Friday, February 26, 2021

3. The Wabbit and the Rattle of Gunfire.

The Wabbit tried to forget about his new office and sauntered down the porticos thinking of other things.  He looked at a nearby eating establishment and wrinkled his nose. If it described itself as a restaurant it had no business selling pizzas. That was his view and he was going to stick to it.  He was so busy thinking that he didn't take any notice of the first crack. He thought it was a car backfiring. When the second came he also paid scant attention. Then when it became a rattle accompanied by flying plaster he ducked down and took evasive action. Down on the ground, he tried to see where it came from. There was another crackle. It looked like it came from the other side of the street. A barrel poked out from a window and occassionally issued flame. The Wabbit bolted for the other side but the bullets followed him. They were a very heavy guage and smacked into buses, trams and cars. Traffic came to a standstill. The Wabbit rolled under a bus shelter. He was on the same side of the road as the weapon now, and he'd narrowed the angle. It gave him time to think. Who could this interloper be? Maybe there was more than one. He saw two figures dart out from a building carrying a massive weapon. But the weapon was old. Very old. And so were the figures. "Why me?" thought the Wabbit, "why does it always fall to me to deal with bizarre actions?" The Wabbit got to his feet and dusted himself down. Bits of plaster flicked everywhere. He watched the two figures disappear into the metro. "Going to catch a train are you?" mused the Wabbit. He flicked a last piece of plaster from his fur. "I'll catch up with you! And you're getting the dry cleaning bills."

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

2. The Wabbit and the Design Invasion

The Wabbit searched for his old desk in vain. But it had been replaced. Everything was furnished in a retro style from the time of the Risorgimento. All his disparate bundles of papers had gone. Old invoices waiting for payment had disappeared. In their place, an old revolver and a book about the life and times of Garibaldi lay on a clean desk. The Wabbit sat down and gazed in amazement. He looked at Lapinette. "What the Binky is going on?" Lapinette grinned. "The Department brought interior designers in. Everyone needs a clean start. That's what they said." The Wabbit lifted the revolver and sniffed it. "This is ancient," he said. Lapinette sprang in the air then pirouetted around. "You're not supposed to use it, Wabbit. It's supposed to give you ideas." The Wabbit flourished the gun and thought merciless thoughts about interior designers. "It's given me ideas all right." He put the gun down and leafed through the book. "Inspirational," he grinned, "I could always hit somebody with it." Lapinette continued to dance around. "I think it's a great idea." The Wabbit toyed with the pistol and spoke with great enthusiasm. "First we'll get Garibaldi out of prison." Lapinette laughed. "He was released in 1831."  The Wabbit laughed too. "Better late than never." Lapinette was still for just an instant. She placed her paws on her hips. "Now pay attention, Wabbit. This is supposed to give you ideas for combating the wicked Agents of Rabit." The Wabbit stood up waving the old revolver. "Send out the 400 rabbits. Arrest the usual suspects!" Lapinette sighed. "Will you be serious for just a minute?" The Wabbit frowned. "I was being serious."

Monday, February 22, 2021

1. The Wabbit and a Difficult Admittance

The Wabbit stomped up the stairs of the Department of Wabbit Affairs. He was in a bad mood for several reasons. He'd been called in for new orders just when he was taking a well-earned break. But when he'd turned up, he found that new security protocols had been put in place. The doorman had asked him for his pass. The Wabbit never carried it. He'd known the doorman for more than ten years and pointed this out to the doorman. But the doorman insisted it was more than his job was worth to let him in. The Wabbit had to return to the house and go through drawer after drawer. Finally he'd found it but the doorman pointed out that it was out of date. In order to get it re-validated he had to enter the building but the doorman continued to refuse him admittance. Finally, he'd bribed the doorman to look the other way. This cost him a dinner for two at Piano 35, the slickest restaurant in town. So he growled on his way and made a detour to the credentials department, where a very large rabbit put him through an interrogation the like of which he'd never endured. "This better be an exciting mission," he said to himself. He thrust his new pass deep into his fur and scowled. "The Ministry for Revenge will hear of this." His blood boiled. But then he heard the voice of Lovely Lapinette calling after him. He looked back as she shouted, "I've got your new pass, it came in the post." The Wabbit now had two new passes, but said nothing. He slid the duplicate further into his fur and smiled. "Thank you so much, Lapinette." Lapinette looked at him. "How did you get in?" "Charm," said the Wabbit.  

Friday, February 19, 2021

The Wabbit at the Adventure Caffè

Skratch the Cat was late as usual but not by much. Lapinette was late too. The Wabbit and Wabsworth were engrossed in conversation and were merrily rapping paws on the table. "Hello Skratch," said Lapinette, "We're just in time to tell everyone what an exciting adventure the Wabbit and I just had." Wabsworth was already in full flow. "I've been hearing all about it." Skratch leaned over the table. "I thought it disappeared, like all sci-fi, into the accretion of postmodern theoretical debris." The Wabbit laughed. "I don't know how you can justify that one, Skratch." I can't," meaowed Skratch, "but I rather like saying it." Wabsworth coughed. "Let's lay bare the cultural instrumentalities at work." Lapinette groaned. "But that fails to adequately deal with generic issues." The Wabbit wanted to have his say. "The best we could do was to introduce a rogue truck as the monster. This struck at the heart of generic convention." Lapinette wasn't impressed. "Where does that stand in the paradoxical circle of cause and effect?" Skratch was amused. "Where is the truck anyway?" "Round in the corner in the underground car park," said Lapinette. "That's a postmodern aesthetic dilemma in itself," replied the Wabbit, "It calls into question the existing patterns of consumption and usage." Lapinette allowed a small guffaw. "That's what the truck said anyway." Skratch was getting thirsty. "What about or own patterns of usage and consumption?" The Wabbit raised himself up and shouted to the bar. "Four proseccos please!" "And a packet of peanuts!" added Lapinette.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

7. The Wabbit and the Extra Vehicle

Thinking better of buying the van, the Wabbit and Lapinette made their way back to join Quantum the Time Travelling Train. But the van followed them. Through the auction room and up the rickety-rackety stairs, it followed relentlessly. The Spieler stood in their way but the van just ran him over. They could hear the crunching of his bones. The Wabbit shrugged and ran on. Finally they arrived at the space tether and Quantum guided them in. Then they looked back. The truck had followed out into space. The Wabbit offered up his paws. "I put the money back, I swear I didn't buy him." Lapinette continued to insist it was his fault, but there was nothing the Wabbit or anyone could do. He couldn't hear its engine but he spotted exhaust fumes. "We'll have that Greta Thunberg on our backs for this." Lapinette said something that the Wabbit couldn't quite hear, but he knew it was very rude indeed. The Wabbit yelled to Quantum and crashed into lattice drive. There was an explosion and they left at speed. But the truck was still there. Quantum spoke to the Wabbit over the intercom. "I'm getting a communication from the blessed truck you brought with you." He sighed deeply and asked what it was. "He wants to know how he gets into second gear," said Quantum. The Wabbit gritted all of his 28 teeth. "Tell him to select reverse and go home." There was a pause. "He says it's broken." The Wabbit let fly with several expletives and ended with: "We don't have parking space." They heard a babble of signals, then Quantum spoke. "He says we're in space now and there's plenty of space."

Monday, February 15, 2021

6. The Wabbit and the Shabby Market

The scene gave way to a very shabby market indeed. Lapinette paused to scrabble but the Wabbit strode forward with purposeful expression. "Serviceable van here," he said, "it's small but properly marked." Lapinette looked round. "It's probably for moving things around, Wabbit." The Wabbit was skeptical. "On an asteroid?" The Wabbit looked around the rest of the market. "A load of old tat," he said. Lapinette laughed. "I thought you liked that." The Wabbit shook his head. "To a limit," He wasn't so happy, but he searched and searched anyway, coming up with next to nothing. "Seems to still be Christmas here," he said. "They might have wanted to liven it up," replied Lapinette. "It needs it," scoffed the Wabbit. He looked at the van again. "How much do you think they want for it?" Lapinette was looking at an old chair. "About a fiver," she said. The Wabbit nodded. He took five QUID out of his fur and laid it on a nearby shelf. Then he jumped inside the van. "The keys are still in it." He started the van and everything shook. Lapinette waved the fumes aside. "You can't take the van," she said. "Why not?" said the Wabbit. He put his foot on the throttle and it started to move. "I forbid you to take the van," said Lapinette. The Wabbit gave up and jumped out. But the van didn't stop. It rolled past Lapinette and out of the doors, into space. "I told you," said Lapinette. The Wabbit watched it go. "It's going about its appointed rounds," he observed, "Maybe it's 2020 GT." "QG," said Lapinette.

[ "A car-size asteroid flew within 1,830 miles of Earth over the weekend, the closest pass ever. We didn't see it coming."]

Friday, February 12, 2021

5. The Wabbit and the Bony Auctioneer

The Wabbit and Lapinette found themselves in an auction room with windows looking out into space. At the front was a skeleton. The Wabbit knew him. His name was Spieler and he travelled across galaxies in order to lie, cheat and swindle. The Wabbit hid round a corner and took out his automatic. Lapinette pranced into the theatre and danced to his stream of sales talk. "Super Crazy Prices, no crazier then here," shouted the Spieler. Lapinette yelled "Yay," and danced some more. "What can I sell the cute little lady in the tartan frock?" smiled the Spieler. "What'ya got?" responded Lapinette. She threw her hands in the air in the manner of a Highland Fling. The Spieler smiled. "I got asteroids, planets, nebulas. clusters. I got whole galaxies for less than a pack of peas." Lapinette laughed. "What about the whole universe?" The Spieler wasn't fazed at all. "Buy it from me and you'll be the sexiest rabbit in it!" The Wabbit had heard enough. He stepped out and pointed his automatic. "That's it, you faker. I'm arresting you for phony boney baloozy." The Spieler made his way to stand in front of the Wabbit. "You're out of your jurisdiction, Commander." He placed a bony finger on the muzzle of the automatic and added, "Or my names not Boney Maroney." He turned to walk back. The Wabbit fired. The Spieler kept walking, turning back once to raise a single digit. Then everything vanished. The auction room was the barest place you could imagine ...

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

4. The Wabbit, Lapinette and Crazy Prices

The Wabbit and Lapinette made their way down.  It was ornate but heavily faded and the stairway creaked and cracked with every step they took. Lapinette didn't seem to care whereas the Wabbit was amused. A stencilled sign flashed at them and the recorded voice started again. "Super crazy. Crazy crazy crazy. Every one of our prices is super crazy." Water dripped down the walls with a steady drip drip drip. "Thinking of buying something?" asked the Wabbit. "I won't know until I get there," replied Lapinette. The Wabbit smiled again because he usually had something in mind. The lights flickered and returned to life. "I was looking for a multi-headed electrical thing," said the Wabbit. The lights dimmed again. Lapinette didn't reply because she was ferreting. "Maybe a good set of tools to repair these stairs," said the Wabbit. "Tell the landlord," said Lapinette. She moved downwards into the gloom. The Wabbit followed on. They could see a large warehouse. It was filled with what the Wabbit could only describe as bric-a-brac and grotty tat. The Wabbit took one look and turned to go. "I've seen enough," he said. He hunched his shoulders and stuck a paw in his fur. "We've come this far," said Lapinette, "there may be something ultra valuable here." The Wabbit stifled a giggle. "We'll be rich beyond our wildest dreams." Lapinette bent to look at something. "What's this?" The Wabbit bent down to look - and at that moment the stairs collapsed flat and he tumbled the rest of the way. "That got me down," he said. "Stairway to heaven?" quipped Lapinette. "That's the other way," grumbled the Wabbit.

Monday, February 08, 2021

3. The Wabbit and the Market in Space

The asteroid was worth investigating. It was going the same way at the same speed and it seemed improper not to. They were still in Lattice Drive so Quantum set up a tether and off they went. They scrambled over the asteroid and they found nothing interesting until they came to what looked like a cave. The Wabbit hesitated on the edge but Lapinette looked inside. A light came on. An arrow lit up. A sign pulsed and the sign said Market. It says "Market," said Lapinette. "Yes," said the Wabbit, "but what kind of a market is it?" As if in answer, a recorded voice started to shout. "Super Crazy Prices, you won't get lower. Shop at Super Crazy Prices, for all your planetary needs." It wouldn't stop and repeated several times. Lapinette didn't hesitate. "It might stop if we go in and buy something." She grinned and disappeared, The Wabbit followed. The message got louder. Lights came on. Inside was a cavern of goods on sale at super crazy prices. The message changed. "Today we have special offers on illuminating white mice. An absolute bargain at 5 QUID each. Surround yourself with mice light. Protection from all forms of adversity guaranteed." The Wabbit wrinkled his nose. "White mice?" Lapinette laughed. "White mice have long cared for interplanetary travellers." The Wabbit looked quizzical but the voice boomed again. "Dark clouds of misfortune dispelled by our jolly jujus at super crazy prices!" Lapinette looked round. "Make a purchase?" The Wabbit didn't like the sound of it. But he dug in his fur for some space currency ... 

[QUID: Quasi Universal Intergalactic Denomination]

Friday, February 05, 2021

2. The Wabbit and the Object in Space

The Wabbit persuaded Lapinette he knew of a much better market but it was a bit of a hike. Soon they sat aboard Quantum the Time Travelling Train with the Wabbit in charge. Kepler 186-f was an M Class planet and was only around 500 light years away. The Wabbit had heard it boasted some of the best markets in the Milky Way - but how much of that was tittle tattle he had little idea. The Wabbit tried to set coordinates but Quantum was ahead of him. With a blast of hot gases, he was off. It was all for show, because Quantum emitted little in the way of gases. With hardly any motion at all, Quantum engaged lattice drive. The Wabbit leaned back in his seat as they flashed through space. "Just a little jaunt," said the Wabbit. Lapinette was amused. "A spin?" she asked, "I hope you packed a picnic basket." The Wabbit tapped a hamper beside him. "Just in case we get hungry," he said. The speaker system crackled. "Better prepare for evasive action Commander," said Quantum, "we have a rogue asteroid in our path." The Wabbit was confused but Quantum anticipated his confusion. "It's also travelling at lattice speed, Commander." It was highly unusual. Quantum said as much as he sidestepped the asteroid and booted his engines to maximum. Soon the asteroid disappeared, but just as quickly reappeared on the starboard side. "I can't shake him," said Quantum. "Is there any immediate danger?" asked Lapinette. "No," responded Quantum in an annoyed voice. "Just leave him then," said Lapinette. Quantum chuckled. "I believe we have no crater enemy."

Wednesday, February 03, 2021

1. The Wabbit and the Unobtainable Item.

The Wabbit caught up with Lapinette at the Crocetta Market where she was totally absorbed in shopping. "Don't like that one," she muttered, "Oh, but that one's nice." The Wabbit paused for a while and listened, smiling to himself. Lapinette could spend all morning at Crocetta Market. Sometimes she bought a mass of things and sometimes nothing at all. The Wabbit was totally different and there wasn't much there for the likes of the Wabbit. No unobtainable jazz albums, no small tools that he could keep in his fur. Just ladies clothes. The Wabbit crept behind a nearby stand and watched her. He decided to play a joke. Dropping his voice to an audible whisper he hissed, "I am the Ghost of Crocetta Market and I command you to buy the largest hat you see." Lapinette didn't turn a hair. "I can see you Wabbit, you're reflected in a mirror." The Wabbit effected disappointment. "Found anything nice?" he said. "I found Bix Beiderbecke's debut album, playing with the Wolverines," said Lapinette. "That's impossible!" replied the Wabbit. Lapinette laughed a quiet laugh. The Wabbit half turned as if to go and find it - but turned back. "You're joking me," he said. "I am!" smiled Lapinette. The Wabbit watched her as she continued shopping. "I feel a new adventure coming on," he said. "That's nice," said Lapinette. She continued shopping. "Monsters galore!" continued the Wabbit. "There's a nice jacket here with monsters on the front," murmured Lapinette. The Wabbit pretended excitement. "It's a start."

[When Bix Beiderbecke played with the Wolverines, a 78rpm record had an insufficient 3 minute play time]

Monday, February 01, 2021

The Wabbit's Adventure Caffè

The gang all met up at Luigi's famous restaurant to discuss what kind of adventure they just had. Skratch was early for once and he led the discussion. "I must say that was an excellent example of a mystery." Wabsworth appeared puzzled. "What, no semiotics, Monsieur Skratch?" Skratch meaowed, "I was getting to that. It was realism, perception and truth." Lapinette stifled a grin. "What, all three at the one time?" Skratch paused. "The box is a robust sign, and its real purpose is to open the gates of the unconscious." The Wabbit was desperate to get started. "Thus entering the realms of obscurity, meaningless and chaos?" Lapinette waved her arms. "Only partially, because it was a battle between good and evil." Wabsworth chimed in. "Yes, we wouldn't want psychology to destroy the mystery of magic." Lapinette tut tutted, shook her head and continued. "Yet, the story was deeply symbolic. I couldn't help thinking of Pandora's Box. When you opened the box, all evil flew out - but there was hope left inside." "I shouldn't have thrown it away then!" said the Wabbit. Lapinette sighed. "I think the box will get on just fine on its own. Zeus will look after it. There's no way to escape the will of Zeus." Skratch was very happy with this. "That box represents your unconscious, Wabbit." Wabsworth wanted the last word. "And no matter how complex the box's decorations, it's symbolic worth lies in what it contains. To open it - is to take a risk." The Wabbit thought for a minute. "Any risk of a drink round here?"