Wednesday, December 27, 2023

5. The Wabbit and Lapinette's Possibilities

The Wabbit retraced his hops to the car park. It was where he'd first seen Lapinette and he thought he'd pick it up from there. He stomped along in the manner of a detective he'd seen on television. Then he saw her. She was gliding though the car park on electric air. But she was different. Her face shimmered in the harsh glare of the lights. Her frock hung lazily. Not to mention her position - as if she were about to jump onto a moving train. It was then that he realised he seen this before. It was on the Ghost Inspectre subway. A daring Lapinette had dived on the train and he remembered for a second she was transfixed, pixelated by the carriages as they shuttled along. Then it passed. What had she said at the time? A possibility dimension? He tucked his paws in his fur and followed. If she was a ghostly spectre from the past - and it was a possibility - he'd better act like a spectre and haunt. He flattened against the wall and moved stealthily. His ears pricked up. She was humming a tune. "Ghostly, ghastly, ghostly, ghastly. Don't touch the walls, the walls, the walls." The Wabbit stepped away with speed. But not before he felt the clammy gasp of possibility on his shoulders. "I can't possibly put up with this," he gasped. He shrugged off possibilities and kept on the trail. He decided to chance it. "Lapinette!" His voice scraped down the walls. Possibilities squealed. The figure turned, waved at the Wabbit, mouthed "impossible" - and vanished.

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

4. The Three Fates at the Whisky Bar

Wabsworth was master of the keys and he tinkled the ivories as Tipsy, Mitzy and Fitzy swayed to the rhythm of Brecht. "There's no whisky in this bar," yelled Tipsy. Mitzy moved from left to right. "Wabsworth has whisky and he doesn't even like it." They swayed in unison like the Ronettes. "He has an algorithm for Scotch," they sang. Wabsworth hit a discordant note. "There's no Lapinette in this bar! She can't be far; she can't be far." They changed positions. Tipsy stepped to the front. "No-one knows anything about this adventure. So pass me. The whisky. I must have it, it inspires, you know why." "Pass it. Pass it. We know why," echoed Fitzy and Mitzy. Wabsworth his paws flying across the keys, shifted chords and played Alabama song like the Doors. "Where is the Wabbit?" slurred Tipsy. "At the next whisky bar," said Fitzy. "It's not far," said Mitzy. "It's round the corner from the Spar," chanted Tipsy. Fitzy crossed her legs at an impossible angle. The scent of whisky hung in the air. Wabsworth paws flew and suddenly he sang. "Show me the way to the next lovely girl." Mitzy's eyes flashed. "Your good old Mama. That's me!" She lurched sideways into Tipsy's paws and was propelled across the dance floor. "And now we say goodbye!" Tipsy, Fitzy and Mitzy swayed through the nearest exit. Wabsworth grinned and stood. He swept his fur back, closed the lid of the piano, turned to an imaginary audience and said, "If you enjoyed that, tell my agent." Ghostly applause filled the room. Then to the accompaniment of ethereal cheering, he hopped through the same exit.

Thursday, December 21, 2023

3. Lapinette and her Personal Guard

Lapinette gathered her personal guard and headed out to help the Wabbit. They crowded beside her as they'd been instructed to keep away from the side windows. "Keep your weapons inside the truck," yelled Lapinette, "We're in the centre of Rome, don't get mixed up with any tourists." They resembled a mass of darting eyes, looking for prey. The truck hurtled from the doorway of the building they had on loan for a few months until they were ready to make a permanent transfer. When Lapinette drove, the truck seemed to fly. The wheels hardly touched the ground as they coasted the streets near the castle. Fast as a magnet, they scorched a route across the tarmac and the short distance to the market where the Wabbit was last seen. "What the fried fish happened here?" gasped Fitzy. "Flirk, flack, fluck a tluck," lisped Mitzy. It was the closest to swearing as Lapinette's personal guard ever got. All except for Tipsy. "Mosquitos buggered shitweasel!" Lapinette was turning red as she threw on the brakes. "Split up, you strump muppets. Find the Wabbit!" They all leapt out. Brandishing weapons high in the air, they vanished. "Strewth. That felt like herding cats," said Lapinette. She grabbed her automatic, dropped down from the truck and headed into the market. 

Monday, December 18, 2023

2. The Wabbit at San Silverio Market

His radio calls were futile and the Wabbit searched all night. Evening turned to morning and still there was no sign of Lapinette. The walkie talkie maintained an obstinate silence. He circled round. He walked the length and breadth of San Silvario Market and went all the places where Lapinette might go, but still no luck. He was about return to HQ when the radio burst into life. "Commander?" asked Wabsworth, "Where have you been? We've been trying to get you." The Wabbit growled into the mouthpiece. "I've been here all the time. Via Gregorio VII." The radio crackled. "We swept by there and there was no sign of you. But I have Lapinette here," said Wabsworth. "She's been looking for you." Lapinette breathed into the radio. "Where are you now, Wabbit?" The Wabbit was getting annoyed. "San Silvario market, where we were the day before yesterday." Everyone sounded puzzled. "Sounds like you're in a time shift sort of thing," suggested Lapinette. "It's certainly some sort of thing," replied the Wabbit. "Were you in the supermarket yesterday evening?" Lapinette sounded miffed. "No. I was here until late, working on your Dinosaur Fund accounts." The Wabbit was astonished. "Well, your double was over here, laden down with Christmas shopping." "The devil's in the retails," laughed Lapinette. "I hope she got something nice." The Wabbit had to smile. "Put the team together, Lapinette. Is your personal guard available?" The Wabbit heard gunfire at the other end. "They're troubleshooting," said Lapinette. 

Friday, December 15, 2023

1. The Wabbit and the City

On his way to the supermarket, the Wabbit scurried across Via Gregorio VII. This he accomplished at great speed, thinking it was the most dangerous thing he did. Even facing the Agents of Rabit armed with the latest weaponry couldn't inspire the tension he felt. He dodged SUVs, vans, mopeds. bicycles and e-scooters and thought if he stayed still long enough, someone would probably park on his head. He hopped out of the way as a vehicle backed up, and felt under his fur for his automatic. But it was just an elderly lady with a too-big vehicle. He reached the ramp for the supermarket and was halfway down before he realised it wasn't the pedestrian entrance. He forged on and made his way through the parking area. Up ahead he spotted a familiar figure, laden down with Christmas shopping. It was Lapinette. "Lapinette, let me give you a helping paw!" His shouts were drowned by noise and bustle from above. He quickened his pace, to no avail. He took a short cut, but lost sight of her. "Where the binky did she go?" Another SUV moved across his path, blocking his vision. He thought he saw her again, but it was someone else entirely. He turned a corner. Lapinette was gone. He took out his radio but the signal was weak. He retraced his steps, glancing from right to left. When he was at street level he put in an urgent call ... 

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

The Wabbit goes to his Adventure Caffè

The team walked through the market in search of a snack bar, because the Wabbit insisted it was there. He jumped on a bench and executed a perfect a Highland Fling. Lapinette thought he looked precarious and held out her paws for safety. Wabsworth laughed and imitated the Wabbit as only an android could.  Skratch prowled at the back, gesticulating as usual. "What was that for a sort of adventure?" His tail flicked in anticipation. Visitors to the market disregarded these strange activities. Wabsworth took in the sights and smells, trimming his algorithms appropriately. The Wabbit jumped down, much to Lapinette's relief. Skratch meaowed mightily and caught up. "What was that for a sort of adventure you just had?" Wabsworth held up his paws and did a jig. "What lies in the semiosphere for us, Skratch?" Skratch purred. "Anything set in a cave deals with the unconscious." The Wabbit stopped clowning. "Caves and tunnels illustrate the lived experience of the psyche and the transpersonal." Wabsworth knew the Wabbit was trained in Zurich. "Ha! It puts the depth in depth psychology." Lapinette identified the book at once. "That's The Illustrated Dark by Christopher Lee." Skratch's nose twitched. "The actor or the author?" Wabsworth fell about laughing. His database was big enough to reveal the answer. Lapinette addressed the Wabbit. "Since leaving the cavern brings us to enlightenment, are you enlightened enough to find this Caffè?" The Wabbit jumped on the bench again. He pointed, shading his eyes in the manner of an explorer. "Over there."

[Thanks to: The Illustrated Dark: Cinema Soul and Shadows. Christopher Lee Miller]

Thursday, December 07, 2023

10. The Wabbit and the Aftermath

They were just coming back through one of the tunnels they'd found. They left the Agents confused. Wabsworth had administered a serum he'd been developing in the Wabbit's shed. He assured the Wabbit they wouldn't remember a thing - not their organisation, not why they were there, nothing. It would take an army of shrinks to get them back to normal. As they rounded a corner, Lapinette noticed the Wabbit's double agent, Major Spitlove, standing in a corner. He wasn't pleased. "Do you know how long it took me to train these Agents?" Wabsworth laughed. "As long as it will take you to put them back together." Spitlove stamped a foot and howled in protest. "It's no good moaning, Major," said the Wabbit, "That's how it works in the trade." Lapinette smiled. "It's a good thing your space-time machine only worked as long as it did, Wabsworth. It probably turns their brains to scrambeloni." Spitlove looked puzzled. "What's scrambeloni?" The Wabbit grinned. "What I ask for in fancy restaurants to wind up the waiters." Major Spitlove was sick and tired of being the Wabbit's double agent - and he said so. Lapinette nodded. She knew the Wabbit was hard work. But Wabsworth chimed in. "Oh, he's quite good fun!" Lapinette snorted, waved her paws and mouthed, "quack quack quack." Spitlove looked at Wabsworth for explanation. Wabsworth shrugged. "Lapinette is saying the Wabbit quacks us up."

Tuesday, December 05, 2023

9. The Wabbit and Trouble in the Tunnel

Several rough Agents herded them into a tunnel. They were small of stature, but unlike other Agents, they seemed to have a modicum of intelligence. And they were none too gentle. The Wabbit saw blood on the tunnel floor. Wabsworth gave him the nod. "Fake," he whispered. The Agents had their weapons and for the first time in ages, the Wabbit wasn't quite sure what to do. But Wabsworth had more than a clue. "Lie doggo," he whispered. "I have a plan." The Agent gave Wabsworth a vicious kick. Wabsworth let out a fake cry. But Wabsworth had something up his sleeve. The electric shock machine was all but forgotten but Wabsworth remembered its effect when he'd connected it through his positronic memory. He touched an Agents foot. The Agent gasped then fell. The others gathered round and tied to drag him to his feet. They got a shock when they did and soon, they all lay prone. Lapinette and Wabsworth got to their feet. Lapinette tried not to slip in the fake blood. "Mind the fake blood," shouted Wabsworth. But it was too late. The Wabbit fell in it. Wabsworth grinned. "How ethical was that shock?" The Wabbit shook his head. "I think the spark between us has gone." Lapinette snorted. "The Wabbit thinks he's very funny. What are we going to do with these fellows?" "More of the same?" suggested the Wabbit. Wabsworth giggled. "They'll be ecstatic." Lapinette grinned. "Shocks ain't what they used to be."

Thursday, November 30, 2023

8. The Wabbit and the Agents in Disguise

Wabsworth hopped out into the dimly lit cavern. He looked ill at ease - or that's the way it seemed to the Agents of Rabit, The Agents were dressed as the Wabbit's personal guard and they'd made a fist of it. But they couldn't replicate the drunken charm of the originals. Wabsworth stuck his paws in the air and made as if he was shivering wreck. "Please don't hurt me," he whimpered, "I'm only an android." That was the signal. While the lead Agent was distracted, the Wabbit fished out a cache of C4 he always carried in his fur and launched it over the heads of the Agents. The lead Agent dropped his pistol and tried to catch the explosive, but it landed behind them. It sent a shock wave designed to stun and the Agents fell senseless to the ground, all except for the chief. He hopped back a little, then a little more. The Wabbit stepped out. "Where are the rest?" The Agent froze. Wabsworth picked up his automatic and shoved it in his coat. "Tell us now or we'll squeeze it out of you." Lapinette emerged and played Ms Nice Wabbit. "Leave him alone, Wabsworth, I'm certain if we give him biscuits, he'll tell us all he knows." The Agents nearly smiled. "The rest are a level below. Can I have my biscuits now?" Lapinette grimaced. "I lied." But the Wabbit dug in his fur and produced a biscuit, which was rather the worse for wear. " How many?" The Agent munched the biscuit. Crumbs scattered on the floor. A door opened and several armed Agents stepped into the cavern. "Paws up!" They marched forward. "Quite a few," smiled the Agent.

Monday, November 27, 2023

7. The Wabbit and the Mouth of Darkness

The machine brought them to the mouth of Orca and its strange inscription. "Ogni Pensiero Vola." The Wabbit snorted. "All thoughts fly." He shook his head like a donkey. "All good thoughts are conceived when hopping. In you go, Wabsworth." Wabsworth half laughed. "It's always the android that gets these jobs." But he hopped in. He paused to look back and gave a thumbs up, then he was swallowed by darkness. The Wabbit shrugged. "I think I've seen this in the movies." They readied their weapons and listened. They heard twigs breaking, but they both knew they weren't twigs. They waited what seemed like an age until Wabsworth suddenly reappeared. He shrugged. "I was set upon by two thugs. I took care of them." Lapinette shuddered. "What's it like?" asked the Wabbit. "Dark," said Wabsworth, "but you get used to it." He gestured for them to enter and they made their way into the darkness. The walls were dark, damp and somewhat sticky. Matter trickled from the roof like molasses. There was a deep penetrating smell, like a fertiliser factory in a heatwave. They moved deeper into the mouth. Lapinette waved her gun at the darkness. She had the best sight and the most sensitive hearing. "Down these steps, and to the right. I can hear them snickering." She led the way down the stairs. They came upon a dank cavern. Their whispers echoed in the gloom. The Wabbit grinned. "Some idiot's repeating what we say ... "

Thursday, November 23, 2023

6. The Wabbit and Proteus of the Park

Still clutching his machine, the Wabbit reached Monster Park. He stood with Lapinette in a small dais, looking at a statue of Proteus. He was nonplussed. He thought he would arrive at Orco's mouth. Lapinette gazed at Proteus. "Haven't I seen you before?" said the Wabbit. "I doubt it," said Proteus. "I am becalmed here in this ghastly place." The Wabbit looked around. "It doesn't look so bad." Proteus looked pained. "All day, every day I suffer the gaping tourists." "I know what you mean!" responded the Wabbit. "Don't get him started," groaned Lapinette. She slapped her forehead with a paw. But Proteus couldn't be stopped. "I'm entrapped here in this ghastly statue. But I least I have my fish." The fish statue moved forward at speed, surprising Wabsworth who'd been gently stroking its head. "What say you, mechanical rabbit?" boomed Proteus. "I know all things, past present and future," said Wabsworth." "So do I," said Proteus, "we must chat." The Wabbit tilted his head. "Then have you seen any strange rabbits. Awkward of gait and of repellent aspect." Proteus laughed. "They make a snickering sound unpleasant to the ear?" The Wabbit nodded. "They passed this way only yesterday," said Proteus. "They were trying to change their form but all were as shallow as pans." The Wabbit and Lapinette exchanged glances. They waved, then the Wabbit pressed the red button ... 

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

5. The Wabbit and Spitlove's Surprise

It was a balmy day. The grass waved in a gentle breeze. The Wabbit sniffed the air. "Spring." They looked at the structure. "A place of power," murmured Lapinette. "It's been here rather a long time. Many springs have passed." Wabsworth nodded as if they should know. They looked into the distance and observed an Agent coming down the hill towards them. "He shouldn't be able to see us!" The Wabbit wasn't happy. The Agent kept coming and then when he was a few metres away, he stopped. "Hello Commander." The Wabbit finally got it. It was Major Spitlove, his double agent. "Spitlove, I was not informed of your location. What happened to your eyes." Spitlove blinked. "Contact lenses. Don't worry, my fellow agents can't see you. With these, I can though." Lapinette got annoyed. "What's going on, Spitlove?" Spitlove considered. He didn't like to give anything away. "You probably got a message about Monster Park." They all nodded in agreement. "The Agents are planning an incursion dressed as the 400 Rabbits." The 400 constituted the Wabbit's personal guard. "They're practicing now," said Spitlove, "They're not terribly good, but they could cause an incident." They heard shouting. "They're active," said Spitlove. "Better be on your way. See you in the summer." The Wabbit nodded and checked with Lapinette. "Still got the chestnuts?" She nodded. The Wabbit grinned and pressed the red button. 

Saturday, November 18, 2023

4. The Wabbit and the Winter Zone

The Wabbit grabbed the box from Wabsworth. Lapinette winced, because it had a red button, and she knew that Wabbit would press it. His paw hovered. Then he did exactly that. The scene changed. It was cold. Sunny, but icy cold. They shivered. All except for Wabsworth, but he shivered to keep them company. Winter light pierced every corner. Stones looked down with an indifferent gaze born of four thousand years of staring. Tramp tramp tramp. A marching sound caught their attention. Three Agents of Rabit advanced. A scout team. But they hopped right through them. Shivers turned to shudders. "Don't worry. They can't see you," said Wabsworth. "They know something is afoot but there's nothing visible." The Wabbit kicked a rock and it trickled along the path. The Agents looked round, but saw nothing. The Wabbit suppressed a  snigger. His twenty-eight teeth snickered. "Wabsworth, how long does this effect last?" asked Lapinette. Wabsworth shrugged. "I never had time to test it - but as long as we keep believing in it, it should hold for a few hours." Then Lapinette recalled the chestnuts. She didn't know why, but the Wabbit had suggested they pick them up and she knew she had one under her frock. She rummaged. But just as she found it the Wabbit decided to press the red button. "No!" she yelled. But the scene was already changing.  

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

3. The Wabbit in an Alternative Space

It wasn't quite a wrench. Neither was it a pull. But two paws moved both Lapinette and the Wabbit to a different space. They both blinked. There was a smiling Wabsworth holding a strange box. But the scene had changed. They were outside. Everything was brown like it was autumn. Icy fronds hung from trees. Boulders were covered in moss. "Like it?" queried Wabsworth. They looked around. "Where are we?" asked Lapinette. "What's that box?" asked the Wabbit. "This is the inside of the outside, or the outside of the inside. It makes no difference. It's a quantum thing," grinned Wabsworth. "I had to remove you from danger, everything is the same as it was. "Very pretty," scowled Lapinette, "But we were creeping up on the Agents of Rabit. "You were going round in circles," said Wabsworth, "These are an elite squad of Agents, well versed in time travel." Lapinette gasped. "They come from the future?" Wabsworth grinned. "Not exactly." Water dripped behind the Wabbit and joined a small stream which seemed to flow upwards. "This is an alternative space I created," said Wabsworth. "The other universe which you left is contained in this box." The Wabbit laughed. "Don't let it out, it was awful." "I can't keep it here for long," said Wabsworth, "It gives us a breathing space. I only have this, then winter, spring and summer. After that it expires." The Wabbit marched up and down, thinking. "It's autumn. Are there chestnut trees?" Wabsworth nodded and fiddled with his box. The Wabbit looked on the ground. With a lopsided grin, he said, "Divide and conker?"

Monday, November 13, 2023

2. The Wabbit and the Enchanted Caveway

Lapinette and the Wabbit travelled to Monster Park. They were there before anyone else but decided to start anyway. "I don't remember this passageway," groaned the Wabbit. "We're supposed to be sneaking up on them!" Lapinette was tetchy and so was the Wabbit. The cave was damp and cold, despite being pretty. Water dripped down the walls. Leaves lay on the ground. Colours were vaguely psychedelic. The Wabbit swept the area with his snazer. "Are you sure this is the right place?" Lapinette wrinkled her nose. "I can smell them." The acrid odour of the Agents of Rabbit assailed Lapinette's sensitive nostrils. The Wabbit could smell them too. His nose twitched in protest. "Quiet!" Lapinette heard something. They flattened against the wall but kept going. Lapinette was philosophical. "They could be anywhere in this maze. Smells travel this way and that." The Wabbit whispered. "I recall there were Agents here before. Not the best troops in the world but they were here." They travelled down the cavern. "Wabsworth should be here soon," said Lapinette. "He has our coordinates and a built-in automated direction finder." The Wabbit nodded, then shivered in the cool air. Something dropped in an adjacent cave. They froze. A shadow fell across the cave. A figure stepped in front of them ...

Wednesday, November 08, 2023

1. The Wabbit and the Historical Question

The Wabbit was perusing a painting in the Museo del Risorgimento. He laughed to himself. "Risorgimentos always involve people kicking seven bells out of each other!" All the same it was extremely exciting and he kept a straight face. But what the Wabbit liked about this room was the light. It struck the wall at a very particular angle and made all the paintings sit up. "Wabbit, Wabbit!" His reverie had been disturbed. Lapinette came piling into the room with sparkling eyes and a flushed face. "Phew I'm glad you're here, Wabbit. You're needed back at the Department." The Wabbit gaped. "Didn't I fill in my travel claim properly?" Lapinette pirouetted across the room. "Nothing like that. It's the Agents of Rabit. There's been an incursion just north of Rome." The Wabbit waited to hear more. "What kind of incursion?" Lapinette stamped her foot and then the other one. "An incursive incursion! They all came swarming out of that folly that you like." "The Mouth at Monster Park?" suggested the Wabbit. "That's the one," said Lapinette, "Agents pretended to be monsters and no one noticed for a while. Tourists thought it was a Monster Park experience. Until they got kidnapped." The Wabbit considered the matter carefully. "They toy with daemons." The Wabbit didn't like tourists and felt they got what they deserved. He heaved a sigh. "Better get down there. Assemble a team. Evacuate remaining tourists." Lapinette wheeled to go. "Where shall we send them?" The Wabbit shrugged. "Somewhere they understand. The Leaning Tower of Pizza."

Monday, November 06, 2023

The Wabbit's famous Adventure Caffè

The team made its way to a Caffè well known to the Wabbit. But to his horror, the place was surrounded by roadworks and hoardings indicating Torino was changing. The Wabbit snorted. "If a few trucks and a hole in the road represents change then I'm a Dutch Uncle." Lapinette laughed. "What is a Dutch Uncle?" The Wabbit thought for a minute. "Someone who sternly disapproves of everything." Wabsworth giggled. "That's you!" Wabsworth was an android copy of the Wabbit and as such had developed sub routines to avoid getting too much like him. Lapinette shook her head. "They're trying to get rid of the mould, Wabbit" The Wabbit sniggered. "Could have fooled me." Skratch arrived at the back, late as usual. "Aren't you going to ask the question?" "I'll ask it." said Lapinette. "What was that for a sort of adventure we just had?" Skratch meaowed long and hard. "It was riposte to global warming. Global warming debates are typified by folk devils and moral panics." Wabsworth butted in. "I thought that was about Mods and Rockers." Everyone was taken aback. How could Wabsworth know about Mods and Rockers? "The same rules apply," shrugged Skratch. "An over reaction to social problems which amplifies through continual reiteration." Lapinette pouted. "Succinct, but moral panic doesn't explain everything. Contextualization demands that we use figurational approaches. The Wabbit interrupted. "Wabsworth has identified a table and I'm having a moral panic about prosecco." Skratch chuckled. "Where's your folk devil?" The Wabbit paused. "In the detail."

Thursday, November 02, 2023

5. The Wabbit and the Problem Pumpkin

The Wabbit rummaged in his fur for quite a long time. Then he pulled out two fire extinguishers he'd found in a market. "Got any vinegar?" Lapinette put a hand down her frock and pulled out a family size bottle of acetic acid. It didn't take long to mix it thoroughly and charge up the extinguishers. The mould monster didn't know what to make of it. But when the Wabbit fired an extinguisher off the monster was aghast. Mould disappeared and so did the foul odours. Lapinette continued to clean up. When the mould had all gone, all that was left was a pumpkin. "You're just an ordinary pumpkin!" yelled the Wabbit. He threw down his extinguisher. It clanged on the rocks. Lapinette exclaimed, "Quite an ugly pumpkin." The pumpkin looked ashamed. "I'm nice inside." The Wabbit laughed. "Are you sure you're not mouldy." The pumpkin gave a little Hallowe'en dance. "Lovely are my seeds. They make a cracking Haitian joumou." The Wabbit picked up the extinguisher, stuck it in his fur and shrugged his shoulders. "Juju more like." Lapinette took pity on the poor pumpkin. "Let's all do a late wee Hallowe'en dance for the Day of the Dead." They joined paws and danced across the rocks. Lapinette hummed a Mexican tune. "What is that dance, Lapinette." The Wabbit grinned. "La Danza de los Diablos," sang Lapinette. The Wabbit and the pumpkin laughed. "God sends food," cried the Pumpkin. "And the devil sends cooks!" nodded the Wabbit. 

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

The Wabbit and a Bunnyman Hallowe'en

The question on everyone's lips was, "Would the Bunnyman put in an appearance this year?" It had always been a joke - or so they thought. They snuck into the film museum, camped out near the top of the ramp  - and waited. They heard footsteps. They heard a heavy object swishing. They felt eyes looking at them. The Wabbit felt along the shaft of his axe. An image of Jack Nicholson unfurled from the darkness. It growled. "Here's Johnny! I am the Bunnyman." The Wabbit half turned. "It's a publicity stunt. He's not the real Bunnyman." The lips moved. Teeth grimaced. "Oh but I am, Wabbit. You don't get realer." Lapinette bounded forward. "You're just a caretaker." Johnny bared his teeth. "Gonna take care of you, little rabbit. And him. Particularly him." He nodded at Skratch. "Intertextuality indeed. You know nothing, cat." He snarled. Wabsworth commented from the side, as only he could. "The Bunnyman is both horror and melodrama. The hesitation of the uncanny, mediated by the marvelous." Skratch was nervous but he grinned. "The marvelous is merely a response to other discourses. As indeed you respond, masquerading as the Bunnyman." The image howled. "But I am the Bunnyman masquerading as Jack Nicholson, a mere player on a stage." The Wabbit turned fully and hit the curtain with his axe. Lapinette followed with well-chosen swings. The image parted and closed again. Now there was no picture. Only a growling voice remained. "See you next year, Wabbits. But I'll be watching you." The Wabbit breathed a sigh of relief. His heart was beating. It was hard not to pant. Wabsworth spoke. "Jung said ghosts were consciousness without the brain."  Lapinette laughed. "No brain, no gain."

Friday, October 27, 2023

4. The Wabbit and the Mould Monster

The Wabbit and Lapinette moved to another bridge and were just crossing. It was all too sudden for the Wabbit to notice. Lapinette tried to alert him, but the mould monster was already at her heels. It was made of the mouldiest mould with two glaring eyes attached by flaps of skin. It looked like Hell - but didn't sound like much. Just the barest of whooshy slitherings and the occasional belch. "Wabbit, it's the monster!" The Wabbit was looking the other way, "I hope it's credible!" He turned, aghast, "It is credible!" He was rooted to the spot. So was the monster. It mumbled in a spooky way, "Yuk, Rabbits. yeuch." His eyes dangled. The stench was awful. "You smell," said Lapinette, "It's you rabbits that smell," retorted the monster. "I am Mould of Mould Manor." His eyes swung on their flaps, "Where's that?" asked Lapinette. Mould monster laughed long and hard. "Under your paws. I live under the shallow streets. I live under the cobbles. I live on apartment walls. I live in wood, cardboard, tiles... " "That's enough living," shouted the Wabbit. "Go back where you came from." Vile odours swirled round the bridge, Lapinette held her nose, The Wabbit tried to move but he was stuck in its mouldy grip. "I'm going to grow and grow and grow!" yelled the mould. The Wabbit's eyes watered. His face turned red. He started to sneeze. "Gotcha," said the mould. Lapinette spoke under her breath, "We need vinegar and lots of it." The Wabbit wiped away the tears. "We're in enough of a pickle already."

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

3. The Wabbit and the Smell on the Bridge

They strolled down to the iron bridge. The Wabbit had always liked it there, despite the general grottiness and disparate population. He sniffed. "It's here too." Lapinette scowled. "It's often pongy here!" The Wabbit sniffed again and strolled on. Then it was on them. A cloud of such noxiousness it was hard to believe. Multicoloured vapours surrounded them. They might even have been pretty, but it certainly looked like mould. The smell was appalling. It was more than musty. It was an appalling blend of wet hound and rancid cheese. The Wabbit covered his nose. Lapinette shrieked. "Poo, bum smell!" It was unusual for Lapinette to use any kind of bad language, but the Wabbit could only agree. "Smells like a thousand sweaty asses." Lapinette wrinkled her nose in disapproval. She pointed. "It comes from over there!" The Wabbit looked at where the river was marshy. Hundreds of mouldy jets poured liquid filth into the air accompanied by tuneless humming. "The devil take it," yelled the Wabbit. "Maybe you're right," shrieked Lapinette. "It is a monster." The Wabbit growled. "It's going to make an appearance." Lapinette shrank back. "And a credible one." The Wabbit grabbed Lapinette's paw and dragged her from the bridge. But the mouldy vapour followed them. Humming turned into a howl. Thick fumes surrounded them, ripe as tripe. "Let's get this drunken skunk!" shouted Lapinette.

Friday, October 20, 2023

2. The Wabbit in the Recording Studio

The Wabbit was really worried about the mould. He communicated his worry to Lapinette. Now Lapinette was really worried about the mould. She rightly said that mould could kill and should be eliminated at once. So together they passed by the nearby RAI recording studies to record a warning message. The Wabbit located himself in a recording booth and Lapinette lounged in a nearby seat. "Have you got your script?" The Wabbit flounced and said he didn't need one. "Everyone needs a script," said Lapinette. The Wabbit began. "About this, er um, mouldy old mould." Lapinette fell about laughing. "I told you so. Give it a proper name. We'll map it out, what do you want to communicate?" The Wabbit thought for a minute. "I want to alert everyone to the deadly dangers of mouldy old mould." "Why?" said Lapinette. "Because it's here and amidst us, getting up our noses with its spores." Lapinette smiled. "So Wabbit, what is there to fear but the smell of a damp rag?" "There's a monster!" yelled the Wabbit," I know it in my fur." Lapinette wanted the Wabbit to be more specific. "What can this monster possibly look like?" The Wabbit waved his arms. "Green and black and enormously furry!" Lapinette tried to draw the Wabbit out. "Do you mean this large furry green and black monster will pursue us through the streets by day and night?" The Wabbit stood up. "Not through the streets, by Binky. It knows the streets. It is the streets!"

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

1. The Wabbit and the Gloopeda Machine

The Wabbit rose early one morning and hopped down Via Po towards the river. He took a breath, but it wasn't the smell he was expecting. Normally he could gulp fresh air, mingled with the tang of the river. But all he could smell was drains. "It's like a thousand wet mops left in a corner for a year." He complained to himself bitterly, which was what he did when things didn't go exactly to plan. Then he saw the truck. It was very brightly coloured and the company name was emblazoned on every surface. "Hmm, Gariglio," he mused. "Never heard of it." He noticed mention of a web site, so he looked it up using his special glasses. He smiled. "I know what the truck is. It's a gloopeda gloopeda machine." A man with big boots came striding from around the corner. The Wabbit nodded to him and recalled an old conversation with a similar operative. "Torino is built on mould," he'd told the Wabbit. "More mould than you can shake a stick at." The Wabbit sniffed. He was allergic to mould. The early morning sun seemed to intensify the smell as if it knew. "Time to move on," he told himself, He hunched his shoulders and continued his walk to the river. But the smell of mould in his nostrils persisted and when he reached the bottom of the cobbled street it was still there. "Lapinette shall hear of this," he murmured. "She knows all about mould." 

Friday, October 13, 2023

The Wabbit's Adventure Caffè

The team sat down at an unfamiliar caffè just to try it. It was a bit strange because the tables didn't quite fit, and they had to sit round a pole that held the umbrella. But they all laughed and said it was an adventure. Skratch wasn't particularly late. He held Sebby the Garibaldi Hat - although Sebby was trying to escape. "I found this hat in this street," he meaowed. "Let go!" yelled Sebby, "I can get around on my own." Skratch laid Sebby down on a chair. "What sort of adventure did you just have?" he purred. "In my opinion," said Wabsworth, "Lukacs and his concept of realism would have been superseded by adding a hat." Lapinette laughed. "You felt Lukacsian theory was missing the vital inclusion of hats?" Wabsworth was perfectly serious. "Hats would have introduced the note of realism that he needed for completion," The Wabbit was not to be outdone. "Plenty of hats in The Leopard." "You're quite right Wabbit," said Lapinette. "It was Piero Tosi who brought us authentic and exquisite hats of the period. Realism was never so well defined." Sebby giggled. "I'm a hat, a hat, an authentic and realistic red hat." He turned over and tried to coax money from passers by. "Donations for the cause!" Skratch grabbed him away. "We're forgetting spectacle and excess." Wabsworth grimaced. "The two are almost synonymous in discursive rapture." They all gasped. The Wabbit leaned back, "I wagered 50 euro on him in the 3.30 at Epsom." "Did he win?" asked Lapinette. She had a glint in her eye. "Yes, he did," winked the Wabbit. "Then you're paying," she chortled. Then they all threw their heads back and laughed and laughed. 

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

7. The Wabbit, and the Perilous Bridge

Sebby the Hat evaded everyone. The Wabbit and Lapinette tracked him down to a bridge across the River Dora. He was yelling, "You'll never take me alive!" He jumped onto the railings and balanced precariously. "He's going to top himself!" shouted the Wabbit. They made a grab for him, but he evaded capture and tottered on the slim railings. Lapinette was breathless. "Sebby, you've got to back to the Museum. This is no place for a Garibaldi hat."  He toppled over a little further and looked down. The Dora threshed. Spray reached the railings. He prepared to jump. "Sebby, you're a hat, not a nineteenth century anarchist." The Wabbit was bellowing above the sound of crashing water. "You can't stop me!" shouted Sebby. A strangely dressed man on a bicycle passed and he looked across. "Not another hat suicide." he mumbled. He cycled on his way. "It's safer in the museum," said Lapinette. "I hate the museum," responded Sebby. The Wabbit sighed and shook his head. "Oh, why don't you come with us?" Sebby grinned as best he could. "With you? On adventures?" Lapinette moved closer. "You have to behave yourself." "And respect authority," said the Wabbit. "Whose authority?" said Sebby with caution. "Mine!" The Wabbit and Lapinette spoke together. Lapinette inched further. "All right then," agreed Sebby. Lapinette grabbed him and tucked him under her frock. "Comfy," breathed Sebby.

Friday, October 06, 2023

6. The Wabbit and the Big Smash

The Wabbit wasn't expecting it. No sooner had he found glass cabinets when something forced the jeep off track. It might have been an old mortar or something as simple as a gust of wind from a window. They were thrown into the air. Sebby the Hat landed upside down on a window ledge. He complained. "This isn't even the right corridor. These are crockery wotnots. I hate fussy wotnots." The jeep lurched. The Wabbit hit a massive pane of glass and stopped. Lapinette's feet whacked the Wabbit on the nose. He held onto the steering wheel nonetheless as he tried to extricate the jeep from the fragments. "Sorry Wabbit!" The Wabbit groaned. "No particular problem." The din was something else. "We did get glassified," yelled Sebby, "I told you." The jeep settled. The noise died. The Wabbit sat upright. Lapinette's took her foot from his mouth. "This isn't even the right museum," she exclaimed. "It was when I tried to come in," replied the Wabbit. "Well, maybe it was the wrong roof." Lapinette picked shards of glass from her frock. "Get back in the jeep, Sebby." She surveyed the scene. "There will be Hell to pay." The Wabbit shook his head. "Think of it as a restructure. Everyone's doing it." Lapinette gripped Sebby on her lap. "Want me to drive, Wabbit?" "Can't do any harm," shrugged the Wabbit. Lapinette looked round again and passed Sebby across. "Not any more." 

Thursday, October 05, 2023

5. The Wabbit and an Extraordinary Entry

The Wabbit changed vehicles because Wabbit 2 was always unfinished. He foresaw trouble and didn't want to damage Wab 1. He snuck along an unusual route, took a service lift, and emerged on the top floor of the Museum of the Risorgimento. Getting down was another matter. He decided to make an extraordinary entry in the hope no-one would believe it. Sebby the Hat had other ideas. "I'm home," he yelled and flew out of the jeep. Lapinette dived after him. "We have to sneak him back and then everything will go back to normal." Her voice was deafening in the still of the hall and the echo bounced down the staircase. There were never many visitors in the museum. The place was deserted. He span the steering wheel and despite the lack of grip the jeep swung to the left and dropped several feet. The engine roared as Lapinette managed to get a grasp of Sebby. She pirouetted and dropped back into the jeep with Sebby in tow. "I'm have the Cross of Military Valour you know." Sebby was more than pleased with himself. The Wabbit scowled. "I've heard enough! You're going back in your cabinet." Sebby the Hat squirmed from Lapinette's grasp, squeezed under the Wabbit's legs, and dropped from the other side of the jeep. "No! I'll never be glassified." The Wabbit slapped a paw to his forehead. "I thought my jokes were bad." Lapinette agreed. "They're woeful but his are worse."

Monday, October 02, 2023

4. The Wabbit and the Accidental Exit

In a second the Wabbit was in his jeep. Lapinette was driving. Sebby the Hat spun wildly in the air. Were they coming or going? The Wabbit hardly knew. He could see a lift intended for the metro but there was no metro in this part of the city. "I came to pick you up." Lapinette span the steering wheel. She just missed one of these awful scooters the Wabbit hated so much. "I was with a knight," said the Wabbit. Lapinette laughed. "Once a price always a prince." "But once a night is enough," replied the Wabbit in a manner that suggested the joke was worn out. "And this hat. It's all the hat's fault." The jeep flew into the air. It was easier to deal with cobbles that way. Sebby was delighted with the turn of events. He giggled with mirth. "What's so funny?" snapped the Wabbit. "I can't tell you off the top of my head," answered Sebby. He giggled again. "Wabbit, I thought you needed rescuing," said Lapinette. The Wabbit nodded grimly. "I did. I think your tour should end, Sebby." Sebby did one of his little dances. "That will be a thousand lire." Lapinette squealed. "Your out of date, Sebby. Anyway, where's the Wabbit's little radio and earphones?" "And my guidebook and brochures," added the Wabbit. Sebby the Hat whizzed back and forth. "That's the thing about hats. Always trying to cover things up." Lapinette couldn't help laughing. "What was your job in the army?" "Entertainer," said Sebby. The Wabbit could smell coffee. "Not catering?" he asked.

Thursday, September 28, 2023

3. The Wabbit and things out of Whack

The Wabbit barely had time to take out his automatic when the scene changed. A horse and knight bore down on him. The horse bit his ear. His automatic flew from his grasp. A muffled bellow came from the knight, and he flailed with his lance. Sebby the Hat span off into the distance and he was yelling. "Wrong horse, wrong battle, wrong war. wrong museum! He turned in the air and sized up the knight as if for a fight. The Wabbit lunged for the automatic. It too turned in the air and pointed back at him. It racked on its own. The Wabbit dived to the side as it snicker-snackered. Everything had gone terribly wrong. Things were mixed up. Time zones, weaponry, personalities - all were out of whack. Sebby had an idea. He landed square on the knight's face. The knight could no longer see. His visor smashed down along with his lance. He pulled his horse up sharply and lost control of his spurs. The Wabbit rolled across the floor and grabbed his pistol. A 9mm round was still 9mm - even in this warped zone. Sebby continued to stifle the knight. The Wabbit fired a warning shot which bounced around and damaged a valuable chandelier. Things subsided. The horse became still. The knight sank as he gave up. "Things are a little too quiet round here," laughed the Wabbit. Sebbit tumbled over to see him and gasped, "I haven't had so much fun since 1860."  

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

2. The Wabbit, the Hat and the Horse

The hat led the Wabbit far and wide across the city until they reached the Museum of the Risorgimento. The Wabbit was curious He knew the museum and had a pass - but no idea about the visit. The hat led the way up the stairs. "Where are we going Sebby?" Sebby bounced along. "We're nearly there!" The room was big. In the middle there was a horseman. The horse snuffled. "Hello Sebby. How's your belly off for spots?" Sebby chortled. "I've brought a friend. His name is Wabbit." The Wabbit felt the need for formality. "Commander Wabbit." The horse laughed. "General Garibaldi at your service." The Wabbit saluted. "How is your good wife, Anita?" The Wabbit had met Anita in his travels. "Long dead," said Garibaldi, "As indeed am I." The Wabbit was a bit puzzled because the horse was speaking for Garibaldi. Sebby did a little dance. "We all take turns to be Garibaldi. I live along the corridor in a display cabinet." The Wabbit grinned. "Good game. Let's go and see that cabinet." The horse snickered and reared. "Can I come?" Sebby laughed. "You're the General!" The Wabbit wasn't sure the horse would go through the door but decided not to worry about it. Sebby led the way. "There are hats and tunics and medals and guns." The Wabbit sniffed the air. He could smell mineral spirits. He looked down the corridor and pondered. "Someone's cleaning guns." He felt for his automatic ...

Friday, September 22, 2023

1. The Wabbit and the Unguided Tour

The Wabbit made up a tour for himself. He just went for the first thing that came into his head and then another and so on. His first site was Superga because he liked to ride the Tramway up the hill. At the top there was a Basilica. It had been the site of many adventures and he stood stock still remembering them all. He murmured like a tour guide. The war with France culminated in the Siege of Turin. Vittorio Amedeo II fulfilled a promise to build a cathedral on the hill if the French were overturned. The Wabbit mulled it over. "Good job too," he thought. But he was pensive. "Many soldiers killed in that war, thousands." He nodded his head. His personal tour was going rather well. He looked up. The sky turned a peculiar shade. Buildings too. "I'm in an old photograph!" he thought. But it couldn't be anything to do with history. The Wabbit was an expert on photography and knew it was invented in the early 1800s. He blinked. Suddenly colour was back. Then it was gone again. Sepia returned. He thought for a while. "Maybe it's me." Then he heard a voice calling. "Wabbit, Wabbit! Follow me." He couldn't see anyone to follow. "Here, here!" He looked down. It was a military hat, more of a cap really. And it was red - a vivid crimson in a sea of sepia. He stooped down to speak to it. The hat looked up, or at least the peak did. "What's your name?" asked the Wabbit. "Eusebio Airoldi." came the reply. "That's a mouthful." said the Wabbit gently. "Call me Sebby," said the hat.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

The Wabbit at his famous Adventure Caffè

The team made its way along Via San Massimo. "It's definitely up this street," said Lapinette. The Wabbit was sceptical but said nothing. Skratch approached from the rear. He was complaining. "Cars come at you from nowhere," he screeched. The Wabbit laughed. "You prefer Rome?" There was silence. The Wabbit knew that Torino was quiet compared to the hustle bustle of Roman cars. "Never mind that," laughed Lapinette. "What was that for a sort of adventure we just had?" Skratch glared balefully at a scooter going the wrong way. "It was rich in symbolism." If Skratch could have fired a bolt of lightning at the scooter, its driver would be a lump of shriveled carbon. Wabsworth snorted. "Greek Gods were nasty. They didn't pull punches." Lapinette grunted. "I'd say they were pragmatic rather than cruel." The Wabbit didn't really agree. "They were cruel to be kind. Punishment usually fitted the crime." Skratch meaowed plaintively "Styx seemed put out by Zeus. But she bore no particular malice." "And he got the water he wanted." added Wabsworth. Lapinette was determined to find the restaurant she wanted. "Try veering to the right," said the Wabbit. They came on a large piazza with many restaurants. "There it is!" cheered Lapinette. "I knew it all along." "God's oath," muttered the Wabbit under his breath. But everyone heard it and laughed and laughed. 

Thursday, September 07, 2023

7. The Wabbit, Lapinette and Dog Days

The Wabbit and Lapinette found themselves at the gate of the museum. There was no sign of Zeus or his Gryphon. Lapinette jumped in the air. "I don't like boats and the sea." The Wabbit nodded. "I don't like rain and wet, it sullies my fur." They pondered a while. "I suppose it was to get away from the Dog Days," said Lapinette. "What are the Dog Days anyway?" The Wabbit was thoughtful. Lapinette pirouetted. "Something to do with the sea. You should know." The Wabbit had seen the film, Dog Day Afternoon and he knew all about Dog Days. But he didn't let on. Lapinette grew more impatient. "Sirius rises," said the Wabbit finally, "It brings lethargy, fever, mad dogs and bank robberies." Lapinette shrugged. "Nothing much then." The Wabbit glanced at the poster. "What's Colori dei Romani?" Lapinette pouted. "Mosaics. I'll be helping." The Wabbit stuck his paws in his fur, "Someone's got to do it, I suppose." Lapinette was silent. "Otherwise, they'd be bits everywhere," added the Wabbit. Lapinette put her paws on her hips. "You think you're very funny, don't you?" "I am funny," said the Wabbit. "That's why I said you'd help." Lapinette smiled. The Wabbit groaned to himself. He knew that small pieces would get in his fur, then they'd be a crisis and a search and a lot of shouting. "I've put you on the edges," grinned Lapinette, "They're latrine mosaics, there will be jokes." "Ah," said the Wabbit. "Like Zeus as a heron cleaning Ganymede's ...." "That's quite enough," snapped Lapinette.

Sunday, August 27, 2023

6. The Wabbit and the Craft of Stone

They made their escape. Styx turned their craft into stone to stop them, but the ship forged ahead with its precious cargo of pure water. Lapinette kept look out on the bow while the Wabbit guided the craft through perilous waters. He hummed a seafaring ditty as he span the wheel. "And the ocean waves do roll, And the stormy winds do blow." Lapinette sighed and shouted instructions. "Left paw down a bit, right paw up a bit! Watch that rock, mind that current. Steady as she goes, now." The Wabbit was oblivious to this, because in the wind he couldn't hear a thing. "I think I see land," yelled Lapinette. The Wabbit was confused. Maybe an accompaniment to his tune "I cannot hear a band," he sang. The waves splattered across the bows covering Lapinette in salty spray. She had no sea legs and was feeling nauseous. She gripped the sides of the vessel. "How do we get the water to Zeus?" The Wabbit had no idea. "We'll wait and see. It's what you do with Gods." Lapinette had the grace to laugh. "Wait and sea?" That seemed to be the magic word. The vessel was gripped by a gigantic force. Mighty talons plucked them from the water. "Water, water everywhere!" said a deep Gryphon voice. Plonked down in Montemartini Museum beside Zeus, they shed brine in all directions. But they'd kept the Styx water safe. "Well done Lapinette and the Wabbit," roared Zeus. "You may join the assembly of deathless Gods." The Wabbit looked at Lapinette and smiled. "After a year's probation," nodded Zeus. 

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

5. The Wabbit and the Styxian Waters

The Wabbit was right about their craft. It let in water then capsized. Lapinette and the Wabbit clambered onto what was left. Clear water from the Goddess Styx splashed upon their heads. "Wherefor goest thou?" murmured the waters. All the Wabbit could hear was tinkling. Lapinette's ears swivelled. "Wherefor goest thou!" shouted the Water. The Wabbit paused and then he spoke. "We're on a mission from Zeus." Water rained down. "He never calls, nor do my sons." The Wabbit thought quickly. "Consider us his emissaries. He tells that you are the greatest body of water in the Universe." "He should come here and tell it to my face," said Styx. Lapinette had waited her turn to speak and now she was most voluble. "All we want is to take back a small vial of your most holy water." Water continued to pour down. "I can't spare a drop." roared Styx. The Wabbit was trying to right the craft and he finally did it. The craft quickly filled with the purest of water from Styx. "Well, we'd better go back and ask Zeus," he hissed. "Good idea," said Lapinette. She started to push the boat into deeper water. The waterfall grew louder and louder. "Tell him his name is mud," yelled Styx. "If I ever see him again, I'll push him under." "Under what?" queried the Wabbit. "Underground," shouted Styx.

Monday, August 21, 2023

4. The Wabbit and the Dread Water

The Wabbit only remembered Zeus clapping his hands. Then they were aboard a barge in the Stygian depths of an underground waterway. Where it went, or where it came from, neither he nor Lapinette knew. "It could be the Styx," said Lapinette. The Wabbit thought back to his mythology classes. "The Styx is Zeus's mother." He shook his head and sighed. Lapinette went on. "He had a thing for his mother." The Wabbit trailed a paw in the water. "Zeus said that all solemn oaths of the Gods should be sworn by this murky gloop." "The dread water of the Styx," grimaced Lapinette. "What does Zeus want us to do?" groaned the Wabbit. He thought of something and smiled. Lapinette jumped from her seat, "Don't you dare, Wabbit!" He was nonchalant though. "I'm not going in there, all my fur would drop off." The barge creaked. It was an elderly makeshift affair, patched here and there. "Maybe this barge wasn't meant to hold together," croaked Lapinette. The barge creaked again and spoke. "Styx lives at the entrance to Hades, propped up with pillars. Zeus demands you fetch her cold, clear water and bring it to him. Otherwise you will be punished." The Wabbit looked aghast. "I never agreed to that." He looked at Lapinette. "Did you?" Lapinette scoffed. "I'm not Iris. Do I look like an Iris?" The Wabbit buried his head and they floated on.

Friday, August 18, 2023

3. The Wabbit and the Arrival of Zeus

Before the Wabbit and Lapinette could think of making their way to a bar, everything changed. The spaceship fragmented into splinters as a giant figure loomed. The Gryphon settled on his shoulder. "Ah, my little hound. Who have you brought for me today?" The figure's voice was gruff. Gryphon was in a bad mood. "Don't speak to me in that tone of voice. I brought you two creatures from the normal world." The Wabbit grimaced. "Normal? I wouldn't say that." The giant figure looked down. "It speaks." Lapinette chimed in. "We speak," she said, "Who are you?" Thunder roared from the giant engines that surrounded him. "I am Zeus. I am head of everything." Lapinette glanced at the Wabbit and they both motioned with their paws. "Big head," mouthed the Wabbit. "Blowhard," signalled Lapinette. "I thought you would like them, your loftiness," said Gryphon. "I don't dislike them," replied Zeus. Silence fell. "You're a meddler," said the Wabbit. "Of the first degree," added Lapinette. "Known for it," said the Wabbit. "Be quiet," said Zeus, "or I'll turn you into rabbits." They laughed. "We are rabbits," said Lapinette. "Don't get beyond yourself," grinned the Wabbit. "You obviously want something, or we wouldn't be here." Zeus shrugged. His shoulders thundered. "I do have a little task. It's not easy to explain." Lapinette growled and her ears twirled. "Go ahead, we've got all day."

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

2. The Wabbit and the Double Encounter

Lapinette and the Wabbit hadn't even reached the market when something happened. They felt a little wet, but it reached only part of their bodies. Lapinette was wetter and she shouted. "What's happening?" They looked up. They were Ice Mice vessels all right and one was directing snow straight at them. The Wabbit shook a fist. "You're not supposed to be in this sector. We had an agreement!" There was no reply. Two more vessels hovered, just as silent as the first. "Something's not right," shivered the Wabbit. "Intelligence said they were in another sector entirely."  Lapinette shrugged and tried to move but she was stuck in the snow. A silhouette fell across the Ice Mice vessels, the shadow of a giant bird. The Wabbit decided to speak harshly to Intelligence. But he left it for later. "Speak, creature!" he yelled. Again there was no response. "Use your universal translator," yelled Lapinette. "It's in for an overhaul," replied the Wabbit. Usually it didn't work, and he had given up. There was a roar. "I am tesh-tesh, the fiery one." He crumpled the vessel like an old tin can. "Respect my tendrils!" shouted tesh-tesh. The Wabbit and Lapinette smiled. "Your tendrils are most fine. Are you a gryphon?" The gryphon unfurled its mighty wings. "I am the multi-cultural gryphon of legend. From Ancient Egypt to Dante to modern folklore." The Wabbit smirked innocently. "You're not a dragon then?" The gryphon snarled. "Don't talk to me about dragons. They are most inelegant and quite rude." Lapinette raised a paw. "We're going to a bar. Would you like a drink?" The gryphon had no hesitation. "I'm partial to a glass of Sangue di Giuda."

Friday, August 11, 2023

1. The Wabbit and Lapinette take a Walk

The Wabbit and Lapinette were having a casual walk in a district they hardly knew. They were enjoying their amble as they made their way to a small market in the heart of the neighbourhood, when Lapinette turned and pointed. "Oh look. A demonstration." The Wabbit scrutinised the posters. " I hope you're not thinking of going." Lapinette shrugged. "Of course!" The Wabbit shrugged too. "Sorry to disappoint, but that demonstration was last year." Lapinette looked again. "It doesn't say the year on it." "I saw it my union journal," said the Wabbit. "It's a consumers organisation campaigning for better treatment of workers." Lapinette had a flash of inspiration. "Yes, I remember now. It's called the Clean Clothes Campaign. Clothing workers are being globally exploited." The Wabbit patted his supersonic fur. "Not guilty," he said, "But where was your mini kilt made? By children in Pakistan?" Lapinette folded her paws. "By children in Scotland!" she shouted. The Wabbit started to laugh - and so did Lapinette. Paw in paw they made their way along the road. Lapinette was curious. "What's the local market like?" "Very small, but with nice things made by local people," replied the Wabbit. "Exploitation free?" Lapinette was on her high horse. "Nothing is," murmured the Wabbit. "I think they have an alcohol-free prosecco bar, though." Lapinette was disgusted. "That's like coming to Italy and eating at McDonalds." 

Saturday, August 05, 2023

The Wabbit and his Adventure Caffè

The team assembled at a Caffè in Testaccio. Drinks had been ordered but you had to get them yourself. The Wabbit grumbled, but Lapinette said she would do it and returned quickly, because sandwiches had to be heated. She leapt into her seat. Skratch arrived and grunted at the empty table. "This isn't what I'm used to," he groaned. Lapinette was far from pleased. "Now look Skratch. I ordered you a tuna and shrimp sandwich. Don't give me grief." The Wabbit giggled quietly. Wabsworth sniggered. "Tell us Skratch, what sort of Adventure did the Wabbit and Lapinette just have?" Skratch meaowed and meaowed. "It was a slight adventure barely worth analysing." Skratch was having a fit of pique because he hadn't been in an adventure for a while. Lapinette pouted and Skratch took his sentiments back at once. "We must turn to Freud and the pleasure principle." Wabsworth scowled. "Nothing could be more annoying. Lacan said it was like hauling words over hot coals. Skratch's eyes shot up. "Good turn of phrase Wabsworth - and probably true." The Wabbit chortled and muttered about spiders. "Speak up, Wabbit," said Lapinette. "The narrator is compared to a spider in Proust and thus to madness," shouted the Wabbit. He could be very opinionated. Lapinette wanted to change the subject. "Shall we hurry up the drinks?" "We'd be mad not to," replied the Wabbit. The Shaman brushed past with tourists in tow. He turned and pointed. "Listen to them and you could learn something."

Wednesday, August 02, 2023

6. The Wabbit and the Domitian Empire.

The Wabbit and Lapinette conferred on the best course of action for the Electric Shaman. Lapinette suggested that tour guide was a good enough option for him, but the Wabbit suggested a new location. After due deliberation they decided on Musei Capitolini. The Wabbit said it was the oldest museum in the world. Lapinette wasn't so sure, but the Wabbit argued that he had a card that got him in free. That clinched it. Capitolini it was. The Electric Shaman took it all in and the Wabbit fixed it with the Director - or Zeus as he called him. They came to a door. "What is this exhibition?" asked the Shaman. The Wabbit grinned. "That's Domitian. He was quite the lad, but Conservative in his way." Lapinette pouted. "Didn't he conquer Scotland." The Wabbit scowled. "No-one ever conquered Scotland." The Shaman scribbled something in a voluminous notebook that magically appeared and just as quickly disappeared. Lapinette nudged the Shaman. "The Wabbit is Scottish you know." The Shaman scribbled Alba in his notebook. "Shall we celebrate your appointment in the bar," suggested the Wabbit. The Shaman's electric cloak brightened even more. "It's upstairs," said Lapinette. "I know where it is," said the Wabbit, "and I know how to get there." The Shaman laughed, and said, "So do I. Let's get the lift." 

Monday, July 31, 2023

5. The Wabbit and the Blue Sky Cubes

The Wabbit thought it best to discourage the Electric Shaman from any mischief, because he felt a headache coming on. He chanced the local pharmacy with the Shaman in tow. He could hear a familiar voice yelling "Yeah, yeah yeah!" and looked up. Lapinette was there and she was bouncing up and down. She seemed to be trying to touch the blue cubes and the Wabbit called out to her. Lapinette looked down and gasped, "Oh, hello Wabbit, what are you doing here?" The Wabbit explained about his headache. Lapinette gasped again "They won't give you anything in here unless you touch the sky." The Wabbit shrugged because there was another pharmacy, and it wasn't far. "Isn't that the Electric Shaman?" said Lapinette. The Wabbit nodded. "I'm a tour guide now," said the Shaman. "Then help me out," said Lapinette. "I have to touch three cubes and they'll let me have some vitamins." The Shaman waved his electric arms, grasped three cubes, and brought them to the floor. Lapinette floated down, picked them up and took them to the counter. "You haven't taken a queue ticket," said the shop assistant. She ducked as Lapinette sent the cubes flying past her head - and produced the vitamins that Lapinette wanted. "Lapinette, I remember you," said the Electric Shaman, "I had you in my cloak." "Not for long," replied Lapinette.

Thursday, July 27, 2023

4. The Wabbit and Arts and Crafts

The Wabbit stepped through a side door in the Metro. He was something of a shaman in his own right, having studied with Don Juan Matus in the Sonora Desert. So he didn't clap his paws or anything so mundane. He merely took the Electric Shaman through a door that breached reality. They emerged in a little-known house somewhere in Rome that once belonged to a group of artists. The Shaman gasped. "These designs, they look like my cloak." The Wabbit smiled. "I knew you'd like it." The Wabbit explained the origins of the house. Once it was very fine, but when a holy order of nuns took it over, it fell upon hard times. Luckily, most of it had been rescued and restored. "This is wonderful," said the Shaman. "I could come here and conjure up medieval knights." The Wabbit cringed. The thought of medieval knights jousting about Rome was worse than gladiators. "Couldn't you conjure up some nice illustrations." The Shaman looked crestfallen. "Where's the fun in that?" The Wabbit had a think. "Look Shaman, there's an awful filling station right in front of this building. It's an eyesore." The Shaman brightened. "Can I set it on fire? Get rid of it?" The Wabbit had one of his ideas. "Round up students, there's plenty in this neighbourhood. Design medieval banners. Block the road. Cause trouble." The Shaman really liked the idea. "What shall we tell the general public?" "Just stop oil," shrugged the Wabbit. 

Monday, July 24, 2023

3. The Wabbit Under the Colosseum

The Wabbit led the way down and the Shaman followed. But when they reached a lower level, he waved his wands. "They're building a Metro under the Colosseum," he laughed. “They’ve not finished it," said the Wabbit, “they've hardly started." The Shaman smiled. There was a flash. Suddenly they were in a Metro. "How do you like it?" The Wabbit groaned. "It looks like Turin. This is the curve from the station." Nevertheless, they both stood and admired the construction. "Up there is my new set of escalators." The Wabbit shrugged. "I guess this is all in your imagination." The Shaman grinned. "No it's quite solid. When the workers dig down, they'll find it's all been done already." The Wabbit shook his head like a donkey. "I don't think you understand industrial relations and the economics of land use." "Oh but I do," said the Shaman. "So I've thrown in a bit of spectacle. Masses of people will come for kilometres just to see this." He waved his wand again. A gladiator appeared and with a rapid slash of his dagger, produced buckets of blood. The Shaman waved once more. The gladiator disappeared. "He'll double as a ticket inspector," he giggled, "with on-the-spot fines." The Wabbit screwed up his eyes under his glasses. "Fines?" "The best bit," said the Shaman, "Death for non-payment." The Wabbit felt it was all too fanciful. "What about the ozone? I can still smell it." They looked around. "I think it's something to do with your gladiator," grimaced the Wabbit. "Oh phooey," replied the Shaman.