A student reminded me of something that got lost in the move to this new address. On pulling rabbits from hats.
Once upon a time, there was a guy. Let’s say he had a hat. Hats abound in this land that doesn’t exist but for the sake of our story, and even though they do there’s not much anyone could do with one. Stuffing your hand inside a hat was a way to generate countless fists full of nothing, but one day our intrepid protagonist produced a rabbit by his grasping. Cutest little ball of timid nibbling you ever did see.
Some of the people in this land that doesn’t exist but for the sake of our story spread the word that our protagonist could produce a rabbit by these means, and thus we should expect another some time soon. Not many people pulled a rabbit in this fashion. Hell, more than one could count couldn’t find their hat or never knew they had one in the first place. Rabbit-pulling was mysterious business for such folk, but they knew that our protagonist was a puller or pulled it once or twice before. No one pulls a rabbit every time though. Push your digits through time and space too lightly and all you’ll do is tickle the brim. In a frenzy of zealous overcorrection you’re apt to put your hand clear through, and find yourself standing there with a busted top hat twirling on your elbow. It came as no small miracle to our protagonist when one of a hundred pulls would yield a critter. So the pulls went on in secret, day and night, until one in twenty was the norm. But even then, with arm cocked at the elbow, all you could do was wonder whether this one was one or one of nineteen. No matter how many times it came out right, every one that did was a comeback, half sweat and skill but always half mystery that not even our protagonist could command. There is a rush of beauty and mastery when that critter’s in your mitt, and there’s a terror in knowing it might never be again.
So lights and cameras and action, fellow grapplers. Flip your cape and set your arm with all the drama this performance deserves. You will never be more alive than you are at this moment, and never more alone. And be ready when some loathsome little runt in the front row barks out, “So it’s just the one rabbit? Same as last time?”