Friday, February 24, 2023

The Wabbit and his Adventure Caffè

The team assembled at one of the team's favourite places in Rome. It was a little dark and the Wabbit squinted his eyes. He couldn't see in the dark like Skratch the Cat, and he didn't want to use his super glasses. "Who put the lights out?" he asked. "Perfectly fine for me," replied Skratch. Wabsworth was an android copy of the Wabbit and had no trouble. He'd developed an algorithm for night time vision, but it was green - and sometimes orange. They headed for a table. "What was that for a kind of adventure we just had?" asked the Wabbit. "You were completing art history," decided Skratch. "The toy shop, the lost steam train and the like. Detailing the structure of the objects it seeks to illuminate." Lapinette didn't agree. "Semiotics queries ideas and shapes. Structures are not singular. They are iterative." Wabsworth heaved a sigh. "There's a split between enunciation and what is enunciated. The object so to speak." "The locomotive?" suggested Lapinette. "Not to mention its circumstances," meaowed Skratch," which can never coincide with anything else." The Wabbit was sceptical. "You're treating the locomotive as a work of art." Wabsworth giggled. "I don't think we have a clue what we're talking about." "Does anyone?" asked Lapinette. "I'm seriously talking about a drink," said the Wabbit. They all burst into laughter, when Wabsworth said, "When it comes to the semiotics of drinking, the Wabbit knows his stuff." Lapinette couldn't resist. "It mediates social life." Skratch was to get the last word. "Wine is an index of metropolitan modernity!"

Thursday, February 23, 2023

6. The Wabbit and the Jolly Locomotive

The Wabbit had put in a few calls and called in a few favours. At the top of Superga, the scene was set for the off. Wabsworth arrived for his official duties as a part time railway inspector. The Locomotive looked spick and span as could be. The Wabbit had fished out some tartan paint he'd been keeping for such an occasion and given him the once over. "I could do with a better refit," complained the loco, "My smoke box door is peeling." Locomotive's complaints were as frequent as telegraph poles on a railway journey. "The yard is at the bottom of the gradient," snapped Lapinette. "Stop arguing. Now are you ready?" shouted the Wabbit. He paused. "Are your brakes on?" "They are," said the locomotive. The Wabbit nodded. Steam was up. He checked the regulator and throttle and fiddled around for effect. He pushed the reverser bar forward and opened the cylinder cocks. He gave two blasts on the whistle for forward. Woo, woo! He released the brakes and opened the throttle. Wabsworth blew his own whistle. Lapinette lifted her emergency police stick that she'd found in her frock. The locomotive started to move. Slow at first than faster. "Oh glorious rails! I'd forgotten what they were like," said the loco. He trundled along the track. Wabsworth hopped into the cab. Then Lapinette. "Ticket please!" yelled Wabsworth. "You got to hand it to him," quipped the Wabbit. And the last anyone saw was the locomotive heading down the track ... 

Monday, February 20, 2023

5. The Wabbit and the G-Gauge Bus Lane

The bus interior was covered in smoky grime from the loco's funnel. But it travelled all day until evening fell. Round and round Rome went the bus, until everyone was exhausted. "I think we finally got rid of the Toys of Destruction," said the Wabbit. "Maybe they got rid of us," replied Lapinette. With the help of a band of willing passengers, they pushed the huffing, chuffing locomotive from the bus. Romans were tolerant enough. They'd put up with the smoke and no-one seemed to care about moving a large-scale model steam engine. "This way," said Lapinette. She waved her hands as if granting authority to the locomotive. "He seems to like it," commented Lapinette. "He's old fashioned," said the Wabbit. "He'll be asking for a flag next." "Chluff chluff," agreed the loco and puffed out billowing clouds of steam. "I run on G-Gauge but this lane suits," he chluffed. "How on earth did you find your way into that toy shop?" Lapinette put her paws on her hips and stared at him. "Luck" replied the locomotive. They made their way down the dedicated bus lane. The Wabbit had a quiet word with Lapinette. "We should find him a shunting depot or something." The locomotive's brakes screeched. "Can't you find me a location with a little more style?" Lapinette looked thoughtful. "Wabbit, can you think of anything scenic that would suit our iron-wheeled friend?" The Wabbit turned to look at the locomotive.  "How are your traction skills?"

Friday, February 17, 2023

4. The Wabbit and the Train on the Bus

There was no further incursion from the Toys. Nonetheless, the Wabbit knew the Toys had it in for the locomotive. He and Lapinette decided to get him out of town on the first bus of the day. The locomotive was reluctant. Lapinette waved frantically and do did the Wabbit. "Come on, get on," yelled Lapinette. "Can't I just take a train?" The locomotive wasn't happy. Steam issued from his chimney. "I can't get up on that step." The Wabbit was furious. "Of course you can." The locomotive moved back. "The doors will close on me." Lapinette waved and waved. "Join the rest of the world," she yelled. "I won't fit," yelled the locomotive. The Wabbit and Lapinette got behind him and shoved until he was firmly wedged inside. "Where's the conductor?" said the locomotive. "This is not the 1950s," groaned the Wabbit. He put three tickets in the machine - which he felt was more than enough. "Who's going to drive?" said the locomotive. Lapinette jumped up and down and buried her face in her paws. "I will if I have to," said the Wabbit, "now keep still." At that very moment, they heard a door slam and the sound of the engine starting. They began to move. "Is this bus running on time?" asked the locomotive. The Wabbit was completely exasperated. "No," he said, "It's running on biofuel." For a while, the locomotive was quiet. The bus trundled down the road. The Wabbit looked at Lapinette and she looked back at the Wabbit. The locomotive whispered. "Are we there yet?"

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

3. The Wabbit and the Attack of the Toys

The Wabbit and Lapinette emerged from the Pasticceria Siciliana with the locomotive in tow. The locomotive's whistle was well and truly wet so when the ruckus began, he was taken by surprise. He spewed a gout of steam as he shot into the air. The Toys were fast and their attack was sudden. Crash! A more than life-size doll pushed a truck from the roof with her enormous feet. "Yippee," she cried. "Get these trucks a-truckin'." "I told you so!" shouted the locomotive. He vaulted onto his wheels. "Treacherous devils!" The doll turned her massive head. "We're not treacherous, we're toys. Hence deliciously destructive." The Wabbit's automatic was out and ready, but somehow, he couldn't bring himself to shoot at the toys. He ducked as the truck shot past his head. "These are not nice toys," squealed Lapinette. "Contact the Toy Association," yelled the Wabbit. A wooden plane winged in, but drew short of smashing into the bar." Yikes," yelled the Wabbit, "This isn't fun and games." He tucked the automatic away, took shelter in the bar doorway and watched. The locomotive emerged from a corner alcove. "They don't like me. I'm a scale model." Lapinette laughed. "I don't imagine you as a toy boy." Crash! The Wabbit grimaced as another truck got pushed from the roof. "Toys in the attic, the lot of them."

Monday, February 13, 2023

2. The Wabbit and the Toy Locomotive

The toy shop spanned several windows and so the Wabbit and Lapinette walked further up the street, looking in each one. "I can smell steam," said Lapinette. "So can I," replied the Wabbit. The steam spread along the whole sidewalk. "It's a train," stated Lapinette. "A locomotive, but you're right," said the Wabbit. "Chluff chluff woo," said the locomotive. The Wabbit turned and continued but so did the engine. It butted his behind. The locomotive appeared to have come from the toy shop but it looked too old. It was bent and bashed. Rust hung from its frame. Steam issued from its smoke box door, which was broken and in danger of falling off.  It started to gasp. "I know I'm a bit of a wreck, but I bring a dire warning." The Wabbit wiped smut from his fur and waited for more. The locomotive chluffed and delivered a long wooo. "Beware the treacherous toys!" Lapinette bounced up and down. "Treacherous in what way?" "In a disloyal, misleading, betraying and indeed perfidious kind of way," chluffed the locomotive. "What possible treachery could we expect," grimaced the Wabbit. Smoke billowed everywhere. Lapinette spoke quietly. "And wouldn't we need to trust the toys first?" The Wabbit murmured. "I never trusted them in the first place." Lapinette thought about it. "Not even childhood toys?" The Wabbit grunted. "I had a train set. It was always covering its tracks." He looked at the locomotive. "You need a drink. Wet your whistle?"

Monday, February 06, 2023

1. The Wabbit and the Toy Shop Window

The Wabbit stared in the shop window. He was fascinated with toys and this window was full of ones he liked. He had an assortment of toys in his apartment and there were certain toys he would definitely like to add to his collection. Lapinette crept up behind him. She thought he was so intent on looking at the display, he wouldn't hear her. He pretended not to. She poked him in the ribs. "Have you chosen?" The Wabbit jumped a metre in the air and waved his arms. Lapinette laughed. "Do you remember that wind-up toy rabbit that sprang into the air when you had a visit from a diplomat?" The Wabbit gave a mischievous giggle. "Never saw him again." Lapinette approached the window. "Did you ever wonder what would happen if toys came to life and went malevolent?" The Wabbit nodded. "There's plenty of films, but they never seem convincing." They turned away from the window and set off to the underground station. Lapinette giggled. "What if they were zombie toys? Zombie cars and helicopters?" The Wabbit considered. "Strictly speaking, they wouldn't come to life. They would be undead." He heard a sound from behind him and turned back. He shook his head and shrugged. "Nothing there." Lapinette heard something too but she paid no attention. They didn't see the toy train that chewed his way through the window and down into the shop doorway. "Chluff chluff," said the train. "I heard a chluff," said Lapinette. "Probably a chluffed drain," said the Wabbit.

Saturday, February 04, 2023

The Wabbit and his Adventure Caffè

On a rainy and windswept evening, the Wabbit and his team mustered at Campo de' Fiori. The rain had eased off a little, but the wet cobbles glistened with colour. The Wabbit hated getting wet so he agitated for a restaurant or even a Caffè to be chosen immediately. "Skratch isn't here yet," said Lapinette. "Yes I am!" meaowed Skratch. He'd approached from Via dei Baullari. He had an acquaintance there and so was a little late as usual. The rain dried up altogether and they stood chatting for a minute. Wabsworth posed the question. "What was that for a sort of adventure we just had?" Skratch leaned backwards as only a cat can do. "Typically, skeletons are connotationally regarded as untrustworthy,  signifying obviously evil aspects such as death and decay." The Wabbit nodded. "But in this case the skeletons were a single entity, the Gashadokuro, further defined as bloodthirsty and dangerous." It started to drizzle again and the Wabbit shuddered. "I feel the problem with the Gashadokuro was that he represented a distorted death, his bones comprised soldiers who died on the battlefield but were never buried." Wabsworth nodded. "They fought honourably but were treated dishonourably," The Wabbit was getting wetter and was not impressed. "That was hardly our fault!" Lapinette knew all the Wabbit's foibles. "I suggest we go into one of these restaurants where it's dry." "And I can have a dry Martini," said the Wabbit. "As long as it's not watered down," laughed Skratch.

Friday, February 03, 2023

8. The Wabbit Bursts Through

The Wabbit burst through the bricks and sent them flying into the bundle of bones that comprised the Gashadokuro. It was explosive. Whatever was in the old bricks was something the creature didn't like. Lapinette elbowed her way past. "Throw more bricks." Wabsworth found himself clutching a skull. "Alas poor Yorick," he muttered, "I knew him Wabbit." He threw the skull into the fray. The Wabbit hurled another brick. "Cudgel thy brains no more about it, Wabsworth." Lapinette gritted her teeth. If we can't get rid of it, we may as well make it dance." But the Gashadokuro was sinking. It got angry as it sank, and its bones rattled like beans tossed in a bladder. "Aaaaagh, aaaaagh!" it yelled. They threw every brick they could find. Bricks piled up around the Gashadokuro until all that could be seen was a single skull. It stared with sightless eyes and spoke with a last gurgling breath. "No matter how far you travel, no matter where you go, I will find you." The skull disintegrated into dust and joined the pile of bricks. "I can't say I care for its attitude," scowled Lapinette. She tried to brush the dust from her frock. "Or its altitude," said the Wabbit. He jumped up and down on the pile and reduced it by another centimetre. Wabsworth smiled. "Ezekiel he fit dem dry bones, dem bones gonna walk around." The Wabbit shrugged. "Dem bones were made for hopping." Lapinette couldn't bear to be left out and stamped. "Now I hear the word of the Lord."