Sunday, December 30, 2018

16. Skratch and the Tearaway Weapon.

Skratch wasn't surprised by the pod. He watched it roll to the beach hut and settle and he smiled. All was going according to plan. He meowed in feline satisfaction and brushed his paw along his fur. That was when he heard the sound of engines. It started like a chatter but grew into a whine. He felt a push of air, but all he could see was a blur. The object churned a path through the sand, flinging anything its path to the side. Flotsam and jetsam crashed along the beach. An old tyre pirouetted in the air. Skratch flinched as stones flew by his head. "Good grief," he muttered as he dodged out the way. The football was as big as he was. His nostrils filled with the acrid smell of burning oil and something else he couldn't identify. He watched the ball go. It bounced towards the pod and stopped. For a minute nothing happened. Then it started to sing. Skratch listened carefully. It was some kind of football song, full of offensive yet flouncy threats. He shrugged and made his way towards the pod. The big football broadcast a repetitive message that cast scorn on the place the pod's occupants came from. Skratch heard it continue with a variety of comments on the dubious parentage of the occupants. The messages then went on to forecast the likely appearance of any of the occupants' offspring, a diatribe so contemptuous that Skratch covered his ears and meowed to himself, "Sometimes the Wabbit goes too far." The pod's hatch opened ...

Thursday, December 27, 2018

15. Wabsworth and Susan's Beach Party

Events were as unexpected as they were sudden. Susan the Biplane swooped and hooked the pod. The Lepus steamed in with klaxons shrieking. Panico's eyes bulged in delight. Tipsy cheered and threw her paws in the air. Shrieky voices issued from inside the pod as it shuttled dripping along the beach. "Failsafe, Failsafe!" Something shimmered from a hatch, but quickly vanished. "Gotcha!" yelled Wabsworth. "Where to?" asked Susan. The pod bumped along the beach and left a jagged groove in the sand. The occupants howled. Wabsworth scanned the horizon. "Dump it along by the beach huts, we'll wait for the team to tease out the occupants." Tipsy and Panico were already running. "Holy Cannelloni!" shouted Tipsy. "Peskiest peril," yelled Panico. Wabsworth saw landing crafts leaving the Lepus and spoke into the blower. "Head for the beach hut!" Jenny's voice crackled. "Aye aye Commander. We'll crack that ball like a joke." Wabsworth touched the joystick and spoke to Susan. "Ever played curling?" Susan waggled her wings. Wabsworth released the hook and chain and the pod slid along the beach until it gently nudged a hut. It rocked slightly, rolled then rocked back. Inside the pod, something retched. "Yuk," said a voice. "Clear that up," said another. Tipsy stood with her paws on her hips and started to laugh. "They got a pizza tango!" Panico swayed and snickered behind his fist. Diesel engines chuntered in the distance so Tipsy sat down. She plucked a hip flask from her frock, swigged the entire contents down and sang, "What a swell party this is!"

Monday, December 24, 2018

14. The Wabbit and the Doomsday Ball

In a long forgotten electric plant, somewhere on the Tiber, the Wabbit demonstrated his counter-doomsday weapon. Doctor StrangeGlove fondled his borrowed automatic and grinned a sinister grin. "Does it work?" The Wabbit tucked his own automatic in his fur. "Try it." StrangeGlove fired at the football. The football swerved to dodge the bullet - then ate it. StrangeGlove tried again. The bullet stopped dead, hung in the air and shot straight back. StrangeGlove caught the bullet in his teeth. "How menshee shav we got?" he mumbled. "We're in production now," replied the Wabbit. The ball  bounced up and down, making hard taps on the concrete floor. "That's annoying," said StrangeGlove. He spat the bullet at the ball. The ball revolved, hovered, and then sprayed a series of bullets that left a message on the floor. StrangeGlove squinted down, read it and turned to the Wabbit. "Mine Führer. Our domination is certain." "If we have the balls," grinned the Wabbit. StrangeGlove twirled the automatic. "Where is the Doomsday Pod now?" "In the water," said the Wabbit. "Deep?" asked StrangeGlove. "It just squirted out," shrugged the Wabbit. "Did they start the countdown?" asked StrangeGlove. "It appears they bent the key," said the Wabbit. StrangeGlove spat and fired at the ceiling. "Incompetent swines!" The Wabbit grinned. "Maybe they used the wrong keyhole..!"

Friday, December 21, 2018

13. Panico and the Unexpected Arrival

Panico looked at the pod and bit his fist. His first instinct was to scream in fright but he decided to yell instead. "Get off my beach you monster." The pod merely bobbed up and down in the water. He nudged it. It rolled. He thought he heard something move inside, so he moved back ... and bumped into Tipsy. Tipsy thrust a crackling radio under his fist. "Message for you from the Commander!" The walkie talkie beeped then whined with a distorted version of the Wabbit's voice. "Panico. Look out for the Doomsday Pod. It looks like a ..." The message terminated with a squeak. "Like a football," said Panico. He circled round Tipsy, then ran back and kicked the pod. The radio whined again. "Don't kick it," crackled the Wabbit. Tipsy sighed and crouched on the beach with her paws over her head. Two hatches slid open. The sound of angry voices drifted from the pod and bounced across the waves. "Where's your key?" said a voice. "It fell into the water," said another. "Go and get it," said the first voice. "There's scary monsters," said the second. The voices yelled together. "We're doomed!" Another angry voice boomed out "It is we who do the dooming round here!" Panico leaned close to a hatch and listened to a frantic scrabbling. Finally there was another voice. "I found it." Panico heard a metallic scraping. "It's bent," moaned the voice. There was a loud slap and a cry of pain. Panico leaned close to a hatch. "Need a hand?"

Monday, December 10, 2018

The Three Muses at the Superga Array

The Three Muses materialised on the hillside and began to sing. "We are the three!" shouted Tipsy. Fitzy and Mitzy swayed together and their arms chugged like steam driven pistons. "How may they tell us apart?" sang Tipsy. "They may not," yelled Tipsy. "Because we dress the same," said Fitzy. "Because we talk the same," said Mitzy. "Because we are the same," said Tipsy. "Always," shouted Fitzy. "Usually," shouted Mitzy. "Invariably," drawled Tipsy. They stopped and changed positions. "Whither goes the story?" asked Tipsy. "Whether goes the plot?" yelled Fitzy. "The Wabbit chases phantoms," grinned Mitzy. "The Wabbit's in a knot," sang Tipsy. The entity whistled in the wind and the Three Muses swayed to the tune. "The Wabbit's pursuit is hard to bear," said Mitzy, "but he likes to cling to the edge of air." "He cannot hop aside," nodded Fitzy gravely. "And neither can we." answered Tipsy. Fitzy gazed up. The shimmering sky was a blue silk purse and it looked about to speak. "So let's not annoy the deities," she warned." We might disrupt their gaiety." They hopped in synchrony to the right then the left - and then to the right again. Trapped stars shimmered on the masts. Trees moved uneasily. Branches crackled. Twigs snapped. "If we won't tell them," breathed Tipsy, "they won't know." Tipsy smiled, lifted a paw and snapped. A breeze sprang up that tore at their dresses and their ears. Then all at once they disappeared.

Friday, December 07, 2018

12. Wabsworth, Terni and The Flickering

Wabsworth scouted the city with Susan the Biplane. The strange luminescence was quite horrid and even though he was an android, it hurt his eyes. They searched the city in parallel sweeps. "What exactly are we looking for," asked Susan. "Anything odd," responded Wabsworth. His ears picked up the flapping of cabbage wings. "Does Terni the Dragon count as odd?" asked Susan. "Not on this occasion," smiled Wabsworth. He watched Terni threshing and swooping. Circuits whirred as he registered suspicious flickers of light. "Susan, Terni has company. Identify them." Susan shielded Terni. "My instruments read a single entity." Lights whirled around Terni's head, then Susan's propeller - flashing like pinball bumpers. "I can't shake it off," shouted Terni. Wabsworth jolted as a light touched his paw. Susan juddered as another stuck to her fuselage. "Yow. Get off!" Terni and Susan clung close and picked up speed. The lights followed. Susan spun and dipped. Terni matched her movements. They looped the loop and plunged and soared - but the lights were still there. Wabsworth grabbed the joystick. "Drunken Rabbit Manoeuvre, Susan." Susan's engine moaned as she dropped like a stone. Then she lurched across the rooftops and blitzed straight at the TV transmitter array at Superga Hill. "Close as you can go, Susan." With angled wings, Susan and Terni tore along the hillside. One by one the lights peeled away and stuck like flies to pylons and satellite dishes. "That'll teach it!" roared Terni.

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

11. Jenny and the Moonlit Landing

The landing was sudden, had anyone been looking. The Lepus plunged down onto a moonlit coast with hardly a ripple and she shimmered brightly like a flag in the wind. She was en route from the Sombrero Galaxy with a cargo of confiscated contraband of huge strategic value - to be delivered to the Wabbit. "Personally in person," the Wabbit had instructed. Jenny strode the bridge. "Steady as she goes," she  murmured. Her binoculars swept the horizon. "OK. Now test the Stealthicator." The Lepus vanished momentarily, reappeared and vanished again. Jenny swayed on her pirate boots and laughed. "Aha. We be here and not here." Jenny spun the wheel and the Lepus hugged the coast. The ship was invisible due to a chameleon technology that painted an object's background onto its front. So no-one on the coast ever saw the Lepus. They could only hear the ghostly thrum of diesel engines and the phantom threshing of water. Occasionally a pirate order would ring out and float across the calm sea. Now and then a bell chimed. Jenny sounded the foghorn from time to time - long menacing moans that curled round and round. On the beach, a pack of wild dogs howled and barked out to sea. Jenny smiled, consulted her chronometer and spoke into the telegraph. "Half ahead, Chief." The Lepus leaped forward but a wind sprang up and battered the coast. Vessels broke their moorings. The Lepus rolled, pitched and yawed. ""Full ahead," shrugged Jenny. "She'll no take it, Captain," groaned Chief. "Full," said Jenny, "I'll be late for the Wabbit."

Monday, December 03, 2018

10. The Wabbit and the Doomsday News

The Wabbit and Lapinette tore across the city with Doctor StrangeGlove enjoying the ride. "Shall I take a salute?" he asked. His fingers twitched and he tried to stand up, but Lapinette pulled him back. "Looks like it's Christmas," said the Wabbit. He crashed through several gears at once and narrowly avoided a tram. "Something always comes up at Christmas," said Lapinette. She held on tight as the Wabbit mounted the sidewalk, then careered down the wrong side of the road. "It's a short cut," murmured the Wabbit. Then he braked. "Right on time." Lapinette pointed. It's Parakalo!" The Wabbit pulled to a halt as a white dove swooped down and settled on the hood of the jeep. "I bring news," cooed Parakalo, "A strange being is roving across the land." "Where does it do its roving, Parakalo?" asked Lapinette. Parakalo cooed long and loud. "It travels by night and it's hard to spot - but wherever it goes, there's cosmic turbulence." The Wabbit was well aware of Terni the Dragon's fondness for surfing space - and he sighed, "We must have picked up a visitor." StrangeGlove's fingers snapped into the air. "It comes from the outer eddies, ja?" The Wabbit nodded. "It has potential," said StrangeGlove, "so we will harness its precious capacity." Lapinette knew what was coming but asked anyway. "What potential?" "Doomsday potential!" shouted StrangeGlove.

Saturday, December 01, 2018

9. Tipsy and the Art of the Header

The Wabbit prised Doctor StrangeGlove from his bunker and, in empty facility near Lingotto, he set Tipsy to work. Tipsy dribbled the football the length of the building and back. She passed it to StrangeGlove but he still had no idea of what to do. Tipsy's only option was attack, so she fired the ball straight at him. StrangeGlove fell over but somehow the ball hit his head and stuck there for a while. He balanced it on the tip of his nose, then headed it back to Tipsy. "Attaboy Glovesy!" yelled Tipsy. She wheeled around and shouted to the Wabbit. "That counts as points for the Glove." The Wabbit held up a paw from the sidelines and shouted, "Play on! It's a game of two halves!" Tipsy juggled the ball on a foot, flipped it up and headed it to StrangeGlove - who copied her. Tipsy stole the ball and ran off with it. StrangeGlove followed her and stole it back, laughing until all his fingers stood in the air. They battled all day until the Wabbit held up a red card. "What did we do wrong?" asked Tipsy. "Nothing," answered the Wabbit, "I'm tired. We need refreshments." "What about an ickle alcohol rub?" laughed Tipsy. "What about a large one?" said the Wabbit.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

8. The Wabbit and the Soccer Software

"I brought something for you," said the Wabbit. "I have everything I need," said StrangeGlove. "You haven't got one of these," said the Wabbit. He grinned with all of his 28 teeth. "What is it?" said StrangeGlove. The Wabbit shook with mirth. "You need to get out more. Have a bit of fun." He thrust the football at StrangeGlove. "If you're good with one of these, you get to command an enormous stadium full of obedient fans." StrangeGlove seized the ball. "What do I do with it?" "Kick it around," smiled the Wabbit. StrangeGlove tried to drop the ball. It  flew back. Then he threw it down - but it bounced and returned. No matter what he did with the ball, it wound up stuck to his finger. "You're a natural goalkeeper," grinned the Wabbit. The ball emitted a faint hum. "I feel a little strange," groaned StrangeGlove. "Football does that to you," murmured the Wabbit. StrangeGlove swayed. The control bunker seemed to rock and spin. "Relax," suggested the Wabbit. StrangeGlove steadied, then nodded. "Now I know all about soccer. When do I get my first game?" "Saturday," said the Wabbit, "I'll get you a trial." StrangeGlove bounced the ball and laughed. "What about world domination?" "That comes later," shrugged the Wabbit.

Monday, November 26, 2018

7. The Wabbit and the Doomsday Snack

StrangeGlove turned towards the console to forwardise Doomsday but he felt someone staring at him. "Doomsday deserves a snack," said the Wabbit. He waved a large sandwich. Doctor StrangeGlove stiffened."Who are you? Who sent you? The subversives?" The Wabbit merely giggled. "The kitchen staff thought you might feel peckish. They sent a sandwich."  StrangeGlove felt suddenly hungry. "What kind of sandwich?" "An eating one of course," shrugged the Wabbit. StrangeGlove was furious and all his fingers waved. "This bunker room is sealed tight!" "Nothing's completely tight," said the Wabbit. "It's tight if I say it's tight," screamed StrangeGlove. The Wabbit took a bite from the sandwich and chewed for a while. His eyes lit up and he winked. "So tight it squeaks." He waved the sandwich. "Go on, go on!" "My enemies are smart," said StrangeGlove, "It might be a bomb." The Wabbit broke the sandwich in two, ate half of it and laughed. "Well the bomb must be in your bit." StrangeGlove grabbed the remains of the sandwich and guzzled it down. The Wabbit grinned and waited. "Got another one?" asked StrangeGlove. The Wabbit sighed. "Yes, but I'm not sure I can get it to you by Doomsday." StrangeGlove smacked his lips. "I'm putting Doomsday on ice."

Thursday, November 22, 2018

6. The Problem of Doctor StrangeGlove

Doctor StrangeGlove prowled his control bunker like Hamlet in Elsinore's corridors, alternately laughing and growling. "Everything was in place. What meddling fools assault me so?" Computers whirred. Monitors flickered. He scanned them all and chortled. "Villains! Deviated preverts!" He paced some more and shook his head and brayed: "I stand for leadership and tradition and who does not stand with me .. will be made to lie down." A phone rang insistently. StrangeGlove ignored it. "Wrong number," he muttered. He knew his system had detected software intruders, but all the attacks bore his own signature. His minions had tried to trace them, but every attempt looped back his to own office with a read me attachment that said "Is the Doctor in?" His gloved fingers flapped in a cocked hat curve. He stooped to examine a monitor bearing a strange message. Bold red capitals glared from the screen. "The end is nigh." Doctor StrangeGlove started back and yelled. "I know that already, you fools. Nigh is my stock and trade." StrangeGlove contemplated the likely shape of the intruders. "Thuggish creatures no doubt. Large of body and small of mind." He sat at a terminal and keyed in lengthy instructions. "Doomsday cannot wait." breathed StrangeGlove. "I'm forced to forwardise it."

Monday, November 19, 2018

5. The Wabbit and the Soccer Scenario

The Wabbit and the Alien Pilot idly chatted as they waited for delivery. The roar of the Dora and the steady flow of traffic made the big iron bridge vibrate - then above the noise came singing. The bridge thudded as Tipsy dribbled a ball along the footpath. She flicked it in the air, headed it down and trapped it with her feet. She grinned. "The enemy software is installed in here." She stood on the ball hard with her instep. It shot to the side and landed spinning on the parapet. The Wabbit flinched. The ball lurched, wobbled then dropped from the rail and ran to Tipsy's feet. Tipsy kicked an enormous volley straight at the Wabbit. The Wabbit stunned the ball and handed it to the Alien Pilot. "I'm afraid she's football crazy." Tipsy winked at the Pilot. "It's half time, where's my dwink?" Alien Pilot pulled out a hip flask and winked back with some of his eyes. Tipsy drained the flask in an instant. "So what about our Doctor Strangeglove?" asked the Wabbit. The Alien pilot bounced the ball, caught it and span it on a finger. "The fake incidents are his trademark across at least three galaxies." Where is he?" asked the Wabbit. The Alien Pilot snorted. "No-one knows where his bunker is." Tipsy grunted. "We'll find him. And when we do, he'll have more holes than a goal net." "Sounds like a plan," shrugged the Wabbit. "The software will contain a clue," said Alien Pilot. He dropped the ball and dribbled it in the direction of the market ...
[Tipsy is singing Football Crazy  a much adapted Scottish song written by James Curran in the 19th Century. The many later versions show the folk song in process. Tipsy's tartan hip flask is by Proudly Scottish]

Thursday, November 15, 2018

4. The Wabbit and the Alien Reset

Quantum nudged the space beacon onto the church tower. The Wabbit and Lapinette clambered up and attached a diagnostic cable. Terni the Dragon hovered nearby for possible evacuation. At first there was nothing, but the beacon suddenly flashed into life. The Wabbit trained his special ears on the beacon. "I can't decode the signal." "Let me try," said Lapinette. Her ears swayed. "It's issuing fake commands to all our portals." The Wabbit scowled. He plucked from his fur a control box - and growling softy he attached wires to the tower's lightening conductor. "Time for tough measures." He fiddled with switches and knobs then threw a lever. The beacon flashed three times. "It's reset," said the Wabbit. "What about the alien signal?" asked Lapinette. "I cloned it," said the Wabbit. He grinned and gestured to his fur. "I'm sending the beacon back to its original coordinates," shrugged Lapinette. She made a signal to Terni, who lost no time in nudging the beacon into Quantum's cargo coach.  A brief flash left the Wabbit and Lapinette alone on the tower. "How do we get down?" frowned Lapinette. "The way we came of course," scoffed the Wabbit. Lapinette smothered a smile. Then she looked down and pointed. "Oh do look! Someone closed the window we used to climb out." The Wabbit groaned so long and so hard, that everything shook. "So it's good thing I broke the lock," laughed Lapinette.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

3. Quantum, Terni and the Beacon Alert

Quantum the Time Travelling Train and Terni the Food Dragon responded to the space beacon. Quantum was returning from the Sombrero Galaxy - and Terni shouldn't have been in space at all. But Terni liked to dance on the ripples of a space eddy not far from earth. In fact, he was just heading home when Quantum snaked through a singularity. They both heard the beacon pulse a warning message. "Ave, Quantum," murmured Terni in Latin. "Ave, Terni," said Quantum. Strictly speaking, they had no way of communicating - but Latin seemed to work. The beacon's signal was priority encoded and they heard the voice of the Wabbit repeating a message. "Threat Level 3. Please respond. Threat Level 3. Please respond." "Responding," said Quantum. "Responding," roared Terni. But the beacon failed to answer. The message kept repeating. Quantum circled and nosed round beside the beacon. Engines shuddered as he stopped. "Habemus tribulationis." "Trouble is our business," drawled Terni. Quantum circled again and he seemed to be thinking. He butted the beacon gently. Its signals stuttered and stopped. "Terni," said Quantum, "can you nudge this into my cargo coach?" With a fluttering of cabbage wings and a puff of dragon breath, Terni obliged. "Now hang on," said Quantum. There was a whine, then the briefest flash of light - and train, dragon and beacon were gone ...

Friday, November 09, 2018

2. The Wabbit and the Fiery Bus

The Wabbit and Lapinette decided the bus home was the best option and they saw one coming. So they hopped quickly as it rounded the corner into the plaza. "We might just make it!" shouted the Wabbit. He waved to the driver. "Wait!" yelled Lapinette. The Wabbit stopped in his tracks. The bus burst into flames that engulfed the whole vehicle and licked at nearby buildings. "How did you know?" yelled the Wabbit. "I know everything," shrugged Lapinette. They ran to the bus to help but couldn't get close. The heat was intense and the noise deafening. Black carbon showered from the bus and coated the road in a slick, tarry substance. The Wabbit held up a paw. "It's not finished." The bus shimmered and warped. Then it made the groaning noise of tortured metal, disappeared and reappeared in an instant. The flames vanished. The bus bent back into shape. The heat dissipated and the bus engine burst into life. Passengers sat as if nothing had happened. The bus drew away to turn the corner and they watched it go. "You don't see that every day," murmured the Wabbit. "What's going on?" said Lapinette. "Public service cuts?" suggested the Wabbit. Lapinette nudged his leg. "Something's happening in this city." "And you don't know what it is?" grinned the Wabbit. Lapinette's smile was confident. "I will do..."

Thursday, November 08, 2018

1. The Wabbit and the Imitation of Art

The Wabbit and Lapinette hopped a leisurely pace along the big bridge across the railway. The bridge usually displayed posters of the latest animation movies and they stopped and had a laugh. "Are we incredible?" asked Lapinette. The Wabbit shook his head. "I think we're marvellous." Lapinette giggled. "Not awesome?" They stared at the poster for Incredibles 2 for some time. "I'm told we rock," said the Wabbit suddenly. Lapinette's ears swayed. "Well, that we do." "Is that a raccoon?" asked the Wabbit. "Its name is Rocket, I think," murmured Lapinette. "We should have one," said the Wabbit. "It's not a dog," laughed Lapinette. The Wabbit's ears swivelled at a sudden drone but on the bridge there was always heavy traffic. It could come in fits and starts, fading to nothing then surging into frantic life - so the Wabbit folded his ears back into place and re-examined the poster. "Maybe we should reassess out superhero status." Lapinette wrinkled her nose. "Everyone's a hero these days." "OK, " said the Wabbit, "so what's one level up from hero?" "Idol," said Lapinette. "I prefer star," shrugged the Wabbit. A searing bolt of light flashed between the Wabbit's ears and slit the sidewalk in a shower of sparks. Lapinette hopped into the air. and yelled, "What does an idol do at this juncture?" "This doesn't happen to idols!" groaned the Wabbit. They tried to blend into the poster, as a green space ship passed overhead and disappeared. "Unbelievable," hissed the Wabbit ...

Monday, November 05, 2018

The Wabbit at his Adventure Caffè

Wabsworth and Major Spitlove the double agent were last to arrive at the Adventure Caffè. "The staff is on vacation," said the Wabbit. "We have to serve ourselves," added Lapinette. Skratch rubbed his paws in glee and made for the kitchen - but the Wabbit called him back. "Not so fast, Skratch!" Lapinette shouted. "What was that for a sort of adventure we just had" Skratch purred politely. "Prolonged instantiation." He vanished into the kitchen and returned smiling. "There's enough food in the kitchen to serve an army." "What about our adventure," sighed Lapinette. Skratch nodded. "Instances of general concepts which we exemplified." Wabsworth chipped in. "Meaning can only be derived through continual instantiation." "Aha!" chortled Lapinette, "therein lies the experience of the constitution of identity." Major Spitlove laughed. "Which in my case is difficult." The Wabbit rapped on the table. "Our Hallowe'en adventure foregrounded psychological projections. It was the shadow of the shadow - forever dancing to and fro." "But what about the Bunnyman? said Wabsworth suddenly. "There was no Bunnyman," shrugged Lapinette. "I saw him, he was watching us," said Wabsworth. "Looking for ideas, I guess," smiled the Wabbit. From under the table a sudden crash rattled the crockery. A louder crash made the Wabbit's teeth chatter. A third detached a piece of fruit from the bowl. It rolled and dropped into the Wabbit's lap and he leaped in the air. He looked around. Everyone shook their head. The Wabbit's eyes were everywhere but saw nothing. He shrugged. "See you next year, Bunnyman."

["Instantiation of meaning is always in the experience through which individuals constitute their identity."  Mihai Nadin]

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

6. Skratch and the Hallowe'en Turnaround

The Bunnyman got up, dusted himself off and hopped up to Skratch. It was Major Spitlove the double agent. He looked nervous but Skratch chortled. "Do you think they bought it?" Spitlove shrugged and looked up at their gang on the bridge. "Looks like it." He lifted the pumpkin head. "My robotic friend Jack sent me a live video feed for the whole affair." "Can I have a copy?" snickered Skratch. Some way off on the bridge - and out of earshot  - the Wabbit smiled and nudged Wabsworth. "Do you think they fell for it?" "Looks like it," giggled Wabsworth. He nodded vigorously. "That radio axe was a great idea." The Wabbit relaxed. "We can have our party now." They made their way down the clangy iron stairs. Skratch was still smiling. He gave Spitlove a hug. "Now our trick is over it's time for our party." Lapinette called down from the bridge and her voice was frantic. "Look out! Look out for the Hand!" The Wabbit merely grinned. "What trickery is this?! An axe struck the pumpkin squarely above the eyes. It squeaked and bled viciously. "Aaaagh!" shouted Spitlove. He dropped the pumpkin and kicked it. It flew in the air. The Wabbit dived forward to catch it, but squashed it flat. "Yuk, it's all over my fur," groaned the Wabbit. "The Wabbit fell for it!" laughed Lapinette. Jenny rocked back on her boots and tilted her pirate hat. "That be a hat trick."

Monday, October 29, 2018

5. Skratch and the Shooting at Pluto Park

Skratch was fast but the Bunnyman was faster. Skratch arrived at the Hallowe'en venue with his pursuer right behind him. The Bunnyman stood at the top of the stairs, swinging his axe from side to side as he recited a list of his 500 victims. Skratch prepared for combat but the list was so long, he began to feel numbed. The Bunnyman lurched down the stairway and with each step he let his axe drop on the metal treads. Hideous clangs rang out across Pluto Park. Peering out the corner of one eye, Skratch saw vague movement on the bridge. He hoped it was the Wabbit, so he stayed silent and tried to distract the Bunnyman. He yelled out. "That's a load of piffle! The Bunnyman is all discredited now." Sparks flew as the Bunnyman's axe hit the rails. "I'll chop off your cat head and stick it on a spike!" A silence followed. Someone shouted from the shadows. "Drop the weapon and put your paws on the rail." "More victims," snickered the Bunnyman. He lifted the axe and threw it. Skratch leaped out the way. A shot rang out, followed by another. The axe shaft splintered. The Bunnyman looked at his chest, then sagged and keeled over. With one leg caught in the stairs, he was trapped. His breath was shallow now. "I'll be back," he muttered. It was his last gasp as he slumped and lay prone. Skratch shouted to the Wabbit, "Please tell me this is a prank." The Wabbit blew smoke from the barrel of his automatic. Moonlight glinted from his 28 teeth. "Just a lark in the park."

Friday, October 26, 2018

4. Skratch and the Graffiti Warning.

Unaware of the search for the severed head, Skratch arrived to scout the usual Hallowe'en location. This year he had a Bunnyman surprise up his sleeve and he wanted to set the scene. Dusk fell on Pluto Park. The sky darkened as he made his way along the wall that skirted the old abandoned power station. The graffito lady looked startled as she always did - but tonight she seemed more startled than usual. He thought he heard a noise behind him and he turned. There was nothing - just a wolf moon making its way across the evening sky. "Skratch beware!" said a voice.  Skratch looked the mural up and down. "Beware what?" he murmured. "Beware the Bunnyman." It was a whisper, barely audible, and it oozed from bricks and mortar to rustle the dark grass behind him. Skratch turned again. Nothing. His fur shivered. "The Bunnyman is an urban myth," he said to himself. "Legend," said the wall. Skratch shrugged but his shrug was dutiful. The wall spoke again. "By the crumbling of my bricks and mortar, the Bunnyman aims to make you shorter." Now Skratch's ears made out the steady march of footsteps. In the moonlight he glimpsed a flicker of a shadow shape drawing closer. He relaxed his muscles, then tensed. Just when the shape poised over his head, he sprang in the air. An axe sliced the wall where his head had been. Shards of mortar showered the grass. Skratch leaped atop the wall and raced along it like the fastest cheetah there ever was. "I wasn't planning on a run," puffed Skratch.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

3. The Wabbit and the Ghost Sleuth

The search for the severed head began in earnest. Duetta's red spiders crawled the towers, while Lapinette climbed onto a ledge and eagle-eyed the area. The Wabbit thought of the words of a favourite detective. “It is the brain, the little gray cells on which one must rely," he said to himself. He settled back and had a think. He shut his eyes. "One must seek the truth within, not without," said a ghostly voice. "Quite right," thought the Wabbit. An unearthly shove woke him up. "Ghost Bunny!" he yelled. "Sleuth Bunny's my name!" said Ghost Bunny. The Wabbit adopted a spooky voice. "Haunting's your game?" Ghost Bunny fluttered and swooped. "I'm here to paranormally assist." The Wabbit pointed to the giant pumpkin. The pumpkin was wary of the spiders and had camouflaged itself against graffiti. It stared down from a balcony. He made a face at the pumpkin. The pumpkin made a face back. "Can you get rid of that pesky pumpkin?" groaned the Wabbit. "I'm a ghost, not a bouncer," shrieked Ghost Bunny. Without warning, she shot in the air and fluttered down. "I'm concentrating. I'm picking up vibrations." She let out a terrifying yell. "I see an axe. He did it with an axe." "Who did?" asked the Wabbit. "The Bunnyman!" screamed Ghost Bunny, "I can see the axe rising and falling." "Can you see the victim's head?" asked the Wabbit. "I can see something rolling into the distance," screeched Ghost Bunny. The Wabbit waited. "I hear it shouting," moaned Ghost Bunny, "shouting its head off."
[The reference to grey cells is made by Hercule Poirot in Agatha Christie's "Death on the Nile" (1937).]

Monday, October 22, 2018

2. The Wabbit and the Helpful Spider

The Wabbit and Lapinette decided to hunt for the missing head - but whichever way they headed the giant pumpkin followed. No matter how hard they discouraged it, it stuck to them like glue. "It only wants attention," scowled the Wabbit. Lapinette tapped it with her foot. It squelched backwards and then returned to where it was. The Wabbit snorted and turned to examine graffiti. "Perhaps the perpetrator left a secret message." "Why would he do that?" asked Lapinette. "It's the sort of thing they're known for," shrugged the Wabbit. A shadow fell across his face and he looked up to see Marshall Duetta Spyder. "Can I help, Commander?" "Duetta!" laughed the Wabbit, "We're looking for a head. Any ideas?" Marshall Duetta rattled her legs. "Who's head?" "If only we had the head," sighed the Wabbit, "then we might know who it was." Marshall Duetta hissed and rattled. "Headless corpse eh? Clearly the modus operandi of the Bunnyman." The Wabbit clapped his paws and pointed at Lapinette. "I told you so!" Lapinette jumped up and down and yelled, "It's an urban myth!" Duetta's laughter made the grass ripple. It was then that Lapinette felt a nudge from the giant pumpkin. She kicked it away, then bent to look closely. "Wabbit, did the pumpkin have a face?" The Wabbit's eyes gleamed. "Maybe it's a clue." "Maybe it's a meal," said Duetta.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

1. The Wabbit and the Event at Pluto Park

Lapinette and the Wabbit hopped out to Pluto Park to see the improvements. "Oh look!" said Lapinette. She pointed at the algae-covered ponds. "There are all sorts of hovering creatures." "Including us," laughed the Wabbit. "Hallowe'en is coming up," grinned Lapinette. The Wabbit smiled. "Shall we have our celebrations in the usual place?" Lapinette made a face. "It's all locked up." The Wabbit was wondering why that presented a problem. "They found someone at the bottom," frowned Lapinette. "Dead?" asked the Wabbit. Lapinette sighed. "He had no head." The Wabbit became thoughtful. Then he shook his head and announced, "It's the work of the Bunnyman." Lapinette looked down to hide a smile. "There's no such thing! Anyway he's much too early for Hallowe'en." The Wabbit pondered. "Maybe he's practicing. Trying out his new axe." Lapinette waved at a butterfly and then shrugged. "The Bunnyman is an urban myth."  The Wabbit's voice trembled behind her. "Yet hanging carcasses still appear under Bunnyman Bridge." "Wabbit, we can't meet at the usual place," groaned Lapinette, "It's a crime scene." The Wabbit span round and clapped his paws in glee. "All the better for Hallowe'en then!" That was when he noticed the giant pumpkin. He nudged it with his paw. It rocked slightly and made a sound like wet boots. "Lap, did you bring a pumpkin?" "You know I hate fruit," said Lapinette ...

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

The Wabbit at the Adventure Caffè

Lapinette emerged from the designated caffè just in time to see everyone converge. The Wabbit and Skratch were together and they looked excited. The Wabbit saluted cheerfully. Wabsworth followed suit. Skratch raised a triumphant paw and yelled, "What was that for a sort of Adventure?" "Let's get the drinks in first," shouted the Wabbit.  He grabbed Skratch playfully around the leg. Some diners looked round. "Have some decorum," grinned Lapinette. "Fac me cocleario vomere," said the Wabbit. He took a seat and tried to behave. "Comedy is a very serious genre of adventure," remarked Skratch, "It's ultimately the discourse of credible confusion." "Indeed," said Wabsworth, "the Adventure had a singularity which questioned the fragile certitudes of accepted practice." Skratch purred and nodded. "We are all ravaged by the jagged mechanisms of thought." There was a pause in conversation. It was Lapinette's turn to think about the Adventure. "Miracles are mostly conjuring tricks. Jumpback Jack fooled himself."  "The essence of comedy," agreed Skratch. "Jack falsely believed himself holy - and others believed his falsification." The Wabbit was getting thirsty. "Hilarious," he said, "shall we conjure up some aperitivi." Lapinette inclined her ears and a waiter emerged. The Wabbit gasped. "How do you do that?" "Magic," said Lapinette.
[Fac me cocleario vomere. Spoof Latin. Gag me with a spoon.
 I'm indebted to Annette Michelson for her foreword to Hollis Frampton's Circles of Confusion Visual Studies Press]

Monday, October 15, 2018

9. The Wabbit and the After Effects

Jumpback Jack strode from the church clutching his original bag with his original beans. The switch had been easy - and persuading Jack he was holy proved easier. The crowd unfroze and rose as one to meet him. The smell of beans drifted from the bag. "That's the odour of sanctity," gasped a figure. The crowd clustered round Jack. At the church door, the Wabbit spread his paws wide and nodded. Lapinette dug him in the ribs. "Did you put something in with the beans?" "Eau de cologne." smiled the Wabbit. Lapinette snorted. "You've had that perfume at least 15 years." "It won't last long," grinned the Wabbit. Lapinette gave him a look. "Unlike the effect of Batch 10 chocolates." "Hmm. Get it all back?" asked the Wabbit. "Except for the ones they ingested." replied Lapinette. Voices drifted in the morning air. "Let's spread word of the holy beans." "Everyone must know." "We'll go on a pilgrimage." The Wabbit and Lapinette kept their eyes on Jack as the crowd escorted him into the distance. "Absolutely harmless," shrugged the Wabbit. He smiled nervously. "What can possibly go wrong?" He had a bit of a think. "Who was supposed to pick up Batch 10?" "I was," said Lapinette, "but someone had moved it." The Wabbit's mind flashed back to his day at the chocolate factory and he clearly saw himself moving sacks around. He gulped. "Some tidy fellow?"

Friday, October 12, 2018

8. Lapinette and the Miracle Brigade

Lapinette and her guard placed the church under lock down. The public was advancing, so they holstered their weapons and shouted. "Nuffing to see here," yelled Tipsy. "Were having an ickle curfew," shouted Mitzy. "Worship the miracle." yelled one individual. He touched the hem of Tipsy's frock. "Ooof," he said as he dropped like a stone, clutching his ankle. "Another miracle," said an onlooker. "Miracle!" echoed the crowd. Lapinette binkied straight into the air to get attention. The crowd gasped in awe. "Spectacular public miracle working," said one. "I'm witnessing visible signs," said another. One by one they delved in their wallets and pulled out money. Tipsy confiscated some of it. Lapinette slapped a paw to her head. "We gotta soup sandwich," she scowled. "Sheep's shiblets," grimaced Mizty. "Holy frijoles," nodded Fitzy. Tipsy gestured to the sky. "Incoming." The crowd gasped as a chocolate dropped from nowhere. The speed of Tipsy's draw would have put Wyatt Earp to shame. Her automatic fired and the chocolate shattered. Fragments showered everywhere and the crowd fell on them and ate them. Then everyone remained on their knees, heads bowed. They were completely frozen. Lapinette turned to look at the Church. Her ears pricked up. She could hear faint strains of the Wabbit chanting something in Latin. She turned to Fitzy and sighed. "He's starting a Homily." She looked around the frozen figures. "Better get them blankets."

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

7. The Wabbit and the Holy Orders

The Wabbit made short work of the sacristy door. He grabbed the first vestments he saw and plucked from his fur an old family bible. Jumpback Jack bowed his head as the Wabbit entered. The Wabbit stood silently for a considerable time. Jack became fidgety and he clutched his bag close. The Wabbit lifted a paw in greeting. Jumpback Jack released his grip and rested his bag on the floor. The Wabbit silently blessed it and chanted a few Latin words he learned at school. "I come to atone," gasped Jack. The Wabbit waved his bible at the bag. "Relinquish all material things and embrace the spirit gifted to you." Jack placed his paws together in supplication as his head sank to his chest. "Are you feeling peaceful?" asked the Wabbit. Jack twitched and trembled, then became as still as stone. Wabsworth stretched out a paw to grasp the bag, but just as he got in range, Jack grabbed it and clutched it to his chest and yelled. "The bag is the Tabernacle of the Holy Beans." Wabsworth crept forward again, but something fell and hit the bag. Then another. Jack gazed at the chocolates as they fell and he spread his paws wide and touched his head to the floor. "It's a miracle!" The Wabbit waved Wabsworth back and spoke in an authoritative voice. "Miracles require a certificate."

Monday, October 08, 2018

6. The Wabbit and the Holy Roller

The Wabbit and Wabsworth caught up with Jumpback Jack at the big church on the corner. Jack was heading in and his head was bowed and on his lips was a prayer. "Can you hear him?" asked Wabsworth. The Wabbit flipped his super ears skyward. "I can hear him. Can you hear him?" "He said he was in fear of his enemies" replied Wabsworth, "and he goes to worship in fear." The Wabbit listened carefully. "Fear of the righteous love of Chocolate? Did I get that right?" The Wabbit saw something and he grabbed it. "Chocolate rain," he growled. Wabsworth hissed. "Don't eat it and whatever you do, don't lick your paw." The Wabbit cast it on the entrance and rubbed his paw up and down the pillar, but he had to hide as Jumpback turned. "It's a sign! I will not perish." He dropped the bag and waved his paws in the air. Wabsworth reached out for the bag but Jack stopped waving and knelt beside it. He looked inside and smiled in a sickly manner. "I will share the merits of the blessed." He rose, hugging the bag to his chest. Then he bowed his head and strode into the church. The Wabbit scowled at Wabsworth. "Batch 10? Explain. What do they do?" Wabsworth shrugged just like the Wabbit. "Seized from the Agents of Rabit. It was under analysis." "And?" growled the Wabbit. Wabsworth cast a glance at the open door of the church and pointed to the end of the aisle where Jack knelt before an altar. "It makes you holy."

Friday, October 05, 2018

5. Jumpback Jack and the Chocolate Trail

Jumpback Jack, the beans dealer, clutched his bag close and lurched unsteadily down Via Accademia Albertina. The Wabbit's truck had dropped him at a basic yet convenient hotel and he laughed quietly to himself. "Excellent treatment and good fortune is mine!" A hotel sign painted the street with a garish red glow. Traffic slushed through a wet asphalt slick left in the wake of a sudden downpour.  He patted his bag and murmured, "Best beans you can get." The bag seemed to bulge and he grinned. "Jumping beans!" He didn't notice the slit opening in the bottom of the bag or the trail of contents scattered on the sidewalk. He turned as conversation broke out at the traffic lights. He heard talk of food. Small shapes on the sidewalk scuttled to and fro. He could smell chocolate. "Great beans," he smiled. But the shapes followed him and no matter which way he turned, they were always there. He stooped to pick one up. The chocolate shape was warm and it slipped from his grasp. Instinctively he licked his paw. Then he dropped the bag and threw his paws in the air. "Glory be! I see the light!" He did a tiny dance and smiled around. "I must atone," he murmured: "Quickly atone for my crimes against cocoa." In the distance he noticed an imposing church fronted by vast columns - and gathering as many chocolates as he could, loped quickly towards it.  ...

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

4. The Wabbit and the Change of Beans

Because he was an android, Wabsworth got to examine the contents of Jack's bag. "Perfectly good cocoa beans these. Excellent I'd say." The Wabbit was puzzled. He'd expected lethal toxins. "These are from Jinotega, Nicaragua," continued Wabsworth: "And you don't get better." "How the Binky can you tell?" gasped the Wabbit. "The smell corresponds with one I received from your memory," explained Wabsworth. For a brief moment the Wabbit saw himself hanging from the back of a truck. He could smell diesel and hear mortars in the jungle. He gritted his teeth. "What about the bag?" Wabsworth shrugged. "Just cocoa." The Wabbit frowned. "Then whatever it is, he still has it," said Wabsworth. The Wabbit glanced back at the bag. "What did you put in the duplicate bag? What did Jumpback get?" asked Wabsworth. The Wabbit laughed. "A heap of old stuff lying at the back door." Wabsworth groaned as only an android could. "Batch 10 was awaiting collection by the Department." The Wabbit tried to look nonchalant and adjusted his glasses. "Samples only, for the trade." He nodded in agreement with himself. Wabsworth turned and gave the Wabbit one of his own grim stares. The Wabbit's insides shrank. "What was it?" Wabsworth searched in his fur for his automatic. "We have to get it back."

Monday, October 01, 2018

3. Lapinette and her Personal Guard

Tipsy lurched from the truck and waved an automatic. No-one took the slightest notice. It was that kind of day on that kind of street. A few might have seen Fitzy taking a squint through a window but they were well used to squinting through windows. Mitzy stared down the barrel of a bump-stock Makarov. She'd never tried it but it but seemed like a day that she might. Fitzy murmured a series of expletives that few had ever heard before. "It's our chocolate rabbit," she growled. Tipsy sprawled against the truck. "What's his game?" Fitzy spoke from the roof of the truck. "Jumpback Jack's his name. Selling's his game." Mitzy drew a bead. "I could take him now." Tipsy scowled. "Stick to the Plan." Fitzy glanced back. "We have a plan?" "Your plan is my plan," whispered Tipsy. "So what's your plan?" asked Fitzy. "My plan is no plan," scowled Tipsy. "Sheep's shiblets!" breathed Fitzy. She had another squint. "Jumpback Jack is trying to sell something to the Wabbit." They waited. "The Wabbit is inviting Jack to sample a chocolate liqueur." Fitzy chuckled. "Jack threw the liqueur back and the Wabbit swapped the bag." Mitzy had a thought. "But what's Lapinette doing?" "I'm behind you," said Lapinette.

Friday, September 28, 2018

2. Lapinette and the Travelling Salesman

Lapinette's radio crackled but it drowned in the racket from Via Bardonecchia. "Looks like a travelling salesman." Her hiss matched the radio. A bus passed. Inside, the Wabbit brushed one paw down his fur and smiled. "Has he brought his wares?" Lapinette scanned the salesman. "He has a brown new bag." "Papa," muttered the Wabbit, "What's he like?" Lapinette scanned the salesman. "He's chocolate fancy and the colour of beans." The radio whined. "He don't seem cheap," said the Wabbit, "Let's see if he's shy." Lapinette carefully placed her radio down but she left it on. She raised her paws and leaped out from behind the packing case. "Dig our crazy chocolate scene, we do chocolate and we do it mean." The Salesman stepped back. "I'm not a customer," he sneered: "I'm Jumpback Jack." The Wabbit heard everything and he muttered to himself. "Jumpback Jack, the bean dealer." Lapinette pounced forward. "I know who you are. I'm hip to the jive." The Salesman waved his bag. "Only Jack has merchandise." A truck drew up with a screech. "They don't grow this stuff no more,"  laughed the salesman. Lapinette pirouetted. "The boss is at the back of the house." The Salesman reached for the door but he turned back. "What you packing, sister?"  "Bump-stock Makarov," shrugged Lapinette. The salesman opened the door. "There's a seller's market for specials."

Sunday, September 23, 2018

1. The Wabbit and the Chocolate Factory

The Wabbit loved being undercover, especially when he was in a chocolate factory. He hopped along the aisles and inspected chocolates as they dropped from exquisite machines. He gave each one a sniff and then went on to the chocolate bars. He examined all wrappings and nodded his head gravely. He carried packs of chocolates from factory to shop, ensuring the boxes were stable and protective. He straightened displays, polished counters, cleaned equipment and did everything he could to look authentic. But his eyes were everywhere and his ears sharp. He was expecting to see a visitor whose interest was far, far away from chocolate. The Wabbit had forewarning of a dastardly plot to cause harm and havoc in the city through the distribution of doctored confectionery. The mission was vital. The Wabbit shook his head, for he found the smell of chocolate intoxicating - and he wasn’t alone. All in his team of specially selected agents loved chocolate, so he’d no need to ask for volunteers. This was a labour of love. They had no idea of when the visitor would arrive, only that he would. They just had to wait - and the chocolate was oh so tempting. Eating any chocolate was forbidden, because it was heady stuff and they were likely to lose sight of their mission. The Wabbit's head swam slightly with delicious smells, but suddenly he became aware of another less subtle odour. He wrinkled his nose, picked up a box of chocolates and made for the shop ...

Friday, September 14, 2018

The Wabbit's Adventure Caffè

"In here, in here!" yelled Lapinette. Wabsworth looked at the Wabbit and the Wabbit glanced back. They both grinned, because this wasn't the sort of place that Lapinette frequented. "It's raining," yelled Lapinette, "and there's a special offer." The Wabbit and Wabsworth stopped abruptly. Skratch crashed into their backs. "What's that for a sort of adventure?" he meowed. "Episodic," replied the Wabbit. "Featuring seemingly random events," added Wabsworth. "And repetition," shouted Lapinette. The Wabbit peered inside the establishment. "I thought they only served beer in that place," observed Wabsworth. "English beer," added Skratch. "And they show Italian football," said the Wabbit. "It's an Irish pub, isn't it?" purred Skratch. "Phew and phew again," shrugged the Wabbit. "I think Jarmusch should make a film about it," said Wabsworth. Lapinette hopped up and down and pouted. "They said they had only limited prosecco." The Wabbit held up a paw and a waitress rushed out with four glasses and four plates of chips. They sat down. Rain dropped on the canopy. Cars swooshed past. "I didn't think you knew this place," frowned Lapinette. "Sunday football," explained the Wabbit. "Is that why you smell of beer and cigarettes on Sundays?" asked Lapinette. The Wabbit shook his head. "High spirits and bonhomie, much smoke, beer spilled on fur." Everyone laughed. Lapinette glanced at the TV. "I don't understand football."  "No-one really does," smirked the Wabbit.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

7. The Wabbit and the Size of Reflection

Wabsworth hopped off. He felt his work was done and he left the Wabbit to reflect. Lapinette took the Wabbit by the paw. "Did you find your point of view?" The Wabbit grinned the biggest grin she had ever seen. "It wasn't lost," he said. "Not even misplaced?" asked Lapinette. "It was here all the time," said the Wabbit. "In front of your nose," suggested Lapinette. "Yes," shrugged the Wabbit. "It was so close I lost sight of it." Lapinette considered. "It must have crept into your blind spot." The Wabbit looked down to the floors underneath and his eyes swept back and forth. He nodded. "Wabsworth could see it." "Wabsworth doesn't have your blind spot?" said Lapinette gravely. It was more of a statement than a question. "He's an android version of me," said the Wabbit. "He has a version of my blind spot but he knows it's there." Lapinette thought for a while. "So he can see more than you." The Wabbit shook his head. "He can see my version and he has his own version. That's how he knows about my point of view." Lapinette giggled. "He's much more than a reflection." "Scary," said the Wabbit. Lapinette pulled the Wabbit away. "Lets eat," she said, "Metaphysics makes me hungry." The Wabbit's tummy grumbled. "I'm a little peckish myself." Lapinette smiled in a mischievous fashion. "I know a great place with a view." The Wabbit was curious. "The Piano Bar," said Lapinette. The Wabbit waited for a punchline. "On Piano 35," yelled Lapinette.
[The San Paolo building in Turin hosts PianoTrentacinque, a chic restaurant on the 35th floor.]

Friday, September 07, 2018

6. The Wabbit in Che Tempo Che Fa

"Welcome to the show, Commander." "Very pleased to be here, Fabio. May I call you Fabio?" "Call me anything you like," said Fabio. The Wabbit smirked and winked at the audience. The audience tittered. "Commander," said Fabio. "You recently compiled all your adventures into one big bumper book." The Wabbit looked directly at the audience. "It's a dual purpose book." Fabio raised an eye and blinked. "It will tell a story and double as a door stop," said the Wabbit. "You're a rather famous rabbit now," sighed Fabio; "How does fame affect your fur?" The Wabbit droned on for a while as instructed, then ended by striking the table. "... and so fame comes at a cost." "At what cost?" asked Fabio. "About the price of a haircut." The Wabbit waited for a laugh. The audience giggled. "And that's what RAI is paying me tonight," grinned the Wabbit. The audience reaction was cut short by a long-legged lady rabbit who climbed on the table and lay along it. "Were you ever harassed by anyone, Commander?" Fabio intervened and pushed her to the side. "Leticia, that's not why the Commander is here." The Wabbit brushed him away. "All the time," he said. Letitia looked at the audience and simpered. "So what do you do about them, Commander?" "Sometimes I blow them up," said the Wabbit. The audience went wild with glee, hollering and clapping. "Or occasionally I exile them to a distant galaxy." The audience was on its feet. The cheers were deafening. Leticia crawled past Fabio until she was in front of the Wabbit. "May I touch your fur?" "Put a paw on me and I'll push you off the table," grinned the Wabbit.
[My compliments to Fabio Fazio and Leticia Littizzetto of the popular Che Tempo Che Fa talk show, formerly broadcast on RAI3 now on RAI1]

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

5. The Wabbit and One side or the Other

"What's this for a sort of algorithm?" asked the Wabbit. "It's my deviancy algorithm," said Wabsworth. "At least it's warmer than the last," commented the Wabbit. He smirked. Wabsworth smirked back. Traffic passed. Lights changed. Shadows grew longer. "So?" asked the Wabbit. "I designed this one to test out your point of view," smiled Wabsworth. "You know my point of view," said the Wabbit. "I know your point of view," grinned Wabsworth, "but do you know your point of view." "Of course I do," answered the Wabbit; "I made it in the first place." He swung around the pole and looked up at the sign. "It is forbidden to enter the binary," said Wabsworth. "I can read," said the Wabbit. He hopped across the rails and hopped back. Then he shrugged. "Nothing happened." Wabsworth grinned. "Nothing happened because it's my algorithm." A tram hurtled past and blew sand in the Wabbit's face. "You better keep to one side or another," warned Wabsworth. "Nah," said the Wabbit. "You think you can change water to wine," frowned Wabsworth. "On a good day I can," said the Wabbit. "And on a bad day?" queried Wabsworth. "Vinegar," sighed the Wabbit, sourly. "From your point of view my freedom is absurd," said Wabsworth. "And vice versa," nodded the Wabbit. Another tram whizzed past. "I must remind you I'm an android," said Wabsworth. "Nobody's perfect," said the Wabbit.

Monday, September 03, 2018

4. The Wabbit and the Window of Nine

"This is like breathing cotton wool," spluttered the Wabbit. "This is my Cloud in Time saves Nine algorithm," said Wabsworth. Mist swirled round his paw as he carefully adjusted the hands of the clock. "So is there anything you want to keep in the Cloud!" he asked. The Wabbit looked puzzled. "Before time gets to Nine," explained Wabsworth. "What happens after Nine?" asked the Wabbit. Wabsworth made another adjustment. "It's more expensive," he shrugged. The Wabbit shivered. "More expensive than what?" He was even more irritated than usual since he was very cold. He leaned against the wall because there was warmth there. "Than it would cost you before Nine," continued Wabsworth. The Wabbit nodded, but he still had no clue. "So is there anything you want to store there?" Wabsworth voice was pressing. "Such as?" shrugged the Wabbit. "Information." said Wabsworth. The Wabbit thought hard. "Like all the soccer results ever?" Wabsworth shook his head back and forth. "Oh that will cost you." "Not before Nine!" said the Wabbit quickly. "OK then," nodded Wabsworth. Now the Wabbit shook his head sadly. "But I haven't got them with me." Clouds of mist swirled round the clock as Wabsworth pushed the hands close to Nine o'clock and murmured, "You might be able to get them from somebody else's Cloud." "What will that cost me?" asked the Wabbit. Wabsworth pushed the clock hands ever closer to Nine. "It will cost you five minutes." "Time is short," groaned the Wabbit. "So is money," answered Wabsworth.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

3. The Wabbit and the Wind Window

"You said absurdity," said Wabsworth. "I did nothing of the sort," said the Wabbit. Wabsworth ignored him and exclaimed, "This is the wind window and you get a great point of view with extra special effects." The Wabbit's ears flattened as the wind tore at his fur. "Are we really in a small plane with no windscreen?" "Virtual reality," said Wabsworth. "We're quite close to that building," warned the Wabbit. "Nothing but pixels," said Wabsworth. "What are we sitting on then?" asked the Wabbit. "Pixels," said Wabsworth. The Wabbit's stomach rumbled. "Got anything to eat?" he asked. Wabsworth took a salad sandwich from under the seat. The Wabbit grabbed it and tore at it frantically with his teeth. "It's not very tasty," he grumbled. "Pixels," said Wabsworth. "It's like cardboard and lubricant," complained the Wabbit. "I did my best," responded Wabsworth. "Well, at least it's not raining," said the Wabbit. Wabsworth pressed a switch on the instrument panel and a spray of minute particles hit the Wabbit's face. "Pixels?" asked the Wabbit. "I worked hard on that one," said Wabsworth. Now the Wabbit was existentially tired. "Where and when will we land?" he snapped. "I never got to that," said Wabsworth. "I'm expressly feeling a state of angst," moaned the Wabbit. "Excellent!" shouted Wabsworth. He reached under his fur and pressed something. The plane disappeared and they seemed to hang in space. "How do you feel now?" he asked. "My self is authentically irritated," gasped the Wabbit.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

2. The Wabbit and the Wet Window

Wabsworth became completely still and the Wabbit looked over his shoulder in case anything was wrong. "Nothing's wrong," said Wabsworth. "I just changed your point of view." The Wabbit put his paw out just in case his fur was wet. But it was bone dry. "I've been experimenting with virtual reality," said Wabsworth. "Good wheeze," shrugged the Wabbit; "So what about some water?" Wabsworth's circuits whirred momentarily. The air became distinctly damp. "That's as far as I got there," apologised Wabsworth. He paused. "It gives you a point of view change in the physical sense, but not in the existential sense." The Wabbit breathed a sigh of relief.  "OK, I had enough wet for now." "I'll turn it off," said Wabsworth. His circuits whirred again but nothing happened. Wabsworth made several unsuccessful attempts. "We're stuck in the rain," grumbled Wabsworth. "Maybe we should sing," quipped the Wabbit. They sang several verses of Singing in the Rain but the wet was still with them. "Maybe the desert will work," said Wabsworth. His circuits whirred alarmingly and there was smell of burning metal. Now it was very hot but the wet remained. "This is like Panama when the rain stops," moaned the Wabbit. "I'm still in the trial stage," said Wabsworth. The Wabbit nodded gravely. "We could try an existentialist change," suggested Wabsworth. The Wabbit shook his head vigorously but Wabsworth pretended not to notice. "Angst or absurdity," queried Wabsworth. "I already do both," groaned the Wabbit.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

1. The Wabbit and his Point of View

Wabsworth bumped into the Wabbit by a corridor window in the Department of Wabbit Affairs.  Wabsworth started as an exact android copy of the Wabbit - but time had elapsed. Now he was very much his own android and knew all the Wabbit's faces. Some of them Wabsworth was born with, some of them he'd copied and some of them he'd adapted. But this was an expression he couldn't do a thing with. "Penny for them?" he asked, touching the Wabbit's shoulder. He tried to hide a smile but the Wabbit half grinned. "I'm looking for a window of opportunity." Wabsworth shrugged and then turned theatrically to squint out the window. "They should replace this glass." The Wabbit was horrified. "It's sixteenth century!"  Wabsworth looked again and nodded gravely. "Yes, yes of course. It does offer a different perspective." With their noses pressed to glass they both squinted out. A few moments elapsed. "Can't make out a thing," said the Wabbit. "Neither can I," said Wabsworth.  The Wabbit shook his head like a donkey and murmured; "Now I can see your point of view." They stood in silence for a while. Voices echoed in the corridor. Traffic noise found its way through the glass. "Maybe I lost my point of view," said the Wabbit. "Maybe it's only mislaid," commented Wabsworth. "Maybe it's gone forever," answered the Wabbit. Wabsworth's processors searched quietly and then he poked the Wabbit in the ribs. "Maybe I still have a copy."

Monday, August 20, 2018

The Wabbit at his Adventure Caffè

The team gathered at the Safe House. It was medieval and seemed the most appropriate place. Skratch was well in character, purring and waving both paws at the table for attention. "Ariel, bring a corollary rather than want a spirit!" "Oooh, am I Ariel?" Lapinette lips puckered and she made a pert face. "You're Miranda," said Wabsworth, "and since I am closest, I must be Ariel." "I'm not sure who I am," murmured the Wabbit. Lapinette laughed. "Don't be so stodgy, Wabbit. Maybe you're the rainbow-bearing messenger sent by Juno." Now the Wabbit cheered up. "Then I'll get the drinks in!" He made to get up for the kitchen, but Skratch stopped him. "First Wabbit, tell us what was that for a sort of Adventure." "Postmodern," shrugged the Wabbit. "He says that about everything," laughed Lapinette. "It was a pastiche of two forms, the latter an adaptation of the former," said Wabsworth. "That is indeed postmodern." Wabsworth's voice was firm. He glanced at the kitchens and held up a paw. Four drinks arrived. The Wabbit grinned and sat down. "It's sour wine and mead, flavoured with honey," smiled Wabsworth. The Wabbit rose again and disappeared to the kitchen. "It's prosecco," whispered Wabsworth. They all laughed as the Wabbit returned with four glasses which he placed on the table. The Wabbit winked at Wabsworth, tossed back his drink and smacked his lips. "Cool clear water!"
["Ariel, bring a corollary rather than want a spirit!" Corollary: The Tempest. Act 4 Scene 1.  a redundancy, a supplement. ]

Thursday, August 16, 2018

9. The Wabbit and the Dream Manifest

"Wabbit, Wabbit! Wake up!" The Wabbit had been asleep for some time. His eyes were glazed and his mumbling incoherent. Lapinette shook him. He snored heavily. His chuntering at the end of each snore shook the papers on the desk. Lapinette leaned to hear. "Full fathom five, the Wabbit lies." murmured the Wabbit. Lapinette shook him more vigorously. He started to growl. "Be not afeard, the isle of full of robots." He sat up suddenly and looked around but just as quickly lapsed into sleep. Lapinette gave him a vicious dig in the ribs. "Ah woo, hoo," spluttered the Wabbit. His mouth tasted of brine so he scowled and complained. "I'm all pins and needles. It was the icy water." Lapinette folded her paws. "Wabbit! Have you been drinking?" The Wabbit shook his head. "I was rescued from a moving island." "You were snoring," said Lapinette. "Who me?" said the Wabbit, "I never snore." "Yes, you make enormous snores," said Lapinette, "and there's meaning in them." The Wabbit considered for a moment, then lifted the page of the Tempest that had fallen from the tome. Lapinette looked at it and smiled. "So did you find your inner self?" The Wabbit looked rueful and shrugged. "Nearly."

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

8. The Wabbit and the Savage Waves

A storm forced the Unut to move away from the island and the Wabbit was cut off. The island was still moving and massive rocks smashed together like gravel in a mixer. The sea rose above the Wabbit's legs. There was only one thing to do. "I have to swim for it," thought the Wabbit. He hadn't a clue where "it" was, but he dived in and started to swim like marsh rabbit. The water was icy and quickly numbed every bone in his body. His brain swam. He began to see a hazy picture of himself on a beach on the Caribbean eating a salad sandwich. The picture cleared and he spotted a waiter dressed as a plesiosaur arriving with beer. The waiter shouted something again and again. He strained to hear it. "Wabbit, Wabbit. Wake up!" Spray hit his head. He blinked water from his eyes and clung onto the waves. "Nessie!" he spluttered. The Wabbit coughed sea from his lungs as he lunged onto a large breaker that rose to meet Nessie's mouth. Now he was hanging by his fur from Nessie's teeth. "Hold yer nose," said Nessie with a muffled voice. The plesiosaur plunge took the Wabbit by surprise. Water rushed past at an alarming rate - then he burst from the surface of calm waters. The Lepus and the Unut floated on a mirror of antique blue. "My ships came in," murmured the Wabbit as he passed out.

Friday, August 10, 2018

7.The Wabbit and the Uncertain Welcome

An inner voice told the Wabbit to venture alone to the final island. He hopped from rock to rock across the brine, looking into every crevice, until he heard a voice calling from the cliff. "Hail, Captain of the storm-tossed ship." A ghostly voice sang a mournful tune and a specter wailed its way from the depths. "Hell is empty," it moaned, "and all the devils are here." "You devils look familiar," murmured the Wabbit. Waves smashed against the promontory and soaked the Wabbit's fur. "We take the shape you choose," said a figure on the rocks, "What message do you bring?" The Wabbit thought for a second and then shrugged. "I am the only message." The specter hung in the air and wailed long it set the Wabbit's teeth on edge. "What ails thee, specter?" asked the Wabbit. "Nothing ails me but the lack of it," moaned the specter. It sank beneath the waves only to surface close to the Wabbit. "Who are you?" said the Wabbit. His question was sudden and commanding. The figure on the rocks leaned down until he nearly reached the sea. "We are remnants, deserted and forgotten. We wait to be set free." The Wabbit grinned. "Thou shalt have freedom yet. Freedom is for the taking." "Then take us with you," said the figure. The Wabbit beckoned in welcome - but at that moment, both figure and specter faded until only waves remained.

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

6. The Wabbit and the Premised Tempest

The sea had looked like a mirror but a storm blew in suddenly from the east and lashed the Unut like a thousand whips. The sky grew black. Lightning coursed along the surface and flickered up the hull. The Unut was 10,000 tons and more but the sea tossed it up and down like a cork. The Wabbit strolled calmly along the deck and anchored himself to a rail. Lapinette scurried out and did the same. They peered into the distance. "It's good to mess about with boats," smiled the Wabbit. Lapinette thought of the pedalos in the park. "Adventure in the open air," she gasped. Her stomach lurched but her eyes swept the horizon nonetheless. "What's that?" "Something that shouldn't be there," muttered the Wabbit, "Dead slow." signalled Lapinette. But the Unut was already slowing to a standstill. Three islands shrouded in a soaking mist danced in the sea. "Dead slow ahead," signalled the Wabbit. The Unut moved forward. So did the islands. They're floating," gasped Lapinette. The wind roared and tore at their fur, snatching their voices and returning them mangled. "A plague on this howling," shouted Lapinette." "I've no mind to sink!" yelled the Wabbit, "Full ahead!" The islands pulled away and parted. as the vast bulk of the destroyer tore a path through the perilous waters. The Wabbit grimaced at the sea. "Parting is such sweet sorrow."

Sunday, August 05, 2018

5. The Lepus and the Mysterious Island

Captain Jenny was first to report the sighting of a likely island. But there was nothing there. Not a seagull, not a gannet, not even a crab. "Curious," thought Jenny. "Hail the island," she shouted. The Lepus let out three klaxon blasts, loud enough to wake the dead. The island remained still as the Lepus circled. Jenny considered a landing party but something made her draw back. "Move away," she ordered. The Lepus moved out a few metres but stopped. Propellers thrashed in an unyielding sea that clutched the Lepus in a grip of steel. Engines died. The breeze stopped and the flag hung limp. The Lepus pitched lazily up and down like a fishing fly. Jenny picked up the radio but it was dead. Only then did she feel a tug from below that dragged the Lepus close to the rocks that surrounded the island. She tried to compensate but it was useless. Then she felt a push in the opposite direction - it was a bit stronger than the pull. Jenny saw water thresh around a large hump, which lay close against the hull. Now a steady force pushed the Lepus sideways out to sea until it was some distance from the island. Only then did Nessie's head break the surface to an ear-splitting cheer from the crew. "Nae problem," said Nessie.
[Nae (Scottish dialect) :  No]

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

4. The Wabbit and the the Fatal Island

When Lapinette arrived at the docks, things were more than ready. "We leave on the next tide," said the Wabbit waving his map. "Aye, Commander!" yelled Skratch the Cat. Lapinette wanted to know where they were going. "What's on the map?" asked Wabsworth. He tapped the jeep's hood three times. "Oh nothing of interest," said the Wabbit. "I just like to wave it." He tucked it back in his fur and paused for effect. "From the information in the Codex, I gather it's somewhere between Naples and Tunis." Parakalo the dove circled overhead and cooed. "Parakalo is our lookout." said the Wabbit, "He will fly ahead and bring back twigs." "So we'll know when we're close," murmured Lapinette. "Then what?" asked Wabsworth. "We land and look for the holy artifact," shrugged the Wabbit. Skratch wanted to know if there was anyone on the island. "A miserable old man and his daughter," replied the Wabbit, "and a sprite - and someone referred to as a son of a witch." Skratch meaowed down. "What's the name of this island." The Wabbit looked up. "The codex says it's called The Fatal Island. Many tried to find it and all perished." "At the gills of a sea monster," nodded Wabsworth. The Wabbit stared. "How the binky did you know?" Wabsworth grinned. "I saw it in the movies"

Friday, July 27, 2018

3. The Wabbit and the Codex Instructions

The Wabbit grabbed the page and took off, reading it. Lapinette flew after him. "That looks original!" The Wabbit smirked. "Maybe it is and maybe it's no." He hopped down the stairs. Lapinette hung over the balcony and tried to see the page. "It's a play," she smiled. "There's a list on the back," said the Wabbit. He read it out. "Knife, sword, firewood." Lapinette's ears swayed. The Wabbit continued. "Ship box, island, dogs ears." "Dogs ears?" yelled Lapinette. "I think so," said the Wabbit, "the writing's squiggly." He squinted down the page. "Any more?" asked Lapinette. "Fripperies," announced the Wabbit. Lapinette paused to think. "Does the list involve a magic book?" "It's in capitals," nodded the Wabbit. "Then they're all things in The Tempest," murmured Lapinette. She pirouetted. "You were on the stage weren't you?" said the Wabbit slyly. Lapinette fluttered her paws. "Acting is a passport to fun." The Wabbit laughed. "So maybe you could play spy and decode this." Lapinette flew down the stairs and seized the page. Her eyes flew up and down the page and then she turned it over. "The code is in the text." The Wabbit took it back and had a look. "It says we gotta split forthwith." "Our transport awaits," said a familiar voice. The Wabbit didn't turn. "Where are we off to?" "To unpathed waters, undreamed shores," answered Wabsworth.