Uh, let's not get Oscar's hopes up. I was tired. He is still Oscar
Foster and this bad of a bunny can be told to pack up his pizza crusts and go off into the snow to face the world alone.... <sniffle, sniffle.>
OK, so there is no snow.
Oscar On His Own!
(written in email segments on PB by, in alphabetical order, Tracey Godfrey, Carla Kallan, Jan Rebmann, and Cindy Scheel.)
*sniff* *sadness sets in* (Cue mournful violin music)
Oscar gathers scraps of pizza crusts and packs them in a Hareware bowl, straps it to his fuzzy little back and, with a last, forlorn look over his shoulder, activating the "guilt gland" as hard as he can, the lonely foster bun trudges through the blizzard that has sprung up in Los Angeles to make his way in the cold, cruel world...
He has bade farewell to Wally Wiresnips (aka Mr. June) and will try to weave his way through the eight-lane freeways. His only hope now is to hitch a ride with a Dominoes delivery dude to seek out shelter and sustenance.
Stay tuned for our next installment to find out if Oscar Foster has successfully played “Frogger" in the freeways, snuck into a pizza truck or is wandering lost in a blizzard hoping the "sucker light" has been activated on some stoopid hoomin...
Word has been spread through bunnydom. Warrens of bunnies gather to watch Oscar's sad, tragic departure. Just as Oscar is preparing to cross the 405 freeway what should he see but a Domino’s delivery car. Will it stop to offer a ride to the lonely lagomorph? Perhaps a piece of pizza crust??
The Domino’s truck slows down for a moment, and Oscar looks on, hopefully. But the driver doesn't see such a short rabbit. The truck speeds up then corners with a squeal. Oscar also squeals. Luckily he is no longer the so-called "Hesitant Hopper," as he was when he came out of the shelter. With rest and good nutrition, he is now quick as a bunny and managed to scoot away. He is shaken, but not stirred.
The Hareware bowl on his back, obviously very high quality pottery is also intact. Oscar reaches in to check on his pizza crusts. Alas, they are gone!
They must have fallen out! A tear rolls down Oscar's cheek.
Oscar looks up again and sees another delivery driver. It has a different name. It says Papa John's. Perhaps this is Oscar's salvation.
The car slows and the door opens and Oscar darts inside the Papa John's car.
What fate awaits our intrepid hero?
The driver stares at his little hitchhiker. "You're a rabbit". He is dumbfounded. Oscar blinks, fighting back the response circling in his thoughts "such astonishing powers of observation!" Instead, being politically correct and in desperate need of shelter and sustenance, he just bats his eyelashes, looking as cute as possible. The driver pulls back into traffic. "I thought you were some little kid. Oh, well, you're here." The driver reaches over to scratch behind Oscar's ears.
Oscar, cold and tired from his trek, and responding to the magic of an ear scritch, goes into the famous "bunny flop". Terrified, the delivery dude thinks he has died and pulls over again. "Bunny! Bunny! Are you okay?"
Oscar opens one eye; vaguely annoyed the scratching has stopped. "Are you starved, little bunny? Here, have a cheese pizza."
Tempted by the scent, Oscar binkies up and sinks his teeth in to the cardboard. "No no, bunny, the PIZZA, not the box." Oscar hops into the middle of the pizza and frenzied, he pulls the crusts off and stuffs them in the Hareware bowl.
Does the driver have a psycho bunny? Will he let him stay? How does a bunny get melted cheese off of his feet?
Stay tuned for further adventures of Oscar On His Own...
His Hareware bowl now brimming with pizza crusts, Oscar breathes a sigh of relief. He may be on his own, but he will not go hungry-- at least for now.
He gratefully nibbles at one of the crusts, noting, however, it is not as good as Numero Uno's. Also he wishes the topping included vegetables-- carrots, specifically.
But these are trifling concerns. Oscar must figure out how a small rabbit can survive out in the big bad world.
Meanwhile, Oscar unfolds his handkerchief and nimbly cleans his literally cheesy feet.
The driver pulls into several houses delivering boxes. He then returns to the pizza depot and regards Oscar.
"So, little fella, ya wanna come in?"
Oscar bats his eyelashes, still afraid to speak lest the hoomin be frightened. He is invited in to the warm, crust-filled kitchen, no one notices as he deftly slips in behind the delivery dude.
As the dude grabs more boxes from the shelves, Oscar surveys the supplies. Onions, mushrooms, olives... hmmm. Not very promising. He sneaks over to the counter where another dude is doing paperwork and spies a shopping list.
As Dude Two turns to pull pizzas out of the oven, Oscar rapidly writes his own shopping addendum. Yes, that's it. A perfect shopping list for a lagomorph special - carrots, cilantro, Craisins, sun-dried tomatoes...
"What's this, Dude?" "Shopping list." "Really, Dude? New stuff, hm?"
"Hey, just get it, I'm gonna toss some dough." "Okay, Dude." He gestures to Oscar, who hops back into the passenger side, donning a teeny little delivery dude cap.
"Weird stuff, little fella. Ya think he's cooking up something new in there?" Oscar blinks innocently. The Lagomorph Special is on its way.
Will it be a failure? A smash hit? Will he get lost in the produce section never to be seen again?
The Produce Section. Mythic words. The concept boggles the mind... the mind of little Oscar, anyway.
While he has certainly HEARD of the produce section and reaped its rewards (think carrots, cabbage, kale, papaya, peaches, pears, grapes... the list of endless, delectable fruits and veggies), never did he think he would actually visit this epicurean pantheon. Being short, and with no opposable thumb (it was indeed fortunate that he had taken a home study graphology course so he could quickly write his addendum to the ingredients list), never had he ventured out to a market. Never had he written a run on sentence. This would certainly be an adventure.
One more thing, he thought to himself, stretching out his little legs and feet in anticipation. I must remember to purchase some wet naps. Those might work well for cheese between the toes.
The truck pulls up to the grocery warehouse and the Delivery Dude and Oscar hop out. Strange and wonderful scents fill the air, Oscar's nose twitches, his ears perk up, and he is entranced. While taking in the perfume delights of the new and strange place, Oscar does not notice that the Delivery Dude enters the pneumatic doors without him. He is trapped outside! He presses his furry nose to the glass, watching baskets brimming with greens; fruits and all assortments of tempting taste treats go past. His tummy rumbles.
The pizza crusts in his Hareware bowl are locked tight in the pizza delivery truck...
He hops up and down furiously but the doors refuse to budge, the gooey cheese still stuck between his toes is becoming bothersome. So close, yet so far... Will the Delivery Dude discover Oscar is no longer with him?
Will he return for our intrepid lagomorph? Will Oscar hitch a ride in with the next shopper? Will he give up hope and become a dumpster diver?
Oh to be more than 6 inches tall! Oh to be more than 4 lbs in weight! Oscar felt invisible, a small black rabbit unnoticed, unwanted, unfed, and uncared for. He sighed a sad, deep Oscar sigh, and sat down on the ground. He leaned back against the wall, pulling his collar up against the cold. He slid his pizza cap over his eyes, not sure he could deal with much more. He thought of Wally, aka Mr. June and King of Summer. No doubt he was safe, warm and eating well right now.
Then, suddenly, the supermarket doors opened. A hand reached out, grabbed Oscar by the scruff of his neck, and quickly snatched him inside.
One voice said to another, "It's about time! I've been waiting all day for
damn new store display!"
The howling of the cruel winds dies down as the store doors swoosh shut. Now weary and wary of humans, Oscar wisely decides to pretend he is a toy bunny in a teeny cap and jacket (and is deeply grateful that he acquired this jacket as it is saving his fluffy scruff from the grip of the store manager).
He is carried to the front of the store where a magnificent display of produce is arrayed before him. Towers of tempting fruits, bushels of crunchy vegetables, fluffy bouquets of herbs all glistening with a fresh misting of water. Oscar feels faint, but steadies himself, hoping the rumbling in his tummy won't give him away as not being a toy bunny.
"Hey, Joey! Here's that new display piece. Stupid decorator must have dropped it on his way in. Tuck him in that little wheelbarrow, and stuff a carrot in his mouth, okay?" Oscar is unceremoniously plunked on the display as a funky teenaged human approaches and grabs a carrot. No longer able to contain himself, Oscar grabs the carrot from the kid's hand and snarfs rapidly, consuming it in a moment.
"Wow! I didn't know we were going to get one of the fancy animated displays!" The kid proffers Oscar an apricot. Our hero, remembering how his former foster mom had once allowed him a morsel of the delectable fruits, sinks his teeth in and slurps every drop of juice, then spits the pit at the kid. "Oh yeah, real cute. Sheesh! You just get your own food, okay, Furball? You're on your own..."
Has Oscar found Heaven on Earth? Will he become the next big holiday toy craze? Will he need an agent? Will he be removed from the display for over-consumption and unceremonious pit spitting and once again cast off from society?
Oscar lies low until the store closes and resists the urge
to chomp all the delicious, delectable goodies around him. He strikes a
toy bunny pose and tries his best not to let his nose twitch, but he doesn't
seem to have much control over it. "No matter", Oscar thinks to
himself, "the kid thinks I have batteries (and they say rabbits are
dumb!)". He stays in this pose for quite awhile and his little bunny
legs start to ache. "I hope they leave soon", he wishes.
Finally Oscar hears everyone bidding each other good night, the lights go off and the store manager locks the door. "Yippee!!", Oscar shouts and proceeds to binky down all up and down the aisles of the store. He stretched and did some Bunny500's to loosen up his muscles and hopped up and down, exploring the counters and bins. Then he dove into all the goodies around him trying to only eat one of each item and then move on as not to give
notice that the food is missing. "Hehehe, that Wally should see me now!" he
He soon grows very sleepy and searches through the store for suitable bedding. "I will have to be careful to wake up with the sun so that I can get back into the window display before they come back in the morning!", he thinks. In his search he found a nice, soft fleecy material in the fabric aisle. "Ahhhhh, perfect. So nice and soft" he says, and drags it to the
window so that he can go to sleep on it. He lays his sleepy head down and
quickly he is in dreamland.
The next morning he is awakened by the store manager’s voice. "What the heck are all these little brown things all over??” Oscar panics a little, freezes and keeps his eyes closed. "Oh no! I forgot about a litter box!!" he silently agonizes.
Let him think they are raisins, please, please” Oscar
thinks to himself. Or maybe the manager will think his night crew was
eating M&M's? Oscar silently kicks himself for not having grabbed a
litter box and some Feline Pine from Aisle 3. Or even a whisk broom from
Aisle 4. Well, too late now. And surely they'd never suspect their
cute little store display?
Looking around him, tho, he sees spit out pits and crumpled Viva paper towels and scrub cloths (which made such a snuggly soft bed last night).
Should he jump down from the display.. clean up... jump back quick as a bunny?
Play possum and ignore the whole thing? Find out what happened to the pizza Dude and his creative shopping list?
While Oscar is pondering his plight the manager leaves to get a broom. Oscar realizes that this is his chance. He quickly grabs carrots, dandelions, cilantro, kale, parsley and basil from the produce aisle. He then darts down Aisle 6 and grabs some raisins and Craisins. He stuffs his booty carefully and securely into the Hareware bowl and returns to his place on the display.
He poises his body to face the door and waits.........
What will happen to our intrepid hero once the store opens? Will the pizza dude return for him? Will he find some other mode of transport? What is his destination?
The darkness lifts as dawn creeps through the freak snowstorm that has hit Los Angeles in August has subsided. Oscar has slept fitfully, despite the cozy bed of paper towels. Doubts circle his mind - is he fit to be a produce supermodel? A pizza delivery dude? Certainly he has failed at housekeeping and stealth operations...
The manager comes in and eyes the produce display where Oscar is attempting to look like an animated plush toy. Absent-mindedly, the manager pats Oscar on the head, skewing the teeny pizza delivery cap and knocking it off his head. Oscar squelches the desire to purr but is afraid to pick up the cap. The store lights come up and the doors whoosh open as starved Angelinos pour in. He scans the crowd for the Pizza Delivery Dude.
More interested in chomping the cords to the TV than watching the box, Oscar is unaware of the glitz of the shoppers... movie stars, agents and... ANNIE! Annie, the creator of The Rabbit of Approval seal is waltzing by the produce aisle.
Should he try to get her attention? Should he make a run for it? Should he try to figure out how his Hareware bowl got from the locked Pizza Truck to the Produce display? What of his Lagomorph Special pizza creation?
Oscar quickly decides two things: He must meet Annie, and he must follow up on the creation of the Lagomorph Special pizza so that bunnies everywhere can hit the speed dialer and order late at night. Certainly the blizzard that pelted Los Angeles should have stirred up a few appetites... buns, and maybe people, will be wanting to order something this new creation from the comfort of their homes.
Oscar silently bends down to pick up the pizza delivery hat that dropped off. He plunks a peach on top of a spaghetti squash (the two remaining display items he hadn't eaten) and puts the hat on top. There! That should buy him time.
He hops down quietly, grabbing his luggage, the Hareware bowl that has somehow materialized in the store. He scampers toward Annie but, then who does he see but... Bernie! Bernie of Annie's bunny shaped pasta! Wally had corresponded with Bernie in the past (Bernie being a very distinguished rabbit celebrity who actually answers email) but now he, lowly Oscar, little 3 lb Oscar (no he is not 4 pounds as erroneously reported), may actually MEET the famous Bernie. Maybe he will have Bernie autograph a pizza crust from his Hareware bowl!
What is going on... why are Annie AND Bernie both here? Can Bernie advise Oscar on how to become a celebrity chef and market pizza? Should you "push tail to open"?
Bravely dodging grocery cartwheels, Oscar darts toward the
rabbit-centric celebrities. Annie and Bernie spy each other, and begin an
animated conversation which Oscar, with his superior ears, can almost make out
even half way across the crowded store.
"...I'm desperate, Annie. I've run out of ideas."
"You just need inspiration, Bernie. That's why we've
met in the produce aisle. Certainly there HAS to be something here that
will give you an idea for a new taste sensation. Something... different,
something everyone will love. Something healthy and... was that a rabbit?"
"Annie, you've been staring at your own boxes too long. This is a store, how could a rabbit get in here?"
"Oh, you're right, Bernie. Maybe I was just seeing things... No. No, there he is again, that little bunny right over there!"
"Annie. I thought *I* was the one with the stress overload. I think that's just the little animated produce display model I passed on the way in."
Bernie looks down the produce aisle and sees the makeshift
"Oscar" Oscar has created from a spaghetti squash and a peach.
He reaches down and scoops up the real Oscar.
"Yep. This is the display model. Someone twit put a squash and a peach in his place". Oscar stifles his indignation at being called a "twit" and allows the famous Bernie to take him back to his old spot.
"Awww" says Annie. He even has a little
jacket and cap. Hey, Bernie, what's in the jacket pocket? It's a
shopping list. For something called the Lagomorph Special!"
Bernie, still clutching Oscar, stares in amazement at the list. "Annie! This is it! This is the inspiration I've been looking for! I'm going to become even more famous by creating the Lagomorph Special! It's got it all - it's healthy, tasty and different!"
Annie congratulates Bernie as Oscar ponders his fate. Should he bite Bernie to get his attention and inform him that he, Oscar, is the true creator of the Lagomorph Special and should get all the rights? Should he demand to be new Annie's Rabbit of Approval? Will this be a merger of two great rabbit-centric enterprises? Will he eat the recipe and forever be cast into obscurity? Will he be taken back to be made an executive chef at
Bernie's? Will he be adopted at last? Will he ever forget Miss Carla The Mad Potter of PB and Wally Wiresnips (aka Mr. June, the Undisputed King of Summer)?
Stay tuned for the next (and probably last) exciting segment of Oscar On His Own...
Oscar comes to his senses and decides to cut a deal with Bernie. "psst, Bernie..." Bernie says "Huh? Who's there?"
Oscar replies, "It's me, Oscar the display
bunny. Creator of the Lagomorph Special. Listen Bernie, I'll give
you all the rights to the secret ingredients if you'll help me find my way
Bernie the entrepreneur is a sensible bunny and agrees to help Oscar return home. Bernie tells Annie that Oscar will give them the right s to the Lagomorph Special for the price of a ride home. Annie willingly agrees. She knows that Bernie knows best.
Annie and Bernie finish their appearance at the store and invite Oscar into their car for the ride back to Carla's home.
Word gets out to the rest of Bunnydom and a plethora of bunnies gather to cheer Oscar as he returns to his foster home.
Wally Wiresnips looks out just in time to see Oscar arrive. A harried Oscar hops inside relieved to be home at last.
Wally, Undisputed King of Summer, greets Oscar, then retires under a chair, as is his way. Spandex the Unsociable attempts to bite Oscar, who leaps over her head. She goes to sulk. Miss Carla, the Mad Potter of PB, picks up the little black guy who tucks his head shyly under her arm, ostrich-like.
"Oscar, where have you been?" she asks. "I know I wasn't thrilled when you made spaghetti out of the phone cords but I didn't know you'd pack up your pizza crusts and leave! Thank goodness you're back safely."
Oscar looks up at her hopefully.
"Well at least you look as if you've eaten well," she notes. But to celebrate, how about we order a pizza? Maybe there's something new on the menu."
A smile comes into Oscar's eyes.