Friday, November 29, 2019

The Wabbit at his Adventure Caffè

The Wabbit insisted on Eataly for the Adventure Caffè and they all arrived at more or less the same time. Lapinette was happy to see the Wabbit was in such a good mood - especially as someone had taken his favourite seat. She bounced in the air and yelled, "Where's Skratch?" They heard a long meaow as Skratch approached. "Here I am, fashionably late as usual." The Wabbit turned. "I can't ask you what kind of story that was, since it was your story." Skratch laughed. "Well as the storyteller, I should know!" Wabsworth shook his ears. "Some say that prequels and sequels signify the end of story telling itself" Lapinette giggled. "Then I await the end of story telling with optimism." Skratch brushed all this baiting aside with a wave of his paw. "It's the signification of after the end - and the beginning of the end of the start." The Wabbit looked to see if his seat was available. He shook his head. "Analeptic continuation," he murmured. "Gerard Genette," nodded Lapinette. "The backward continuation works its way upstream," agreed Skratch. "Everything does," smiled Wabsworth. His android circuits hummed merrily. Skratch wasn't so certain. "I reconfigured Puma's story through memory." "Maybe he should tell his own story," said Lapinette. "Maybe he should," growled Puma.
[Thanks to:  "The Promised End" of Cinema: Portraits of Cinematic Apocalypse in 21st Century Shakespearean Cinema. Carolyn Jess-Cooke]

Monday, November 25, 2019

4. Skratch and the Call of the Wild

"Things went OK for quite a while," said Skratch. The Wabbit leaned forward to listen. Skratch's face was a feline delight as he recalled the sessions he'd spent with Puma in the grounds of the Old Abandoned Hospital. "Puma roamed at will, just as he had in his native Patagonia. He climbed trees, swam the river - and he explored the basements of the old buildings." He paused and crossed his legs over his tail. "But it couldn't go on forever. People were starting to notice. Puma told me tales of a photographer who prowled the grounds with heavy equipment, looking for him. Time was running short." The Wabbit chortled. "Now that sounds familiar." Skratch laughed a hollow laugh. "It was when you appeared. You thought I was poaching." The Wabbit smiled a rueful smile. "Yes, I meant well - but I was the cause of that awful event with the Forestry Policeman." "What happened to him in the end?" asked Skratch. The Wabbit burst into helpless mirth, "I heard he was eaten by badgers." "Serve him right," scowled Skratch. He growled for a while. "Well - you know the rest, Wabbit. You found Puma a berth up in the Superga Hills and gave him a good cover story." The Wabbit waved a paw. "I don't think the wild boars were very happy, but you can't please everyone. Where is Puma by the way?" "Behind you," growled Puma ...

Friday, November 22, 2019

3. Skratch and the Vanishing Creatures

The Wabbit leaned back in his seat to hear the next part of Skratch's story. This happened in a place he knew quite well and it was so long ago that everything had now completely changed. Skratch purred. "I thought I'd locate the creatures in a pet shop with which I had an arrangement and I wore a Blue Cross t-shirt for authenticity." The Wabbit laughed because he knew all about Skratch's arrangements and disguises. "We were waiting for the shop to open," meaowed Skratch, "when the oddest thing happened." Now the Wabbit wanted to giggle because the story was already very odd indeed. "A flying pig appeared," continued Skratch, "We all looked up. The Chinese fighting pig explained it was his Uncle Wang Xiu Wing - and off he went on his back." The Wabbit chortled. "So now the creatures were down to two." "Not for long," smiled Skratch, "Both Puma and I were gazing at the tiger and suddenly he vanished, leaving only a triple smile." "Like the Cheshire Cat," murmured the Wabbit. Skratch grinned mightily and went on. "It was then that the puma turned to me and observed that you don't see that sort of thing every day." The Wabbit beamed. "What did you do then?" Skratch made an expansive gesture. "Puma asked me if there was a forest anywhere nearby with a wild flowing river. I told him I there was something of the kind." Now the Wabbit felt he'd caught up with the story. "So you took him to the Old Abandoned Hospital?" "The very place," nodded Skratch ...

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

2. Skratch and the Captured Creatures

Skratch began to tell his tale and it was a strange one. "I heard the creatures were being held in a building as yet unopened. No one had ever seen them - but rumors flew like birds from a cage." The Wabbit settled back to be entertained. Skratch continued. "I watched the building, day and night without success. But one night a service lift dropped down and crates were shipped onto a van." Skratch meowed softly. "It was my chance. So I slipped in as they slipped out. The lift took me up to a high floor and I prowled onto a balcony." The Wabbit couldn't wait. "What was there?" Skratch took a deep breath. "It was quite a sight. There were plants and shrubs - it would have been nice except for the barbed wire." The Wabbit scowled. "Then it was a prison?" Skratch hissed. "It was and there were three creatures there - a puma, a tiger and a Chinese fighting pig." The Wabbit waited with baited breath. "They knew I was there," said Skratch, "but they made no sound. They didn't want to give me away. Then the puma spoke in a whisper. 'Are you here to liberate us?'" The Wabbit was agog. "How did you answer?" Skratch held up a paw. "I said nothing. I just dropped down and beckoned. Then they followed me up the stairs, into the lift and out." The Wabbit was impressed. He nodded his head with vigor and asked, "You avoided capture?" Skratch's teeth flashed. He grinned as only a cat can. "Those that saw us thought they'd had too much to drink - and probably they had. So together we made our way down Corso Inghilterra and beyond ..."

Monday, November 18, 2019

1. The Wabbit and the Curious Tale

The Wabbit was between missions and as usual he was at a loose end. So he was delighted to see Skratch at a cinema exhibition. He crept up behind him and touched his tail. "Eeek" yelled Skratch. His tail quivered and his ears went pointy. "Oh it's you, Wabbit," he gasped, "I thought it was the Curse of the Cat People." The Wabbit giggled helplessly. "I need to be entertained, and who better than you?" Skratch grinned. "Is it worth a significant lunch?" The Wabbit tugged at his tail and led him to a seating area decked out as a Belle Epoch caffè. "It is worth more. Much more," he murmured. When they were comfortable, the Wabbit leaned forward. "Tell me all about Puma. I'm really a bit hazy about how you came by him." Skratch meaowed. "It's quite a story." "Humour me," said the Wabbit. Skratch crossed his legs on top of his tail. "Puma came here somewhat against his will." He meaowed for effect and continued. "A group of inept and rather minor mafia sorts thought they could avoid the severe penalties on dog fighting by using other animals." "Do go on," smiled the Wabbit. "So they assembled quite a menagerie," said Skratch, "which they then tried to hide: A puma, a tiger and a pig." The Wabbit tutted in disapproval. "Sounds difficult." Skratch let out a long triumphant meaow. "That's how I heard about it - and so I hatched a plan to relocate the animals." "For a small profit no doubt," grinned the Wabbit. "Let's call it a finder's fee," smiled Skratch ...

Friday, November 15, 2019

The Wabbit at his Adventure Caffè

The team assembled at a favourite caffè in Piazza Giambattista Bodoni - and waited for Skratch. They didn't wait long. "Oh look! It's Skratch the Cat," shouted a man. "Ciao Skratch!" yelled a woman. Lapinette turned as customers welcomed the approaching figure. Skratch took a seat. "You're popular," observed the Wabbit. Skratch meaowed. "Must have been my popular lecture series." Lapinette twitched enquiring ears. "Foregrounding factors in signification," explained Skratch. Everyone applauded but the Wabbit tapped the table. "So tell us, Skratch. What kind of adventure did we just have?" Skratch laughed. "I'm tempted to say it was about the semiotics of light." Wabsworth nodded sagely. "My thoughts exactly. Typically absurd, the adventure's narratology configured around light itself." Lapinette rummaged under her frock for a spare copy of Samuel Beckett's Comment c'est, L'image, which she kept for reading emergencies - and lifted a paw. "The light followed, illuminated and ultimately reversed the adventure's absurdist flow." Wabsworth laughed heartily. "So the Wabbit would like to be indifferent to the universe, but the universe is not indifferent to him." The Wabbit nodded his head in agreement. "I think I'm somewhere between being and nothingness." He pointed at the empty tray and then raised a paw for service. "And only halfway to an aperitivo."

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

5. The Wabbit and the Abstract Place

The Wabbit and Lapinette climbed along the stairs. It was hard because water sloshed everywhere. They were slipping and sliding until they passed through a threshold of solid water. They pushed hard and their heads popped out on the weir on the River Po, more or less as Big Blue Snail had promised. The Wabbit patted his reflection and Lapinette did the same. The river eddied around their paws. The Wabbit shook his head. It was a weird weir and no mistake. "Which way is up?" he asked. "I think it's us that's up," said Lapinette. "This is an abstract place," commented the Wabbit. Lapinette nodded her head in vigorous agreement. It was then that she saw the beam floating towards them, the one they'd met before. Its course was slow and measured and it made not a ripple as it drew closer to the weir. The Wabbit waved. "I thought you were going to Venice?" The beam bumped against the breakwater. "I'm afraid no matter how hard I try, I never get further than this." The Wabbit leaned across. "Let me give you a helping paw." He placed a paw under the beam and flipped it over. For a moment it balanced, half on and half off the crest of the weir. Then it tipped, plunged and lay floating on the other side. It called up. "Maybe I don't want to go after all." Lapinette giggled. "Go on, take a risk." Now the beam was moving quicker and soon it was out of sight. "Make a wish," said Lapinette. The Wabbit grinned. "I wish we were both on the beam, sailing down to Venice." "Got the Po Delta Blues," laughed Lapinette ...

Monday, November 11, 2019

4. The Wabbit and the Mobius Snail

The fog cleared and there stood a familiar figure. "What are you doing on my strip, Wabbit?" The Wabbit and Lapinette breathed a sigh of relief. The Wabbit began to tell the story but Snail wiggled his antennae in dismissal. "Please don't burden me with a long explanation. You're here now." The Wabbit grinned. "Well why are you here, my slithering friend?" The clouds of gas abated a little and Snail's head became clearer. "This is my Mobius strip and I am here to practice keep-fit mathematical exercises." Lapinette laughed out loud. "Are these clouds your gaseous snail goo?" Snail inflated his chest and raised his shell. "Yes indeed, they represent my considerable physical efforts." "How do we get off the strip?" asked the Wabbit, "We've lost our orientation." Snail gestured with his antennae. Vapour swirled to reveal a shadowy stairway. "You must understand that the strip is a topographical construct," he said, "So please take the topographical stairs. But be careful - they're a bit one sided." "Where do they go to?" asked Lapinette. "A simply-connected domain," replied Snail. "Where's that exactly?" sighed the Wabbit. "Near the river," laughed Snail. But Lapinette was already climbing the stairs and calling down to the Wabbit. "I can see our house from here." The Wabbit made for the stairs, but just before he started to climb, he turned to Snail and said. "I don't suppose you ever lose your way ..?"

Saturday, November 09, 2019

3. The Wabbit, Lapinette and the Fence

The banister in the Cinema had got on their nerves. So when the Wabbit and Lapinette found themselves facing a high wooden fence across the street they were furious. "Where'd this come from?" said the Wabbit. "Beats me," replied Lapinette. They looked around. There was nothing whatsoever left - except the fence. They traced along it - but it didn't seem to end. "I think this was where we started," said Lapinette. She thought for a bit. "I tell you what. You go one way and I'll go the other." They both set off - and within a minute they both met. Then they tried the other way but within a short space of time they were face to face. "A Mobius fence?" shrugged Lapinette. The Wabbit had heard worse explanations. "I'll climb up and see,"  he said. Lapinette punted him up and he was nearly at the top when clouds of gas swirled over the fence. "I can't see a thing," grunted the Wabbit. The gas clung onto Lapinette's frock. She tried to brush it away. "Yuk, it's sticky!" The vapour was cloying but she summoned energy and gave the Wabbit an extra punt up. He flew over the top of the fence. A moment elapsed before she heard him drop to the other side. "I'll try walking along it on this side," shouted the Wabbit. Lapinette listened to his paw steps fade. Then they got closer. Suddenly his face peered directly through the gas. "It only has one side," he sighed. "I told you so," said Lapinette. The Wabbit ran his paws through his fur, then gestured in the air. "What's this for a sack of hammers ..?"

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

2. The Wabbit and the Banister Rail

The Wabbit and Lapinette forgot all about the talking beam on the river and went to the movies. But when they came out, the Wabbit stooped to examine a banister rail. "It's a good thing all wood doesn't talk." He shook it until the supports rattled. "Can I help you find your way out?" said the rail. Lapinette looked at the rail in a quizzical way. "How many are you?" The Banister shook himself. Light glistened from his varnish. "Many? Why?" came the response. The Wabbit tapped the rail lightly with a paw. "We met one of your number down on the river." "Him!" yelled the rail, "Is he still floating around?" Lapinette smiled. "He's on his way to Venice?" The rail almost arched in the air. "He's never gone further than the weir. He's a layabout. A rough sort." The Wabbit and Lapinette looked at each other and winked. "Oh, you don't believe me?" The rail shook with anger. "He's not like us. We're carefully-prepared ... and delicately moulded." The Wabbit hopped back and caught Lapinette's eye. He gestured to the stairs with his ears. "Urgent appointment," he said. But the banister rail wouldn't stop. "I've met film stars you know. William Shatner ran his hand along my varnish." "Me too," said Lapinette. The Wabbit hopped forward again and dragged Lapinette by the paw down the stairs. "I go all the way down!" yelled the rail. The Wabbit and Lapinette ran across the foyer and into the street. "That banister better belt up," shouted the Wabbit, "or he's dead wood!"

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

1. The Wabbit and the Floating Beam

The Wabbit wandered along the riverside and then wandered back to the jetty. He was in deep contemplation, as was his way between missions. "Hello Wabbit! That ol' riverboat don't go nowhere no more." The Wabbit laughed. "Hello Lapinette. I know, I was just thinking about a swim." Lapinette giggled. She knew the likelihood of the Wabbit plunging into the Po was slim as a cigarette paper. "Water's looking a bit murky today," she observed. The Wabbit nodded because it was none too clean. "I was watching bits of debris floating past." He gestured at the river. ".. and to each piece I attached one of my problems." Lapinette nodded sagely and listened. "Then," said the Wabbit, "I watched them until they passed out of sight on their way to Venice." Lapinette raised an eye. "How long would they take to get there?" "It depends," grinned the Wabbit, "maybe a week." "So no problem," shrugged Lapinette. The water behind them swirled. Something clunked on the jetty steps. "It takes longer than that," said a voice. The Wabbit didn't look round but Lapinette did. "That floating beam spoke!" The Wabbit started to hop away. "Everyone's a critic," he sighed. But Lapinette persisted. "Are you flotsam or jetsam?" The beam bobbed up and down on the eddies, displacing tiny bubbles. "Neither. I am my own wood." The Wabbit grunted and turned to look. The beam floated out midstream and called. "Do you have a problem?" The Wabbit winked and grinned. The beam returned inshore. The Wabbit leaned down and hissed, "Problem is my middle name..."

Saturday, November 02, 2019

The Wabbit's Adventure Caffè

The team met in Piazza Carlo Felice at a caffè they'd seldom visited. It was a little chilly that day, but no one cared. "Where's Skratch?" asked the Wabbit. "Behind you," meaowed a voice. Lapinette laughed. "Cats stroll in when they like." Skratch vaulted the rope barrier, took his seat and meaowed again. "So what was that for a sort of adventure?" Wabsworth wanted to be the first to comment and he'd spent the best part of his android day, speed reading a whole film library. "It was an adventure that specified the ultimate in antinomies, the struggle between good and evil." Lapinette nodded. "That signifies an emotional semiotic system, reified by way of names." Skratch nodded sagely. "Fredric Jameson does suggest that, but I felt that the adventure embodied a formal subversion often typified by nouvelle vague." "Structural or stylistic?" murmured the Wabbit. "In realism?" asked Wabsworth. Everyone could hear his circuitry whirring. "In Godard," responded Skratch. Wabsworth's circuits stopped buzzing and he launched himself forward. "The adventure was a most strident hyper-realism, which codified fundamental antinomes." Skratch laughed. "Aha! It was through comedy then, that motivation, plausibility and belief were all dramatically confronted and transmuted." The Wabbit broke into an enormous grin. He leaned back and whistled. "So it was good then ..?"