud and suddenly jumped in the water. He shook himself rapidly and water sprayed all around. Ignoring the high pitched yelps from the students on the wall, he hopped casually towards the Mole Antonelliana.

Friday, April 08, 2011

The Wabbit ponders in the City

The Wabbit loped across the city. Things were changing here and the Wabbit didn't like it. It was dry and dusty and grit blew in his eyes. He turned up his fur against the sharp wind and hopped onwards. Why was there so much travelling? Why were there so many instructions? Why hadn't he taken the Metro? There were too many questions for the Wabbit. So he tried to stop asking them and keep going. Three blocks west, two blocks north. What was it exactly that Turbina had said? "That was one more question," thought the Wabbit. He looked at the overcast sky and looked down again. He looked up and down and around. Then he hopped under some scaffolding and stopped. Some people passed but they didn't see the Wabbit. They were too busy eating ice cream. "Funny place to eat ice cream," thought the Wabbit. But then, as he readily acknowledged, there were some things that he had never quite worked out. The Wabbit thought if he could reach a main thoroughfare, he would know where he was. Then, even if it took longer, he could get to where had to go. In the distance he could see big orange buses rumble past, crowded with passengers. "That'll do," said the Wabbit to himself. Suddenly the Wabbit was gone. But a child saw the Wabbit and pointed. "Isn't that a wabbit running after a bus?" Her mother turned and spoke firmly. "Wabbits," she said, wiping ice cream from the child's face. "Wabbits ... are not in the habit of running after buses."