Wednesday, January 31, 2024

The Wabbit's Outdoor Adventure Caffè

The team gathered outside a shop in Piazza Campo de' Fiori. It was moderately busy, and they were in a good mood. Lapinette bounded towards the Wabbit. He put his paws up half to embrace her and half to defend himself. Skratch chatted amiably to Wabsworth about the delights of foreign food. Skratch enjoyed a bit of French brie. Wabsworth was fond of baked beans. The Wabbit's voice cut through the chatter. "Tell us Skratch. What was that for a sort of Adventure?" Skratch grinned and shrugged. "On this occasion I can't really say, Wabbit." Wabsworth chipped in. "People find themselves in spaces they don't belong." The Wabbit nodded. "Yes, mostly they came from a window. Maybe it was about the window itself." Lapinette was vociferous. "The window substitutes for the gaze. And the gaze leads to visual pleasure." Skratch nearly cackled. "But what about the sheep? They had no window or pedestal and appeared from nowhere." Lapinette thought for a second. "But they bleated and flocked around." Skratch meaowed. "It was an allegory. Cicero compared sheep with the hordes of plebeians." Wabsworth laughed. "Didn't do them any good though." The Wabbit snorted. "No. Because they elected a wolf to protect them." He took his turn to shrug - he had a poor opinion of populism. He indicated the shop. "Can we get a drink here?" "No," said Wabsworth, "Unless we buy a bottle and sit by the fountain." The Wabbit giggled. "That counts as an outdoor activity." Then they laughed and laughed and laughed.

Monday, January 22, 2024

6. The Wabbit and the Centre of Rome

The furious bleating died down. Cicero had gone. Sheep had gone. But the Wabbits were still there and they wandered cheerfully into Piazza Campo de' Fiori. The Wabbit inspected an old vehicle, parked by the restaurants. "Thinking of changing of transport to an Ape?" Lapinette was curious. She'd seen that look on the Wabbits face before. "Not really," mused the Wabbit. "I was thinking of a time when everything was smaller. "We were smaller too," laughed Lapinette. She jumped in the air. "We grew to what the frame demanded," responded the Wabbit, with a twinkle in his eye. "Needs must where the devil drives," added Lapinette. They relaxed and looked at the twinkling lights and listened to the echoing sounds of the Piazza. "So we stay in Rome for a while." Lapinette seemed positive. "It's very good fun." The Wabbit looked at the rear screen of the Ape three wheeler. "I'd say. It's rather vibrant and all - with the hustle bustle and the rufty tufty." Lapinette giggled. "Rufty tufty?" "That's what Romans like to think, anyway," said the Wabbit, "Fancy a spin round the piazza?" He looked around for the owner ad received a nod of consent." Before long they were driving slowly in and out of barrows and left over vegetables. That was a bit of a daft adventure," murmured Lapinette. "Like the old days," added the Wabbit. "When we were young and beautiful," smirked Lapinette. "Still are!" grinned the Wabbit.

Saturday, January 20, 2024

5. The Wabbit and the Phantom Sheep

"What shall we do with these sheep, Cicero?" asked the Wabbit, "They're your sheep, you called them up." Cicero was astonished. He spoke sardonically. "So many different sheep. It will take more than a wolf to protect them." The Wabbit couldn't resist. "They'll get the government they deserve." Lapinette stroked one sheep and pointed to another. "That looks like a colourful sheep." The sheep bleated and milled around the square in all directions. "They need a leader, said Lapinette, "What about you Cicero?" Cicero swept his arm forward. "I'm no leader. I'm just advisory." He swept his arm backwards and the baa-ing stopped and the sheep were gone. "They were only a metaphor anyway." The Wabbit thought and thought. "Perhaps you were better outside the law courts, sweeping your arm and reading from your scroll - for all eternity." Cicero nodded. "For all the time that Rome endures?" "It's endured a while," commented Lapinette. "That's true," replied Cicero. "Now that's settled, I'll treat us all to a drink," laughed the Wabbit, "I see a hostelry over there. The Ape Bar." They wandered over, pulled out chairs and sat down. Cicero lifted his glass. "For the replenishment of our health!" "And not for our sorrow," said the Wabbit and Lapinette together. "He was a wise man who invented wine!" quoted the Wabbit. "That's Plato," said Cicero. "And it was beer," said Lapinette. "Just testing you," giggled the Wabbit.

Thursday, January 18, 2024

4. The Wabbit and the Meaning of Death

With Cicero in tow, the Wabbit and Lapinette went to San Lorenzo in Damaso, an old church they knew. They didn't really know what to do with Cicero, but they had no intention of going back to Ostia Antica. That was far too dangerous. Just at the door, they paused by an elaborate gravestone. "Here lies Tomai Aretio!" exclaimed Lapinette. She had no idea who that was but had an encyclopaedic memory for catalogues. Cicero drew himself up into oratorial style, "You have your dead here?" He was astonished. "We always separate death from life. Tombs should be outside the city gates." The Wabbit knew all about funeral practices in ancient Rome, having competed a module at night school. "More recently, church benefactors could be buried within the walls." Cicero stepped back. "But dead bodies are polluting. Perhaps this deathly creature transported the dead to the Esquiline undertakers." Lapinette shook her head. "No, his body lies below." She indicated the flagstones on the floor of the church. "Do you believe in one God, Cicero." Cicero laughed. "By Jove, that depends on who's listening!" The Wabbit struck a pose. "Arm'd with the terrors of Almighty Jove. Lov'st thou to walk, the peaceful solemn grove." Cicero struck a pose too. "Sounds OK to me. Better than debating that sheep, Mark Antony." Lapinette made funny ears and yelled baa. So did the Wabbit. Then Cicero. The sound of sheep echoed from the church door and bleated its way into the piazza.

Monday, January 15, 2024

3. The Wabbit & Lapinette meet Big Cicero

The Wabbit was walking by the Tiber where he spotted Lapinette. He hailed her with a merry cry. She rushed towards him with puckered lips. They hugged. "Let me tell you about something strange that's been happening to me," said the Wabbit. Lapinette laughed. "Something strange is always happening to you." The Wabbit shared her amusement. But just as he was about to explain, a voice hailed him. "Commander, Commander!" The Wabbit ignored it. Lapinette looked around. She saw nothing and shook her head. "Pay no attention, it's in your head." They gazed at the Tiber. "I've swam the Tiber and the Po." murmured the Wabbit." Lapinette pouted. "So damned exciting, is that so?" They both giggled. "Commander, Commander! Remember me?" It was that voice again. This time they both turned. "Over there," said Lapinette. "It's Big Cicero!" shouted the Wabbit. "Long time, no see," said Cicero. "Join me in a dish of garum? I know a little place round the corner." Lapinette waved but turned up her nose. "I hate garum." It was under her breath, but Cicero heard her. "Don't worry Lapinette, there's lots of fishy Roman cuisine here." It was more than a decade since they'd met Cicero in Ancient Rome. The Wabbit touched Lapinette. "He must have found a way back, through the fabric of time." He dropped his voice to a whisper. "Talking of fabric, he needs a new toga." Lapinette knew what was coming. "XL?" she asked. "No, just the one!" chortled the Wabbit.

Thursday, January 11, 2024

2. The Wabbit and Betty's Advice

The Wabbit never gave the tobacconist a second thought. But later that year he was prowling through the back streets of Turin when he heard a voice. "How are your adventures, Wabbit?" He turned, then smiled. Betty Boop looked at him, backlit and beautiful. She winked. "Wabbit, your adventures are famous worldwide." The Wabbit was in front of a cinema which Skratch insisted showed experimental films. But the Wabbit knew it was an adult film theatre. "My adventures are just fine and dandy Betty," he said, "Always full of excitement." Betty winked once more. "Satire too." The Wabbit blushed, shrugged and asked the critical question. "Why are you in front of a place like this?" Betty stuck a leg in the air and simpered. "I'm public domain now. But I like to watch the street." They gazed at each other. The Wabbit chirped. "I'm trademarked, you know." "Does it hurt? smiled Betty. "Only when I laugh," gasped the Wabbit. "You were in a few adventures, Betty. Any story advice?" Betty's lights flickered. "I like the ones that have no narrative point." The Wabbit blinked. "None of them do." Betty winked the slowest wink that ever was winked. "Maybe that's the point, Wabbit." The Wabbit thought of Minnie the Moocher.  His head swam. "I'll keep an eye open for you, Commander," said Betty. The back light flickered. The cinema plunged into darkness. The Wabbit heard singing as he hopped along the street. "He's got eyes of blue and that's my weakness now."

Tuesday, January 09, 2024

1. The Wabbit and the Damp Sunday

The day was damp. Wet leaves lay on the street. The Wabbit hopped aimlessly along Via Gregorio VII. It wasn't so cold, but the weather lay on his shoulders like a soggy towel. The Wabbit didn't like days like this. His fur was humid, which put him in a bad a bad mood. He was passing a tobacconist when a voice spoke to him. "What?" grunted the Wabbit. He didn't want to be rude, but he was quietly minding his own business. "How are your adventures?" Now the Wabbit paid attention. "Who are you?" He stared for a while at the closed shutter. "I am the smoking shutter as befits a tobacconist." The Wabbit looked displeased. "Smoking is bad for you!" The shutter smiled. "I'm what you might call a campesino." His shoulders seemed to shrug. "Besides, lots of things are bad for you." The Wabbit was in no mood for idle chitter-chatter and he breathed a sigh. "Please come to the point." The campesino took the cigarette from his mouth. "Come back and see me when I'm open and I'll advise you of an adventure you might have. I'll sell you a lotto ticket too." The Wabbit brightened. In the summer, he'd bought a lotto ticket on a whim and won a hundred euro. Then he'd bought another and won a thousand. He shrugged. "When I come back, the shop will be open - but you'll be closed." The campesino roared with laughter. "Just listen. Put your paw on the lotto ticket you want. If it's a winner I'll rattle in the wind." The Wabbit grunted and hopped on down the road. "Joke, rattle and roll," he murmured. 

Friday, January 05, 2024

The Wabbit at his Adventure Caffè

The team gathered at a Caffè they knew. But when they arrived it looked different. It was under new management, so they hesitated. "Looks safe," said Wabsworth. The Wabbit nodded. It was near various embassies and was likely secure enough. He nodded to an officer from the Carabinieri and received one in return. Skratch rolled up behind them. "What's everyone waiting for? Let's order." Lapinette simpered. "We were waiting on you, Skratch. Tell us what kind of adventure we just had." Skratch miaowed. "Your Lapinette was a real double, otherwise you wouldn't be wearing a version of your dress. Most fetching by the way." Lapinette curtsied. The Wabbit frowned. "In that case, the other Lapinette is not a dark and unacceptable part of your ego." "Much too Gothic," chortled Wabsworth. They all laughed. "At a sub- atomic level, atoms and molecules might know their own properties," commented Skratch. "So the other Lapinette knew who she was?" Lapinette was intrigued. "Now that's Gothic," said Wabsworth. Skratch let out a blood curdling growl that astonished passers-by. "The realm of the subatomic may be governed by principles that are not unlike semiotic ones." The Wabbit leaned forward. "The other Lapinette did have quantum coherence. Momentarily frozen and unfrozen in knowing and unknowing." Wabsworth was intrigued. "So where is she now, without her frock." I think she seized the possibility of another frock," purred Skratch. Lapinette's eyes widened to an impossible size. "We shouldn't really give a frock," said the Wabbit, "I'm ordering drinks!" 

Tuesday, January 02, 2024

6. The Wabbit and the Realm of Possibility

Lapinette bounded along the car park ramp at enormous speed. "Leave my Wabbit alone," she yelled. The figure turned. Lapinette faced what seemed to be herself. She lifted her snazer and took aim. Quiet fell and the car park lights flared. Silence froze them both. The Wabbit broke it with a shout. "Don't shoot. She's one of your possibilities." The figure's paws flailed. Her mouth opened. She seemed to say something, but the words were indistinct. "Give me back my frock," screamed Lapinette. She waved her weapon. The Wabbit caught them up and stood in front of the figure "She's you from an old adventure." Lapinette was furious. "She's an imposter and I want my frock back." The Wabbit shook his head. "You'll rupture the space time continuum." Lapinette finally let the snazer drop, but she kept her paw on the trigger. "Explain!" The Wabbit gave a lengthy talk on relativity. He knew Lapinette would be aware of it, but he had to calm her down. The car park echoed to her voice. "She could be dangerous. What about loop quantum gravity?" The Wabbit shrugged. "Probably. Remember you jumped on that underground train?" Lapinette nodded. "Spinfoam formed multidimensions in the tunnel and there were many possible Lapinettes. This one must have generated a topography of its own and remained behind." The alternative Lapinette's mouth moved. This time the Wabbit heard her speak - like the tinkling of tiny bells. "None of this is proven. I'm moving outside the realm of possibilities." She gave a wave and began to fade. Soon there was nothing, except for a tartan kilt that lay on the shiny tarmac. Lapinette picked it up and examined it. "That's possibly mine to keep."