In honour of PLAYING HEARTS‘ publication this week, I’ve arranged a rather special interview! With me today are Hatter, Hare, and Dormy; sans tea-table but fully supplied with tea and crumpets.
Hatter: It can’t be afternoon. We haven’t had our morning tea yet. You’ll have to rewind.
W.R.: Er…Good morning?
Hatter: Better. Better, butter. Butter! Who took the butter? I must get on with the crumpets or we’ll be late.
Hare: YOU WILL GET NOTHING FROM ME, MADAM, BUT NAME, EAR LENGTH, AND HAT SIZE.
W.R.: I’m sorry, what did you say?
Hatter: He didn’t say anything. He’s snoring.
W.R.: No, I mean the Hare. Name, ear length, and hat size…?
Hatter: He thinks you’re a minion of the queen.
W.R.: Why would I be a minion of the queen?
Hatter: Prestige, power, scones…
Hare: HARE, ELEVEN INCHES NINEPENCE, FOUR AND THREE QUARTERS.
W.R.: Um. Thanks.
W.R. [addresses Hatter]: Your hat is a rather special one, I hear. Can you tell us about it?
W.R.: Um. Your hat? You were going to tell us about it?
Hatter: No I wasn’t.
W.R. [narrows eyes]: You just said you could tell us about it.
Hatter [sniffs]: Can and will are two different things. You should be more precise.
W.R. [considers a very precise method of informing the Hatter what a prat he is]: Perhaps the Hare would care to answer a question or two?
W.R.[addresses Hare]: I see you have a crutch.
Hare: I SEE YOU HAVE A BIG NOSE.
W.R.[tries to hide nose behind hand]: Well, yes, but- I mean, you’re missing a front paw, not a back leg. Why do you need a crutch? Isn’t it inconvenient?
Hare: WELL, WHY DO YOU NEED A NOSE AS BIG AS THAT? DOES IT HELP YOU SMELL BETTER?
W.R.: No. That’s why I take showers.
Hare [fixed stare]:…
W.R. [fixed glare]:…
Hare: HAVE A CUP OF TEA. IT’S NOT POISONED.
W.R. [takes teacup]: Thaaaanks. Back to your crutch. When did you get it?
Hare: NOT EVEN A SMIDGE OF BATTERY ACID.
W.R. [puts teacup down]: What do you know about battery acid? You come from a pre-electric paradigm.
Hare: WE HAD A LOOK AT YOUR CAR. IT WAS BROKEN.
W.R.: My car wasn’t broken!
Hare: WE FIXED IT FOR YOU. WE ACCEPT PAYMENT IN TEA AND CRUMPETS.
W.R.: But you don’t know anything about car electronics!
Hare: YES, AND IT WAS VERY DIFFICULT. THAT MEANS IT’S WORTH A LOT OF TEA AND CRUMPETS.
W.R.: What did you do to my car!?
Hatter: Well, it has wheels, after all. Worst comes to worst, you can always get behind it and push. Good exercise for you.
W.R. [groans]: Never mind. I’m sure it can’t be as bad as all that.
Dormy [blinks and sits up, yawning]
W.R. [looks relieved]: Oh, lovely! Dormy, you’re awake! I have so many questions I’d like to ask you!
W.R. [clears throat]: So: you’re usually asleep in the teapot that Mabel uses to get into Underland. Can you tell me why you like to sleep in tea dregs? It seems like a rather uncomfortable place for a nap.
W.R.: Right. Um. But the teapot? Why is it such a favourite with you?
W.R. [addresses Hatter and Hare]: Have I offended him? Or does he not care for questions?
Hatter: He’s a dormouse.
Hare: A DORMOUSE, MADAM.
W.R.: Yes, I know. What’s that got to do with it?
Hatter & Hare [stare at W.R.]:…
Hatter: Dormice don’t talk.
Hare: IS SHE MENTALLY DEFICIENT?
Hatter [sotto voce]: Back away slowly. Maybe she won’t notice.
W.R. [pinches bridge of nose and sighs]: You know what? I think we’re done.
Hare: RUN FOR IT, HATTER, SHE’S GETTING UP!
W.R. [indignant]: Oh, for Pete’s sake! Come back here, you two!
W.R.: You left Dormy behind, you mad little oiks! Now what am I supposed to do? I haven’t got a teapot big enough for him!