Friday, September 24, 2021

3. The Wabbit and the Old Engineer

The Wabbit found himself lifted and transported to another grave. He was deposited without ceremony beside a lifelike figure. "This looks like the person himself," said the Wabbit. The eagle spread his wings wide. "Now you can tell me what he did in life." The Wabbit screwed up his eyes. "A kind of scientist. An engineer probably." The eagle made high pitched whistling noises. "Very good Wabbit, I didn't know you were so knowledgeable." The Wabbit grinned. "I read the inscription. And he has intelligent eyes." The eagle laughed. "You make him sound like a dog." The Wabbit patted him on the shoulder. "I'm rather more than a dog, even though I'm dead," said the statue. "My name is Francesco Casabella. How are my bursaries doing?" The eagle intervened. "They go to students in reduced economic circumstances as was your wish." Francesco's statue nodded. "I never hear a thing; you know how it is." The Wabbit thought it best to change the subject. "This seems like a pleasant spot." Francesco spoke again. "Yes. My tomb was donated by the Society of Engineers. I was poor and gave night classes in Bra. Then I got my degree. I built many fine buildings and factories thereafter." The Wabbit gestured to the figures left on his tomb and gave his shoulder another pat. "You have some young admirers I see." The statue seemed to come alive. "I always liked the young people." The eagle made more whistling noises. "We'd best be going. He gets maudlin." The Wabbit smiled and backed away. Everything went back to normal. "This is quite a cemetery," said the Wabbit. "Tell me about it," said the eagle.

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

2. The Wabbit hears of Stefano Pittaluga

The bird transformed into a magnificent eagle and transported the Wabbit around the cemetery. Then he swooped down and deposited the Wabbit by a graveside. The Wabbit looked at the recumbent statue on the plinth. "This is the grave of Stefano Pittaluga. A cinema impresario who acquired studios in Turin." The Wabbit walked around the plinth. The eagle swooped and dropped down to sit by the statue. "You probably won't know him. He was ahead of his time in introducing sound cinemas." The Wabbit agreed. "You're absolutely right, I never heard of him." The eagle lifted off and swooped around a bit. Then returned to sit by the statue. "He moved to Rome and released foreign films. People loved it." "What happened to him?" The eagle laughed. "He died in 1931, otherwise we wouldn't be here." The Wabbit pointed. "It says there 1932." "Don't believe everything you read," said the eagle. The Wabbit knelt by the plinth. "I can see someone has been here recently." The eagle liked a joke. "Flowers. He's very popular with the old age pensioners." The Wabbit smiled. But he wanted to know who the woman statue was. "I think she was a lady friend," said the eagle. "Oh really," said the Wabbit, "that's show business I guess." The eagle became serious. "Yes, on hearing of his death she came here and prostrated herself by the grave. She wouldn't go away and died of starvation." The Wabbit looked astonished and his eyes widened. The eagle winked. "Not at all. I made that up." The eagle tried for a grin, but only managed to look sinister. The Wabbit considered everything he's heard. "I know a cat who would like to hear of this." "Is his name Felix?" asked the eagle. "No. Skratch," replied the Wabbit. "Silly name," said the eagle.

Monday, September 20, 2021

1. The Wabbit gets the Bird

The Wabbit was at a loose end, so he strolled through the Monumental Cemetery in Torino. It was always a pleasure. He recalled his primary school teacher saying to him. "Why don't you have a walk through a cemetery, Wabbit. Cheer yourself up." So he always did. He couldn't remember her name, but he remembered the advice - and then a giant grin would appear on his face. The cemetery was like a city on its own. The graves were big enough to house whole families and he fancied he saw one with a TV satellite dish. He laughed, which was entirely inappropriate for a cemetery - and he looked around to see if he'd offended anyone. That was when the bird called to him. "Caw! Wabbit!" There was a big bird on top of a mausoleum. "Impossible," he thought. He proceeded on his way, but it called again. "Yes you, Wabbit!" The Wabbit didn't look back. He'd had quite enough with things calling to him because there always seemed to be trouble. "Wanna tour, Wabbit?" The bird was insistent. "The Wabbit shrugged. "How much?" There was a fluttering of wings. "City of Torino pays. It's covered by your Museum Card." The Wabbit gave up. "I suppose so. No funny business now." The bird tried to disengage from the top of the mausoleum. Bits of brickwork fell to the ground. Finally it dragged his claws from the top of the building and swooped down in an awkward fashion. It looked around to make sure no-one had seen. "OK, what do you wanna see?" The Wabbit stuck both paws in his fur. "You're the guide. Entertain me." The bird settled on the Wabbit's shoulders and, with a sudden movement, picked him up. "My treat," it chortled - and off they flew...

Saturday, September 18, 2021

The Wabbit at his Adventure Caffè

They gathered as usual to discuss the Adventure, but Lapinette took the show by jumping on a pole. She twisted her legs around it and let out a cry. The Wabbit was nonplussed. This was unusual for Lapinette. "Did you start the drinks early?" he asked. "No," replied Lapinette, "I just felt exuberant." Skratch approached from the rear and lifted her higher up. "What was that for a sort of Adventure you just had?" he meaowed. The Wabbit decided to start. "The inanimate object drove the narrative. It was a constant moving element throughout." Skratch laughed. "That's a little tame for you, Wabbit," he purred. "I disagree," said Wabsworth. "I felt it was truly avant-garde. The lamp was tired of acting as a source of illumination for others." Lapinette chirruped from her pole. "It was a challenge to our fixed ways of looking, staring and objectification. A reverse scopophilia." She swung round and back again, narrowly avoiding the waiter. "I suppose you're right," said Skratch. Everyone looked at him. "Lights gesticulate in a shimmery sort of way. They sway and sparkle and we take little notice. Compared to many people I see, they are alive." Skratch gesticulated in a manner designed to imitate the lamp. "Dazzling," said Wabsworth. He was quite taken by this turn of conversation. "The lamp was one of your best inanimate characters, Wabbit." Lapinette went for a total swirl. "He was very sweet, and I hope to see him again." The table lit up with a single flash from the direction of the moon. "I think he just saw you," said the Wabbit.

Monday, September 13, 2021

6. The Wabbit stops off at the Moon

At the Lamp's insistence Quantum dropped him off on the moon. He said he'd been staring up at it for so long, it would be nice to stare down from it. The Wabbit and Lapinette bounced around and tried to get him the best position. "Why don't act as lookout? said the Wabbit. The Lamp beamed. "Nothing gets past me!" Lapinette made a final adjustment. "You don't need a chain to hang from up here." The Wabbit nodded his head. "Or a lamp standard." They all bounced together. "You'll be able to see Torino," said the Wabbit. "And they will see me!" replied the Lamp. His headlamps became very bright indeed and he flashed them a few times. "Well need to alert the ESA I suppose," said Lapinette. "They won't believe it," said the Wabbit. "Anyway, there's so much ... stuff flying around, I don't think they'll notice." The Lamp flounced. "I thought you were going to say space junk." The Wabbit hung his head because that's exactly what he was going to say. Lapinette had a thought. "You won't feel lonely up here, all on your own." The Lamp shook vigorously. "I have the stars for company." Lapinette thought that was very sweet. "We can have a shining competition," yelled the Lamp. "Mmm. We should get on our way," said Lapinette and she signalled to Quantum. "I'm a train not a taxi," grumbled Quantum. He circled round and came in for a landing. "Come up and see me sometime," said the Lamp. He waved goodbye as he watched Quantum start his journey to Earth with the Wabbit and Lapinette on board. "I'm never going back to that awful place," he said to himself, "No tourists up here. But I think if I look very hard I can see them." He swung his headlamps round until Torino briefly lit up. The lights on the Mole Tower winked back at him. "Missing you already!" he shouted. 

[Background: NASA, Goddard, Arizona State University]

Saturday, September 11, 2021

5. The Wabbit and the Exploding Hole

Everything was confusion. The Lamp bolted out the door and stared the green craft down. His headlamps carved their way into the bottom of the craft. The Lamp distorted and flared as the light smashed the vessel. Still it went on. Bits of the craft split and became separate entities while the original craft carried on. Quantum elongated but stayed the same size. The Black Hole filled with colour as bits of both crafts span off and circled round. Inside the craft, the Wabbit and Lapinette warped too but tried to get Lattice Drive back online. There was a clunk as Quantum engaged and he clawed his way out of the hole. "Get the Lamp back on board," yelled the Wabbit. Quantum engaged a tractor bean that pulled at the Lamp and bit by bit he was persuaded back into the cargo hold. Things stabilised inside - but outside, parts of the green craft whizzed past. Lapinette patted the Lamp. "I think you got the measure of him." The Lamp looked pleased, "Can we do it again?" The Wabbit groaned, "Let's get going while the going's good." Lapinette ensured they were free of the Black Hole, and set coordinates for Earth. They looked back. The green craft struggled to free itself of the confusion. The Wabbit stared. "Was that really the Ice Mice?" Lapinette shook her head. "A version of them? Who knows?" The Lamp was astonished, "Friends of yours?" I wouldn't say that exactly," said the Wabbit. They all laughed. Then Lapinette said, "Take us home, Quantum." "The scenic route?" asked Quantum. "We've done the scenic route," laughed the Wabbit. The Lattice Drive crackled under Quantum's wheels and the Wabbit raised his eyes, "Don't spare the horses," he quipped. 

Thursday, September 09, 2021

4. The Wabbit and the Shedding of Light

Quantum the Time Travelling Train positioned himself at the event horizon of a black hole - and waited. "Out ye go!" said the Wabbit and pushed the lamp to the door. "Light that up!"  The Lamp found himself floating in space, He could feel the tug of the singularity, but it didn't shift him much. "That's a lot of black," he murmured. His headlamps burst into life and he focussed them on the black hole. It didn't do much at first since the Black Hole absorbed the light. "I'll get you," shouted the Lamp. The Lamp drew massive energy from somewhere - and gradually the beam widened. Then the Lamp started to move it around. "Can't see much," said the Lamp. "Try the edges," said Lapinette. The beam swept back and forth. "Can't see much at all," said the Lamp. "It's a black hole," said the Wabbit, "it sucks everything in." The Lamp focussed the beam again. "I think I see something." The Wabbit winked at Lapinette. "Of course you can, Lamp." The Lamp swayed from side to side. "On the edge of my vision, something moved." The Wabbit snorted, "That'll be right. The hole destroys everything." Lapinette was more cautious. "Listen to the Lamp, Wabbit." The Lamp shook violently. "I'm coming back in, open up." Quantum obliged, then the door swished shut. "I'm picking up alien intruders, Commander." The Wabbit's fur stood on end. "What colour is their Spaceship?" Quantum made a spectral analysis. "Green, Commander." Lapinette peered into the distance. "Lattice Drive, Quantum. On the double." Quantum spoke quickly "I can't mobilise Lattice Drive, Marquesa, we're being drawn in." The Wabbit grabbed at the windscreen. "Reverse thrust, Quantum." But it was all to no avail as they plunged into the hole ...

[Background Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and D. Coe, J. Anderson, and R. Van der Marel (stsci)]

Monday, September 06, 2021

3. The Wabbit and the Saga of the Lamp

The Wabbit decided that space would be a good place to test out the Lamp's cherished ambition. After all, he said that he wanted to light the world, but he hadn't mentioned which one. Quantum's the Time Travelling Train's dining car seemed a good place to keep the Lamp in containment, and as they whistled through space, the Wabbit whistled a merry tune. "These look like competition to me," said the Lamp. "Not at all," said the Wabbit, "they're darker than they look." The Lamp switched his headlamps on. The Wabbit recoiled in the harsh glare as the beam cut across his nose. "Not now Lamp," he shouted, "we're not there yet." "Where are we, asked the Lamp. "Global Cluster NBC something," said the Wabbit. "I think," he added. "What are you planning?" asked Lapinette with a sigh, "Oh some old forgotten black hole or other." The Wabbit smirked and nodded. "Light up the Hole," he sang. "Wabbit!" yelled Lapinette. The Lamp floated up and down. He was dying to light up something and a Black Hole seemed cool. "This a long way from Turin," he said, "no flocking tourists flocking here." Lapinette scowled. "It has its moments, I can assure you." She looked out - just in case there might be aliens. The global cluster dimmed slightly. "Are we there yet?" asked the Lamp. Quantum's voice rumbled through the speakers. "Approaching the event horizon, Commander - there might be a little turbulence." The Lamp began to sway. "Like Turin on a Saturday night," he breathed. Lapinette shuddered. "Totally different," she shrugged. and she tossed her head, Quantum began to vibrate. "Coming out of Lattice Drive." They held on to their seats and waited. The Lamp went into free fall and floated wildly. "Cool," he murmured ...

Saturday, September 04, 2021

2. The Wabbit shares the Load

The Wabbit had just helped the lamp down when Lapinette appeared round a corner. "Wabbit you can't just take a lamp, it's illegal." The Wabbit was struggling with the weight. "It's his wish to go, but I'm wishing I hadn't bothered." Two lights flared from inside the lamp. They looked for all the world like headlamps. "That's better, I can see now," said the lamp. "Lapinette was astonished. "What are you up to with this lamp, Wabbit?" The headlamps burned bright and they swivelled back and forth. "I want to escape," shouted the lamp," I'm fed up hanging in that spot. Tourists here, tourists there - with their incessant prattle. Pointing and gawping." Lapinette thought for a minute and then she pointed. "OK, let's move down the road. Try not to look conspicuous." The Wabbit was panting. "Can you take some of the weight?" The heaviness vanished as the lamp started to float on his own. "That's better," it said. "I didn't like that chain at all." Having helped the lamp down, the Wabbit was unsure of what to do and he said so. "So Lamp. Do you have any plans?" asked Lapinette. "I want to see the world," said the lamp, "I want to light it up." The Wabbit snorted. "Knock yourself out why don't you?" Lapinette put her paws on her hips. "That's enough of your cynicism, Wabbit. You helped him and now I'm afraid you have to take care of him." The lamp started to sing. "Light up the globe. Light it right up. Light up the globe. I believe in myself." The Wabbit cringed but Lapinette thought it was cute. The Wabbit remined cynical but knew it was his fault. "Let's go and have a drink and think about it." The Lamp was delighted. "Like tourists!" Lapinette danced forward as only she could. "Let's light the way to a gin and tonic." "Follow that dancer," said the Wabbit. 

Wednesday, September 01, 2021

1. The Wabbit and the Talking Lamp

The Wabbit was hovering in the Piazza San Giovanni, where a narrow path linked the Royal Palace with the Cathedral. There was usually a small amount of casual traffic, but on this occasion, the passageway was quiet. He became aware of murmuring and looked up. The murmuring stopped. Then it started again. It appeared to be coming from the lamp and it got louder. "People take no notice of me. I'm just a common old lamp to them." The Wabbit continued to look up and his ears twitched. "You might twitch your ears," said the lamp, "you rabbity creature." The Wabbit smiled but didn't reply. He inclined his head in a therapeutic manner, just like he'd learned in Zurich. The lamp continued. "Switch on, switch off, that's all they care about. But the things I see, they wouldn't care for me to repeat." The Wabbit shrugged slightly, "How does that make you feel?" The lamp flickered even though it was bright day. "Angry, annoyed, frustrated." He paused. "Sometimes they give me an environmental retrofit. Doesn't make a whit of difference, I can tell you. Lumens this and lumens that." The Wabbit grinned and waited. "They change my bulb sometimes, but no one cleans it regularly." The lamp swayed a bit. "I'm a powerful symbol you know. Let there be a light." The Wabbit didn't correct the lamp, it seemed rude. He addressed the lamp directly. "If you could have your way, what would it be? What would you do?" The lamp flickered again. "I wouldn't hang around here for all and sundry. I'd move around guiding the way." The Wabbit thought for a second. "Where would you draw your power?" The lamp laughed a triumphal laugh. "No problem. Power is everywhere." The Wabbit allowed himself a giggle. "OK. I'll see what I can do ..."

Monday, August 30, 2021

The Wabbit at his Adventure Caffè

The team assembled as usual, but this time Skratch had got in early - and he was sitting in the corner with his paw up. "I'm first," he said. "I'm going to congratulate you on a splendid adventure. I was in it you know!" Lapinette didn't turn. She was facing the Wabbit and it was to him she directed the question. "You were late Wabbit, and therefore you must tell us what kind of Adventure that was." The Wabbit put a paw to his lips. "It should be Wabsworth, it was all his idea," Wabsworth was more than happy. "It was a tale of the embodied effect." Now Skratch was feeling left out. It was better to arrive late, he thought. "It was good frothy fun," he said, "with an element of female rage." Lapinette turned with a look that would sour milk. Skratch meaowed furiously. "You rewired the shock machine to produce an electrically charged blast that erupted into flames." The Wabbit tried to defuse any argument. "The kinesthetic opposition grounded the semiotic square." Skratch hooted with laughter. "That's a bold hypothesis, Wabbit." Wabsworth was entertained. "Gestalt memories of kinesthesia." He chuckled to himself. Lapinette clapped her paws. "None of you know what you're on about. You're not reading our story intertextually." She flung her arms in the air. The Wabbit was delighted. "I can see we need a new theory of gestures." Lapinette was now on a high horse. "Derrida wrote of genre as a corpus of traces." Her paws went round and round. Skratch nodded. "Your part in the story provided us with enough traces to scorch paintwork." The Wabbit was getting thirsty. "Lapinette, can you gesture for a drink." Lapinette grinned and imperceptibly twitched an eyebrow. "A waiter appeared in an instant.

Friday, August 27, 2021

5. Lapinette and the Half-Decent Blast

The Wabbit and Lapinette kept a lookout and not much time elapsed before the Agent came into sight. The radio would have crackled but the Wabbit muted all that. First, Wabsworth alerted them to the general target - and then a flustered call from Skratch told him the Agent had found the fake remote control. They watched the street. An Agent looked nonchalant with his device and he was waving it around. "I think this remote will open this particular one," he muttered. He looked from left to right and then he pointed it and pressed it. There was a faint buzzing, then a crackling. Then there was a sizzling. Suddenly the whole thing burst into flames. The Agent was enveloped in fire. "Eek, aaagh!! he shouted. Lapinette's wiring had done the trick. She smiled in triumph as she watched from a doorway. The team dragged the unwitting Agent from the flames and put him out by rolling him on the hot tarmac. "That'll teach you to take things that don't belong to you," said the Wabbit. He sounded like a bit a schoolmaster he used to know. The Agent had a bad case of singed fur but was otherwise unharmed. The car was a bit scorched and the Wabbit placed a note on the windscreen. "You'll take care of that, won't you Lapinette." Lapinette looked at the Agent and shook her head. "It's his fault," she said, "Fork up." The Agent put his paw in his fur and fished out some badly burned notes. The Wabbit grabbed them and tucked them behind the wipers. "Be on your way," he said to the Agent, "and don't smoke. It's bad for you!" The Agent staggered off down the road - but turned for a parting shot. "You haven't heard the end of this!" The Wabbit looked at Lapinette. Lapinette grinned. "I know that," she said. "My sewing bee will never let me forget it."

[Blast by Open Clip-Art Vectors at Pixabay]

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

4. Skratch and the Dodgy Remote Control

Skratch the Cat was out for a bit of a prowl, and he made his way along Corso Belgio to the Sassi Point. There he'd look for passing fish. To his surprise he noticed an Agent of Rabit on his own. They were always in pairs and never on their own, so he lurked on the bridge to see what transpired. Then he saw something on the parapet that looked like Wabsworth's electric shock machine. It was disguised as a car key remote control. You couldn't miss it. The Agent looked down. His paw reached out. Skratch considered courses of action. He could launch an all-out attack but that wasn't much fun. He could come up from the river like a sea monster and menace the Agent that way. He shook his head. He knew that Wabsworth never left anything anywhere - only by design. So he waited. The Agent poked the remote control. Nothing happened. He poked it again. Nothing. He lifted it. Not a great deal happened. He looked at it again, made a decision, and then tucked it away under his fur. Skratch knew it only operated when the button was pressed, so he decided to leave the whole matter in abeyance and report back. The Agent looked all round to see if anyone was watching. Skratch ducked out of sight behind the wall. Then the Agent started a tuneless whistle and walked back the way he came, "Nothing suspicious," he muttered, "nothing at all. I'll get back and we'll try it out. Maybe it will open an interesting car." Skratch watched him go. He looked as suspicious as someone who just bought a briefcase of forged banknotes. He tracked him until he came to a lair of some kind and made a careful note. Then Skratch bounded into the distance.

Friday, August 20, 2021

3. Lapinette and Practical Electronics

The Wabbit and Wabsworth tracked Lapinette down in the centre of the city. She was choosing a magazine and seemed engrossed. With a silly smirk Wabsworth crept up and tried to give her electric shock, but she moved away. The machine sizzled. The Wabbit gasped. It did nothing but fry thin air. but it made a crackling sound. "Wabsworth, don't you dare!" Without turning round, Lapinette selected her magazine. It was Practical Electronics for The Discerning Amateur. "I didn't think they still published that," said the Wabbit. Lapinette flicked it open. "What on earth are you two up to?" she asked. Wabsworth backed away. "Actually, we wanted to ask you about the ethics of electric shocks." Lapinette whirled round. "By trying it?" She grabbed Wabsworth's machine and tucked it away under her frock. "You're not to be trusted," she said, "You could do someone a mischief." The Wabbit was relieved. "Seriously Lapinette, what about ethics?" Lapinette smiled for the first time. "Practical ethics?"  The Wabbit nodded. They'd reached common ground. "Well, I'd give one to my enemies wired badly. Then if they tried it, they'd be up to their necks in sparks." Wabsworth smiled and held out his paw. Lapinette gave the machine back and he tucked it into his fur. "Let's find an enemy." The Wabbit laughed and laughed. Wabsworth was an android and didn't quite see things in the same way as the Wabbit. "We can't just conjure one up!" Wabsworth smiled a sickly smile. "Yes we can. There's one over there!" Without moving, the Wabbit's eyes flicked up to the top of the buildings. "Oh yes, I can see him. Do you have a plan?"

Saturday, August 14, 2021

2. Wabsworth and the Ethics of Shocks

Wabsworth and the Wabbit caught up with Skratch at Porta Nuova Rail Station. With some stealth, Wabsworth crept up on Skratch, hailed him merrily and touched him. An electric shock coursed through Skratch's feline frame. The results were unexpected. Every bit of Skratch trembled and curled. He screeched loudly. "Yaaaaaaah!" The Wabbit was hiding behind a pillar and he was much amused. But when Skratch started to convulse and collapsed, he thought better of the joke. "Wabsworth are you certain about the voltage of that thing? Wabsworth looked back. "The man in the shop assured me it was safe for pranks." The Wabbit pondered as Skratch recovered. "What's the voltage and current?" Quick as a flash, Wabsworth replied, "About 9 volts and 10 milliamps." Skratch got back on his feet. "Wabsworth, did you connect that through your positronic circuitry?" Wabsworth's face fell. "I did." Skratch wasn't as angry as the Wabbit thought. "Well, they say that an electric shock once in a while is good for you. I could get to like it." Wabsworth leaned forward to give him another shock. "No!" yelled Skratch. He jumped back. "Like every fifty years," he hissed. The Wabbit was always alert to new weaponry. "Maybe we could adapt it for trapping our enemies." Skratch was appalled. "I don't think that's ethical." Wabsworth thought it was funny. "Ethics don't stop you playing with your enemies, letting them escape and trapping them again." "That's different," said Skratch, "it's ethical for cats." The Wabbit had an idea. "Let's ask Lapinette, she's well up on the ethics of enemies." They all agreed that was the best course of action. Carrying the joke electric shock machine, they set off in search of Lapinette.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

1. The Wabbit and the Alternative Shock

By prior arrangement, the Wabbit met Wabsworth, his android double, at the city gates. Wabsworth was grinning so the Wabbit knew he had something up his sleeve. The Wabsworth proffered his paw for a shake, but it was his left paw. The Wabbit braced himself as an electric shock coursed through his fur. He smiled through it and pretended it never happened. Wabsworth's face fell. "Didn't you feel it?" The Wabbit laughed "Feel what?" he smiled. His teeth were tingling, and his fur was full of static. "I got this electric shock machine at the joke shop," said Wabsworth, "and they assured me it was good." The Wabbit made a mental note to find the shop and give them a telling off. "I'm impervious," he said. Then he had an idea. "Let's find Lapinette and try it on her. I'm sure she'd find it amusing." Wabsworth wasn't certain and he shook his head. "I'm not so sure Wabbit, it might be a bad idea." The Wabbit thought for a second. "How about Tipsy?" Wabsworth pondered. "She's got a sense of humour but I'm not so sure it extends to electricity. She might shoot both of us." They both considered the matter further. "Skratch is a possibility," he murmured. Wabsworth brightened. "I'm sure he'd like it." The Wabbit managed to unstick his other paw from the iron gate. "He certainly loves a good joke." He and Wabsworth smiled to each other. "Let's shake on it," said the Wabbit. He put out his paw, but this time directed a small quantity of his quantum energy towards Wabsworth. Wabsworth blinked once and fell over. The Wabbit looked concerned but Wabsworth picked himself up and dusted off his fur. "Just kidding!"

Monday, August 09, 2021

The Wabbit at the Adventure Caffè

The Wabbit and Lapinette were heading for an Adventure Caffè when three buskers caught their attention. But more amazing still was the fact that Wabsworth the android appeared to be with them. He clapped his paws in tune to the Bossa Nova beat and swayed back and forth. Lapinette looked delighted and clapped her hands too. The Wabbit looked sceptical. "Don't worry," said the lead singer, "he's improving our takings." "By a third," nodded another. Skratch suddenly appeared to their rear, and he waved a paw in greeting as they all swayed. "But this doesn't get us anywhere in determining what kind of Adventure we had," moaned the Wabbit. No one seemed to care. Skratch ventured a comment. "It was another one of your eco-dramas," he meaowed. The Wabbit took a paw out of his pocket and started to clap like everyone else. "I'm pleased it can be pigeon-holed so easily," he said. Lapinette didn't stop swaying. "It was perhaps one of these vertical semiotics which polices the boundaries between humans and nature." Wabsworth started to sing. "Underground, overground, we can see, impossible places made for you and me." He twirled around and clapped again. "We'll get no sense out of him this evening," said the Wabbit. Skratch looked pleased as he shuffled a feline dance. "Viewers experience a corporeal identification with the monstrous creatures portrayed." Lapinette shivered with delight. "Melting of corporeal boundaries," she cried. "The Wabbit decided to join in and he swayed with the rest. "Did someone say embrace the animal other?" Lapinette laughed. "Prosecco for the band - and for us!"
[Thanks to:  Green Film Criticism and its Futures. Ivan Ivakhiv]

Friday, August 06, 2021

7. The Wabbit and Planet Kepler 1649c

Out on Kepler 1649c, conditions weren't exactly like Earth. "Near as dammit," quipped the Wabbit. Pterosaurs flew around as if they owned the place. "Well done, Commander, you're as good as your word." The Wabbit blushed. "It was a joint effort." He and Lapinette scrambled in a ravine because they hadn't forgotten the main problem. The water on earth was getting hot and the Wabbit had a hunch about a something that might work. "I know there's betaine here, it's a natural coolant." he murmured. He rummaged in his fur and pulled out flasks. He tossed one to Lapinette and she scurried on paws and knees to fill them. "Just a little adjustment should do it, then we'll see." Lapinette helped all she could, but she commented, "This is strictly temporary Wabbit." The Wabbit gave her a wry look. "I'm the Wabbit. I do emergencies, not social policy." He glanced to the side. "Who's that toad?" The response was low and croaky. "I live here." The Wabbit and Lapinette grinned. "That's a very good sign," smiled Lapinette. "Toads are good for ecological balance." The Wabbit was quietly impressed. "You reduce the need for harsh pesticides." He nodded to himself. The toad nodded too. "And these flying things are not my natural competitors. They'll be company for me on this God-forsaken planet." The Wabbit and Lapinette wanted to laugh at his mournful tone, but were interrupted. "I'm such a clever toad," croaked the Toad. So the Wabbit fired off a question. "Do quasiperfect numbers exist?" The Toad nodded. "They do on this planet." 

[Background. Artists/s Impression (Daniel Ruffer) NASA. Toad  SV Klimkin, Pixabay]

Wednesday, August 04, 2021

6. The Wabbit's Search for Habitation

The Wabbit made a series of calls and before long they were zooming into space on Quantum the Time Travelling Train. Lapinette was content to merely watch because the Wabbit was searching for a suitable planet. He's gone further out than he planned because the pterosaurs couldn't agree on a suitable planet to make their home. He thought he'd find something out by Kepler - and Kepler 2c was an object of interest. But he looked and then shook his head. Lapinette articulated his thoughts "It's large but not that large." The Wabbit chortled and asked Quantum. Quantum crackled through the loudspeakers. "A bit rocky with mostly volatiles, Commander. It might not suit our guests." The Wabbit connected to the temporary cargo hold which held the Pterosaurs. "Does it sit well with you?" The intercom crackled with deep prehistoric voices. There was a bit of disagreement so the Wabbit intervened. "Well, we're here, we can go around." A pterosaur spoke up. "What about Kepler 2b?" Lapinette had her handbook of planets with her and this time she shook her head. "It's too close to Kepler. Hot as the Earl of Hell's waistcoat." The pterosaurs thought that very funny and they rolled about the cargo hold in helpless mirth. Lapinette leafed through her book. "The Keplers tend to get hotter and become gaseous." The Wabbit laughed at that. "They do smell like dinosaur fart." The pterosaurs were now hysterical. Quantum chuffed like a steam train. "Kepler 1694c might be the one! It's most like Earth." The Wabbit clicked his tongue. "Why didn't you say that in the first place." Quantum set a new course. He changed tack and everything shuddered as he engaged Lattice Drive. "You didn't ask." 

[Background. NASA]

Monday, August 02, 2021

5. The Wabbit and the Superga Summit

Somehow the Wabbit worked out where they were going and radioed ahead for fish. He just couldn't manage crunchy invertebrates - no one had them. They perched on the roof at Superga while the pterosaurs swooped. Soon they were all too busy munching to tell the Wabbit and Lapinette why they had brought them there. "Fine day," remarked the Wabbit. "Gnam gnam gnam gnam," slurped the Pterosaurs. "Care for some more fish," asked Lapinette, "it's all the way from Fregene." All they heard was crunching and slurping. The Wabbit mused to himself. "What on earth is this alarming thing we're supposed to hear." Wings fluttered round his ears. A pterosaur stopped eating for a second. "You can see it from here. Pollution." Lapinette blinked. "You don't have to tell us about pollution. We know that already." The third pterosaur - the one who seldom spoke - scrabbled on the brickwork. "We're from the past." Another pterosaur spoke. "And you've got good food here." Lapinette and the Wabbit nodded. "Stay as long as you like," said Lapinette, "but why is the water boiling?" The pterosaurs flapped their wings. "That's an intermittent effect - but it's going to get hotter. That's why we came." The multi-coloured pterosaur spoke. "It's getting cold where we are, but on the other hand we can see this time has its problems."  The Wabbit and Lapinette wondered how Turin might adapt to disgruntled Pterosaurs. "I could find you a suitable planet," speculated the Wabbit. Lapinette looked at him with a special look reserved for bad ideas. "Wabbit ..." The Wabbit was adamant. "It's only fifty light years from here. Bring all your pals ..." 
 [Picture of fish supper and fish dish at Pixabay]

Friday, July 30, 2021

4. The Wabbit and the Fish Supper

The Pterosaurs were headed somewhere. They flew across the city with Lapinette and the Wabbit in tow. The Wabbit didn't fancy falling from this height and he said so. "Quiet!" said his pterosaur. He struggled to get a better grip. Lapinette seemed to have a better hold. She twisted around to make it more secure. "Where are you taking us?" she demanded. "To get a better view," smiled her pterosaur. She shook her head. "I've got a good view, now put us down." The birds flew on and the far-off one called. "You can't see it, can you?" Lapinette answered tersely. "See what?" "The traffic haze," answered the bird. Down below, the River Po started to boil. "See what I mean," said the bird. The Wabbit was becoming frustrated. "Explain yourselves," he said. "It's global warming," they said together. "I thought I said that," responded the Wabbit. "I thought that was me," said Lapinette. But still the prehistoric birds flew on. "We'll show you more," they chanted. "We don't want to see any more," yelled the Wabbit. The slipstream clutched at his fur. Lapinette's dress was in danger of going over her head and she couldn't fix it without losing her grip. She tried to bribe them and it was close to successful. "Wouldn't you like to stop somewhere for a shellfish dinner?" "I would," said one. "We're not finished our job!" said another. "Do I have the casting vote? I vote for crunchy invertebrates!" said the third. "We'll see when we get there." The pterosaur who was ferrying the Wabbit seemed emphatic. "My vote's for a fish supper," shouted the Wabbit. That clinches it," said the third one. He veered left and the others followed ... 

[Pterosaur is by MW of Pixabay]

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

3. The Wabbit, Lapinette & the Pterosaurs

Lapinette and the Wabbit loped along Via Corte d'Appello in a hurry because it was raining and the Wabbit hated getting his fur wet. But it was more than raining. It was hot and steamy - almost tropical. Strange creatures walked along the street as if they belonged. The Wabbit stared at one of three enormous gekkos and tried to engage them in conversation. They weren't particularly communicative. They glowered at the Wabbit but that seemed normal because they glowered at each other too. A sudden arrival from above took Lapinette's attention. Three prehistoric birds swooped and hovered. The Wabbit looked up. "I don't like the look of these pterodactyls" he said. Lapinette tried to swipe one away, but it wouldn't desist. "Neither do I," she said, "but they're technically pterosaurs." They hovered lower and lower until both the Wabbit and Lapinette found themselves in the grip of strong talons. "They're not supposed to have these. It's only in films." Lapinette had taken an evening course in prehistoric times, but the pterosaurs didn't care. They gripped their victims and tried to lift them. "Get off!" shouted the Wabbit. The third one came down to help. "Come with us!" said the multi-coloured pterosaur. "We have something to show you," said the beige one. It grabbed the Wabbit's fur. The Wabbit yelled, "Hey leave the fur alone, it's not paid for." But his protestations fell on deaf ears. Both the Lapinette and the Wabbit were hoisted through the air and carried far across the city.  "I thought you didn't have talons," shouted the Wabbit. "Everyone's a pesky know-all," said a pterosaur.

[Gekko and pterosaur by Cindy Lever Pixabay]

Monday, July 26, 2021

2. The Wabbit and the Three Hot Frogs

Lapinette took the Wabbit to the Dora where the boiling had occurred. It wasn't too far and the Wabbit was happy to amble. He could see it from a distance because a heat haze distorted everything. The water looked very hot at a particular spot and the Wabbit gazed at it for some time. He could make out some activity. He focussed his special glasses - and what he saw made him chuckle. There were three rather large frogs in the water. He pointed them out to Lapinette and now she could also see them. They croaked and croaked in greeting. The Wabbit had a universal translator although it usually too a good hard knock to get it going. "Hello frogs," he said, "I haven't seen you here before." The frog at the front took the initiative. "We came here for the heat." The second frog was more forthcoming. "Were on our holidays." Lapinette spoke in a voice she felt was reassuring. "You're not responsible for the water boiling?" The frogs did a little dance by linking their fingers and going round and round. "Good gracious no. Nothing to do with us." The Wabbit felt he was getting nowhere. "Who put you onto it?" The frogs continued to dance. "The frog tourist board said there was a lovely river," said one frog. "With hot currents," added another. "We set out immediately," said the third frog. The Wabbit thought he was getting closer to a solution - at least he could solve the frog problem. "Where from exactly?" he chirped. "Mexico," said a frog. The Wabbit thought about it. "Did you come through a cenote?" Lapinette chipped in. "It's not possible. Cenotes aren't so big." But a frog nodded gravely. "That's what you think."

[Frog by Alexis at Pixabay]

Friday, July 23, 2021

1. The Wabbit and the Quiet Reverie

The Wabbit was hopping along, intent on his own thoughts. He'd just come from John the Baptist Cathedral where he'd enjoyed a crafty nap. He was still half napping when a familiar voice disturbed his reverie. "Hello Wabbit, you look half asleep." Lapinette rounded the corner. She was full of beans and just bouncing along. The Wabbit shook himself and pretended he was feeling normal. "Oh, hello Lapinette, I was just admiring the cloisters." Lapinette knew he was doing nothing of the kind. "You've seen them before, Wabbit." The Wabbit wished he hadn't had that nap. "Aren't the colours nice?" he said. "Very nice," sighed Lapinette. The Wabbit chortled. "I don't suppose you bring news of secret orders." The Wabbit always got like this between missions. He really wanted to be doing something although he knew he'd complain when he heard. "Yes," said Lapinette. "Oh no!" said the Wabbit. He paused. "Never a moment of peace," he added. He shook his head like a donkey. Lapinette pouted. "The Department says you have to tidy up your desk, it's a disgrace." The Wabbit laughed. "That can certainly wait. There's nothing in the way of monsters I suppose? Just paperwork?" Lapinette put her paws on her hips. "You haven't written the expected reports. You're five missions behind." "Plenty of time," said the Wabbit. He was beginning to wake up. Lapinette gave him a sideways glance. "I heard tell of some unexpected occurrences on the River Dora." "Nothing unusual in that," said the Wabbit. Lapinette looked at him out the corner of her eye. "Well, the water started to boil." The Wabbit looked sceptical. "Did anyone make tea?" 

Monday, July 19, 2021

The Wabbit's famous Adventure Caffè

The ghost had appeared at the Adventure Caffè. There was nothing anyone could do to stop him. He still had a cup of espresso and was offering it around. "So this is your famous Adventure Caffè Commander Wabbit? Care for a coffee?" The Wabbit could see the coffee had congealed into a lump, and the cup and saucer was held together with glue. Skratch looked on in horror. The Wabbit grinned. "I suppose you'll let us have your ghostly analysis?" The ghost grinned. He found it hard not to. "I wouldn't dare presume." Skratch took the opportunity to have his say. "The main aim of the horror story is to produce spine curdling shock. Chill the blood too." Wabsworth snorted. "Surely that's not all." Skratch meaowed ferociously. "Our friend here," He gestured to the ghost, "can probably enlighten us as to the semiotics of the Zombie lineage." The ghost gnashed his considerable teeth. "We must in this case look to the semiosphere." Lapinette rapped on the table. "Cultural explosions I say! The zombie has historically proved more than capable of addressing contingent societal issues." Wabsworth was not to be outdone. "The zombie tale has an astonishing evolutionary speed." The ghost grimaced. "Not even ghosts can keep up. I'm afraid we're rather hidebound in our ways." The Wabbit flinched. "Would you say it pointed to our increasing feelings of lack of control in society?" Lapinette pouted. "Always changing and ever-threatening, we are endangered constantly." Now the Wabbit leaned across to the ghost. "Can you still scare up some drinks?" The ghost nodded and gently intoned in a wavering voice, "The Thirsting."

[The Wabbit team is indebted to the discursive paper by Ryan Lizzardi (2009), The Zombie Media Monster, Evolution as a Sign and Historical Allegory.]

Friday, July 16, 2021

9. Tipsy and the Last of the Zombies

Susan flew over the last of the zombies. Everything seemed to be in paw. Lapinette's personal guard had the zombie tethered and Tipsy hung round his neck - although how she got there, no-one knew. "Can I keep him?" she yelled. The Wabbit drew the line. "Tipsy, you cannot keep a zombie." Tipsy yelled and whooped. "Why not?" The zombie raised his head. "You'll never take me alive!" Tipsy screamed with laughter and hugged his neck. The Wabbit shrugged and shook his head from side to side. Skratch looked up. "Wabbit, what happened to the flying zombie?" Lapinette shrugged this time. "Dead and gone." Skratch's eyes shot up. "Tipsy?" he asked. Lapinette nodded with a grim look. "She frightens me," meaowed Skratch. "She frightens all of us," said the Wabbit. Lapinette sighed. It was always best to humour Tipsy. "Tipsy, just don't let him out to roam the streets." The Wabbit pondered. "Didn't she keep one of the slithering worms?" Lapinette nodded again. The Wabbit shuddered at the thought. But Lapinette was keeping count. "She also kept that Tiger that came at Christmas." The Wabbit grimaced. "His name was Baekho. How on earth does she feed them all?" "I Don't ask," said Lapinette. Wabsworth seemed to have inside knowledge. "She feeds them prisoners." Lapinette's fur stood on end. "Just joking!" said Wabsworth. He shook with mirth. The zombie gave a yell. "I like brains!" The Wabbit gave a brief laugh. "Most people are safe then."

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

8. The Wabbit and the City of Zombies

Lapinette and the Wabbit scurried to the airfield where they kept Susan and before long they flew over the stricken city. There were zombies everywhere. But Lapinette spotted their friendly ghosts - they were making short work of any zombies they could find. Lapinette loosed off a volley from her snazer gun. Zombies fell and were pounced upon by the three ghosts. A shout from the Wabbit alerted Lapinette to the giant winged zombie. "He must have followed us," yelled the Wabbit. From a nearby building, Tipsy descended, bearing her edged weapon. She slit the winged zombie's throat as if it was a slice of rump steak. Blood spurted and he slowly collapsed. The ghost dog fell on him with sharp teeth - and in two seconds he was so much dog food. Tipsy roamed the streets, followed by the ghost. Her knife flashed and the ghost followed her up. Susan's wing caught a zombie's head and soon it was rolling in the street like a soccer ball. Lapinette kicked it without compunction. "Goal," she cried. The zombies were thinning out and soon they were all gone. "Just one thing to do," said the Wabbit. The giant zombie was still at large and had trapped the rest of the team. "Let's go get him," said Lapinette. Susan wheeled round and darted across the city, leaving a trail of vapour. Tipsy and the ghosts followed her. "How shall I deal with the giant zombie?" asked Susan. "Fly round and round him until he's sick," said the Wabbit. "It'll be all over town!" said Lapinette. Then they laughed and laughed and laughed.

[Background picture: [Harry Currens Pixabay]

Monday, July 12, 2021

7. The Wabbit and the Giant Zombies

The plan had been this. The Wabbit and Lapinette were to draw the zombies out at the bridge. The rest of the team, together with the ghosts, were to cut them off at the Via Sacchi end. The ghosts were then to do their thing and the team would mop up and sanitise everything on behalf of the city. That wasn't to be. The Wabbit and Lapinette blocked the bridge with vehicles - and they thought it would be enough. But when the zombies turned up, they were huge. One was bigger than giants in fairy tales and the other was a winged creature from Revelations. Flesh dripped from their bones. The bridge turned a curious mottled shade a bit like the zombies. "Good grief," yelled the Wabbit, "They're monsters!" He grabbed Lapinette's paw and pulled her. She was all for facing them out. "You can't fight them!" shouted the Wabbit. Lapinette loosed off a few rounds of her snazer gun, but nothing happened. A few pieces of flesh flew into the air and just as soon reattached. They snarled ferociously and still they kept coming. "OK, I suppose so," she pouted reluctantly. She turned to run with the Wabbit. "What happened to the plan?" she asked as she ran. "All plans are off," shrieked the Wabbit. He looked behind him. The zombies seemed to have stopped to munch a few unfortunates who chose to cross the bridge that day. "Let's regroup," suggested the Wabbit. Lapinette turned back again as one of the zombies mouthed something. "It's talking to us," yelled the Wabbit. "I think it said it will mince us into pies," replied Lapinette. The Wabbit ran faster. "It's just not Christmas."

[Zombies by JuliusGronkievicz, Jule 55 at Pixabay]

Friday, July 09, 2021

6. The Wabbit and the Ghost's Lair

Lapinette and the Wabbit followed the ghost to his lair, which lay in a distant part of Torino, adjacent to the river. The ghost gave a single whistle. To Lapinette's astonishment and the Wabbit's horror another skeleton and a ghostly dog appeared. "These are my familiars," said the Ghost. He offered both of them espressos from under his cloak. "They will dispense with the zombies, if I give them enough coffee of course." The dog slavered and the skeleton chortled. "The Wabbit was sceptical. "Just these two?"  The ghost chortled too. "Just us three, Zombies are merely the undead. We are well and truly dead." "As doornails," said the skeleton. He gave a sinister laugh. The Wabbit looked at Lapinette. Lapinette looked back. "It's what we got," she shrugged. "We need a plan, said the Wabbit. "I'll round up the rest of the team. We move at my command." The ghost wrinkled his bony nose. "You'll bring plenty of coffee," he insisted. The Wabbit and Lapinette headed back to the truck. The ghost patted the ghostly dog's head. "Be patient my beauty, there's plenty of coffee on its way. The Wabbit got in the truck and Lapinette followed. "I'm uncertain of our allies," he said. Lapinette grimaced. "They say keep your friends close and your enemies closer." The Wabbit stamped on the throttle. "Within stabbing distance you mean?"  They turned and looked back, but the ghost and his pals had gone. "Where do we get the coffee?" asked the Wabbit. "I have a supplier," said Lapinette, "He grinds fine." 

Wednesday, July 07, 2021

5. The Wabbit and the Espresso Ghost

Tipsy and the rest of the crew scoured the city for more zombies but acting on an undercover report the Wabbit and Lapinette sped to Crocetta Market. It seemed cold. Even frosty. But what they saw weren't zombies. It was a bone fide ghost. This was a different kettle of fish and no mistake. The ghost walked up and down and bore a single espresso cup. "Fill my vessel," it moaned, "fill it now." The Wabbit decided that direct action was the only way to approach the matter. He prodded the ghost on its skeleton claw. "Perhaps we can be of assistance?" The ghost laid its other claw on Lapinette's head. Lapinette shuddered but didn't utter a sound. "The zombies have taken all the coffee," moaned the ghost. "All of it. All of it. Nothing left for a poor ghost like me." Lapinette signalled to the Wabbit. "This one's not with the others." The Wabbit nodded while steering the ghost along. "Let's get your coffee back," he whispered. The ghost whimpered. "I have no truck with the undead. I'll buy my coffee like anyone else." He produced a crumpled 2000 lire note. "That won't get you very far," said the Wabbit, "when did you die?" The ghost gave a terrible wail. "Some long time past." Lapinette had an idea. Ghosts had some native wit but zombies had none. "Maybe you could help us with our zombie problem." The skeleton became animated. "By scaring them?" He held his arms aloft and wiggled his fingers. "Boo!" he shouted "Boo boo boo!" His coffee cup went flying in the air and then he caught both cup and saucer with a single deft move. "That raised your spirits," said the Wabbit. 

[skeleton figure by G.Janson Pixabay]

Monday, July 05, 2021

4. Tipsy and the Coffee of the Dead

Tipsy was in the Coffee Museum when it all began. She'd got a message to be alert and she was. It was no surprise when she came down the stairs to meet two zombies stealing a coffee machine. She bared her teeth and with a cry she pulled out an edged weapon. There was blood everywhere and each time the zombies coughed there was more. She plunged her knife into the back of the nearest zombie and pulled it out again. There was no effect but to add to the blood that was there already. She took a swipe at the head and severed it, but it just grew back. "Uuugh spluuugh," said the first zombie. It was the same with the arm. "Coff coff, need coff," said the second zombie. "Need arm to drink." It put its arm back on and pulled the machine down the stairs. "Send more capsules," said the first. "Even more capsules," said the second. Tipsy wasn't keen on coffee capsules and she said so. "Grrr," said the first zombie, "Eat the rabbit." A swipe from Tipsy sent its tongue flying through the air. It was just as quickly replaced, this time by two. Blood trickled from their mouths as the tongues waggled. "Slurp slurp," said the zombies together. Tipsy shook her head. She was getting nowhere, "I need reinforcements," she muttered. She retreated back upstairs, moaning. "Things are getting bad when you can't dispose of a couple of zombies. Not a brain cell between them." She backed off until she reached a window and climbed out. "Dead end street," she said - and dropped to the road ...

Friday, July 02, 2021

3. The Wabbit and Thorough Preparations

When the truck drew up in Pluto Park, there were already two jeeps in place. Skratch worked on one because he wasn't happy with its performance. Lapinette took charge immediately and eliminated his theory. "It's not death wobble, Skratch. Just a bad throttle body." Skratch was delighted because he could fix that in an instant. Wabsworth ensured the snazer guns were correctly aligned and functioning. The Wabbit fiddled with the lorry tail because he felt he was surplus to requirements. "Ouch," he said as he snagged his paw. "What are you doing, Wabbit?" said Lapinette. "Getting in touch with my practical side," said the Wabbit. Lapinette huffed and puffed. "Get in touch with my personal guard and tell them to be combat ready." "They're always ready for combat," shrugged the Wabbit. Skratch laughed and dropped his spanner on his face. "This is a serious mission, please take it seriously." Lapinette was livid. Wabsworth dropped a snazer on the Wabbit's foot. The Wabbit's smile didn't crack - although he wanted to yell out. Instead, he asked, "Seriously, what is this MacGuffin thing?" Lapinette watched Skratch and said nothing. "Let me guess. Is it a weapon of mass destruction?" said the Wabbit. "Yes," said Lapinette. "Oooh," said Wabsworth, "Explosive or infectious?" Lapinette drew a deep breath. "Both," she said. The Wabbit looked under the truck. "They've got to be somewhere!" Lapinette's sharp intake of breath alerted the Wabbit to the fact he'd made a bad joke in the wrong place. "This weapon turns things into zombies." The sound of jaws dropping could be heard a long way off. The Wabbit recovered first. "What do you call a row of zombies?" Lapinette was first to respond. "A deadline!" she groaned. 

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

2. The Wabbit and Lapinette Take 'em Out

Lapinette drove fast and had no time for obstacles. But as she reached Via Cernaia she heard a clatter of motorcycles. She vaulted the statues. The truck soared high in the air. The Wabbit looked down at the vehicles. "Definitely hostile," he said and he gripped whatever there was to grip. The truck was airborne, but the bikes came from below, grazing her wheels. The riders sported black visors and they couldn't really see their faces. But their intent was clear. They meant harm. "I can hear a Rotax engine." The Wabbit knew his motorbikes but Lapinette wrinkled her nose. "I don't care what engines they have, they're dead ducks." She threw the truck to the left and then the right. The motorbikes span to the ground and no-one got back up. "We're meeting Skratch and the rest at Pluto Park," said Lapinette, "and I aim to be there on time." The Wabbit settled back in his seat as the truck crashed down on the road. "You should get new seats," he said and smiled. "These are new seats," answered Lapinette. "You could have fooled me," said the Wabbit. "They're racing seats from the Army and Navy Stores. Special offer," said Lapinette. The noise from the engine was deafening. "So what's the MacGuffin?" asked the Wabbit. Lapinette downshifted several gears then just as quickly upshifted. Street furniture flew. "It's super hush hush," said Lapinette. "Mmmm?" said the Wabbit. "A weapon so dangerous, it must not fall into the wrong paws," added Lapinette. "Where is this weapon?" asked the Wabbit. "In the wrong paws," said Lapinette. "Best get moving then," murmured the Wabbit. "Hooked up and ready to roll," yelled Lapinette. The truck swung into Corso Svizzera on two wheels. "Hang 'em out to dry," shouted the Wabbit.

Monday, June 28, 2021

1. The Wabbit and the Secret Mission

The Wabbit was hopping along Via Pietro Micca when he saw Lapinette coming towards him in a truck. He stepped sideways but to no avail. She stopped a centimetre from his feet, then signalled for him to get on board. He swung himself up with a friendly wave. "What gives, Lapinette?" The Wabbit liked to use hippie vocabulary once in a while. "Wabbit, we have a mission." Lapinette sounded urgent. The Wabbit was surprised. There was nothing on the horizon, or so it seemed. He paused by the window. "What kind of a mission?" Lapinette chortled and floored the throttle. The truck screeched as it took off at speed. "A secret one of course." The Wabbit jumped into a seat and hauled the door shut. He hadn't supposed it would be any other kind. "We'll need all our vehicles," she said. She pushed the truck up the gears and careered off into Via Antonio Bertola. The Wabbit sat back and smiled. "Is it urgent?" Lapinette rounded a corner on two wheels. "Everything is urgent for the Department." The Wabbit nodded his head and wound the window up against invading dust from nearby tram works. "Agents of Rabit?" asked the Wabbit. "Don't know," said Lapinette. "Euls, Skuttles, Gnamskulls?" suggested the Wabbit. "No idea," yelled Lapinette. She crashed down three gears without regard for synchromesh. The Wabbit glanced in the back of the truck. It was crammed with weapons. "Expecting trouble." It wasn't a question. "Triple trouble," replied Lapinette. "Trouble is my trade," said the Wabbit, "How else would I make any money?" He leaned forward, opened a hidden compartment under the dash and grinned. "My emergency C4 is still here." Lapinette replied through gritted teeth. "Business will boom!"

Friday, June 25, 2021

The Wabbit at his Adventure Caffè.

The team met at a Caffè they knew and loved. Skratch arrived late, as was his way. Wabsworth peered round Lapinette to watch his approach. He was in good humour and raised his paw in greeting. "Hello everyone! What a splendid adventure!" Skratch liked to have first go at explanation and he was determined. "Let me give you my learned analysis." He shielded his eyes from the sun and sat down on the only seat available. He pulled it forward. "That sun is fierce," he said. The Wabbit was pleased to see him. "Tell us oh learned one, what was that for a sort of Adventure?" Skratch's meaow reverberated down the porticos. "It was a conventional device for a series," he said. "But I must mention Heidegger."  Lapinette gave a slight giggle. "Must you?" Wabsworth was interested however, and he leaned back. "Being and Time," he murmured. Wabsworth had recently undertaken a study of world philosophy in alphabetic order, and he'd lingered on "H". The Wabbit merely laughed. "I suppose you're going to give us all that guff about people seeking repetition because it makes them comfortable." Skratch pretended to be horrified. "I am not a dispenser of old guff," he meaowed. "Repetition takes the past and gives it meaning and sense. It may therefore be understood." He nodded gravely as if agreeing with himself.  Lapinette wasn't to be outdone. "Seidel thought of this as a redredging that reclaims the past." Skratch was super pleased. "You're a marvel, Lapinette." The Wabbit grinned. "It would be marvellous if Lapinette could attract the attention of the waiter! She's awfully good at that."  

Monday, June 21, 2021

5. The Wabbit and a Dream of Rail Lines

The supermarket had gone and the Wabbit was dropping once more. There was a smile on his face because it was so peaceful. He could make out the railway station and the lines below, but he could hear no trains. Still, his nose picked up a static smell from the electric pylons. It seemed comforting. He continued to drop until he passed the cables. Lapinette was shouting. "Wabbit, this is the end of your dream." The Wabbit grinned to himself. "Is it over? So soon?" Lapinette yelled this time. "Wabbit wake up." The Wabbit didn't want to. Why?" he mumbled, "it's so comfortable." Lapinette floated closer. He could feel her paws touch his. "All good dreams must come to an end," she said. The Wabbit was aware of sounds from the nearby shunting yard and he could hear cars pass over the big bridge. There was the whoosh of a tram. He shook his head. "I like the railway and all that goes with it," he said. Lapinette was insistent. "You have to come back to us Wabbit. You have work to do." The Wabbit revolved through 360 degrees but seemed reluctant to waken. Lapinette spoke again. "You can visit the railway any time you like." The Wabbit smiled. "I can, can't I?" With a sudden shudder he shook himself awake. He was still floating above the railway but plummeting fast. The lines loomed. He tried to click his fingers. The scene faded and he was back in his bedroom. "Phew," he said, "these lines must represent the paths and choices I have in life." He was still slurred. Lapinette prodded him fully awake. "You have an unconscious desire to marry a train." The Wabbit laughed and thought about it. "You Freud, me Jane?" he giggled.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

4. The Wabbit and the Gnamskull's Pizza

Lapinette moved the Wabbit's dream along. With a wave of her paws, they were in a supermarket in Ireland. "What on earth?" began the Wabbit. Lapinette silenced him with a paw to her lips. They waited until they heard a commotion. It was a monster the Wabbit hadn't seen for number of years and it was at a freezer compartment, tearing at pizzas. "A gnamskull," breathed the Wabbit. "A gnamskull and it's hungry for pizza." The gnamskull's teeth tore at the cardboard but it was tough work. He tried several until he found the one he wanted. Then he set about it with vigour. The Wabbit could only watch. Then his eyes flickered across to Lapinette's. "That's my favourite shop-bought pizza," he whispered. Lapinette gazed back. "You can talk as loudly as you like Wabbit, I don't think it can hear you." The Wabbit shouted. Nothing happened. "It's your dream," said Lapinette, "it must mean something to you." The Wabbit strode over to the creature and tried to take the pizza away. The gnamskull gripped it vicelike in its teeth. There was no way the Wabbit could get it. "Give me back my pizza," shouted the Wabbit. The Gnamskull shot behind a counter with the pizza. The cardboard had gone and he was eating the frozen contents. "Are you some kind of weirdough?" shouted the Wabbit. Lapinette shrugged. "The dream belongs to you. What happens next? "The Wabbit launched at the Gnamskull. "You're a real pizza work!" he shouted. The gnamskull dived under the counter and squealed. The Wabbit gave up. "Now look here, gnamskull," he said. "My pizza jokes can't be topped."

Monday, June 14, 2021

3. The Wabbit's Encounter with the Slift

The dream was all too real for the Wabbit. But he saw Lapinette float some distance from the ground in what was unmistakeably the slaughterhouse at Testaccio. And there was a Slift, clearly recognisable in his distinctive fur coat. He tapped him. The Slift turned and looked down. The voice was familiar but had a strangely disembodied tone. "Commander Wabbit, where's my money?" "I didn't give you any money," said the Wabbit, "I recall advising you to make some investments." Lapinette pointed at him. "You were supposed to make more money than you ever dreamed of." The Slift inclined its head. "No money was forthcoming from my investment." Lapinette smiled. "You didn't allow enough time. I quite firmly stated at the time that I would triple your investment in 900 years." The Wabbit smiled too. "I remember saying I would take these Fake Fur investments off your hands, and you refused." The Slift moaned a long and mournful moan that might grace any crazy dream. "So here I am with only the fur I'm standing up in." Lapinette pirouetted. "Poor you!" The Wabbit poked the Slift harder and, like before, his paw passed straight through his fur coat. He hopped back. "Since it's my dream I can put everything to rights. Please take this key and go to locker number 66 in Torino Porta Nuova Station. There you will find all the gold in the universe." The Slift took the key and made for Rome Station to get a connection. Lapinette fluttered dream-like to the ground. "What was that key, Wabbit?" The Wabbit smiled the wickedest of wicked smiles. "I just dreamed it up."

Saturday, June 12, 2021

2. The Wabbit and the Fur from the Past

Now the Wabbit was spinning. The crime museum had gone. He recognised the new place as the old slaughterhouse in Testaccio. He was dropping steadily to the floor. He looked up at the rafters and across at the walls. They rippled like a black ocean. It was then he saw Lovely Lapinette. She was calling to him. "Wabbit, Wabbit you're dreaming." The Wabbit knew he was dreaming. He just couldn't do anything about it. She was shouting again. It was more of a yell. "You're dreaming of old adventure locations, Wabbit." His mouth moved in response, but no sound came out. He stopped a metre from the floor. He wiggled his paw to see if it would move. It did. Lapinette drifted close by. "This is where we met the Slifts. It's a dream and it's all in your head." The Wabbit hit the floor with a thump and so did Lapinette. "Fake Fur Futures?" His voice was slurred. "Yes," said Lapinette. "Are you dreaming too?" asked the Wabbit." It was mangled and sounded like sheeming choo. "Yes," giggled Lapinette. The Wabbit slowly sat up and shook himself. "I'm not dreaming anymore." Lapinette laughed a silky laugh. "Yes, you are." The Wabbit put a paw on the wall. It went straight through. Lapinette dug him in the ribs. "What do you want to do in your dream?" The Wabbit thought for a while. "I'd like to wake up?" Again, he heard Lapinette's silky laugh. "That's no fun," she whispered, "Live a little. How would you change the past?" The Wabbit tried to recall the events. "Oh, I remember. It was like the Wild West." "Well, air yer lungs," suggested Lapinette. The Wabbit thought about it, smiled and then effected a cowboy drawl. "I'm looking for the man who shot my paw."

Wednesday, June 09, 2021

1. The Wabbit and the Curious Sky

The Wabbit was dreaming - or hoped he was dreaming. He recognised the corridor. It was certainly the Museum of Crime in Rome. But there was no floor, only sky. He could feel fluffy clouds at his back, and he was sinking. "Why am I here?" he said to himself. He looked at his paws because he knew it was the way to tell if he was in his dream body. He could see his paws all right. He wiggled them than they moved. "This would suit Carlos Castaneda," he thought. "If I'm in my dream body, something will happen." But nothing happened except for a relentless sinking. Maybe it was the sinking that was happening. He tried to recall the last time he'd been to the museum. He'd been on a work trip to Rome and had just been to the Antimafia Commission to give evidence before learned judges. That was following his undercover stint at a popular newsagent and he'd popped into the museum on the way back on a whim. It was a strange museum, an eclectic collection of objects which he quite liked. And for once in his life, he hadn't borrowed anything. The Wabbit thought that would be bad form for the Crime Museum. He bobbed up and down a bit more. The walls and the skirting board came into view, then sky, then skirting boards. He shut his eyes and tried very hard to hear. There were murmuring voices. He opened his eyes. The murmuring stopped. He opened them. There was the murmuring again. With an enormous effort he made his ways to the walls and leaned on them for support. The sky started to whirl and became solid, but the walls were soft as the marshmallow clouds he'd seen before. "Curiouser and curiouser," thought the Wabbit ...

Monday, June 07, 2021

The Wabbit at his Adventure Caffè

It was a jovial gathering at the Adventure Caffè. Skratch as usual was late - but he arrived in good form. The Wabbit welcomed him with unusual vigour. "Here's my good friend, Skratch the Cat!" Then he added, "It was Skratch who saved the day." Skratch raised an eyebrow. "I thought I'd messed everything up." Lapinette was cool as a carrot. "Not one of us ever messes up." Wabsworth chimed in. "Not much anyway!" The Wabbit grasped Skratch's paw. "Tell us oh great critic. What was that for a sort of Adventure?" Skratch leaned back. "I'll tell you now. That was a novel and exciting story featuring great danger." The Wabbit interrupted. "Which the main protagonist overcame with good humour!" Skratch meoawed. "But there was a main signifying feature used to comic effect. That was ... the dynamite!" Wabsworth tapped on the table. "It definitely avoids the wider extra-diegetic implications of conspiracy films that we know and love." Through comedy," added Lapinette. Skratch nodded. "The dynamite would not explode - except in particular circumstances. So, the comedic effect was placed in the final frame and suggested exactly such a circumstance." Lapinette laughed. "Explosive! I'm glad I wasn't in that frame." They all giggled. Skratch continued. "The Agents were emotionally unstable and so was the explosive." The Wabbit smiled. "So maybe we could scare up a drink?" Lapinette laughed. "Maybe we're just not scary enough?" Wabsworth was tickled by this and thought of a joke. "Lapinette," he said, "You're dynamite!"

Friday, June 04, 2021

7. Skratch and the Stick of Dynamite

The Wabbit was passing through the kitchens of the medieval castle and looking at the food in preparation. He wasn't quite happy with the cook's choice and his nose wrinkled. But suddenly he spotted Skratch, hanging from the roof. "Hello Wabbit," cried Skratch. He seemed pleased with himself, but the Wabbit was puzzled when he saw the dynamite. "What are you up to?" he asked. Skratch swung down. "I just disarmed a couple of thugs outside the castle," he meaowed. The Wabbit looked none too pleased. "What did you do with them?" he asked. Skratch snickered, "I ate them." The Wabbit jumped in the air. "Whaaat?" Skratch laughed. "Just joking Wabbit. They're all locked up in the cells." The Wabbit hopped up and down. "We were hoping to act as decoys and find out who they were working with." Skratch didn't see any problem. "Well, we're no worse off, I can let them escape." They could have killed you Skratch," yelled the Wabbit. "Who me?" said Skratch. "I'm a cat. I have nine lives." The Wabbit put his paws on his hips, a little like Lapinette. "How many have you used?" Skratch counted, but when he came to eleven, he gave up. "I see what you mean," he purred, "Anyway, these two rabbits are completely hopeless." "They got us with stun grenades," said the Wabbit. "Never mind," said Skratch, "This dynamite is perfectly safe." He threw the dynamite at the Wabbit. The Wabbit dived out the way as it hit a metal grill and exploded. Pots and pans and crockery clattered to the ground. The Wabbit picked himself out of the debris. "What am I going to tell the cook?"

Wednesday, June 02, 2021

6. Skratch and the Flying Leap

As a kinetic projectile, the decisive factors were speed, object size and drag. For Skratch that was automatic. He propelled himself forward with a thrust of his rear legs. His huge claws raked from right to left. The two Agents didn't stand much chance. Caught by the claws they were thrown to the side and landed in a tumbled heap. Dynamite flew high in the air. Skratch flipped and summersaulted. With a single lunge he caught the dynamite, tucked it into his fur and landed feet down on the Agents chests. "Up to no good?" he shouted. "I've caught you in the act." The Agents were dazed and could hardly answer. Skratch knelt beside one of them. "Talk," he said, "talk fast." The first Agent thought quickly. "We're tourists," he gasped. "We're having a picnic," said the other. "Fimble fambling fools!" yelled Skratch. He picked them both up by the scruff of their scrawny necks. "Lucky it's not your ears!" He started to drag them into the castle and headed for the cells, meaowing and hissing alternately as he sped along. "I have a lovely spot set aside for fools like you." It was a dank day and the dim prison cells failed to lighten it. A single light illuminated the bars. They sat in a corner under the light bulb looking miserable. Skratch plucked the dynamite from his fur and juggled with it for while. "Strange tourists, you. I suppose you were going to brew up." They nodded vigorously. Skratch slammed the prison doors with a clang, and paused to read them their rights. "Anything you say will not be taken seriously. You're entitled to a lawyer but we haven't got one. Understood?" They nodded their heads. Skratch left to find the Wabbit but he was laughing. "A right pair of Herberts." 

Monday, May 31, 2021

5. Skratch and the Two Enemy Agents

Skratch the Cat was out for a prowl. It was a dull day and he thought he'd take a turn down by the castle. He was in the delicate process of cat contemplation when he noticed something happening - down by the drawbridge. Two figures, who looked suspiciously like Agents of Rabit, were engaged in conversation. Skratch looked the other way - but he continued to watch them nonetheless. His ears pricked up and swivelled round. In this way he could hear everything and evade attention. He watched the first enemy agent hand the second a bundle of sticks of dynamite. He heard him whisper "Don't drop it!" The second immediately did just that. The first snatched it away before it hit the ground. "You clumsy toad. I told you not to drop it." The second was aghast. "I thought you said 'swap' it." The first agent slapped a paw to his forehead. "What on earth did you think I'd swap it for?" The second agent cringed back. "I thought they were cigars." Skratch was trying not to laugh and he sniggered lightly. "There's a cat over there," exclaimed an agent. "Probably he's cold," said the other. "How can you tell?" said the first. "He's got his coat on," said the other. They carried on chattering. Skratch thought he'd slope off to find the Wabbit but changed his mind halfway. "I think I can deal with this," he murmured. He dropped low and padded round the fence until he came to the drawbridge. They didn't notice a thing. Skratch climbed up to the gatehouse, looked all round and poised for a second. Then with fistfuls of razor sharp claws and letting out a vicious cry, he sprang ...