The friends clambered to the top of the amphitheatre and peered over. Agents of Rabit clustered in great number and the structure rang to their capering. A Chief Agent towered above the rest, casting a giant shadow across the terracing. "Agents!" he called. "We have the Philosopher’s Ball!" Cheers rocked the amphitheatre and air hissed as Agents punched fists high. The Chief calmly bounced the ball and caught it. "Within this magi ball is the Philosopher’s Stone, and with the Stone, we shall bestride the world." "The whole wide world!" chanted the Agents. The Wabbit clung onto the parapet and growled softly. "Shush," whispered Lapinette, "they’ll hear us." The Chief Agent kicked a leg. "What’s the first thing on our evil agenda?" he demanded. "The Wabbit!" they shouted. "The Wabbit and his ghastly do-gooding friends!" shouted the Chief. "Kill the Wabbit!" they cried. Lapinette snickered. "Shhh," said the Wabbit. "With the Wabbit eliminated we can spread hatred," roared the Chief. "Hatred!" howled the Agents. "Tomorrow is New Year," yelled the Chief, "and we who have the Stone, own the future!" "A future with no Wabbit," cheered the Agents. "There's no future without the Wabbit," muttered the Wabbit, "but we need to retreat and make a plan." "I know an old Roman taberna round the corner," said Cicero. Lapinette wrinkled her nose. "Is it OK?" she asked. "It certainly used to be," said Cicero. "Then back to the future," smiled the Wabbit.
Monday, December 31, 2012
Saturday, December 29, 2012
As Terni flew off, the Wabbit saluted Cicero and lost no time. "Let’s get that stone!" he smiled. Lapinette stepped in front of the Wabbit and proffered a paw. "Pleased to meet you, Sir. We are honoured by you visit." "May I tell you of the stone?" said Cicero. "Sinister Agents of Rabit are everywhere good Sir," said the Wabbit, " so we have no time to lose." "Pin back your ears," said Cicero. "The stone was given to me by the magician Acetabularus, disguised as one of his balls." The Wabbit looked puzzled. "Part of a magician’s cup and ball for playing tricks." "Like a three card trick?" asked the Wabbit. "It’s a deft display of sleight of hand and special effects - and it does look like magic," said Cicero, "but my boring colleagues decided to kick all the magicians out the city." "Go on," said the Wabbit, enthralled. Cicero swept his arm in the air. "Acetabularus barely escaped with his life, but left the philosopher's stone in my safekeeping." "How did the Agents of Rabit get hold of it?" Cicero almost smiled. "They appeared to come through a hole in the fabric of time." "Of course!" said the Wabbit, as if it was an everyday occurrence. "So how will we get it back?" asked Cicero. "We usually trick them and when they arrive we blow them up," said the Wabbit, "but this operation demands subtlety." Cicero inclined his head. "We’ll attract their attention and trick them into giving us the stone," smiled the Wabbit. "What then?" asked Cicero. "Kaboom!" said Lapinette.
Thursday, December 27, 2012
Dawn broke but there was no sign of the Wabbit. Terni the Dragon was tired of waiting, so he hoisted Cicero on board. "Can’t stay here twiddling our scales" he roared and he took off down the via del teatro di Marcello at high speed. "I say, said Cicero, "what’s afoot?" "We have to find Commander Wabbit. Something may have happened," roared Terni. "Perhaps he’s been set upon by those foul fiends," said Cicero, gasping as the wind tore at his toga. "The Commander would shoot them on sight," said Terni. "If there’s anyone he hates, it’s the Agents of Rabit." Cicero nodded gravely. "Good view from up here," he observed. "I can see what’s left of the Senate." "How did you get here anyway?" asked Terni. "One moment I was speaking at the Forum with that dreadful bore, Clodius and the next I was sitting in a fearful dive opposite the Theatre of Marcellus." "Must be a hole in the fabric of time," said Terni, "but you’ll need to ask the Wabbit." "A scientist too?" asked Cicero, "is he melancholic?" Terni laughed so much he nearly dropped his precious cargo. "He can be bad tempered," he said, "and he’s going to be livid if we don’t find him." "Look!" said Cicero. "Is that him, going the other way?" Terni glanced down. "Grrr!" he roared and his wings beat furiously as he dived to the ground towards the Wabbit.
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
It would be true to say that Cicero, philosopher and lawyer, didn’t know what hit him. He tried to throw a couple of rocks but he flailed as Terni the Dragon came hurtling from the sky. "Dragon One to Wabbit. I have Cicero on visual. Over." Terni dived straight at Cicero and feinted right, spiralled up, then made another pass. "He’s out of rocks, shall I apprehend him?" Terni’s radio crackled and the Wabbit spoke. "What do you mean he’s out of socks?" "Your radio need new batteries, Commander," said Terni. "Detain him until our arrival," said the Wabbit. "How long will you be?" said Dragon. The radio coughed and spluttered but Terni couldn’t hear a word. "I’ll have to keep Cicero talking," thought Terni and he swooped down. Cicero trembled. "Are you going to eat me?" Terni fluttered his cabbage wings. "I’m vegetarian," he said. "Are you then in league with the rabbits?" "What league are we talking about?" said Terni. "They took my stone," said Cicero and they will use it for evil beyond belief." "I don’t like the sound of that one bit," said Terni, "but since we’re here and we have to wait, fill me in." "I am not ashamed to confess I am ignorant of what I do not know," said Cicero. "Yet I do know this. They are large and strong and chatter with terrible teeth." I’ve heard the Commander speak of them," said Terni. "The Commander?" asked Cicero. "The Commander will help you get your stone," said Terni. "Why?" said Cicero. "He gets bored," smiled Terni.
Monday, December 24, 2012
The Wabbit and Lovely Lapinette arrived in Rome well ahead of the rest and immediately found themselves in the thick of the action. "There he is!" yelled Lapinette. "Look out!" shouted the Wabbit as a missile whistled past their heads. "Hey you!" called the Wabbit as another rock came crashing his way. "Do knock it off!" "I know that guy," said Lapinette. "Personally?" asked the Wabbit, dodging again. "I know of him, he’s a philosopher." "Philosophers don’t throw rocks," shouted the Wabbit, "they sit and think." "His name's Cicero!" shouted Lapinette. "Kicker-oh is right!" raged the Wabbit looking round for a loose cobble. "He’s a menace." "Where’s my stone?" shouted Cicero. "Give me back my stone!" The Wabbit threw a small cobble and the man disappeared round a corner. Lapinette scowled and kicked the Wabbit in the shins. "Now we have to chase him." "He won’t get far," said the Wabbit, reaching in his fur for his walkie talkie. "All personnel, man in white possibly Cicero, heading your way." The radio crackled. "Watch out for big rocks," shouted the Wabbit, The radio crackled again. "No not socks!" he yelled, thumping the radio with his paw. Lapinette nudged the Wabbit. "Cicero says it’s better to receive than inflict an injury." The Wabbit’ eyes went wide then met in the middle. "And the philosopher's stone turns lead into gold," she added. "That’ll come in handy," said the Wabbit.
Thursday, December 20, 2012
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Skratch observed the whole thing from a suitable vantage point and for once, felt like a feline cat. His ears pricked and swivelled from the Wabbit to Duetta and the spiders. "Oh here’s his Wabbitness," whispered a spider. "Salute your superior officer, or I’ll dismember your limbs," snapped Duetta. The spiders cringed back and made wavy signs at the Wabbit. Skratch gazed as the Wabbit returned the salutes. Then Duetta bowed to the Wabbit. "You first," she said, nodding towards the unfortunate spam. The Wabbit's voice boomed, "Spam, give us the names and addresses of all your sources!" "You so need a bigger pen," said a pointy spam. The Wabbit sighed and nodded to Duetta. "From whence did you come?" she snarled. "24 hour online pharmacy," said the spam. There was a strained silence and Skratch watched in awe as Duetta shrugged. Her head turned to the Wabbit and for just an instant their eyes met equally, then blinked. "You may as well eat them," said the Wabbit. Duetta shuddered. "I hate the taste of spam," she said. "Oh, go on, go on," smiled the Wabbit, rummaging in his fur for a jar of brown sauce. "Not even with peanut butter," scowled Duetta, "perhaps may I call you Wabbit?" "OK, Marshall Duetta Spyder," grinned the Wabbit. "My brigade is at your command, Commander," said Duetta silkily. Only Skratch noticed the Wabbit’s look of surprise. But the Wabbit's voice was calm. "And from me in return?" "Leadership," replied Duetta.
Friday, December 14, 2012
Connected to Turbina the Jet Car’s on-board computer, Duetta created a digital filter across the roof of the Great Spiral Ramp - and they all watched as the pointy spam drew close. Some of the spam was huge, but the filter held and one by one they stuck fast. All except for a single spam. "A blighter got through," shouted the Wabbit. Duetta snarled a command to a confederate. "Round it up and hold it for questioning!" Up on the ramp, Lapinette and Wabsworth watched a Red Spider clinically capture the spam and inject it with venom. "I said hold it for questioning, not eat it," shouted Duetta. Skratch looked at the Wabbit and the Wabbit raised his eyes skywards as the Red Spiders detained any spam that somehow made it through. "I wouldn’t like to be spam today," said Skratch. "No, there’s a nip in the air," said the Wabbit looking across to Turbina. "My computer is at the limit of its capacity," she said, "and I’m trying to keep Duetta out of my database." "Cut her off," said the Wabbit, "her job is done." The filter froze in place with its cargo of trapped spam and the Red Spiders clicked and hissed in satisfaction. Then there was silence. Lapinette was speaking in Wabsworth’s ear but in the still her whisper was a shout. "Is the spam dead, Wabsworth?" "I’m not sure how sentient they were," replied Wabsworth. "They’re dead but not as we know it." "Hey Wabbit!" said Skratch. The Wabbit turned and Skratch mimed a camera. "If I saw this in the movies, I wouldn’t believe it!"
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
digital filter with a cascaded series of second-order biquad sections?" The Wabbit didn’t turn a hair. "Make it so," he barked. Lapinette nudged Wabsworth. "He’s very strict with Duetta." Turbina laughed. "He’d better be in charge of her, or she’ll be the boss of him." Lapinette looked at Turbina's dashboard curiously. "File number X3705 offers a complete dossier on the activities of the Red Spiders," she said, "but it’s restricted." "To who?" asked Wabsworth, making the sound of an owl. "Me!" snapped Turbina. "Turbina!" called the Wabbit. "Duetta needs to access your on-board computer." "Over my dead battery," said Turbina. "Then we’re all doomed," said the Wabbit. "It'll cost you new tyres," said Turbina. "OK," growled the Wabbit. "And a salad sandwich," said Turbina.
Monday, December 10, 2012
Suddenly a vast swarm of spam wheeled towards Skratch and the Wabbit. "Pointy spam!" shouted Skratch. "Run!" shouted the Wabbit and they fled into the building and down a staircase. But the staircase began to warp as the spam swarmed down. A menacing sound split the air and Skratch bellowed above it. "Do you have any favours to call in?" "I don’t want to call one in!" yelled the Wabbit. "Aaagh. Why not?" screeched Skratch. "Then I'd be even," gasped the Wabbit. "Even is good," shouted Skratch as a pointy spam grazed his ear. "I like to be uphill of even," rasped the Wabbit, hopping rapidly down the bending stairs. "We don’t have a choice," screamed Skratch. "Choice" echoed and echoed above the wail of the spiky spam. The Wabbit pulled his walkie talkie from his fur and yelled, "Wabsworth, Patch her through!" "Are you certain commander?" "Patch! Her! Through!" growled the Wabbit as a spiky spam hurtled between his legs. The radio whined. "Commander, I told you so," said the silky voice of Duetta, the Red Spider. The Wabbit didn’t have a clue what she meant. "We need your help," muttered the Wabbit. "I can't hear you," sang Duetta. "We need your help," screamed the Wabbit. "I’ll be right over," said Duetta. The radio went dead and Skratch glanced at the Wabbit. "Whats up, Doc?" he shouted. "We’re going to get techie," said the Wabbit.
Friday, December 07, 2012
The Wabbit’s android double, Wabsworth, was working undercover selling ice cream when Lapinette came hopping through the porticos. "Hello Wabsworth," she smiled, "any news from the front?" "Nothing but spam on the wire," said Wabsworth. "But I’m sure the Commander is on the tippety-top of things." Lapinette raised both eyebrows. "He’ll track the spammers down, Spaminette," said Wabsworth in a soothing tone, "so don’t you worry." "Well, I’ll just have an ice cream while I’m waiting," said Lapinette. "I’ll have artichoke flavour please." Wabsworth frowned. "I’m sorry, I’ve only got ..." " Spam," groaned Lapinette. "It’s not just spam," said Wabsworth, "It's succulent, dried spam, sweated in the heat of the midday sun." "What about the flies?" said Lapinette. "They’re extra," said Wabsworth, Lapinette hopped from one foot to another. "What else?" she snapped. "OK, I have sweet chili spam," said Wabsworth. "Grrr," said Lapinette. "Or there’s goatball spam, or pongy onion and garlic spam." "I have a meeting to go to," yelled Lapinette and she stamped her foot crossly and sighed. "I’m fed up with spam, Spamsworth. "I could sprinkle spamsamic vinegar on the top," said Wabsworth. "I don’t like spam, I don’t want spam," yelled Lapinette, "and the sooner Skratch and the Wabbit get to the bottom of the spam, the better I will like it." Suddenly there was a hissing sound. Wabsworth’s ears pricked up and he glanced sideways at his walkie talkie. "Now that sounds like news on the shortwave band," he grinned.
Wednesday, December 05, 2012
Tracking the shortwave spam signal, Skratch and the Wabbit drove stealthily up to a strange building. "There's been a sudden demand for maps?" commented Skratch. "What on earth is that?" muttered the Wabbit, pointing to the objects sailing through the air. "It’s combination spam, Commander," said Turbina the Jet Car. "It’s particularly dangerous, so don’t get too close. And whatever you do, don’t eat any." The Wabbit screwed up his eyes and tried to read the messages, but he was too far away. "Use your special glasses, Wabbit," said Turbina. They all waited for an age while the Wabbit’s head movements suggested he was reading. "Hmm, yes I see," said the Wabbit. "I can help a widow in the third world and I will receive 3 billion euro," "Ha ha ha," laughed Skratch. "No, no," said the Wabbit. "All I have to do is send my bank details." "Anything else?" sighed Turbina. "Yes," said the Wabbit. "I may avail of a Rolex Submariner watch for a miserly sum." "They’re cheesy imitations," said Skratch, who had a real one. "Well what about this?" asked the Wabbit. "That mail there says that my pen is too small and that I can easily make my existing pen bigger." Turbina groaned but Skratch chuckled. "I have a perfectly good pen in my fur," continued the Wabbit, rummaging a bit. "In fact, I have three in case the other two don’t work." "Look Wabbit, they want you to buy pills," said Skratch. "Pills won’t make my pen any bigger," said the Wabbit. "I think it works with fountain pens," said Turbina.
Monday, December 03, 2012
Turbina the Jet Car turned onto Corso Svizzera. The Wabbit felt that was a good place to look for the source of the spam invasion - and both he and Skratch glanced to right and left in search of a clue, without success. "Where would it all start?" murmured the Wabbit, "it has to come from somewhere" "It doesn’t sound like any of our enemies," purred Skratch. "No, it’s not their meat and two veg," said the Wabbit, "this is highly invidious." "And insidious," added Skratch. "Enough of the big words and more action, boys," said Turbina. "What about some sounds, Turbina?" asked Skratch. "I would oblige," said Turbina, "but I’m swamped with static. There’s nothing on the air." The radio crackled and whined and whistled. "Try Short Wave," suggested the Wabbit. "But there was only a quiet hissing sound. "Try 19000 kiloHertz," said the Wabbit. Suddenly Lapinette’s voice broke through. "This is the Voice of the Department of Wabbit Affairs," she said solemnly. There was a pinging sound and after a very a long pause, Lapinette’s voice spoke again. "This is the Voice of the Department of Wabbit Affairs." Then the ping pinged again. "I’m not sure how long I can take this," said Turbina. Skratch shook his head. "Well, it’s not spam," chortled the Wabbit. "Just run through the dial, Turbina." There were a few squeaks and squawks and then they all froze. "Spam spam spam. Poing! Spam spam spam. Poing! Spam spam spam. Poing!" Can you get a fix on that, Turbina? said Skratch. "I can," said Turbina. "Silent approach," said the Wabbit.
Friday, November 30, 2012
The Wabbit was at Feltrinelli’s bookshop in the railway station to research spam, when Skratch hove into sight. "Hello Spamch, you're just the fellow I want to see," called the Wabbit. "Hello Spambit, I had some trouble getting here," said Skratch. "My tram was full of spam." "It’s everywhere. And it’s getting worse," said the Wabbit. "The Department wants us to investigate." "I’m hardly surprised," said Skratch. "Did you see these mothers pushing their spam?" The Wabbit looked aghast. "It’s horrifying," he said. "When I catch the spam artist responsible for this, I’ll make him eat all the spam in the city." "I'll hold him down," said Skratch. They both nodded in agreement. "So where do we start?" asked Skratch. "Where does spam come from?" "Somewhere obvious," said the Wabbit. "Somewhere we wouldn’t think of," added Skratch. "Right under our noses," said the Wabbit and his nose twitched several times. "I can smell it already," said Skratch. "Turbina the Jet Car has just been serviced. We could cruise around," said the Wabbit. "We’ll look into every nook and cranny. "I’m with you," said Skratch. "But let’s sit down and make a plan. May I offer you a spametivo?" "It’s all you can get," sighed the Wabbit.
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
The Wabbit leaned forward to speak to Lapinette. "Are you sure she’s been serviced properly?" he asked. "Of course I have," said Turbina the Jet Car, "I suppose you want me to take you to Rome?" "I didn’t say anything about Rome," said the Wabbit. "I know what you’re thinking," replied Turbina. "Oh why don’t you two get a garage or something?" said Lapinette huffily and she wiped the remains of a salad sandwich from the dashboard. "Look Wabbit, your dinner’s here from last time." "That’s mine!" said Turbina, so please leave it in the glove compartment." Lapinette slammed the compartment shut. "Wabbit, there’s another mission coming up." The Wabbit brightened and leaned through Turbina's window. "The Department has been receiving an unbearable amount of spam," said Lapinette. "It's arriving every day. No-one can move for spam." "What’s spam, remind me?" asked the Wabbit. "Is it that that food that comes in a can?" Lapinette sighed. "Because I can never open these things," said the Wabbit. Lapinette sighed again. "Well, the opener goes all the way round until nearly the end," said the Wabbit, "and then it comes off and hurts my paw." Lapinette glared at the Wabbit. "Spam is unsolicited e-mail. It’s clogging up departmental bureaucracy." The Wabbit’s eyes sparkled with delight. "I do hope it hasn’t delayed my departmental evaluation." Lapinette shook her head. "That's scheduled as usual," she smiled. "I have an urgent priority appointment in Abu Dhabi," said the Wabbit.
Monday, November 26, 2012
The Wabbit suddenly found himself in the Dark Basement of the Goddesses and he was indeed in his own fur. So he shrank back as Unut bore down on him. "Commander!" said Unut. "Your Goddess Highness-in-charge," trembled the Wabbit. "What was that for a sort of mission?" asked Unut. The Wabbit was silent. "I will tell you," said Unut. "First there was the rabble rousing rally." "Yes," acknowledged the Wabbit. "Then came the show-off pyrotechnics," growled Unut. "Mmm," said the Wabbit. "And after that, there was the sarcastic sermon," sighed Unut. "I suppose so," muttered the Wabbit. Suddenly, Unut leaned back and smiled a broad smile. The Wabbit looked up hopefully. "Skratch the Cat Burglar was exemplary in every department and conducted himself with aplomb," she said. "Oh yes?" brightened the Wabbit as Unut continued. "And for this reason, Bastet, Cat Goddess is extremely pleased. "Oh everything’s fine then?" said the Wabbit. "Everything’s finally fine," said Unut. "So may I offer you a coffee?" "A mug for me," gasped the Wabbit. "This turn of events is fortunate, my Emissary," said Unut, "because otherwise I would now owe you two whole favours." The Wabbit raised a querulous eye at Unut’s striking frame as she continued. "But Bastet now owes a Goddess favour to Skratch the Cat, "so I only owe you one and a half favours." The Wabbit was relieved. "I’ll have the half favour now," he grinned. It was Unut’s turn to raise an eye. "I’ll take another pot of that coffee," said the Wabbit.
Saturday, November 24, 2012
The three met for a celebration lunch just round the comer from Largo di Torre Argentina, where the Wabbit had a special arrangement with a popular restaurant. "Well hello li’l lady," said Skratch. "John Wayne!” said Lapinette, waving a paw. Skratch swaggered. "Talk low, talk slow and don’t say too much," he drawled. "What happened to the Normots?" asked Lapinette. "They’re helping the cats," said the Wabbit. "Feeding them and cleaning out their quarters?" suggested Lapinette. "No, they’re raising funds on a Fun Run," confessed the Wabbit. Lapinette hopped up and down. "It will keep them off the streets," she giggled. They all laughed but it couldn’t cover the sound of the Wabbit’s stomach grumbling. "Carciofi alla giudia for me!" cried Lapinette. "I think I’ll have ricotta cheesecake," said Skratch. "Vellutata di funghi," murmured the Wabbit. Lapinette sighed. "Are you going to show off your dialect skills?" she asked and nudged Skratch. "Mi a gh'eva, ti at gh'evi, lu al gheva," said the Wabbit. "That sounds like a conjugation," laughed Lapinette. "It always worked for me," said the Wabbit. "But it doesn’t get my artichokes," said Lapinette and she pointed accusingly. "In that adventure, you were the Bad Tempered Emissary of the Gods!" The Wabbit cringed because he had quite forgotten that it was the Rabbit Goddess who had sent him on mission - but Lapinette hadn’t. "I wouldn’t like to be in your fur when you next meet Unut," she said. "Neither would I," murmured the Wabbit.
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
The Wabbit addressed the two Normot delegates who had been pushed to the front. "Please sign the terms of surrender and return them to me." The Normots shivered in the water. "Sign!" growled the Wabbit. "Are you going to kill us?" asked the first Normot. "I’m a rabbit not a monster," smiled the Wabbit. "It says on the television that we shouldn’t sign things," they said together. The Wabbit grinned. "I was on television," he said and he flicked an imaginary speck of dust from his coat. "I was on Island of the Famous." Both Normots looked in awe and their mouths dropped open. "I want to touch your fur," said the second Normot. "That would be a start," replied the Wabbit. The Normots looked blank for a long time and the Wabbit hopped up and down. "You must love the cats," he hissed. "But they’re inappropriately sited," said the first Normot. "They poo," said the other. "Embrace chaos and love the cats," said the Wabbit. There was silence. "Repeat after me, “We embrace chaos and we love the cats”," shouted the Wabbit and he stamped his foot. "I don’t know how," moaned the second Normot. "Chaos was on the Discovery Channel," advised the Wabbit. The Normots looked at each other and nodded vigorously, again and again. "Then we’ll try," they shouted. "We embrace chaos!" "You see how easy it was," smiled the Wabbit with a wicked grin. "Yes!" they cried with delight. "We don’t mind cat poo now and we’ll pick it up and eat it." The Wabbit slapped a paw to his head. "This isn’t Bear Grylls," he sighed, "and they’re felines not lagomorphs."
Monday, November 19, 2012
The Normots fled the Largo di Torre Argentina and the 400 Rabbits. But they ran straight into the paws of Skratch and his entourage - and found themselves bottled in a narrow passageway. "Let us through!" they cried. "You're all under arrest,” said Puma, who had loped straight from the railway station. Skratch leant close to Puma and in a stage whisper asked, "What is the punishment for cat harassment in Rome?" "Death," growled Puma. Skratch knew Puma was prone to exaggeration, but he let it stand and watched as the Normots tried to think. "Save us!" shouted the Normots. "We’re obliged to take you to Commander Wabbit who will decide terms for your surrender," purred Skratch. "No, no," wailed the Normots, "he’s mean and nasty." "Oh I know," said Skratch. "But he can’t help it. Now turn around." "What will we do?" cried one Normot. "Feel ashamed," suggested Skratch, "feel very ashamed." But the Normots didn’t know how to feel anything. "Well at least look ashamed," added Skratch. The Normots gazed at each other with blank eyes. "Try looking at the ground and shuffling your feet," he suggested. "Does that work?" whispered Puma. "No, but it will be fun to watch," murmured Skratch. The Normots wheeled around reluctantly, but one turned back. "Shall we appeal to the Wabbit’s better nature?" All the cats started to laugh. "He hasn’t got one," said Skratch.
Friday, November 16, 2012
The 400 Rabbits rounded up a group of Normots responsible for expelling the cats - and brought them to the Wabbit. The Wabbit looked at them with the utmost disdain. "Abandon the territory," he said. "We won’t," they cried. "Then abandon hope," said the Wabbit with a chilling shrug. The Normots cringed back but the 400 Rabbits poked them in the back and nudged them forward. The Wabbit leant towards the Normots. "The cats have been here since the Romans," he advised, but he heard no reply. "They have staying power, and we will reinstate them." "Why?" shouted a Normot. "Because I say so!" shouted the Wabbit. "It’s not normal," said the leading Normot. "It’s just not normal at all." The Wabbit glared. "We like things to be normal," continued the Normot. "We like to speak normal." "Norma-lly," corrected the Wabbit. "It stands to reason," said the Normot with the sign. The Normots took courage and started to chant. "Hygienic archaeology, hygienic archaeology. Dirty cats out!" The Wabbit put his paws over his ears. "Shut up or I’ll shoot the lot of you myself," he said. But the Wabbit was a little embarrassed by his poor temper and adopted a conciliatory tone. "Let’s be civilised," he said. "You can do this the hard way or the easy way." "Which is normal?" said a Normot. "The easy way," laughed the Wabbit. "Then what should be do?" asked a Normot. "Under these circumstances," said the Wabbit, "it would be normal to run."
Thursday, November 15, 2012
They waited until nightfall when the Largo di Torre Argentina was deserted. Then the 400 Rabbits swept in without effort to seize the space. Soon every nook, cranny and crevice was alive with armed rabbits. The Wabbit looked down from the wall until the rabbits assembled and then he waved his paws around in a very special way. Instantly, the shadow of a man appeared on the moon and the 400 Rabbits let forth a low, menacing growl. "400 Rabbits!" shouted the Wabbit. Every pillar echoed to the hum of charging snaser guns. "Let them know we’re here!" yelled the Wabbit. Lapinette repeatedly fired her automatic in the air and gave forth a warbling, blood-curdling scream as a round of tracer bullets sliced through the night. The 400 Rabbits immediately raised and fired their weapons. And as the sky glowed with blue light from their snasers, they too screamed with such intensity that it hurt the Wabbit’s head. But all across the city, cats’ ears pricked as they heard the frightening sound. They looked at each other and nodded, then one by one they started padding towards the old ruins that were rightfully theirs. There was to be no sleep for anyone in Rome that night. "Our enemies left the space clear," muttered the Wabbit. "They will regret their error." He watched as some of the 400 rabbits danced a war dance through the ancient temples, threading their way through the pillars and singing lustily. "Hey Lapinette!" he called. Lapinette looked up. "Whatever happened to Saturday night?" asked the Wabbit.
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Skratch carefully skirted Largo di Torre Argentina and the Normots, then prowled through the ruins behind the Roman Ghetto. "Meow!" said a black cat on the wall. Skratch turned abruptly and rattled his weapon. "I didn’t get as far as I've come today, by meowing," he said sharply. "Exactly how far did you come, Mr Skratch?" smiled the large red-flecked cat on the road. Skratch casually slung his snaser gun across his back and proffered a paw. "Antiquicat I presume? I have a message from the Wabbit," he said strictly. "How is the Commander?" said Antiquicat. "Furious," said Skratch. "He said to wait for his signal." "What will that look like?" asked Antiquicat with a faint smile. Skratch paused because he hadn't been told, then shrugged his broad shoulders. "Oh you know the Wabbit," he said. "Probably he’ll wave his paws around and make a shadow of a person on a wall." "I already owe him a favour," said Antiquicat. "You can buy him lunch later," said Skratch. "Why can’t we just find a new home?" said the cat near the wall. Skratch wheeled round. "You’d miss the shops," he growled and turned back. "Listen up, fellow felines, the Rabbits will take back the territory and hold it for your return." "What then?" asked Antiquicat. "You and the rest of the cats will replace them, while we pursue and confine your enemies." "Rabbits, plural?" queried Antiquicat. "The Wabbit brought his private guard," said Skratch. Antiquicat’s eyes widened. "I almost feel sorry for the Normots," he murmured. "The 400 Rabbits will deep fry their pizzas," nodded Skratch.
Thursday, November 08, 2012
As instructed, the 400 Rabbits took Rome by surprise. Somehow Lapinette had obtained special permission and the Wabbit looked on as the 400 Rabbits shouldered their arms and swept across the famous piazza. He waved for Lapinette’s attention. "They certainly won’t expect us to come this way," he yelled. "How did you pull that off?" "Do you think you’re the only rabbit with friends in high places?" smiled Lapinette. The Wabbit grinned too and called Skratch on his walkie-talkie, as he insisted on calling it. "Go ahead to the target Skratch and round up as many cats as you can. See if you can find Antiqicat and tell him to wait for my signal." Skratch nodded and the radio hissed. “It's two klicks to target," said Skratch "So I’m headed for the short cut across the river." And with that he was gone and the Wabbit looked back. To any innocent bystander, there seemed to be as many as 4000 rabbits, because they just kept coming. Then the Wabbit heard a noise. It was the faint sound of applause and he realised something - so he called to Lapinette. "It was Cardinal Lapin, wasn’t it?" "He gives Pets Blessings at San Giovanni dei Fiorentini," shouted Lapinette. The Wabbit narrowed his eyes and peered into the distance. He saw a flash of red and used his special glasses. Yes, there he was - Cardinal Lapin himself, nodding benevolently as the 400 Rabbits raced to save the cats of Rome.
Wednesday, November 07, 2012
Lapinette had readied all the Wabbit’s private guard and they waited at the Palatine gates to do his bidding. "Do your thing, Wabbit!" said Lapinette and she fired her automatic four times in the air. The Wabbit hopped forward with a clatter of armoury. "How many are you?" he yelled. "We are the 400!" came the reply. The Wabbit paused for effect. "And where are we?" he shouted. The 400 rabbits shouted as one. "Turin, the old capital!" "So where are we going?" screamed the Wabbit. "Rome!" they scoffed. The Wabbit looked over his shoulder at Lapinette and grinned. Lapinette frowned at the Wabbit. "They’ll do anything you say, so don’t make jokes," she hissed. The Wabbit turned back and raised a paw. "What is our motto?" "Out of our way," they yelled. "And what of our enemy?" "Already vanquished!" they roared and the ground shook under their paws. The Wabbit tuned to Skratch. “So far so good,” he murmured. "They’re scary," said Skratch. "Are you sure you have them under control?" "Just watch," said the Wabbit and he yelled "Ale' Toro!" "Ale’ Toro!" they screamed. "Stamp the grass and scare the snake!" shouted the Wabbit. This time the 400 waited silently. "Sweep through their territory," he yelled. The 400 assembled into formations and formally hopped forward. "Better get out their way," said Lapinette and the Wabbit leapt aside as they crashed through the gates. "Where did you get that screen?" asked Lapinette. "Borrowed it from Cinecittà Roma" said the Wabbit.
Monday, November 05, 2012
Thoth was a God who was thrice great - and he knew it. But he liked the Wabbit and spoke in a friendly voice. "Thrice hello Wabbit!" The Wabbit leant back against Thoth's imposing frame "I’ve come for my briefing," he said. "Well, you’ve come to the right God," said Thoth, "because I can both name and describe the enemy who want to expel the Roman cats from their ancient home." The Wabbit looked up and listened. "The enemy are called the Normots and they are thrice normal." boomed Thoth. "Thrice normal!" breathed the Wabbit in horror. "Yes," confirmed Thoth, "they are very sick indeed. They have no subjectivity and move themselves as objects in a world of objects." The Wabbit, who had trained in analytical psychology in Geneva, nodded gravely. "Then they are most dangerous," he said, "because they recognise no feelings of their own." "Thrice correct Wabbit," said Thoth." But they observe feelings in others and copy or steal them. They are therefore stupid yet cunning." "Mmmm," said the Wabbit. "Shall we confront these Normots?" "Hah Hah Hah!" boomed Thoth. "They may not even understand your purpose and that is thrice to your advantage." The Wabbit shook his head. "Do they know we’re coming?" he asked . "Of course not," said Thoth, "They are many, but they don’t know whether they’re coming or going." "Yet they know enough to organise this expulsion," observed the Wabbit. "They watch television," sighed Thoth.
Friday, November 02, 2012
"You look sleepy, Wabbit, would you care for a coffee?" Unut’s voice was barely a whisper in the vast Basement of the Goddesses. The Wabbit yawned. "I don’t mind if I do," he said and downed a cup in a single movement. "Wabbit, I may speak only with you and I am charged with asking for something on behalf of the Goddesses." "The Goddesses!" echoed the Wabbit. "Oh they know you well," said Unut. "They repeat your jokes incessantly and bellow with laughter." The Wabbit resolved to cut down on his jokes in case it got him into trouble. And while he was resolving, Unut spoke again." "It is Bastet, Cat Goddess, who asks that you be her champion in a certain matter." "I’ll certainly do what I can," said the Wabbit. "The venerable cats of Torre Argentina in Rome are being expelled from their ancient home in the ruins," said Unut gloomily. The Wabbit’s fur stood on end. "What!" he cried, "I’m on my way immediately." Unut frowned. "Be still, Commander, don’t throw yourself at an enemy when you don’t know even its name." "This is personal," said the Wabbit and he hopped up and down. "You’ll need help," smiled Unut. "So take your 400 Rabbits and that Skratch the cat burglar." "I’ll round them up," said the Wabbit. "We march at dawn!" "Dawn has long passed," said Unut. "Then we march at dusk," cried the Wabbit, "and we’ll be mob-pawed and armed to the teeth." "Wait!" Said Unut, "Thoth will brief you." "I will be thrice briefed," sighed the Wabbit, who was anxious to be on his way. "Have another coffee," suggested Unut. The Wabbit nodded his head. "Then I'll jump to it!"
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Lapinette and the Wabbit had been for a hop on the beach. They were idly chatting when Lapinette suddenly produced a magic wand from behind her back and waved it around. “Look what I found," she chanted. "It has a little button and when you press it, the wand makes a zingy note." The Wabbit look nonplussed. "Don’t press the button," he advised. "You always press buttons," said Lapinette. "I have a feeling in my fur," replied the Wabbit, "don’t you remember what day this is?" "It’s Hallowe’en," chortled Lapinette, "when all manner of strange creatures are abroad." "Apart from us?" quipped the Wabbit. But Lapinette waved the wand again and just as the Wabbit reached out to grab it, she pressed the button. "You see, nothing happens," said Lapinette. "Behind you," groaned the Wabbit. Lapinette grinned. "I'm not falling for that one, that’s the oldest trick in the book." "Humour me," said the Wabbit. "No, no, no!" cried Lapinette and she tapped the Wabbit on the head. Stars flew from the wand and it made a most lyrical sound. “Oooh," said Lapinette, "that sounded Egyptian." "I dare say," said the Wabbit and he stared at a point behind Lapinette’s head. "Waaabbit!" boomed a voice that echoed from the rocks. "You are invited to an audience with Unut, Rabbit Goddess!" "Cute trick Wabbit! said Lapinette, "you can throw your voice so well." "The Dark Basement of the Goddesses, tomorrow morning!" boomed the voice. "Oh, you’re always joking," said Lapinette. "My diary needs adjusting," sighed the Wabbit.
Friday, October 26, 2012
As the friends waited on drinks to arrive, Skratch stood up and patted the Wabbit. "May I say," he boomed, "what at an excellent adventure that was." "You may," said the Wabbit, winking at Lapinette, "but you also have to tell us what kind of adventure you think it was." Seeing his cue to make a speech, Skratch didn’t hesitate. "It was a noir of course!" The Wabbit cocked his ears and his eyes twinkled. "It started in the rain, then a spider woman appeared with a plan and there were shadows," said Skratch with enthusiasm. "Is that how you tell?" smiled the Wabbit, nudging Lapinette under the table. "Yes," said Skratch, "these are familiar tropes, exquisitely handled." "Oh Skratch, you silly sausage," said Lapinette. "What on earth is a trope?" The Wabbit leaned forward. "Skratch is referring to figures of speech expected by the audience, metaphors if you will." Now it was Lapinette’s turn to lean forward. "You mean the adventure all meant something else?" "Nearly," said Skratch. "Because of his desire for adventure, the Wabbit allowed himself to be drawn into something outside his control." The Wabbit nodded gravely as Skratch continued. "We know that Duetta’s shadows were reflections, denoting her possible duplicity." "Do go on," said Lapinette, and pretending to make notes, she kicked the Wabbit’s foot a little too hard. "Ouch" said the Wabbit. "There you are!" said Skratch, "that was a Wabbit trope." The Wabbit slapped a paw to his head. "If I give him enough trope he’ll hang himself!" "That was a meme," said Lapinette.
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
As the last of the surviving wasps were loaded into Quantum the Time Travelling Train, the Wabbit returned his badge of alliance to Duetta Spyder. "Marshall Spyder, since the battle is over and done, our alliance is now terminated," he stated tersely. "You are transporting them to the Sombrero Galaxy?" said Duetta. The Wabbit nodded. Duetta looked at the creatures. "I was rather hoping for a tasty wasp meal," she said, making gnashing noises with her teeth. The Wabbit grimaced. "We may one day be judged on the way we treat our prisoners," he said. "But exile," said Duetta "is something of a waste." "It’s in the interest of biodiversity," quipped the Wabbit. "Not mine," said Duetta, rattling her legs. "Look, eating prisoners is just not the way we do things round here," snapped the Wabbit. Duetta looked at the Wabbit and softened and her voice became smooth and alluringly feminine. "All the same, I think I owe you something of a favour," she whispered in the silkiest of tones. The Wabbit did not respond because he felt an icy chill crawl across his fur. But as Duetta turned to go, he raised a paw in formal salute. "Goodbye, Marshall Spyder." Swiftly, Duetta wheeled back and transfixed the Wabbit with eyes of steel. "Permission to speak frankly, Commander?" she asked. The Wabbit spread his paws wide. "Always," he said, automatically. "The trouble with you, Commander Wabbit - is that you think you’re God." The Wabbit shrugged and smiled the broadest of smiles. "I always aim for the best," said the Wabbit.
Saturday, October 20, 2012
Thursday, October 18, 2012
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
The three raced across the city at high speed, the Wabbit and Lapinette loping quickly to keep up with the rapid scuttle of Duetta - who made straight for the highest place in the city, the Mole Antonelliana. The Wabbit looked on as Duetta positioned herself on the side of a nearby building and then made the most surprising leap the Wabbit had ever seen. "Good grief!" said the Wabbit. It had been some time since the Wabbit had made his own surprising leap, which was from the the tip of this very building and it was out rather than up. "No helichopper required this time," muttered the Wabbit, "just look at her go." "Come on Wabbit, we need to fulfil our part of the mission," said Lapinette. "Where did you find our transport?" asked the Wabbit. "I pulled in some favours," said Lapinette. The Wabbit smiled because he was usually the one to acquire things in an unorthodox fashion. "How many lunches?" queried the Wabbit. "I don't know what you mean!" replied Lapinette. "How many did it cost you?" repeated the Wabbit. They both paused to watch Duetta land on the top of the spire. "A Gala Dinner," said Lapinette finally. The Wabbit suppressed a snort. "Am I invited?" he asked. Lapinette thought for a while. "As long as you don't make bad jokes at the wrong time," she said. "I seldom joke at a Gala Dinner," stated the Wabbit. Lapinette narrowed her eyes in disbelief. "How so?" she asked. "Too busy eating," smiled the Wabbit.
Saturday, October 13, 2012
Lapinette, the Wabbit and Duetta the Red Spider met in a hidden corner in a Palace in the centre of town. Looking over his shoulder, the Wabbit handed Duetta a small vial of blue liquid in a manner that can only be described as shifty." Duetta pounced on the vial immediately. "Did you mix it to my exact specifications, Commander?" she asked imperiously. The Wabbit nodded and then looked around cautiously. Lapinette scowled. "Did you wear gloves as I suggested?" she said. The Wabbit stared at Lapinette and his eyes narrowed, then suddenly flashed enormously wide. "I am the Rabbit God!" he cried. Duetta rattled her legs but Lapinette stamped a foot and shook a paw at the rabbit. "Of course," grinned the Wabbit, "I always keep keep sterile gloves in my fur." Lapinette placed her paws on her hips and looked seriously at the Wabbit. "In case of forensic emergencies," he explained. Duetta ignored this badinage and grasping the vial, drank the contents in a single gulp. The Wabbit and Lapinette turned to watch Duetta, expecting something major to happen, but Duetta merely smiled. “Now we must hasten to a high place and prepare," she stated. But while Duetta sounded normal, her eyes started to revolve. And although they were whirling in spirals they easily captured Lapinette’s gaze. Lapinette looked into the spirals and couldn't take her eyes away. Her head begin to swim and she felt slightly dizzy. "What can you see?" she asked in a quivering tone. "Perfection," said Duetta.
Thursday, October 11, 2012
The Wabbit quietly approached Skratch to obtain the dietary supplement that Duetta the spider required for her task. "Pssst," said the Wabbit. Skratch looked amused and placed a paw on the Wabbit’s head. "What can I get you, Wabbit?" he asked, ruffling the Wabbit between the ears. "I need some stuff!" hissed the Wabbit. "What kind of stuff?" whispered Skratch. "A special kind of stuff," said the Wabbit and he leaned in to Skratch’s fur and explained the Spider's plan. "Oh dear," said Skratch. "You can’t get that stuff." "What!" shouted the Wabbit in exasperation. "Shhhh!" said Skratch. "I meant it can’t be obtained legally." "Grrr," said the Wabbit. "But I can steal it," said Skratch cheerfully. "You definitely can’t buy it?" breathed the Wabbit. "Unfortunately it’s on a list," murmured Skratch and he hummed a Tampa Red blues song. "And no matter how you try, you can't buy, you can't get that stuff no more." "Could you steal it and leave some money?" suggested the Wabbit, "If you insist!" said Skratch. "How much do you need anyway?" "Not much apparently," said the Wabbit, "will it take long?" The Wabbit drummed a paw on the floor impatiently and made a grinding sound with his teeth. "Chill out Wabbit, it’ll be with you in no time." The Wabbit growled and rummaged in his fur for cash. "And this spider woman, she’s really going to eat that stuff?" mused Skratch. "Yes, and then she'll spin awe-inspiring, WASP-defying designs," said the Wabbit in an enchanted voice. "Wow!" said Skratch. "If she takes the stuff, that lady's going to be spun!"
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
"Marchesa Lapinette of the Department?" said the spider, "Marshall Duetta Spyder at your service!" "The Red Spiders seek an alliance against the WASP," explained the Wabbit. "The Red Spiders," said Lapinette gently, "didn’t you disband? " "We fight on," said Duetta, making a complicated wavy sign with a front leg. Lapinette nodded and brought consideration to the matter in paw. "What of the Glistening Web Tendency?" she said gravely. "Captured," said Duetta. "The Fund Raiser faction?" queried the Wabbit. "Its members decided to be bank robbers," said Duetta. "Eternal Combat?" suggested Lapinette. "Sold out to the enemy for a pittance," replied Duetta. "Never-ending Web?" asked the Wabbit. "Wiped out by a chewing gum disaster in 1987," said Duetta. "So how many of you remain?" said the Wabbit in a matter of fact voice. "A few," murmured Duetta. Now Lapinette spoke sharply. "How many?" Duetta lifted her head proudly. "Just me! But I can replicate rather quickly." "The WASP are many," stated Lapinette. "And tenacious," said the Wabbit. "I have a plan," said Duetta. "Do tell," said the Wabbit, quivering with excitement. "It involves spinning fractal webs," she said. The Wabbit’s eyes glistened with delight but Lapinette eyes narrowed. "Webs aren’t fractals," she said categorically. "Mine are," said Duetta, "depending on my diet." She passed a badge to Lapinette and rattled her legs as Lapinette pinned it to her fur. "Now what shall we call our alliance?" "The Spin Hopsters," smiled the Wabbit.
Monday, October 08, 2012
The Wabbit hopped inside an entrance to get out of the rain and ran straight into an enormous web. And the more the Wabbit struggled the more trapped he became. He reached into his fur for a multi-purpose tool that he bought in a market (and never used) when a shadow passed. The Wabbit found himself looking at a giant spider and the spider was staring back at him. Then both shrank away in surprise. The spider was first to recover. "Name, rank and number," she commanded. "Wabbit, Commander, 007/392," said the Wabbit. "Of the 400 Rabbits?" asked the spider. She stiffened to attention and gave a wavy salute with one of her eight legs. "I’m afraid you have the advantage of me," said the Wabbit, who had found the tool he wanted and was now cutting his way free. "I am Marshall Duetta Spyder of the Ragni Rossi" said the spider, "what on earth are you doing in my web?" "Ragni Rossi ...," murmured the Wabbit, considering his mental catalogue of irregular forces. "That's the Red Spiders. Didn’t you disband?" "Certainly not," continued the spider. "We continue underground and in the very interstices of the city." "Against the forces of WASP?" remembered the Wabbit. "They remain the menace they always were," said Duetta, "and my web was meant for them, not a rabbit." "That’s Wabbit - with a W," said the Wabbit. "And I am Spyder with a Y," said Duetta and then she paused and thought. "Perhaps we should consider an alliance?" "Alliances come and go," shrugged the Wabbit. "But we should seize the time," stressed Duetta. "Well, while we’re seizing it, could you help me down?" said the Wabbit.
Friday, October 05, 2012
The Wabbit hopped down the Via Paolo Sacchi with his paws deep in his fur and as he hopped he complained. "I hop a tiresome hop," he muttered and he attempted to hop a pattern across the Escher-like frames on the sidewalk under the porticos. The Wabbit hated the rain. It was no secret that when the rain started, the Wabbit would bolt for cover and it was the fundamental reason he liked the porticos. When the weather was wet and inhospitable, he could hop for as many as 18 kilometres without sullying his fur. In this way he could hop in a complete circle across the city without as much as a single wet hair. But this wasn’t one of these days. Every evening for what seemed like months, the rain had hurtled down like bullets and that evening it bounced horizontally from the road, ricocheted into the porticos and straight onto the Wabbit’s coat. "Grr," said the Wabbit and he tried to smooth his fur down. But that just made things worse and he felt damp and miserable. "Oh why can’t the Department send me on a new mission?" he muttered to himself. "I’m bored and I’m wet and I’m in a bad mood.," He stopped for a moment and listened to the deluge smash on the road outside. He could hear something else. Something besides rain. It was faint, but his ears were keen and they swivelled around like antennae. It was a hollow sound, somewhere between a rattle and a tick. "Even the rain sounds annoyed," grumbled the Wabbit.
Thursday, October 04, 2012
Skratch the Cat Burglar headied to the cinema to watch a film called Bringing up Baby, not out of interest in leopards, but because he was writing a learned paper on director, Howard Hawks. It was due the next day and lateness made Skratch nervous.“Hello Skratch.” Skratch looked up to see Ghost Bunny emerge from a previous performance. She was the last being he wanted to meet, because Skratch never admitted to anyone, far less himself, that he was completely terrified of Ghost Bunny. He tried to hide this with a bonhomie that did little to convince Ghost Bunny - and in order to counter it, she also hailed Skratch like a long lost brother. “How’s the Wabbit?” she cried with gusto. “Oh why do we always talk about the Wabbit?” asked Skratch. “He’s a wonderful role model,” said Ghost Bunny. “He’s a self-appointed hero and conceited too,” said Skratch. “What about you?” said Ghost Bunny, smiling to herself. “What’s that obscure film book you’re trying to hide?” “I’m not hiding it,” said Skratch, pushing it into his fur. “Leave it be", said Ghost Bunny, “you must foreground the signifier.” “You know about film?” gasped Skratch.” I’m a Ghost of Pluto, First Class. I’ve seen all the films in this galaxy and beyond.” “Oooh!” said Skratch, “then you must have a favourite.” “I’m a scientific ghost and strictly neutral,” said Ghost Bunny. “Oh, go on, go on, go on,” said Skratch with enthusiasm and he danced from paw to paw. Ghost Bunny didn’t hesitate. “ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” she nodded.
Monday, October 01, 2012
The Wabbit and Lapinette hopped along the Corso Vinzaglio, deep in thought. “Well you’re very popular,” said Lapinette suddenly. The Wabbit cast a sidelong glance. “With the bomb in the market place, I mean,” added Lapinette. ” Sure,” said the Wabbit. “It had your name on it,” grimaced Lapinette. “I’m a smash hit!” replied the Wabbit. “Ah yes, of course,” said Lapinette. “Your enemies hit on you!” The Wabbit smiled. “Not quite,” he murmured. “That would imply an abrupt and disrespectful social manoeuvre.” “ Give me an example,” said Lapinette. “He hit on me for some cash,” scowled the Wabbit. Lapinette made enormous eyes and the Wabbit wasn’t sure if she was trying to pull his leg. He carried on regardless. “My enemies took out a hit on me,” said the Wabbit. “But they didn’t actually hit you,” smiled Lapinette. “Fortunately not,” said the Wabbit. “If they’d hit me, they would have considered they had hit the nail on the head.” “But instead you hit the ground running,” suggested Lapinette. “More or less," grinned the Wabbit, ”I think you have the hang of it.” Lapinette thought and thought and then she found what she was looking for. “It’s just like that film with Sydney Poitier in it,” she said innocently. “Blackboard Jungle?” asked the Wabbit. “No,” smiled Lapinette. Without warning she dug him hard in the ribs and then in a low tone, whispered, ”In the hit of the night!”
Thursday, September 27, 2012
Terni the Food Dragon took the Wabbit at his word and headed directly to a restaurant in Turin. And the Wabbit was as good as his word because he immediately ordered an artisan beer, made in Terni’s homeland of Umbria. "What’s new?" called a voice. They both turned their heads to see Lapinette hopping quickly across to their table. "Well, hello fair damsel," said Terni and flapped his cabbage wings. Lapinette wasn’t certain about being called a damsel, but she smiled sweetly. "Are you’re the Dragon that flew across restricted airspace?" " I’m afraid so," sighed Terni. "Twenty times," added Lapinette. Terni grinned. "Am in I trouble?" "I reported UFOs," said Lapinette." "I suppose I am one," said Terni and looked at his beer. "They don’t mind dragons here?" he asked. "They’re very inclusive," said the Wabbit. "I even see Befana the benevolent witch in here." "Haven’t seen her for hundreds of years," said Terni. "She comes every day," said the Wabbit, "and if I’m here she gives me candy." "I prefer beer," said Terni. "You’ve had three already," warned the Wabbit and he searched in his fur for more lunch vouchers, only to find them stuck to some old sweets. "Wasn’t Terni supposed to get a barrel of beer as part of his transfer fee," observed Lapinette. "I forgot!" moaned the Wabbit and he slapped a sticky paw to his forehead. Terni fluttered his wings. "Who’s that fellow behind us?" "Just a cardboard cut out," said the Wabbit, "he’s advertising a loyalty card." "I’m loyal," said Terni. "Then I’ll just take your details," said the cut-out.
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
The Wabbit merely turned the bag upside down and the talking bomb dropped out, singing the while. "Everybody’s worried, about that talking bomb," sang the bomb, "but no-one ever worries about . .." It never finished the verse. Four successive detonations boomed over the waves and the shock wave drove the dragon back on a course to home. "Boom, boom!" yelled the Wabbit. "Boom boom," said Terni the dragon in a nonchalant fashion. "We have turbulence, Dragon Heavy" shouted the Wabbit. "Pay no attention," said Terni as he zoomed inland. The Wabbit remained silent and for a while, all he could hear was the wind tearing at his fur. "Do you have any enemies?" The Wabbit could always hear Terni’s deep voice above anything the elements could offer. "Would you care to scan one of my lists?" replied the Wabbit. "Is it awfully long?" enquired Terni. "With several sub sections," said the Wabbit. "My goodness, do you always live in this adventurous manner?" asked Terni. "Sometimes we all stop for an aperitivo," said the Wabbit brightly. "Mine’s beer," said Terni. "The choice is yours," said the Wabbit, "my treat." Terni considered the matter. "Suddenly, food shopping seems a little dull," he said. The Department can always use a dragon on special secondment," said the Wabbit, secretly wondering how many meals he would have to buy to obtain the appropriate authority. "I’ll go through your list," said Terni, "and get your enemies down." "We’d all like that," chortled the Wabbit.
Friday, September 21, 2012
The Wabbit and Terni the food dragon soared across the countryside, carrying the talking bomb towards the sea. And all the way the bomb chattered incessantly. "Is there any way you can shut it up?" shouted Terni. "Follow the yellow brick road, follow the yellow brick road," sang the bomb. "I don’t want to fiddle with it," yelled the Wabbit. "I’ll be glad to get rid of it," moaned Terni. "Vamos a la playa, aha ha ha ha!" sang the bomb. "Aaaaaagh," shouted Terni, "it’s doing my head in." "Only a little bit further," urged the Wabbit. "Out to sea a few kilometres and we’ll hear it no more." "How do you propose to get rid of it?" queried Terni. "I’ll just dump it," said the Wabbit. "Not with my bag you won’t," grimaced Terni. "I’ll get you a new bag," said the Wabbit. "Be so good as to save my brand new bag," uttered Terni. The Wabbit began to feel the bag carefully and started to turn it. But the bomb felt the movement and it sang even more. "I’m for ever blowing bubbles," sang the bomb, "pretty bubbles in the air." "We ought to join in with this one," said the Wabbit. "How does it go?" said Terni. "Like this," said the Wabbit and he started to sing. "He’ll fly so high, nearly reach the sky." The Wabbit warbled at the top of his voice. "Then like his dreams he’ll fade and die!" "I’m up for it," said Terni and he banked steeply and headed out over the water.
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
The Wabbit gingerly lifted the object and held it tightly to his chest. "It’s ticking," said Terni the food dragon. "It is," said the Wabbit. "It has wires," said Terni. It does," said the Wabbit. "It looks like a bomb to me," ventured Terni. "It appears that way," said the Wabbit, "but I can’t read that writing, can you?" Terni scrunched up his eyes. "It says ... a present for the Wabbit." "How thoughtful," said the Wabbit. "Anything else?" "Made in China," said Terni. "Everything is, nowadays," mused the Wabbit and he listened closely to the ticking. Terni waited for what seemed like an age. "I think we have some time," said the Wabbit finally, "so pass me that bag." Terni gave his newly acquired shopping bag to the Wabbit and the Wabbit carefully placed the bomb inside. "Can’t hang around here, can we?" said Terni. "No, not a good idea," said the Wabbit gravely. "I’ve always wanted to be swiftly deployed," murmured Terni. "You've got your wish Terni," said the Wabbit "Grip me firmly and airlift us out." With lightning speed, Terni's talons closed on the Wabbit’s fur and in one sweep of his cabbage winds they were airborne. "Which way?" asked Terni. "Fregene and the sea," gasped the Wabbit. "I quite like the seaside," chatted Terni. "Is someone out to get you by any chance?" Suddenly the bomb spoke and they could hear its electronic whine above the wind. ”In the beginning, there was darkness," said the bomb, "and the darkness was without form, and void." "Oh do shut up!" shouted Terni and he shot into the sky.
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
The Wabbit and Terni the food dragon arrived at San Silverio Market and Terni had a good prowl round. "This is more like it," said Terni and looked about for cabbage leaves. "You’ll like it here," said the Wabbit. "The traders are most friendly and will no doubt reach an agreement regarding your beer." "They won’t mind a food dragon?" asked Terni. "They don’t mind anyone here," said the Wabbit firmly. "Then I would like to make a purchase," said Terni. "Speak to that young woman there," suggested the Wabbit. Terni lifted his head. "Excuse me young woman," he called. The woman turned. "How can I help you father?" she smiled. Terni was quite smitten and nudged the Wabbit. "I like it here," he said and turned back. "I am looking for a bag," he ventured. "Any particular sort?" asked the woman. "It must be green and capacious enough for my food shopping," said Terni. "Va bene," said the woman and rummaged through the bags on her stall. "And it should have a small inner pocket for my change," added Terni, "and when empty, it must fold into a small pocket of its own." The woman produced a bag and Terni scrutinised the seams closely. "That will do nicely," he said. "One euro," said the woman. "A bargain!" said Terni to the Wabbit. "I’m so pleased," said the Wabbit, "but do you see that strange thing over there?" "Where?" said Terni squinting into the sun. "Oh yes I do see it, let’s take a closer look." "Go easy Terni," said the Wabbit. "No sudden noise and no vibration." Cautiously, Terni and the Wabbit inched closer to the object ...
Saturday, September 15, 2012
The Wabbit hopped along to the new Testaccio market, not far away. Terni the food dragon spotted him easily and swooped down to join him. They both looked around and at first glance, the Wabbit knew it wasn’t as bad as he had expected. But the Wabbit had a clear idea of what a market should be like. He felt the new building was far too regimented and not very exciting. He wanted to scruff it up a bit and rummage around. There were no old records or magazines and everything was so spotless it seemed sterile. The dragon watched the Wabbit quietly shake his head for some time and saw his ears flap up and down. Finally the Wabbit spoke. "Markets," quoted the Wabbit, "should be medieval in character and have limpidity." The dragon fluttered his wings. "What’s limpidity?" he asked. "Unambiguous. Transparent. Clear and easy to understand," said the Wabbit. "Like me," said the dragon. "Dragons are limpid by nature," said the Wabbit. "Not like you then, Wabbit?" stated the dragon, "Regretfully no," said the Wabbit. "No offence," said Terni the dragon. "None taken," said the Wabbit and he paused to consider the matter of markets. Suddenly an idea flashed into the Wabbit’s head and he smiled broadly at Terni. "What about a transfer?" "To a new market?" asked Terni. "Exactly!" said the Wabbit. "Will there be a transfer fee?" shrieked Terni with delight. "We’ll negotiate something," said the Wabbit. "15 kilograms of cabbage," said Terni. "Anything else?" grinned the Wabbit. Terni folded his wings back, thought deeply, then made his decision. "I want a barrel of beer." "Now, that’s limpid!" yelled the Wabbit.
Friday, September 14, 2012
The Wabbit was horrified to see Testaccio Market and stared at the food dragon. "What’s happened here?" he asked, "because this was a vibrant place full of hustle and bustle and people selling stuff." "They closed it," said the food dragon. "They can’t!" said the Wabbit and he stamped his hind leg in disgust. "There’s a new market of concrete and lights and niche products," said the dragon, "and they have no room for a food dragon like me." The Wabbit stamped his foot again. "They would not embrace your difference," he shouted. "I’m used to it," said the dragon. "There was once a saint who tried to make me mild." A ferocious heat emerged from the dragon's tongue and it singed the Wabbit's fur, so the Wabbit hopped back slightly. "How did that make you feel?" he said, smoothing his fur with both paws. "Angry!" roared the dragon. Everything rattled. "I suggest you forgive him," said the Wabbit. "No!" roared the dragon. "Say it," said the Wabbit. "Say what?" said the dragon. "I forgive the saint." repeated the Wabbit. "I can't," said the dragon. "Try," urged the Wabbit. The dragon fluttered his wings and quietly murmured, "I forgive him." "Can’t hear you," said the Wabbit. "I forgive him!" roared the dragon and the Wabbit hopped back once more. "How do you feel now?" he asked. "Mildly irritated," said the dragon. The Wabbit bared a 28 toothed grin. "My work is nearly done!" he smiled. "Now let’s take a look at this awful market. What’s your name, by the way?" "Terni," said the dragon. "Come on Terni, let’s see what the planners have done." "Wabbit, what do planners eat?" asked Terni. "Their words, usually," said the Wabbit.
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
"Whoah hooah!" said the Wabbit as the food dragon whisked him into the sky and past the Vatican dome. The Wabbit's ears were firmly in the grip of the dragon’s talons and the air tore at his fur as they flew across the rooftops. "Where precisely is your destination?" asked the Dragon. "Testaccio Market," yelled the Wabbit. "Pistachio market, I call it," said the food dragon, "so that will be 7 euro." The Wabbit didn’t have the breath to argue and anyway he thought it was a fair enough price. Somehow, the dragon seemed to know what the Wabbit was thinking. "That’s a special price, because it’s where I live and I’m on my way home." "To your den?" suggested the Wabbit. "I don’t have a den," said the dragon. "I have a lair." "OK, lair," agreed the Wabbit for the sake of peace. "You can help me because I’m seeking a dragon that been disturbing the population." "I’m not disturbed, I’m a perfectly balanced dragon," cried the dragon and he showed the Wabbit what he meant by swooping rather close to a spire. "Not that sort of disturbation," said the Wabbit clenching his ears as best he could manage. "I meant the general population kind of running around shouting "Don't Panic!" disturbation.". "Oh them," said the dragon. "They’re quite silly." "When will we get there?" asked the Wabbit, who was becoming impatient and his fur was feeling aeriated. "After I get my shopping," said the dragon. "What shopping?" asked the Wabbit. "Food shopping," said the dragon. The Wabbit laughed. "Why did the corn stalk get mad at the farmer?" he ventured. "I give up," said the dragon. "He kept pulling its ears!" yelled the Wabbit.
Monday, September 10, 2012
The Wabbit took a short cut through the tunnel that routed the Galleria Principe Amedeo di Savoia underground by the Vatican then down to the Tiber. The Wabbit thought that name was far too long for a tunnel and besides it was extremely polluted and rather unpleasant. So he pinched his nose to avoid breathing fumes and hopped quickly towards the other end. He was just half way through when he became aware of a periodic roaring but he shrugged it away, because he assumed it must be someone showing off a new Ferrari. "How vulgar," he muttered and carried on. Then he felt a strange heat at his back. "Hot day," thought the Wabbit, "especially in this tunnel," and he fanned his fur with both paws. Then a roaring echoed back and forward between the tunnel walls and a wind ruffled the Wabbit’s fur and made it prickle. "Must be a summer storm," thought the Wabbit and he carried on hopping. But for an instant he caught a whiff of fresh vegetables and being unable to explain this away, he glanced over his shoulder. A green dragon swooped through the tunnel at crazy angles, looming closer and closer. Suddenly the dragon screeched to a halt and looked at the Wabbit as if he were mad. The Wabbit shrugged and looked back as if he wasn’t. "Roar?" said the dragon. "Grrr?" said the Wabbit, because he couldn’t think of a suitable utterance. "Roar!" bellowed the dragon and shot off. The Wabbit peered towards the exit as the dragon’s wings obscured the light and made everything dim, But then to his astonishment, he saw him swooping back. The Wabbit ducked as the dragon passed him again, then flinched as it circled round and picked him up by his ears. "This way," said the dragon.
Thursday, September 06, 2012
Lovely Lapinette emerged from the electronics shop clutching some kind of machine and the Wabbit descended on her with delight. "Let me make a few adjustments," said the Wabbit. "No!" cried Lapinette but she was too late and the Wabbit did something and handed it back. "I’ve told you about this before," said Lapinette. "It’s fine," said the Wabbit, "It voids the warranty," said Lapinette. "That's not worth the cardboard it’s written on," said the Wabbit. "Well, all I can say is that it's a good thing you have a new mission. It will keep you out of trouble." "Oh," said the Wabbit, "does it involve complexity?" "It's simple. You have to go to Rome, there's a strange dragon flying around." The Wabbit looked curiously at Lapinette and paused to consider what other kind of dragon there might be. "I’ll pack my dragon accessories," he smiled. "What kind of accessories?" said Lapinette with alarm. "Pots and pans," said the Wabbit. "You can get these in Rome," said Lapinette, "it’s not the desert." "I prefer my own," said the Wabbit. "Anything else?" said Lapinette. "Depends what country it’s from," said the Wabbit. "You know an awful lot about dragons," said Lapinette. "Dragonology," replied the Wabbit. For a moment there was silence. "Perhaps it will grant me a wish," murmured the Wabbit, "and I'll ask for peace and quiet." "Be very careful about what you wish for," advised Lapinette, clasping her machine close. "Don’t press that red button!" shouted the Wabbit.
Tuesday, September 04, 2012
The wabbits met at a caffè they hadn’t been to before and sheltered from the baking sun. They had just begun to discuss what kind of adventure they had, when they saw Skratch hove around the corner. “You settle this Skratch," called the Wabbit. "You’ve been to lit-crit class," added Lapinette. "I’ve been perusing Jump Cut magazine," said Skratch. "Oh really?" muttered the Wabbit. "I thought that old film journal died with film criticism years ago!" "It’s online now," said Skratch, "and I’ve been reading about a film called Taxidermia - the taxidermist was consumed alive by speed eating cats." "Yuk!" said Lapinette and she tried desperately to change the subject. "I do like your new CAT logo, Skratch," she said. "It’s very striking." The Wabbit wrinkled his nose. "The serif isn’t quite right," he said. "I shot the serif," said Skratch. "What about his deputy?" asked the Wabbit. "I didn’t shoot no deputy," said Skratch, "just the serif. Is it a capital offence?" "No, not in self defence," said the Wabbit. Lapinette sighed. "What are you two on about?" she asked with an exasperated voice. "We were deciding what our War Games adventure could be called," said the Wabbit, "but we got diverted." "I think it was an ambivalent text that appealed to a broad audience, but despite its feminist pretensions it emerged somewhat flawed," said Skratch. “Everyone’s a critic," smiled the Wabbit. "There are no proper film critics any more," said Lapinette. "Definitely," said the Wabbit. "The new ones think Pasolini designed sunglasses."