Monday, April 29, 2019

3. The Wabbit and the Time of the Carrots

Hearing of an extreme carrot incursion, Wabsworth and the Wabbit hastened to a rooftop in the centre of Turin. It was a tough climb, especially since the Wabbit decided to scale the outside of the building. Wabsworth took a lift. He came scrambling over the roof just in time to see a giant carrot looming over the Wabbit. The carrot had a mouth and was saying the same thing over and over again. "It's carrot time!" The Wabbit pulled himself across the tiles and grimaced. "Are you auditioning for Carrots' Got Talent?" The carrot's giggle turned into a laugh. The building shook and the Wabbit held on for dear life. "Carrot time, carrot time!" yelled the carrot. Wabsworth called to the Wabbit. "Try to reason with it." The Wabbit looked doubtful, but he shrugged and addressed the carrot. "Now look here my orange friend, you can't loom around yelling about carrots." The carrot's mouth twisted and he said 'carrot time' again, but this time his voice was quiet. "Progress," nodded Wabsworth. "OK, carrot," said the Wabbit, "please tell me where you're from and state the exact nature of your business." The carrot's head dropped. Its mouth opened wide and it belched a carroty burp that blasted the Wabbit's ears. "Our time has come."

Friday, April 26, 2019

2. The Wabbit and the Carrot Incursion

The Wabbit wasn't often surprised, but this was an exception. "My gast is flabbered," he grinned. Wabsworth wasn't so amused. "They've been appearing all over the city, carrot monuments, carrot obelisks, carrot signs, carrots, carrots, carrots." Is this doing any harm?" asked the Wabbit. "Some of them glow in the dark," said Wabsworth. "One is mildly radioactive and another sings songs." The Wabbit doubled up with laughter. "What about?" "Carrots," replied Wabsworth. The Wabbit was helpless with mirth. "People are complaining, said Wabsworth. The Wabbit blinked. "Everything smells of carrots." The Wabbit shrugged. Wabsworth continued. "Someone tried to cut a slice for a soffritto and the carrot hit him on the head." The Wabbit drew a breath. "It'll be the celery next." Wabsworth was aghast. "Not on my watch," he yelled. The Wabbit looked round at the carrot obelisk and he studied the hieroglyphs for some time. His head moved up and down. "Does the inscription mean to say carrot? Because it's not spelled correctly." Wabsworth stepped back. "I'm an android not a history teacher." The Wabbit looked again and his ears swayed as he listened. "Did it say something?" "Mha Kheru!" The voice repeated. Wabsworth whirred as he ran an ancient Egyptian algorithm. "It says it's justified." "And ancient?" grinned the Wabbit.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

1. The Wabbit and the Interesting News

When the Wabbit was bored, he often hung round the back of Castello del Valentino. The castle now belonged to the Polytechnic and he could sit on the steps and listen to office chat and grin. The Wabbit wasn't an office rabbit in the slightest. His own desk was piled high with uncompleted paperwork and since he was between missions he had plenty of opportunity to catch up. Instead, he sat on the steps in the sun and wondered where the next mission might come from. He yawned and stretched his paws. "Busy busy busy," he murmured. His radio crackled and spluttered. He pulled it from his fur and pushed the talk button. "Sting Dem Radio. Yuh a luk fi DJ Wabbit?"  Wabsworth's voice whined from the speaker. "Very funny Commander, but we have a situation." The Wabbit laughed. "What kind of situation." The radio whined and the Wabbit jabbed 'talk' a few times and tapped the unit on the wall. "It's a carrot situation, Commander," said Wabsworth. The Wabbit sat down and sighed. "Don't overdo it with the carrots, Wabsworth. Just get to the root of the matter." The radio crackled again. "It's not a Club thing, Commander. It's a dangerous carrot incursion." The Wabbit waited and the radio fell silent. Then it hissed. "Are you still there?" "I'm waiting," said the Wabbit. "You'll have to see it for yourself," said Wabsworth. "On my way," sighed the Wabbit.

Monday, April 22, 2019

The Wabbit at his Adventure Caffè

The team assembled for the Adventure Caffè. This time it was in the restaurant high atop the SanPaolo building - and that day, things were quiet. As usual, Skratch was late, because he'd taken time for a prowl around the edge of the viewing platform. This was the highest building in the city and now he was excited. "Hello, hello!" he meaowed. His tail threshed on the floor and he unleashed a delighted screech. "What about our last Adventure?" asked Lapinette. Skratch sat down. "It was in the realm of the hyper real." Everyone leaned back except for the Wabbit, who grinned and called for aperitivi. Skratch continued. "The first effect of the hyper real is vertigo of detail." Lapinette recalled her fall from the bus and nodded vigorously. Wabsworth chipped in. "That is related to simulation where documentary is expressed as narrative." Lapinette giggled. "You speak of the Nouvelle Vague." Skratch purred. "Not exactly. The adventure was rhapsodic as suggested by Barthes. It ran in the poetic register. But the structural dimension gained autonomy, allowing signs to interchange independently of narrative."  The Wabbit rapped on the table. "So the chocolate rabbit moved within the poetic register." Lapinette jumped from her seat. "That granted him desire to drive the bus." "Well I wouldn't stand in his way," smiled Wabsworth.

[Based on arguments in "How a Film Theory Got Lost and OtherMysteries in Cultural Studies"  Robert Beverley Ray. Indiana Press.]

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

8. The Wabbit and the Hidden Depths

Lapinette grabbed the object. The Wabbit gazed at it. "The ancient bejeweled rabbit of Wablantis!" Lapinette looked puzzled. "But there's only one and we already have it." The Wabbit shook his head. "The old legend said that two were made but one was lost." Lapinette laughed. "Well, now we have them both." She tucked the bejeweled rabbit into the back of her frock. A sudden gushing noise took their attention. It seemed to come from beneath the pond. The water lit up. "Illuminations?" grinned the Wabbit. Gushing turned to a roar. Headlights carved a path through the depths. A CGT Turin bus rose to the surface like submarine."Is that our bus?" asked Lapinette?  "I'd say that was definitely ours," said the Wabbit. Lapinette squealed and hopped up and down. "Are our tickets still valid?" The Wabbit laughed. "I think we can work something out." He pointed to the front of the bus. The chocolate rabbit was driving and he waved and changed gears and revved the engine. The Wabbit hailed the bus with a smile. "How do we get on?" asked Lapinette. The bus floated higher and higher until it floated over the surface. The doors hissed open. "After you," said the Wabbit. He lifted Lapinette onto the platform and then jumped on himself. The doors hissed shut. There was a roar and the bus vanished. Diesel fumes hung briefly in the air and died away. Water lilies shimmered and closed over the pond. The bus and its passengers were gone.

Monday, April 15, 2019

7. The Wabbit and the Big Search

The Wabbit and Lapinette followed a path through the woods until they came to a delightful pond with a little bridge. They stood on the bridge for a while and looked at the foliage. The Wabbit grinned. "Whatever it is, I suppose this is the place we'll find it." Lapinette gazed at the pond, which she found quite delightful. "Find what?" The Wabbit jumped into the pond and started to wade. "We won't know until we find it." Lapinette followed suit. She tried to keep her frock dry without success because the Wabbit was turning over every frond and kicking up a stir. He turned over stones. He grasped stalks and shook them. Lapinette did the same and together they worked away for some time. The Wabbit was well aware that the chocolate rabbit had followed them, because he could feel a stare at the back of his head, but he didn't look back. He shrugged. "We're supposed to find whatever it is and that chocolate rabbit will wait here until we do." The day wore on but they hadn't found much. Lapinette complained. "A slug crawled up my frock." "I hope it didn't get far," laughed the Wabbit. Lapinette shrieked with laughter and sprayed the Wabbit with pond water. That's was the moment she noticed something glinting. It was half hidden in the water and covered in sodden leaves. Her cry caused every bird in the woods to flutter upwards. "I found it!"

Friday, April 12, 2019

6. The Wabbit and the Blue River Glen

They followed the rabbit along a path to the bottom of the hill, where mossy steps led to a rapidly flowing river. The rabbit hopped onto a small shingled beach. Then he stepped into the water and stood quietly. He nodded downstream to the woods where the river slowed. The Wabbit looked in the direction of the nod but all he could see were trees. The river was blue and noisy. It should have gargled but it roared like a torrent. The rabbit seemed to hover above the water. "Over there," he said. The noise nearly drowned his voice. Lapinette heard him though. "Over where?" The rabbit nodded again. "Over there." "I suppose we'd better look," suggested Lapinette. The Wabbit scowled. "But what if it's a trick?" He didn't sound happy. He didn't much like woods and remembered the occasion where he'd been tracked through the trees by an assassin. Lapinette hopped forward. "He doesn't look very dangerous." It was then that the Wabbit caught a scent of something very familiar. "He's made of chocolate. White chocolate." Lapinette laughed brightly. "Well there you are, what harm can come from a chocolate rabbit?" The Wabbit wrinkled his nose in suspicion, then called across to the chocolate rabbit. "Will you come with us?" "No," said the chocolate rabbit, "You must go alone."

Thursday, April 11, 2019

5. The Wabbit and the Wooded Glade

All things considered, their landing wasn't so bad. Lapinette fell in a bush which totally broke her fall. The Wabbit dropped on a fence, then bounced onto a path. He saw stars and his eyes went glazed, but although he did a lot of complaining he was none the worse for his fall. Lapinette gave him a shake. "You're all right, Wabbit." The Wabbit sat up quickly. "I'm sure I have a concussion." His eyes swirled. "I have memory, balance and coordination problems." Lapinette tried to poke him in the eye. He swept her paw away with a single deft move. Lapinette laughed. "What is zero to the power zero?" "It's an indeterminate form," growled the Wabbit. "Now tell me where you live?" said Lapinette. "At home," snapped the Wabbit. "Nothing wrong with you," grinned Lapinette. She pulled his paw. "Now, get up!" The Wabbit sprang to his feet, but his eyes were drawn to the path. A figure stood in the distance as still as a statue - and it seemed to be watching. The Wabbit sighed. "Are we expecting Peter Rabbit?" Lapinette looked round and shrugged. "Nope, it's not him." The Wabbit stared at the rabbit and called out. "Who the binky are you?" The rabbit took one step forward and after a long pause, spoke in a hoarse voice. "Welcome to the Lost Glen." The Wabbit groaned. "What's lost about it?" The rabbit did not respond but merely turned on his heel and hopped off down the path. "Better follow that rabbit," murmured Lapinette ...

Monday, April 08, 2019

4. The Wabbit and the Rapid Descent

The bus fell apart. It was a sudden as it was unexpected. The Wabbit and Lapinette had secured partial control and the daring leap over the canal tunnel had been successful. They turned to congratulate each other but in the next moment they found themselves in the open, spiraling down towards a bridge they'd never seen before. It looked like a fancy clothes hanger and it was coming up fast. Bits of the bus flew though the air. A seat narrowly missed the Wabbit. A seat belt buckle grazed his nose. Lapinette automatically grasped for a flying steering wheel, but it whirled from her grasp and fell into the darkness. One of the wheels loomed out of the sky and flashed past her head so close she could smell rubber. The Wabbit tried to see what lay beneath the bridge but it didn't seem to be water - it looked more like concrete. He gritted his teeth and called out to Lapinette. "Brace in the unexpected event of a hard landing," Lapinette gripped her billowing frock and shouted against the roar of the wind. "I'm all braced up." Something red loomed out of the darkness and both of them saw it. The Wabbit spread out his paws. So did Lapinette - but the object veered the Wabbit's way. With a single swipe, he grabbed it and held it tight. "It's the red button!" "What are you waiting for?" screamed Lapinette. "Hit it!"

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

3. The Wabbit, Lapinette & the River Wild

The bus careered down the River Po but when it reached the mouth of the Doro it swerved left and headed across the city. Torrential rain lashed the windows. "Never mind the weather," sang the Wabbit from gritted teeth. It grew chilly inside and the wipers gave up. "As long as we're together," trilled Lapinette. Lights flickered but then held steady. Headlight beams lit the churning water that threatened to engulf them. The Wabbit grabbed at the steering wheel. He managed to budge the bus trajectory slightly and so avoided three bridges. Lapinette poked at the brakes, but there was no response. A heavy wake lay to the back of the bus. Waves washed over footpaths and up embankments. "We seem to have missed all the halts," laughed the Wabbit. "No-one's out tonight!" laughed Lapinette. "Do you think we're late?" grinned the Wabbit. "If we're late, we can take our time," shrugged Lapinette. As if in response, the bus lurched, wallowed for a second and stopped. Water rose above the windows. "Whoa, steady on," groaned the Wabbit. Lapinette jabbed at the throttle. The bus lifted, then skimmed along the surface, bouncing across turbulence like a hydrofoil. But a subterranean canal loomed fast. The Wabbit looked at Lapinette. "Over or under?" Lapinette jumped with both feet on the throttle pedal. "Over the top ..!"

Monday, April 01, 2019

2. The Wabbit and Lapinette Splash Down

The bus made a big splash, but less than the Wabbit expected. He held Lapinette close as the bus poised over a vortex of swirling water that looked like a liquid black hole. The bus was stuck half in and half out. Water raged against the windows. A little seeped in through rubber seals. The windscreen wipers swiped back and forth in a futile attempt to clear the torrent. The Wabbit and Lapinette concentrated, tuned their ears and listened. The engine was still running. The watched the clutch depress and the gears shift. Wheels span and water foamed at the rear. The bus seemed to move up and out of the river but it plunged back. "What's going on?" yelled Lapinette. "It's like a quantum whirlpool," shouted the Wabbit. Lapinette gripped a handrail. "Spiral lasers! Try the lights!" The Wabbit hopped to the controls and located the switch assembly. He turned everything on and off. Nothing happened. Outside, the vortex sucked with enormous force. "Try the vents," shouted Lapinette. "Ah," said the Wabbit. With a mighty cry, he kicked the mouldings until they fell off - and there under a vent cover lay a red button. The Wabbit kicked that too. They heard a sudden change in noise. It was as if they'd switched off a jacuzzi. The vortex died. The whirlpool lost its grip and the river became calm as millpond. The bus shifted gear. Wheels span and it lifted out of the water.  "Phew," smiled the Wabbit, "I'm glad that's over." Lapinette waved to the front as the bus headed down river at a furious speed ...