Silly Wabbit


Year of the Rabbit

Uranus is in retrograde

by Trevor C. Hale

In hot pursuit of a Lunar New Year party on Smith Lake and the illicit pleasures it promised, we were hopelessly lost. Such was the typical high school weekend growing up in Cullman.

Armed with dubious directions, barreling down a winding two-lane road in the middle of nowhere, we emerged at an intersection where the only sign of life was “Vin’s Rabbit Hutch.” We checked the directions, and ourselves, and tried a different route.  Thirty minutes later, inexplicably, we again arrived at Vin’s Rabbit Hutch.  The third time at Vin’s, we figured it was destiny (“yuan fen” in Chinese), and we stopped for directions.

The dimly lit screen door moaned as we entered and slapped shut like a sucker punch. Cuddly, cutesy, stuffed rabbit centerpieces greeted us from every table. They looked like the prize rabbits state fair carnies intentionally give to marks to make their games seem legit.

On the table closest to us, a cuddly green rabbit with floppy ears and sweet, smiling eyes seemed to look up and say, “Oh boy! Welcome y’all. We don’t get a lot of strangers here. Yuan-friggin-fen!”

We’ll call him Floppy.

Hundreds of his fellow bunnies, so cute they made Justin Beiber look like Flava Flav, grinned down at us from amphitheater-seating on a high shelf circling the perimeter of the main room, decorated unsparingly with Christmas lights.

Surrounded by bunnies overheard, it was if we’d entered a coliseum of cuteness.  Before we could say “stomach pump,” we were greeted by a “Can I help y’all?”

It was a woman’s voice coming from an organ surrounded by pipes in the back corner. All we could see of her over the pipes was a large blond bouffant of a mane. Her hair was perfect, floating there—like Dog the Bounty Hunter’s wife, Angelic.

The organ came to life with a jaunty “Hokey Pokey,” as Floppy winked in its direction.

“Excuse me, can we use your phone?” we asked. “We’re lost and need directions.”

Floppy was put out, and the other bunnies were suddenly restless.

Despite the fact that there was not another (human) soul in the building, the bouffant explained that they didn’t want to tie up the line in case folks called for reservations.

“Why don’t y’all stay and have some rabbit?” the hair implored. “It’s our best dish, n’fact, it’s all we serve.”

Floppy nodded vigorously, moshing like Angus Young, squinting his moist eyes in eager anticipation, his little paws playing air guitar to a tune only he could hear.

The other bunnies squealed in delight!  “Yesssss, have some succulent raaaabbit with a sweet side of yuan fen!”

“So…all you serve is rabbit?” we asked.  Floppy looked up, suddenly it was quiet.

“This rabbit’s as plentiful and tasty as the day is long,” continued the hair. “BBQ rabbit, country fried rabbit, fricassee rabbit, rabbit on a stick, molecular rabbit gravy and biscuits, whatever y’all want.”

The organ was tooting the Chicken Dance.

“Much obliged, but we’re not hungry. I think we’re lost. We just want to use the phone.”

Floppy was pissed. “You’re damn skippy you’re lost” his eyes seemed to say while thumping his foot. His little rabbit lower lip bulged with chewin’ tobacco beneath a hostile stare. The rabbits in the gallery glared down with red eyes, squeaky epithets getting louder.

“You don’t know what you’re missin’,” said the hair.

“I think we best be going,” I said.

“Brang it bunny,” she said in a low, menacing voice.

We heard whine of Floppy’s chain saw before we actually saw it. Baring huge bunny fangs in an evil grimace, his little body shaking with rage, he transformed into a creature so heinous it made Michael Vick look like the Snufalufagus.

As we ran to the car, Floppy, or what was left of him, let out an unholy shriek, boring his bloody chainsaw through the screen door.

“Eat me!” he screamed, bunny spittle flying, as we drove off into the night.

Happy Year of the Rabbit! •

Trevor C. Hale, a Cullman native and Chinese rooster, lives and works in Shanghai and thinks rabbit tastes like chicken.  He’s at trevorcookhale@yahoo.com

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