Following Alice

Introduction:  Hi. I’m Alice. You know, Alice with the rabbit fixation. I follow rabbits down tight, little holes. My shrink has a couple theories about it— that subconsciously I want to be reborn into an incredibly large family or, - this is a good one- I wish I had fur instead of skin because I wasn’t breast fed as a baby. He thinks the rabbit hole is a metaphor for suicide or maybe gardening or Phagohobia, that’s a fear of being eaten… any ways, he said it’d be a good  “idea” or “concept” to explain my “journey” to a panel.

                    Following Alice
            by Pam and Kaet Morris
Alice: (film noire mode) Tuesday. 2:57 p.m. Spotted the Easter Bunny on the corner of Main and High Street. He’d stopped to get a double iced mocha at Starbucks. He’s pink, you know. And green…. and blue… periwinkle….Well,  I can tell he’s packing heat, the hard boiled kind. I tail him for a coupla blocks and then it hits me. The Easter Bunny ain’t real. I mean, wasn’t it drilled into your childhood psyche that there is no such thing as the Easter Bunny? Or Santa Claus? Or the Tooth Fairy? So, naturally, like any other psycho-traumatic teen corrupted by Modern society,  I’m suspicious.  I’m seeing this chubby, pastel bunny, innocent as soap bubbles, and I’m asking myself, what is really goin’ on here. I decide to jump him in the alley off Central. Only he hops me first. And  proceeds to interrogate me! 

Alice mocking Reginald’s voice as Easter Bunny (hand puppet moves?):  Who sent you? Was it Phil? I don’t have to ask, I know bloody well it was Phil. Well, you tell him he’s not getting my basket. Not this year. You tell him this year I’m going to be Rabbit of the Ear. Me, Reginald the Fourth. No more tricks, no more splitting my personality so he gets all the glory while I do the work. I’m the nice bunny, I deserve the credit. Phil’s the evil bunny. He’s the one hates kids, the one who keeps putting arsenic in the egg yolks! That wasn’t me, well, in a way, it was… but really it was Phil. It’s always Phil.

Alice: (Steps forward into film noire mode) Hokay, so I’m thinkin’ that this is one character a “few eggs short of his full basket”. I mean, why would a bunny need two personalities? I decide to do some background checking. The poor cottontail’s childhood played like a bad episode of the Walton’s… tragic. Performance expectations no rabbit could possibly live up to and his cute bunny face an exact replica of every one of his hundred or so brothers and sisters … yeah, no wonder the guy had an identity crisis that makes Darth Vador’s look like a fairy tale.  So I start feeling sorry for the little fuzzball--

Phil:  Shut yer whiney trap, Reg! No one gives a nose twitch about your fat-bellied, hare-brained, fluff-ass.  As fer gettin’ Rabbit of the Ear, you haven’t got wha’ it takes- and it ain’t ears the size of bowling balls, bub!

Reginald: You are a pig! 

Phil: We both know who’s the real hare around here. And hey, Reg, If  I’m a pig, doesn’t that make you a pig? (Laughs)  

Reginald: I refuse to have this conversation. Go away. (closes his eyes and chants) Phil isn’t real, Phil isn’t real… might as well be a stew-pot meal…

Phil:  Mummy loved me best.

Reginald:  Sticks and stones will break Phil’s bones, but that’s not gonna hurt me….

Phil: Oh, crap! ‘Ere comes that blasted Thanksgiving turkey. That bird scares the stuffing out of me, packing  more guns than an Iraqi terrorist! Well, angst-ridden poultry is too much for me, I need some Hooch.

Alice: (film noire mode) Things were getting dicey. It was time I--

Mac, the Turkey: I find that ‘one who deceives will always find those who allow themselves to be deceived.’

Alice: Take a hike, Mike! I get to have some say over who uses this mouth, thank you very much!  Hey, I don’t remember you being in here before. Are you a some kind of Mafia hit man or something? 

Mac: I am Niccolo Machiavelli, at your service, madam.

Alice: You are Italian! I knew it. (Steps forward into film noire mode) This guy looked like a steroid nightmare and no one I wanted on this turkey shoot. So I decided to check in with the Doc. His ideas about a double-dealing, gun-totting tyrant turkey were interesting and nothing I could take along for comfort. I ain’t about to snitch, but Doc says in my tweaked psyche a Machiavellian turkey either manifests a fear of losing my head, i.e. going crazy, or just a fear of gaining weight during the holiday season. With that fact doggin’ my tail, I decided I needed more than just gravy on this case. (steps back) Why don’t you lose the gun, Mac? We’re all friends here.

Mac: Never, you puny proletarian punk! I’ve a constitutional right to bear arms, as many arms as I want. As a card carrying NRA member I’d give up my waddle before my automatic assault rifle. ‘Violence should be inflicted once and for all; people will then forget what it tastes like and so be less resentful.’ You can quote me on that.

Alice: But you’re a turkey! Ahh! (smacks herself haphazardly) With a perfect right to your own delusions! You’ve got security issues, Mac. But hey, to each his own.

Mac: I am not a turkey! At least not while I have your perfectly human body at my disposal….ah! to dance! (begins to do the most ludicrous dance the world has yet witnessed)

Alice: Ooooh, what a feeling! Losing my mind gives me an entirely detached sense of judgment.  I think I’m dancing like I’ve never danced before!

Reginald: This is making me queasy….(dancing stops) Thank you. Care for a jelly bean?

Phil: (drunk and weepy) I do! I care for them more than you ever did, Reg.  Why’s that walking, talking dinner still here? (pouts) Have you guys been partying without me?

Santa: Ho, ho, ho! Did someone say party? I brought along some KFC fer desert! Finger-lickin’ good from my friend the Colonel! (begins to eat until mouth is overtaken)

Alice: Oh, Phil, you let Santa Claus in? How could you? (steps into film noire mode) I never liked Santa much. Never trusted the guy after I asked for a pair of ruby slippers like Dorothy’s and the fat man didn’t come through for me. In fact he never came through anything but a chimney that I ever heard. Spooky. I wondered why he picked today to show up and what he was packing in that creepy sack of his.   

Santa: That would be Christopher Longhorn Kringle to you, little lady. What’s your pleasure today? I am loaded fer bear with neurotic tendencies, you ken take yer pick. One size fits all, now ain’t that handy? How about a nice phobia or two? There’s Pogonophobia, that’s yer basic fear of beards, or Peladophobia, fear of bald people. Both would serve you nicely, little girl, explains why you’re the only durn child in the universe who hates Sante Clause. My personal favorite is Microphobia, fear of small things. I despise elves. Need ‘em fer my sweatshop, ‘a course, but they’re horrid little midgets, constantly buzzing about underfoot like bees. Why, I break out in hives every time I see one. Ho, ho, ho! Get it? Bees, hives? Ho, ho, ho. Or how about a nice tidy disorder fer ya. Let’s see, there’s a nasty bipolar in this sack somewhere, or you might prefer my very own north polar disorder. Ho, ho, ho! I got narcissism, but so do you, and some very fine manias and hysterias. Choose yer fancy, little lady, it’s on the house, so to speak. Ho, ho, ho… I kill myself sometimes. Oh, Rabbit, got anymore a that Hooch?  

Alice: (film noire) The nervy fat man hit too close to home and I realized there wasn’t room for both of us at this shindig. Time for Big Jolly to swim with the fishes in cement boots. (steps back) Hey, Mac, I’ve got a job for you. Interested?

Mac: Hate is gained through good deeds as well as bad ones’. I’m your man, madam.

Alice: You’re a turkey, Mac, but a prince. Here’s the plan. We’ve got to squeeze the big guy out.

Phil: (slurs drunkenly) That’s impossible. He’s the largest ass here, next to Reggie, that is. (twitters)

Reg: I admit it. I hate you, Phil. I despise you, Phil. I… I want to kill you, Phil.

Alice:  How about it, Mac? Take out two for the price of one?

Mac:  As you wish, madam. ‘Men are always wicked at bottom, unless they are made good by some compulsion.’

Alice: (film noire) The case was wrapped up… or was it? I had that hare-raising feeling that I’d forgotten 
something… something important, something deadly… 

Tooth Fairy:  Howdy, boys. Have you been playing without little old me again?

Alice: (film noire) I’d forgotten the platinum blonde! 

Tooth Fairy: It’s not nice to leave out the Tooth Fairy, boys. I’ll have to-- oooo! --punish you, won’t I? 

Alice: (film noire) After failing dental school, the Tooth Fairy had gone from bad to worse. Obsessive-compulsive, she hovers between panic and hysteria,  no longer waiting for baby teeth to fall out, she yanks them herself. Clean, cavity-free,  perfect little teeth. She burns inside with a pathological hatred for the Easter Bunny, and his candy. I could tell the dame was looking for pay back. Pillow pickin’s must be slim.

Tooth Fairy: How about a party game, boys? I call it Tickle the Fairy. Whoever catches me gets to keep his incisors. The losers, well… let’s see… the losers get toothless gum disease! Oooo, goody!  Are you game, Rabbit? Oops, of course you are, I forgot. Does that mean I need a license to kill, Reg?

Reg: It’s not me you want, precious. It was Phil, it’s always Phil. 

Tooth Fairy: How hard will I have to look for Phil, Reggie? If I just call him ‘little bunny cakes’ or, ‘darling funny rabbit’ like I usually do, he’ll come drooling.

Mac: Phil is dead, madam. I’m sorry, but a prince never lacks legitimate reasons to inflict pain.

Tooth Fairy: Oh, you’re a prince. Mmmmm… yummy. So, is that a gun you’re packing, big guy, or are you just happy to see me?

Alice: (film noire) One should never underestimate a turkey. The Tooth Fairy turned all sugar plummy over Prince Machiavelli and before I can warn him about her Narcolepsy,  she swoons in his arms… or on his arms… whatever.  And that was that, the case wrapped up and my brain pan cleared out and tidy. I never felt so free in my life and needed a vacation. I was dreaming of golden beaches and brawny men serving me fruit drinks under a bright umbrella when I saw him. Sprawled on a park bench, hiding behind the front page of the Times, the usual ugly carrot dangling from the corner of his mouth. I approach silently and catch him napping. (steps back) Howdy, Bugs. I hear you’ve been lookin’ for me.

          The End

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