Rabbit Races

"Rabbit Races, Racing Rabbits, don't you see!"

The man who had shouted these words with such enthusiasm was Sparky Somnio.  Upon finishing his drink and placing it down on the table -- where he sat alone -- Sparky reached an epiphany, a light bulb moment that was so great in his mind that he just had to shout it out to the room.  He spoke to no one in particular and his question wasn't a question so much as it was a declaration of his absolute belief that Rabbit Races would be the next great event.

For all Sparky's life his one and only dream was to hold an event for a large audience of truly entertained spectators.  But now Sparky's life was nearly half over and he had put on no events and not entertained a single spectator.  Instead he spent his days working as a hotdog vendor and his nights drinking alone at his local pub -- Pucks and Pickles.   This night Sparky was once again drinking alone in the pub, but he knew that tonight was different.

Pucks and Pickles was a typical small town pub with a typically modest number of patrons for a Tuesday night.  The decor was a haphazard mix of unmemorable sports memorabilia and tacky Irish stereotypes.  The service was only acceptable and the prices were certainly no deal.  But it was the only place in town to get a drink, and for the pubs regulars, going out to get a drink was their only activity in life.  However, Sparky wanted to change all that and make his town a hub of activity and entertainment.

The patrons hadn't taken any notice of Sparky's outburst, but Sparky wasn't about to give up.  He stood up on the table and shouted, "Wouldn't you all want to see Rabbit Races?"  Sparky was certain he had come up with a truly unique idea that everyone would love.  Sparky wasn't aware that Rabbit Races were commonly held at county fairs in many small towns.  None of the other pub goers had ever heard of Rabbit Races either, but none of them thought it was a good idea.

In a group of people who spend most of their free time drinking in a dingy pub, you wouldn't expect to find many people interested in nurturing the dreams of others, but you can expect there to be one person who is quick to try to squash those dreams.  A man hunched over in the corner was going to try to do just that.  The man had long since given up on any dreams he ever had.  In fact he never really had the imagination to have any dreams for himself.  And now the only things that gave him pleasure in life were drinking and making others feel badly.  "Why would anyone want to watch stupid Rabbits Racing?" the man in the corner asked.

"Because they're really fast," replied Sparky.

The waitress came over to Sparky's table.  She was used to dealing with drunken people and she was always very courteous and respectful, but it was nearly closing time and she didn't want to have to deal with a man standing on his table shouting and waiving a drink in his hand.

"Please come down from the table sir."

"Don't you understand? Rabbit Races!"

"Yes, it sounds great," the waitress said trying to placate Sparky, "but you can be excited about it in your seat instead of on the table."

"Oh, fine ..." Sparky looked down as if he just realized he was standing on top of a wobbly table, "... good idea."

Sparky got down from the table and sat back in his chair, but he hadn't given up on his great idea.  He positioned his chair so that it was facing everyone else in the pub, in the way a teacher would sit to read a story to her class of children.

"Just picture it, thousands of people gathered around a dirt track -- chatting, drinking, laughing, eating hot dogs -- but mostly enjoying the spectacle of watching the most fantastic Rabbit specimens to ever Race."

"Sounds pretty stupid to me," grumbled the man in the corner, "How are you going to get them to run?"

The question stumped Sparky momentarily.   He hadn't thought about the logistics of the whole thing, but he never had trouble coming up with ideas, even if they weren't very good.  "A piece of wood, made to look like a carrot, rigged up to travel around the inside of the track and motivate the Rabbits to chase it all the way to the finish line."

"Why not just use a real carrot?" asked a woman -- surprisingly sober to be hanging out in a place like this -- who had been listening to the conversation.

"Real carrots, sure, even better!" Sparky felt his idea was really coming together.

"But what would make Rabbit Races more exciting then other races?" asked the sober woman.

"Well ..." Sparky raked his brain coming up with another great idea, "Rabbits can hop really well, so there could be obstacles on the track that they have to hop over."

"What kind of obstacles?"

"Um, like tires or large stacks of syrupy waffles ..."

"Waffles?" The woman said questioningly.

"Yes waffles -- it's really hard to move when you are covered in syrup -- and there could be other things like small trampolines or chainsaws.

"Chainsaws -- isn't that a little dangerous?"

"Well the chainsaws wouldn't be running obviously."

"Oh I see, I guess you've got it all figured out then."

Despite Sparky's conviction the pub crowd never seemed to get behind the idea of Rabbit Races, however, Sparky was much too wrapped up in his own thoughts to worry about whether anyone else actually liked his idea.

After the pub closed Sparky stumbled home to get his ideas down on paper.  On the way back to his apartment, Sparky had struggled to come up with the necessary details for his brilliant plan, and decided that it was the drinking that had lead to his inspiration.  So when Sparky got back to his place he quickly poured himself a glass, grabbed a pad of paper and a pencil, and prepared to set the wheels in motion for creating an event that would change the world as we know it.

A few refills of his glass later, Sparky had passed out on the couch with a blank sheet of paper in front of him.  That night Sparky Somnio dreamt of many strange and wonderful things, but none of the dreams included any Rabbits or Races.  In fact the idea of Rabbit Racing had left his mind completely, never to return.  But Rabbit Races wouldn't be the last idea Sparky would come up with in the hopes of one day fulfilling his dream of bringing big entertainment to the masses.   It wouldn't be long before Sparky would be shouting about his next great idea.