Dungeoneer’s Diary #22 – The Voracious Devil Bunny

Posted: September 6, 2019 in Uncategorized

© 2019 G.N. Jacobs

Psychologically speaking, what is it about Devil Bunnies, other killer rabbits and me? No, don’t answer that…

When discussing said rodents that typically benefit from being cute, we start with both Bug Bunny and his steroidal cousin from Monty Python’s Holy Grail. Lead with the obvious…

Bugs is, strictly speaking, not a Devil Bunny. Elmer tries to hunt rabbits in a world where he hasn’t quite caught onto the joke that in order to create laughs he’s been designated the honorary Imperial Stormtrooper for the evening. When does Baldie quit and buy hotdogs at Ralph’s?

Perspective and toon bullets you can outrun give Bugs his place in this discussion. A rabbit minding his own business and humorously defending himself seems like a good guy. Certainly, history is written by the victor and I’m sure Elmer’s thoughts are unprintable.

Okay, a history written by the victor Looney Toons story fits a small but growing niche of writing. Eventually, I do have to read The Last Ringbearer (Sauron is the good guy), for instance. Bugs is almost already there as the bad guy with just a little shove into the warm embrace of the Dark Side.

Personally, since these blog posts are as much about me amusing myself as informing you, the turn the clichés and tropes on their heads method I’ll leave for a less whimsical time (next Tuesday?). For a few seconds I have something better, another way to cast Bugs as the Devil Bunny. *snare drum* Cross his best Elmer episode (What’s Opera, Doc?, perhaps?) with…The Exorcist.

“The powwuh of Cawwot compels you! Heh-heh-heh!”

Father Elmer Merrin Fudd SJ throws the holy carrot shavings pinched from the salad bar at Sizzler all over his restrained subject. The bound rabbit writhes and screams.

“Your mother eat carrots in…”

Father Fudd slaps the bound Devil Bunny. “With warm stew, foul wabbit! The powwuh of Cawwot compels you! Heh-heh-heh!”

At which point, Father Fudd tags in his younger associate, Father Daffius Duck SJ, to keep tossing the holy carrot shavings. And this is where I admit that I lost the joke two sentences ago and this is my almost graceful exit…even before Father Duck gets to bust out his catchphrase – “He’s dethpicable!” Besides, I’m not sure I wanted to cast the Daffster in the Father Karras part. A future project for an actual comedy writer with equal affection for Looney Toons and William Friedkin…a tall order.

It’s been a while, if ever, that I’ve sat through Harvey. The film’s Wikipedia page asserts Pooka, a Celtic spirit described as benign with a side order of benign. But, a nearly seven foot invisible rabbit able to hold a conversation with a man who admits drinking too much has quite a lot of power that must continuously be promised to only use them for good.

Look, yes, the above paragraph is a valid story concept, but I just functionally cast Jimmy Stewart in the Linda Blair part. I need to think on this before proceeding. And it isn’t that different from the results of the funnier (I think) Looney Toons mashup. Also another project for a writer funnier than me.

We can always go with the regular sized rabbit puppet guarding a cave that doesn’t actually contain the Holy Grail route. But does this beast require setting Michael Palin loose to act as the setup man for the deadly rodent? Regardless, the puppet goes for the throat – GRRR-GRRR-GNAW! – “Flee! Flee! Run away!” I suppose the Vorpal Bunny could work in a context that isn’t the second funniest Monty Python movie ever.

Think of it, an actual scary movie where the cute rabbit rips out throats. Maybe. Certainly, small and cute but married to blinding speed is designed to engender the smug overconfidence seen in several of Arthur’s knights. We do need to give thought to the 21st Century upgrade to the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch. What ritual makes a hand grenade holy? And what is the failsafe for ensuring that characters who can’t count to three throw the weapon safely?

Lastly (at least until other weigh in), we have the Devil Bunny as poisoner of Easter eggs (see photo). Now we’re cookin’ with gas. I like this one because the class appellation ‘Devil Bunny’ always struck me as having more brains that any version of Evil Bugs or the many other killer rabbits depicted heretofore in this post. And I guess we’re waiting for the next shoe to drop with some writer out there using the dreaded Mix and Match technique to go with something really good in this category.

The poisoned Easter egg version of the Devil Bunny could even become a fight between real hard boiled eggs that you paint and our equal reverence for the plastic and chocolate eggs used in the same egg hunts. A statement against the commercialism of our holidays that belongs on the same shelf as all versions of The Grinch, perhaps? Maybe someone with an f%#^ed up psyche just needs to lash out a bit twisting common mythology on its head? Nearly all versions of Poisoner Devil Bunny figure out how to put the blame on the socially inept reclusive Boo Radley type (union bylaw, trust me) who sells the chocolate eggs.

And now a little bit about why I had to write about the many ways to use the Devil Bunny now instead of simply assuming it existed, a story that goes in the You Can’t Make this Up Category…

My family used to congregate at Easter for the big old country club Easter brunch. My three nephews, teenagers at the time, go into the craft room intended to keep little kids busy and out from under the adults while conversing. I may have been the cool uncle, but even I’m spending more time with my brothers and sisters than the nieces and nephews.

These kids promptly make construction paper Devil Bunnies. The reporting gets fuzzy because no actual Devil Bunnies survived long enough for me to get a look at them. And years after the fact, the boys assert that they really didn’t do all that scary with their efforts.

No matter, I know these kids. They helped sell the Devil Bunnies to impressionable five-year-olds by pretty much being loud and in your face to the younger kids with their artistic efforts. This triggers a small child, possibly the two other nephews who at the time were age-appropriate for the room, squeaking for – “Mooooooommmmy!” It’s all over when someone pulls the Mommy Card.

The efforts of the one sister with kids intended to be in the room, another sister without kids but who also took offense and the hapless child care supervisor hired by the country club meant that the Devil Bunnies were quickly extirpated shredded into the trashcan. So I never saw the Devil Bunnies, despite mentioning that I wanted to. More than once.

My sister with the nephews for whom the craft room was intended spent the next half hour berating the brother with the nephews that should never have been in the room. This I saw being just across the table and it quickly became one of those stories that the family gets instantly and newcomers look stupid until someone tells it again.

Since then there was one attempt to capture in print the Venomous Devil Bunny where I’m using a drawing app to do a preliminary color cover sketch: six-foot pink rabbit, bloody axe and bad attitude. All driven by not actually seeing the Devil Bunnies (imagination is worse, Kids). I work all kinds of weird and put the manuscript down. And then another book blew up that said I need to massage the “these are obviously the writer’s siblings” out of The Devil Bunny (the Venomous is a recent addition) novel. Eventually. Eventually.

So that’s the You Had to Be There story of why Devil Bunnies are such a thing with me.

Which leaves one last piece of business: the game stats. It’s kind of a rule for my Monster of the Week posts to throw in stats as an afterthought…

Vorpal Puppet Bunny. Give this version about two to three hit dice, blinding speed and an insatiable desire to rip out Sir Robin’s throat. Normal armor class (leather armor?). And have at it, but Mr./Ms. DM, do rehearse this one so you don’t break out laughing.

Most of the other variations of the Devil Bunny are pretty much the same Devil Bunny with vastly different roleplaying opportunities. They all seem to stand about man-high which says about six to eight hit dice. And unless the Devil Bunny up armors with lots of steel, Kevlar or personal laser shields, again lets call it leather armor.

The Evil Harvey version with metaphorical venom in his tongue also has selective invisibility which will add quite a lot to its armor class. And the Egg and Candy Poisoner Devil Bunny likely has index fingers that inject something particularly horrible (I like ricin, you don’t have to) into its victims. Bugs as Possession Victim, well those stats will be more akin to the rules for possession in various game systems.

Truth is, I think the next Devil Bunny that gets really good and gory is likely to be a huge mix and match version taking equally from the various Chinese menu options. And I’m waiting to see what that is…

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