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]