There’s a regular feature in the Saturday edition of The Times called “My Week …….” with an asterisk saying the article is ‘written according to Hugo Rifkind’ and is a parody of the particular individual’s week. Those politicians who have been lucky enough to have been lampooned by Rifkind recently include Joe Biden (23 Jan 21) Boris Johnson (30 Jan 21) and Vladimir Putin (06 Feb 21).
For example, Putin’s Monday (in this case the word is written in Cyrillic script!) starts ‘Am speaking with favourite oligarchs via entirely original Russian version of Zoom. Is called Zom. Ferry glitch.’ For those of you unfamiliar with the word ‘lampoon’ – it’s a verb meaning to publically criticise someone or something by using ridicule, irony or sarcasm. In a world where currently the news is all too serious, it’s a welcome levity.
During these days of vaguely enforced lockdown my imagination goes into overdrive (Note 1) and this week it’s all about giving life to an inanimate object; a little like Shirley Valentine talking to the wall in the film of the same name. In my case I think it’s easier to think of a bunny rabbit talking back than a wall ….. but maybe I am biased?
My regular readers may recognise the name Francisquinha, the subject of PC 172. I scribbled about our relationships with stuffed animals over the decades and today is no different. In fact she was reading over my shoulder the “My Week …..” piece last Saturday and suggested she could be the subject. Within a second she had twitted Hugo Rifkind and agreed a price; she didn’t tell me what it was as she knows I know she has a number of debts to clear.
Monday “Je m’appelle Francisquinha Chantelet. À l’origine mes ancêtres venaient de la region de Pau dans le sud oust de la France. Ah! Excusez moi! Je dois parler en anglais …….mais we ended up here God knows when, certainly over two hundred years ago. It was probably during the French Revolution; think some stowed away on a ship to England. ‘God Save The Queen’ I say rather than ‘Vive La Republique!’Particularly with that Macron in charge – reminds me of macaroni cheese. I know it’s not done to let you know my age, but I am a proud 6 – about 60 in your years. It’s the start of the week so I get my claws done – currently I am into glossy pink shellac, goes well with my complexion.
I was looking over an article The Boss was reading about Myxomatosis and I could feel my little body begin to shake. It says in 1953 the viral disease Myxomatosis broke out here for the first time. It killed tens of millions of my families – we are all interrelated so that’s how I think of them – family. It’s written in a cruel way “Would the authorities allow the disease to exterminate such a destructive animal?” Moi! Destructive? Non! I am sweet and endearing and used the world over as a symbol of cuddleness, tenderness, cuteness and any other ‘ness’s you want to add. Bring them on.
Fortunately the boss sensed my discomfort and held me close to his chest. By the way I do recognise that you humans are going through a similar pandemic as we did in the 1950s; you have my sympathy.
It’s Tuesday so I get the weekly edition of The Warren, a glossy magazine full of salacious gossip and untrue stories about those of my race who think they are celebrities. Huh! Nothing famous about them, save for the odd nip and tuck to lift an ear or make a bobtail more appealing. Of course no one can match my beauty, so I read these tales with a smug expression and if they knew I have a removable tummy I can microwave, which gives me a very warm tummy, I would be even more popular. Big headed? Moi? Non!
Wednesday French toast for breakfast. I am with my owners for the 1000 yoga class. I still can’t do many of the asansas but I sit watching the screen and try to look interested.
I am getting quite a fan club as my cute smile and bright eyes warm the participants’ hearts. My Sasangasana (Note 2) posture is of course my favourite so I will demonstrate it pour vous.
Thursday I get stuck into the daily soap opera on Rabbit TV. You probably don’t know, why should you, that I have a mini iPad. It’s pink! I can hop about between the three channels – one is a serious one showing educational programmes, about reproduction for instance; we all love sex but no one I know watches it, hence that saying “breeding like rabbits” (Note 3). The one I watch has wall-to-wall soaps ……. endless mindless drivel, which I love.
Friday is an exciting day as I am allowed bucks fizz for breakfast; this accompanies croissant with confiture – jam to you English but I love the word confiture as it’s a nod to my heritage. Very occasionally the champagne is not Tattinger. Zut Alors! Don’t they realise there are standards? I normally go out for the evening with Mumu, a real, live, large Black & White cat who lives next door. Mumu is female so we do a little mindless vagina rubbing, knowing nothing serious will come of it – oh! and we sink a few cocktails; I do love her. (Note 4)
Lockdown has meant my travels have been really curtailed so far this year. You may remember I went to Singapore (PC 168) at the end of 2019 and stayed in the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. Flashed my eyes, spun my ears around, and got an upgrade!!
Last night I had food which makes me fart; there seemed to be lots of kale and cauliflower. It’s a myth that rabbits only eat carrots, you know. Anyway my farts are rather silent and sound like a gentle ‘Poof! Poof!’Sadly they are deadly! Not popular as I sleep between my owners.
A Bientot. Adieu!”
Then it’s the start of a new week, with all the excitement that that currently holds? For Francisquinha – see PPS below.
Richard 12th February 2021
PS Thanks to Hugo Rifkind for the inspiration for this PC.
PPS Francisquinha will be away next week in rehab.
PPPS I was sixteen when I met a girl living near boarding school, whose father breed rabbits. They were enormous and expensive– and for about nine months two of us had some hutches behind the Biology Laboratories – looking after about five.
Note 1 A expensive car’s manual gearbox might have an ‘extra’ gear, an overdrive, which you could select for motorway driving, for instance.
Note 2 Sasangasana posture is known as Rabbit Pose.
Note 3 To reproduce …… ‘they drank like fishes and bred like rabbits’. A further extension is ‘breeding like Catholic rabbits’. As the Catholic Church forbids any form of birth control, the ‘joke’ implied is that Catholic rabbits will breed more than non-Catholic ones.
Note 4. I think Francisquinha had read that birds simply rub their sexual areas together to mate!!