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.

Friday, July 21, 2023

2. The Wabbit & the Electric Shaman's Job

The Wabbit caught up with the Electric Shaman by going the other way round. He grinned. "What are you doing in the Colosseum?" He stuck out a paw. The Shaman met it with a spiky electric hand. The Wabbit's paw tingled. "I took your advice," said the Shaman. The Wabbit couldn't recall what his advice was. It was about eight years ago. Probably Wabsworth would know. "How's that working out for you?" The Shaman was overjoyed. "You said show business, but I did the next best thing." The Wabbit waggled an inquisitive ear. "I became a tour guide." said the Shaman. "I am currently light painting." He changed the ambient lighting to a nice sunset. "And sometimes I do tricks. Look! There I am over there." The Wabbit glanced over his shoulder and saw another shaman. "And the tourists?" The Shaman gave a belly laugh. "They're rather glazed. Some of them think they're on a film set for the Fast and the Furious." The Wabbit permitted himself a good guffaw. The Shaman was very enthusiastic. "You haven't seen my reenactment of the Gladiators?" He paused. "With electric prods?" The Wabbit chortled. But he thought about the outstanding issue - the smell of ozone. The Shaman growled. "I can't get rid of it. I think it comes from the cellars." "Let's go down there," smiled the Wabbit. Then he turned. "By the way, what about the illegal graffiti people?" The Shaman sniggered. "I prod them."

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

1. The Wabbit and the Colosseum

The Wabbit went off for a wander round the Colosseum. It was summer, but he hadn't quite expected the number of tourists. He had a low opinion of casual tourists, but one nice young lady had given him a bottle of water and he gulped it down. Rabbits didn't sweat and his ears flailed in a circle, trying to keep cool. The day was so hot that the water heated up immediately and he carefully placed the remains of the hot liquid in a bin. "Phew," he panted, "Next time I'll come in the winter." He'd always thought there was something creepy about the Colosseum, but it was such an attraction you could hardly ignore it. His special pass from the Department of Wabbit Affairs guaranteed him admission to most things - although he couldn't help flashing his bus pass and saying, "Blue Cross Inspection!" Sometimes it worked and he grinned. Sometimes it didn't and security would laugh and say, "It's only the Wabbit having a joke." But today there was something odd happening, and the Wabbit couldn't put his paw on it. A kind of electricity maybe. He looked up and down and sniffed. He recalled the smell from the old Glasgow Subway. "Must be ozone then," he thought. He made his way out down the long corridors that lined the walls and all the time he kept smelling that smell. Then he bumped into a creature he knew ...

Sunday, July 16, 2023

The Wabbit's Famous Adventure Caffè

The team crept inside a Caffè in Via Gregorio VII because it had air conditioning. The Wabbit said it was expensive, but he suspended judgment because everyone seemed happy. There was no available waiter but a voice from the back called "Arrivo subito." The Wabbit smiled. "It's only a matter of time." Skratch leaned in. "Are you referring to another of your prehistoric adventures?" The Wabbit merely shook his head. "Tell us - what was that for a sort of adventure we just had?" Skratch's meaow was an attenuated shriek. "There was the problem of authenticity." Lapinette screwed up her nose. "How so?" Skratch leaned in even further. "It is not known if ammonites had that nautilus head." Wabsworth butted in. "Isn't knowing about that sort of thing is an ideological construct." The Wabbit laughed. "Archaeologists would have us walking about in one of their ideological theme parks." Lapinette had several post graduate qualifications in anthropology. She nodded her head. "Archaeologists carefully reveal the means of construction of what they think is really real. But all we can really know is uncertainty." The Wabbit grinned. "It's fairly uncertain if we'll ever get a drink." Wabsworth also had a laugh. "We can only be certain about our uncertainty." The waiter appeared bearing four Proseccos and sandwiches on a tray. "We never really ordered," snorted Lapinette. "He was really certain of what we wanted," shrugged the Wabbit.

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

6. The Wabbit rehomes the Ammonite

The day was still hot, the pool was cool. It had belonged to a Roman Senator who was retired and looking for seclusion. He would hole up on his island and have peace and quiet. Perfect for an Ammonite. He navigated around the island and pronounced it delightful. The team arranged themselves in a tableau and watched. A prehistoric fish arrived and spoke to Tipsy. "Who are you exactly?" it said. "Mind your own business," smiled Tipsy. "Who is this creature?" it asked. "That's for me to know and you to find out," grinned Tipsy. The sun blazed down. "Now maybe the weather will go back to normal," said the Wabbit. He looked up at the clear blue sky. "You said you were the keeper of the sky," said Lapinette. The Ammonite sailed round the island three times. "I didn't say anything about the weather!" The Wabbit shrugged. "What's the opposite of a cold front?" asked Lapinette. "A warm back," yelled Skratch. "Heard it before," said the Ammonite. Lapinette shook her head. There was no pleasing an Ammonite. "Let's find a bar," said the Wabbit. "No bar," responded Lapinette. Both Tipsy and the Wabbit scowled. "You said this was a Roman place," grimaced the Wabbit. "Closing time was quite a while ago," sulked Lapinette. Skratch saved the day. "I have a couple of bottles in the truck." The Wabbit smiled at Tipsy. "Let's get trucking!" "What about us?" asked the Ammonite. "You're teetotal," shrugged Lapinette.

Monday, July 10, 2023

5. Lapinette, Tipsy and the Heavy Work

The Wabbit thought it wise to delegate certain tasks and, for his own part, it had been hard enough to get the Ammonite to his desired destination. The Waterfall Park ran entirely on its own energy and this involved a lot of steps. Tipsy and Lapinette managed to manoeuvre the Ammonite onto the ledge and he nearly fell in sideways. "Have a care. Mind my shell," he said, "Do you know how long this takes to grow?" Tipsy snorted. "A shorter time than it takes to get up to the bar." Lapinette staggered backwards with the effort. "There is no bar." Tipsy let go of the Ammonite. There was a large splash. "All this water and no bar. What kind of place is this?" The noise from waterfall was deafening and she had to shout. "I'm not deaf," yelled Lapinette. It was ridiculously hot - and tempers were short. Meanwhile the Ammonite took the opportunity to explore the lake. It swam the perimeter and returned. "Very pretty," it burbled, "but it's a little small." Lapinette nearly lost her temper. "You were in a tank when we found you." The Ammonite snorted. "I'm an ocean-going cephalopod, I'll remind you." Tipsy exploded. "You water bound wally! If you're not careful I'll find a field for you." The Ammonite moved away smartly and hid behind the waterfall. Lapinette thought for a moment. "Maybe he's right. He deserves more room." The Ammonite peeked out from behind the cascading water. "I need something to get my teeth into." "What about some nice carp?" shrugged Lapinette. "I wouldn't complain," said the Ammonite.

Wednesday, July 05, 2023

4. The Wabbit and the Pesky Ammonite

The Wabbit and Lapinette fled through the museum. At last, they got to a window, but the sky was a lurid menacing blue. They looked round. The clocks seemed to have peeled off at the door to the exhibit room - and had given up their pursuit. But worse was to come. A giant snail like thing with wiggling tendrils stood in their way. "I'm an ammonite," it boomed. "I'm in charge of skies." The Wabbit faced him down. "I don't care what religion you are. Return our sky to normal." The Ammonite laughed. "That's no fun. What would the denizens of Rome do without me and my wild friends?" Lapinette also stared. "Quite well, I think," she snapped. The ammonite waved his tendrils. "We're essential to the humour ecosystem." The Wabbit suddenly laughed and began to fall about. "Ho ho ho!" Lapinette joined in. "Ha ha ha!" The ammonite scowled. "We're not funny ha ha ha. We're sophisticated!" But the Wabbits wouldn't stop laughing. The ammonite turned and slithered up and down. "I'll report you to the humour council." The Wabbit thought that was really funny and imagined their meetings. He looked out the window. The sky was returning to normal. "I'll introduce you to my friends." The ammonite looked sad. "We can't leave the museum." Lapinette sighed. "Who says?" The ammonite thought and thought. "I don't know. But I yearn to swim in water and eat plankton." "Perfect," said the Wabbit. "I have an idea."

Monday, July 03, 2023

3.The Wabbit and Lapinette seek Shelter

The sky looked like it was going to eat them, so the Wabbit and Lapinette dived into a nearby museum. The Wabbit flashed his bus pass and shouted "Security" and Lapinette followed suit. Together they scampered upstairs. Outside the sky got even blacker and they were well out of ideas. "What's that?" asked the Wabbit. "That shouldn't be there," replied Lapinette. "This is the Ethnographic Museum and these are old clocks." The Wabbit clenched a fist and struck the display cabinet. It was quite a blow and the glass cracked, then splintered. "Why are there always three?" yelled the Wabbit. "Gears again," shouted Lapinette. She grasped the spinning cogs but they refused to stop. The clocks hovered around them like angry bees. The hands span wildly and they made a whining noise. "Looks like trouble!" gasped Lapinette. "Triple trouble," said the Wabbit and he tried to grab one of the clocks - but it just slid out of his paw. "What did you do the last time?" asked Lapinette. "They took us on a time zone journey," answered the Wabbit, "and I had help from Skratch and Tipsy." Lapinette fished in her frock for her radio, but the Wabbit was first, although he nearly dropped it. "Come in, Skratch." The radio crackled. "I read you, Wabbit." The Wabbit picked slivers of glass from his fur. "Get Tipsy and head for the Ethnographic Museum." There was a pause. "We on a day out?" asked Skratch. The Wabbit gritted his teeth. "Yes, if you can spare the time."
[A number of glass and clock photos from Pixabay. Various artists.]