Welcome to the Tenth installment of -
" A TIME TO EVERY PURPOSE UNTO HEAVEN " By Pepe K.
(Winner of 9 UKE Awards)
Please send all comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
The following story concerns the Toonsters' freshman year of Acme Looniversity at college level. This tale of mystery is best read from the beginning - the other parts are available at HKUriah's TTA Fanfic site, among others. I suggest you read it from the start or you'll not know what's transpiring.
This story contains many references to music, some of which you may be familiar with. It contains and was inspired by the music of Danny Elfman's soundtrack of the films; EDWARD SCISSORHANDS & MEN IN BLACK.
In order to enhance this experience, I've made notations as to where each specific piece of music fits into the story. If it's available to you, I'd *strongly* suggest getting the CD or cassette tape, so that you'll not only read the story, but hear it happen as well.
All the music is available on CD. Most is from Danny Elfman's Original Motion Picture Soundtrack EDWARD SCISSORHANDS (#MCAD-10133) and MUSIC FOR A DARKENED THEATRE - Vol. 2 & MEN IN BLACK (#CK 68859) No, I don't make a living selling music for 20th Century Fox or MCA but Mr. Elfman's music is incredibly beautiful, IMHO and well worth it.
like to thank HKUriah, Thorne, Andy Fox, Dennis Smith,
...and Danny Elfman
This story is dedicated to my Beloved Wife.
of a wonderful human being and a legendary pilot -
The Founder and Guiding Light of OLD RHINEBECK AERODROME
- the late great Cole Palen.
And now - Part 10 of -
TIME TO EVERY PURPOSE UNTO HEAVEN"
- "And Danced the Skies on Laughter-Silvered Wings"
Porky Pig had just finished mowing his lawn and lay in his hammock, admiring his perfect yard of green grass. He mopped his brow and sighed with satisfaction. It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon and only a few white clouds hung in the pristine blue sky.
Porky's smile turned to a frown as he remembered the sad revelation of Red Hot's sorrowful suicide at Doctor Lord's party. It was hard to imagine such a thing happening to a friend he'd known so well in the past. Though he fought to shake it from his mind, the tragic vision of her dying and melting away in her loving husband's arms would not leave him. Neither he nor Petunia had slept very much that night. He heard the screen door open and tried to appear cheerful as Petunia brought a tray out to their garden table.
"Lemonade, dear?" she asked brightly, as she kissed him.
"Sh-sh-sh - uh thank you, Pet." he said crossing to sit with her.
They both drank and then laughed at the "Gurgle, gurgle, gurgle" noise it produced.
"That w-was one of Ch-chuck's silliest gags ever!" chuckled Porky.
"But one of his best! It still cracks me up!" Petunia tittered, holding a hand up to her dainty snout. "Did you talk to him, before he left?"
"Y-y-yes, w-we had a grand time - till Da-d-du-Daffy brought up his new s-screenplay idea."
"Oh no, not his crazy artistic film again?!"
"Yep." sighed Porky. " D-d-Daffy Duck: D-d-d-Defininitive D-d-d-d- Dadaist. Whew, I think he invented th-that t-t-title just so I c-couldn't say it."
Petunia paused and said "I - uh..spoke to Honey Bunny..."
Porky turned away, angrily crossing his arms.
"I c-c-c-categorically refuse to apologize to that r-r-re-Rabbit!"
"Nobody's asking you to, sweetheart." his wife said gently. "We just thought you should talk to him. Bugs didn't know how you felt and Honey said that he's sorry."
"He sh-sh-uh- better be! Always p-p-pushin' himself first before everyone else! "
Petunia told him. "He was coming to speak to you when you were talking with Daffy and Bosko in Doc's ballroom."
"I d-d-uh wasn't about to t-t -uh speak with him."
"You have to work together - you know that" she reminded him.
Porky nodded reluctantly.
"It j-j-just m-made me mad when he said those things ab-be-about Doc!"
Petunia's wide cheeks drooped a bit as she lost her smile.
"Well... I don't think many people really know Doc as well as we do. Maybe.. now that everyone knows what he went through...maybe they'll warm up to him."
Porky hadn't wanted to bring up the cause of their sleepless night and saw his wife's piggy ears start to lop over. Just then, they heard the faraway sound of an airplane - a different sort of a sound. It grew louder as Porky turned in his chair, searching the sky. The engine noise stopped and started, and stopped and started again. Petunia pointed skyward.
"Look at that, Porky!"
Flying at an altitude of three hundred feet, they saw Doctor Lord's red Fokker Triplane gleaming in the sun as it banked above the trees. The red machine turned, showing it's black Iron Cross insignias, it's three-winged configuration and the three toons waving from it. Despite the flying helmets they wore, they recognized Hamton, Fifi and Dr. Lord. The Pigs stood and waved back as the Triplane roared by overhead. As the aircraft banked, they watched as Lord made the comma-shaped rudder wag back and forth quickly, making the plane literally wave back to them.
"It looks like Doc's feeling better! He has Hamton and Fifi with him!" Petunia beamed, as the aircraft circled over the house again.
She leaned over and took her husband's hands, wrapping them around her.
"B-b-be-b- uh Wow! That airplane is real! That sure t-takes me back!" Porky said grinning. "S-sounds like he's g-g-got an original engine! ...I should start flying again."
Petunia turned around in his arms and squeezed him lovingly as they stood together and put her chin on his shoulder. She kissed him again.
|Art by Thorne|
"Let's go and see him!" she said in his ear.
Porky watched as the triplane continued on it's way.
"Okay, I'll just g-g-get changed and-"
Petunia smiled and shook her head.
"Oh... not just yet...he'll have to come come down to earth first," she said as her eyes turned into red hearts.
Porky suddenly noticed. He looked at her smoldering gaze.
"Uh....P-p-p-p Petunia..d-d-d-did you..start t-t- uh taking those hormone pills he gave you uh-uh-uh-uh- already?? "
The simpering sow smiled and simply whispered "Oink."
High overhead, Hamton felt the constant slight vibrations as the Triplane's massive rotary engine spun ahead of them. He felt ecstatic as he breathed in the sights, sounds and smells of an open-cockpit flight. The cold wind roared and whistled in his floppy ears as they were blown back by the engine's slipstream and he smelled the tangy scent of castor oil on his face. Fifi sat in his lap and shivered slightly, so he wrapped his arms around her and let her lean back against him to keep warm. Ahead of them, he saw Dr. Lord piloting the plane and the three scarlet wings stabbing into the azure sky that surrounded them. The emerald green trees of the Acme Forest were dotted with houses and beyond them were the gray steel buildings of Acme Acres City. Only the delicious drone of the old engine could be heard - and the thoughts of his comrades.
["I'm sorry I frightened you, Fifi."] Lord apologized again in their thoughts. ["But I have to keep up with my marksmanship."]
["Couldn't Vous shoot at tin cans on zee ground instead ov nearly crashing us into ze house?"] Fifi asked.
["I'm sorry..I promise there'll be no more machine gunning today."]
["Awww shoot!"], thought Hamton, ["I thought it was really cool."]
Fifi turned her head slightly to look at him and thought reluctantly. ["Well..eet waz exciting, but next time tell us first, si' vous plais?"]
They could both feel Lord's smile even though they couldn't see it.
Suddenly there was a strange voice thinking in their minds.
["Oy, what's goin' on up dere?!"] thought a strange old male voice.
["Who said that?"] asked Lord in confusion.
He and the others were puzzled and looked at each other.
["Me! I did! Vat's the matter vit chu? You deaf?"] thought the old voice.
Lord looked over the side and saw only treetops below them.
["There's just us! Who are you? Where are you?"] he wondered.
Hamton and Fifi scanned the ground, but saw no one either.
["Hey! HEY!! I'm cured!"] thought the voice. ["I thought I was deaf!...eh.. Terrific.. Now I'll hafta start talkink to people again. Feh!"]
["Whoever you are, you're still deaf."] thought Hamton. [" I'm afraid what you're hearing is our thoughts."] he told the stranger, trying to be helpful.
["Vell, I guess dat's better than having folks alvays mumbling at me."] thought whoever it was.
["Back to ze first question - who are vous? We don't see vous."] thought Fifi, slightly annoyed.
["Oh! Vell hello dere, French Missy!"] said the voice pleasantly. ["My name iz Mister Boris Chachka. You can't see me from vere you are anyway. Don't worry, I come out. Just vatch it vith de boots, Mister Big Skunk."]
Lord was surprised.
["My boots? Where are y-"]
He looked between his knees at the floor of the small cockpit and saw a tiny black, fuzzy toon spider crawl out from under the rudder stirrups to look up at him.
["Hello dere!"] said Boris the spider.
Lord's eyes went wide and he threw his head back and screamed in terror!
Suddenly the airplane tipped sideways crazily, as Lord tried to stomp on the spider with his feet still in the rudder stirrups. Hamton and Fifi clung to the cockpit's sides and to each other as the triplane spun upside down! Boris the spider grabbed onto the control stick as Lord shrieked in panic.
["SPIDER!! GET OUT! GET OUT! GET OUT!"]
["Doctor! Please calm down!!"] begged Hamton.
The plane wobbled out of control and wildly banked towards the city!
["Stop eet! Stop eet! We're going to crash into ze city!!"] thought Fifi in horror.
Lord could not stop screaming as the spider clung to the control column near his hands. He swatted at the hairy arachnid and missed, as Boris dodged to the other side.
["HEY! Vat's the matter vith chu!! Meshugina Skunk!! Vat are you tryin' ta do?!"]
["MAKE YOU GO AWAY!!"] thought Lord in hysterical panic.
He pulled the stick back and the Fokker zoomed upwards and into a loop, heading away from the buildings. The plane looped the loop again and again, diving and whirling insanely!
["I'm Going! I'm Going!"] yelled Boris as he dropped down to the floor, but as the aircraft spun upside down, he instead fell up - and landed right on Lord's goggles - his eight furry legs fractions of an inch from the skunk's eyes!
The Triplane looped and headed directly through the skyscrapers, narrowly missing them. It suddenly flew between two of the tallest and zoomed out the other side. Everyone hung upside down in their seat harnesses as the world slipped by under their heads. Their mouths were as round as their goggles. The plane flipped upright again and went into a stall as Lord let go of the stick and clawed in a frenzy at his face. Fifi saw it happen and quickly reached through his flailing arms to deftly pluck up the spider.
She quickly covered Boris with her paw and pulled him away to safety from the Doctor's hysteria. Lord continued to grab at his goggles, pulling them off as he screamed in fear.
["ARRETTEZ, PAVEL!!! STOP EET!!"] Fifi yelled in his mind as she grabbed his shoulder and shook him.
["GET HIM OFF ME!! GET HIM OFF ME!!"] her grandfather yelled in terror.
["'Ee's NOT on vous! Get ahold ov yourself!"]
['WHERE IS HE? HE'S GONNA BITE ME!!"] cried Lord.
["He's here weeth moi. He's NOT on vous! Now, control yourself before vous crash ze plane!!"]
Fifi shook him again till he stopped his struggling.
["Where is he?!? You're sure he's not on me?!"] he shivered with dread.
["I'm back here, No thanks to you, you crazy poysen! The pretty young missy saved me from being skvushed by you! "] yelled Boris angrily from under Fifi's paw.
Lord steadied the airplane, banking away from the city, the sweat pouring down his face as he gasped for air and tried to relax.
["I'm sorry! I'm so sorry!"] Lord thought hurriedly. [" A thousand apologies, Sir, it's nothing personal at all, you just really startled me and I..."]
["You have Arachniphobia, Doctor?"] wondered Hamton quietly.
Lord wiped his clammy forehead and let the slipstream of the propeller cool his face. He rubbed his eyes and felt ashamed, as he gasped and tried to calm his shattered nerves.
["...Yes!..I'm terribly sorry, everyone..This is most embarrassing."]
["Oh I understand."] thought Hamton cheerfully.[" I have a problem with bugs, myself..spiders don't bother me though."]
["I see I'm not too popular!"] thought Boris angrily. ["Well, Phooey! I vas just tryin' to make a temporary home in here. I had a veb up dere!"]
Lord looked down into his cockpit.
["I'm so sorry - you mean a web? Where?"]
["You're sitting on it."] the grumpy spider told him.
The Doctor squirmed in his seat, wobbling the airplane again.
["Oh, Yuck! Ick! Eew!"] he thought in revulsion.
The old spider laughed, then coughed alot.
[" Ha! At least I gotcha back fer somptink! Heh, now I gotta make a new veb."]
Lord's shoulders shuddered at the thought, as he banked the Triplane back over the suburbs of the town.
Plucky Duck stood at the foul line on the blacktop basketball court at Acme Loo and tried for the thirty-seventh time to score two points. Shirley had blocked his shots every time, but he wasn't about to give up. He feinted to the left, right, and right again, but the blonde Loon serenely held up a single finger and tipped the ball away again. Plucky glowered and then noticed her eyes had been closed the entire time above her angelic smile.
"Hey! You've been readin' my mind all along! No fair!" the duck yelled.
Shirley shrugged and admitted it.
"Wull, like sometimes.. but I do have my own skills, ya know. I have to keep them sharp."
Plucky bounced the ball a few times and then caught it.
"You were cheatin'... I can't read your mind." he said, pouting.
"I'm sorry, Plucky...I'm just using my natural abilities. I, like - promise not ta do it again in this game, kay?"
Plucky stood still, his anger turning sideways. He turned away towards the school, dribbled the ball and said quietly,
" ...I wish I *could* read yer mind sometimes..."
Shirley heard the regret in his voice and toddled over to put a wing on his shoulder.
"..I've always tried ta be honest with ya, darlin." she said softly.
" Yeah, brutally.."
Shirley sighed and agreed with him.
" Well, like, um,.. like, it never meant that I didn't like you - it was just like, I'm a Libra and you're a Scorpio. Our spirits are sorta, ye know - misaligned er sum junk. ..I just wasn't ready to commit to a relationship with someone whose mind is so totally different from mine.."
Plucky turned to look into her eyes.
"And yet you think it's okay for Hamton and Fifi, don't you?"
The realization hit her like a ton of bricks. Shirley was shocked and didn't know what to say. She walked slowly over to the nearby bleachers and sat down.
"But... like, they're so totally _alike_ in spirit!" she ventured.
The duck stood in front of her and said
"But they're _totally_physically different."
The astonished loon finished the thought for him;
"...And we're , like - physically the same - but our minds are... totally...different..." She sighed "I like, never saw it as a double standard..."
Shirley sat bewildered as Plucky turned and threw the basketball all the way from mid-court to sink a perfect basket. The ball bounced back and he skillfully caught it.
"Yes! I scored!" he exclaimed with a happy leap.
He turned knowingly to Shirley.
"Yah sure did..." she said looking at him in a moment of epiphany.
There was the roar of a car and Daffy Duck's black Trans Am screeched to a halt on the parking lot adjacent to the court. Daffy emerged wearing an artist's smock and a red beret. He carried a pallet and brushes and a bucket of black paint. The black duck stood squinting and holding up his thumb as Plucky approached.
"Hey! D.D. - my moneyed Mentor - I -!"
Daffy cut him off.
"Silence, my obtuse-th observer of object-th d` art! Be still – in repose-th whilst I equip mythelf! "
He went through the business of selecting a paintbrush. He pulled out brush after brush, throwing twenty or thirty of them away till he'd selected a rather thick one, dunked it in the paint and came forward to Plucky.
"Hey! What are yah gonna do, o' affluent artisan, Sir?" Plucky asked anxiously.
"HOLD STILL! - Ya CRA-A-A-ZY!" yelled Daffy and quickly painted a heavy Joseph Stalin mustache on Plucky's bill.
"Does your tab-ah-cco taste deefrant lately?" recited Plucky in a heavy Russian accent.
Daffy approached Shirley who looked up slowly from her realization and backed away.
"Like, no way are you makin' an artistic statement on me! Girls don't have mustaches. That's totally bogus." she told him.
Daffy seized the moment.
"Ah, but this *isn't *Art! Thith - my averse assistant - is "Anti-Art"! Thith is Dadaism! Devoted to the negation of all traditional values-th in philothophy and the arts-th-th!"
"Mondo-strange!" Shirley said, intrigued.
Daffy put on a monocle, making his eye ridiculously huge, as he proclaimed his doctrines.
"A protest against the inthanity of thivilization! We shall replace logic and reason with deliberate madness and thubstitute intentionally discordant chaos for established notion-th of beauty and harmony in the art-th!"
Plucky wiped himself off with a tissue Shirley gave him.
"Thanks for washing off the mustache, D.D." he said wiping the spittle off his beak.
"Eeew! Okay maestro - gimme whatcha got!" Shirley exclaimed, leaning forward with closed eyes to receive her mustache.
Daffy delicately painted a classic villain's mustache on Shirley's bill. She laughed evilly, rubbing her hands together, twirled her moustache between her fingers and pointed at Plucky.
"Nyah ha ha! Like - You'll never catch me, DoRight! Furthermore, Nell Fenwick doesn't love you! She's in love with your horse! Nyah HA HA HA - er sum junk!!"
Daffy was pleased.
"Good improvs, kidth! Now, to the business at hand! ...It'th Stupendous! It'th Colossal!! It'll be - my Masssterpiece!!!" he said with gusto.
He turned with the others to face the tall statue of Bugs Bunny in front of the school.
"Hey Buster, come up here." Bugs called to the normally blue bunny.
At the moment, Buster was about to turn another shade of green, as he sat in the rear of Bugs' private airplane next to Babs and the bag of potato chips she'd smashed over his head.
"What's up...besides my gorge?" Buster asked weakly, as they flew over Acme Acres.
The day was beautiful, but Buster felt like it was raining hailstones inside him. Bugs beckoned him up to the front of the cockpit.
"Honey, would yous mind sittin' back with Babs fer a while? Maybe I kin cure Buster's lil' problem wid flyin."
"Sure" , said his wife undoing her flight harness, "Are you gonna try .. what worked with me?"
"I tink so."
Honey Bunny nodded with a look of trepidation and cautiously moved to the rear of the plane. Buster clawed onto every possible handhold as he made his way up to the front seat. The potato chips crunched under his big feet. He slumped into the front passenger seat and saw the huge emptiness out the front window. He clapped both paws over his eyes and turned another color.
"Heh, Glen plaid!", Bugs observed, "Nice effect."
Buster spoke from behind his paws.
"Thanks, I wouldn't want my nausea to be a totally wasted effort."
"Now C'mon kiddo! Yous kin beat dis ting if ya just look at it duh right way."
"Only if I'm looking at it from the ground!" the scared rabbit remarked.
"Honey had duh same problem, till I showed her how ta do it." the elder Bunny told him. "Now look ovah here at duh controls."
Buster gingerly peeked from behind his gloves.
"Okay, I looked. Can we go home now?"
"Den I ain't showin' yah how ta fly a plane!"
Buster pulled his gloves from his face and looked at his mentor.
"You're gonna show ME how to fly?!?"
"Oh good Lord deliver us!" quipped Babs from the rear of the plane.
"Hold it down, Babsie - I'm gettin' a lesson here." Buster said over his shoulder.
"Better let him concentrate - and strap in!" gulped Honey.
Babs belted herself in tightly, with a dozen straps and safety belts and an anchor.
"Look! "Hare-nesses!" she laughed.
The other rabbits groaned. Bugs indicated the control stick.
"Okay. Now to make duh plane go down, we push de stick forward."
He did so very gently and they felt the aircraft begin a shallow dive.
"Den we pull back on duh stick ta make us go up."
He inched the stick back towards his stomach and the plane rose and leveled off as before. It was like going up and down on an elevator.
"And ya center the stick to make her fly straight, right?
"Eeyup! Dat controls duh horizontal stabilizer on duh tail and going side-ta-side controls the ailerons on duh wings - they make us bank. "
"Do we get two and a half percent interest?" Babs joked.
"Ailerons? What're those? Where?" Buster asked, ignoring her remarks.
"Port and starboard on de trailing edge of duh wings - take a look." said his mentor, pointing out the side windows.
"Port and starboard? Is this an airplane or a cruise ship?" teased Babs.
"That depends on weather we get airsick or seasick." said Honey with a swift comeback.
The two femme-bunnies giggled. Buster tried, but couldn't bring himself to look out the side window.
"I can't!" he panted.
"I ain't askin' ya ta take a walk out there - just look at the wingtip!" said Bugs.
Buster peeped out bravely and saw the flap - and the vast oblivion of empty sky.
"I don't wanna look any more! There's nothing holding us up! Just miles of air!"
"Whatsa matter? You afraid a' heights?" asked Bugs.
"No!" said the blue bunny. "I'm not afraid of heights."
"Den, what are you afraid of?"
"Falling from them!"
"Heh, that one was predictable." remarked Babs.
Bugs tried a new tactic.
"I thought you were the great video game player?!"
"Huh?! Of course I am! These fingers are lethal weapons!" Buster asserted with pride.
"You've played flight simulators, haven't cha?"
"You kiddin'? I'm the king of the Eastern Front in "Stuka Dive Bomber! I'm the menace of the Pacific in "Kamikaze Baka Bomb!"
Bugs undid his seat belt.
"Okay den, Ace - show us. Take us somewhere."
Buster was taken aback as he saw Bugs put the plane on autopilot.
"Ya mean - me?! For real?! "
Bugs stood up.
"Move over inta the pilot's seat, Buster."
Cautiously, Buster did, as Bugs strapped himself into the passenger seat.
"Just don't steer with your feet!" exclaimed Babs.
"Oh .. I shoulda mentioned the rudder pedals. Good idea, Babs!"
"You mean he DOES steer with his feet?!?" Babs gasped and fainted.
Buster sat carefully and held on to the control stick for dear life and fought to open his eyes and force himself to look out the front window. He glanced at Bugs.
"Uh.. you're gonna help...right?"
Bugs snapped the last belt into place and glanced at him coolly.
"Eh, If me best student is gonna take a big step forward - I'll be dere. ...And if he's flyin' MY poysonal airplane - you bet ah'll be dere!"
Buster gulped loudly and held the stick perfectly still. He shuddered and opened his eyes. The whirling propeller ahead of him sparkled in the sunlight, creating momentary rainbows. Beyond that, there was nothing.
"What do ya see out there?" inquired his instructor.
"A great big nothing! Nothing's holding us up!"
"Eeeehh! Wrong! De airflow over duh coives of our wings allows an area of low pressure to build up under dem - and dat makes us lighter den air and lifts us up. Dat's why it's called "lift"." Bugs explained to his nervous pupil.
Buster held the stick straight as he got used to the feeling of control and soon felt better.
"Hey look, Babs! I'm flyin'!" he said.
"Ya comfortable now?" Bugs asked.
"Sure! This is easy!"
"Well it might not be with the auto-pilot toined off." Bugs said flipping the switch.
Suddenly, Buster felt the stick able to move and the plane along with it. He gulped again.
"Just hold 'er steady and fly straight an' level." Bugs told him.
Buster felt the plane slip a bit, but he found he could compensate. The others held their breath.
"Now try a gentle toin ta da left." said Bugs.
Buster's turn was clean and easy and he began to feel better. He steadied the plane and then brought it back to level flight.
"Now de udder way."
Buster did so readily. Bugs pointed down.
"Now, What da yah see down dere? Anyplace you wanna go to?"
Something caught Buster's eye and a smirk grew on his face.
"Yeah..I see someplace fun."
"Well, let's go!" said Bugs confidently.
Buster pushed the stick forward and they felt the Cessna descend.
"Where're we going, Buster?" asked Babs.
"Oh, you'll like it Bab-o-link!" Buster grinned.
Babs strained to look beyond Buster's head and saw the huge gaping entrance to -
"WACKYLAND!?!" she yelled as the aircraft dove into the ringed mouth of
that most bizarre of places!
Deep inside the colorful chaotic cacophony that is Wackyland, a naked blue toon put on some oversized gloves and tapped a conductor's music stand with his nose to call the band to attention. A Hawaiian guitar played a fractured version of "The Merry Go Round Broke Down" by itself, it's curved body swaying like a hootchie-cootchie dancer. The rest of the band joined in, playing their Peter Max flower trombones and various parts of their bodies.
Gogo Dodo walked blithely up to a welcome mat next to a small hole in a towering brick wall. After looking around to see that no one was looking, he reached under the mat and pulled out his father, the Dodo. Using his father's head as a key, Gogo opened a lock in the wall, causing a ton of bricks to fall on them both. They stuck their dazed heads out of the pile of rubble.
"Heya Dad! Is it true that I'm the last of the Dodos?" asked Gogo.
The Dodo stretched his legs ten feet tall and rose from the debris.
"Absopositivley, Son!" he chuckled with a hiccup. "But why take my word for it?! He's really the last of the Dodos. Ain't he fellas?"
A million Dodo birds appeared and chorused,"YEAH MAN! WOOOOOOOOOOO!!"
As the multitude of Dodos disappeared, Gogo commented, "Good! I'm glad that's settled!"
There was a fanfare and applause as he stepped out and raised his arms like a prizefighter winning a fight. Gogo walked in the air backwards as his pals;the Private Eyeball and the lovely Sphinx arrived. The charming creature fluttered her painted eyes at him. She cooed in ancient Egyptian at him.
He read the subtitles underneath her which read: "Ya know? I could really go for you."
Gogo shrugged and smiled.
"Fortunately, it's all Greek to me!"
The Sphinx swooned and grabbed him with her paws in an amorous embrace.
"Oh, well that's fine! I speak Greek!" she told him joyously.
Suddenly above them, Bugs' Cessna 172 popped in through the giant WB symbol and flew slowly over them. Gogo's head whirled around like a siren, his eyes flashing red and white.
"Intruder Alert! Intruder Alert!" he said in a monotone computer voice.
A Fax machine ran up and ripped off it's fax sheet.
"Just the Fax, Mister!"
Gogo read it urgently and then crumpled up the paper and tossed it away.
"Four Mundanes in a Plane! Scramble! Scramble!" he called as the band struck up a crazy march.
A frying pan overflowing with eggs ran up, wildly stirring itself.
"I'm doing the best I can!" it cried.
By now, Buster was calmly steering with his feet and leaning back in the pilot's seat. Bugs shrugged at having found a natural-born pilot.
"Yer doin' great Kiddo." he said praising him.
"Thanks, Bugs" his student smiled.
"Hey, I know this place real well!", said Babs, "Let me fly the plane."
"NO! " the other three rabbits said immediately.
"Gee, do I perchance, have a reputation as a bad driver??" asked Babs with mocking innocence.
"YES!" said the others.
Babs made a silly sarcastic face, sticking out her tongue at them and looked out the window.
"Look! There's Gogo!"
The Dodo was riding atop a rattletrap train that the wheels were constantly falling off of. Instead of cars, it was pulling words like "FOO!" and "B.O.!" and mathematical equations.
"What's that?" asked Honey Bunny.
"A train of thought" smirked Babs.
Gogo raced along at the same speed as the airplane and abruptly leaped into the air atop a silver surfboard, to sail upward after the aircraft. The train collapsed and wrecked, spilling numbers and letters everywhere.
"Looks like your train of thought was derailed, Babs!" laughed Honey.
Gogo rose to the level of the plane and flew alongside it's window.
"Alright Buddy! Where's the fire?! Pull over to the curb!"
"Gogo! I'm flying a plane!", cried Buster,"I can't stop!"
The Dodo leaped off his surfboard and stood upside down on the underside of the wing. His head became the bubble top of the "Lost In Space" robot.
"Warning! Warning!", he cried waving his arms, "Oh, Doctor Smith! - You are telling a non-fact! I'll have to call for back-up!"
The Dodo put on a leopard skin and gave a tremendous Tarzan yell. A horse race fanfare sounded and from atop a nearby green and spotted plateau, a gang of wild, stick-figure, Cleveland Indians and Atlanta Braves charged down the slope and slid off a ski ramp to fly to the attack! As their war whoops resounded, their arrows flew and became stuck into Bugs' plane everywhere.
"Injuns!" exclaimed Bugs like Yosemite Sam. "You women-folk get down! We'll pert-tect yah!"
He cocked his thumb back and fired his finger out the window like a pistol. Still on the plateau, a lone figure stood giving the "Tomahawk chop" gesture. It was Jane Fonda, sitting on a slow tired horse that looked suspiciously like Ted Turner.
"Listen Dodo, we can't stop flyin'! It's impossible!" Bugs tried to explain.
The Indians now rode in a merry-go-round circle around the flying plane, pulling out a seemingly inexhaustible supply of arrows. A short one used his taller comrade's legs as a bow to fire them. Honey pulled the arrows from the sides of the plane and fired them back, using her ears as a bow to shoot with. She continually covered her eyes, but managed to knock their attackers down each time.
Babs stood in the cabin and sang raucously," One little, Two little,
Three little Indians!" as she watched their assailants fall and chalked them off on the wall.
"Alright, Bub - drop that finger! We gotcha covered!" said a weasely little voice.
Bugs spun around and saw the Gremlin giggling at him from the opposite window. He gulped at the battery of hacksaws, mallets and drills the little terror was carrying.
"Good Gravy! Get away from my airplane wid dem tings, ya lil monster!!"
The Gremlin laughed his "Yankee Doodle" laugh and ducked up above the wing and out of sight. Bugs grimaced and grabbed Buster's shoulder.
"Just hold 'er steady, Kid!"
Bugs turned and undid his seat belt.
""W-w-where're you going, Bugs?!?" asked Buster in panic.
Bugs face was determined, his eyes narrowed.
"Out dere!" he said opening the cabin door. "Nobody's gonna mess wid my plane!"
"BUGS!!" cried all the bunnies.
But he was out and climbing up the wing strut after the Gremlin. Bugs strained to pull himself up on top of the wing, avoiding the propeller, and found Gogo and the Gremlin playing tennis there.
"Service!" called the Gremlin, as he smacked a ball from one wingtip towards Gogo.
"Eh, the service here stinks!" called Gogo, returning the serve.
"Hey, cut dat out right now, ya crazy ijits! Yer gonna wreck my plane!" yelled Bugs as he began to get angry.
They ignored him and the Gremlin scored.
"Ha! One point for me!" said the little demon, who then took one of his mallets and whacked Bugs' fingers and the leading edge of the wing.
"YEEEEEEOWWWCH!" the bunny yelled, nearly losing his grip.
"I like him!" said the Gremlin, hitting the ball into Bugs' open mouth.
"He's silly!"said Gogo, as he smacked the back of Bugs' head with the tennis racket, returning the ball to the Gremlin.
Bugs hauled himself up onto the wing and ducked as the tennis ball sought to hit him.
"Oh, so they wanna play!" he said smugly.
The Gremlin scored again and grabbed a drill to use on the wing, but stopped as he heard Bugs' voice.
"Unh-uh-uh!" said Bugs, holding on to the wing tight.
With a cool smirk, he pushed one of the ailerons down. Immediately, the plane tilted and went into a slow roll. The Gremlin watched in shock as all his implements of destruction fell off the plane and plummeted to the ground. The fallen Indians found themselves being rained on by plunging blunt objects.
BONK! BANG! CLANG!
They were flattened by the falling mallets and anvils! As the plane turned on it's side, Bugs quickly crawled around and back into the cabin door. Honey and Babs pulled him in and into his seat.
"Buster! Get us outta here!" called Bugs as he clicked his seat belt back on.
"You forgooooot something!" called Gogo, who had squashed his face against the window.
He wore a Keystone Cop outfit as he wrote out a traffic ticket and slapped it on the windshield of the plane. Bugs smacked his forehead in disbelief as he read it.
"Operation of a real vehicle within non-reality!? Being mundane?! Claiming something to be impossible within the Boundaries of Wackyland"!?!"
"Not to mention wearing nothing below the waist, flying without a license, and the willful murder of thirty-seven innocent potato chips!" chorused Gogo and the Gremlin.
Bugs and Buster blushed and Babs tried to hide the crushed bag of chips on the floor.
"But I've got a license!" cried Bugs as Gogo and the Gremlin climbed into the cabin, dressed as detectives.
"A likely story!" said the Gremlin. "You've had your rations for this month!" he said, punching Bugs' license card full of holes with a hand-puncher.
"Covering up the evidence, eh Babs?" asked Gogo, looking at the smashed remains of the potato chips.
"Whoever massacreed those chips meant business!" gulped the Gremlin.
Babs leapt to the window and opened the door.
"You'll never take me alive - Coppers!" she said with a sneer as she climbed out and up onto the wing.
"She's getting away! Surround her" cried Gogo, as he headed out the window after her.
The Gremlin followed the escaping bunny, who stood atop the flying plane. Her ears blowing in the wind, Babs laughed maniacally and shouted to the sun -
"TOP O' THE WORLD, MA!!"
|Art by Thorne|
Gogo and the Gremlin crawled up the side of the plane with menace in their eyes. Babs quickly pulled out a pencil and drew a brake lever on top of the wing.
"Surrender in the name of insanity!" commanded Gogo.
Babs pulled the lever and hung on as the airplane screeched to a halt in mid-air. As Gogo and the Gremlin were flung off into space by the sudden stop, Babs waved and sang like Ann Margaret.
Gogo and the Gremlin sailed calmly through the air.
"Why can't ya catch rabbits ?" whined the Gremlin.
WHAM! They slammed into Old Smoky Mountain.
"Ask me another silly question." rumbled the mountain's face, through a giant mouthful of cigar smoke.
The two toons slid slowly down the mountainside.
"If tin whistles are made of tin - what do they make foghorns out of?" asked Gogo cheerfully.
Halfway down the mountain they were caught by the Pegasus and the winged Dragon, who bore them up on their backs.
"After those rabbits!" ordered the Gremlin.
The loony toons flew after the Cessna.
Babs took off the brake and again, Bugs' airplane flew ahead.
"Take us outta here, Buster!" Honey ordered.
"Yes M'am!" said their pilot.
Babs rode atop the wing, her arms outstretched, boldly singing.
"She flies through the air with the greatest of fleas! - old cans of peas! - big hunks of cheese! That daring bun-ny on the flying trapeze! -"
Honey stuck her arm out the window, stretching it up and around to grab Babs by the scruff of the neck.
"Uh-oh, somebody got the hook! Urk!" Babs smirked as she was drawn back into the plane and into her seat.
The plane banked and barreled off back towards the entrance as the Wackylanders gave chase.
"I gotta take ovah, Buster! Gimme dat wheel!" ordered Bugs.
The blue bunny shrugged and reached to try to wrench the control stick loose, but Bugs put his paws on top of it.
Buster laughed sheepishly and changed seats with his mentor. Honey looked down at the bizarre countryside. Melting clocks hung from the trees and others were covered in ants.
"Look at that, Bugs!" she said," It's just like that painting by Salvador Dali."
"Oh yeah!" agreed her husband. "What's duh name of dat painting?"
"Persistence of Memory."
"Eh, I knew dat - but I forgot it."
Gogo leaped to the ground as he and the others landed in a crowd of mutated household appliances. In a blast of flame and smoke, he whirled into a witch's outfit.
"Now take your army and attack them! Do what you like with the others - but bring me that girl and her bunny! Now Fly! FLY!" he ordered in the voice of an old crone.
Gogo waved a broomstick and the boxy machines took to their wings! The evil flock of purple monkey dishwashers flapped their wings and flew hooting after Bugs' airplane, followed closely by Gogo and the Gremlin. The Dodo cackled wildly astride his witch's broomstick as the Gremlin rode on it's tail.
Buster cowered in the aircraft's passenger seat, just as before.
"What's with you?" asked Babs, concerned.
Buster turned to her with a paw on his mouth.
"If I'm not at the controls - urp - I get nauseous..."
Babs spun into an imitation of Tweety Bird.
"Aw! The paaw paaw bunny's turnin' gween again!"
Buster turned white and flowed onto the floor like pancake batter.
"You .. remember how to - ulp - get out of Wackyland?" he gurgled.
"Oh Gee!... We almost forgot about that!" Babs gasped.
"We can only leave Wackyland the way we *didn't* come in!"
"What's dat?! Whadya mean?!?" asked Bugs in surprise.
"We have to get out in a different way!" Babs explained.
Bugs was growing annoyed.
"We flew in! We're in a plane! - How're we *NOT* gonna fly out?!"
"Don't worry! We'll think of something...won't we?" Buster insisted.
"Um...Sure!" Babs said uncertainly.
She thought a second and then whispered in Buster's ear. He reformed himself and nodded. Buster tapped Bugs so he could take the controls again. Bugs shrugged and moved aside to let the shorter blue bunny slip into his seat.
"Look! They're after us!" cried Honey, pointing out the rear window.
Sure enough, the purple monkey dishwashers were on their tail, with Gogo cackling on his flying broomstick close alongside! The Gremlin sneered as he hung on behind him. The Dodo pointed at Babs.
"I'll get you, my pretty! And your little jackrabbit too!!"
Buster weaved left and right to shake off their pursuers!
"It's the wicked witch!", he cried," What'll we do?!? HELP! HELP!!" he yelled.
"It's no use screaming at a time like this!!", Babs yelled in panic, "Nobody can hear you! HELP!! HELP!!"
"Cut da comedy and get us outta here!" yelled Bugs.
Buster and Babs shrugged and calmly discussed the matter.
"Well, what's yer plan, Babs?"
She whispered into his long ear.
"What? Are you crazy?! This is a real plane - not a toon plane!"
"It worked for Michael Jordan, didn't it? And we *are* in Wackyland, remember?"
"Please, don't remind me of that movie!" Honey complained.
Babs and Buster were in agreement.
"If anything goes here - then *everything* goes here!" said the pink bunny.
"It's so crazy, it just might work!" agreed her fiancee.
"What are yous two thinkin' a' doin'?" Bugs asked suspiciously.
"Relax!" called Buster as he took the plane into a steep climb. "Strap in tight, everybody - it's gonna be a bumpy ride!"
The Cessna flew into the blue clouds in the white sky, followed by the flapping wings of the flying dishwashers! The hooting purple machines opened their loading doors to fire! Gogo brandished a plunger instead of a sword as the Gremlin clung to the broom's straws.
"Tora! Tora! Tora!" yelled the Dodo to his minions!
Streams of soapy water shot out of the dishwashers to splash over Bugs' airplane.
"Evasive action, Mister Sulu!" called Babs from the front passenger seat.
"Aye, Sir!" said Buster as he tried some of his video game maneuvers.
The airplane looped the loop in an Immelmann turn as Buster pulled the stick back into his belly. The world went upside down and the engine roared.
"BUSTER! You crash my plane and I'll - WHOA!!" roared Bugs as the aircraft wheeled back upright.
Buster zeroed in on Gogo and the flying dishwashers, but was disappointed.
"Aww rats! There's no trigger! Darn!!" he pouted.
"This ain't no warplane! Whatcha tryin' ta do?!" Bugs admonished him.
"Tryin' to get us outta here - I think we're as ready as we'll ever be, Babzie!" called Buster as he and his girlfriend put on goggles.
Buster aimed the nose of the plane at the side of the wall near the doorway to Wackyland and pushed the throttle wide open. The plane accelerated into a power dive! Buster's grin grew to a sneer as the G-forces pushed all the bunnies back into their seats. They tore through the startled group of flying dishwashers like a hawk diving through a flock of pigeons!
As they streaked past, Gogo and the Gremlin gave chase!
"After them you fools! Seize them! Seize Them!!" called the Dodo like the Wicked Witch of the West.
But the airplane was already diving headlong towards the wall!
"BUSTERRRRR!!!" yelled Bugs, straining at his seat belt as Honey covered her eyes.
"BANZAI!!!" shouted Buster as he dove the Cessna directly into the wall of Wackyland!
There was a ripping sound as the propeller blade ripped the elastic barrier to shreds and the plane tore it's way through to freedom. Buster yanked back hard on the stick, pulled out of the dive and up into the beautiful blue skies of Acme Acres again.
Behind them, the eyes of their pursuers grew huge as the fabric of Wackyland collapsed like a leaking balloon on top of them. The titanic thing deflated, sounding like the world's largest whoopie cushion. (Which it is.) The entire world within it came down upon it's inhabitants like a crashing zeppelin!
"Oh, the Inanity!" gasped the Dodo.
With a tremendous noise of a raspberry, it came to a flubbery halt. After a moment, Gogo and his friends clawed their way out from inside. Gogo shrugged, slapped a giant band-aid over the whole and pulled out the world's largest tire pump. Together, he and the Gremlin pumped Wackyland back to it's normal appearance.
"I think I'll give up on rabbits", said the Gremlin, "They're too tricky to bother with...Besides, ducks are more fun to play with!"
The Dodo shrugged and said, "Well, that was a fun few minutes! Now what'll we do?"
As they flew over Acme Acres, Fifi tried to keep her thoughts quiet. She forced herself to look at the scenery and tried to enjoy the flight, despite her growing annoyance with her Grandfather. She felt the sticky castor oil permeating the fur around her muzzle and wondered if it would ever wash out. Hamton and Boris the spider were chatting while Lord sat silently piloting the plane. The Triplane was geared down into cruising speed and its engine sounded differantly, the cylinders firing more slowly.
["So vat kinda airplane is dis?"] thought the bearded old spider. ["Where's the movie and the salted peanuts? Where's de roof, while ah'm askink?!"]
["Oh, this is a 1917 Fokker Triplane! It's a World War One fighter plane - they didn't have pressurized cabins back then."]
["1917?!? Ya mean dis plane is older than me?!? Oy vey!"]
Lord kept his eyes forward, trying not to think of the spider so close at hand, his fur still standing on end.
["This - uh - reproduction is only a few years old. There's only a few differences between this aircraft and an original Dr 1 - the engine, for instance."] Lord told them.
["But this has a real rotary engine?"] Hamton thought, confused.
["It does, but not the correct one."]
["This isn't a one hundred and ten horsepower Oberursel?"]
["No, you see the main problem with the Triplane was that it was always underpowered. This one has a fourteen cylinder, double row, contra-rotating, Siemens-Halske Sh IIIa. It came out in 1918."]
["Wow!"], thought Hamton, ["And how powerful is that?"]
["Two hundred horsepower, one of the largest ever built."]
["Gosh! No wonder it's so loud!"], exclaimed Hamton, ["And no wonder it's contra-rotating!"]
["Vould you two mind speakink English, please? Vat's dat mean?"] asked Boris.
Lord shivered as the arachnid spoke to him, but Hamton chimed in with enthusiasm. ["Rotary engines had to be air-cooled, you see - so the crankcase is bolted onto the propeller and spins with it - cooling the engine!"]
["You mean the engine is spinning around dat fast?! Itself - even?!?"]
["Twelve hundred revolutions per minute!"], thought the elated pig, ["And that's why this one's contra-rotating. It spins the opposite way of the propeller."]
The old Yiddish spider did a confusion take. ["You just said it spins the *same* vey! It spins the odder vey? How come?"]
["That's to eliminate the torque of the engine."], Hamton thought cleverly, ["Otherwise, the engine would act like a huge gyroscope and make the plane want to turn in one direction all the time. That's one reason why the old planes were so hard to fly."]
["Very good, Hamton! You know a great deal about early aircraft."] thought Lord.
["Thank you, Doctor."], the pig thought, blushing, ["I've been reading about aircraft since I was little. All about the World War I aces and their planes. I've always dreamed about flying an airplane like this one!"]
["Perhaps you should take Ground School?"]
["Oh, I'd love to!..But the Looniversity doesn't offer that."] Hamton thought in disappointment.
Lord sat back silently and noticed Fifi's feelings of annoyance.
Hamton noticed it now. ["Something wrong?"] he asked her.
Fifi winced at having to explain. ["Eetz just zat..ah'd like to..see some ozzer parts ov ze city."]
Lord understood his Granddaughter's predicament. ["How about a trip through town? And some music perhaps?"]
["Oh, all right."] the skunkette assented.
["Hey, can I see dis time?"] asked Boris.
Lord began to shiver again, the fur on the back of his neck standing up. ["A-a-as long as you stay away from me!...no offense."]
The old spider waggled his head and pointed at Lord with a foreleg. ["Don't vorry, I make it my policy to stay avay from anti-spider-ites. 'Specially ven he's the driver! Could somebody please keep me from blowin' avay?"]
Boris crawled up from inside the second cockpit next to Hamton's shoulder. Hamton cupped his hand on the rim of the cockpit and the spider crawled under it. ["You'll be safe from the wind this way, Mister Chachka. Of course you can only see towards the rear,but.."]
["That's okay Mister Pig, I'm used to looking at tings upside down anyvay."]
(M.I.B. #16 -Closing Theme)
A bass and percussion began to play in their heads as Lord played more of the M.I.B. music. Boris clung onto the red silk of the fuselage under Hamton's hand, as Lord banked the Triplane towards the city again. Fifi shifted comfortably in Hamton's lap as the G-forces tugged at them.
["A spin through ze city should be nice."] she thought, brightening.
The percussion in their minds built up faster.
BRRRRUPP! BRRRRRRRUPP! BRRPP!
Lord suddenly began "blipping" the engine as he slowed the Triplane and began a diving turn towards the skyscrapers. He moved the cylinder selector switch to full power again and the engine resumed its usual deafening roar. Soon the aircraft flew closer to the buildings - and at an altitude of only fifty feet!
As they approached the main street, Fifi managed to think ["Shouldn't we be-?!!"]
At that moment, Lord banked hard to the right, throwing the scarlet Triplane on it's side - and flew it straight down the middle of the street between the buildings! The thrilling theme music swept and bounced in their minds. Fifi and Hamton gasped as the three red wings swooshed by the walls of cement and brick with just inches to spare! The monstrous blast of the engine was magnified and they could suddenly see just how fast they were traveling. Fifi and Hamton froze, afraid to move as the airplane roared down the streets. Fifi saw an intersection come up ahead of them and didn't have time to scream, as Lord suddenly banked ninety degrees to the left - right above the stoplights! A timpani boomed in their heads as the plane turned the corner and went straight down the boulevard, as their pilot calmly guided it with exacting precision.
["Aw, look at that!"], thought Boris in disappointment, [" The Woolworth's has gone outta business. Vat a shame! They made such good hot dogs, too."]
Atop a telephone pole, Officer Pooch and a litter of kittens he was attempting to rescue watched the Fokker Triplane zoom right over their heads! As the plane whizzed past, the canine cop was spun around the pole and wound up tying his arms and legs in knots to keep himself from falling. There was another crossroads and Lord turned to the right again, flying past the Acme Arms apartment building at the range of several inches.
["Oh look, there's Pepe and Penelope!"], thought Lord pleasantly, ["Goodness.. the poor lady looks exhausted."]
He smiled and waved as Pepe looked over the edge of his rooftop penthouse in amazement. Fifi had the same wide-eyed expression she saw on Pepe's face. Hamton and Lord wore boyish grins as they enjoyed the thrilling ride. Just then, the Triplane zoomed out of the city and over Fifi's house and Lord's mansion. Fifi's shock gave way to annoyance again.
["Just what do vous call zat?!?"] her mind exclaimed.
["A trip through town."] said Lord's thoughts casually.
["I'd call it exciting!"] thought Hamton.
["I'd call it a short cut."] thought Boris.
The purple skunkette rolled her eyes heavenward.
["Boyz and zere toyz, humph!"]
The Triplane flew straight on towards the Looniversity and Lord pulled up higher into the air. The music quieted somewhat, but then became quite electric as they looked at the scene below.
["Look down there!"] thought Hamton ["Isn't that Plucky down there?"]
["And Shirlee! Look vat zey are doing!"] exclaimed Fifi.
In front of the school were the three waterfowl. Daffy and Plucky were perched on a ladder against Bugs' statue, while Shirley leaned against the base of the ladder.
["Daffy's painted a moustache on Bugs' statue. He must still be on his Dadaist binge."] thought Lord with disapproval.
Indeed, Bugs' statue now bore a huge black painted moustache. Daffy was preparing to put a giant beard on it as well.
["That's vandalism! "], thought Hamton, ["Let's Get 'em!"]
Fifi turned to look at him in shock.
["Hamtone! Ah'd nevair theenk to hear tu say such theengz!"]
["I...I just thought it, I didn't say it, honest!"]
["Nevertheless, he is quite correct."] thought Lord ["We must put a stop to this."]
Fifi saw this and reluctantly agreed.
["Alright, but zey are our friendz. No machine guns! Vous promised!"]
["Of course not! I wouldn't dream of it."] thought Lord, slightly irked at the idea. ["We'll just teach them a lesson."]
He and Hamton grinned as he cut the selector switch back on - running the engine on three cylinders. It putt-putted along quietly as Lord brought the Triplane down to tree-top level to sneak up on the ducks. The cold air whistledthrough the wings as both Hamton and Lord anticipated the surprise they were about to spring. Lord's eyes narrowed.
"Like, are you guys about done? Art is karmic to me - but being an accessory to graffiti rilly lags!" Shirley called indignantly up to where Daffy was daubing brushstrokes of thick black paint onto Bugs' chin.
Plucky teetered on a lower rung of the ladder below his mentor, trying to hold the heavy bucket of paint.
"Shhhh! Ya wanna get us caught?", said Plucky hastily, "Hurry up D.D.!"
"Hold the ladder still, willya! Artistic geniusth cannot be rushed!" Daffy declared as his brush dripped splotches of paint on the suffering Plucky.
Shirley felt Lord's thoughts and calmly walked away from the ladder. Plucky noticed as it began to wobble and his feet began to give way under him.
"Shirl! Where're you going?! Don't leave me hangin' like this!"
Shirley levitated into the air, calmly in her lotus position under a nearby tree.
"Out of harm's way."
Shirley closed her eyes to achieve her center.
"Like John Lennon said - "Instant Karma's gonna get you!"
Daffy made his finishing touches and said "Vio-la! Sest fin-iss! Gad! I'm such a genius!"
|Art by Thorne|
Suddenly from behind and above them, there was the monstrous roar of an engine as Lord dove his Fokker Triplane directly at them at full power! The blood-red airplane was bearing down almost on top of them, its propeller knifing through the air!
"AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!" they screamed!
Plucky and Daffy's pupils grew tiny and they both whimpered, "Mommy!"
Lord banked and swept by - the landing gear just over their heads, the wind causing both ducks to hang on to the rickety ladder, as it swayed wildly. Lord and Hamton grinned as the plane pulled up to two hundred feet before another hard turn brought the Fokker's nose tipping over and back down upon the vandals. As he attacked again, Lord began to laugh.
["Just like the old days!"] he sneered as the dynamic music charged though his mind.
Fifi and Boris cringed at the rollercoaster ride they found themselves in. The G-forces were throwing them and their stomachs around as they alternately plunged, rolled and ascended. The evil-looking machine dove again, swooping closer!
"WHOOOOOOOOA-A-A-A-A-A-A-A!!" said Plucky as he fell, hitting and splitting each rung of the ladder on his way to the ground.
He looked up to see Daffy staggering above him on top of what remained of the ladder, like he was on stilts. As the plane zoomed up into a chandell and turned 180 degrees to buzz him again, Plucky shook a defiant fist at it!
"CURSE YOU, RED BARON!" he yelled - just as Daffy's paint bucket fell on his head, drenching him in wet black paint!
Hamton grinned gleefully back at the scene.The leg of Daffy's stilts hit the puddle of paint around Plucky and Daffy went slipping and staggering all over the school grounds. He finally managed to collapse on top of his own statue as the slats of the ladder gave way under him.
"Oh, how the mighty have fallen" said Daffy dazedly.
He found himself atop his statue's mortarboard hat, staring into its stone eyes.Instantly fired with inspiration, he whipped out his paintbrush and painted the word "Dada" across his forehead and a monocle around his right eye.
Standing on his own big beak, he proclaimed," I_AM_A_GENIUS!!"
Lord pulled up and plunged down to swoop over them again. He was still laughing, his sharp upper teeth showing, as the ominous music from his mind took on a dark, metallic tone. He pulled the Triplane up into a climb over the Looniversity and zoomed upwards into the clouds! He began to hunch forward as his face darkened. Fifi became disturbed as her Grandfather continued to laugh in what began to sound like malevolence. Hamton's smile faded as their pilot's uncharacteristically diabolical laughter echoed though his mind.
Lord threw his head back, laughing demonically. His pupils turned pinkish and everyone winced as they felt their stomachs turn. Lord felt the evil Berserker shifting within him and shook his head suddenly to rid himself of it. The others groaned, sickened by it's brief presence. Lord concentrated to push it away, his eyes changing color as he struggled internally with it. He pulled off his goggles and let the cold blast of the propeller's slipstream jolt him back into self-control.
"Petité..." he gasped - though no one could hear him.
The aircraft flew into a dense cloud. The music faded to a heartbeat and then slipped away quietly. Hamton and Boris suddenly felt better.
What they could not see was the purple glow that appeared before Fifi and her Grandfather's eyes. The two sat frozen as the Purple Light washed through their minds and cleansed their souls of pain and fear. Joy and togetherness filled them as their minds momentarily touched.
["Hey! What happened? I couldn't hear you!"] though Hamton as Lord and Fifi's veiled trance ended.
["...Sorry...I got a little carried away.."] Lord told them. ["Is everyone alright?"]
["Oy! Vat heartburn I got!"] moaned Boris.
["I felt a little airsick too. I guess it's the castor oil fumes bothering us."] Hamton thought. ["Fifi?...Fifi, are you okay?"]
The skunkette felt supremely happy as she came out of her daze.
["Oui...Ah ...feel just wondairful!"] she said smiling. ["Are tu alright?']
["Yes, thank you. We're up to 2,000 feet! Take a look!"] thought Lord, as he quickly changed the subject.
They now flew just above the clouds, which stretched out before them like an ocean of snowy hills. Above them, the sun blazed brightly, its rays falling at angles like a Japanese "Rising Sun" battle flag. They looked up and saw a titanic cloud bank thousands of feet tall, elevating towards space.
["WOW!] exclaimed Hamton, wiping the castor oil off his goggles
["Looks really nice up here."] ventured Boris.
Fifi was struck by the majesty of the beautiful sky-scape.
["...Eet lookz like what ah've alwayz imagined Heaven to be like."] she reflected wistfully.
Images of her parents wafted through everyone's minds till Hamton thought of something to cheer them all. He squeezed Fifi's shoulder and snuggled her with his snout and began to recite a poem.
["Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
and danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-spilt clouds - and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long delirious, burning blue
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or eagle flew.
And while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God."]
Fifi turned, smiled and opened her arms for him, as he hugged her closely from behind.
["Zat was beautiful, Hammy!.. Just like ze sky!"]
["You write that yourself, Mister Pig? It'z pretty good."] thought Boris appreciatively.
["It's called "High Flight".. written by a human pilot: John Gillespie Magee Jr. He flew a Spitfire in the RAF in World War Two."] Hamton proudly told them.
["..A very nice poem, my young friend.."] Lord thought reflectively. ["I remember reading about that. He fought in the Battle of Britain...but he didn't survive the war."]
The Doctor looked sadly at the horizon before saying, ["Now let's see what we can see!"]
The scarlet triplane banked and climbed to the north, dwarfed by the mountains of white clouds.
While Daffy was bouncing his merry way around the campus, "Hoo-Hooing" and celebrating his artistic triumph, Shirley regarded the newly painted Plucky Duck.
"Like, I can't be-lieve the significance here!" she exclaimed,"We look like the yin and the yang! Mondo cool!"
Soaked with the black paint, Plucky stood fuming and sputtering. "What's that mean?! "
"It's like, the ancient Chinese symbols of the negative and positive principals of the Universe! They're black and white, see?"
"I'm covered with paint! How does that make me a symbol?" he grouched, "How'm I ever gonna get this junk outta my feathers?!"
"Like relaaax, Plucky. You're heating up and making the paint dry faster. Yin is female, passive, cold and negatory - and yang is male, active, hot, and positive...eww! That's kinda sexist if ya think about it."
Plucky could feel the paint getting gluey.
"Never mind that! Get this junk offa me!"
"Cool yer jets, Plucky. Listen - see, unlike the Western dualisms, where light is good and darkness is like, bad - yin and yang actually *compliment* each other and even, like totally grow out of each other! It's rilly rilly cosmic!"
Plucky stopped struggling as he caught on.
"Ya mean that it's a good thing - it's balanced?" he asked.
"Like - Duh! Of course!", the Loon cried, "It means we're rilly meant to be together!"
The duck's rare tender side began to show. His bill developed a tic, as he looked fondly at Shirley. He thought of all the crazy things he'd tried in order to win her.
"...And all it took was a bucket of paint.!" he mumbled happily.
He raised his arms to embrace her.
"Ewww! Like, don't touch me, Plucky! Yer totally icky!" she said flinching back.
"Then again - maybe not..."
|Art by Thorne|
"Just hang on a sec -"she said as she conjured up a small rain cloud over his head.
Shirley waved her arms and the cloud began to rain on Plucky, slowly washing the sticky, black mess out of his feathers. It revealed a genuine smile that Shirley happily returned. As soon as Plucky had resumed his normal "gaggle green" color, Shirley stepped into the falling rain with him and they wrapped each other in a embrace. The two happy waterfowl stood in their own little rain shower and didn't mind a bit as their clothes got soaked.
Plucky looked into Shirley's eyes and said "It's a good day for ducks, huh?"
"Fer sure!" she smiled back.
The rain continued to fall on them as they drew into a long hearfelt kiss.
(M.I.B. #2 - D's Memories / Chase)
Bugs sat at the controls of his airplane and silently contemplated the land below. After their crazy escape from Wackyland, he was determined to do what he first intended to: think things over. Problems always looked smaller when viewed from 3,000 feet. He watched the greens and browns of the countryside beneath slowly change as he soared through the clouds. His sad gaze and lopping ears didn't go unnoticed.
"What's wrong, dear?" Honey asked him softly from the passenger seat.
"Eh..I wuz just thinkin'..." he said quietly.
He glanced over his shoulder at Buster and Babs sitting in the rear of the cabin. Honey leaned over to speak privately with her husband.
Bugs nodded in embarrassment. She always could tell what was on his mind.
"..About alot uh tings...like Red...I can't believe she's gone..ta die like that-"
Honey was the only one allowed to see her husband's sadness.
"You're a star. You know what pressure can do to people."
Bugs looked into his wife's eyes with a sigh.
"Yeah. ..Look what it done ta me. Look what I done tuh them....I wuz wrong tuh..."
He shook his head regretfully.
"An the Doc...I - I misjudged him all along. He was nevah mad about it.. an' he's helped us get outta the Lola problem."
Suddenly, there was the roar of an engine and dynamic music sounded in the bunnies' minds. Buster and Babs hopped out of their seats in surprise as Dr. Lord's voice echoed in their heads!
["Thanks for thinking of me, Bugs."]
Honey pointed out the window past Bugs. There, flying alongside the Cessna, was the red Fokker triplane, it's occupants waving from the cockpits. Their scarves streamed back in the air as they grinned through their flying goggles.
"It's Fifi and Hamton!" cried Babs.
"And Doctor Lord!" said Buster. "Wow, look at that cool airplane!"
"I told you nevah ta read my mind, Doc!" Bugs said indignantly.
["Sorry, but I don't have a radio."] said the Doctor's thoughts. ["We're just talking anyway, I'm not reading your nice thoughts about me."]
Bugs' indignation gave way to embarrassment.
["Look Doc, maybe we should talk, huh?"] he thought silently.
He saw a smile appear under Lord's goggles.
["Fine by me, Bugs. But let's do our talking on the ground, okay?"]
["Bonjour mes amis!"] called Fifi's thoughts across the gulf between them.
["Wow, neat plane! Hey, is Doctor Lord letting us hear each other's thoughts?"] wondered Babs.
["That's right, Babs."], thought Hamton, ["We were just over the Looniversity. You should have seen Plucky's face when we buzzed him!"]
["In dat ol' crate? Which studio didja get dat from? Warner Brudders ain't done any World War One cartoons since "The Dumb Patrol!"] thought Bugs.
["This "old crate" is newer and in better shape than your old Cessna!"] Hamton thought proudly in defense of the Doctor's plane.
["Oh yeah!"], thought Buster defiantly, ["Prove it!"]
["Very well. Everyone hang on tight!"] thought Lord with a smile.
["Just planes - no tricks!'] thought Bugs.
["Agreed!"] thought Lord, wiping the castor oil from his goggles.
["Oops!'] gulped Hamton ["My and my big mouth."]
Boris the Spider scuttled down to the floor of the Fokker's cockpit to hang on, as Hamton winced and held his arms around Fifi's middle. Buster pulled Babs into her seat and blanched at the fact that he wasn't in the pilot's seat anymore. Bugs and Honey tightened their seat harnesses.
"Bugs, is this wise?" asked his wife nervously.
The grey hare's smile curved around his buck teeth as he readied himself for action. The sound of the Fokker's rotary increased as it was switched to fire on all cylinders at full power and Bugs watched in surprise as the extraordinary red flying machine passed him and pulled out in front of his propeller.
["Try this!'] grinned the skunk from behind his goggles.
As the music grew violent, Lord pumped his control stick repeatedly to the left and the Triplane began an ten-point snap roll; rolling 36 degrees each time - stopping -then doing it again, like a the second hand of a clock ticking backwards. Hamton and Fifi were thrown from side to side by the G-forces as Lord jerkily spun the aircraft upside down and around it's propeller! Bugs watched the difficult maneuver and knew he was up against a professional. As the Triplane turned upright again, Lord suddenly looped up and barrel-rolled over on it's back to come up behind Bugs!
["Tag! You're it!"] called Lord.
Bugs threw his stick hard over, forcing the Cessna into a tight diving turn to try and get behind the Triplane. He opened the throttle wide!
"Let's Dance!" he said taking the challenge.
The Cessna monoplane banked steeply to the left into a tight circle. Buster was squashed by Babs' weight and the G-forces throwing her into him. Bugs looked over his shoulder and sure enough, there was Lord in a steep left bank, hanging right on his tail! Bugs banked a little steeper and pulled back on the stick as the two aircraft whipped around in a circle, each trying to turn tighter and tighter!
["Attack-attack-attack-attack!"] came Lord's thoughts like machine gun fire! ["I'm on your cotton-tail, Bugs!"]
Bugs gritted his teeth and rolled his plane out of the circle and into a diving loop, picking up speed in the dive and banking up the other way, as the triplane thundered past him at more than one hundred miles per hour! Lord also looped back towards him and for a moment, they raced towards each other, passing wingtip to wingtip! Bugs banked up and sought to get on the Fokker's tail, but Lord suddenly his his coupé button, cutting the engine and his speed. The rabbit's plane zoomed right on by him! Again, Bugs banked into a tight circle, but Lord was still behind him and maneuvered above him in his own circle. Around and around they spun like demons, less than thirty yards apart, each hoping to catch the other in his sights!
Hamton gripped the sides of the cockpit as Fifi clung to him for dear life. Though he'd dreamed of it, he'd never hoped to find himself in a real dogfight! He knew Bugs airplane to be faster and sturdier, but the triplane was far more maneuverable. He watched the horizon spin dizzily as the two pilots fought for a position from which to zero in on each other.
"Hang On! I think it's time to employ a lil' stradgedy!" Bugs called to the other bunnies, as he pushed the nose of his plane over into a vertical dive!
Honey gasped as they streaked straight towards the ground! Then Bugs pushed down on the stick further - curving the plane upside down! Buster and Babs hung from their seat belts and grabbed ahold of each other with their arms, legs and ears! Bugs strained to hold the stick down, the centripetal force trying to pull him out of his seat, as the plane pulled up again in a loop going straight up! Lord banked back and began a steep climb as he watched.
["An outside loop! Bugs is certainly sporting."] he thought.
["That's dangerous! He'll never make it!"] Hamton cried.
But Bugs did. He pulled the plane upright finally and the other rabbits all heaved a huge sigh of relief. Bugs sat calmly looking for the Triplane which seemed to have disappeared. He looked in all directions, but saw only empty air.
"Where'd he go?", wondered Bugs, "I don't see him nowhere's!"
"He's not behind us, at least." declared Babs, as Buster began to wish there was a restroom onboard.
Bugs looked upward and saw only clouds and the blinding sun. He squinted as something tiny seemed to move. Then he saw the silhouette of three wings charging down on him!
["Attack-attack-attack!"] said Lord's voice in their heads!
"He's divin' out of the sun!" the bunny pilot cried as he banked hard right, kicking his rudder over.
The Red Baron swooped down like a hawk, but his opponant evaded him. As Lord pulled out of his dive, he found Bugs on his tail!
["Attack-attack-attack!!"] said Bugs' thoughts as he found the Fokker in front of him.
Again they circled crazily, spiraling down towards the ground. Buster was turning differant colors and patterns; yellow, Scotch plaid and spotted with purple. Honey held herself in her seat, her face as white as her knuckles. Babs happily clutched onto the back of Bugs' seat, grinning as she watched his every move.
"This is GREAT! Do one of those spinny loop-de-loops again!" she begged with enthusiasm.
The more manuverable triplane was soon behind the Cessna again and Bugs decided to try diving this time. The two aircraft plummeted earthward through banks of clouds and abruptly Acme Acres came back into view. Bugs leveled out at five hundred feet over the suburbs.
[" Hmmm! Many a man was lost heading for the treetops to run home!"] warned Lord.
["Who said anyting about runnin'?"] countered Bugs, as he zig-zagged wildly.
In the top of the tree in her backyard, Elmyra stretched out an arm to grab Furball. He was still wearing the diaper and baby bonnet she'd stuck on him, but had succeeded in escaping his crib.
"Come back, you naughty baby! Mommy has to spend quality time with her cutey-wuuty baby-kins! Then it's nappy-wappy time!" called the precocious girl.
"Unh-uh! Unh-uh!" meowed the unfortunate cat.
Just then, the two airplanes roared over the tree, catching them both by surprise!
"WHOOOOOOOOOA!" cried Elmyra as she and Furball were blown out the branches!
She fell unceremoniously into the doll's crib and lay there dazed, with tiny biplanes whizzing around her head, as Furball came floating down, using his diaper as a parachute. He threw a blanket over her, tucked her in, stuck a baby bottle in her mouth and strolled jauntily away.
Bugs flew through the town and into the city between the buildings! Cars screeched to a halt and toons dove for cover!
The Goodfeathers; Bobby, Pesto and Squit sat on a telephone wire sunning themselves, when Bugs' plane blasted past them. They hung on with their feet and were spun wildly around the wire till they were hopelessly tangled in it!
"Mario Andretti! What's goin' on here?!", yelled Pesto, "What do they think we are? Trash ta be pushed around?!?"
At that moment, the Triplane zoomed past and spun them again! Punchy from the action, the three pigeons fell off the wires and into an open garbage can. A garbage man clapped the lid on the can and dumped it into his garbage truck. The pigeons' voices were heard from inside as the truck drove away to the dump.
"Ya just hadda ask, huh Pesto?" asked Bobby.
Loud bangs and swears in Italian were heard as Squit and Bobby beat up their buddy.
Bugs and Lord flew circling through the skyscrapers - each unable to catch the other. Lola Bunny and Minerva Mink were window shopping as the two planes howled past, blowing off the ladies' clothes. They suddenly found themselves clad only in their undergarments and screamed!
After a moment of panic, they both stopped to regard each other's underwear - smiled ,laughed and then both said, "Ooo! I love that! Where can I buy it?"
Bugs flew out of the other side of the city and began to climb again. The rabbits all looked and waited, but the Triplane did not appear.
"Where'd he go dis time?" asked Bugs, looking above the plane.
"I don't see them anywhere." said Babs looking out the rear windows.
"I'd like to see me inside a bathroom right now!" gulped Buster, trying to keep his lunch down.
"Oh no! Do you suppose they crashed?!?" gasped Honey.
Bugs eyes narrowed as he listened. The music grew ominous and spooky.
"..Naw...the music is still dere..", he said, "He's doin' something sneaky."
Bugs banked around to look in the opposite direction, but still saw nothing.
"Where are you, Doc?"
["Not where you think I am, my friend."] echoed Lord's voice in his mind.
Bugs turned again, heading for the Looniversity. Suddenly Honey leaned forward and pointed to the horizon!
"LOOK! "she shouted, "He's coming straight at us!!"
Far away, they could see the Triplane coming at them head-on! It was bearing right for their windshield! The music grew more and more ominous.
["How are your nerves, Bugs Bunny?"] challenged Lord's voice.
Bugs' eyes narrowed, his jaw set as he guided his plane into a collision course with Lord.
[" Tougher than yours,_Doc_."]
The two airplanes headed straight for each other, their combined closing speed well over two hundred miles per hour! Both pilots sat motionlessly, glaring tensely and tightening their grips on their control sticks.
"Bugs?...What are you doing ?!" asked Honey quietly.
"The hard part about playing "Chicken" is knowin' when ta flinch." said Bugs coldly.
Fifi peeked around her Grandfather's shoulder and saw them closing on the Cessna. She felt his cold determination to test his opponent's strength of will - as a hunter tests his prey or a teacher tests his student. The music from his mind was beginning to sound dangerous as the passengers from both airplanes grew more and more nervous and frightened. The two pilots flew headlong towards each other - their engines roaring at full speed!
["Ah... theenk zat'z enough."] thought Fifi anxiously.
["Uh...Doctor Lord...?"] Hamton ventured.
["Vat's goin' on?"], asked Boris the spider, ["I can't see nothing!"]
Bugs palms were starting to sweat inside his gloves. The Triplane was growing larger in their windshield.
"Uhhh..Bugs?" asked Buster as he turned as pink as Babs.
"Bugs! Cut out this stupid macho stuff *right now*!" Honey told him firmly.
"Yeah...this isn't funny anymore.." cautioned Babs.
Bugs saw himself in perspective and felt foolish. He didn't want to cave in, but he remembered how Daffy had said "Don't take it so hard - nobody'th perfect all the time - not even 'ol Doc."
["Eh...let's call dis ..uh..rivalry off, huh Doc?" he thought tentatively. They all waited as the two aircraft drew closer and closer to disaster! ["...Docteur?"], thought Fifi, putting a hand on his shoulder. ["..That's fine by me, my friend."] smiled Lord finally. ["Let's both make the right turn."]
Just at the moment they would have had a head-on collision, the Cessna and the Triplane turned aside, missing each other. They slowed down and were soon flying alongside one another, as everyone sighed happily in relief.
["Headed back to the airport, Bugs?"] asked the Doctor.
["Yeah, it's about twenty miles outta town."]
["That's quite a ways - You're welcome to use my hanger, if you like."]
["You got one in town? Where?"]
["Right behind my house! C'mon, I'll show you."]
The two aircraft circled Lord's mansion, watching the windsock that flew from atop it's tower. Arnold waved from the huge grassy field as he came out to greet them. They saw a car arriving out front and presently, Porky and Petunia got out of it and waved too. Lord made his approach and the Fokker descended towards the field from upwind. Lord blipped his engine to slow down.
["Oh dear!"], thought Hamton in alarm, [" How can you land without wing runners, Doctor?"]
["Vat do you mean?"] asked Boris.
["I don't need them!"] thought Lord cheerfully.
["But there's no brakes on this plane, if it's just like a real Dr 1!"] thought Hamton, holding his breath.
["WHAT?!?!"] thought Boris and Fifi, as the ground came up.
Just then, the Triplane flared for landing and rolled gently to a smooth stop.
BRRRRP! ...BRRRPP! ..BRRRP!
Lord blipped the engine on and off as he guided the Triplane to the hanger.
["I use my mental powers to steer the wheels. Plus, I have some ..small experience as a pilot."] Lord told them affably.
With a final brief application of power, the pilot cut his ignition switch and the flow of fuel. The engine snorted as the propeller came to rest and their flight came to an end. The silence was deafening as they drew off their goggles and undid their safety harnesses.
"Ach! Dat vas a long flight. Anything happen?" yawned Arnold as he put down a stepladder for them.
"Oh... a few things. More than I expected." said Lord. I'll tell you in a bit."
Fifi and Hamton climbed carefully out with help from Arnold and noticed that they could hear and had to talk again. They also suddenly noticed how tired they felt. They stood weakly removing their flying helmets and scarves.
"Zut alors! Ah'm exhausted!" Fifi exclaimed in surprise.
"Me too!" sighed Hamton, leaning against the plane.
Lord put up a hand for Arnold who helped him climb from the cockpit.
"Flying an open cockpit aeroplane where everything is manually operated is...whew!...rather tiring" sighed the skunk as he pulled off his helmet.
|Art by Thorne|
His silver face was blackened with oil wherever it hadn't been covered by the helmet and goggles.
"Ew! ," said Hamton, "Our faces are all ...dirty..."
He paused as he noticed Dr. Lord's silence. Then they all noticed that he was standing next to Arnold - but was the same size! Lord smiled and closed his strange silver eyes in concentration. As they watched, he grew to his normal large size, till he towered over them once more.
"At normal size I wouldn't fit my plane." he explained.
"I -eh -uh -always knew you had a s -se -swelled head, Doc." said Porky as he and Petunia walked up.
Lord laughed and welcomed the Pigs. As everyone drew into conversation, Arnold pointed at the other end of the field. Just coming in for a landing were all the rabbits in Bugs' Cessna 172. The aircraft settled into the grass and pulled up to the hangers.
"Arnold, please prepare Hanger Number Four for our friends?" asked Lord.
"Jahwol, Herr Baron!" said the Pit Bull with a click of his heels, before crossing to open the hanger door.
"F-f-f-Friends??" stuttered Porky as Bugs and Honey Bunny got out of their plane and began to walk over.
"Now Porky-" warned Petunia, trying to calm her husband.
Lord put a friendly hand on his shoulder and smiled. Porky looked him in the eye - huffed once, then nodded and settled down.
"What a ride!" whooped Babs as she leaped joyfully out onto the grass.
"Oooohh.....Alka-Seltzer!" moaned Buster as he poured out of the door of the plane and into the grass.
Babs slapped him together like she was building a snowman and soon a very pale blue bunny was staggering along with her to the others.
Bugs was surprised to see Porky and his ears lopped, but he swallowed his pride and joined them all. Lord stepped up to bring them all together. The troubled parties looked at each other uneasily, till the Doctor broke the ice.
"That was a great dogfight, Bugs. You're one helluva pilot!" he beamed, clapping the rabbit on the shoulder.
"Eh, tanks, Doc ...Yer not so bad yerself!" Bugs admitted, shifting uneasily. "In fact ...yer probbly the best I've ever seen." he said smiling genuinely.
There was a pregnant pause before the tall skunk said," From what I remember of the thirties and forties - Porky is a first-rate pilot too."
"Oh g-g-ge -Aww shucks! T'warn't nuthin!" Porky said blushing.
Bugs blushed and stammered too as he saw his way clear.
"Um -l - look fellas, I uh... I wanna apologize to ya both.. I -"
Lord said soothingly "Bugs, you don't have to-"
"Yes I do. I do need to.", the rabbit affirmed. "And I want ya all to hear it."
Bugs stood amidst everyone, his usual coolness melting as he spoke.
"I bin thinkin' about the old days, an uh - there's alot uh tings I did that I shouldna oughta done. ..Fightin' ta get ta be a star - ya gotta be the best! An' tuh stay on top, ya gotta be ruthless an' competitive, but ...a poysen don't desoive ta get the things dey love unless dey can be humble about gettin' 'em.."
He shook his head and spoke to Lord.
"Since last night, I've been thinkin' about Red... and what her star image did to her. They could only see her one way and they wouldn't let her change it!"
Lord looked sadly at his feet and Bugs put a hand on his arm.
"She wasn't really dat way inside", Bugs continued humbly, "...And I'm not really as poifect or as sure of myself as I'm s'posed to be either.."
The others were surprised to see him like this, especially the Toonsters.
"Gee Bugs -I - I've never seen you like this before." said Buster in bewilderment.
Bugs smiled fondly at his favorite student.
"Dats' cause yer lookin' at the *real* me...I got feelin's - and I'm gonna try not ta hide so much any more."
He put his hands on Babs and Buster's shoulders.
"Dat's somthin' you all showed me - bein' honest with yerself. Ya see, It's nice tuh be important. ..But it's important tuh be nice."
He crossed over to put out his hands to Porky and Dr. Lord.
" And as time goes by -", he told them, "Ya loin that having real friends is the most important thing of all."
Their wives and students looked on happily as the the three toons shook hands and accepted each other as comrades.
Suddenly a voice called from the stationary Triplane.
"Hey! Now dat the mutual mushy stuff is over - could somebody please help me outta here?!" called Boris the spider.
"Oh golly! We forgot about Mister Chachka!" cried Hamton running over to the rear cockpit.
Boris appeared at the edge of the cockpit and Lord turned away shivering. Buster, Babs and Hamton crossed to where the spider sat fiddling with something in his ear.
"I thought you said you were deaf, Mister Chachka?" said Hamton.
"Ya don't hafta shout", Boris replied wincing, " I am - but not ven I can get dis stupid hearing aid ta woik..Vell, I guess I gotta be movin' on. Mister Big Skunk is too dangerous to be around."
"I'm very sorry for what happened, Mister Sp- urgh! - Mister Chachka - but it's an irrational, uncontrollable response -" Lord apologized, cringing from the sight of the arachnid.
"It's okay - alright, fine, I understand. You're terrified of schpiders" said Boris tossing it off, "Vell, everybody's poifectly entitled to their own poysenal problems .. no matter how crazy dey are."
Everyone eyed Lord and he shrugged in embarrassment. Hamton had an idea.
"Why don't you come home with me? My mother and I are gonna make matzo ball soup for dinner!" he said.
The bearded old spider's face brightened.
"Hey now, dat's a great idea! I haven't had a home-cooked Jewish meal in years! Hey! Vait a minute...Are you Orthodox?"
"Good, I can't stand ultra - kosher food. I may have been born in a potato field in Poland, but I von't eat dat dreck!"
Hamton and Boris laughed and Hamton picked him up and put the spider into the front pocket of his overalls. Boris looked he was in a baby-carrier.
You I like, Mister Pig", he smiled, "You're non-kosher - but I like you."
Bugs and Porky walked up to look at the Fokker Triplane.
"You b-be- bu -built this?" Porky asked Lord.
"A few years ago." said Lord, joining them. "Except for the engine, the second cockpit and the slip-meter - it's an accurate replica of a DR 1."
"Eww! With a real rotary?" exclaimed Bugs, "Dose tings are messy!"
"You got that right!" laughed Lord, wiping oil off his flight suit with his tail. "Say, Bugs? You're welcome to share my hanger space."
"Oh, I wouldn't wanna be any trouble." said the bunny.
"No trouble at all!", Lord smiled, "I have plenty of room and Arnold is my mechanic - in fact - let me show you my next project."
He walked over to the hanger doors and the others followed.
"Are you building another plane?" Hamton asked with enthusiasm.
"Right in here." said the towering skunk as he hauled up the heavy garage-type door.
Inside what appeared to be machine shop, under the lights stood the skeletal steel framework of another World War One aircraft. The wings were unattached and it had no propeller or fabric covering as yet - just a gleaming brass radiator, a big in-line engine and a long, rather box-like fuselage.
Hamton stood transfixed. His wide eyeballs popped out and zoomed all around the half-built machine, wildly examining it from every angle before zipping back to him! He trembled like a volcano about to erupt as he crept up to Lord.
"I-i- is that a Mercedes DIII in-line engine??" the excited pig prayed.
"Yes, it's the one hundred and eighty-five horsepower version." Lord told him, trying not to look at the spider in his pocket.
Hamton clutched his head as if to keep it from exploding.
"Then it - it's - IT'S GONNA BE A -???"
"A Fokker D VII." the Doctor explained simply.
Hamton's eyes grew huge, but - very politely and composed - he handed Boris the Spider to Buster.
"Excuse me, Mr. Chachka - this will only take a minute." he said pleasantly.
He calmly stepped away and then exploded in a series of wild takes; his head blew up like a bomb, a seven-headed excitement take, he formed into a rocket and blasted off and finally exploded like Fourth of July fireworks that played "The Stars and Stripes Forever"!
He came to a halt before the doctor and exclaimed, "That's my favorite airplane in the whole World!!"
"Would you like to help build it?" asked Lord.
"Would I?! Yes Sir!" the jubilant young pig nodded wildly.
The Doctor's usual slight smile appeared as he motioned for everyone.
"Mister Principal, apparently there isn't a flight school at Acme Looniversity?"
"Nope, not much call fer it nowadays...it's really a shame!" said Bugs.
"Y-y-ye - uh I agree! We r-r-really ought to have one, ya know." said Porky smiling as Hamton hung on their every word.
"I believe we might find enough eager students" said Lord, tongue-in-cheek.
"ME!" yelled Hamton.
"Undt me!" called Arnold as he returned.
"And me!" said Buster.
"You, Buster???" asked Hamton.
"Hey, as long as I'm the pilot and not the passenger I can do it!" Buster explained.
"Who knew?" Babs shrugged. Then, with a bounce, she said, "Me too!"
Everyone looked at her, aghast! The pink bunny was taken aback.
"What? Is it so hard to see Babs Bunny flying a airplane over Acme Acres?"
Bugs looked at Porky.
"We'll need alot of insurance!" he warned.
"Hey!" Babs pouted.
"Okay - yer all in!" Bugs said.
"YAAYY!" shouted the Toonsters joyfully.
Lord leaned down to the ecstatic Hamton.
"So, perhaps in a few months - you'll be flying this Fokker D VII."
This was too much for Hamton, who promptly fainted with a silly grin on his face. The whole group continued their discussion of an Acme Loo flight school as they walked into the rear door of Lord's mansion.
It was then that the Doctor noticed that Fifi was not among them. He finally saw her sitting alone on a bench next to the gate leading back to her house. She was facing away, staring at the plies of junk surrounding her Cadillac as he approached her. She didn't turn to look at him.
"We ave to talk." she said curtly.
"Yes we do...what's wrong?" he asked worriedly, sitting next to her.
Fifi paused a long moment before asking "What happened up zere?"
Lord looked down, ashamed.
"...You knew I have arachniphobia, I never meant to-"
"Oui, ah know. Ah mean what waz going on? Vous were laughing like a madman! Zat wazn't oil fumes zat made us feel sick - eet waz vous!"
Lord nodded sadly.
"I got carried away... Buzzing Daffy was too much like strafing enemy troops in the great War when I was a winged hunter... It was the touch of the Berserker's evil that made you ill."
"And what deed vous do?", Fifi demanded, "What deed vous do to moi?! Ah deedn't forget zee odd feeling! When we flew eento zat cloud?"
"I needed your help to steady my mind and heart. Your good feelings helped me to drive the Berserker back to his cage. I used the Purple Light to heal us both."
She finally turned to look him in the eye.
"Zee Purple Light?"
"It's the physical manifestation of the mental bond between us. It's caring, warmth, peace...and love. And it is why I need you, Petité."
"Ah don't belong to vous. Vous do not own moi!" the skunkette said, turning away from him.
Lord turned away too, deeply hurt.
"No", he said quietly,"...but you need me as I need you. I must link my mind with yours fully. Our link is only partial now. We *must* join - and soon - or the Berserker will consume me. If that were to happen....."
He shook the thought away.
"Ah never asked for thees. Not any of eet!"
Lord put out a hand to her.
"Please, Fifi! I can't hold out much longer by myself."
"Vous are zo wise and powerful and perfect?" she said sarcastically. Why moi? Why not join weeth your friends? Vous seem to ave so many."
Lord accepted the insult, but said " I will only link with my family... Only those I know - and love - and trust."
Fifi stood and turned to him defiantly.
"Well, ah don't trust vous! And ah dunno who vous are anymore! "
"Fifi! ...I raised you!", he begged, "I love you! I'm your Grandfather!"
She raised her nose in the air.
|Art by Thorne|
"Mah Grandfather would never ave lied to moi. 'Ee would ave told moi ze truth. Een - how you say? -One fell swoop - vous ave shown moi zat mah whole life waz a lie!"
Lord closed his eyes and tried.
"I wanted to protect you..."
Just then, a voice interrupted them.
"Hey there, Flyboy! What's for dinner?" called Mae Bear as she appeared from around the corner of the house with a bottle of wine.
Fifi glared disdainfully at her, then at Lord and walked swiftly away through the gate and into her house, slamming the door shut. Her Grandfather slumped back on the bench and stared miserably at the ground.
"Was it something I said?" asked Mae.
Look for the next Chapters of -
"A TIME TO EVERY PURPOSE UNTO HEAVEN"
coming to you soon.