Wednesday, August 30, 2017

3. The Wabbit and Cinema Sales

With some folding money under her wing, Peggy hopped along the road asking everyone and anyone if they had anything to flog. So by the time she reached Corso Emanuele, Peggy had accumulated a vast number of useless things and was considerably poorer. The Wabbit and Lapinette shadowed her protectively, stepping in if they thought anyone was taking advantage. Outside the Ambrosio Cinema, they spotted Skratch the Cat volunteering at a film festival. He pounced out immediately. "Only a few seats left, only a few now, roll up, roll up," he yelled. "I'll take the seats," shouted Peggy. "How many would you like?" asked Skratch. He'd sold no tickets whatsoever and he was therefore delighted. "I'll buy your seats," said Peggy, "and anything more you have to flog." Skratch peeled off a ticket and tried to find a programme -  but Peggy showed no interest. "You said seats. I want seats." Skratch scratched his head. "I'm afraid they're all fixed to the floor. But you can sit on a seat and watch the movie." "Yes let's!" said Lapinette. She produced a season ticket from her frock and dragged the Wabbit and Peggy towards the foyer. Peggy protested but Lapinette grabbed a wing and pulled. "A movie is just starting!" shouted Skratch. He led the way with a torch to the front row. "What's the movie called?" murmured the Wabbit. "The Wolf of Wall Street," replied Skratch. "Does he have anything to flog?" asked Peggy.

Monday, August 28, 2017

2. The Wabbit and the Excellent Deal

The Wabbit headed for the market in the company of the bird, who wouldn't go away. "Anything to flog?" repeated the bird. "I'm going to call you, Peggy," chirped the Wabbit. At that moment, they spotted Lapinette, who'd been helping her cousin Vinnie at his sales outlet. Peggy spread her wings. "Anything to flog?" Lapinette was delighted. "As it happens I do." She flicked a colourful piece of fabric that hovered weightlessly in the air. "I can see you're a bird of considerable taste," she said. "This fabric and design is unique. You won't find one like it anywhere." The Wabbit watched all this with humour and waited as Lapinette continued. "My cousin held this back for a buyer but he's lost in Peru. I can let you have it for a song." Peggy trilled a song and held out a wing. "Plus 50 euro," said Lapinette quickly, "It's stain resistant, washable and drip dry." Peggy produced 50 euro in notes and made a grab for the fabric. Lapinette quickly snatched it away and hopped back shouting, "It's uncrushable, travel proof and the colours never fade!" Peggy seized the fabric and a tug of war broke out, which she won. She carefully tucked the fabric in the iron grip of her other wing and gave Lapinette the cash. Lapinette peeled a ten euro note from the bundle and gave it to Peggy. "Special discount. Vinnie says always give one." Peggy held up the ten euro note and waved it at Lapinette. "Anything to flog..?"

Friday, August 25, 2017

1. The Wabbit and Anything to Flog

The Wabbit hopped down the riverside walk as he had done many times. Despite the frequency of his visits he had never met any other on that lonely path. On this occasion, he gazed quietly and critically at the latest graffiti and was about to make a pronouncement to no-one in particular - when he heard a squawk. "Anything to flog?" The creature was bird-like and looked friendly enough. But it kept saying the same thing over and over. "Anything to flog? You got anything to sell me? Anything at all?" The Wabbit shook the bird politely by the wing and tried to think. "I wasn't considering selling," he said. Nevertheless he rummaged in his fur for possibilities and after a while located a battered ruler and a half-eaten salad sandwich. "I'll give you top dollar," said the bird. "Oh, you can have these for nothing," smiled the Wabbit. The bird flapped its wings in dismissal. "A hundred euro for the ruler and fifty for the sandwich." The Wabbit was aghast and tried to put the objects back. But the bird snatched them away, tucked cash into the Wabbit's fur and grinned the broadest grin ever seen on a bird. The Wabbit shrugged and gave up, because it all seemed to be over and he couldn't do much about it. He turned to go on his way, but felt the flap of a wing on his shoulder. "Anything to flog?" said the bird...

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Wabbit at his Adventure Caffè

The Adventure Caffe was electric. The Wabbit still had a quark plasma disk and was waving it around. "Nothing on it, it's deactivated," he said, tapping it on his glass. "Only corrupted old files and a bad copy of "Singing in the Rain." Skratch shouted with glee. "Ephemeralisation! Soon we'll be able to make to do with nothing much at all." Lapinette screwed up her nose. "Maybe that's accidental complexity?" she suggested. Wabsworth shook his head. "Just the opposite. It's accidental essence." Now Skratch was more than excited. "But that's exactly the kind of adventure you just had." The Wabbit twitched his ears. "OK. What was the essence of our adventure and what was accident?" Wabsworth was having none of this. "The accidents were the essence and if you take them away, there wouldn't be any essence left." Lapinette nodded knowingly. "So then our Adventure would be de-essentialised, because the complete adventure was identifiably and substantially accidental." The Wabbit laughed long and hard. "We consistently and persistently maintained accidental essence throughout." Skratch was delighted. "We worked very hard at it. Aristotle would be delighted." The Wabbit looked round impatiently, because no waiter had appeared to serve them. He tapped the disk loudly on the table. Nothing whatsoever happened. "Looks like accidental service," grinned the Wabbit.
[From an idea by Michael Durrant. Mind, Volume LXXXIV, Issue 1, 1 January 1975, Pages 595–600.]

Monday, August 21, 2017

21. The Wabbit and the Quark Stack

"Where are we?" asked Lapinette. "In the quark stack," said the Royal Seal.  "I don't like it here," said an Ice Mouse. "It's all your own fault," said Silkie the Royal Seal. The Wabbit shrugged. He fished in his fur and pulled out an ancient CD player. Then he flicked a quark plasma disk into the player. It began to play an orchestral movement that Lapinette recognised. "Water Music." The atmosphere became damp and a bit sticky. Moisture seeped from the player. Droplets flew up then fell like rain. But it wasn't rain. "That's ours," croaked the Ice Mouse. Silkie laughed. "Take it if you can." The Ice Mouse tried to jump but slipped on a fine plasma film and fell over. "It's anti-rain, said Silkie. The Wabbit grimaced. "That's what the Ice Mice wanted." The Wabbit took the disk from the player and the plasma rain ceased. He put in a different disk. It played "Riders on the Storm" and rained in a tropical manner. Silkie's voice was stern. "Commander, this is what happens when you fail to submit timely mission reports." "It rains?" asked the Wabbit. Lapinette giggled, but Silkie barked, "All this could have been sealed and delivered six years ago." "Water under the bridge," smiled the Wabbit. "Don't let it happen again," said Silkie. The Wabbit plucked the disk from the player then flipped another one in. "I get to keep these, don't I?" "For a rainy day!" shouted Lapinette. And even the Ice Mouse laughed.

Friday, August 18, 2017

20. The Wabbit and Quark Plasma

The Wabbit dived for the ledge as an oncoming portal sped towards the team. There was an apologetic bang, but no doubt of the result. Quark plasma disks emerged in number and when they hit the tunnel, they began to spin fast. The Wabbit brought his stick down hard and yelled, "Drop the web." But the web didn't hold. Disks sliced through the tough weave and continued along the path of the decelerator. Lapinette dived for cover behind the ice floe. But the ice floe turned blue and began to melt - so she rolled across the track and quickly joined the Wabbit. "What's that? Do you know?" "That is the opposite of our ice floe," said the Wabbit; "It's a quark plasma stack." Waves of heat assaulted Lapinette's ears. The disks were sharp and silent. When they hit the side of tunnel, they lodged there, still spinning. Walls became soft, but held their form. Neither solid nor gas nor liquid, they hung in a plasma curtain. The ground vibrated. The Wabbit and Lapinette felt the tracks undulating beneath their feet. They were plasma too. Cautiously the Wabbit poked the plasma with his stick. Everything stopped. Disks dropped from walls. The ice floe reverted to arctic white. The tunnel restabilised. "Looks like that's all we get," murmured the Wabbit. He picked up a disk and polished it with his fur. "Think there's a tune on it?"

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

19. The Wabbit and the State of Matter

Deep in the mountains lay an important and very secret installation. At the Wabbit's behest, the Department of Wabbit Affairs built a particle decelerator - and allowed the Wabbit to modify it. "It needs to be straight on the rails," yelled the Wabbit, waving his stick. The red spiders patiently adjusted the ice floe. Measurements indicated it wasn't really cold, but it felt as if it was. Lapinette adjusted the timer carefully and said - as she always did at this juncture - "Do you think this will work?" "I tried it using a vase," said the Wabbit. Lapinette's face was a question. The Wabbit looked up in triumph. "All the bits came back!" "Bits?" He hesitated. "Powdery bits." "Ready when you are," called Marshall Duetta. The Wabbit stepped away from the track and lifted his stick. "On my mark." Lapinette activated the decelerator. Nothing appeared to happen. But the Wabbit knew the ice floe had been and gone and come back. An ozone smell wafted through air and sounds of sizzling like frying sausages. "It's different," said Duetta. She tapped the floe lightly with a leg. A hollow sound echoed through the tunnel. "Stand back," said the Wabbit. He raised his stick. Lapinette re-activated the device. Again, nothing seemed to change. But Duetta rattled her legs. "It's come back exactly the way it was." "The Wabbit pointed his stick down the tunnel. "Then what's that over there ..?"

Monday, August 14, 2017

18. The Wabbit and the Aftermath

When they flew across the city they knew something had happened. Burning craft lay in several places. In the distance, Duetta's red spiders ferried the ice floe along the mountains. Lapinette couldn't talk to the spiders directly, only through Duetta. So she put in a call. "Marsha Duetta Spider, come in," For a while there was nothing. Then there was a voice, but it wasn't Duetta. "Copy you," Lapinette," said Wabsworth. "I need actual Duetta," responded Lapinette. "Lapinette, standby," said Wabsworth abruptly. The Wabbit heard muffled explosions in the transmission and a lot of shouting. He took the walkie talkie. "Everything under control?" "Yes, Commander," said Wabsworth, "Never a bother." The Wabbit listened to an impossible number of ammunition rounds exploding. Then all went quiet. The radio crackled. "Commander, we had a small contretemps." Wabsworth was the Wabbit's android double and just like him in many ways. But Wabsworth had a penchant for understatement. "A situation has been contained. Advising rendezvous change to Point Delta." "Copy that Wabsworth," said Lapinette, "What situation?" "Ice Mice tried to kidnap the Royal Seal," replied Wabsworth. The Wabbit waited for more information and Wabsworth somehow smiled down the radio. "They tried to seal his fate." "And...?" asked Lapinette. "Our seal is armed to the teeth." said Wabsworth.

Friday, August 11, 2017

17. The Wabbit and the Night Tripper

Susan the Biplane lifted them from the bridge with the ease of a cargo hoist. It was a timely intervention. Saucers came from all directions firing green lightning that singed their ears. “They’re everywhere, Commander,” said Susan, “All over the city.” Lapinette clung onto a strut to lean out and back as Susan swooped from left to right. “Good thing you did that sidecar racing course,” muttered the Wabbit. Lapinette’s lean was quite impossible. She treated gravity like a toy and her merry dance on the wing was a tour de force. “Hold tight," said Susan. She stood on a wingtip, hung for an instant, then dived abruptly to the ground. Lightning blasts glanced past as she looped the loop and circled back. A following saucer didn’t quite make it and buried itself in a railway siding. Another that was right behind suffered the same fate. But there were more and more saucers. Susan buzzed two craft who’s crew became so disorientated they crashed their vessels into each other. Shards of fuselage littered the railway. Three craft hit power pylons and exploded. One dropped from the sky without warning and as it landed, its lights flickered and died. Lapinette heard singing above the roar of the engine. It was the Wabbit singing into his walkie talkie. “We are the champions, we are the champions!”

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

16. The Wabbit and the Big Drop

It happened in an instant. Without warning, saucers filled the air and they came thick and fast. The Wabbit and Lapinette were thrown from the bridge. Snow pelted their paws as they clung to the slippery surface. The Ice Mice turned and walked away without a word or a backward glance. "How did that happen?" muttered the Wabbit. His fur stuck fast as frost froze them both in a welcome embrace. The Wabbit watched saucers whizz past and he heard them make a fast-freeze cackle as they span. He slowly hauled himself over the parapet, then turned to lean out. He pulled Lapinette onto the bridge, set her down and murmured, "We need a better plan." Lapinette's frock was a frozen board. "Did we have a plan?" The Wabbit shrugged. "No plan is also a plan." He rummaged in his fur for his emergency fur drier and blasted it around. Lapinette was unimpressed and yelled, "Ears please." The Wabbit blasted Lapinette's ears until they were toasty. "We're making heavy weather of this," he sighed. The snow thickened but somehow it didn't settle. It turned into ice pellets the size of golf balls and clung to every surface of the bridge. The Wabbit activated his fur drier in a ferocious attack using unauthorised settings. It failed to melt a single one, but the snow stopped and the temperature rose. Lapinette was awe struck. "Where did you find that?" The Wabbit grinned ear to ear. "It found me."

Monday, August 07, 2017

15. The Wabbit and the Mice's Ice

The Wabbit hastened across the city to the rendezvous. It was becoming extremely cold and lazy snowflakes clung to his fur. Lapinette had lagged behind to explain something to Skratch the Cat. But now she hurried to catch up - and there they were, just behind the Wabbit. The Ice Mice were impervious to snow or any other weather and they hopped in his steps as the downfall grew fiercer. "Wabbit" shouted Lapinette. The Wabbit wiped snow from his fur and turned. Then he smirked at the three Ice Mice. "Hiding behind a rabbit's back is extremely poor form." He pulled an automatic from his fur. "This is my friend Mr Makarov." An Ice Mouse made a bee line for the Wabbit, but cold steel against his throat changed his mind. "Going somewhere?" growled Lapinette. The Ice Mice lolled around casually, like a bunch of gangbangers in a grotty ghetto. "Message for the Wabbit," said one. "Phone my secretary," snorted the Wabbit. "Call off your eight legged freaks," said an Ice Mouse who was struggling in Lapinette's grip. "Give us our ice and we'll be on our way." Lapinette held an ear and traced patterns with her blade in the creature's fur. "Why do you want the ice?" No-one spoke, so she poked the blade around. "Aaaagh!" yelled the Mouse; "It's spin ice." The Wabbit signalled to Lapinette. "Spin ice?" Lapinette ran a paw along the edge of her weapon. "Spin ice is quantum disordered ice." "The worst kind," sighed the Wabbit.

Friday, August 04, 2017

The Wabbit and his Adventure Caffè

The Wabbit threw a book on the table. "I found it." Lapinette was agog. "It's practically unobtainable." Skratch the Cat bore down on the group flaunting his new t-shirt, but he spotted the book and let out a long haunting meaow. "Where? How?" The Wabbit grinned and shook his head. "That, I may not reveal.  But it's yours now." "A Theory of Musical Semiotics," he chortled; "I'll quote that for years." A fresh breeze ruffled the pages. A faint tune rose and died away. Lapinette took the opportunity to ask the question. "What kind of adventure are we having?" Skratch blinked in a way that only a cat could achieve. "I wouldn't dare criticise a project in progress." "That's Sartre," said Lapinette. The Wabbit tapped the table with a firm paw. "Less methodology, more entertainment." Skratch tapped his chest. "I suggest water is invariably the site of conflict. In cinema, it mobilises a dramatic and conflicted discourse as fluid and changing as water itself." It was Wabsworth's turn to contribute." "This is about the content of water, not its shape. It's somethingness is the issue." The arcade was hot. A welcome breeze brought a change in temperature, prompting Skratch to sweep his paws across his ears. "Something in the air. Something strange." The Wabbit rose. "Time to rock n'roll..."

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

14. The Wabbit and the Ice that Wasn't

Back on earth, things were cool. But not that cool. Marshall Duetta's spiders brought as many as the ice floes they could capture and the Wabbit felt he should supervise. "Front legs down a bit, back legs up a bit." Marshall Duetta rattled all her legs. "Leave the capturing to us." The Wabbit shrugged. "What do you think, Wabsworth? Should we break the ice?" Wabsworth was the Wabbit's android double but was his own android nonetheless. "It won't break. It's not our kind of ice." The day blistered in the sun and the Wabbit felt hot and bothered. The floes promised refreshing coolness but steadfastly refused to melt. "Take them to the North Pole," suggested Wabsworth; "It could use some more." Lapinette thought that was a good idea. She leaned from a metal tower. "Global warming won't melt these in a million years." Wabsworth smiled and activated his sensors to make a brief analysis. "High pressure. Variable density. The molecular structure is a cube lattice weave. And there's something else I can't determine." A floe crashed to the ground but hardly made a sound. Then another. A wall of unyielding ice grew long and high. The Wabbit hissed. "The Ice Mice know about the something else. They usually do." "Then they'll be here soon," said Duetta. The Wabbit flashed all of his 28 teeth. "Post sentries," he muttered; "Everyone else take five for cold drinks."